Weekly Review — July 3, 2018, 11:09 am

Weekly Review

Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement, AMLO wins in Mexico, and Ivanka Trump copresents a report denouncing family separation

Three days after US president Donald Trump called journalists “the enemy of the people” at a rally for South Carolina governor Henry McMaster, a man shot and killed five staff members of Maryland’s Capital Gazette.[1] “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” Trump stated at a news conference the day after the shooting.[2] The Supreme Court upheld the president’s ban on travelers from North Korea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Venezuela, and struck down a California law requiring reproductive health clinics to inform patients about the availability of abortion services.[3][4] Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he would be retiring, and it was reported that, as an executive at Deutsche Bank, Justice Kennedy’s son Justin Kennedy had presided over $1 billion in loans to President Trump, who has publicly referred to Justin as a “special guy.”[5][6]

Far-left anti-corruption candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has vowed to turn the presidential palace into a public park, was elected president of Mexico with a more than 30-point lead, the largest margin in a Mexican presidential election since 1982; and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old democratic socialist bartender from the Bronx, defeated a ten-term congressman in the Democratic primaries with a 15-point lead.[7][8][9] Ivanka Trump copresented a 68-page report written before the family separation policy was enacted at the State Department’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report Launch Ceremony, denouncing family separation as harmful; a federal judge ordered the government to reunite separated undocumented families currently in custody within 30 days; and, ordered to appear alone in court for a deportation hearing, a three-year-old climbed on a table in the middle of proceedings.[10][11][12][13] Taco Bell was named the best Mexican restaurant of 2018 in the Harris Poll, an annual survey originally founded to conduct polling for political candidates.[14]

A new report estimated that, unchecked, climate change would depress the living standards of one in every two Indians by 2050.[15] Parents in Sri Lanka marked the 500th day of roadside protests over the disappearance of more than 60,000 people believed to have been abducted by the government during and after the civil war.[16] A Missouri State University professor stopped soliciting photos of penises for a study on self-esteem, stating that public fervor had compromised the reliability of the survey responses; a former security guard at a CVS in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, was sentenced to four years in prison for taking nude photos of female shoplifters in exchange for not calling the police; and in Madison, Wisconsin, a man attempting to take “upskirt” photos suffered a foot injury when the hidden camera in his shoe exploded.[17][18][19] According to the police chief’s blog, “The subject was counseled on his actions and released from the scene as no illicit video had been taken.”[20]Whitney Kimball

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Alex and Wendy love culture. It’s how they spend their free time. It’s what they talk about at dinner parties. When they go jogging or to the gym, they listen to podcasts on their phones. On Sunday nights they watch their favorite new shows. They go to the movies sometimes, but they were bummed out when ­MoviePass went south, so now they mostly stream things. They belong to book clubs that meet every couple of weeks. Alex and Wendy work hard at their jobs, but they always have a bit of time to check their feeds at work. What’s in their feeds? Their feeds tell them about culture. Their feeds are a form of comfort. Their feeds explain things to them that they already understand. Their feeds tell them that everyone else is watching, reading, listening to the same things. Their feeds tell them about the people who make their culture, people who aren’t so different from them, just maybe a bit more glistening. Alex and Wendy’s feeds assure them that they aren’t lonely. Their feeds give them permission to like what they already like. Their feeds let them know that their culture is winning.

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Five years ago, Jean-Sebastien Hertsens Zune went looking for his parents. He already had one set, a Belgian church organist and his wife, who adopted him as a baby from Guatemala and later moved the family to France. But he wanted to find his birth mother and father. When Zune was a teenager, his Belgian parents gave him his adoption file, holding back only receipts showing how much the process had cost. Most people pay little attention to their birth certificates, but for adoptees, these documents, along with notes about their relinquishment, tell an often patchy origin story.

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Once, in an exuberant state, feeling filled with the muse, I told another writer: When I write, I know everything. Everything about the characters? she asked. No, I said, everything about the world, the universe. Every. Fucking. Thing. I was being preposterous, of course, but I was also trying to explain the feeling I got, deep inside writing a first draft, that I was listening and receiving, listening some more and receiving, from a place that was far enough away from my daily life, from all of my reading, from everything.

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All his life he lived on hatred.

He was a solitary man who hoarded gloom. At night a thick smell filled his bachelor’s room on the edge of the kibbutz. His sunken, severe eyes saw shapes in the dark. The hater and his hatred fed on each other. So it has ever been. A solitary, huddled man, if he does not shed tears or play the violin, if he does not fasten his claws in other people, experiences over the years a constantly mounting pressure, until he faces a choice between lunacy and suicide. And those who live around him breathe a sigh of relief.

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Thirty-two years ago my newborn daughter was discharged from Boston Children’s Hospital after an operation to repair a congenital birth defect and a lengthy period of recovery. Her mother and I had prepared for this—we knew the diagnosis from the ultrasound, had done the research you could do in 1986, asked the questions we could learn to ask—and got a good outcome. We went home to the western end of the state to raise twin daughters, one with a major disability (“our third child,” her mother says), and found ourselves in a system whose existence we hadn’t known of: Early Childhood Intervention. Physical therapists, psychologists, licensed practical nurses, and the state and public–private agencies that supplied and paid them. They cared for our child, but more than that, they taught us how to, and the teaching was as much mental and emotional—call it spiritual—as it was practical. They taught us to watch, to observe, to learn this particular child; to have patience, not to see too much and fall into useless anxiety, not to see too little and miss the signs of trouble. Close watching actually changed our experience of time. I learned what mindfulness meant, even if my practice of it fell short.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

In California, a 78-year-old patient and his family were informed that he would die within days from a doctor who was communicating via video call on a screen mounted to a robot on wheels.

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