Demonstrations broke out across the country Wednesday evening, protesting the election of Donald Trump for president.
In Chicago, thousands marched through the downtown area, crossing the Chicago River, and chanting, “Don’t give in to racist fear, Muslims are welcome here,” outside the Wabash Avenue building named after the president-elect.
In New York, thousands more gathered in Midtown, at times chanting, “Not my president,” and carrying signs for gay rights and environmental issues.
In Boston, police say 10,000 protesters marched from the Massachusetts Statehouse to Copley Square, yelling, “We will not be silenced,” and waving signs that said, “He Will Never Be My President.”
Protesters flooded the streets of several other cities nationwide, blocking highways in Austin, crowding the steps of Los Angeles City Hall, and disrupting classes in Des Moines, Iowa. Demonstrators also took to the streets of Oakland, Seattle, and Portland.
At least seven people have died and dozens more injured after a tram derailed Wednesday morning in Croydon, south of London.
The tram was traveling from New Addington to Wimbledon via Croydon “at a significantly higher speed than is permitted” when it derailed off a sharp curve, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said Wednesday in a statement. The driver, a 42-year-old man from Beckenham, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, according to British Transport Police.
An estimated 51 people were taken to the hospital, the London Ambulance Service said Wednesday afternoon. Of the tram’s passengers, at least seven people were killed—a number Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, warned “may well increase.”
Though the tram was traveling at higher speeds than usual, transport authorities said it is too early in the investigation to determine exactly what caused the crash. Here’s a photo from the scene:
America's Toughest Sheriff Loses His First Election in 24 Years
After 24 years of service marked with controversy, Joe Arpaio is no longer sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. The 86-year-old came up short in the race for his seventh-consecutive term Tuesday night; he was defeated by Democratic rival Paul Penzone, a former police sergeant who lost to Arpaio in 2012.
Arpaio had once seemed invincible in Arizona. As a local law enforcement leader, he found national fame by pushing the immigration debate to the right. For about a decade, his deputies practiced “crime sweeps,” routinely stopping county residents and asking them to prove their citizenship. In 2013 a federal judge found Arpaio’s office guilty of racial profiling and assigned a federal monitor to ensure the sheriff made changes to his department. Arpaio didn’t comply and landed in civil court, where he was eventually found guilty of contempt. The federal judge then recommended Arpaio be charged with criminal contempt, and he is scheduled to appear in court this December.
Penzone said Tuesday he ran for sheriff because he sought to “restore the respect, the transparency” of the office.
"No longer will we be known by the notoriety of one," he told supporters. "The only division we should see in the community is between those who commit the crime and those [who] are willing to hold them accountable."
Arpaio said he was disappointed about his loss, but he respects the voters’ decision.
'Schindler's List' Factory to Become a Holocaust Memorial
The Czech Republic factory where German industrialist Oskar Schindler employed and simultaneously saved more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust will become a memorial.
The Czech culture ministry said Tuesday that portions of the factory complex in Brnene, which is near Schindler’s birthplace of Svitavy, will be restored to exhibit Schindler’s life and his work to save the lives of Jews during World War II, a story made famous by the novel Schindler’s Ark in 1982, and later by Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation, Schindler’s List.
Schindler used the factory, as well as one in Nazi-occupied Poland, to manufacture enamelware and munitions. During the war he employed 1,200 Jews to work at his facilities and saved them from execution. The now-dilapidated building will see restorations to its laboratory, mill, chemical depot, watch tower, and more. The memorial is scheduled to open in 2019.
North Dakota Pipeline Owner Will Continue Construction Despite Federal Government's Requests
The owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline have vowed to press on with construction, despite months of protests from Native Americans and despite federal requests to delay the project so alternatives routes can be considered.
Energy Transfer Partners made the announcement Tuesday, saying it was readying equipment and would begin drilling within two weeks, Reuters reported. This phase of construction requires the company to drill on federal land and practically under the Missouri river. For months, hundreds of protesters, many of the them Native Americans calling themselves “water protectors,” have protested on private land against the drilling out of fears it may contaminate the only water source for the nearby Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. They have been met by a large police presence—and recently with considerable violence.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had previously permitted Energy Transfer Partners to drill on the land. In September the U.S. government asked the company to temporarily halt work on the pipeline while federal regulators reconsidered its impact on the environment. On Monday, the Army Corp’s told Bloomberg that Energy Transfer had agreed to slow construction. Then as the nation focused on the presidential election, the company said it had made no such promise: "The statement released last night by the Army Corps was a mistake and the Army Corps intends to rescind it," Energy Transfer’s statement read, according to Reuters.
It’s uncertain what will happen next. Protesters have refused to leave; finance companies have also felt pressure to pull out of the deal; and North Dakota regulators are filing a complaint against Energy Transfer that accuses them of failing to disclose findings of Native American artifacts along the pipeline construction route.
Stocks in Europe and Asia dived before paring some of their earlier declines. Markets in Russia were up.
The price of oil, already battered by years of uneven global economic growth and China’s slowdown, was down about 0.5 percent in early trading. Gold, often seen as a commodity of last refuge, surged.
We should note here that markets often behave erratically during unexpected events—such as the possibility of a Trump presidency. Chances are they will settle down once Trump unveils his economic, domestic, and foreign policies.
Years after these titles were popular, they’re still worth picking up.
Hundreds of thousands of books are published in the United States each year, and this dramatic influx of titles largely runs the calendars of the publishing and media industries—usually to the detriment of any work that isn’t brand new. Even best sellers or novels by famous authors get lost in the deluge, and books that were beloved on release can fall off readers’ radar quickly. But many were popular or critically acclaimed for good reasons, and they’re worth revisiting.
Here is a list of 15 fiction titles from the past two decades that you may have forgotten about in the years since. Some are from familiar names such as Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, and Louise Erdrich; others are by authors you may not have heard of at all. These selections include plenty of drama, and there’s an undercurrent of gentle comedy, even in novels with dark themes or plots. Their characters define love in many different ways, and they seek fulfillment across geographies and time periods—contemporary London, Vichy France, Nigeria, North Korea. Ultimately, these stories are bound together by a compassion for their characters’ struggles and shortcomings—a quality that only our finest writers are able to cultivate.
With the arrival of vaccines, compassion for COVID deaths began to dry up, sometimes replaced by scorn.
After Andreea’s mom died of COVID-19 in April, the harassment started. Noxious messages started coming in after she wrote a Facebook post letting friends and family know about her loss.
One person messaged her to say they couldn’t believe her mother hadn’t protected herself. Andreea has since deleted most of the other messages, but she remembers people saying things like “I can’t believe your mom was an anti-vaxxer” and “I can’t believe she didn’t understand that COVID could kill you.” “Instead of people saying that they were sorry for my loss, they would question my mom’s medical choices. It became all about her vaccine status. It was incredibly hurtful,” Andreea, a language instructor, who asked to be identified by only her first name in order to prevent further harassment, told me.
Unlike many other bigotries, anti-Semitism is not merely a social prejudice; it is a conspiracy theory about how the world operates.
Most people do not realize that Jews make up just 2 percent of the U.S. population and 0.2 percent of the world’s population. This means simply finding them takes a lot of effort. But every year in Western countries, including America, Jews are the No. 1 target of anti-religious hate crimes. Anti-Semites are many things, but they aren’t lazy. They’re animated by one of the most durable and deadly conspiracy theories in human history.
This past Saturday in Texas, another one found his mark. According to the latest news reports, Malik Faisal Akram traversed an ocean to accomplish his task, flying from the United Kingdom to America in late December. On January 15, he took Colleyville’s Congregation Beth Israel hostage for more than 11 hours. When it was all over, Akram was dead and his captives were not. The hostages escaped after their rabbi engineered a distraction, drawing on security training he had received from the Anti-Defamation League and other communal organizations. Something else most people don’t realize is that many rabbis need and receive security training.
Now it’s happening again. Yesterday, the market closed at more than $1,200 per thousand board feet, a surge in price with only one precedent in the decades-long history of lumber trading. Last year, I wrote about the role that climate change was playing in the lumber volatility. Its effects now seem even more pronounced. “The lumber price story is really a climate-change story,” Stinson Dean, a lumber trader in Colorado, recently tweeted. He has argued that climate change has all but dictated the ongoing price rally, going so far as to call the lumber price a “climate price.”
Critics of Licorice Pizza think the film could normalize anti-Asian mockery.
About 25 centuries ago, in The Republic, Plato banished poets and playwrights from his ideal city, claiming that their work “is likely to distort the thought of anyone who hears it.” Plato worried that after witnessing the extremities of human behavior represented by storytellers, we might imitate that behavior in real life, resulting in disorder, division, violence, and chaos. He was skeptical of our capacity to distinguish between what’s real and what’s imagined, and likewise of our capacity to draw positive and productive insights for life and action from what we watch. So too are contemporary culture warriors, who are convinced, and keen to convince others, that when, for instance, something racist is depicted in a film and not clearly condemned, the film has incorrigible, racist effects—and deserves condemnation. But unlike Plato and the hashtag brigades, I’m willing to gamble that audiences will get it right, and that something good can come from them struggling to do so.
Britain’s prime minister sees himself as Winston Churchill’s heir. But what if he is remembered as Churchill’s weak, humiliated predecessor instead?
“In the name of God, go!”
If you wanted to choose a quotation to wound Boris Johnson—a man who wrote a biography of Winston Churchill as a coded advertisement for his own virtues—then this would be it. When Johnson’s fellow Conservative David Davis stood up in Parliament today and said these words, he must have intended them to be a fatal blow. Davis was not comparing the prime minister to his hero Churchill. He was comparing him to Neville Chamberlain, Churchill’s weak, appeasing predecessor.
The quotation comes from a 1940 debate on Britain’s conduct in the dispiriting first months of the Second World War, as Britain failed to defend Norway from a German invasion. The Conservative Leo Amery compared Chamberlain’s attitude toward Adolf Hitler to that of a lion hunter caught sleeping by the lion. “That is, in brief, the story of our initiative over Norway,” Amery said. Then he built to a conclusion that quoted Oliver Cromwell, who overthrew and executed King Charles I. “This is what Cromwell said to the Long Parliament when he thought it was no longer fit to conduct the affairs of the nation: ‘You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.’”
The new variant seems to be our quickest one yet. That makes it harder to catch with the tests we have.
It certainly might not seem like it given the pandemic mayhem we’ve had, but the original form of SARS-CoV-2 was a bit of a slowpoke. After infiltrating our bodies, the virus would typically brew forabout five or six daysbefore symptoms kicked in. In the many months since that now-defunct version of the virus emerged, new variants have arrived to speed the timeline up. Estimates for this exposure-to-symptom gap, called the incubation period, clocked in at about five days for Alpha and four days for Delta. Now word has it that the newest kid on the pandemic block, Omicron, may have ratcheted it down to as little asthree.
If that number holds, it’s probably bad news. These trimmed-down cook times are thought to play a major part in helping coronavirus variants spread: In all likelihood, the shorter the incubation period, the faster someone becomes contagious—and the quicker an outbreak spreads. A truncated incubation “makes a virus much, much, much harder to control,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told me.
Recently I met the astronomer Pascal Oesch, an assistant professor at the University of Geneva. Professor Oesch and his colleagues share the distinction of having discovered the most distant known object, a small galaxy called GNz-11. That galaxy is so far away that its light had to travel for 13 billion years to get from there to here. I asked Professor Oesch if he felt personally connected to this tiny smudge on his computer screen. Does this faint blob feel like part of nature, part of the same world of Keats and Goethe and Emerson, where “vines that round the thatch-eves run; to bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees”?
Oesch answered that he looks at such distant smudges every day. Sure, they’re part of the universe, he said. But consider the abstraction (thought I). A few exhausted photons of light from GNz-11 dropped on a photoelectric detector aboard a satellite orbiting Earth, produced a tiny electrical current that was translated into 0s and 1s, which were beamed to Earth in a radio wave. That information was then processed in data centers in New Mexico and Maryland and eventually landed on Professor Oesch’s computer screen in Geneva. These days, professional astronomers rarely look at the sky through the lens of a telescope. They sit at computer screens.
I thought I was done dating. But after moving across the country, I had to start again—this time, in search of platonic love.
Thirty-seven minutes after sitting down to lunch, Francesca and I hugged goodbye in a strip-mall parking lot. We were both fairly certain, I think, that we would not be seeing each other again. The high-school classmate of a friend’s friend’s husband, she’d been such a promising friendship prospect: She was a professional violinist and fellow New Yorker who was writing her dissertation on pollen. But I was awkward, smiling too much and saying things like “That’s so funny” in lieu of actual laughter, while Francesca (not her real name) was overworked and seemed full of derision for Bozeman, Montana, the town to which I had just moved, and from which she and her husband were determined to flee.
For such a familiar celestial body, the sun is still very mysterious—but we’re getting closer to it than ever before.
Kelly Korreck is still thinking about the time her spacecraft flew into the sun, how one moment, the probe was rushing through a stormy current of fast-moving particles, and the next, it was plunging somewhere quieter, where the plasma rolled like ocean waves. No machine had ever crossed that mysterious boundary before. But Korreck and her team had dispatched a mission for that exact purpose, and their plan worked. For the first time in history, a spacecraft had entered the sun’s atmosphere.
“This is a totally cool place to go—well, I guess, hot place to go,” Korreck, a solar physicist at NASA, told me. “We’ve touched plasma and gas that actually belongs to the sun.”
The NASA probe, named Parker, made the historic dive in April of last year, but scientists waited until last month to announce the news, after they’d analyzed the data and made sure that the spacecraft had indeed crossed into the top layer of the sun’s atmosphere, known as the corona. NASA then declared that Parker had “touched the sun,” basking in a bit of poetic license. The spacecraft can’t reach down to the photosphere, the layer that radiates light, what’s commonly understood to be the “surface” of the sun. But even that isn’t a distinct, solid surface like the ground on Earth, hence the quotation marks. So touch, shmuch: Parker certainly has, to use a less scientific term, booped the sun.