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.
The unusual situation facing Robert Mueller does not justify repeal of well-established traditions of confidentiality.
As the nation awaits the Mueller report, a return to first principles is in order. One relevant first principle was dramatically illustrated in the breach during the waning weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. Then–FBI Director James Comey announced at a press conference that no criminal charges would be brought against Hillary Clinton. Comey didn’t stop there, however. In that press conference, which will continue to live in infamy, Comey sharply criticized the former secretary of state for her ill-considered conduct in housing a server in her private residence, only to receive official and—not infrequently—classified information.
The nation should have risen, as one, in righteous indignation in the aftermath of the Comey press conference. In a single misadventure, Comey both seized power that was not his—the power to seek an indictment, a prerogative that was entrusted to the attorney general—and then violated one of the fundamental principles of public prosecution: Thou shalt not drag a subject or target of the investigation through the mud via public criticism. Prosecutors either seek an indictment, or remain quiet.
A former Jehovah's Witness is using stolen documents to expose allegations that the religion has kept hidden for decades.
In March 1997, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses, sent a letter to each of its 10,883 U.S. congregations, and to many more congregations worldwide. The organization was concerned about the legal risk posed by possible child molesters within its ranks. The letter laid out instructions on how to deal with a known predator: Write a detailed report answering 12 questions—Was this a onetime occurrence, or did the accused have a history of child molestation? How is the accused viewed within the community? Does anyone else know about the abuse?—and mail it to Watchtower’s headquarters in a special blue envelope. Keep a copy of the report in your congregation’s confidential file, the instructions continued, and do not share it with anyone.
The attorney general says he may be able to advise Congress of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as early as this weekend.
After one year, 10 months, and six days, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his final report to the attorney general, signaling the end of his investigation into a potential conspiracy between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Mueller’s pace has been breakneck, legal experts tell me—especially for a complicated criminal investigation that involves foreign nationals and the Kremlin, an adversarial government. The next-shortest special-counsel inquiry was the three-and-a-half-year investigation of the Plame affair, under President George W. Bush; the longest looked into the Iran-Contra scandal, under President Ronald Reagan, which lasted nearly seven years. Still, former FBI agents have expressed surprise that Mueller ended his probe without ever personally interviewing its central target: Donald Trump.
Why the HBO host is wrong that public shaming encourages public accountability
On the most recent episode of Last Week Tonight, an HBO show that often sounds as if The Daily Show and The Rachel Maddow Show had combined their writers’ rooms, John Oliver dedicated his monologue to public shaming.
After a brief survey of excesses culled from local television-news reports, the host said, “You may be expecting me to say that all public shaming is bad, but I don’t actually think that.” In his estimation, “misdirected internet pile-ons can completely destroy people’s lives.” But if public shaming is “well directed,” then “a lot of good can come out of it. If someone is caught doing something racist or a powerful person is behaving badly, it can increase accountability.”
The balance of the segment did not substantiate his thesis.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has wrapped up, but Trump and his associates may not be out of legal jeopardy yet.
After 675 days, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is over. But President Donald Trump’s legal troubles are far from finished.
What has ended is the Department of Justice’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, which began after the United States assessed that Moscow had intervened in the vote to tip the election in Trump’s favor. Both Trump and Russia have consistently denied this. But Mueller’s investigation has led to 215 criminal charges, 38 indictments or pleas, and five prison sentences so far. His probe ensnared Trump’s business associates, many of whom had become involved in his political career, including his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The special counsel’s office also unearthed a web of criminality, not always directly related to Russian interference.
After waking up with a searing pain that radiates down to my shoulders, I hunt for the culprit.
My body’s preferred way to remind me that I’m aging is through pain. In recent years, my level of consequence-free drinking has plummeted from “omg liMitLe$s!!” to one and a half standard glasses of Chardonnay. In yoga, I am often forced not to enter the “fullest expression of the pose” and instead to just kind of lie there.
And then there is The Tweak. About once a month—not at any certain time of the month, but roughly 12 times a year—I will wake up feeling like someone French-braided my neck muscles overnight. The pain burns from the base of my skull, down one side of my neck or the other, and onto the adjacent shoulder blade. The Tweak makes it impossible to rotate my head fully to one side or the other for the day. It’s not an athletic injury—I know no sport. It’s also not related to any underlying medical conditions that I know of, though when I talked with experts for this article, they asked me “if I am stressed,” which I took to be a rhetorical question.
Supreme Court justices should resist the urge to refer to presidents by name.
Schoolhouse Rock, and the Constitution, teach that a bill becomes a law when the president signs it. Often the Supreme Court will explain that a given bill was signed by “the president.” But on rare occasions, the justices will refer to the president by name. Does this SCOTUS name-dropping matter? If the Court merely notes which president was in office when Congress passed a specific bill, there is no problem. That fact, in the legal lingo, is merely descriptive. However, if the Court identifies the president to make a broader point—for example, that the bill was passed by a liberal or a conservative—there may indeed be a problem. The Court should resist the urge to wade, or even dip a toe, into partisan squabbles by naming the politicians responsible for legislation, unless, of course, those facts are necessary to resolve a given a case.
In his latest film, the comedian turned director continues to reinvent how the genre uses fear to comment on humanity’s evil.
This story contains mild spoilers for the film Us.
It’s perhaps the most indelible image in cinema: Janet Leigh’s scream, her open mouth signaling unmistakable terror, in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Taken from the movie’s famous shower scene, the shot is now virtually synonymous with the horror genre. There are other elements that establish the gravitas of Hitchcock’s crown-jewel sequence—the shocking and graphic death early in the film, the reveal of Norman Bates’s slashing, the implied nudity and risqué setup in the running shower—but they are best crystallized in that one, almost audible, still.
In his recent run as a bona fide heir to Hitchcock, the comedian and filmmaker Jordan Peele has given the world a potential successor to Leigh’s scream: a black face, skin humidified and reflective, two bulging and bloodshot eyes, and the streaks of two tears. The face belonged to Daniel Kaluuya in Peele’s 2017 Oscar-winning work Get Out, and lives on in Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in the director’s new movie, Us. That silent expression of fear is now a trademark of Peele’s, and a visceral reminder of what he adds to the game. The very act of incorporating black actors and black creators turns horror inside out, giving the genre new dimensions and new power as social commentary.
William Barr told Congress he “may be in a position to advise [lawmakers] of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”
On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered to Attorney General William Barr a report detailing his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Below is the full content of the letter Barr sent to congressional committee members confirming that Mueller’s inquiry is finished:
Dear Chairman [Lindsey] Graham, Chairman [Jerrold] Nadler, Ranking Member [Dianne] Feinstein, and Ranking Member [Doug] Collins:
I write to notify you pursuant to 28 C.F.R. §600.9(a)(3) that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters. In addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with “a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General” or acting Attorney General “concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.” 28 C.F.R. §600.9(a)(3). There were no such instances during the Special Counsel's investigation.
“Floods and hurricanes happen. The hazard itself is not the disaster—it’s our habits, our building codes.”
Historic flooding in the Missouri River and Mississippi River basins has ravaged much of the Midwest in recent days. Nebraska and Iowa bore the brunt of the devastation, but rivers in six states at more than 40 locations have reached record levels. The swollen rivers have made short work of the levees that surround them, blasting through or over the tops of 200 miles of earthen barriers in four states. At least three people have died, and hundreds of homes and structures have been destroyed. The Nebraska Farm Bureau estimates farm and ranch losses up to $1 billion in that state alone.
Should we call this a natural disaster?
Labels matter, even—perhaps especially—in times of emergency. Calling the midwestern carnage a natural disaster neatly absolves us of responsibility, and casts us as hapless victims of an unpredictable and vengeful Mother Nature. Far better to draw a distinction between natural hazards and human-induced disasters. According to Craig Fugate, a former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Floods and hurricanes happen. The hazard itself is not the disaster—it’s our habits, our building codes. It’s how we build and live in those areas—that’s the disaster.” This is not a call for blame, but a call to arms to learn from the past to keep ourselves out of harm’s way.