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.
Three Atlantic writers discuss the HBO epic’s divisive series finale, which tries to break the wheel one last time.
Every week for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, three Atlantic staffers have been discussing new episodes of the HBO drama. Because no screeners were made available to critics in advance this year, we’ll be posting our thoughts on the series finale in installments.
Credentialed authorities are comically bad at predicting the future. But reliable forecasting is possible.
The bet was on, and it was over the fate of humanity. On one side was the Stanford biologist Paul R. Ehrlich. In his 1968 best seller, The Population Bomb, Ehrlich insisted that it was too late to prevent a doomsday apocalypse resulting from overpopulation. Resource shortages would cause hundreds of millions of starvation deaths within a decade. It was cold, hard math: The human population was growing exponentially; the food supply was not. Ehrlich was an accomplished butterfly specialist. He knew that nature did not regulate animal populations delicately. Populations exploded, blowing past the available resources, and then crashed.
In his book, Ehrlich played out hypothetical scenarios that represented “the kinds of disasters that will occur.” In the worst-case scenario, famine rages across the planet. Russia, China, and the United States are dragged into nuclear war, and the resulting environmental degradation soon extinguishes the human race. In the “cheerful” scenario, population controls begin. Famine spreads, and countries teeter, but the major death wave ends in the mid-1980s. Only half a billion or so people die of starvation. “I challenge you to create one more optimistic,” Ehrlich wrote, adding that he would not count scenarios involving benevolent aliens bearing care packages.
It was a blockbuster discovery at the time. The team found that a less active version of the gene was more common among 454 people who had mood disorders than in 570 who did not. In theory, anyone who had this particular gene variant could be at higher risk for depression, and that finding, they said, might help in diagnosing such disorders, assessing suicidal behavior, or even predicting a person’s response to antidepressants.
Back then, tools for sequencing DNA weren’t as cheap or powerful as they are today. When researchers wanted to work out which genes might affect a disease or trait, they made educated guesses, and picked likely “candidate genes.” For depression, SLC6A4 seemed like a great candidate: It’s responsible for getting a chemical called serotonin into brain cells, and serotonin had already been linked to mood and depression. Over two decades, this one gene inspired at least 450 research papers.
To save the Church, Catholics must detach themselves from the clerical hierarchy—and take the faith back into their own hands.
To feel relief at my mother’s being dead was once unthinkable, but then the news came from Ireland. It would have crushed her. An immigrant’s daughter, my mother lived with an eye cast back to the old country, the land against which she measured every virtue. Ireland was heaven to her, and the Catholic Church was heaven’s choir. Then came the Ryan Report.
Not long before The Boston Globe began publishing its series on predator priests, in 2002—the “Spotlight” series that became a movie of the same name—the government of Ireland established a commission, ultimately chaired by Judge Sean Ryan, to investigate accounts and rumors of child abuse in Ireland’s residential institutions for children, nearly all of which were run by the Catholic Church.
No president I know of has asserted a blanket power to reject any request that doesn’t suit him—until Donald Trump.
In my long career as an academic jack-of-all-trades, I sometimes teach law students Jurisprudence—that is, Philosophy of Law. The course begins with the question “What is law?” and its corollary, “What is lawlessness?”
The latter comes in two flavors. The first is anarchy—Hobbes’s “war of all against all,” a Mad Max moonscape in which only stealth and brute force provide even a semblance of safety. Such situations existed for millennia and, though relatively rare, exist in remote parts of the globe today.
But there is an authoritarian lawlessness that is far more common in the 21st century, and next time I teach the course, I will have the most precise example of this second version I have ever seen: the dispute over 26 U.S. Code § 6103(f)(1), which reads: “Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary [of the Treasury] shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request,” subject only to a requirement that the return be considered in closed session.
The German chancellor has shown how to win and keep power in a man’s world.
To the six women currently running in the 2020 presidential race, I offer this advice: Study German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the world’s most successful living politician, on the basis of both achievement and longevity. Now in her 14th year as chancellor of Europe’s powerhouse, Merkel has upended the rules of the male-dominated German political culture, and transformed her country along the way.
Without fanfare, Merkel made German society friendlier to the ambitions of women. Merkel’s handpicked successor to lead the Christian Democratic Union is a woman, there are six other women in her cabinet, and women abound in her circle of advisers. Alexander Gauland, the leader of Germany’s far-right political party AfD, recently asked, “Are there no men left in the CDU?” The party still has quite a few men; they just don’t run it any longer.
Knock Down the House set out to show an inspiring political movement—but instead revealed its boundaries.
The final image of Knock Down the House, the hit documentary about a quartet of 2018 congressional primary candidates, shows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her boyfriend newly arrived at the east plaza of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. She has just been elected to Congress, but not yet taken office. They both start to cry; the waterworks run at a low gurgle throughout the movie, and at this point the viewer won’t be alarmed by another eruption.
Suddenly scooters appear, and the couple, with infectious delight, takes off in zigzags across the plaza, which is usually closed to tourists. The image thus combines three elements—Millennials, scooters, and trespassing—that seem designed to make a certain kind of conservative Republican’s head explode. The poor fellow will probably view the film as an exercise in trolling, a giddy, unapologetic version of his worst nightmare.
The French and Italian politicians see different futures for the continent. Both face tests in this week’s European Parliament elections.
PARIS—French President Emmanuel Macron and Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and interior minister, are from the same generation, but more than the Alps divides them.
Macron always wears a suit and tie, and has a penchant for lofty rhetoric and formal ceremonies. Salvini likes sweatshirts that say Italia, rails against illegal immigration, and tweets pictures of himself eating Nutella. The differences go beyond style. Their dueling visions for the future of Europe will be tested in elections for the European Parliament this week.
The Parliament has limited powers and the vote, to be held across the bloc’s 28 countries May 23–26, is generally seen as a test of voter sentiment across member states. But this time more than ever—after Brexit and with Trump rattling the transatlantic alliance—it’s also a test of which Europe will prevail: Macron’s call for a more top-down union that shares responsibilities for borders, defense, and the environment, and maybe more; or Salvini’s euroskeptic one, a “Europe of nations” in which each country retains more sovereignty.
It expands by 10,000 times in a fraction of a second, it’s 100,000 times softer than Jell-O, and it fends off sharks and Priuses alike.
At first glance, the hagfish—a sinuous, tubular animal with pink-grey skin and a paddle-shaped tail—looks very much like an eel. Naturalists can tell the two apart because hagfish, unlike other fish, lack backbones (and, also, jaws). For everyone else, there’s an even easier method. “Look at the hand holding the fish,” the marine biologist Andrew Thaler once noted. “Is it completely covered in slime? Then, it’s a hagfish.”
Hagfish produce slime the way humans produce opinions—readily, swiftly, defensively, and prodigiously. They slime when attacked or simply when stressed. On July 14, 2017, a truck full of hagfishoverturned on an Oregon highway. The animals were destined for South Korea, where they are eaten as a delicacy, but instead, they were strewn across a stretch of Highway 101, covering the road (and at least one unfortunate car) in slime.
A philanthropist surprised Morehouse College graduates at commencement by announcing he would pay off their student loans. But one person—even a very generous one—can only do so much.
Commencement speakers have a routine: a few words of encouragement, a good—or maybe not so good—joke, and a bit of advice. But this year, Robert F. Smith, the billionaire founder of the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, who delivered the commencement address on Sunday morning at Morehouse College, a historically black college in Atlanta, took a different approach.
“You great Morehouse men are bound only by the limits of your own conviction and creativity,” Smith told the soon-to-be graduates of the venerated HBCU (historically black college or university). Smith then did something astonishing: He did what he could to make that actually true, telling the class that his family would be eliminating the graduates’ student debt. The crowd, as expected, went wild.