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.
And yet we have very little idea where anuses come from.
To peer into the soul of a sea cucumber, don’t look to its face; it doesn’t have one. Gently turn that blobby body around, and gaze deep into its marvelous, multifunctional anus.
The sea cucumber's posterior is so much more than an exit hole for digestive waste. It is also a makeshift mouth that gobbles up bits of algae; a faux lung, latticed with tubes that exchange gas with the surrounding water; and a weapon that, in the presence of danger, can launch a sticky, stringy web of internal organs to entangle predators. It can even, on occasion, be a home for shimmering pearlfish, which wriggle inside the bum when it billows open to breathe. It would not be inaccurate to describe a sea cucumber as an extraordinary anus that just so happens to have a body around it. As Rebecca Helm, a jellyfish biologist at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, told me, “It is just a really great butt.”
Rich people are heading to space, and they’re changing what it means to be an astronaut.
In a strip mall just off Houston’s NASA Parkway is a restaurant called Frenchie’s Italian Cuisine. You wouldn’t know it from the unassuming beige storefront, but inside, Frenchie’s looks like a museum. The walls are covered in framed pictures of smiling astronauts, in their blue jumpsuits and puffy spacesuits, holding up bubble helmets and model spaceships. Frenchie’s has been a popular spot with NASA employees at Johnson Space Center, a few minutes away, since it opened in 1979. Over the years, astronauts have dropped in before a flight to chat with Frankie Camera, the owner, and returned with autographed mementos.
Camera, now in his 70s, still runs Frenchie’s, but American spaceflight is changing fast. In the next decade, the restaurant’s walls could display the stories of a new kind of astronaut. Soon rich businessmen with $55 million to spare could become astronauts. So could the founder of a company that processes credit-card payments, and a physician’s assistant who works with cancer patients. Jeff Bezos could count as an astronaut too.
Some are trying to turn the lab-leak theory into a potent political weapon.
Two questions have dominated politics throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats and public-health experts have asked: What should we do?FormerPresident Donald Trump, for his part, minimized the need to act. He instead spoke incessantly about a very different question: Whom should we blame?
“In recent months, our nation and the world has been hit by the once-in-a-century pandemic that China allowed to spread around the globe. They could have stopped it, but they allowed it to come out,” Trump said as he accepted the Republican Party’s nomination in August 2020.
“It’s China’s fault. It should have never happened,” he said at a presidential debate with Joe Biden in September 2020.
On Monday morning, my partner laid a carry-on suitcase down on the floor, preparing to pack for his first post-vaccination trip to visit his parents. The moment he unzipped the bag, our cat Calvin promptly clambered inside.
A piece of me would like to think that Calvin was attempting to covertly join my partner on his trip, or perhaps thwart his inevitable attempt to spirit away. But I’m pretty sure #OccupyLuggage was less a heart-wrenching bid to tag along on a flight, and more a textbook example of a central scientific tenet: Cats are absolute suckers for boxes. And sinks, and vases, and grocery bags, and shoes, and Pringles cans, and the nooks and crannies between furniture and walls, and just about any other space they deem cozy, confining, and swaddly. (Cats, in case you were wondering, are a non-Newtonian liquid.) It’s the one thing about which our pointy-eared companions are not terribly picky: If it fits, they sits. And when they do, we humans can’t help but obsess over them.
Today’s economic conditions are not just holding Millennials back. They are stratifying them, leading to unequal experiences within the generation as well as between it and other cohorts.
A few weeks ago, I met my first Millennial grandparent. I was interviewing a woman in her late 30s about President Joe Biden’s new child-tax-credit proposal, and she mentioned that it would benefit not just her two young kids but her older son’s kid too.
The incidental meeting was a reminder both that Millennials are getting older and that they are doing so without growing up, at least not in the way that many of them might wish. The woman I interviewed does not own a home, nor is she anywhere close to affording one. She has nothing in the way of savings. Nevertheless, she is a grandmother, catapulting into middle age.
Millennials, as just about everyone knows at this point, are a generation delayed. The pandemic recession has led not-so-young adults to put off having kids, buying a house, getting married, or investing in a car—yet again. But today’s economic conditions are not just holding Millennials back. They are stratifying them, leading to unequal experiences within the generation as well as between it and other cohorts.
Everyone expects Harris to run for president again one day, but her job requires her to avoid even the appearance of preparing for her political future.
Air Force Two is a smaller plane than Air Force One. The exterior is the same light-blue and white, but unlike the commander in chief’s plane, the vice president’s aircraft is open plan—from the back, you can see all the way to the front, where a small office doubles as a bedroom. Kamala Harris spends most of her Air Force Two flights in that office, with the door closed. She doesn’t work the plane, the way Joe Biden or even Mike Pence did.
The vice president flew on Air Force Two to Los Angeles for Easter weekend, then to Oakland, her hometown, for events the following Monday. As Harris strode down the stairs, the angle of her head and the pace of her step deliberate, California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis started a round of applause. Kounalakis was still gushing when I caught up with her by phone a week later. “She carries the mantle of this big job in a way that seems very natural,” she said. “To arrive with so much pomp and circumstance, but then to go to a water-treatment plant and then a small business—the juxtaposition underscores the work at the center of her start on the job.”
As always in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, two narratives are vying for primacy. In one, Israel is simply defending itself against a fresh attack. In the other, Israel’s bombardment of Gaza is the latest example of a desire to punish and humiliate Palestinians. These two narratives are not reconcilable, which makes reasoned discussion an exercise in futility. But any sophisticated argument must contend with the long, winding lead-up to the current crisis. Why is war in Gaza returning now, and why does it always seem to return, with stubborn, periodic insistence?
Despite inching toward the Democratic Party’s left flank on various domestic- and foreign-policy issues, the Biden administration has fallen back on the usual formulas, offering robotic recitations about “Israel’s right to defend itself.” On Thursday, President Joe Biden said that he hadn’t seen a “significant overreaction” from Israel, while failing to mention a word about Palestinian deaths. In so doing, he gave Israel what amounts to a green light to intensify its bombing campaign.
It’s a paradox: Shouldn’t the most accomplished be well equipped to make choices that maximize life satisfaction?
There are three things, once one’s basic needs are satisfied, that academic literature points to as the ingredients for happiness: having meaningful social relationships, being good at whatever it is one spends one’s days doing, and having the freedom to make life decisions independently.
But research into happiness has also yielded something a little less obvious: Being better educated, richer, or more accomplished doesn’t do much to predict whether someone will be happy. In fact, it might mean someone is less likely to be satisfied with life.
That second finding is the puzzle that Raj Raghunathan, a professor of marketing at The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, tries to make sense of in his recent book, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?Raghunathan’s writing does fall under the category of self-help (with all of the pep talks and progress worksheets that that entails), but his commitment to scientific research serves as ballast for the genre’s more glib tendencies.
Parking requirements attack the nature of the city itself, subordinating density to the needs of the car.
Lewis Mumford was suspicious of parking. “The right to access every building in a city by private motorcar,” he wrote in The City in History, “in an age when everyone owns such a vehicle, is actually the right to destroy the city.” Jane Jacobs, who disagreed with Mumford on many counts, agreed here. Parking lots, she said in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, were “border vacuums”: inactive spaces that deadened everything around them.
Mumford and Jacobs published those lines in 1961, when most United States cities were 15 years into an experiment called “minimum parking requirements”: mandates in zoning codes that forced developers to supply parking on-site to prevent curb congestion. In postwar America, development was booming, and neighbors were worried that new residents would make street-parking impossible. Decades later, parking requirements still exist nationwide. In Los Angeles, where I live, new apartment buildings must have at least one parking space per unit; retail buildings need one space per 300 square feet; and restaurants need one space for every 100 square feet of dining area.
A parasite gives its hosts the appearance of youth, and an unmatched social power in the colony.
Deep in the forests of Germany, nestled neatly into the hollowed-out shells of acorns, live a smattering of ants who have stumbled upon a fountain of youth. They are born workers, but do not do much work. Their days are spent lollygagging about the nest, where their siblings shower them with gifts of food. They seem to elude the ravages of old age, retaining a durably adolescent physique, their outer shells soft and their hue distinctively tawny. Their scent, too, seems to shift, wafting out an alluring perfume that endears them to others. While their sisters, who have nearly identical genomes, perish within months of being born, these death-defying insects live on for years and years and years.