The seizure took place in international waters Friday in the South China Sea, where China and neighboring countries have been sparring over disputed territorial claims. According to the U.S. military, the drone was part of an oceanic research project carried out by the Navy research vessel USNS Bowditch. The Chinese Defense Ministry accused the U.S. of “hyping up” the drone’s seizure on Saturday and said it would be returned “in an appropriate manner.” Trump’s tweet comes just two weeks after the president-elect spoke with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen by phone, the first contact of its kind between Taiwanese leaders and a U.S. president in almost four decades.
Update, 9:01 p.m. ET: President-elect Trump has revised his position on the drone’s status. In a tweet Saturday evening, he wrote China should keep the seized U.S. Navy property because “we don’t want the drone they stole back.”
We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!
Trump did not elaborate on his view. The stance marks a shift away from one taken earlier by Jason Miller, the Trump transition team's communications director, who credited the president-elect for China's announcement it would return the seized drone.
Suicide Car Bomb Kills At Least 14 Turkish Soldiers
At least 14 off-duty Turkish soldiers were killed Saturday by a suicide car bomb, Turkish officials said. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said another 56 people were injured. The explosion occurred next to a bus carrying the soldiers as it drove through Kayseri, a city in central Turkey. According to Agence-France Press, local officials blamed the attack on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK, a Kurdish separatist movement that has battled the Turkish government for years. No public claims of responsibility have been made. The BBC reported that Turkish officials instituted a temporary press blackout shortly after the bombing, an increasingly common practice in the country. The bombing comes one week after two blasts outside Istanbul’s Vodafone Stadium killed 44 people, most of whom were police officers, and wounded dozens more shortly after a soccer match between two of the country’s most well-known teams. A PKK splinter faction claimed responsibility.
Henry Heimlich, Anti-Choking Maneuver's Inventor, Dies at 96
Henry Heimlich, whose eponymous technique of using abdominal thrusts to save a choking person’s life became an international first-aid staple, died Saturday at a Cincinnati hospital. He was 96 years old. Heimlich, a thoracic surgeon, first published a paper about the method in 1974. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association added it to their guidelines for treating choking victims two years later, leading to its wide use throughout the world. According to the BBC, the maneuver is believed to have saved over 100,000 people in the U.S. alone since its adoption. Heimlich himself performed the maneuver earlier this year at age 96 to save the life of a fellow retirement-home resident who had begun choking at dinner. Alongside the maneuver and his work on a chest valve to re-inflate collapsed lungs, Heimlich also received criticism for his controversial support of malariotherapy, in which weaker strains of malaria are used as treatments for illnesses ranging from cancer to HIV/AIDS. Its efficacy remains unproven.
7.9-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Papua New Guinea
A strong 7.9-magnitude tremor struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea on Saturday night local time, causing minimal damage and no reported injuries so far. The earthquake occurred 29 miles east of New Ireland, a Papua New Guinean island in the eastern Bismarck Archipelago, at a depth of about 61 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. As the Associated Press noted, tremors at lower depths tend to cause less damage. The quake nonetheless prompted tsunami warnings throughout the southwestern Pacific Ocean, including in Indonesia, Nauru, and New Zealand. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, those warnings have now ended without signs of serious waves.
The “Great Resignation” remains one of the buzziest economic stories of 2021. But the more people talk about it, the more I wonder whether most people know what they’re talking about. As so often happens with other nifty phrases and neologisms, use of the term and abuse of the term are in equal proportion.
Let’s start with what’s true. More Americans left their job in April this year than in any other month on record, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ analysis of what it calls “quits.” Even more people quit in July, setting a new record. We broke that new record again in August. And then again in September. This is what people refer to as the “Great Resignation,” and it is, as I’ve written, getting greater by the month.
The rich philosophical tradition I fell in love with has been reduced to Fox News and voter suppression.
I fell in love with conservatism in my 20s. As a politics and crime reporter in Chicago, I often found myself around public-housing projects like Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor Homes, which had been built with the best of intentions but had become nightmares. The urban planners who designed those projects thought they could improve lives by replacing ramshackle old neighborhoods with a series of neatly ordered high-rises.
But, as the sociologist Richard Sennett, who lived in part of the Cabrini-Green complex as a child, noted, the planners never really consulted the residents themselves. They disrespected the residents by turning them into unseen, passive spectators of their own lives. By the time I encountered the projects they were national symbols of urban decay.
January 6 was practice. Donald Trump’s GOP is much better positioned to subvert the next election.
Technically, the next attempt to overthrow a national election may not qualify as a coup. It will rely on subversion more than violence, although each will have its place. If the plot succeeds, the ballots cast by American voters will not decide the presidency in 2024. Thousands of votes will be thrown away, or millions, to produce the required effect. The winner will be declared the loser. The loser will be certified president-elect.
The prospect of this democratic collapse is not remote. People with the motive to make it happen are manufacturing the means. Given the opportunity, they will act. They are acting already.
Who or what will safeguard our constitutional order is not apparent today. It is not even apparent who will try. Democrats, big and small D, are not behaving as if they believe the threat is real. Some of them, including President Joe Biden, have taken passing rhetorical notice, but their attention wanders. They are making a grievous mistake.
Countries with low vaccination rates are suffering from more than just inequity.
In the public-health world, the rise of Omicron prompted a great, big “I told you so.” Since the new variant was detected in South Africa, advocacy groups, the WHO, and global-health experts have said the new variant was a predictable consequence of vaccine inequity. Rich countries are hoarding vaccine doses, they said, leaving much of the developing world under-vaccinated. But in reality, countries with low vaccination rates are suffering from more than just inequity.
South Africa, the country where the variant was first reported, did receive vaccines far too late, partly because wealthy countries did not donate enough doses and pharmaceutical companies refused to share their technology. At one point, South Africa had to export doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that it had manufactured in-country in order to comply with a contract it had signed with the company. The COVID-19 vaccines must be kept cold, and because not everywhere in South Africa has reliable roads and refrigeration, the country has struggled to store and transport vaccine doses to far-flung areas.
A poster in the window of Cahoots Corner Cafe—great potatoes, good coffee—advertised a family event at the Oakdale, California, rodeo grounds. There would be food trucks, carnival games, live music, a raffle, and the opportunity to support the cause of “freeing child sex slaves.”
The event, called the Festival of Hope, was a fundraiser for the anti-child-sex-trafficking group Operation Underground Railroad, which was founded in Utah in 2013 and has achieved immense popularity on social media in the past year and a half, attracting an outsize share of attention during a new wave of concern about imperiled children. It is beloved by parenting groups on Facebook, lifestyle influencers on Instagram, and fitness guys on YouTube, who are impressed by its muscular approach to rescuing the innocent. (The nonprofit group is known for taking part in overseas sting operations in which it ensnares alleged child sex traffickers; it also operates a CrossFit gym in Utah.) Supporters commit to “shine OUR light”—the middle word a reference to the group’s acronym—and to “break the chain,” which refers to human bondage and to cycles of exploitation.
Echoing the New Democrats of the Clinton era, some liberal critics are begging Democrats to change course.
Maybe Bill Clinton got a few things right after all.
For years, Democrats have rarely cited Clinton and the centrist New Democrat movement he led through the ’90s except to renounce his “third way” approach to welfare, crime, and other issues as a violation of the party’s principles. Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even Bill Clinton himself have distanced themselves from key components of his record as president.
But now a loose constellation of internal party critics is reprising the Clintonites’ core arguments to make the case that progressives are steering Democrats toward unsustainable and unelectable positions, particularly on cultural and social questions.
Just like the centrists who clustered around Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council that he led decades ago, today’s dissenters argue that Democrats risk a sustained exodus from power unless they can recapture more of the culturally conservative voters without a college education who are drifting away from the party. (That group, these dissenters argue, now includes not only white Americans but also working-class Hispanics and even some Black Americans.) And just as then, these arguments face fierce pushback from other Democrats who believe that the centrists would sacrifice the party’s commitment to racial equity in a futile attempt to regain right-leaning voters irretrievably lost to conservative Republican messages.
If vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the coronavirus, maybe they should be able to test out of isolation.
For most fully vaccinated people, a breakthrough coronavirus infection will not ruin their health. It will, however, assuming that they follow all the relevant guidelines, ruin at least a week of their life.
That very frustrating week began for Joe Russell on November 11, the day he found out he’d tested positive for the virus, just one month after getting a Pfizer booster, and about five or six days after he’d first felt an annoying tickle in his throat. Russell, a 35-year-old hospital-supply technician in Minnesota, dutifully cloistered himself in his basement, far from his fully vaccinated wife and his fully unvaccinated 2-year-old son, and phoned in sick to work. He stayed there through the 15th—the requisite 10 days past his symptoms’ start. Then, fearful of passing the pathogen to his family, he tacked on one more day, before venturing upstairs on the 17th, still in a mask.
Lauren Boebert is using her family Christmas portrait to provoke liberal hysteria. But the photo reveals something much more significant about how America has changed.
As families around the country prepare to send out Christmas cards with letters and photos commemorating the year gone by, many elected officials do the same. Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky tweeted one such family picture on Saturday, featuring himself and his clan armed to the teeth on a leather love seat, a merry tree glittering in the backdrop. Massie’s photo drew some ire. Not to be outdone, Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, dropped her own Christmas-themed gun portrait today. “The Boeberts have your six, @RepThomasMassie!” Boebert tweeted. “No spare ammo for you, though.”
We don’t know how severe Omicron is, but we do know it’s spreading very fast.
A lot is still unknown around Omicron, but a worrying trend has become clear: This variant sure is spreading fast. In South Africa, the U.K., and Denmark—countries with the best variant surveillance and high immunity against COVID—Omicron cases are growing exponentially. The variant has outcompeted the already highly transmissible Delta in South Africa and may soon do the same elsewhere. According to preliminary estimates, every person with Omicron is infecting 3–3.5 others, which is roughly on par with how fast the coronavirus spread when it first went global in early 2020.
In other words, Omicron is spreading in highly immune populations as quickly as the original virus did in populations with no immunity at all. If this holds and is left uncontrolled, a big Omicron wave lies ahead—bigger than we would have expected with Delta. Cases were already surging ahead of winter. The U.S. already had a too-low vaccination rate. And now Omicron threatens to eat away at the immunity we thought we had.
Choosing what to read is both a small decision and one of utmost importance. For students, that choice is crucial in getting kids to read at all. Some books feel like magic, world-making and unforgettable. Some feel dangerous, upsetting. Many inspire both feelings, especially in young people. Reading is meant to be challenging, and literature should serve as a way to explore ideas that feel unthinkable, unfamiliar, and even illicit. So it is a matter of tremendous concern to witness government officials blatantly interfering with a free exchange of ideas within school libraries.
Matt Krause, a Republican in the Texas House of Representatives, has gone hunting in public-school libraries for any books that might generate “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of [a student’s] race or sex.” In October, he distributed a watch list of 850 books. The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has in parallel called for a criminal investigation into the availability of “pornographic” books in public schools. What we’re witnessing is plainly a shakedown. And this week, a San Antonio school district pulled 414 books from its libraries in response to the ongoing pressure from Texas lawmakers and a vocal segment of angry parents to limit what children can choose to read.