Political leaders across the world voice their disapproval of Trump’s travel ban, U.S. soldiers killed in Yemen, Myanmar's ruling party lawyer is shot and killed at an airport, and the Philippines bombs suspected terrorists.
Gunmen killed at least five people at a mosque in Quebec City who had come for a Sunday evening prayer service, according to the mosques’ president. About 40 people were inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center, located in the Sainte-Foy neighborhood, and two suspects have been arrested. Police have set up a perimeter surrounding the area. Quebec has seen increased incidence of Islamophobia in recent years, particularly after a 2015 political debate over whether the city should ban the niqab, a Muslim face covering; The majority of the city was in favor of the ban. This same mosque was the focus of an investigation in June, after a severed pig’s head was dropped at its doorstep, wrapped and left with the message, “Bon appétit."
The negative reaction to President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries came in the form of protest in cities across the country, at airports, and in the form of donations to The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), whose lawyers have filed suits against the ban.
Throughout the weekend lawyers with the human rights organization met banned travelers at airports all over the country, and in several cities they filed injunctions against Trump’s executive order, winning stays from federal judges.
From Saturday to late Sunday more than 290,000 donors had sent the ACLU $19 million—the organizations typical annual average is $3 million. That figure, as well as the growth in membership, was “unprecedented,” according to Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director.
The donations were supported in part through social media, where celebrities like the singer Sia, and actor Rosie O’Donnell offered to match donations to the ACLU of up to $100,000. Tech companies like Lyft pledged to donate $1million to the ACLU, and tech investors like Chris Sacca, an early backer of Uber and Instagram, matched up to $150,000.
The French Left Chooses Benoit Hamon as the Socialist Presidential Candidate
In France’s primary vote to determine who will run for president under the Socialist Party’s banner, voters handed the election to the traditional leftist Benoit Hamon. His win is a rebuke of the more-centrist policies of his rival, Manuel Valls, a former prime minister. Polls give Hamon little chance of winning the two-stage presidential election, with votes in both April and and May. Analysts believe his victory will likely turn more moderate leftists to vote for Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year-old independent centrist and former economy minister who wants to bridge the Left and the Right. Macron, however, is polled behind both Conservative Francois Fillon, and the far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who are both seen as most likely to face off in May. The Socialist Party has suffered massive unpopularity after the presidency of Francois Hollande, who was criticised for U-turns on major policies, and because of several high-profile terrorist attacks, was perceived as unable to keep the country safe
Protests Against Trump's Executive Order Spread Nationwide
Late into the night on Saturday, protesters flooded airports around the country to condemn President Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees.
On Sunday, they flooded American cities.
Protesters seemed to have multiple goals as they carted banners and signs to various metropolitan downtowns: to tell the brand-new president that his executive order restricting immigration and refugees was un-American; to decry Trump and his top advisers personally; and to demonstrate to the world that U.S. citizens are actively rejecting the new policy.
The protesters came by the thousands, and by Sunday mid-afternoon showed little sign of dispersing. For some cities, this was the second straight weekend they’d seen massive protests: Last Saturday, women’s marches were held in the United States and internationally to protest Trump and his new administration.
In Washington, D.C., demonstrators on Sunday took their chants to Trump’s new Pennsylvania Avenue hotel—and down the street to Lafayette Square, just outside his White House. Here are scenes from some of the protests:
Philippine Airstrike Gravely Injures the Top ISIS Leader in Southeast Asia
Philippine military leaders confirmed Sunday that an airstrike in the country’s south killed 15 Muslim militants with ties to ISIS, and seriously injured an Indonesian leader considered one of Southeast Asia’s top terror suspects. Isnilon Hapilon, who is also known as Mohisen, is the leader of Abu Sayyaf, a group of militants notorious in the region for kidnapping tourists and holding them for ransom. Last year the group beheaded two captured Canadian tourists, and the U.S. has placed a $5 million bounty on Hapilon’s head. Philippine military Chief of Staff General Eduardo Ano said Hapilon was believed to be seriously injured, and is somewhere on the outskirts of Butig, a town in the country’s mountainous south, which has long been a haven for extremists. Jet fighters carried out the strikes, dropping six 500-pound bombs Wednesday night and Thursday on the group’s encampment. Officials said that while Hapilon has not yet been captured, their intelligence says he is being moved around on a stretcher by his followers, who are surrounded by Filipino troops.
Protesters Outside the White House Chant Against Trump's Immigration Order
Protesters have filled Lafayette Square outside the White House in Washington, D.C., in response to the executive order on immigration that President Trump signed Friday that severely restricts immigration from seven Muslim countries, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days, and bars all Syrian refugees indefinitely. Since they can’t get close to the White House, protesters are lining Madison Place, and climbing the steps of the nearby U.S. Court of Federal Claims. They’re chanting “Let them in” and “No hate no fear, refugees are welcome here.” A few are shouting “Fire Bannon,” a reference to Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist and senior counselor. After every round of chants, the crowd breaks out into cheers. On the perimeter of the square, I caught a young man named Tom, wrapped in the American flag, sprinting to the protest. The immigration order is, “just disgusting,” he said, and kept running. Four Iranians who said they had green cards told me they were afraid their family members won’t be able to visit them—and they won’t be able to see their relatives. One woman, who said her name was Mehnoosh, brought her two daughters to the protest. She cried telling me she isn’t sure her sister, who was supposed to be visiting soon, will be able to get in. “I’m very sad ... I’ve been crying the past few days.”
The First Combat Casualty of the Trump Administration
A U.S. soldier was killed Sunday in a raid in Yemen that targeted local al-Qaeda militants, making it the first casualty of President Donald Trump’s administration. The soldier was a member of a Navy Seal unit, and three others U.S. soldiers were injured during the crash-landing of their aircraft, which was later intentionally destroyed. The operation’s goal was to collect intelligence, including computer equipment, that was believed to be linked to possible future attacks. The local wing of al-Qaeda in Yemen, which is in the midst of a civil war, has proved a powerful threat. The U.S. has mostly relied upon drone strikes to fight militants in the area, and this operation had reportedly been planned for months. It received authorization by Trump, The Washington Postreported. Fourteen militants died in a firefight with U.S. soldiers, and there are reports of more than a dozen dead civilians.
U.K. Citizens Start a Petition Against Trump, and Other Reactions to the Travel Ban
President Donald Trump and his administration stood defiant Sunday, despite growing, global criticism over his travel ban. Some world leaders have weighed in on the executive order, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She said on Sunday that she is “convinced that the necessary, decisive battle against terrorism does not justify a general suspicion against people of a certain origin or a certain religion.” Similarly, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain does not support Trump’s ban, and citizens there started an online government petition titled "Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom." Its text reads, in part, that Trump’s "well-documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received" by Queen Elizabeth or Prince Charles. By Sunday at 1 p.m., nearly a half-million people had signed the petition, well beyond the 100,000 signatures needed for parliament to consider it. Among members of the U.S. Congress, the ban is also getting pushback. Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman said: "I think we should slow down.” Arizona Republican Senator John McCain said “it’s been a very confusing process,” and that it would likely “give ISIS some more propaganda." Meanwhile, Trump’s team seems unfazed. A top adviser and former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said Sunday on Fox News that the order was about "preventing, not detaining," and said not many people had been impacted by the travel ban. The day before, she’d tweeted this:
Get used to it. @POTUS is a man of action and impact.
Promises made, promises kept.
Shock to the system.
And he's just getting started https://t.co/AoUsZWClXt
A brilliant new account upends bedrock assumptions about 30,000 years of change.
Many years ago, when I was a junior professor at Yale, I cold-called a colleague in the anthropology department for assistance with a project I was working on. I didn’t know anything about the guy; I just selected him because he was young, and therefore, I figured, more likely to agree to talk.
Five minutes into our lunch, I realized that I was in the presence of a genius. Not an extremely intelligent person—a genius. There’s a qualitative difference. The individual across the table seemed to belong to a different order of being from me, like a visitor from a higher dimension. I had never experienced anything like it before. I quickly went from trying to keep up with him, to hanging on for dear life, to simply sitting there in wonder.
Lately, news stories about the supply chain tend to start in similar ways. The reader is dropped into an American container port, maybe in Long Beach, California, or Savannah, Georgia, full to bursting with trailer-size steel boxes loaded with toilet paper and exercise bikes and future Christmas presents. Some of the containers have gone untouched for weeks or months, waiting for their contents to be trucked to distribution centers. On the horizon, dozens of additional vessels are anchored and idle, waiting for their turn in the port. More ships keep arriving. Everyone involved—sailors, longshoremen, customs clerks, truckers—works as fast and hard as they possibly can. It’s not fast or hard enough.
In ways both large and small, American society still assumes that the default adult has a partner and that the default household contains multiple people.
If you were to look under the roofs of American homes at random, it wouldn’t take long to find someone who lives alone. By the Census Bureau’s latest count, there are about 36 million solo dwellers, and together they make up 28 percent of U.S. households.
Even though this percentage has been climbing steadily for decades, these people are still living in a society that is tilted against them. In the domains of work, housing, shopping, and health care, much of American life is a little—and in some cases, a lot—easier if you have a partner or live with family members or housemates. The number of people who are inconvenienced by that fact grows every year.
Those who live alone, to be clear, are not lonely and miserable. Research indicates that, young or old, single people are more social than their partnered peers. Bella DePaulo, the author of How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century, reeled off to me some of the pleasures of having your own space: “the privacy, the freedom to arrange your life and your space just the way you want it—you get to decide when to sleep, when to get up, what you eat, when you eat, what you watch on Netflix, how you set the thermostat.”
The U.S. economy is booming, but there’s a mysterious hole in the labor force.
The U.S. economy right now is a little bit like Dune.
Not Frank Herbert’s magisterial sci-fi epic novel, or Denis Villeneuve’s new and reportedly sumptuous film adaptation. I mean David Lynch’s infamously bewildering 1984 movie version, which is remembered mostly for being a semi-glorious mess. Like that space oddity, today’s economy is too strange to neatly categorize as “clearly great” or “obviously terrible.” You keep waiting for it to just be normal. But it stays weird—big economic indicators point in conflicting directions—so you have to accept that nothing is going to make sense for a while, and maybe it’ll be okay.
Americans are buying more stuff than ever before. That’s good. But because of supply constraints, it can feel like there’s a painful shortage of just about everything. That’s bad. Economic growth is booming, but the president’s approval rating on the economy is falling, which is a historically odd juxtaposition. Businesses everywhere are struggling to fill jobs, which sounds bad, but employer pain is workers’ gain, and wages are rising, which is wonderful. But because prices are rising too, inflation-adjusted hourly-wage growth actually declined in September, which is not wonderful.
Breaking up social-media companies is one way to fix them. Shutting their users up is a better one.
Your social life has a biological limit: 150. That’s the number—Dunbar’s number, proposed by the British psychologist Robin Dunbar three decades ago—of people with whom you can have meaningful relationships.
What makes a relationship meaningful? Dunbar gave TheNew York Times a shorthand answer: “those people you know well enough to greet without feeling awkward if you ran into them in an airport lounge”—a take that may accidentally reveal the substantial spoils of having produced a predominant psychological theory. The construct encompasses multiple “layers” of intimacy in relationships. We can reasonably expect to develop up to 150 productive bonds, but we have our most intimate, and therefore most connected, relationships with only about five to 15 closest friends. We can maintain much larger networks, but only by compromising the quality or sincerity of those connections; most people operate in much smaller social circles.
Four Hours at the Capitol, a new HBO documentary, is a vivid, terrifying picture of violent insurrection.
In the days and weeks after the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, commentators and media outlets grappled with the question of what to call that event. Language is sticky; it clarifies and obfuscates the truth depending on who’s wielding it. January 6 was described as or likened to a “riot,” a “tourist visit,” an “insurrection,” a “peaceful protest,” and a “coup attempt.” And yet, watching Four Hours at the Capitol, Jamie Roberts’s tight, unsettling new HBO documentary about that day, another word seemed more appropriate to me, one that most of the participants interviewed in the film might agree on. More than anything else, January 6 was war.
There have been a number of incisive breakdowns of that day, including “Day of Rage,” TheNew York Times’ 40-minute film detailing how the attack was strategized and executed, and how President Donald Trump and his allies fomented mass anger and even seemed to encourage the violence. Four Hours at the Capitol isn’t as analytical, or as thorough in its parsing of all the information that’s emerged. But its immersiveness offers something else. With his rigidly chronological framing and his interviews with people who were present at the Capitol that day, Roberts captures the extent to which both sides were engaging in combat. This dynamic emerges over and over again throughout different accounts and video clips. One clash between Capitol Police officers and pro-Trump extremists is referred to by a participant as “the battle for the tunnel.” Different interviewees describe fighting on “the front line,” engaging in “hand-to-hand combat,” and, in the case of one police officer, the strangeness of walking through his own colleagues’ blood. In a scene that seems ripped right out of a Bruce Willis movie, a police commander shouts, “We are not losing the U.S. Capitol today, do you hear me?”
At a glance, America’s shortage of adoptable babies may seem like a problem. But is adoption meant to provide babies for families, or families for babies?
Ever since I entered what can generously be called my “mid-30s,” doctors have asked about my pregnancy plans at every appointment. Because I’m career-minded and generally indecisive, I’ve always had a way of punting on this question, both in the doctor’s office and elsewhere. Well, we can always adopt, I’ll think, or say out loud to my similarly childless and wishy-washy friends. Adoption, after all, doesn’t depend on your oocyte quality. And, as we’ve heard a million times, there are so many babies out there who need a good home.
But that is not actually true. Adopting a baby or toddler is much more difficult than it was a few decades ago. Of the nearly 4 million American children who are born each year, only about 18,000 are voluntarily relinquished for adoption. Though the statistics are unreliable, some estimates suggest that dozens of couples are now waiting to adopt each available baby. Since the mid-1970s—the end of the so-called baby-scoop era, when large numbers of unmarried women placed their children for adoption—the percentage of never-married women who relinquish their infants has declined from nearly 9 percent to less than 1 percent.
A lasting effect of this pandemic will be a revolution in worker expectations.
I first noticed that something weird was happening this past spring.
In April, the number of workers who quit their job in a single month broke an all-time U.S. record. Economists called it the “Great Resignation.” But America’s quittin’ spirit was just getting started. In July, even more people left their job. In August, quitters set yet another record. That Great Resignation? It just keeps getting greater.
“Quits,” as the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls them, are rising in almost every industry. For those in leisure and hospitality, especially, the workplace must feel like one giant revolving door. Nearly 7 percent of employees in the “accommodations and food services” sector left their job in August. That means one in 14 hotel clerks, restaurant servers, and barbacks said sayonara in a single month. Thanks to several pandemic-relief checks, a rent moratorium, and student-loan forgiveness, everybody, particularly if they are young and have a low income, has more freedom to quit jobs they hate and hop to something else.
You can make your quest for meaning manageable by breaking it down into three bite-size dimensions.
“How to Build a Life” is a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. Click here to listen to his new podcast series on all things happiness, How to Build a Happy Life.
Want to live in a directed, resolute way? To always know why you’re doing what you’re doing? There’s a simple way to make your dreams come true: Go find the meaning of life!
People who believe that they know their life’s meaning enjoy greater well-being than those who don’t. One 2019 study found that agreeing with the statement “I have a philosophy of life that helps me understand who I am” was associated with fewer symptoms of depression and higher positive affect.
Lucky you if you were born already knowing what the meaning of your life is. For the rest of us, the search can be difficult and frustrating. Philosophy is often unhelpful, offering abstract ideas such as Aristotle’s human function or Kant’s “highest good” that are hard to comprehend, let alone put into action.
If years could be assigned a dominant feeling (1929: despair; 2008: hope), 2021’s might be exhaustion. As the coronavirus pandemic rumbles through its 20th month, many of us feel like we are running a race we didn’t sign up for, and it’s getting longer every mile we run.
With this slog has come a renewed focus on mental health. During the pandemic, universities have poured money into psychological resources. Corporations have hired chief health officers and invested in wellness services. In 2020, the mindfulness app Headspace saw a 500 percent increase in corporate-subscription requests. Alongside these efforts, a worldwide conversation has grown around “self-care:” anything pursued for the sake of one’s own wellness, including practicing goat yoga, bingeing Ted Lasso, and old-fashioned napping. Self-care has been popular for decades, but during the pandemic it has gained new cachet. Google searches for the term more than doubled from March to April 2020. Countless organizations, including mine,implemented “COVID days”—time off meant for employees to center their own needs.