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
Midnight Mass is a morally urgent critique of how faith can fuel everyday cruelty and violence.
This story contains spoilers for the Netflix series Midnight Mass.
The Exorcist is a film I’ve long loved because it raised the bar not just for horror, but also for movies that explore questions of faith and doubt, good and evil, life and death. I know all of its beats by heart, but when I recently rewatched the 1973 classic, the ending hit differently. The movie concludes with an exorcism, naturally. Chris MacNeil has brought her daughter, Regan, to a host of medical professionals in a desperate attempt to save her from what turns out to be a demonic possession. But the only person who can save the girl, it seems, is a priest. The camera lingers on the mother’s exhausted face as two priests close the door to her daughter’s bedroom and go to work.
The election of the elders of an evangelical church is usually an uncontroversial, even unifying event. But this summer, at an influential megachurch in Northern Virginia, something went badly wrong. A trio of elders didn’t receive 75 percent of the vote, the threshold necessary to be installed.
“A small group of people, inside and outside this church, coordinated a divisive effort to use disinformation in order to persuade others to vote these men down as part of a broader effort to take control of this church,” David Platt, a 43-year-old minister at McLean Bible Church and a best-selling author, charged in a July 4 sermon.
Platt said church members had been misled, having been told, among other things, that the three individuals nominated to be elders would advocate selling the church building to Muslims, who would convert it into a mosque. In a second vote on July 18, all three nominees cleared the threshold. But that hardly resolved the conflict. Members of the church filed a lawsuit, claiming that the conduct of the election violated the church’s constitution.
Thousands of pages of internal documents offer the clearest picture yet of how Facebook endangers American democracy—and show that the company’s own employees know it.
Before I tell you what happened at exactly 2:28 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the White House—and how it elicited a very specific reaction, some 2,400 miles away, in Menlo Park, California—you need to remember the mayhem of that day, the exuberance of the mob as it gave itself over to violence, and how several things seemed to happen all at once.
At 2:10 p.m., a live microphone captured a Senate aide’s panicked warning that “protesters are in the building,” and both houses of Congress began evacuating.
At 2:13 p.m., Vice President Mike Pence was hurried off the Senate floor and out of the chamber.
At 2:15 p.m., thunderous chants were heard: “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!”
At the White House, President Donald Trump was watching the insurrection live on television. The spectacle excited him. Which brings us to 2:28 p.m., the moment when Trump shared a message he had just tweeted with his 35 million Facebook followers: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution … USA demands the truth!”
Claims about the drug are based on shoddy science—but that science is entirely unremarkable in its shoddiness.
Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug, and a very good one. If you are infected with the roundworms that cause river blindness or the parasitic mites that cause scabies, it is wonderfully effective. It is cheap; it is accessible; and its discoverers won the Nobel Prize in 2015. It has also been widely promoted as a coronavirus prophylactic and treatment.
This promotion has been broadly criticized as a fever dream conceived in the memetic bowels of the internet and as a convenient buttress for bad arguments against vaccination. This is not entirely fair. Perhaps 70 to 100 studies have been conducted on the use of ivermectin for treating or preventing COVID-19; several dozen of them support the hypothesis that the drug is a plague mitigant. Twometa-analyses, which looked at data aggregated across subsets of these studies, concluded that the drug has value in the fight against the pandemic.
The James Webb Space Telescope, the long-awaited successor to Hubble, is mired in controversy over its namesake.
In 1999, Karen Knierman picked up a free mug at her first big astronomy conference, just before she started grad school. It bore the logo of an ambitious observatory, designed to peer at the most distant galaxies in the universe: NGST, short for Next Generation Space Telescope. The mug was on Knierman’s desk in 2002 when NASA made a surprise announcement: NGST was going to become JWST, after James Webb. Knierman sipped from her suddenly out-of-date mug and wondered, Who?
That was the prevailing reaction among scientists at the time. Webb, who died in 1992, was more of a behind-the-scenes manager than a space-science star; he had served as NASA’s second administrator, in the 1960s, during the run-up to the Apollo moon landings. But scientists went with the rebrand. Work on the telescope continued. Scientists got new merch, new mugs.
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.
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.
Internal documents show the company routinely placing public-relations, profit, and regulatory concerns over user welfare. And if you think it’s bad here, look beyond the U.S.
In the fall of 2019, Facebook launched a massive effort to combat the use of its platforms for human trafficking. Working around the clock, its employees searched Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram for keywords and hashtags that promoted domestic servitude in the Middle East and elsewhere. Over the course of a few weeks, the company took down 129,191 pieces of content, disabled more than 1,000 accounts, tightened its policies, and added new ways to detect this kind of behavior. After they were through, employees congratulated one another on a job well done.
It was a job well done. It just came a little late. In fact, a group of Facebook researchers focused on the Middle East and North Africa had found numerous Instagram profiles being used as advertisements for trafficked domestic servants as early as March 2018. “Indonesian brought with Tourist Visa,” one photo caption on a picture of a woman reads, in Arabic. “We have more of them.” But these profiles weren’t “actioned”—disabled or taken down—an internal report would explain, because Facebook’s policies “did not acknowledge the violation.” A year and a half later, an undercover BBC investigation revealed the full scope of the problem: a broad network that illegally trafficked domestic workers, facilitated by internet platforms and aided by algorithmically boosted hashtags. In response, Facebook banned one hashtag and took down some 700 Instagram profiles. But according to another internal report, “domestic servitude content remained on the platform.”
The Census Bureau wanted to gather data about a changing nation, but ended up reinforcing old racial categories.
If you paid attention to the news this summer about the release of 2020 census data, you probably heard that America’s white population is in free fall. Big, if true.
The statistic that launched a thousand hot takes and breathless voice-overs about racial change was a supposed 8.6 percent, or 19 million, dropin the number of white Americans since 2010. Headlines cast this decline as unprecedented in census history and signaled that the nation’s majority-minority future loomed even closer than previously forecast. Pundits spun it as a harbinger of policy change and partisan realignment, for better or worse. Somewiselycautioned against demography-as-destiny assumptions in a country where the definition and public understanding of race can change rapidly. But few observers questioned whether the reported differences between the 2010 and 2020 censuses reflected real demographic change or simply statistical noise.
Different chemically than it was a decade ago, the drug is creating a wave of severe mental illness and worsening America’s homelessness problem.
In the fall of 2006, law enforcement on the southwest border of the United States seized some crystal methamphetamine. In due course, a five-gram sample of that seizure landed on the desk of a 31-year-old chemist named Joe Bozenko, at the Drug Enforcement Administration lab outside Washington, D.C.
Organic chemistry can be endlessly manipulated, with compounds that, like Lego bricks, can be used to build almost anything. The field seems to breed folks whose every waking minute is spent puzzling over chemical reactions. Bozenko, a garrulous man with a wide smile, worked in the DEA lab during the day and taught chemistry at a local university in the evenings. “Chemist by day, chemist by night,” his Twitter bio once read.