—Police say five people, including the alleged assailant, were killed in a terrorist attack in London. Forty others were injured. More here
—At Wednesday’s hearing, Democratic senators adopted a new strategy to press Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on abortion and campaign finance. More here
—House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes turned quite a few heads on Capitol Hill when he announced he’s learned that the Intelligence Community “incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.” More here
—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes turned quite a few heads on Capitol Hill Wednesday when he announced he’s learned that the Intelligence Community “incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.” He said he received this information through an unnamed source. The vague statement from the congressman and Trump ally did note that the intelligence was gathered legally and that there was no evidence of wiretapping at Trump Tower. But the news does throw a lifeline to President Trump after weeks of alleging his predecessor “wiretapped” him. As my colleague David A. Graham writes:
Nunes’s vague statements raised a host of questions, and his decision to announce them publicly and then go to the White House to brief President Trump, having not informed Democrats on the committee about his new findings, cast a pall of politics over the proceedings.
Trump said felt “somewhat vindicated” by the announcement, as former intelligence officials and Democrats on the Hill said the statement from Nunes was inappropriate.
Possible U.S. Airstrike Kills 33 Civilians in Syria
A possible U.S. airstrike killed 33 civilians in Syria, a monitoring group said Wednesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based network trusted by many news organizations, said the U.S.-led coalition airstrike hit a school in northern Syria in a region controlled by ISIS. The school, located in the town of Mansoura, some 15 miles southwest of Raqqa, was being used as a shelter for displaced families from Raqqa, Aleppo, and Homs. Only two people survived the airstrike. U.S. officials have not confirmed whether the airstrike took place. U.S. military personnel were in the area that day airlifting around 500 U.S.-trained Syrian fighters. Fighting remains intense the northern city of Raqqa, the last ISIS stronghold and self-declared capital.
The U.K. Parliament was placed under lockdown Wednesday after reports emerged of gunfire outside Westminster Palace in central London, according to local media. Details about what exactly happened are not yet known.
This story is developing. For more updates, follow our live blog here.
More Allegations About Manafort's Russia Links, But Trump's Former Campaign Manager Rejects Them
Paul Manafort, who was chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, worked secretly a decade ago for Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire, to further Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interests, the Associated Press is reporting this morning, citing documents that laid out Manafort’s plan to hurt opponents of Russia across the former Soviet Union. For this work, the AP adds, Manafort received a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006. Manafort and the Trump White House have repeatedly denied that Manafort, who previously worked for Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president, worked to further Russian government interests. Manafort’s repeated that assertion today in response to the AP’s story, acknowledging he worked for Deripaska, but noting his “work did not involve representing Russian political interests.” Here’s more from the AP: “Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse. … Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work.” The allegations come a day after Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker, said he had evidence Manafort tried to hide about $750,000 as payment in 2009 from a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine; at the time, Manafort was an adviser to Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president who was close to Moscow. Manafort called that claim “baseless.” On Monday, FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers the bureau was “investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” including “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
Judge Gorsuch Prepares for the Third Day of His Confirmation Hearings
Judge Neil Gorsuch will face questions for the third day from lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, a day after he went before the panel and defended the independence of the judiciary, but refused to be drawn into more controversial issues such as abortion rights and gun control. As my colleague Matt Ford wrote last night, “attempts by the Democratic senators … to reveal new dimensions of Gorsuch’s ideological beliefs were largely unsuccessful.” Gorsuch is President Trump’s nominee to fill the position on the U.S. Supreme Court made vacant by the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia. Democrats were angered that President Obama’s nominee for the position, Judge Merrick Garland, was not given a hearing by Republicans, who control the Senate. The fourth and final day of the hearings are scheduled for Thursday. Despite some public opposition from Democrats and their supporters, Gorsuch, a widely respected jurist, is expected to be easily confirmed by the Senate.
People who make their living by sharing content on giant social-media platforms have tried to strike, organize, and even unionize, but they don’t have much to show for it.
Close to 5 million people follow Influencers in the Wild. The popular Instagram account makes fun of the work that goes into having a certain other kind of popular Instagram account: A typical post catches a woman (and usually, her butt) posing for photos in public, often surrounded by people but usually operating in total ignorance or disregard of them. In the comments, viewers—aghast at the goofiness and self-obsession on display—like to say that it’s time for a proverbial asteroid to come and deliver the Earth to its proverbial fiery end.
Influencers in the Wild has been turned into a board game with the tagline “Go places. Gain followers. Get famous. (no talent required)” And you get it because social-media influencers have always been, to some degree, a cultural joke. They get paid to post photos of themselves and to share their lives, which is something most of us do for free. It’s not real work.
The investigations highlight all the aspects of his political identity that have alienated so many swing voters.
The dilemma for the Republican Party is that Donald Trump’s mounting legal troubles may be simultaneously strengthening him as a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination and weakening him as a potential general-election nominee.
In the days leading up to the indictment of the former president, which Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced two days ago, a succession of polls showed that Trump has significantly increased his lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, his closest competitor in the race for the Republican nomination.
Yet recent surveys have also signaled that this criminal charge—and other potential indictments from ongoing investigations—could deepen the doubts about Trump among the suburban swing voters who decisively rejected him in the 2020 presidential race, and powered surprisingly strong performances by Democrats in the 2018 and 2022 midterms.
Workism is rooted in the belief that employment can provide everything we have historically expected from organized religion.
This is Work in Progress, a newsletter by Derek Thompson about work, technology, and how to solve some of America’s biggest problems. Sign up here to get it every week.
Here is a history of work in six words: from jobs to careers to callings.
Until quite recently, we had little concept of “progress” in our labor. Around the world, people hunted or harvested, just as their parents and grandparents had. They hammered nails. They assembled gears and sewed thread and patched homes. Their work was a matter of subsistence and necessity; it was not a race for status or an existential search for meaning. These were jobs. And for hundreds of millions of people everywhere, work is still work—grueling or boring or exploited or poorly paid, or all of the above.
“It felt like being hit by a truck and dragged along behind,” one mother said.
When Tess Camp was pregnant with her second child, she knew she would need to get to the hospital fast when the baby came. Her first labor had been short for a first-time mother (seven hours), and second babies tend to be in more of a hurry. Even so, she was not prepared for what happened: One day, at 40 weeks, she started feeling what she thought was just pregnancy back pain. Then her water broke, and 12 minutes later, she was holding a baby in her arms.
Needless to say, she didn’t make it into the hospital in time. But the first contraction after Camp’s water broke at home had been so intense—“immediate horrific pain; I could barely talk”—that she and her husband rushed into the car. He drove through town like a madman, running red lights. They were turning into the ER when she saw the baby’s head between her legs. Her husband tore out of the car, yelling for help. A security guard ran over to a terrified Camp in the passenger’s seat, and in that moment, her son slipped out and into the security guard’s hands. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. An ER nurse finally appeared to take the baby—still blue and limp—and resuscitated him right on the curb.
A new novel, The Nursery, explores the mix of unexpected emotions—including rage, regret, and loneliness—that new motherhood can bring on.
Motherhood has always been a subject ripe for mythmaking, whether vilification or idealization. Although fictional accounts, from antiquity until today, have offered us terrible, even treacherous mothers, including Euripides’s Medea and Livia Soprano, depictions of unrealistically all-good mothers, such as Marmee from Little Women, are more common and provide a sense of comfort. Maternal characters on the dark end of the spectrum provoke our unease because their monstrous behavior so clearly threatens society’s standards for mothers. They show that mother love isn’t inevitable, and that veering off from the expected response to a cuddly new infant isn’t inconceivable.
If motherhood brings with it the burden of our projected hopes, new mothers are especially hemmed in by wishful imagery, presumed to be ecstatically bonding with their just-emerged infants as they suckle at milk-filled breasts, everything smelling sweetly of baby powder. The phenomenon of postpartum depression, for instance, a condition that affects 10 to 15 percent of women, has been given short shrift in literature and other genres when not ignored entirely. This is true as well when it comes to the evocation of maternal ambivalence, the less-than-wholehearted response to the birth of a child, which is mostly viewed as a momentary glitch in the smooth transition from pregnancy to childbirth to motherhood instead of being seenas a sign of internal conflict.
Where do shoppers turn when an industry built on novelty runs out of new ideas?
This article was featured in One Story to Read Today, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a single must-read from The Atlantic, Monday through Friday. Sign up for it here.
Nearly half a decade has elapsed since I last worked in the fashion industry, but one thing from my previous career remains a compulsion to this day: I look at people’s purses. In the brain space that might otherwise be occupied by dear childhood memories or the dates and times of future doctor appointments, I tend to an apparently undeletable mental spreadsheet of who is carrying what. Bottega Veneta Cassette, green padded leather, Soho, 20-something woman. Louis Vuitton Pochette Métis, logo canvas, Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway stop, 40-ish woman. For 10 years, these data points informed my obsessive, detailed coverage of the luxury-handbag market. Now they just accumulate. Rarely do I see something I can’t place.
Now is an ideal moment for Republicans to free themselves from the former president. They’re not exactly taking advantage of it.
After his historic indictment was announced Thursday night, former President Donald Trump reacted with his characteristic cool and precision: “These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED the 45th President of the United States of America.” Presumably this was a typo, and he meant INDICTED. But the immediate joining of arms around the martyr was indeed a perfect indication of precisely who the Republicans are right now.
“When Trump wins, THESE PEOPLE WILL PAY!!” Representative Ronny Jackson of Texas vowed.
“If they can come for him, they can come for anyone,” added Representative Andy Biggs, Republican of Arizona—or at least come for anyone who has allegedly paid $130,000 in hush money to a former porn-star paramour (and particularly anyone who allegedly had unprotected sex with her shortly after his third wife had given birth).
At its best, the platform was a reminder that there are quick-witted and even wise people in the world with ideas to share.
This is a sentimental story about Twitter, a little Twitterbilly elegy. I spilled tears, heavy Patsy Cline tears, for the platform for the first time a few weeks ago, during a walk with Amanda Guinzburg, a writer and photographer I’d long followed on Twitter for her excellent tweets about American politics and photos of libidinous flowers.
Guinz—her Twitter handle—and I had never met face-to-face, but with the arsonous new management torching the platform’s vibe, we had decided to stroll together in Brooklyn Bridge Park and slag Elon Musk. Before Musk took over, you went to Twitter to satirize the high-hats, while also learning and teaching. But Musk seemed to think Twitter was chiefly for propaganda, self-aggrandizement, and enemy-smiting. He never took the time to loiter and banter and approach new subjects with equanimity, curiosity, amusement. Yes, he had long waxed anti-vax and hammered away at edgelord palaver, but what did it (for me, anyway) came on October 30, when he amplified some truly twisted and false cruelty implying that Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, had solicited sex from the QAnon-promoting intruder who cracked his skull with a hammer.
Yes, love requires some labor. But that shouldn’t define the relationship.
Marriage is work: I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard that saying. In my personal life, I heard it from youth pastors at Bible camp, from well-meaning aunts at bridal showers, even from the woman who threaded my eyebrows the week before my wedding. In popular culture, I’ve seen the adage espoused on Martha Stewart’s website and by Ben Affleck on the Oscars stage. The idea has the sheen of a proverb, timeless and true.
So after my wedding a few years ago, I attempted to be the best marriage worker I could be. I scheduled biweekly budget meetings and preached the benefits of the “I” statement in an argument. I analyzed my husband’s working style to optimize how we could divide unloading the dishwasher and vacuuming the kitchen. At its best, this attitude gave our marriage the clean hum of a caffeinated, productive morning at the office—every task checked off, every email replied to. At its worst, I felt resentful, exhausted, and miserly with my affection, like I could dole it out only after one of us had completed a job. Viewing marriage as labor never made me feel more connected to the man I had chosen to partner with.
Resident Evil 4 might not be an elevated story, but it sure is an entertaining one.
The “next-gen remake” is the latest and safest cash cow in video gaming. Take a hit title that came out a decade or more ago on a prior console, spiff it up with updated graphics, controls, and maybe even some new content, and sell it at full price to a nostalgic audience. Since its 2005 debut on the Nintendo GameCube, Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 has been lightly reconfigured for a dozen different devices. But the most recent edition is a soup-to-nuts revamp, meant to bring in a new generation while still satisfying longtime players like me who are just looking to relive the glory days.
I was introduced to Resident Evil 4 in college, and I’ve replayed it countless times over the years as it’s been “ported” to new consoles. When it was first released, the game marked a departure from the rest of the Resident Evil series, in which the player navigates the fictional Raccoon City during a viral zombie outbreak. The first Resident Evil pioneered the “survival horror” genre, asking players to conserve ammunition, solve puzzles, and withstand jump scares as enemies swarmed from every dark corner. The best-selling horror franchise spawned rival series such as Silent Hill and Left 4 Dead, but by 2005, the Resident Evil formula had grown creaky, having gained sequels and prequels for almost a decade to diminishing returns.