Norwegian Police Find a 'Bomb-Like' Device in the Capital
Police in Norway set off a controlled explosion in the capital, Oslo, after they found a “bomb-like” device. A suspect is in custody. “The noise from the blast was louder than our explosives themselves would cause,” a police spokesman told Reuters. The device was found in the Groenland neighborhood, a popular spot with bars and restaurants near the city’s main police station. Police would not release further information about the suspect, or details of the device they found. The country was on high alert after an attack in Sweden the day before, in which a man stole a beer truck and drove it into a crowd of people, killing four and injuring many others. Nordic countries are not used to regular acts of terrorism, as has been increasingly the case in much of Europe.
Vi har kontroll på stedet, og avventer nå til vi har fått foretatt nødvendige undersøkelser.Vi har kontroll på en person med status mistenkt
Warplanes Return to the Syrian Town Hit by Chemical Attack
Warplanes returned on Saturday to bomb the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, the site targeted by the Bashar al-Assad regime earlier this week in a chemical attack. The latest bombing killed one woman and wounded several others, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group based in Britain. It’s not known who deployed the warplanes. Khan Sheikhoun is practically a ghost town now, ever since Tuesday when Assad killed more than 80 people in the chemical attack. This prompted the U.S. to retaliate Friday with 60 Tomahawk missiles fired at the Shayrat air base, the site where the chemical attack was launched. It was the first time U.S. took direct military action against Assad since the civil war began in 2011. Elsewhere in the country on Friday, the U.S. targeted ISIS-held city of Raqqa, killing at least 15 people, including a woman and her six children on a boat in the Euphrates River.
Venezuela Bans Opposition Leader From Holding Office
Venezuelan authorities banned opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding office for 15 years, removing President Nicolás Maduro’s toughest challenger in next year’s election. The move is the latest in a series of attempts to assert Maduro’s control in a country that has already pushed back democratic elections. Venezuela’s comptroller general accused Capriles, a state governor, of misusing public funds and "administrative irregularities." Capriles has run for president twice, and is seen as the opposition’s best chance at beating Maduro. Capriles has led a series of protests recently, accusing the government of stifling dissent. Maduro is deeply unpopular in the country since oil prices plummeted and threw Venezuela into an economic nosedive. The government has tried to consolidate power, and in March the Supreme Court stripped Congress of authority. The court rescinded that decision a week ago after massive protests and criticism even from within the ruling party.
The militant Basque separatist group ETA handed over its weapons to French authorities Saturday, ending a decades-old conflict and the last insurgency in Europe. At a ceremony in southern French city of Bayonne, militants handed authorities an inventory of weapons and their locations. ETA, which is an acronym for Basque Homeland and Freedom, was founded in 1959 to fight cultural and political repression under Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco. The Basque region lies on the border of France and Spain, and the ETA has sought to carve out an independent state. More than 850 people were killed in their fight, including Franco’s heir, Luis Carrero Blanco. ETA members dug a tunnel under the road Blanco drove to mass each week and packed it with bombs, blowing up his car and killing him. The group also attacked areas crowded with civilians. In 1987 it targeted a Barcelona supermarket and killed 21 people, including children. In 2011, the ETA declared a ceasefire, but held onto its weapons. At the supply caches, authorities were expected to find more than 120 firearms and more than three tons of explosives. Neither the ceasefire or disarmament include impunity, so investigators could use some of the weapons to tie suspects to past crimes.
Swedish police arrested a man they accused of stealing a beer truck in Stockholm and crashing it into a crowd of people in a busy shopping area, killing four. The suspect is a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan who had been known to the country’s security services, although investigators found no ties to extremism. His name was not released. He is the same man pictured in a still image taken from a surveillance video that police released on Friday, the day of the attack. Officers initially said they were unsure what role the man might have played, but by Saturday said they were confident he had driven the truck. Swedish media also reported that investigators found a suspicious device in the truck, but it has not been identified.
The Nest is a brilliantly cast thriller and one of the year’s best films.
In The Nest,a family moves into an English mansion in the countryside filled with opulent rooms, creaky staircases, and secret passages. The setup is familiar for a horror film: A happy couple buys a mysterious property and discovers, upon arrival, that something is terribly wrong with the house. The movie, directed by Sean Durkin, opens with appropriate portentousness, a discordant piano score clanging over the title card. But in this case, it’s not the house that’s the problem—it’s the family, and the greedy quest for status that first led them to this gargantuan manor.
The Nest is a long-awaited and brilliant follow-up from Durkin, who emerged in 2011 with his filmmaking debut, Martha Marcy May Marlene, but hadn’t directed a movie since. His first work also had the overtones of a horror film and the narrative meat of a serious family drama, exploring the fraught relationship between four sisters after one of them is freed from a Manson-family-like collective. Nothing in The Nest is quite as dramatic as a murderous cult, but the same sense of dread pervades the thriller, as Rory (played by Jude Law) and Allison O’Hara (Carrie Coon) see their relationship crumble under the financial burden of the colossal home they’ve bought.
The U.S. entered the coronavirus recession with a few structural advantages. Its success may not last for long.
Here is a remarkable, underappreciated fact: The U.S. economy has performed far better than that of many of the country’s peers during this horrible year. The International Monetary Fund expects the U.S. economy to contract by 4.4 percent in 2020, versus 5.3 percent in Japan, 6 percent in Germany, 7.1 percent in Canada, and nearly 10 percent in both the United Kingdom and France.
This fact is not a result of the United States managing its public-health response better than those countries, allowing it to reopen from lockdown sooner and for consumption to roar back. Indeed, many of those peer nations have had significantly better outcomes, as measured by COVID-19 caseloads, hospitalizations, and death rates. Nor is it a result of the U.S. preserving more jobs. The unemployment rate here is far higher here than it is in Japan, Germany, or the U.K.
This is why you can eat in a restaurant but can’t have Thanksgiving.
Two weeks ago, I staged a reluctant intervention via Instagram direct message. The subject was a longtime friend, Josh, who had been sharing photos of himself and his fiancé occasionally dining indoors at restaurants since New York City, where we both live, had reopened them in late September. At first, I hadn’t said anything. Preliminary research suggests that when people congregate indoors, an infected person is almost 20 times more likely to transmit the virus than if they were outside. But restaurants are open legally in New York, and I am not the COVID police. Josh and I had chatted several times in the early months of the pandemic about safety, and I felt sure that he was making an informed decision, even if it wasn’t the one I’d make.
More people than ever are hospitalized with COVID-19. Health-care workers can’t go on like this.
On Saturday morning, Megan Ranney was about to put on her scrubs when she heard that Joe Biden had won the presidential election. That day, she treated people with COVID-19 while street parties erupted around the country. She was still in the ER in the late evening when Biden and Vice President–elect Kamala Harris made their victory speeches. These days, her shifts at Rhode Island Hospital are long, and they “are not going to change in the next 73 days,” before Biden becomes president, she told me on Monday. Every time Ranney returns to the hospital, there are more COVID-19 patients.
This isn’t over, folks. While the decision to begin the transition process does amount to an implicit concession by the president, Trump hasn’t yet explicitly acknowledged his loss—and there areindications he might never do so. As I write, in fact, the president is continuingto insist that the “2020 Election Hoax” will “go down as the most corrupt election in American political history,” that he will continue to press this case, and that he “will never concede to fake ballots & ‘Dominion.’”
Joe Biden’s walloping victory in the popular vote didn’t translate down-ballot.
Joe Biden marked an unexpected and unwanted milestone this month when he won a clear popular-vote majority in the presidential election but saw his party suffer substantial losses in the House of Representatives.
That unusual combination of results—the first time it’s happened in more than 120 years—crystallizes the core challenge Democrats face in translating their consistent victories in the popular vote into congressional power. In geographic terms, their coalition is deep but narrow. The party has consolidated its hold on the nation’s largest metropolitan centers, which allows it to amass substantial popular-vote victories, but it has systematically declined in the smaller places beyond them—a dynamic that’s intensified during Donald Trump’s polarizing presidency.
States are likely to report fewer coronavirus cases, but not because things are getting better.
Recently, over the course of just one week, the Houston Health Department received more than 110,000 lab reports of COVID-19 test results. In a city of 2.3 million people, “it’s quite a high volume,” says Beau J. Mitts, the department’s bureau chief. Less than two-thirds of those lab reports flow automatically into the health department’s electronic system, according to Mitts. Another 35 percent arrive in digital form but must be imported into the city’s database, and the remainder arrive via fax.
All over the country, health departments are facing such influxes, and many are struggling to keep pace. The latest surge has earned the terrible distinction of having the highest number of daily cases and hospitalizations since the pandemic began. Now data-reporting delays caused by the Thanksgiving holiday and long weekend may provide a veneer of comfort—a seeming dip in cases—when the actual course of the pandemic in the coming days will almost certainly be much bleaker than the reported numbers show.
A global pandemic doesn’t give us cause to treat the aged callously.
Crises can elicit compassion, but they can also evoke callousness. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve witnessed communities coming together (even as they have sometimes been physically forced apart), and we’ve seen individuals engaging in simple acts of kindness to remind the sick and quarantined that they are not forgotten. Yet from some quarters, we’ve also seen a degree of cruelty that is truly staggering.
Earlier today, a friend posted on Facebook about an experience he’d just had on the Upper West Side of Manhattan: “I heard a guy who looked to be in his 20s say that it’s not a big deal cause the elderly are gonna die anyway. Then he and his friend laughed … Maybe I’m lucky that I had awesome grandparents and maybe this guy didn’t but what is wrong with people???” Some have tried to dress up their heartlessness as generational retribution. As someone tweeted at me earlier today, “To be perfectly honest, and this is awful, but to the young, watching as the elderly over and over and over choose their own interests ahead of Climate policy kind of feels like they’re wishing us to a death they won’t have to experience. It’s a sad bit of fair play.”
Metro power comes with huge political and cultural drawbacks.
Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 election by rebuilding the “blue wall,” not around any particular geographical region, but around every major U.S. metropolitan area. America’s biggest cities and their largest suburbs are now Jerichos of the Democratic Party, walled fortresses for the future of liberalism.
Biden won all of the 20 largest cities in America. He dominated on the coasts, racking up more than 80 percent of the vote in Manhattan, Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. He won metro Atlanta by about 800,000 votes and took the four major metro areas of Texas—Houston, Dallas–Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin—by more than 900,000 votes.
As well as Biden fared in these cities, however, he did even better, relative to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 showing, in their suburbs. An analysis of the 2020 presidential vote by the economist Jed Kolko found that it was almost entirely the suburbs of large metros—not their downtown areas—that swung toward Democrats from 2016 to 2020.