Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters

What’s Happening:  FIFA Re-elects Its Beleaguered Chief

Bend it like Blatter! Only days removed from a shocking international scandal, Sepp Blatter won his fifth term as the president of FIFA. The 79-year-old’s main challenger, Prince Ali of Jordan, withdrew from the race after Blatter scored a majority of the votes in the first round of voting.

How did he do it? Controversies and public disavowals notwithstanding, Blatter’s victory didn’t appear to surprise to many given the loyalty he commands and the influence he has. Earlier in the week, soccer legend Diego Maradona calls the Swiss executive “a dictator.”

Reactions: Former Portuguese player Luis Fido, who took himself out of the race just eight days ago, said the vote “has only served to endorse the election of a man who can’t remain in charge of world football.” FIFA partner Coca-Cola released an anodyne statement calling for a restoration of trust. One columnist called for a player-led revolution to topple Blatter.


A worker stands inside the Cuncas II tunnel that will link canals being built to divert water from the Sao Francisco river in four drought-plagued states in Brazil, on January 28, 2014. To see more subterranean scenes from around the world visit The Atlantic Photo. (Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters)


  • Eric Segall: “The technical window dressing shouldn’t obscure the fact that the argument is based on a faulty reading of the text of the entire law as well as a misleading account of how and why the law was passed. At bottom, King v. Burwell is a political challenge to the ACA dressed up in legal garb.
  • Sophie Gilbert: “[San Andreas] takes a sanitized approach to the theoretical greatest mass disaster in American history—there are no shots of bodies floating in the water, or even so much as a lone kitten stranded in a tree. There’s no ethical complexity, or nuanced storytelling, and very few surprises.”
  • Alana Semuels: “Though the Rust Belt was once a hub for immigrants in the 19th century, foreign-born people became rare commodities in the second half of the 20th century. In Cincinnati, for instance, 28 percent of the population in 1880 was foreign-born, according to the Census Bureau. By 1980, only 2.8 percent was.”

Pop Quiz

1. Before the Ebola outbreak, Liberia had a total of  _________ doctors.

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2. In 2010, U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores threw out _______ pounds of food.

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3. There are currently _________ countries in the European Union.

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Weekend Read

Daniel A. Bell on the future of China’s complicated political system.

The top of the China model is characterized by political meritocracy—the idea that high-level officials should be selected and promoted on the basis of ability and virtue. The ideal was institutionalized in imperial China by means of an elaborate examination system that dates to the Sui dynasty in the sixth and seventh centuries. These examinations were abolished in 1905—precipitating the end of the imperial system as a whole—but they have been reestablished over the last three decades.


Spelling champions draw, Martin O’Malley gets ready, Sepp Blatter survives, former House Speaker indicted, Cuba’s terror list spot revoked, and Federer cruises.

ANSWERS: 51, 43, 28

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