The Atlantic Daily: Battle of Brooklyn, Germany's Satire Prosecution, Czeched Out

Sanders and Clinton trade jabs in the New York debate, a German comedian is targeted for mocking Turkey’s president, the Czech Republic gets a new name, and more.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

What We’re Following: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Thursday’s debate in Brooklyn between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton—their ninth showdown of the campaign—was an often tense, heated affair, with each candidate taking hard swipes at each other. There was none of the kumbaya of previous debates, in which they had criticized each other but taken care to insist that their real opponent was the Republican Party. Instead, they targeted each other directly.

A Modest Prosecution: German Chancellor Angela Merkel paved the way Friday for the possible prosecution of a German satirist who lampooned Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president. Jan Böhmermann faces a maximum of five years in prison for reciting a sexually explicit poem about the Turkish leader on late-night television last month.

Czech This Out: Leaders of the Czech Republic announced this week they will ask the United Nations to officially recognize “Czechia” as an alternative name to the country, along with other foreign language equivalents—la Tchequie in French, and so on. Czech officials described the country’s current name as clunky and just too long.


Engineer Oleg Glebov works at the stator windings of a generator in Erfurt, Germany, on April 12, 2016. See more of the week’s best photos here. (Jens Meyer / AP)


“Oh my god, this is everything I ever wanted in a fat character.” —Kiva Bay, who writes about feminist issues, on a new comic-book superhero

“It’s quite true that we don’t know what the heck that dark matter is, and you need to be open-minded about it.” —James Bullock, an astrophysicist, on the invisible substance that comprises most of the universe’s mass

“We’re all on board with creating trust in community government, but we’re not going to wait around for them. We’re gonna build this shit ourselves.” —Brandon Anderson, who created an app to track reports of police brutality

Evening Read

Dominic Tierney on the legacy of the Libya intervention:

Obama was elected on a “no more Iraqs” platform, but he repeated the same mistake of winning the war and losing the peace. … Tough questions about who would reconstruct Libya or provide jobs for the rebel militia members were left unanswered—or even unasked. Libya disintegrated as rival militias feuded for power, and ISIS seized the opportunity to establish a franchise operation. It was a cheap war for the United States at just $1.1 billion. But these days, it seems, a billion dollars buys you a shit show. Libya could end up looking like, in the words of British special envoy Jonathan Powell, “Somalia on the Mediterranean.”

In Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, Washington toppled regimes and then failed to plan for a new government or construct effective local forces—with the net result being over 7,000 dead U.S. soldiers, tens of thousands of injured troops, trillions of dollars expended, untold thousands of civilian fatalities, and three Islamic countries in various states of disorder. We might be able to explain a one-off failure in terms of allies screwing up. But three times in a decade suggests a deeper pattern in the American way of war.

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News Quiz

1. 51 percent of U.S. teenagers in low-income families have their own ____________.

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2. New research suggests moths are evolving to avoid _______________.

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3. One prominent theory suggests ______________ led to a massive decline in crime in the 1990s.

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Reader Response

What’s the biggest religious choice you’ve made? Bob, a 30-year-old reader from Michigan, writes:

The formative experience of my religious life took place in Sunday School when I was about six. … At the age of six, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. My favorite toys were dinosaurs.  My favorite movie was about dinosaurs. My favorite TV show was Paleo-World, which my parents would let me stay up an extra half-hour on Monday nights to watch. From this “research” I knew that the dinosaurs had died out 365 million years ago, which I understood to mean “a really long time before people existed.”

Now back to Sunday School. When they introduced the story of Genesis, they said it was about how the world was made and how we came to be. I was extremely excited, because I knew that somewhere in between the creation of the world and the creation of man, there were dinosaurs. I was about to hear a story about dinosaurs. I couldn’t wait.

But then a funny thing happened: God made the world, and then God made man.  No dinosaurs.

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Venezuela time-travels, Greenland melts, billions of cicadas descend, “Mind the Gap” voice dies.