U.S. President in Poland: Donald Trump criticized Russia and affirmed his commitment to NATO’s mutual-defense provision in a highly anticipated speech today in Warsaw. That affirmation may come as some relief to critics who worried its omission at the NATO summit in May signaled a withdrawal from global leadership—yet as James Fallows writes, it emphasized racial and religious ties rather than democratic ideals. Trump gave a rambling answer at a press conference when asked whether he accepts that Russia interfered in his election. He also addressed North Korea’s long-range missile test this week, saying the U.S. response could include “some pretty severe things.”
About That Response: Though Trump will discuss the North Korea crisis tonight with South Korean and Japanese allies, he’s repeatedly pointed to China as the key to influencing the rogue state. At the same time, he’s expressed frustration with China's North Korea strategy, accusing Beijing of not exerting enough economic pressure. Trump’s also getting bipartisan support for increased military pressure on Pyongyang—but that plan risks escalating the problem. So, asks Peter Beinart, why won’t Democrats challenge Trump?
Meanwhile, in Washington: Walter Shaub, who’s clashed repeatedly Trump over ethics issues related to the president’s businesses, announced he will step down from his post as head of the Office of Government Ethics. As the Senate prepares to vote on Republicans’ health-care legislation, liberal activists are working to sustain the public backlash against the bill. Ten Democratic senators from red states see opposition to Trump as the path to reelection—while a book that predicted the president’s rise suggests a slightly different path for the left.
It may seem like the pamphleteer has subsumed the novelist. But Roy’s enterprise is less dutiful than it sounds. There is no grudging marriage of art and politics in her work; as John Berger, one of her longtime interlocutors and a formative influence, wrote, “Far from my dragging politics into art, art has dragged me into politics.” Roy’s work conveys a similar spirit. She is a great admirer of the world. Her strongest writing is always at the margins of the main story—the pleasure of finding “an egg hot from a hen,” or this passing detail from The God of Small Things: “A thin red cow with a protruding pelvic bone appeared and swam straight out to sea without wetting her horns, without looking back.” From the fine-grained affection that stirs her imagination springs an ethical imperative—after all, how can one appreciate the world without desiring to defend it? And it must be defended not merely from war or political calamity, but from that natural, more insidious phenomenon: forgetting.
Keep reading here as Sehgal reviews Roy’s latest novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
What Do You Know?
1. For drugs approved by the FDA between 1980 and 2000, it took an average of____________ years after approval to gather enough data to determine whether those drugs were safe for pregnant women to use.
Our partner siteCityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Adam Sneed shares three of today’s top stories:
Why is the alt-right so angry about modern architecture? These avant-garde buildings have become potent symbols of liberal urban elitism.
In the popular imagination, poverty is all about “inner cities” or extremely rural areas. But suburban poverty is real, it’s getting more severe, and it isn’t what you might expect.
High-rises often aren’t a natural fit for family life, meaning young parents and children struggle to live in denser urban areas. Toronto wanted to know how that could change, and its findings offer lessons to cities everywhere.
Christopher Orr callsSpider-Man: Homecoming “one of the best superhero movies in years.” But this commenter is skeptical:
Given that this is the third attempt at this character, there’s no excuse for them not to get it right. They should know by now what works and what doesn’t. But despite that, I just can’t get interested in yet another reboot of a character who feels like he's been on movie screens for the last 20 years. The thing about reboots is that you have to have enough time in between for people to start asking for them. I don’t know anyone who was asking for a Spider-Man reboot. The whole idea of reboots has become a crutch for Hollywood. When a series goes bad, like it did with Superman or Batman, start over. Or when your actors become too expensive, like they did with the first Spider-Man movies, start over with cheaper actors. It sounds like this new Spider-Man will do well. But if the series goes bad, we know what’ll happen—another reboot with yet another new actor. Sigh.
Happy birthday to Abdurrehman’s brother Abdurrafey (a year younger than Amazon), Mary (the same age as the Drug Enforcement Administration), Lori’s aunt Darlys (the same age as Barbra Streisand), Karen (a year younger than fiber-optic communication), Patrick’s daughter Kathleen (the same age as Serena Williams), and from Alex to Matthew (a year younger than the Disney Channel). And a happy belated birthday from Juan to his wife Ligia (a year younger than Barbie).
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