What We’re Following

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/05/huawei-drama-gift-us-tech-companies/589912/

(Edgar Su / Reuters)

A standoff with Huawei is giving American tech companies a new narrative. With lingering concerns that equipment made by the telecom giant is compromised by Chinese intelligence officials, the Trump administration had moved to place Huawei on a blacklist, which makes it difficult for American companies to do business with it. And Google added to the drama by reportedly cutting off Huawei’s access to its Android operating system. But since the mythology of Silicon Valley as a darling of innovation has collapsed of late, conjuring up a new stance as a safeguard against China could be politically advantageous for these beleaguered companies.

Courting black voters? Elizabeth Warren has a policy for that, too. While just about all the serious 2020 candidates are reaching out to black voters, Warren is eschewing the platitudes and soul-food lunches with Al Sharpton in favor of a detailed body of policy ideas aimed at addressing America’s legacy of discrimination. In the realm of higher education, for example, Warren has put forward a plan that would help black students saddled with debt by creating a fund to support historically black colleges and universities. Warren isn’t the only candidate putting forward big ideas on how to tackle the racial wealth gap, but her ambitious slate of proposals is so far setting the bar in the race.

What’s the matter with Austria? The country’s government is in upheaval after a sting video showed a leader in the far-right Freedom Party soliciting illegal donations from an individual posing as a Russian billionaire. Sebastian Kurz, the prime minister, has been dogged by scandal since taking power—but there’s a reason that this particular one set off the earthquake that resulted in calls for new elections, writes Yascha Mounk.

Saahil Desai


Evening Reads

Game of Thrones Is Over. Now What About the Books?

(Brian Dowling / AP)

If you’re reeling after investing eight years in HBO’s Game of Thrones, just redirect your attentions to awaiting the finale to the source material. It’s hard to believe the first entry in George R. R. Martin’s sprawling fantasy series was published in 1996. He assures his fans the final book is definitely still coming, even though HBO’s series has diverged far from Martin’s own:

To give an idea of just how removed the books are from the TV storylines, at the end of A Dance With Dragons (the latest entry, published in 2011), Jon has barely heard of Daenerys, Bran has only begun to amass the magical powers he demonstrated on the show, and Daenerys’s dragons haven’t yet come close to Westeros. Roose and Ramsay Bolton, villains who were dispatched in Game of Thrones’ sixth season, are still very much alive, as are major characters like Stannis Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell, who also long ago died on the show. Tyrion Lannister, who has spent the last three TV seasons wrestling with his allegiance to Daenerys, has yet to meet her in the novels.

In one way, this divergence speaks to a golden opportunity for Martin: Even if he trusted Benioff and Weiss with the broad strokes of his narrative arc, he can now gauge the public reaction to his biggest developments and adjust accordingly, producing a finale that still manages to surprise.

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End the Plague of Secret Parenting

(Shutterstock / The Atlantic)

Even women in workplaces with broadly inclusive values and more expansive parental leave policies can get caught in the trap of “secret parenting.” The economist Emily Oster interviewed many of these women. The anecdotes—and the data—are worrying:

Women told me that they hid their pregnancies until well into the third trimester, wearing loose-fitting clothes to avoid telling their bosses or venture-capital funders that they were expecting. Once they had kids, some told me they simply never discussed them. If they had to deal with a child-related issue, they lied about why they were leaving work.  

One woman told me she worked on a team of men, all of whom were fathers. Pregnant with her first child, she noted that none of the men ever talked about their children, and she assumed she shouldn’t either.

The general sense is that everyone should adopt the polite fiction that after the first several months of leave, the child disappears into a void from which he or she emerges for viewing and discussing only during nonworking hours.

Reinforcing this point, women professors at my university told me that when they were more junior, they made it a point never to put pictures of their children up in their offices.

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Urban Developments

I. M. Pei's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland

(Mark Duncan / AP)

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing urban dwellers around the world. Claire Tran and Gracie McKenzie share today’s top stories:

Architect I. M. Pei, who died last week at the age of 102, designed iconic modern buildings on prominent sites around the world. Here are some that delight and confound CityLab’s staff.

A study finds that the more beautiful a city is, the more successful it is at attracting jobs and new residents, including highly educated and affluent ones, Richard Florida writes.

The vacation rental industry is mired in claims that it harms neighborhoods and housing markets. Can the nonprofit Fairbnb make the tourist trend a community asset?

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Subscribe to the CityLab Daily newsletter.


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