Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Harvey Weinstein jury deliberations so far, explained

In the afternoon of their fourth day of deliberations, the jury in producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial sent a note to the judge. They wanted to know if they could deliver a verdict on some of the charges but fail to reach a decision on the others. The judge told them to keep deliberating. “It is not uncommon for a jury to believe that they will never be able to reach a unanimous verdict,” he wrote. “But, after further deliberations, most juries are able to reach a unanimous verdict.” The jury’s request highlighted what’s become increasingly clear over the...

Sudan just took a step backward on its path to democracy

Sudan appears to have taken a disturbing step backward on its path toward democracy. On Thursday, Sudanese security forces fired tear gas at demonstrators in Khartoum who were protesting the government’s removal of officers and soldiers who’d supported the revolution that overthrew the country’s longtime dictator, Omar al-Bashir, in April 2019. After the coup against al-Bashir, an 11-member Sovereign Council took over in August; it will first be headed by senior military official Abdel Fattah al-Burhan for 21 months, and then will be chaired by a civilian for 18 months. This 39-month transitional government is expected to uphold peace and take...

She’s Pete Buttigieg’s top fundraiser. He’s the founder of Nest. And...

Swati Mylavarapu still remembers the $20 check she sent to Pete Buttigieg by snail-mail in 2010. Now, a decade later, Mylavarapu is the national finance chair of Buttigieg’s presidential bid — and she’s spending 100,000 times as much on Democratic causes in 2020. Mylavarapu and husband Matt Rogers, who founded Nest and sold it to Google for $3 billion, are planning to spend at least $2 million on politics this year, a sum that will catapult them into the ranks of the top Democratic donors in the country. Each in their late 30s, Mylavarapu and Rogers epitomize a new class...

5 things to know about Bernie Sanders’s aggressive climate strategy

Sen. Bernie Sanders is now the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election, according to recent nationwide polls. Since climate change is likely to come up at Wednesday night’s debate in Nevada (where he also leads a recent poll), it’s worth reviewing what Sanders has said about one of his most key issues. Every Democrat in the February 19 debate in Nevada has put out a proposal, or several, to deal with climate change. That’s not surprising given how important this issue is in the primary, particularly for young voters. But Sanders has brought it up in...

The mutually beneficial war between Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg, explained

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has spent hundreds of millions on television ads, but he understands the value of free media as much as anyone else and has made an aggressive push in recent days to define the Democratic presidential nominating contest as a race between himself and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders’s campaign has responded in kind, working aggressively online to portray Sanders as the anti-Bloomberg and Bloomberg himself as a kind of mini-Trump. Sanders has called out Bloomberg on the campaign trail, but overall the spat has played out largely on Twitter, a platform on...

Christopher Caldwell’s big idea: The civil rights revolution was a mistake

America is a divided country. If I asked you to work backwards to the origins of the culture war or to the event that set us on our current course, what would it be? Vietnam? Watergate? The Iraq War? Donald Trump? A new book by Christopher Caldwell, an influential conservative journalist, proffers a surprising answer: the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Caldwell’s book, The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties, has become a must-read among right-leaning intellectuals. The book isn’t exactly an assault on the initial Civil Rights Act so much as an attack on its legal outgrowths. Caldwell doesn’t...

Vox’s guide to the 2020 presidential candidates

The 2020 presidential race is officially underway, and several Democrats are hoping to take their shot at unseating President Trump. Former VP Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg have emerged as early frontrunners in the crowded field, but there are still a total of eight Democrats vying for their shot. Now that the primaries have begun, the candidates are touring the nation and raising money as they attempt to establish frontrunner status and build momentum through early primary state wins. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know...

Why Congress and the Pentagon are tussling over US troops in...

The Trump administration might want US troops who have been fighting for years in Western Africa to get out. But a testy argument between the Pentagon and members of Congress over the weekend shows that doing so could be politically difficult for the president. Back in December, multiple reports indicated Defense Secretary Mark Esper was weighing options for a reduction — or even a complete withdrawal — of US service personnel in West Africa. According to a US Africa Command spokesperson, there are currently approximately 1,200 US personnel (including military personnel, civilians, and contractors) in all of West Africa, the...

Ring is finally requiring a basic security feature to help prevent...

Following a spate of customer complaints and lawsuits that claimed Amazon’s Ring home surveillance system left customers vulnerable to hacks, the company announced Tuesday that it’s finally making two-factor authentication mandatory for its devices. Also, following reports that the company’s apps shared personal information with third parties, Ring said it was suspending third-party analytics services and giving customers the ability to opt out of data sharing with advertisers. Now that Ring is rolling out two-factor authentication for all its apps and web services (including its social media platform Neighbors), customers trying to log into their...

Ta-Nehisi Coates on why political power isn’t enough for the right

This episode of The Ezra Klein Show was a pleasure. Ta-Nehisi Coates joined me in Brooklyn for part of the Why We’re Polarized tour. His description of the book may be my favorite yet. It is, he says, “a cold, atheist book.” We talk about what that means, and from there go into some of the harder questions raised not so much by the book but by American history itself. Then Coates asked me a question I never expected to hear from him: Is there anything I could say to leave him with some hope? Don’t miss this one. A...