The Week: Most Recent Home Page Posts recent posts.en-usMon, 22 Dec 2014 07:44:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Home Page Posts from THE WEEKMon, 22 Dec 2014 07:44:00 -0500Icelandic hotel is really sorry for selling 'Apartheid' cocktail</P><p>The Hotel Reykjavik Marina, owned by Icelandair, found itself in a social media scandal when Twitter users noticed an "Apartheid" cocktail on the hotel menu.</p><p>When the image was first spotted on Twitter, Icelandair responded, "Simply scrumptious, enjoy! Happy holidays," unaware of the situation.</p><center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The Apartheid cocktail, on sale at the Marina Hotel, Reykjavik (owner: @Icelandair)</p>&mdash; AFRICA IS A COUNTRY (@AfricasaCountry) December 19, 2014</blockquote></center><p>Icelandair later issued a full apology, saying a staff member was "unaware" of the word's meaning for South Africa's...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/meghan-demaria" ><span class="byline">Meghan DeMaria</span></a>Mon, 22 Dec 2014 07:44:00 -0500China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war<img src="" /></P><p class="Body">Over the last several months, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party have repeatedly exhorted the People's Liberation Army to "be ready to win a war." Xi has repeatedly called for greater military modernization, increased training, and enhanced overall readiness of the Chinese army, navy, and air force.</p><p class="Body">These repeated calls have alarmed China's neighbors from New Delhi to Washington. The question on everyone's mind: what is all this preparation for?</p><p class="Body">Is the Chinese leadership preparing for something? Are they gearing up for a military operation, or merely the option to carry...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/kyle-mizokami" ><span class="byline">Kyle Mizokami</span></a>Mon, 22 Dec 2014 07:01:00 -0500The religious right isn't retreating -- it's reforming<img src="" /></P><p>Late last month, <em>First Things</em> magazine published a brief article arguing that pastors whose beliefs do not permit them to officiate same-sex weddings should withdraw from participating in government-sanctioned marriage entirely, thereby drawing "a clear distinction between the government-enforced legal regime of marriage and the biblical covenant of marriage." The conservative publication also hosted a pledge to the same effect. Hundreds of pastors have signed, agreeing that preservation of religious liberty and biblical faith requires such abstention.</p><p>Predictably, the pledge made headlines. ...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Bonnie KristianMon, 22 Dec 2014 06:00:00 -0500Serial investigates the mystery of Santa Claus in delightful Saturday Night Live parody</P><p>The hit podcast <em>Serial</em> wrapped up its run this week, but devoted listeners already have a new mystery to follow along with, courtesy of <em>Saturday Night Live</em>. That's because the show this weekend delved into the legend of Santa Claus, perfectly aping the podcast's form, tone, and distinctive theme song as it endeavored to separate fact from elfin fiction. --<em>Jon Terbush</em></p><center><iframe width="600" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></center> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Sun, 21 Dec 2014 14:40:00 -0500Ismail Kadare's 6 favorite books<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong> Inferno</strong> by Dante Alighieri (Signet, $6). The first book in Dante's <em>Divine Comedy</em> can be characterized, in the most universal terms, as a forewarning in every age for the collective human consciousness.</p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Don Quixote</strong> by Miguel de Cervantes (Oxford, $10). <em>Don Quixote</em> is another universal story, because it contrasts the life we live with the one we erroneously dream we are living.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Dead Souls</strong> by Nikolai Gogol (Vintage, $16). Gogol's 1842 novel incorporates the two aforementioned masterpieces. The idea originated with the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, who suggested in a letter to Gogol that he should...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 21 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0500Rudy Giuliani ties Obama to NYC cop killing</P><p>Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Sunday said President Obama's rhetoric surrounding recent police killings of unarmed civilians was "propaganda" that fomented anti-police sentiment in the country.</p><p>Speaking on Fox News one day after a gunman who posted anti-police messages on social media killed two NYPD officers, Giuliani assailed politicians whom he claimed encouraged protesters and were "separating the community from the police."</p><p>"We've had four months of propaganda &mdash; starting with the president &mdash; that everybody should hate the police," Giuliani said. --<em>Jon Terbush</em></p><center><iframe width="600" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></center> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:52:00 -0500How to build a beautiful gingerbread farm<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Welcome to my farm, where fresh coconut snow is always on the ground and life smells of cinnamon and dark chocolate. As I take you on this tour, please feel free to interact with the buildings: Nibble on the doors, have a bite of the gravel roads, lick the windows &mdash; it's all edible! (And not in a Violet Beauregarde way, I promise.) This is a three-day tour, so your legs may get a bit tired, but don't worry: A blue raspberry hot tub awaits you at the end.</p><p><strong>First, let's discuss the walls on this farm.</strong> They are built to withstand nearly every natural disaster: harsh Midwest winters, swinging...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Molly YehSun, 21 Dec 2014 12:00:00 -0500John McCain: Sony hack a 'new kind of warfare'</P><p>Rebuffing President Obama, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday suggested that North Korea's cyberattack on Sony Pictures was indeed an act of war.</p><p>"The president does not understand that this is a manifestation of a new form of warfare," McCain said on CNN's <em>State of the Union</em>. "When you destroy economies, when you are able to impose censorship on the world and especially the United States of America, it's more than vandalism."</p><p>Earlier in the program, Obama told CNN the attack was not an act of war but rather "an act of cybervandalism that was very costly."--<em>Jon Terbush</em></p><center><div ></div></center> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:55:00 -0500Dr. Evil hijacks SNL to diss North Korea and Sony</P><p>Dr. Evil is a bumbling wannabe super villain, but even he thinks North Korea is failing at this whole evildoer business.</p><p>Former <em>Saturday Night Live</em> star Mike Myers returned to the show this weekend in the character of his <em>Austin Powers</em> bad guy, hijacking the broadcast to deliver an important message: "I've preempted this program because I'm furious that North Korea and Sony Pictures have given evil a bad name." --<em>Jon Terbush</em></p><center><iframe width="600" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></center> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:39:00 -0500New York police turn backs on Mayor de Blasio to protest cop killings</P><p>The tension between New York City police and Mayor Bill de Blasio reached a new low point Saturday when members of the police force symbolically turned their backs on the mayor as he arrived for a press conference to discuss the murder of two police officers.</p><p>The spat began when de Blasio, responding to a grand jury's decision to not bring charges in the Eric Garner chokehold case, said police sometimes treat people differently because of their race. Outraged and feeling as if they'd been thrown under the bus, officers then threatened to ban the mayor from police funerals.</p><p>Following Saturday...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:16:00 -0500This little girl's ASL version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas will make your heart grow 3 sizes<img src="" /></P><p>Last year a little Deaf girl named Shaylee stole our hearts with her adorable and linguistically sophisticated sign language performance of<em> The Night Before Christmas</em>. This year the ASL learning site ASLnook (run by her parents Sheena McFeely and Manny Johnson) features a new performance by Shaylee in which she tells the story of How the<em> Grinch Stole Christmas</em>. You can see her above, with her hair done up like Cindy Lou, bringing the story to life.</p><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p>Once again she expresses the full range of her linguistic and storytelling skills, deftly shifting among the perspectives of many characters. To...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/arika-okrent" ><span class="byline">Arika Okrent</span></a>Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:00:00 -0500Al Qaeda condemns Taliban massacre of Pakistani children: 'Our hearts are bursting with pain'</P><p>A regional al Qaeda branch on Sunday condemned the Taliban's slaughter last week of 149 Pakistanis at a school in Peshawar.</p><p>"Our hearts are bursting with pain and grief over this incident," Osama Mehmood, a spokesman for the group's South Asia chapter, said. While reaffirming its opposition to the U.S. and Pakistan, the group added that the attack &mdash; which resulted in the death of 132 students &mdash; had "crossed the limit."</p><p>Pakistani security forces on Saturday said they killed five members of the Taliban in the area.</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Sun, 21 Dec 2014 10:12:00 -050010 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014<img src="" /></P><p><strong>1. Gunman kills two NYC cops in ambush shooting</strong><br />A lone gunman on Saturday shot and killed two New York City police officers in Brooklyn before taking his own life in an armed standoff. The shooter, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, shot his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore earlier Saturday before heading north and vowing on social media to kill police officers. Police said Brinsley killed officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos while they sat in a parked squad car, and then fled into a nearby subway station where he shot himself. Police Commissioner William Bratton called the attack an assassination, saying...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Sun, 21 Dec 2014 09:53:00 -0500Obama: North Korean cyberattack on Sony not an act of war</P><p>President Obama on Sunday said the U.S. would weigh whether to add North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terror, though he stopped short of calling the Sony Pictures cyberattack an act of war.</p><p>"I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive," Obama said on CNN's <em>State of the Union</em>. "We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately."</p><p>The federal government last week confirmed speculation that North Korea was behind the attack. Days earlier, Sony decided to nix a buddy comedy that had been scheduled for a Christmas release about the assassination...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Sun, 21 Dec 2014 09:26:00 -0500How Wall Street is chipping away at reform<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">After the financial crisis, Washington vowed to never again let Wall Street "write the rule book for itself," said Edward Luce at the <em>Financial Times</em>. How quaint that promise seems today. Four years after lawmakers passed the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, Wall Street is busy "arm-twisting Congress" to roll back some of the law's toughest rules. Earlier this month, on the brink of a government shutdown, an item written by Citigroup lobbyists was quietly slipped into the $1.1 trillion spending bill. It allows banks to resume trading risky derivatives in their units backed by taxpayers, reversing...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 21 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500How I lost all my money<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong><span class="s1">THE RICH ARE </span></strong>all alike, to revise Tolstoy's famous words, but the poor are poor in their own particular ways.</p><p class="p2"><span class="s1">I have some personal experience here. Like a lot of other people, I started life comfortably middle class, maybe upper-middle class; now, like a lot of other people walking the streets of America today, I am poor. To put it directly, I have no money. Does this embarrass me? Of course it embarrasses me &mdash; and a lot of other things as well. It's humiliating to be poor, to be dependent on the kindness of family and friends and government subsidies. But it sure is an education.</span></p><p class="p2"><span class="s1">If money...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By William McPhersonSun, 21 Dec 2014 08:00:00 -0500