The Week: Most Recent Speed Reads Posts recent posts.en-usWed, 30 Jul 2014 10:30:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Speed Reads Posts from THE WEEKWed, 30 Jul 2014 10:30:00 -0400Pope Francis unveils his top 10 secrets to happiness</P><p>In a new interview with the <em>Catholic News Service</em>, Pope Francis provides his greatest tips for a happy life.</p><p>His top suggestion? "Live and let live," which isn't too surprising, given his famous remarks about the gay community ("Who am I to judge?").</p><p>Francis' other tips include being generous, relaxing and turning off the TV, and fighting toward peace. In true Pope Francis fashion, he also denounces being overly preachy in pursuit of Christianity:</p><p >We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/meghan-demaria" ><span class="byline">Meghan DeMaria</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:30:00 -0400Weird Twitter interviews Glenn Greenwald</P><p>Last week, anonymous Twitter users @crushingbort and @blippoblappo assembled damning evidence that BuzzFeed's Benny Johnson had repeatedly plagiarized Wikipedia and other sources, forcing editor Ben Smith to fire him. (<em>Talking Points Memo</em> had an excellent interview with the two.)</p><p>But this wasn't the first outbreak of serious journalism from the weird corners of Twitter. Some months ago tweeters @violentfanon, @swarthyvillain, @dankmtl, and @lindsberty started a podcast called the Emoprog Army Radio Hour. It's a shoestring operation, but on Tuesday (also with @samknight1) they landed an interview...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:15:00 -0400Girls' Allison Williams will star in NBC's Peter Pan Live</P><p>NBC has announced that Allison Williams will be playing the titular role in its upcoming production <em>Peter Pan Live</em>.</p><p>"We couldn't be happier that Allison Williams is our Peter Pan," Robert Greenblatt<strong>, </strong>chair of NBC Entertainment, told <em>The Hollywood Reporter</em>. Williams joins previously-announced star Christopher Walken, who will play Captain Hook. <em>Peter Pan Live </em>will air on Dec. 4.</p><p>Williams has demonstrated her singing ability before &mdash; both in the viral video that made her famous and <em>Girls</em>, where her talents have been mostly used for more cringe-worthy purposes.</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/meghan-demaria" ><span class="byline">Meghan DeMaria</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:54:00 -0400Daniel Radcliffe infiltrated Comic-Con disguised as Spider-Man</P><p>In his ongoing quest to prove he is Harry Potter no more, Daniel Radcliffe eschewed an invisibility cloak for a slightly more basic disguise at last weekend's Comic-Con convention.</p><p>"I went as Spider-Man, which has no relevance to anything I do," Radcliffe told the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>. "It's just a great superhero, and one I fancied myself playing. That was the superhero I was convinced for a brief period of time I would one day turn into."</p><p>Maybe it's a British thing, considering fellow English actor Maisie Williams (<em>Game of Thrones</em>' Arya Stark) also donned a Spidey disguise in order to wander through...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sarah-eberspacher" ><span class="byline">Sarah Eberspacher</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:44:00 -0400Turkey's deputy Prime Minister: Women shouldn't laugh out loud</P><p>Turkey's deputy prime minister, B&uuml;lent Arinc, has some interesting advice for women: They should avoid laughing in public.</p><p>"A man should be moral, but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent," Arinc said during a speech on Monday while celebrating the Bayram holiday at the end of Ramadan. "She should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times."</p><p>Arinc said that society's morals have declined, and took aim at Turkey's soap operas, which Arinc claims promote "lax lifestyles." He went on to decry the use...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/meghan-demaria" ><span class="byline">Meghan DeMaria</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:25:00 -0400U.S. GDP surged 4 percent in Q2</P><p>The BLS' first measurement of Q2 GDP growth is out &mdash; and it brings two pleasant surprises.</p><p>The economy expanded at a 4 percent annualized rate, significantly above the 3 percent rate that economists had expected.</p><p>And first quarter GDP &mdash; which had been shown to have contracted at a 2.9 percent annualized rate, a slip mostly attributed to unseasonably bad weather &mdash; was revised from new data to have only contracted at 2.1 percent.</p><p>So, strong second quarter growth more than made up for the first quarter setback, setting the stage for strong overall 2014 growth and a continued recovery...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:52:00 -0400Israel's 'Iron Dome' contractors reportedly hacked by China</P><p>Three of the defense contractors who built Israel's "Iron Dome," a shield that protects Israel from missiles, have been hacked by China, according to cybersecurity firm Cyber Engineering Services, Inc. (CyberESI).</p><p><em>Krebs on Security</em> reports that "huge quantities" of documents about the Iron Dome's technology were stolen, and more than 700 files in all were compromised. The attacks are reported to have occurred between October 2011 and August 2012, but they had not been publicized prior to this week.</p><p>The hackers, who are allegedly members of the China-based "Comment Crew," got into the networks...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/meghan-demaria" ><span class="byline">Meghan DeMaria</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:48:00 -0400European ransom payments now bankroll al Qaeda</P><p>European governments have quietly paid al Qaeda between $125 million and $165 million in ransoms for kidnapping victims since 2008, including at least $66 million in the past year alone, according to a <em>New York Times</em> investigation. The money, funneled through intermediaries, is sometimes disguised as development aid. Counterterrorism officials believe the payoffs now overshadow cash from big donors as al Qaeda's main funding source. Read <em>The New York Times</em>' full report here.</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:25:00 -0400Yosemite fire threatens giant redwoods</P><p>A wildfire in Yosemite National Park grew on Tuesday, expanding to 3,060 acres and temporarily cutting off access to some of the California park. The flames threatened a grove of giant redwoods and forced authorities to close three campgrounds at the height of the summer tourist season. The fire was the latest in a flare-up caused by extreme drought conditions affecting 80 percent of the state. Read more about the wildfire at <em>USA Today</em>.</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:08:00 -0400Germany now gets 28.5 percent of its total energy from renewables</P><p>I have been convinced for a long while that renewable energy, particularly solar, is on a pathway to becoming the world's dominant form of energy. (And it's not just me &mdash; even Big Oil agrees that solar power will eventually win out.)</p><p>But I expected that expansion of renewables would only really begin to take off once the price of renewables fell below that of conventional fuels. And while the price of renewables is falling and falling, it still isn't cheaper in most countries (although, it is on course to be be cheaper than coal and nuclear by the end of the decade).</p><p>Still, that hasn't...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:56:00 -0400