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January 22, 2016
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Portland Community College officials are defending their decision to designate April "Whiteness History Month" after conservatives accused them of "white shaming." The course will examine how "whiteness as a social construct" has resulted in "the unequal distribution of power and privilege." A school spokesperson said the course isn’t intended to "shame or blame" anyone. The Week Staff

3:25 a.m. ET

For all the daredevils out there, there's a new thrill perched 1,000 feet above downtown Los Angeles: A 45-foot-long glass slide that propels you down from the 70th to the 69th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower.

The Skyslide opened on Saturday, and offers unparalleled views of the entire city. It's not for the faint of heart — the only things separating sliders from plummeting down to the concrete jungle below are pieces of glass just one-and one-quarter inches thick.

The entire trip lasts a few seconds (tickets start at $27, and include admission to four observation decks), and is actually pretty simple; you sit on a piece of carpet and then go zipping down the slide. In a way, it's kind of like starring in a live action version of Aladdin — you're flying high in the sky on a magic carpet, except this one doesn't have cute tassels, and only someone as diabolical as Jafar would think it's a good idea to go sliding down a piece of glass atop the tallest skyscraper in earthquake country. Be prepared to use all three of your wishes on making it out of Skyslide with your nerves intact. Catherine Garcia

3:23 a.m. ET

In the lead-up to the Rio Olympics, expect a lot of glowing "inspiration porn" about the athletes going for the gold, John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. "But while the Olympics feature thrilling displays of athletic prowess, they can also take place beneath the dark shadow caused by doping scandals. And this Olympics is no exception." Russia has the most colorful scandal, so Oliver started there. But while "Russia's track and field team is currently banned from competing at the upcoming Olympics," he said, "there's nothing new about this story. For as long as there's been science, people have used it to juice the human body."

Still, the prevalence of doping today is surprising, Oliver said, given the robust anti-doping measures taken by major sports federations. "Despite rigorous testing, athletes are clearly slipping through the cracks, for multiple reasons," he explained. "For a start, there are multiple tests, and none of them can detect the full range of drugs an athlete may be on." Oliver ran through some of the ways athletes cheat the system, and more entertainingly, some of the excuses they've used when they test positive. And they do it, he added, in part because "there is a massive financial ecosystem dependent on spectacular athletic achievement in scandal-free games."

Oliver returned to Russia, using its sandal to diagram the global anti-doping system and how they can break down. "While this clearly isn't the system we need, it might actually be the system we want," he added, with an assist from the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Russia isn't alone, either, he said. "Think of doping like Vladimir Putin: It's far from just a Russian problem, it's something that adversely affects the entire world." The answer is not to just give up and allow doping, but the world has two choices going forward, Oliver said: "If we truly want to clean up sports, we should empower WADA by making it truly independent, and put pressure on the broader sport system to aggressively combat doping. And if we don't really care enough to make changes, we should at the very least make our syrupy athlete promos a bit more honest." If you've ever watched Last Week Tonight, you know what comes next. Watch below (with requisite NSFW warning). Peter Weber

2:45 a.m. ET

While accepting the Humanitarian Award Sunday night at the BET Awards, actor Jesse Williams gave a powerful speech about race in America and the pressing need for equality.

The Grey's Anatomy star joined the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, and was also the executive producer of Stay Woke, a documentary out in May about Black Lives Matter. BET CEO Debra Lee said Williams received the award because of his "continued efforts and steadfast commitment to furthering social change," but he said the honor wasn't for him, but rather the "real organizers all over the country, the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do."

Williams said he also wanted to set a few things straight, primarily that "the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander — that's not our job so let's stop with all that. If you have a critique for our resistance then you'd better have an established record, a critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down." For centuries, "we've been floating this country on credit," Williams continued, and "we're done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars [and] our entertainment." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

1:37 a.m. ET

At least two suicide bombers carried out an attack early Monday in the Lebanese village of Qaa near the Syrian border, local media reports.

At least six people were killed, Al Jazeera says, and Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV reports at least 19 were wounded. Earlier, the broadcaster said two people carried out the attack, but later revised its report to say even more suicide bombers were involved. The village's mayor told Voice of Lebanon that all of the victims were civilians, and three of the injured are Lebanese soldiers. No group has claimed responsibility. Catherine Garcia

1:10 a.m. ET
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Spaniards were hoping for some clarity in national election on Sunday, but collectively they appear to have endorsed the gridlock that has prevented the formation of a new government since similarly inconclusive elections in December. As in the last vote, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party won the most seats, 137 (up from 123), but was again shy of the 176 seats need for a majority in the 350-seat parliament. The opposition Socialist Party won 85 seats (down from 90), while two relatively new parties, the leftist, anti-austerity Unidos Podemos party and center-right Ciudananos came in third and fourth, with 71 seats and 32 seats, respectively.

Rajoy declared victory Sunday night, telling supporters in Madrid that "we have won the elections, we demand the right to govern." The election came three days after Britain voted to leave the European Union, and Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias said his party isn't anti-EU, telling the BBC that he's "sad" about Brexit and that his party hopes "for a different Europe, we will fight for a Europe with social rights as a reality, and we are for Europe and the people in Europe." Peter Weber

1:10 a.m. ET
Jacky Naegelen/AFP/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are on the same page when it comes to dealing with the UK's decision to leave the EU.

An aide to Hollande told Reuters the pair had a 30 minute phone conversation on Sunday to discuss the aftermath of the Brexit vote, and "noted their full agreement on how to handle the situation created by the British referendum." They talked about setting specific priorities and "hoped for full clarity to avoid uncertainties," the aide said. Merkel will host Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and European Council President Donald Tusk Monday in Berlin to further discuss the matter.

Hollande said it's important for there to be a united front, since "separated, we run the risk of divisions, dissension, and quarrels," and added that what "was once unthinkable has become irreversible." While the European Commission's president said the UK's withdrawal from the EU should start "immediately," Merkel's chief of staff doesn't think there's a need to rush. "Politicians in London should take the time to reconsider the consequences of the Brexit decision‚ but by that I emphatically do not mean Brexit itself," Peter Altmaier said. Catherine Garcia

12:27 a.m. ET
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Donald Trump is returning from a weekend in Scotland to a terrible new poll from The Washington Post/ABC News, and while he'll likely ignore the survey, other Republicans might be concerned. In the poll, conducted June 20-23, Hillary Clinton opens up a 12-point lead, beating Trump 51 percent to 39 percent among registered voters; in the last Washington Post/ABC News survey in May, Trump led Clinton 46 percent to 44 percent. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, also released Sunday, Clinton leads Trump by just 5 points, 46 percent to 41 percent.

Clinton's rise is due in part to supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders coming over to Clinton's side — in the May Washington Post/ABC News poll, 20 percent of Sanders voters said they would support Trump, versus 8 percent in the new poll — but mostly because of Trump's unforced errors. For example, 68 percent of voters (including 39 percent of Republicans) said Trump's comments about Judge Gonzalo Cureil, who is overseeing a Trump University fraud lawsuit, were racist, and 85 percent said they were inappropriate, including 71 percent of Republicans. Voters approved of Clinton's response to the Orlando nightclub massacre over Trump's by an 18-point margin, and 66 percent of voters said Trump's comments about women, minorities, and Muslims are "unfairly biased."

It's not all great news for Clinton — 56 percent in the Washington Post/ABC poll disapprove of her handing of email while secretary of state, 18 percent who think Trump is racist plan to vote for him anyway, and Trump leads her 64 percent to 26 percent among the 56 percent of voters who want the next president to lead the country in a new direction. (Confusingly, President Obama's approval rating is 56 percent in the poll.) But 61 percent of voters said Clinton is qualified to be president, while 64 percent say Trump is not qualified, including 56 percent who say they feel that strongly and almost a third of Republicans.

In both the Washington Post/ABC poll, which has a margin of error of ±4 points, and the WSJ/NBC poll, with a ±3.1 points margin of error, 79 percent of Republicans backed Trump, while at least 85 percent of Democrats supported Clinton. When Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party's Jill Stein were included, Clinton's lead shrank to 1 point in the WSJ/NBC poll (Johnson: 10 percent; Stein 6 percent), while in the Washington Post/ABC poll she retained a 10-point lead over Trump (Johnson: 7 percent; Stein: 3 percent). Peter Weber

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