22 – 28 June 2015
The Week in Review is a weekly column that highlights some interesting, outraging, and heartwarming events and stories of the past week. Its ambition is not to be exhaustive or to recap major political events; it’s more of a personal take on news or stories that made the author react strongly.
by Marie Baleo
Heartwarming News of the Week
Although he claims his best week ever was actually the one he married Michelle, we all know Barack Obama had a pretty stellar time last week.
On Thursday 25 June, the Supreme Court ruled that Obama’s healthcare law, a landmark bill which will feature prominently in the President’s legacy, in effect allowed the federal government to grant underprivileged and middle class individuals tax subsidies in order for them to purchase health insurance.
In January, four cases found their way onto the Supreme Court docket, with, at their heart, the question of whether a State has the right to ban or refuse to recognize gay marriages. In a decision known as Obergefell rendered on Friday 26 June 2015, a majority of 5 Supreme Court Justices (among which everyone’s favorite justice, the notorious RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg) against 4 found a constitutional right for gay couples to marry.
Terrible News of the Week
On 26 June, three separate terrorist attacks took place on three different continents.
In Saint-Quentin Fallavier, a small town in the French departement of Isère, a man was beheaded and an industrial gas factory attacked by a young Islamist delivery driver who claimed his allegiance to Daesh. Meanwhile, in Kuwait City, an attack claimed by ISIS killed 27 and wounded 227 at a Shi’a mosque. In a beach resort in the Tunisian town of Sousse, a lone gunman shot 39 persons, most of them European tourists, an attack also claimed by ISIS.
The question of the connectedness of these attacks has been raised, especially in light of a call by ISIS leader Abu Muhammad al Adnani to launch attacks during the Ramadan period. Some observers commented that although coordination between the attacks is not likely, the timing is a needed reminder of the growing Jihadi threat and a sad way to mark the first-year anniversary of the less-than-Islamic state.
Best Read of the Week
The brilliant Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings brings us a delightful look at a 23-year-old Eudora Welty’s witty, smart, and irresistible application to the New Yorker in 1933.
It is hard to understand how anyone could reject the author of the following lines:
“There is no telling where I may apply, if you turn me down; I realize this will not phase you, but consider my other alternative: the U of N.C. offers for $12.00 to let me dance in Vachel Lindsay’s Congo. I congo on.”
And though she never got to join the New Yorker’s ranks, Eudora Welty ended up doing just fine for herself. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Welty (1909-2001) was a well-loved writer whose body of work is forever associated with the American South.
Video of the Week
Last weekend, music enthusiasts at the infamous Glastonbury festival in England were informed by the ever-confident Kanye West of something no one suspected: mid-show, Kanye repeatedly shouted at the crowd: “you are watching the greatest living rock star on the planet!”
To add credibility to this statement, Kanye launched into what some people argue may have been a cover of Queen’s beloved “Bohemian Rhapsody” (hard to tell, as Kanye sang about 10 words and let the crowd do the rest of the work). In order to put Kanye’s earlier comment in perspective, radio station Q104.3FM uploaded the following short video.
Although Kanye may well be one of the most talented rappers of his generation, surely the title of world’s greatest rock star should best remain where it currently is: with the late Freddie Mercury.