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October 13, 2017
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On Friday, President Trump will largely wash his hands of the nuclear deal reached with Iran, Russia, China, and three European countries, according to a summary released by the White House late Thursday. Trump has long railed against the deal, grudgingly certifying Iran's compliance two times, and by announcing he is neither certifying it again nor trying to amend it for now, he will leave up to Congress whether to impose deal-wrecking sanctions.

Trump is encouraging Congress to establish "trigger points" on sanctions, but it is unclear if Congress will muster agreement to do anything. The New York Times describes the new Iran strategy as a "face-saving compromise" between Trump and his national security officials, who favor sticking with the Iran deal. Along with Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump was getting increasing pressure to not scrap the deal from people outside his administration like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, hawkish former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Uzi Arad, a former Israeli intelligence chief and top aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a strident critic of the deal.

Trump's new strategy "focuses on neutralizing the government of Iran's destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants," the White House summary says. Trump will announce plans to contain the Iranian Revolutionary Guards but not designated it a foreign terrorist organization, as threatened. Peter Weber

2:09 a.m. ET
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On Monday morning, 16 women who have come forward and accused President Trump of sexual misconduct will hold a press conference, calling on Congress to open an investigation into their allegations.

The press conference will start at 10:30 a.m. ET, shortly after three of the women — Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey, and Rachel Crooks — are scheduled to appear on Megyn Kelly Today to share their own stories. Leeds said that during a flight in the 1980s, Trump groped her, and Crooks said in 2005, while working as a receptionist for a company with an office in Manhattan's Trump Tower, she introduced herself to Trump while waiting for an elevator and he forcibly kissed her. Holvey said while competing as Miss North Carolina in the 2006 Miss USA pageant, Trump came backstage to ogle the women, telling CNN she felt as though "we were just sexual objects, we were not people."

Crooks told CNN in November it's been tough to watch as men accused of sexual misconduct, like producer Harvey Weinstein, have lost their jobs, while Trump is still in the White House, seemingly untouchable. "I think it's just evidence of sort of the political atmosphere these days, we're forgotten by politicians who think it's more convenient to keep Trump in office, you know, have him just sweeping his indiscretions under the rug." Trump has denied all of the accusations. Catherine Garcia

1:36 a.m. ET

Southern California is burning, just weeks after a sizable part of Northern California's wine country went up in flames. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) cites climate change as a significant contributing factor. "These fires are unprecedented, we've never seen anything like it," and "all hell's breaking loose," Brown said on Sunday night's 60 Minutes. "Scientists are telling us, this is the kind of stuff that's gonna happen," he said, and California is "not waiting for the deniers" to prepare for the new normal.

Brown said President Trump was wrong to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate change accord, making America the only country in the world that isn't a signatory, and when reporter Bill Whitaker asked if he's scared, Brown got biblical. "I don't think President Trump has a fear of the Lord, the fear of the wrath of God, which leads one to more humility," Brown said. "And this is such a reckless disregard for the truth and for the existential consequences that can be unleashed."

Before running for office, Trump wasn't viewed as particularly religious, though now he is very popular among certain groups of Christians. Brown spent three years studying to be a Catholic priest before leaving the seminary, getting a law degree, and becoming a four-term governor of California. On Sunday, Brown also made the business case for battling climate change.

The 79-year-old governor said this is his last go at politics, and he plans to retire in 2019 and spend time on his ranch. Peter Weber

1:21 a.m. ET
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Journalist Simeon Booker, who covered the civil rights movement for Ebony and Jet magazines and was the first full-time black reporter at The Washington Post, died Sunday in Maryland. He was 99.

His wife, Carol Booker, said he was recently hospitalized with pneumonia. Through his articles, people across the country were able to follow along with the civil rights movement, including the Montgomery bus boycott and the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery. Booker was with 14-year-old Emmett Till's mother when his mutilated body was returned from the Deep South to Chicago, and he published the photos from his funeral. It was a dangerous time to report on the story, he told The New York Times; one day, he went to Till's great uncle's house "and men in a car with guns forced us to stop." Booker, who often disguised himself as a minister or wore overalls to look like a sharecropper, also once had to hide in the back of a hearse to escape a mob.

When he joined the Post in the early 1950s, it wasn't easy, he said; Booker didn't fit in with his colleagues and "if I went out to a holdup, they thought I was one of the damn holdup men," he told the Post. "I couldn't get any cooperation." He departed for Jet and Ebony in 1954, eventually becoming the Washington bureau chief, but at the time was largely left out of news events because of his race. He ultimately had a long and successful career, covering 10 presidents, before he finally retired around his 90th birthday. He is survived by three children and several grandchildren. Catherine Garcia

12:42 a.m. ET
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A synthetic opioid called fentanyl, which can be 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine, is behind tens of thousands of the U.S. deaths last year in the opioid overdose and addiction crisis. Two states, Nevada and Nebraska, have plans to use fentanyl as the key ingredient in a lethal-injection cocktail as soon as January.

Doctors and opponents of capital punishment argue that the states are essentially performing medical experiments on death row inmates. Death penalty supporters blame the critics for the dearth of tested lethal-injection drugs, as pharmaceutical companies have refused to sell those drugs to the 31 states that have capital punishment. Either way, "there's cruel irony that at the same time these state governments are trying to figure out how to stop so many from dying from opioids, that they now want to turn and use them to deliberately kill someone," Austin Sarat, a law professor at Amherst College, tells The Washington Post.

Nevada would pair fentanyl with diazepam (Valium) and cisatracurium, a drug that paralyzes muscles, and Nebraska would use those three drugs plus potassium chloride to stop the heart. If the fentanyl and diazepam don't work or are administered incorrectly, "which has happened in many cases," the cisatracurium would leave the prisoner "awake and conscious, desperate to breathe and terrified but unable to move at all," said Mark Heath, an anesthesiology professor at Columbia. "It would be an agonizing way to die, but the people witnessing wouldn't know anything had gone wrong." And potassium chloride burns, he added, "so if you weren't properly sedated, a highly concentrated dose would feel like someone was taking a blowtorch to your arm and burning you alive." The doctors who came up with the cocktails say the drugs are meant to make the execution humane.

You can read more, plus a brief rundown of America's various tried and discarded execution methods, at The Washington Post. Peter Weber

December 10, 2017
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Every year, the pile of toys Nolan Adams, 11, brings to Sanford Children's Hospital in South Dakota grows.

While driving with his family to visit his grandmother four years ago, Adams heard a radio ad for the hospital. He asked his parents, Trisha and Jason, how many toys the kids there received during the holidays, and when they told him "not really as much as you," he got an idea. The family stopped and bought two presents — a toy truck and a stuffed animal — and dropped them off at the hospital, the beginning of a new family tradition.

Through his Nolan's Project, Adams raises money to buy gifts for the patients, delivering them in December. After his first small donation, Adams came back with 50 gifts, and the next year, 75 gifts. This year, he made his biggest donation yet, for 176 kids. "I want them to forget about what's gonna happen next and I just want them to forget about all that and live a normal happy life," Adams told KSFY. Last week, Adams presented some of the gifts to two patients who will be in the hospital through the holidays and one of their siblings, and his family said they'll support him doing this indefinitely. "It's really heartwarming and it makes me feel good about myself, and me and my grandma say, 'It's better to give than receive,'" Adams said. Catherine Garcia

December 10, 2017
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Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme apologized on Sunday for kicking a concert photographer in the face during a concert Saturday night, saying he was "in a state of being lost in performance" when it happened.

The band played the first night of L.A. radio station KROQ's annual Almost Acoustic Christmas concert, in front of a sold-out crowd. Chelsea Lauren told Variety she was taking photos in the pit when Homme came by, smiling. "The next thing I know his foot connects with my camera and my camera connects with my face, really hard," she said. "He looked straight at me, swung his leg back pretty hard, and full-blown kicked me in the face." She said it was "obviously very intentional" and when she went to the hospital for treatment, she was encouraged to press charges by people who looked at video shot of the incident.

In a statement, Homme said he knew he kicked over "various lighting and equipment" on stage, but didn't know until Sunday that "this included a camera held by photographer Chelsea Lauren. I did not mean for that to happen and I am very sorry." Lauren said that after he kicked her, Homme took out a knife and cut his forehead, and blood dripped down his face the rest of the night. He also called the audience "retards," Variety reports, told them to take off their pants, and insulted the next band to come on stage, Muse. Catherine Garcia

December 10, 2017
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The Thomas Fire that started in Southern California's Ventura County last Monday has burned over 200,000 acres, growing in size by more than 25,000 acres on Sunday and forcing more people to evacuate in Santa Barbara County.

The out-of-control fire crossed county lines on Saturday night, fueled by dry winds and air, and is only 15 percent contained. Officials say 88,000 people have had to flee their homes because of the fire, and estimate it has cost $25 million to fight it so far. There are 8,500 firefighters currently battling six fires burning across Southern California.

In Santa Barbara County, about 85,000 customers are without power, and several schools have already canceled classes on Monday. The Santa Barbara Zoo is outside of the evacuation area, but smoke is in the air and ash is falling on the property, forcing the zoo to put the animals in their night quarters. To keep them entertained, staffers are playing with the animals and giving them plenty of treats and toys. "The gorillas like music," director of marketing Dean Noble told the Los Angeles Times. Catherine Garcia

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