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December 7, 2017

Anderson Cooper's interview with Janet Porter, spokeswoman for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, got off to a testy start Wednesday night, with Cooper asking why Alabamians should believe Moore over the several women who accuse him of predatory sexual behavior when they were teenagers.

"Your campaign has blamed an awful lot of people for accusations being made by women against Roy Moore," he said, listing "Doug Jones, George Soros, the DNC, Mitch McConnell, mainstream Republicans, The Washington Post, the 'lynch mob media' as you called them, homosexuals, transgender people, and criminals. Can you just explain to me how all these people got together and came up with this plot against Roy Moore? ... I don't know if there's like a conference call that Mitch McConnell and radical homosexuals are on, but it would be fascinating to hear that." "When you have false allegations that are generated by The Washington Post, there tends to be a pile-on," Porter said. "That's how a lynch mob works."

Cooper noted that Moore has spoken about abortion and gun rights, then asked "where the judge stands on a number of issues that he's spoken of in the past but not as much recently." Porter said she didn't know if Moore still believes that homosexual conduct should be illegal, that 9/11 may have happened because "we've distanced ourselves from God," that U.S. Muslims shouldn't be allowed to serve in Congress, or that Barack Obama was born outside the U.S.

"You know, you can ridicule Biblical beliefs if you want, but it's not going to fly in Alabama," Porter said. "I'm not ridiculing," Cooper said, "I'm giving you quotes of exactly what your candidate has said, you're the spokesperson, and you ... seem either not to know what his positions are or unwilling to actually tell me what his positions are." Watch the entire interview, including Cooper's suggestion that Porter — from Ohio — is carpetbagging and lots of talk about the Bible, the Constitution, and Sharia law. Peter Weber

1:29 a.m. ET
AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

On Monday, the National Park Service announced it intends to allow hunters on some public lands in Alaska to lure brown bears with bacon and use spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs while they are hibernating in their dens.

In 2015, the Obama administration outlawed such hunting methods on federal lands, much to the dismay of big-game hunting organizations like the Safari Club. In March, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appointed several members of the Safari Club and other trophy hunters to a board that is advising him on how to conserve threatened and endangered wildlife. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Maria Gladziszewski told The Associated Press that her agency is "pleased to see the National Park Service working to better align federal regulations with state of Alaska hunting and trapping regulations."

Wildlife advocates like Collette Adkins, a lawyer and biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, said these are "cruel and harmful hunting methods" that "have no place on our national preserves," and Anna Frostic, a lawyer for the Humane Society of the United States, said "this proposed rule, which would allow inhumane killing of our native carnivores in a misguided attempt to increase trophy hunting opportunities, is unlawful and must not be finalized." Beginning Tuesday, the public has 60 days to provide comment on the proposed rules, and can do so by visiting this website and submitting a comment on "RIN (1024-AE38)" that includes the words "National Park Service" or "NPS." Catherine Garcia

1:05 a.m. ET

"Donald Trump is obsessed with his staff leaking information," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "You know how I know that? His staff leaked that information to The New York Times. And now Trump is determined to stop it at all costs — in fact, West Wing aides are instructed to drop their personal phones into a small storage locker when they come to work. Wait a second! They're taking away the phones of everyone except Donald Trump? That's like saying, 'No one can bring knives to work — except you, O.J.'"

"Now if this sounds paranoid, it's only because it is," Colbert said. "Here's the thing: During the campaign, Trump aides were afraid that whatever they said to him would end up in the press, and behind his back they called him 'leaker in chief.'" He made a show of resisting the inevitable joke down that just couldn't be contained: "More like 'leaker on sheets' — damn you, Satan!" Colbert had another faux-illicit pee-pee joke and ended up talking to an imaginary Trump on a banana, Trump-style. Watch below. Peter Weber

12:59 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When President Trump welcomed someone named Melanie Trump home from the hospital this weekend, there was never any doubt that the tweet was composed by the man himself — but maybe there should have been.

Trump is known for firing off tweets at all hours of the day, and they often have misspellings, typos, and other errors. It's been assumed that he crafted most of his more colorful messages, with the rambling sentences and random capitalization a sure sign of authentic authorship, but two White House staffers told The Boston Globe that aides are drafting tweets that are indistinguishable from posts written by Trump.

When someone wants Trump to tweet about a specific issue, they write him a memo and include three or four sample tweets that follow Trump's style down to the excessive exclamation points. Trump chooses the one he likes best, the staffers told the Globe, and while he sometimes will tweak it a bit, he often tweets messages as is. While aides do try to channel their inner Trump when drafting the tweets, they draw the line at misspelling words and names on purpose.

There are other clues, too. The staffers said that if there are photos attached to a tweet or hashtags, assume that an aide tweeted for Trump, and even if the tweet is difficult to decipher, that doesn't mean anything — the staffers are becoming experts at mimicking Trump's distinctive style of tweeting, and think typos and errors appeal to the average American. As Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, noted to the Globe, "Grammatical conventions tend to be elitist and always have been." Catherine Garcia

12:19 a.m. ET
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Among the 10 students and teachers murdered at Santa Fe High School near Houston last Friday was Sabika Sheikh, a foreign exchange student from Pakistan who was about 20 days away from returning home after her year abroad. Her murder, by a 17-year-old male classmate, "just shows how ironic life can be," Pakistani author Bina Shah told PRI's The World on Monday. "Pakistan is always perceived as unsafe for children, especially with Taliban attacks on schools here, so this was just not something anybody could have expected."

"Our perceptions of our own country's safety and security, versus our perceptions of the United States and the larger Western Hemisphere as relatively safer, are all turned upside down," Shah told host Marco Worman. "However, thanks to world media, we do know about the problem of school shootings. Every time one of these things happens, we get to see it here on cable news — CNN, BBC, we have it all here. So we're aware of this problem and we — you known, Pakistanis can't understand, they just can't understand why there are no gun control laws that would stop school shootings from happening again and again and again."

"If you ask Pakistanis how they see violence in the U.S., what is likely to be their response?" Worman asked. "People understand terrorist violence, they understand that kind of thing, but they don't understand children taking up guns and going into the schools and shooting each other, shooting their classmates, shooting their teachers," Shah said. "But we're kind of relating it to our own problems with extremist violence. We're kind of saying: You have your types of terrorism and we have ours, and it's just really a tragedy that one of our children got caught up with your kind of terrorism, with your kind of extremism."

You can listen to the entire interview, plus more on Sheikh's life, in the first segment below. Peter Weber

12:12 a.m. ET
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While helping his son apply to colleges, Freddie Sherrill, 65, heard something that surprised him: You should go to school, too.

As a child in North Carolina, Sherrill had difficulty learning to read and write, and he started to act out. He began skipping school at 8, and while hanging out with teenagers, he tried wine for the first time. Sherrill told The Washington Post that he was a shy child, and he finally "felt like I fit in." He then broke into houses and stole purses, and became addicted to drugs and alcohol.

After several stints in prison and rehab, Sherrill was "tired of hurting everybody around me," he says, and in 1988 he stopped drinking and doing drugs. Sherrill slowly rebuilt his life — he repaired his relationships with his wife and children, took literacy classes so he could learn how to read and write, and eventually, after eight years, he earned an associate's degree. "I spent a lot of time taking chances doing negative things," he said. "It was time for me to start taking chances doing positive things."

When it came time for his son to go to college, he helped him with his paperwork, and the staff at Queens University of Charlotte told Sherrill that he should also consider applying. His son ultimately enrolled at North Carolina A&T University, and Sherrill came up with a challenge: whoever got the best GPA at the end of each semester would give the other $100. His son graduated and is now a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch, and Sherrill, after seven years, received his degree in human service studies earlier this month. "I started a lot of things in my life I didn't finish," he told the Post. "College wasn't going to be one of them." Catherine Garcia

May 21, 2018
Ian Waldie/Getty Images

A tech company that received more than $3 million from supporters through Kickstarter and Indiegogo announced this weekend that it has run out of money, and thousands of people who pre-ordered their product — headphones with surround sound used for virtual reality — are out of luck.

Ossic sold 22,000 pre-orders for its OSSIC X headphones, which cost between $200 and $300, but only 250 backers ever received a pair. The headphones were an "ambitious and expensive product to develop," Ossic said, and "what made this project so exciting, and ultimately ended up being its Achilles heel, was the complexity and scope." Over the last six months, "dedicated" employees worked for free, "doing anything they could to try and make the company succeed," Ossic said, but it wasn't enough.

The company, which also received millions of dollars from angel investors, said it would need more than $2 million in additional funds to be able to deliver headphones to everyone who placed a pre-order. "Inventing something new while also developing complex hardware is expensive," Ossic said, adding that the "unknowns that come from ground-up development with so many new features ultimately stacked up to create delays and cost overruns." In 2016, Ossic said these headphones of the future would be able to sense ear shapes and customize sound for each person, Business Insider reports. Catherine Garcia

May 21, 2018
Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images

Over the last three days, a heatwave has killed at least 65 people in Karachi, the biggest city in Pakistan.

On Monday, the temperature reached 111 degrees Fahrenheit, and extreme temperatures are expected through Thursday. There have been several power outages, and because it is the holy month of Ramadan, most Muslims are not eating or drinking during daylight hours.

Faisal Edhi, the owner of a company that runs morgues and an ambulance service, told Reuters that most of the people who have died "work around heaters and boilers in textile factories," and lived in the poorer areas of Karachi. He said that most doctors agree they died of heatstroke, but the health secretary of Sindh province said he "categorically" rejects the idea that anyone died in Karachi from heatstroke, since "only doctors and hospitals can decide" the cause of death. In 2015, at least 1,300 people, most of them ill or very old, died in a heatwave. Catherine Garcia

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