Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for a cruise missile attack against an oil facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.The missile hit a fuel tank at a Saudi Arabian Oil Co. facility on Monday morning, and an Energy Ministry official said the strike caused a fire. The facility is near the King Abdulaziz International Airport.In 2015, the Iranian-backed Houthis seized Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. Since then, a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the rebels, resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe. The Houthis have used cruise missiles against Saudi targets before, The Associated Press reports, with United Nations and Western officials accusing Iran of supplying the weapons, allegations Tehran has denied.A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Col. Turki al-Maliki, called the missile attack "cowardly," adding that it "not only targets the kingdom, but also targets the nerve center of the world's energy supply and the security of the global economy."More stories from theweek.com Biden's White House: 'Sipping unflavored almond milk' after guzzling vats of Tabasco for 4 years Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. I was wrong about Mitt Romney
A metal monolith has been found in the heart of Utah's red rock country by a state employee who was carrying out a count of bighorn sheep. The shiny structure was spotted by a biologist while conducting an aerial survey of southern Utah as part of a programme to double the number of sheep in the area. Bret Hutchings, the helicopter pilot, was dumbfounded. “That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying," he told the local tv news channel, KSLTV. “I’d say it’s probably between 10 and 12 feet high,” he added. “We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it.” How the monolith got there remains a mystery. According to Mr Hutchings it was not just dropped in place, but firmly planted into the ground. He speculated the piece was a work of art deposited in the middle of nowhere by what he described as a "new wave" artist - perhaps inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey".
President Donald Trump gave some ground on Monday to allow Joe Biden's transition to the presidency after the ranks grew of prominent Republicans calling for Trump to end efforts to overturn his election defeat. Twenty days after Election Day, most members of Trump's party still refused on Monday to refer to Biden as president-elect, or question Trump's insistence - without evidence - that he only lost on Nov. 3 because of fraud. Trump gave the go-ahead for federal funds to start flowing to Biden so that he can carry out his transition duties before his Jan. 20 inauguration as the 46th U.S. president.
For years, chains have been battling against a federal minimum wage hike. Now, in 2020, some are giving up the fight.
Authorities filed additional charges Monday against a 23-year-old man in a shooting at a Nebraska fast food restaurant in which two employees were killed and two others were wounded. The two employees who were hospitalized are Zoey Reece Atalig Lujan, 18, and Kenneth Gerner, 25.
In the annals of great escapes, vaulting the barbed wire, heavily-surveilled fence that separates the mined no-man’s land between North and South Korea would surely feature strongly. According to the South Korean media this week, a defector who evaded security in one of the most dangerous border crossings of the world on November 3 was a former gymnast who managed to swing himself over the imposing barricades, reportedly without triggering key sensors. The authorities vowed to investigate why high-tech security systems did not work. “We will look into why the sensors did not ring and make sure they operate properly,” an official told Yonhap news agency. The man, reported to be wearing blue civilian clothes and in his twenties, later surrendered after a manhunt by the South Korean military units who discovered a breach of the fence. He was detained without incident just under a mile south of the fence and has asked for asylum.
President Trump lost his bid for re-election by 6 million votes and counting, and 74 electoral votes, and his legal team is consistently losing its court battles to disqualify President-elect Joe Biden's voters. And yet he persists, even as a growing number of Republicans are urging him to concede — or at least allow the Biden team to start its transition. So why does Trump keep slogging on? One theory being pushed by some of his supporters and allies is revenge."Trump told an ally that he knows he lost, but that he is delaying the transition process and is aggressively trying to sow doubt about the election results in order to get back at Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, especially with the Russia investigation," CNN reports, citing a source familiar with Trump's thinking. Pointing to "those who he claims undercut his election by pointing to Russian interference efforts," Trump "has suggested it is fair game to not recognize Joe Biden as the president-elect.""Will anyone be honest enough to acknowledge that most of what is happening right now has more to do with payback for how the Democrats behaved after 2016 then [sic] about legitimate claims of fraud in the election?" asked Erick Erickson, a sometime Trump critic on the right. Washington Post columnist Daniel Drezner responded by efficiently dismantling this "false equivalence between 2016 and 2020."The simpler explanation is that Trump always alleges fraud when he loses — and even when he wins — and that's just who he is: a sore loser.> Not just the 2016 Iowa caucuses, but popular vote in 2016, Arizona Senate race in 2018, and the results in 2012, when Trump was tweeting from the sidelines. It's not "revenge for the Russia investigation," Trump just says everything he loses was stolen. https://t.co/ZpViWOCpKh> > — Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 21, 2020The Washington Post complied a highlight reel of Trump's fraud claims.One piece of evidence bolstering this theory comes from Trump himself, who told CNN's Chris Cuomo in August 2015 that National Review's Rich Lowry is "probably right. I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine because I want to win. And I'm not happy if I'm not winning. And I am a whiner. And I'm a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win."More stories from theweek.com Biden's White House: 'Sipping unflavored almond milk' after guzzling vats of Tabasco for 4 years Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. I was wrong about Mitt Romney
"I think it's important that we don't change behavior solely on the basis of vaccination," Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said.
Masked law enforcement officers carried out mass raids on the Jehovah's Witnesses across Russia on Tuesday and made a number of arrests as part of a new criminal case against the group, the Investigative Committee said. The law enforcement agency said it had opened an investigation as it suspected the Christian denomination was organising the activity in Moscow of its national centre and affiliates. Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a spokesman for the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses, denied the centre had resumed its activity and said the group was being targeted in a campaign of persecution.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
Conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking and drug trafficking among charges unsealed, U.S. attorney says.
Senator Rob Portman said Monday that he sees no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to overturn Joe Biden's presidential victory and called on the Trump administration to begin cooperating with the former vice president's transition team."I have supported the Trump campaign’s right to count every lawful vote, request state recounts and pursue lawsuits regarding election fraud or other irregularities," Portman wrote in an op-ed published Monday in the Cincinnati Enquirer.The Ohio Republican said there were "instances of fraud and irregularities in this election, as there have been in every election," and while it is good that such wrongdoing has been exposed, "there is no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state."Portman, who served as a co-chair of the Trump campaign in Ohio, said he voted for the incumbent and believes Trump's policies would be better for Ohio and the country."But I also believe that there is no more sacred constitutional process in our great democracy than the orderly transfer of power after a presidential election. It is now time to expeditiously resolve any outstanding questions and move forward," the senator wrote.Portman also called on the administration to begin cooperating with Biden's transition team, which the General Services Administration, the agency responsible for overseeing a presidential transition, has been stonewalling since the election. The transition preparations involve the administration releasing millions of dollars to the Biden team and providing access to federal agencies and office space in Washington.Biden should also be granted intelligence briefings and briefings on the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan, Portman recommended. Biden has said he is currently not receiving the daily classified briefing on security threats that a president-elect is typically given."In the likely event that Joe Biden becomes our next president, it is in the national interest that the transition is seamless," Portman said.Portman is the latest of a growing group of Republican senators who have called on the administration to accept the election results as Trump's legal team suffers defeats in battleground states that were called for Biden and the December 8 "safe harbor" deadline for states to certify their electors approaches.Senator Mitt Romney last week criticized one of Trump’s recent strategies to overturn the election results that relies on appealing to Republican legislators in swing states to appoint loyal electors in defiance of the election results. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, another Republican critical of Trump’s approach, urged the public to tune out the noise and look at the actual claims the president’s lawyers have made, which do not include widespread fraud.
The republication of caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in September 2020 led to protests in several Muslim-majority countries. It also resulted in disturbing acts of violence: In the weeks that followed, two people were stabbed near the former headquarters of the magazine and a teacher was beheaded after he showed the cartoons during a classroom lesson. Visual depiction of Muhammad is a sensitive issue for a number of reasons: Islam’s early stance against idolatry led to a general disapproval for images of living beings throughout Islamic history. Muslims seldom produced or circulated images of Muhammad or other notable early Muslims. The recent caricatures have offended many Muslims around the world. This focus on the reactions to the images of Muhammad drowns out an important question: How did Muslims imagine him for centuries in the near total absence of icons and images? Picturing Muhammad without imagesIn my courses on early Islam and the life of Muhammad, I teach to the amazement of my students that there are few pre-modern historical figures that we know more about than we do about Muhammad. The respect and devotion that the first generations of Muslims accorded to him led to an abundance of textual materials that provided rich details about every aspect of his life. The prophet’s earliest surviving biography, written a century after his death, runs into hundreds of pages in English. His final 10 years are so well-documented that some episodes of his life during this period can be tracked day by day.Even more detailed are books from the early Islamic period dedicated specifically to the description of Muhammad’s body, character and manners. From a very popular ninth-century book on the subject titled “Shama'il al-Muhammadiyya” or The Sublime Qualities of Muhammad, Muslims learned everything from Muhammad’s height and body hair to his sleep habits, clothing preferences and favorite food. No single piece of information was seen too mundane or irrelevant when it concerned the prophet. The way he walked and sat is recorded in this book alongside the approximate amount of white hair on his temples in old age. These meticulous textual descriptions have functioned for Muslims throughout centuries as an alternative for visual representations. Most Muslims pictured Muhammad as described by his cousin and son-in-law Ali in a famous passage contained in the Shama'il al-Muhammadiyya: a broad-shouldered man of medium height, with black, wavy hair and a rosy complexion, walking with a slight downward lean. The second half of the description focused on his character: a humble man that inspired awe and respect in everyone that met him. Textual portraits of MuhammadThat said, figurative portrayals of Muhammad were not entirely unheard of in the Islamic world. In fact, manuscripts from the 13th century onward did contain scenes from the prophet’s life, showing him in full figure initially and with a veiled face later on. The majority of Muslims, however, would not have access to the manuscripts that contained these images of the prophet. For those who wanted to visualize Muhammad, there were nonpictorial, textual alternatives. There was an artistic tradition that was particularly popular among Turkish- and Persian-speaking Muslims. Ornamented and gilded edgings on a single page were filled with a masterfully calligraphed text of Muhammad’s description by Ali in the Shama'il. The center of the page featured a famous verse from the Quran: “We only sent you (Muhammad) as a mercy to the worlds.”These textual portraits, called “hilya” in Arabic, were the closest that one would get to an “image” of Muhammad in most of the Muslim world. Some hilyas were strictly without any figural representation, while others contained a drawing of the Kaaba, the holy shrine in Mecca, or a rose that symbolized the beauty of the prophet. Framed hilyas graced mosques and private houses well into the 20th century. Smaller specimens were carried in bottles or the pockets of those who believed in the spiritual power of the prophet’s description for good health and against evil. Hilyas kept the memory of Muhammad fresh for those who wanted to imagine him from mere words. Different interpretationsThe Islamic legal basis for banning images, including Muhammad’s, is less than straightforward and there are variations across denominations and legal schools. It appears, for instance, that Shiite communities have been more accepting of visual representations for devotional purposes than Sunni ones. Pictures of Muhammad, Ali and other family members of the prophet have some circulation in the popular religious culture of Shiite-majority countries, such as Iran. Sunni Islam, on the other hand, has largely shunned religious iconography.Outside the Islamic world, Muhammad was regularly fictionalized in literature and was depicted in images in medieval and early modern Christendom. But this was often in less than sympathetic forms. Dante’s “Inferno,” most famously, had the prophet and Ali suffering in hell, and the scene inspired many drawings. These depictions, however, hardly ever received any attention from the Muslim world, as they were produced for and consumed within the Christian world. Offensive caricatures and colonial pastProviding historical precedents for the visual depictions of Muhammad adds much-needed nuance to a complex and potentially incendiary issue, but it helps explain only part of the picture. Equally important for understanding the reactions to the images of Muhammad are developments from more recent history. Europe now has a large Muslim minority, and fictionalized depictions of Muhammad, visual or otherwise, do not go unnoticed.With advances in mass communication and social media, the spread of the images is swift, and so is the mobilization for reactions to them. Most importantly, many Muslims find the caricatures offensive for its Islamophobic content. Some of the caricatures draw a coarse equation of Islam with violence or debauchery through Muhammad’s image, a pervasive theme in the colonial European scholarship on Muhammad. Anthropologist Saba Mahmood has argued that such depictions can cause “moral injury” for Muslims, an emotional pain due to the special relation that they have with the prophet. Political scientist Andrew March sees the caricatures as “a political act” that could cause harm to the efforts of creating a “public space where Muslims feel safe, valued, and equal.” Even without images, Muslims have cultivated a vivid mental picture of Muhammad, not just of his appearance but of his entire persona. The crudeness of some of the caricatures of Muhammad is worth a moment of thought.[Insight, in your inbox each day. You can get it with The Conversation’s email newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Suleyman Dost, Brandeis University.Read more: * Muslim schools are allies in France’s fight against radicalization – not the cause * Why there’s opposition to images of MuhammadSuleyman Dost does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Amid the pandemic, photographer Jason Schmidt finds a new muse: his unique Brooklyn house—and its inhabitants.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest