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THE WEEK July 12: Second chances

Updated: 2013-07-12 17:31
( THE WEEK (chinadaily.com.cn))

Weiner, Spitzer to rise, come again?
Two former New York politicians whose careers went soft after being rocked by sex scandals are seeking to come again into public office. This week, former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer announced he'd be seeking votes to try out a new position as the city's comptroller - a job that determines the efficiency with which the city spends its money. Spitzer gave up his seat as governor after his involvement with a high-end prostitution ring was exposed. At the same time, former New York congressman Anthony Weiner announced he'd be running to be New York City's next mayor. Weiner was forced to resign in 2011 after he accidentally posted a lewd - meaning explicit or inappropriate photo on his Twitter account that was meant to be sent directly to a young woman. It should be interesting to see how New York voters swallow Spitzer and Weiner's decisions to once again erect political careers.

Snowden offered asylum, marriage
As wanted NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden allegedly sits idly in Moscow's airport, three countries have offered him asylum. The problem still remains, though, that Snowden no longer has official travel documents and the routes to the three welcoming countries all cross through non-welcoming countries' air space. It's still tough going for the man who leaked classified intelligence. But Snowden really has not done much right since the beginning. He didn't plan anything beyond leaking a secret and running to Hong Kong, and now he's stuck sitting in airport. But one thing Snowden has been extremely successful at: picking up the ladies.

Music in the air
A video of two Chinese middle school students playing air guitar went viral this week. I'm not sure what makes an air guitarist feel that they should take their "skill" public, but these two kids can take comfort in one fact: Many air guitarists have come before them; and nearly all of them could be considered failures.

This wacky world!
Citizens of the United States can celebrate as its neighbor to the south, Mexico, has taken over the title of the fattest American country.

Spain's annual Running of the Bulls took place this week, and as always a bunch of crazy people got trampled and speared. Activity on the sidelines of the event was arguably more inappropriate.

A Chicago Sun-Times' headline caused outrage in the media world, as many deemed the decision to use wordplay to describe a tragic story inappropriate. It also raised questions of racial stereotypes, meaning generalities that people make about a certain group of people. Most importantly, our thoughts and best wishes go out to the families and friends of the two deceased young women and the more than 100 other victims of this tragedy in San Francisco.

(Side note: The stereotype the Times was accused of portraying was that Asian people have a hard time pronouncing the difference between the "L" and "R" sounds in the English language. Stereotypes, as previously mentioned, describe certain individuals or things a certain way because they are part of a larger group believed to have this characteristic. This is not a stereotype The Week supports, promotes or believes to be true, but we recognize that it does exist. While we think the papers' use of wordplay may have been untimely, we don't believe the Times editors intentionally took the chance to promote this stereotype and were solely trying to grasp two ideas - flight and fright - from the same tragic story. The company has released an official apology. Again, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.)

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.