The Week Unwrapped: Martial monks, high living and Turks in space
What links monks and Myanmar’s military? Are we past peak skyscraper? And why is Turkey joining the space race?
Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.
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In this week’s episode, we discuss:
Groups of Buddhist monks have joined the anti-coup protests in Myanmar, triggering memories of the mass uprising seen in the late 80s and 2007’s Saffron Revolution. But the image of “good monks” protesting against the military belies the complexity of Myanmar’s monastic community. Extremist monks agitate for violence against the Rohingya minority, attack political parties for being insufficiently anti-Muslim and are closely linked to the military’s Union Solidarity and Development Party. So what do saffron robes on the streets mean for Myanmar?
Skyscrapers laid low
Last week it emerged that the wealthy residents of New York’s 432 Park Avenue tower, one of the tallest residential buildings in the city, are being plagued by problems that result from living in a really tall, narrow building: leaks, cracked walls, plumbing problems and loud groaning noises as the building sways in the wind. Towers have been getting taller and thinner over the years, mainly due to space restrictions - but then the pandemic hit. Have we had enough of the high life?
Turkey joins the space race
A mysterious monolith that appeared briefly in southeastern Turkey has been unmasked as a publicity stunt for Turkey’s space programme, which is set for launch in 2023 with a mission to the Moon. This was celebrated in the Turkish media, as was the recent launch of two drones - but Turkey’s regional adversaries are unnerved by the move.