Wednesday, June 19, 2019

National emergencies could be a step toward political violence

It’s easy to view President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency as a joke, particularly when the president himself said while making the declaration, “I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster.” Much of the conversation around President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency has focused on its partisan and procedural effects: how it will allow the president to frustrate Congress and redirect spending, how future presidents might use the precedent to do the same, the absence of any immediate emergency as the word is normally defined. And the aadministration has so far been...

Oscars 2019: winners, nominations, and biggest moments

The 91st Academy Awards took place on Sunday, February 24. Green Book won Best Picture. Contributors: Vox Staff Image credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images The 2019 Academy Awards took place on Sunday, February 24. The awards had no host after Kevin Hart stepped down amid controversy over homophobic jokes he’d made in the past, leading to the first host-free Oscars ceremony since 1989. The show had also been dogged by controversial attempts to shorten...

Jussie Smollett still has some supporters — like his TV dad...

After being arrested and charged for allegedly orchestrating an attack that he claimed was a hate crime, actor Jussie Smollett has found himself in recent days with few people in his corner, save for one prominent supporter: his Empire co-star Terrance Howard. In an Instagram video shared Sunday, Howard calls back on a lighter time in their lives, when the two actors were traveling together with Howard’s family. In the video, Smollett is seen playing with Howard’s son, Hero, as they sit aboard a private plane. He tickles the young baby, who squeals and giggles with delight as he nuzzles...

Top cardinal admits the Catholic Church destroyed files to hide sex...

The Roman Catholic Church took pains to deliberately hide the extent of its global sex abuse crisis, going as far as destroying documents and failing to compile records that could be used to prosecute perpetrators, a top cardinal admitted this week. At an unprecedented Vatican summit designed to tackle the church’s lingering child sex abuse scandal, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx shed light on the institution’s many failures to tamp down on the problem, telling the gathering of more than 190 bishops from around the globe that “the rights of victims were effectively trampled underfoot.” The National Catholic Reporter has more:...

Mueller issues new sentencing memo for Paul Manafort

Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed a second sentencing memo taking former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort to task for what he says is years of illegal activity. “For over a decade, Manafort repeatedly and brazenly violated the law,” Mueller’s team writes. “His crimes continued up through the time he was first indicted in October 2017 and remarkably went unabated even after indictment.” The special counsel did not recommend a specific sentence for Manafort, but said his sentence “must take into account the gravity of this conduct.” Manafort was convicted of financial crimes after a trial in Virginia, and then struck a...

Vox Sentences: Measles isn’t a thing of the past

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. A new ruling from a federal judge puts convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein back in the headlines; Japan reports an outbreak of measles. Judge rules prosecutors made illegal deal in Epstein case In this photograph from 2004, Epstein speaks with then-Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, who would later serve on Epstein’s defense team. Rick...

The frenzy over Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s solicitation charges, explained

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution in connection with a Florida spa with potential ties to human trafficking. The Patriots are one of the most hated teams in American sports, fresh off another Super Bowl win, and Kraft has a long friendship with President Donald Trump, making this a major news story for sports fans and political junkies alike. Kraft is among some two dozen individuals being charged by police in Jupiter, Florida. Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter is part of a months-long investigation into spas and paid sex...

Steve Irwin said, “My mission … is to save wildlife.” He...

Steve Irwin’s life was cut short when he was impaled through the chest by a stingray in 2006 near the Great Barrier Reef. But his legacy remains immense. He was a popular television personality, a zookeeper, science educator, and a conservationist. He would have been 57 years old today, and a Google Doodle not only honors him, but also the work he dedicated his life to. You might be most familiar with Irwin from his Crocodile Hunter television series, which documented his very, very close and dangerous-seeming encounters with animals (including crocodiles), which he co-hosted with his wife Terri...

The bizarre election fraud hearings that could lead to a new...

At a North Carolina hearing, investigators have laid out in detail an “unlawful,” “coordinated,” and well-funded plot to tamper with absentee ballots in a US House election that remains uncalled more than three months after Election Day — finally bringing clarity to one of the most bizarre election scandals in recent memory. On Thursday afternoon, after four days of evidence indicating fraud and an attempt to conceal the scheme from state investigators, Republican candidate Mark Harris himself told the state election board that he believed a new election should be called. Harris had been the apparent winner on Election Night...

Trump’s tweets saying he’s already building the border wall, briefly explained

President Donald Trump wants his social media followers to know that even if Congress is unwilling to give him as much money as he wants for a border wall, he’s nonetheless building it. And he really is — with a couple significant caveats. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted a time-lapse video from the Army Corps of Engineers that shows construction of bollard fencing along the southern border in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. “We have just built this powerful Wall in New Mexico,” Trump wrote. “Completed on January 30, 2019 — 47 days ahead of schedule! Many miles more now under construction!...