Monday, December 9, 2019

Donald Trump spent Saturday retweeting far-right personalities. Then he told them...

President Donald Trump seemed to spend a lot of time Saturday morning on Twitter, retweeting Islamophobic content, as well as sharing tweets defending far-right activists recently banned from Facebook. The president retweeted a video from Deep State Exposed, an alt-right account that contains numerous Islamophobic tweets and conspiracy theories, including some linked to QAnon. The account’s author, Jeremy Stone, mentions in his Twitter bio that the president has retweeted him nine times. As Vox’s Jane Coaston explained, QAnon is a tangled group of conspiracy theories that include claims prominent Democrats are secretly being monitored, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is...

Cyclone Fani: what we know

An enormous tropical cyclone made landfall in eastern India Friday near the coastal city of Puri, impacting an area that’s home to tens of millions of people. It’s believed the storm, called Cyclone Fani (pronounced “Foni”), struck the coast with winds in excess of 115 miles per hour (equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane). That makes it the strongest storm to hit India in 20 years. The storm has since weakened but will remain a dangerous system as it moves up India’s east coast toward Bangladesh, where 2.1 million people are expected to be evacuated, according to CNN. Flash...

Vox Sentences: Repercussions for the opioid epidemic hit the bosses

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. The founder of a major drug company is convicted; British anger with Brexit is displayed in election results. Drug company executives found guilty of racketeering Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Five top executives of the drug company Insys Therapeutics were found guilty of dishonest business practices, pointing to the...

The Trump administration’s Venezuela policy is failing

The Trump administration has been trying for months to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power. So far, they’ve failed miserably. In January, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the country’s rightful president. He argued that Maduro, who has been in power for six years, rigged the election last May that kept him in charge — and that as a result, Guaidó, as the head of the National Assembly, is now the rightful interim president of the country according to the Venezuelan constitution. The United States immediately backed his claim, and has been working ever since to help him...

YouTube says it’s still trying to fix itself. But it’s not...

Youtube spent the last year confronting accusations that it had become a haven for people who used the video site to distribute disinformation, hatred and abuse. Just like it did the year before. And on Thursday night, YouTube gathered thousands of advertisers and told them it took those problems very seriously. Then it put on a glitzy show aimed at getting them to give YouTube all of their money. Just like it did the year before. If you attended this year’s “Brandcast” event at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall and last year’s, it would be easy to come away...

Avengers: Endgame says something thoughtful about grief. But only to a...

Warning: Spoilers, obviously. Losing someone you love always hurts. But losing them too early — to terminal illness, or an accident, or in a war, or something else — is extraordinarily hard. There’s no one way to respond. Everyone deals with grief differently. Avengers: Endgame understands this well — or, at least, the first 45 minutes or so do. The movie opens within days of the “snap,” in which the villain Thanos collects the Infinity Stones, snaps his fingers, and wipes out half the earth’s population in a moment. Then it skips ahead by five years, when everyone is still trying...

Avengers: Endgame says something thoughtful about grief. But only to a...

Warning: Spoilers, obviously. Losing someone you love always hurts. But losing them too early — to terminal illness, or an accident, or in a war, or something else — is extraordinarily hard. There’s no one way to respond. Everyone deals with grief differently. Avengers: Endgame understands this well — or, at least, the first 45 minutes or so do. The movie opens within days of the “snap,” in which the villain Thanos collects the Infinity Stones, snaps his fingers, and wipes out half the earth’s population in a moment. Then it skips ahead by five years, when everyone is still trying...

5 takeaways from Attorney General Bill Barr’s Mueller report testimony

Attorney General William Barr defended his handling of the Mueller report at a tense Senate hearing on Wednesday that highlighted the stark partisan divisions between Republicans and Democrats over the special counsel’s conclusions. Barr started off his testimony on the defensive, after a letter Mueller wrote to Barr on March 27 was made public Tuesday evening. In that note, Mueller explicitly criticized the letter Barr sent to Congress and released to the public outlining the “principal conclusions” of the investigation. Mueller said Barr’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions,” and...

William Barr’s pause on a question about 2020 and foreign adversaries...

One of the most shocking moments from Attorney General William Barr’s Senate testimony on Wednesday was an unspoken one. When asked whether a 2020 presidential campaign should contact the FBI if a foreign government offered dirt on an adversary, Barr seemed at a loss for words. Instead of responding quickly in the affirmative, he paused. What should have been an extremely straightforward question to answer, especially for the country’s top law enforcement official, wound up being yet another inquiry that seemingly left Barr perplexed. “Going forward, what if a foreign adversary offers a presidential candidate dirt on a competitor...

Teen girls are now poisoning themselves at alarming rates. There are...

There’s no easy way to say this: In the past decade, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of teens attempting to kill themselves with poison. The data appear Wednesday in The Journal of Pediatrics, and come from poison control centers. Overall, the study finds the rate of poisoning attempts more than doubled among boys and girls. Girls, however, account for most of the rise. The study finds poisoning attempts by girls ages 10-12 increased 268 percent from 2010 to 2017, for instance. For girls ages 13-15, the poisoning rate increased 143 percent. Overall, it’s estimated that...