Vox Sentences: Crisis averted — kind of

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The Senate passes a budget deal that will hopefully prevent a future government shutdown; massive wildfires in Russia could have global impact.


The Senate passes a broad two-year budget deal

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • The Senate passed a two-year budget deal that would significantly increase government spending and raise budget caps — and President Trump is already expected to sign the deal. [NYT / Emily Cochrane]
  • The bipartisan deal, which passed 67-28 (it passed in the House 284-149 last week), increases government spending by $320 billion and raises the debt ceiling. Budget caps have also been raised to $50 billion this year and $54 billion next year. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • This deal is a win for Democrats, who were able to avoid any major spending cuts to domestic programs, which the Trump administration had threatened to do if they were to raise the budget ceiling. Compromises had to be made, though, as the new budget deal also boosts military funding. [WSJ / Andrew Duehren]
  • This deal was necessary because the government has now dodged the worst-case scenario: a shutdown. Congress only had until October 1 before all funding would run out and the current budget caps would expire, leading to a broad $120 billion cut to domestic and military programs. [Bloomberg / Erik Wasson]
  • Not everyone is happy, though. Despite support from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, deficit hawks within the party refused to vote for the deal. [Washington Post / Erica Werner]
  • The most difficult part is yet to come: When Congress returns after recess in five weeks, they’ll need to handle the actual appropriation bills that designate the amount of funding for each federal agency. [NPR / Claudia Grisales]

A “global ecological catastrophe” in Russia

  • Massive wildfires are rapidly burning through Siberia, and it’s gotten so bad that some experts are calling it a “global ecological catastrophe.” [NPR / Shannon Van Sant]
  • The fires have already burned 15,000 square miles, which is larger than the size of Massachusetts. Although wildfires in Siberia are common around this time, their scale is alarming. [Vice News / David Gilbert]
  • Russia has announced a state of emergency in the area and has sent military planes to fight the fires — though some experts have criticized the government for acting so late. During a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump also offered to help Russia fight the wildfires. [NYT / Ivan Nechepurenko]
  • There are two major concerns: One is that the fire is rapidly approaching populous areas near Siberia. Large clouds of smoke have engulfed major cities, including the third-largest, Novosibirsk, which has led to serious health risks. [Deutsche Welle]
  • Another concern is the fire’s impact on the environment. The soot emitted from the fires could deposit on Arctic ice, speed up its melting rate and ultimately releasing more greenhouse gases that accelerate global warming. [AFP]
  • The grim irony of the situation is that global warming kick-started the fire, with temperatures 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than usual this season. As average temperatures rise, heat waves will become longer and more intense — and Siberia is an example of the consequences. [Vox / Umair Irfan]

Miscellaneous

  • There’s little oversight when it comes to facial recognition technology, which is why the NYPD can get away with adding children as young as 11 to its database. [NYT / Joseph Goldstein and Ali Watkins]
  • The leader of a white supremacist gang escaped an Arkansas jail earlier this week, along with another inmate. The gang leader has been apprehended but the other man is still at large. [USA Today / Ryan W. Miller]
  • Those holiday shows you love to watch? Many of them are actually created during the boiling heat of the summer, which can definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit. [AP / Hilary Fox]
  • During last night’s debate, Joe Biden closed by telling people to go to “Joe 30330,” although he meant to tell the audience to text “Joe” to the number 30330. Of course someone bought the domain Joe30330.com minutes after the candidate’s gaffe. [CBS News / Caitlin O’Kane]
  • Children typically have 20 teeth. This 7-year-old child had 526. [CNN / Manveena Suri]

Verbatim

“Budget Deal is phenomenal for our Great Military, our Vets, and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! Two year deal gets us past the Election. Go for it Republicans, there is always plenty of time to CUT!” [Trump’s tweet ahead of the Senate budget deal vote]


Watch this: How scientists colorize photos of space

Yes, that’s a black-and-white photo. [YouTube / Coleman Lowndes]


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