Vox Sentences: Turning off the red lights

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Sudan’s military and civilian leaders reach a power-sharing deal; Amsterdam’s first female mayor wants to reform the city’s red light district.


Sudanese military and protesters strike a deal

Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images
  • After a weeks-long standoff, riddled with violent crackdowns on protests, Sudan’s ruling military council and pro-democracy civilian leaders have reached a power-sharing deal. [WSJ / Nicholas Bariyo]
  • The country will be ruled by a joint council of 11: five from both sides, plus an 11th member who is jointly nominated. [Guardian / Ruth Maclean]
  • For the first 21 months, the council will be led by a military general, followed by 18 months with a civilian leader. The country will then hold an election at the end of the transition period. [Al Jazeera]
  • Both sides have also agreed to hold an investigation into the bloody violence that erupted when the military cracked down on pro-democracy protesters, killing more than 100 civilians. [CNN / Amir Ahmed, Mohammed Tawfeeq, and Tamara Qiblawi]
  • This could finally bring stability to Sudan, which has faced much uncertainty since its uprising against President Omar al-Bashir in December. After al-Bashir was ousted in April, the Transitional Military Council took over — an unpopular decision among civilians concerned about further authoritarian rule. [NYT / Declan Walsh]
  • Both sides have had to make compromises to reach this deal: The military is finally sharing leadership positions with the pro-democracy group, which had vowed to only have a civilian president. Regional and international pressure helped both sides reach an agreement. [AP / Fay Abuelgasim and Noha Elhennawy]
  • Many protesters are optimistic, but cautious. That hasn’t stopped them from celebrating the possibility of a new era. [BBC / Anne Soy]

Amsterdam tries to reform its red light district

  • Amsterdam’s first female mayor, Femke Halsema, is attempting to implement major reforms in the city’s red light district. [AP]
  • She’s provided four options: closing the curtains of the brothel windows, removing brothels from the district altogether, relocating some brothels, or increasing the number of windows to dilute the pressure of tourists. Debates to determine the best option will be held next week and voted on later in the summer. [Deutsche Welle / Elizabeth Schumacher]
  • Halsema said the goal is to protect sex workers from gawking tourists and combat the rise in human trafficking. She added that there are no plans to outlaw prostitution in the city. [Guardian / Daniel Boffey]
  • Although Amsterdam has recognized sex work as a legal profession since 1988, the increasing number of tourists with the rise of social media has turned their jobs into a spectacle, which Halsema said can be humiliating. [CNN / Amy Woodyatt]
  • The response to Halsema’s proposals, however, has been lukewarm. Sex workers said these reforms end up hurting the industry when the problem lies with tourists who are unable to behave themselves. [Reuters / Anthony Deutsch and Toby Sterling]
  • The controversy over reforming the red light district also points to a larger debate among feminists in Amsterdam: Is the industry degrading and exploitative, or is it giving women the freedom to whatever they want with their bodies? [BBC / Anna Holligan]

Miscellaneous

  • US scientists were able to completely remove HIV from the cells of infected mice using gene editing techniques. They’re hopeful that it signals a cure could be within reach. [Deutsche Welle / Rebecca Staudenmaier]
  • Anchorage, Alaska, saw its temperature rise to 90 degrees on Thursday — a first for the state. [CNN / Monica Garrett and Susan Scutti]
  • This brewery is fighting food waste by making discarded (but perfectly edible) cereal into beer. The results: smooth Corn Flakes IPA, Rice Krispies pale ale, and Coco Pops stout. [NYT / David Yaffe-Bellany]
  • A sculpture of King Tut’s head sold at a Christie’s auction for $6 million Thursday. The problem: Egyptians says the sculpture was stolen from them. [CBS News / Charlie D’Agata]
  • If you want to fight global warming and save the Earth, plant a trillion trees. Scientists say there’s enough room to fit all of them — especially in Russia, the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and China. [Al Jazeera]

Verbatim

“This deal will be comprehensive and will not exclude anyone and will meet the ambitions of the Sudanese people and their victorious revolution.” [Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy chief of the ruling military council, on the power-share deal]


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