What really happened in Syria over the past 24 hours, explained

As the United States withdrew its troops from Syria this week, some Kurds threw food and stones at the departing American convoys. It was an ignominious close to the US efforts in the country — and it foreshadowed what could very well be the waning of any American influence there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, instead, looks to be the kingmaker in Syria, after signing a deal with Turkey that apportioned influence in northern Syria and could determine the future of the country after years of civil war.

According to the terms of the deal, Syrian Kurds will leave what …

Revenge porn, biphobia, and alleged relationships with staffers: The complicated story around Rep. Katie Hill, explained

Rep. Katie Hill, a first-term Democrat from California, has been accused of having a sexual relationship with her legislative director, as well as with a young staffer on her campaign.

The story is a complicated one. The allegations first surfaced on RedState, a conservative website known for its devotion to President Trump. Last week, the site reported that Hill and her husband had, until recently, been involved in a sexual relationship with a staffer in her 20s who worked on Hill’s campaign. The story included explicit images purporting to be of Hill and the staffer.

Then, earlier this week, …

Kirstjen Nielsen was asked to answer for family separations after leaving office

Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen was asked on Tuesday to answer for her involvement in the Trump administration’s practice of separating immigrant families for the first time since her resignation.

Nielsen became the public face of the policy after she told Congress in December 2018 that the administration “never had a policy for family separation.” It was later revealed that she had, in fact, signed a memo greenlighting the practice. It was blocked in federal court in July 2018, but the administration has admitted to since separating another 1,250 families nonetheless, bringing the total number of families separated to …

Vox Sentences: California, burning in the dark

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More blackouts in California?