Vox Sentences: A killing in Iraq

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Iran vows revenge

  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised there will be “harsh retaliation” for the death of the “international face of resistance,” Qassem Soleimani, the top military leader killed in an American airstrike in Baghdad early Friday morning. [AP News / Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Zeina Karam]
  • Soleimani’s killing is unprecedented in recent Middle Eastern history; he was simultaneously a

What Australia’s devastating fires look like on the ground

Severe drought, record heat, and strong winds are fueling deadly blazes across Australia, with no end in sight. The smoke from the raging bushfires has bathed many major cities in an eerie orange glow and created apocalyptic scenes of destruction across the continent.

The fires have already torched 13.5 million acres, an area larger than Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Since September, the bushfires have destroyed more than 900 homes, decimated small towns, and killed more than 480 million animals and at least 17 people. The smoke from the fires made breathing the air in cities like …

Trump’s tweets about Obama using war with Iran to win reelection are very awkward now

As he gears up for a tough reelection campaign, President Donald Trump just approved a military strike that assassinated one of the most powerful people in Iran, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani — a move that many experts are calling an “act of war,” and one that dramatically increases the chances that outright conflict between Iran and the United States breaks out this year.

On Twitter, Trump justified the assassination by claiming that Suleimani “was plotting to kill many” Americans. During President Barack Obama’s tenure, however, Trump took a much more cynical view of the possibility of armed conflict with …

Chief Justice Roberts warns we’re taking “democracy for granted.” His rulings haven’t helped.

Chief Justice John Roberts handed down his 2019 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary Tuesday evening, an annual tradition that sends Supreme Court reporters scrambling to read the document before they can disperse to New Year’s Eve parties.

The chief justice typically begins each report with a lengthy preamble. In some cases, the preamble crosses the line into subtle political commentary and even advocacy. The bulk of Roberts’s 2019 preamble is a call for “civic education.”

“We have come to take democracy for granted,” the chief writes, “and civic education has fallen by the wayside.”

Roberts, who flirted with becoming

US airstrike kills Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani: what we know

A US airstrike killed a top Iranian military official, along with four others, at the Baghdad airport early Friday morning, according to a Pentagon statement. The attack represents a major escalation of simmering hostilities between the US and Iran.

The death of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who led Iranian covert operations and intelligence and one of the country’s most revered military leaders, was reported by Iraqi state television early Friday morning local time, according to multiple US media sources, and confirmed in a statement from the Pentagon.

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members …

Trump spent his holidays retweeting QAnon and Pizzagate accounts

In December 2015, Donald Trump infamously appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s Infowars show, praised his “amazing” reputation, and vowed that “I will never let you down.” His Twitter behavior indicates that’s one promise he’s doing his best to keep.

Trump’s December demonstrated that instead of becoming more “restrained” on social media — something he promised to do just before his inauguration — he’s turning it up to 11. He broke personal records with the numbers of tweets he posted. And tweets he shared over the holidays indicate he’s feeling more shameless than ever about retweeting sketchy accounts that …

Sex, explained

Explained on Netflix is back. New year, new miniseries, new topics. For this one, we’re going back to the basics: Where do babies come from?

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This isn’t the sex education you may have had to sit through in school. In five 20-minute episodes, we dig into why a third of women worldwide describe childbirth as traumatic, why we still don’t have male birth control, and why even your weirdest sexual fantasies are way more predictable than you think.

The series is narrated by Janelle Monáe. If you’re familiar with her music, you know there’s no one …

The rise and fall of the Hummer, America’s most needlessly masculine vehicle

It was June 1990, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was shooting Kindergarten Cop on location in Oregon. Given the actor’s preposterously prolific career as an action star in the ‘90s, the film in which Schwarzenegger plays a police officer who reluctantly goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher could have been lost to time. That is, if it wasn’t for Schwarzenegger’s discovery of what would become an exceptional passion of his: a military-grade Humvee, the nearly 6,000-pound vehicle used by the armed forces.

“He just went ape for that machine,” said his agent, Lou Pitts, as quoted in the unauthorized biography Fantastic: The

Illinois says you should know if AI is grading your online job interviews

Artificial intelligence is increasingly playing a role in companies’ hiring decisions. Algorithms help target ads about new positions, sort through resumes, and even analyze applicants’ facial expressions during video job interviews. But these systems are opaque, and we often have no idea how artificial intelligence-based systems are sorting, scoring, and ranking our applications.

It’s not just that we don’t know how these systems work. Artificial intelligence can also introduce bias and inaccuracy to the job application process, and because these algorithms largely operate in a black box, it’s not really possible to hold a company that uses a problematic …