Pete Buttigieg has a plan to win over women

Pete Buttigieg wants women to know that he is an ally. That he gets their frustration over the gender pay gap. That he knows what consent means and what the “motherhood penalty” is all about.

On Thursday, he released a 26-page agenda focused entirely on women’s rights. It’s one of the most detailed plans focused on women so far in the Democratic primary.

Much of the agenda includes promises that other candidates have already made, such as guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid leave to new parents and endorsing the Equal Rights Amendment. But he goes even further than others in …

Vox Sentences: Quantum leap forward

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Google’s big milestone in quantum computing

  • Google claims their experimental quantum processor computed a problem that would have taken any other supercomputer thousands of years. [AP News / Rachel Lerman and Matt O’Brien]
  • A newly released paper revealed that Google’s 54-qubit computer was able to complete a task in 200 seconds that Google estimated would take over 10,000 years on non-quantum

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

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.

More blackouts in California?

Why WeWork founder Adam Neumann is getting $1.7 billion to leave the company he ran into the ground

WeWork founder and former CEO Adam Neumann drove his coworking company’s valuation to a whopping $47 billion by selling investors on his personality and the idea that he was revolutionizing real estate through tech. He also steered the company — through a series of poor and avoidable decisions — into near oblivion. Now the company’s biggest investor, SoftBank, is paying him $1.7 billion to leave the company and most of his stock behind.

That means, as Recode’s Pivot podcast co-host Scott Galloway pointed out, Neumann is getting about $850,000 for each of the 2,000 employees WeWork is

White UConn students were arrested for shouting the n-word. Black students say the incident is part of a larger problem.

For more than a week, students at the University of Connecticut have been outraged over a recent video showing a small group of white students walking on campus, yelling the n-word. As anger over the incident has grown, UConn’s black students have stressed that the controversy highlights a long-standing set of problems on their campus: Racist acts are continuing to alienate the school’s black students, and UConn’s administration is not doing enough to punish students for it.

The current controversy stems from an 11-second video that spread online after it was recorded on October 11 by a black UConn student …

Top US diplomat to Ukraine testifies there was a quid pro quo

The top US diplomat in Ukraine just told lawmakers that President Donald Trump wanted hundreds of millions in military aid to the Eastern European country held up until it agreed to investigate Joe Biden’s family and another conspiracy theory related to Democrats.

In other words, there was a quid pro quo — one that could eventually lead to Trump’s impeachment in the House and even more trouble with the Senate.

William Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified in front of three House committees on Tuesday as part of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry. He’s the latest in a parade …

3 key solutions to California’s wildfire safety blackout mess

Seemingly overnight, California has been forced to confront a grim new reality: Hundreds of thousands of its residents are regularly going to have their power cut off for days at a time so that their electric utilities can avoid starting wildfires.

The problem — which I described in detail last week — is intrinsic to what the state is trying to do, namely deliver electricity to millions of residents in often mountainous, forested areas growing hotter and dryer every year. There is probably no way for utilities to do that without starting some fires and/or cutting off the power to …