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Reports of vaping-linked illness rise; upcoming Afghan elections are met with security apprehensions.

Vaping-linked illnesses climb in CDC report

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  • A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows a rise in vaping-linked illnesses, now with 805 registered cases and 12 deaths. [NPR / Emily Vaughn]
  • Doctors are not entirely certain the exact cause of the illness, but every single patient admitted to smoking using an e-cigarette device in the last 90 days before becoming ill. [Vox / Julia Belluz]
  • Of the confirmed cases, most cited the use of THC products bought off of the black market. [The Cut / Katie Heaney]
  • The cases reflect vaping’s appeal among younger users: Over two-thirds of the afflicted are between 18 and 35, with over half under the age of 25. [NYT / Denise Grady]
  • Juul, the maker of e-cigarettes especially popular with young users, has been at the center of scrutiny over vaping. Its chief executive is stepping down, and a tobacco executive will become his replacement. [TechCrunch / Jonathan Shieber]
  • The Trump administration responded to the crisis earlier this month by promising to ban e-cigarette products marketed to teens until they are FDA-approved. [Vox / Julia Belluz]
  • Several states have enacted their own e-cigarette product bans while waiting for federal action. [TIME / Jamie Ducharme]
  • A lax regulatory process has helped fuel the rise of e-cigarettes, which have been branded as a tool to quit smoking. There’s a long history of questionable treatments causing illness and injury. [FiveThirtyEight / Maggie Koerth-Baker]

Security is top concern for Afghan elections

  • Afghanistan will hold its fourth-ever democratic election for president this Saturday. The incumbent, Ashraf Ghani, may face a tough challenge after struggling to improve the country’s economy or security situation. [Al Jazeera / Ali M Latifi]
  • With 16 candidates to choose from, Afghan voters’ top concern may be Taliban threats of violence. The militant group has told voters to “stay away from polling stations on election day.” [Reuters / Paul Carsten and Abdul Qadir Sediqi]
  • Since the government only controls just over half of the country, only 5,000 of the nation’s 7,400 polling places will be open to voters. Along with security issues, fraud is a big worry. [Washington Post / Susannah George]
  • US-Taliban peace talks broke down just weeks before the election, amid rising violence. The lack of an expected power-sharing agreement with the Taliban has added to fears around the election. [Vox / Jen Kirby]


  • The “Storm Area 51” meme failed to bring many people to a party in the middle of the desert. But by some standards, it was a success. [Vox / Allegra Frank]
  • A former member of Blink-182 helped found an academy that researches UFOs. No, really. [NYT / Derrick Bryson Taylor]
  • One town in Japan is known for its denim. Their craftsmanship is attracting buyers from all over the world. [The Guardian / Isabel Choat]
  • A rare but serious illness that is found in cat and dog saliva almost killed a man before doctors got to the root of the disease. [Chicago Tribune / Carrie Antlfinger]
  • Breaking in a baseball glove seems like a slow and steady process. But many of the treatments to speed up the process are almost laughable. [NYT / Kevin Armstrong]


“If we allow the president to abuse his or her power, then our society will rot from top to bottom. We will turn into a banana republic, where people in positions of power — from the president all the way down to the traffic cop — will feel it’s O.K. to abuse their power with no consequences.” [Rep. Tulsi Gabbard becomes the final member of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to endorse the impeachment inquiry]

Listen to this: Am I gonna die from vaping?

Health concerns related to vaping include coughing, chest pain, and death. [Spotify]

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