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Vox Sentences: France bulldozes the most visible symbol of the EU’s migrant crisis

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One of the world’s most famous migrant camps gets razed; the US picked a bad year to cut back on election monitoring; Venezuela gets so bad that the pope has to step in.


Clearing the Jungle

Migrants in Calais Jack Taylor/Getty Images
  • French authorities are in the process of razing "the Jungle" in Calais, one of the largest and most famous migrant camps in the world. Thousands of the camp's estimated 7,000 occupants were processed and removed Monday. [BBC]
  • The Jungle is technically a "tolerated zone," not a refugee camp. It's the result of a French/British agreement allowing the UK to process visas in Calais. As a result, thousands of would-be British asylum seekers have come there — either to seek asylum first or, more often, to attempt to cross into the UK and seek asylum afterward. [Chicago Tribune / Laura King]
  • The Jungle's predecessor arose in the late 1990s, and this isn't the first time the camp has been destroyed in an attempt to disperse it. But with each demolition, a more semipermanent camp has emerged. [EuroNews]
  • The result is that while life in the Jungle was undeniably miserable, and often raised human rights concerns, there was also a certain amount of perverse stability, as this account of life in the camp from 2010 shows. [Sarah El-Rashidi / Atlantic Council Hariri Center]
  • It even hosted a temporary theater space — one of the few public spaces in the Jungle not segregated by ethnicity or religion. [CityLab / Kriston Capps]
  • Now residents are being scattered. [The Guardian / Angelique Chrisafis]
  • Some will be taken by the UK (mostly children who claim ties to people who are already there)... [The Guardian / Alan Travis, Lisa O'Carroll, and Caroline Davies]
  • ...while others are being resettled in towns throughout France, to the displeasure of both the refugees themselves and local residents. [WSJ / Noemie Bisserbe]

Vote early! (But please, only once.)

I Voted sticker Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
  • Election Day is 15 days away. But you might be able to vote already, depending on where you live. [Politico / Brent Griffiths]
  • Early voting has become a huge part of American elections over the past few decades; these days, about one in every four ballots are cast either early or absentee. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • In-person early voting tends to be more popular with Democrats, so just looking at who's leading in early votes doesn't necessarily indicate who'll win on Election Day. But by comparing this election to past elections, experts think that Democrats are looking a little weak in Ohio and Iowa — while they're looking very strong in Nevada and Virginia. [Huffington Post / Michael P. McDonald]
  • (This is the sort of behavior you might expect if you were building a party that was moving away from traditional, heavily white "swing states" and toward an "expanded map" of states where demographic change is helping Democrats.) [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • To the extent that early voting looks particularly good for Clinton, it's because of a surge in women voters casting their ballots early (especially in North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia). [Politico / Katie Glueck and Kyle Cheney]
  • But they (and everyone else voting early) might have had to wait in line for hours to do so. Some state governments (especially Republican ones) have restricted the early voting period and shut down early voting locations, forcing more people to go to fewer locations. [The Atlantic / Vann R. Newkirk II]
  • It's just a preview of the long lines and other inconveniences that might crop up for voters on Election Day. And because the Department of Justice is sending out way fewer election monitors than it usually does (thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Alabama, which restricted the DOJ's powers under the Voting Rights Act), the public might not find out about these delays in time to fix them. [NYT / Eric Lichtblau]
  • Luckily(...), Donald Trump is stepping in. The Trump campaign is recruiting lawyers to monitor polling places. But since those lawyers will only be in cities like Philadelphia and Charlotte, North Carolina, it's fair to say they're probably looking for different sorts of voting irregularities. [WSJ / Brent Kendall, Reid J. Epstein, and Naomi Tsu]

Has Venezuela finally tipped into full-blown dictatorship?

Protesters in Venezuela Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Venezuela's government and the opposition party announced on Monday that they'll meet for talks — a move that could at least somewhat defuse a simmering political crisis. [Reuters / Diego Oré and Anggy Polanco]
  • Last week, the government suspended plans to issue a recall vote against President Nicolas Maduro — inspiring many to declare that Venezuela, having flirted with dictatorship for years, had finally tipped over the edge. [Washington Post / Francisco Toro]
  • The opposition had retaliated by laying out plans to put the president on trial. Specifically, it was planning to look into rumors that Maduro holds dual citizenship in Venezuela and Colombia — which would make him ineligible for the presidency under Venezuela's constitution. [AFP]
  • It's not clear whether Maduro's surprise meeting Monday with Pope Francis inspired him to reach out to the opposition. But the pope's involvement certainly shows how urgent the issue has gotten.[AP / Joshua Goodman]
  • Venezuela's governance crisis sits atop (and exacerbates) a growing humanitarian crisis. Not only is the price of oil dropping, but much of Venezuela's oil is going unmined or being destroyed. [WSJ / Anatoly Kurmanev]
  • The national oil company just finished a bond swap to shake off some of its debt. It didn't go as well as Venezuela hoped, but it at least means collapse is no longer totally imminent. [FT / Eric Platt and Jonathan Wheatley]
  • That's not enough to provide relief to the Venezuelans who've been dealing with food and medicine shortages for months — or who are being targeted by the Maduro government. [Human Rights Watch]
  • All in all — Donald Trump or no Donald Trump — compared with a country where democracy may actually be collapsing, US democracy looks pretty damn good. [Vox / German Lopez]

Miscellaneous

  • It's a stressful time to follow the news. Here, watch some polar bears. [Polar Bear Lodge Cam]
  • Alternatively, #MakeAmericaCakeAgain. [Bon Appetit / Keia Mastrianni]
  • This could go badly: The Gates Foundation is pushing the development of wrist biosensors that could track when students are paying attention in class. [Reuters / Stephanie Simon]
  • How sexism is different from other kinds of prejudices — in a way that makes it harder to eradicate. [NY Mag / Jesse Singal]
  • The Oxford University Press has given co-author credit to Christopher Marlowe on three Shakespeare plays (the parts of the Henry VI trilogy), which is something of backhanded compliment to both Shakespeare and Marlowe. [BBC]

Verbatim

  • "Fearing Lawsuit, Bar Association Stifles Report Calling Trump a ‘Libel Bully’" [NYT / Adam Liptak]
  • "'He’s at 29% in Va.,' Martin tweeted this week. 'Which is what you would get if you got nominated, burnt down Monticello, and then went on vacation until November.'” [Washington Post / Laura Vozzella]
  • "He and his colleagues finally settled on a kind of muddy brown, instead of blue, so the water wouldn't look too inviting." [NPR / Nell Greenfieldboyce]
  • "Once you have fallen foul of [Julian] Assange — challenged him too openly, criticised him in public, not toed the line loyally enough — you are done. There is no such thing as honest disagreement, no such thing as a loyal opposition differing on a policy or political stance." [BuzzFeed News / James Ball]
  • "One wonders whether Mr. Trump fully appreciates the effect of an angry response to an unfavorable review. It advertises a certain personal and professional vulnerability, and without much doubt it gets a lot more attention for the things criticized." [New York Review of Books / John Kenneth Galbraith]

Watch this: The Taliban hostages you’ve never heard of

The story of a couple kept for four years in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan — and whether the US should do more to get them back. [YouTube / Yochi Dreazen and Liz Scheltens]