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Vox Sentences: A quarter of Puerto Ricans will probably get Zika in 2016

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

New Zika warnings; how the relief effort in Louisiana (the one not involving photo ops) is going; South Sudan is recruiting child soldiers, which is never a good sign.

Pregnant women: Don’t go to Miami. If you live in Miami, uh…

Logan Riely//Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images
  • A new cluster of Zika infections in an area of Miami Beach in Florida has caused CDC officials to issue a travel warning. [ABC News / Gillian Mohney]
  • The CDC went so far as to suggest that pregnant women avoid "nonessential travel" to all of Miami-Dade County. [AP]
  • This guidance is unhelpful to pregnant women who live in Miami-Dade County, many of whom are already going to extremes (including considering quitting their jobs) to avoid mosquito bites that might infect them with Zika. [NYT / Roni Caryn Rabin]
  • Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico — where one in every four residents is estimated to get infected with Zika by the end of 2016 — at least 30 people have gotten a rare paralysis condition as a complication of the virus. [NBC News / Maggie Fox and Erika Angulo]
  • The search for a Zika vaccine is (at least as presented in this New Yorker feature) going shockingly smoothly. But it still won't be ready for widespread use until well into next year. [New Yorker / Siddhartha Mukherjee]

Why it will be hard to rebuild in Louisiana

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
  • Flooding in Louisiana has officially become the worst natural disaster in the US since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, causing $30 million in damage, according to the Red Cross. [CNN / Holly Yan and Rosa Flores]
  • Donald Trump and Mike Pence visited the state Friday to hand out goods. [NBC News]
  • President Obama, after calls to cut his vacation short to tour the damage (and comparisons to George W. Bush's poor handling of Hurricane Katrina), will go next week; the White House said, pointedly, that it didn't want to interrupt ongoing relief efforts. [Reuters / Bryn Stole]
  • Bush's handling of Katrina wasn't bad because he declined to travel there; it was bad because FEMA was terrible at disaster relief. This time around, state and local officials agree, FEMA is doing a much better job. (The disaster is also far less deadly.) [The Advocate / Elizabeth Crisp]
  • But the help that FEMA can offer is limited — especially when so many of those affected have lost everything. [WSJ / Tawnell D. Hobbs, Scott Calvert and Yogita Patel]
  • Usually, one of FEMA's tools to help with housing loss is rental assistance. But in many of the areas affected by flooding, there aren't enough undamaged homes to rent out, either. [NPR / Camila Domonoske]
  • Meanwhile, the slowly receding floodwaters will be a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Some of which may carry West Nile. Or Zika. [The Guardian / Matthew Teague]
  • And the federal flood insurance program, which could help the residents (almost half of those affected) who had it, is billions in debt. [Marketplace / Andy Uhler]
  • At Vox, Samantha Montano warns that our federal disaster management system is simply not equipped to handle disasters like this. At least, not at the frequency with which they're likely to keep happening under untrammeled global climate change. [Vox / Samantha Montano]

Getting out of South Sudan

Albert Gonzalez Farran/AFP/Getty Images
  • South Sudan's former vice president, Riek Machar, has fled the country under protection of the United Nations. [BBC]
  • Machar's return to the Sudanese capital of Juba in April raised hopes that the country could finally put its bloody civil war behind it, as Machar looked to form a unity government with President Salva Kiir. [LAT / Robyn Dixon]
  • But in July, fighting flared up again between government and rebel forces — killing hundreds, hospitalizing and displacing thousands, and forcing Machar and his supporters to flee Juba. [AP]
  • Earlier this week, a Human Rights Watch report revealed that South Sudanese soldiers had gone on a rampage through an international aid compound during the fighting — and that UN peacekeepers stationed nearby had failed to respond. [Deutsche Welle]
  • And on Friday, a UNICEF report found that the government is recruiting child soldiers in preparation for continued fighting. [AP]
  • It's not surprising that the rising tensions have created a new wave of refugees from the country, many of whom have fled to Uganda — which had to cut its food rations in half to feed what are now 200,000 refugees. [Thomson Reuters]
  • All in all, it's a great situation for the South Sudanese runners on the Refugee Olympic Team to come back to, because all that global awareness really worked, huh? [Vox / Dara Lind]


  • Meet Mike Sabath. He's a hugely successful pop producer and songwriter, working for artists like Wale. He also just graduated from high school. [New Yorker / Andrew Marantz]
  • Disability is common — about one in five Americans is disabled. So why haven't disabled pride movements taken off the way black pride or LGBTQ pride has? [NYT / Rosemarie Garland-Thomson]
  • Dee Dee Blancharde was universally loved in her Missouri community, known as the kind, patient parent of a severely sick daughter. Then it turned out the daughter had never been sick at all. [BuzzFeed / Michelle Dean]
  • Travis Rieder is a bioethicist and philosopher who argues that having children in an era of climate change is morally problematic. His wife Sadiye Rieder wanted a big family. Here's how they bridged the gap. [NPR / Jennifer Ludden]
  • The big challenge for evidence-based crime policy: "effective programs are costly and appear to benefit primarily the politically marginalized. That makes it tough to maintain funding for them, even when they show success." [Chronicle of Higher Education / Paul Basken]


  • "As much as we would perhaps like to pretend otherwise, Mr. Trump is a Choate dad.” [The Choate News / Amy Hagan-Brown]
  • "'I hope you’re well' is a scourge on email correspondence, a hollow greeting that has come to mean nothing. I’d sooner write the first line of Finnegan’s Wake backwards and in Pig Latin than 'I hope you’re well.'" [NY Mag / Dayna Evans]
  • "Hancock, who wrote his Ph.D. on the re-branding of cargo shorts…" [NPR / Steve Inskeep]
  • "With Here I Am, Jonathan Safran Foer has written a Philip Roth novel in the style of a Hallmark card." [NY Mag / Christian Lorentzen]
  • "Chipotle's whole social networking strategy is aimed at trying to get people to fuck their burritos." [Alex Tumay]

Watch this: Sexist coverage steals the show at 2016 Olympics

Liz Plank examines the double standards and sexism that pervade media coverage of the Olympics. [YouTube / Liz Plank, Dean Peterson, and Joe Posner]