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Vox Sentences: A suicide attack at a wedding in Turkey further scrambles Syria’s war

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A horrifying attack in Turkey and its aftermath; the Clinton Foundation plans to wind down (if Hillary is elected); Virginia gives the right to vote back to 13,000 people.


The Kurds, caught in the middle

AFP / Ilyas Akengin via Getty
  • A suicide bombing killed at least 54 wedding attendees Saturday in the Turkish town of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border. [AP / Suzan Fraser]
  • Dozens of the victims were children. The wedding attendees were Kurdish and were supporters of the pro-Kurdish Workers' Party. [The Guardian / Constanze Letsch]
  • The Turklsh government blames ISIS for the attack. They haven't claimed responsibility, but it's plausible; similar tactics have been used in other ISIS-linked suicide bombings in Turkey, and ISIS has targeted Kurds to inflame Turkish/Kurdish tensions. [Reuters / Orhan Coskun and Daren Butler]
  • But Turkey also has a habit of being overly hasty in blaming groups for terrorist attacks (often to suit its own political ends). The government has already walked back its initial claim that the bomber was a 12- to 14-year-old child himself. [BBC]
  • Turkey's foreign minister has promised to "completely cleanse" the region of ISIS, and provide cover to moderate rebels. To that end, Turkey's renewed attacks on ISIS over the Syrian border ... as well as attacks on Kurdish militias who have been fighting ISIS. [Reuters]
  • But the Kurdish militias in at least one Syrian city have also started turning on their putative allies in the Syrian government — further scrambling one of the more complicated regions in a tangled war. [LAT / Nabih Bulos and William Hennigan]

Incredibly smart, or incredibly dumb?

Getty / Earl Gibson III
  • The Clinton Foundation has announced that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, it will drastically shrink — becoming a traditional presidential legacy organization, rather than a major global philanthropy. Bill and Chelsea Clinton would also leave the foundation. [BuzzFeed News / Ruby Cramer]
  • The foundation announced over the weekend that if Clinton is elected, it will stop taking foreign and corporate donations. But the new announcement makes it clear that the foundation would have relatively minimal overlap with a Clinton White House. [CNN / Dan Merica and Eric Bradner]
  • It wasn't a moment too soon. New emails from Hillary Clinton's secretary of state tenure, released today as part of a lawsuit from a conservative group, reveal some possibly shady contacts between the foundation and the State Department — depending on your interpretation. [WSJ / Rebecca Ballhaus]
  • Whether you think it was shady for, say, the prince of Bahrain to pester the foundation to get him a meeting with Clinton after he'd gone through "normal channels" (as opposed to simply impatient) might depend on how you feel about the Clintons. [Foreign Policy / John Hudson]
  • But the real problem with the foundation ties, as with many Clinton ethics scandals, isn't outright corruption — it's judgment. [Vox / Jeff Stein]
  • The Clinton Foundation has undeniably done good work. (Laura Seay's tweetstorm about its AIDS work in central Africa is a useful illustration.) [Laura Seay via Twitter]
  • But even Clinton allies have felt for some time that, regardless of its actual work, the fact that the foundation provides such an easy appearance of corruption makes it hard for the Clintons to ask America for its trust. [NY Mag / Jonathan Chait]
  • Arguably, the new announcements about the foundation show the Clintons are finally learning that lesson. [Vox / Matt Yglesias]
  • But as a new investigation into Bill Clinton's speaking fees shows, the ethics scandals won't go away. [International Business Times / Andrew Perez, David Sirota, and Matthew Cunningham-Cook]

This guy reenfranchised 13,000 people using this one weird trick

Getty / Win McNamee
  • Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that he's restored voting rights to 13,000 felons, circumventing an order from the state's Supreme Court. [Washington Post / Laura Vozzella]
  • Virginia has some of the harshest disenfranchisement laws in America — stripping people of the vote even years after they've returned to society. Twenty percent of the state's black men are disenfranchised. [Sentencing Project]
  • McAuliffe's Republican predecessor, Bob McDonnell, tried to soften state law but was rebuffed by the GOP-dominated legislature. [Voting Rights Watch]
  • When McAuliffe tried to use his clemency powers to restore voting rights to 200,000 felons en masse, though, it became a political battle — and the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that clemency powers didn't allow for such a broad policy shift. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • So McAuliffe's administration has started signing voting restoration orders individually. The 13,000 is simply the first batch.
  • Yes, McAuliffe is a longtime Clinton ally, and this is an election year. But Virginia is hardly a swing state anymore (Clinton's up by more than 11 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average), so this isn't exactly a move of political desperation. [RCP]
  • It might not even end up changing much on Election Day. Many of the Virginians who might be affected (at least one of whom is hoping to run for office himself) are still confused about when they'll get their voting rights back, and how. [CityLab / Brentin Mock]
  • But it's a useful illustration of how clemency powers can be used in a bold, broad way — something the Obama administration, which has been slowly getting less cautious in granting clemency, might want to note. [The Atlantic / Vann R. Newkirk II]

Miscellaneous

  • Vale, Gawker. [NYMag / Max Read]
  • Ryan Lochte has lost all his endorsement deals over his Rio imbroglio. But a new investigation indicates that he and his teammates may not have acted nearly as badly as Rio authorities said. [USA Today / Taylor Barnes and David Meeks]
  • In case you're wondering, the cookie recipe the Clintons submitted (for the third time!) to the Family Circle "first lady" cookie contest makes pretty tasty cookies for very little effort. Melania Trump's recipe for "star cookies" ... not so much. [Washington Post / Alyssa Rosenberg]
  • Fun fact: Fatboy Slim has never received a single royalty for "The Rockefeller Skank," one of his biggest hits, because 100 percent of the royalties go to the artists he sampled. [Higher Frequency / Nick Lawrence]
  • The average Australian walks 9,696 steps a day. The average American? 5,117. [Slate / Tom Vanderbilt]

Verbatim


Watch this: See the climate debate devolve into nonsense in the 10 years since An Inconvenient Truth

See how the climate debate in the US devolved into fully polarized gridlock. [YouTube / Joss Fong and Joe Posner]

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