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Vox Sentences: The new Syrian ceasefire has one rule. Assad might have already broken it.

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A new ceasefire in Syria (that may have been violated within an hour); Hillary Clinton adds illness to insult; hey, remember Brexit? What's up with that, anyway?

Assad to US/Russia: Nice ceasefire you got there...

Bombed-out building in Syria Bhjat Najar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Syria is making another attempt at a ceasefire this week, which started on midnight Monday (the beginning of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha). [NYT / Anne Barnard and Rick Gladstone]
  • The ceasefire agreement was negotiated late Friday — not between the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and the rebels, but between the US (which has offered some support to rebel groups) and Russia (which has been bombing rebel-held areas). [BBC / Barbara Plett Usher]
  • The problem is that the first steps are supposed to be taken by Assad and the rebels. And it's simply not clear that Russia and the US will be able to make that happen. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • Indeed, this ceasefire is even more demanding than previous (failed) attempts — it requires that rebel groups sever any ties to the Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra. [USA Today / Oren Dorell]
  • There has to be a significant "reduction" in violence for the next seven days, and Assad is prohibited from bombing rebel-held areas within a certain no-fly zone during that time, for the rest of the deal to take effect. Because those terms aren't publicly defined, it's impossible to tell when the ceasefire is violated. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • But scarcely an hour after it was supposed to go into effect, Assad dropped barrel bombs on one rebel-held neighborhood. So it's entirely possible he immediately did the one thing he wasn't allowed to do. [Washington Post / Liz Sly and Karen DeYoung]

Get her a get-well basket of deplorables

"Get Better Soon" Hillary sign Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images
  • Hillary Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. She's taking the next few days off the campaign trail, after becoming faint and having to leave a 9/11 memorial early on Sunday. [Vox / Julia Belluz]
  • While pneumonia can be a complication of an underlying condition, Clinton's staff says they'll release more medical records to prove that's not what's going on. Instead, they say it's a result of Clinton's chronic dehydration. [Politico / Glenn Thrush and Brianna Ehley]
  • From one angle, Clinton's single-minded determination to keep campaigning — without water or rest — is admirable. It's another way in which hard-charging middle-class white feminists can see themselves in her. [Culturess / Heather Henderson]
  • Less sympathetically, it certainly looks like the campaign tried to keep the public from knowing Clinton had pneumonia — even after the event Sunday. [NBC News / Christina Coleburn and Corky Siemaszko]
  • As a result, the campaign has taken the rumors that Clinton has a serious health issue — which started as a silly conspiracy theory — and lent them retroactive (and probably accidental) credence. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • (The conspiracists, not to be outdone, are busy hyping the idea that Clinton is deathly ill and using body doubles to persuade the public otherwise.) [Newsweek / Max Kutner]
  • The pneumonia scare's silver lining for Clinton is that it distracted from her comments Friday night, placing half of Trump supporters in a "basket" of racist, sexist "deplorables."
  • It is correct that half (or more) of Trump supporters hold views that are racist, and even deplorable. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • But there's a difference between "holds deplorable views" and "is deplorable" (much less "irredeemable," which Clinton also used). [The Globe and Mail / Sarah Kendzior]
  • It's possible to show too much sensitivity here, however. Case in point: GOP VP nominee Mike Pence, who won't even call David Duke deplorable. [Rebecca Sinderbrand via Twitter]

Less of a "Brexit" than a "Brack away slowly"

UK Prime Minister Theresa May Nick Ansell/AFP/Getty Images
  • The UK's new government — which is responsible for negotiating the Brexit deal — has finally given some details about how it will work: Once it's worked out a deal with the EU, it'll release the broad outlines of the deal to the public. [Reuters / William James]
  • How exactly the UK is going to go about working out that deal with the EU is still pretty unclear. (Reuters's Paul Carell lays out some options.) [Reuters / Paul Carell]
  • Jon Worth has compiled a useful list of upcoming events that could give us some hint as to when the UK and EU will get to work on a deal — and how much hardball each side is likely to play. [Jon Worth]
  • The process is especially important in the UK, where a large percentage of the populace has buyer's remorse — or is worried that the reasons they voted for Brexit wouldn't be reflected in a deal. [New York Review of Books / Zadie Smith]
  • One possibility was that the UK government would actually present the terms of any potential EU deal to the voters, in a second referendum. The UK's new prime minister, Theresa May, has ruled that out. [The Independent / Ashley Cowburn and John Stone]
  • Politically speaking, May doesn't need to appeal to the people. Her takeover of her party is complete: Former Prime Minister David Cameron resigned from Parliament today, taking him out of government entirely. [BBC / Laura Kuenssberg]


  • Is that tiny black dot optical illusion driving you nuts? Here's how it works. [The Verge / Rachel Becker]
  • There were 183,355 same-sex marriages in the US as of 2014. Researchers at the Treasury Department used tax data to map them all. [NYT / Quoctrung Bui]
  • Meeting a Twitter troll who sent death threats — and who turned out to be a 13-year-old boy. [Entrepreneur / Jason Feifer]
  • The Chainsmokers' No. 1 hit "Closer," sounds a LOT like a 2005 hit by the Fray … and so, quietly, the Fray found themselves added as credited songwriters. [New Yorker / Jia Tolentino]
  • At the US border, Vancouver resident Alan Ranta was asked if he had ever smoked marijuana. He said yes. The border agent told him he was "barred from the country for life." [CBC News / Peter Zimonjic and Julie Van Dusen]


  • "Those very vulgar cufflinks. Do all our spies wear them?" [Alec Guinness to John le Carré]
  • "Okay, here’s the deal: If we’re going to make it past three or four items on this list, I need you to take a bit of a leap of faith and accept the premise thatthe Street Sharks themselves symbolize the modern feminist movement." [ClickHole]
  • "When we asked Gusii mothers about babies sleeping through the night, they didn't know what we were talking about — why should babies wake up?" [Robert A. LeVine and Sarah LeVine via NYT / Dan Saltzstein]
  • "When the day came, Susan drove Levi to Denver International Airport. He had saved up from a fast-food job to buy the ticket: Seattle to Iceland to Sweden and finally to Turkey. From there, the rebels would drive him to Iraq and then Syria. It was his first time abroad." [LA Times / David Kelly]
  • "Red Bull’s in the snuff-film business." [Yvon Chouinard to New Yorker / Nick Paumgarten]

Watch this: Mercury retrograde, explained without astrology

The science buried under the pseudoscience. [YouTube / Joss Fong and Gina Barton]

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