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Vox Sentences: The US is officially no longer down with TPP

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Some of the biggest demonstrations in US history; President Trump's first executive orders; the Iraqi army's progress in Mosul gets undermined.

Everybody goes to the march

Women’s March on Washington Noam Galai/WireImage
  • An estimated 3.3 million people took part in Women's Marches throughout the US Saturday, in loose protest of the inauguration of Donald Trump and for women's rights (and that's not counting thousands more protesting abroad). [Vox / Sarah Frostenson]
  • The vibe of the marches was generally celebratory and creative — something you can see in any of the many, many compilations of signs. [BuzzFeed News / Julia Reinstein]
  • This makes psychological sense. Protests, like sporting events, are often things people participate in for the sense of collective effervescence — in this case, the energy of a gathered resistance. [New York / Drake Baer]
  • But was the celebration wholly earned? BuzzFeed's Bim Adewunmi (among others) keenly felt that the Women's March participants didn't understand the extent to which black resistance had made their tactics feasible (and in some cases, participants congratulated themselves for being "peaceful" because they hadn't gotten arrested by police). [BuzzFeed News / Bim Adewunmi]
  • And other activists aren't willing to be impressed with the turnout at Saturday's marches until the movement demonstrates staying power — and a strategy. [The Guardian / Micah White]
  • This doesn't mean protests never work. They do, often. [Washington Post / Robert Y. Shapiro]
  • But it does mean that attendees on Saturday were pressed to commit to what they would do for the next four years to keep the energy going (see some of their responses here). [Mother Jones / James West and AJ Vicens]

Gagged and frozen

Trump signing an executive order Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images
  • On what the Trump administration officially called "day one" (officially, day four), the president signed some executive orders — including one formally withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • That might kill the TPP entirely. Or it might just cause China to step in and fill the gap. [The Australian / Joe Kelly]
  • (That would certainly be ironic, given that the Trump administration is trying to make China's life harder on trade.) [CNN Money / Charles Riley]
  • President Trump also reinstated the Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule, which prevents any US-funded organization from even discussing abortion as an option. [BuzzFeed News / Jina Moore]
  • The last time the gag rule was in effect, under George W. Bush, abortions went up. So did maternal mortality. [UN Dispatch / Mark Leon Goldberg]
  • Finally, the president put a federal hiring freeze into effect — except for the military and "necessary" positions for national security and public safety. [Eric Katz via Twitter]
  • The hiring freeze, like the gag rule, has been tried before, and like the gag rule has not exactly had the intended outcome. [NPR / Yuki Noguchi]

Running into trouble in Mosul

Mosul Hemn Baban/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • The prime minister of Iraq ordered an investigation Monday into human rights violations committed by Iraqi troops in Mosul. [AP / Sinan Salaheddin]
  • (The battle for Mosul, a city that is one of ISIS's last strongholds in Iraq, is currently in its fourth month.) [The Guardian / Paul Torpey, Pablo Gutiérrez, and Paul Scruton]
  • The investigation was sparked by a video, posted on social media, in which three ISIS soldiers are tortured and murdered by men who appear to be Iraqi soldiers. [UN Assistance Mission for Iraq via Twitter]
  • Adding insult to injury, the Iraqi military prematurely announced Monday that it had fully recaptured eastern Mosul from ISIS forces — only to retract the declaration of victory since fighting was still going on. [Al Jazeera]
  • Eastern Mosul is likely to be retaken imminently by Iraqi forces anyway. But the western part of the city will be much harder. [Reuters / Maher Chmaytelli and Saif Hameed]



  • "Dictators do not lie openly to the media about things that are easy to check." [Tom Pepinsky]
  • "Every Monday morning, Tugas leaves at 4 am, says goodbye to his wife and four daughters, drives 90 miles to the city, and lugs around passengers until he earns $300 or gets too tired to keep going. (Most days he nets $230 after expenses like gas.) Then, he and at least a half dozen other Uber drivers gathered in the Social Safeway parking lot to sleep in their cars before another long day of driving." [Bloomberg / Eric Newcomer and Olivia Zaleski]
  • "Don't try to fight the firehose of falsehood with the squirtgun of truth. Try to put 'raincoats' on those who will be hit with the firehose." [RAND Corporation / Christopher Paul]
  • "This brief briefing also served as a trial by fire for Spicer himself: Could he get through an entire five minute speech to the press without slipping in an attack on his arch-enemy Dippin’ Dots, The Ice Cream Of The Future?" [A.V. Club / William Hughes]
  • "Three-quarters of primate species are in decline, the researchers found, and about 60 percent are now threatened with extinction. From gorillas to gibbons, primates are in significantly worse shape now than in recent decades because of the devastation from agriculture, hunting and mining." [NYT / Carl Zimmer]

Watch this: Barack Obama vs. Donald Trump — inauguration crowds

President Donald Trump boasted his inauguration would have an "unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout." Here we compare what the crowds looked like on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in 2009 and in 2017. [YouTube / Vox]

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