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Vox Sentences: Emmanuel Macron won the French election. Now comes the hard part.

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

France gets a new president; Texas gets a new law against sanctuary cities; 82 Chibok girls get their freedom.

France’s new President Macron has his work cut out for him

Ceremony To Mark The 72nd Anniversary Of The End Of World  War II in Paris Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
  • Pro-EU, pro-immigration centrist Emmanuel Macron won France’s presidential race yesterday, in a notable rebuke of far-right populism following Donald Trump’s victory and a near win for the far right in Austria’s presidential election. [NYT / Adam Nossiter]
  • Macron, 39, will be the youngest president since France’s Fifth Republican began in 1958, and it will also be his first time holding elected office. He won 66.1 percent of the vote, far outpacing his performance in pre-election polls. [FiveThirtyEight / Harry Enten]
  • His opponent Marine Le Pen ran as the National Front candidate, and while she distanced the party from its platform when her Holocaust-denying father ran it, she still called for a total halt to all immigration, exiting the euro, and cozying up to Putin. At 33.9 percent of the vote, she outperformed her father’s runoff performance in 2002, but still fell far short of winning. [Wall Street Journal / William Horobin, Stacy Meichtry]
  • She arguably didn’t even get second place. Of the total votes cast, Macron got 20,257,167. Le Pen received 10,584646. But abstentions and white ballots together, indicating dissatisfaction with both candidates, totaled 15,461,849. [CNN / Eliza Mackintosh, Judith Vonberg]
  • Despite her loss, Le Pen’s rise nonetheless signaled a growing receptivity of French voters to far-right populism, something Macron himself discussed in his victory speech: “I understand the anger, the doubt, the anxiety that many have expressed, and I will do everything I can in the coming five years to make sure they never have a reason to vote for extremism again.” [BuzzFeed News / Alberto Nardelli]
  • Macron won’t be able to accomplish much without a parliamentary majority. Polling is scarce, but one recent projection showed his En Marche party getting the largest share of seats, followed by the center-right Republicans with the Socialist and National Front way, way behind. [Reuters / Adrian Croft]
  • Macron picked up most people who voted for far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Socialist Benoît Hamon in the election's first round, and almost half of Republican François Fillon’s supporters, following much speculation that Mélenchon’s anti-establishment voters would fail to turn out to defeat Le Pen. [Financial Times / John Burn-Murdoch, Billy Ehrenberg-Shannon, Aleksandra Wisniewska, Aendrew Rininsland]
  • So who came out ahead in the election, ultimately? The EU and Europe, for sure, as well as immigrants and refugees. Meanwhile, Trump and Putin are surely both frustrated that their preferred candidate lost. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp​]

The new Texas law against sanctuary cities

Charter Communications CEO Thomas Rutledge And TX Gov Greg Abbott Address The Press After Meeting With President Trump Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • On Facebook Live last night, with no advance public notice, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that essentially requires local governments to comply with federal immigration agents. [NPR / Doreen McCallister]
  • The law allows police to ask about immigration status during traffic stops or any other legal detention — and prohibits cities, counties, and universities from setting policies that tell officers not to ask. Additionally, it requires police and jail officials to comply with any request from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to hold immigrants after they’d be released from jail so ICE can pick them up — and allows any law enforcement official who doesn’t comply with an ICE request to be fined, jailed, or removed from office. [Dallas News / James Barragan]
  • Abbott and Republicans characterize the bill as a ban on “sanctuary cities” — which they (like the Trump administration) characterize as lawless places that refuse to help enforce immigration law. But no city in Texas fits that caricature. Not even Austin, which is widely considered a sanctuary city, has any rule prohibiting its police department from cooperating with ICE or asking about immigration status during unrelated investigations and stops — or even discouraging it. [Texas Monthly / Doyin Oyeniyi]
  • Instead, the state law targets local policies that govern when jail officers agree to hold immigrants for ICE. Many localities (including in Texas) make a practice of turning people convicted of serious crimes over to ICE, but not people who’ve been convicted of or charged with, say, traffic offenses. [Vox / Liz Scheltens, Dara Lind]
  • From that perspective, it’s taking discretion away from local law enforcement — and Texas’s chiefs are duly steamed. Two police officers, interim Chief for Dallas David Pughes and Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo, penned an op-ed for Dallas News before the bill was signed. “Broad rules, such as those imposed by SB 4, that push local law enforcement to take a more active role in immigration enforcement will further strain the relationship between local law enforcement and these diverse communities,” they write. [Dallas News / David Pughes, Art Acevedo]
  • The Trump administration has made its own effort to go after “sanctuary cities.” But it’s limited in what it can do. The federal government doesn’t have the authority to force local police to help out federal efforts, and a nascent attempt to deny federal grants to “sanctuaries” has been nipped in the bud by a federal judge (who thinks it, too, goes beyond what the feds can actually do). [New York Times / Vivian Lee]
  • The state is on much firmer footing. The shakiest part of the law, constitutionally, is the provision allowing local police to ask suspected immigrants for papers. The bill’s critics have compared Texas’s law to a 2010 Arizona law that was mostly struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012. But Abbott and defenders of the bill point out that the “show me your papers” provision of the Arizona law wasn’t preemptively struck down — the Supreme Court just said it would be watching closely, and Arizona folded. [CBS News / Associated Press]
  • Just to be sure, though, Abbott isn’t waiting to get sued by cities or civil rights groups. He’s suing them preemptively, in the hopes that he can get a good ruling out of the courts in time for the law to go into effect on September 1. [AP via Houston Chronicle]

82 more Chibok girls have been released by Boko Haram

First Anniversary Of Terrorist Group Boko Haram Abducting 200 Nigerian Girls Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
  • It’s been more than three years since militant extremists from the Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from the Chibok Government Secondary School in Nigeria. Though several dozen escaped soon after, and families and supporters in Nigeria have continued to hold #BringBackOurGirls rallies to demand the return of the rest, 219 remained missing — until recently.
  • In April 2016, the group released a proof-of-life video with 15 of the girls — the first time it was confirmed that any of them were still alive. [Washington Post / Kevin Sieff]
  • In May of that year, one girl was found pregnant in a forest. In October, 21 of the girls were freed in government negotiations with Boko Haram. Near the end of 2016, a girl was freed during a raid on a forest hideout. And in January 2017, a girl was found wandering near a forest where Boko Haram has a stronghold. [Wall Street Journal / Joe Parkinson, Gbenga Akingbule]
  • This past weekend marked the Nigerian government’s biggest breakthrough yet (with an assist in negotiations from the government of Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross): Boko Haram freed 82 more girls in exchange for government-held prisoners. [Washington Post / Kevin Sieff]
  • 113 of the girls remain missing — in addition to hundreds, or even thousands, of other people Boko Haram has kidnapped (and to say nothing of the thousands they’ve killed or the nearly 2 million they’ve driven from their homes). [Reuters / Felix Onuah, Ahmed Kingimi]
  • It’s unclear how many girls remain in captivity, or what the prospects look like for their freedom — or even what condition they’re in. In August 2016, Boko Haram released a video in which one kidnapped girl claimed that five of her schoolmates were killed in airstrikes against the group. A Boko Haram fighter tells the Nigerian government, “Some of the girls are crippled, some are terribly sick and some of them, as I had said, died during bombardment by the Nigerian military.” [Wall Street Journal / Gbenga Akinbule]
  • The current president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, took office (in a historic peaceful transfer of power) in May 2015, in a race partly determined by predecessor Goodluck Jonathan’s utter incompetence at fighting Boko Haram — including his failure to rescue any of the girls, whose kidnapping quickly drew international attention. (Jonathan’s tendency to rig elections didn’t endear him to the public, either.) [BBC / Damian Zane]
  • Jonathan started an overhaul of military tactics, but Buhari has pushed the military to take a far more aggressive approach with Boko Haram and has sought collaboration — including working with local hunters in Nigeria who know the forests better than Boko Haram, and using surveillance drones from the US. His efforts have been largely successful, and Boko Haram has withdrawn into smaller and smaller territory deep in the Sambisa Forest. [Wall Street Journal / Drew Hinshaw, Gbenga Akingbule]
  • Many see Buhari as personally responsible for Nigeria’s success in fighting Boko Haram, and rumors that he is in poor health have many Nigerians concerned. Buhari was one of the first to receive the girls yesterday, meeting with them personally before leaving for London to visit with his doctors. Late in the day, an unofficial list of the 82 girls began to circulate, though some families from Chibok left on Sunday as soon as news of the exchange reached them — without knowing if their daughters were among those freed. [New York Times / Dionne Searcey​]


  • Hey, so deer. What’s up with deer these days? They’re eating human flesh, that’s what’s up. [Popular Science / Sarah Fecht]
  • Could Dinesh on Silicon Valley really have racked up $21 billion in fines by being a terrible CEO? Fines that he, and not the company, would have to pay? Alas, no. [Forbes / Zara Stone]
  • Nicholas Green, a 7-year-old American boy, was shot and killed in Italy in 1994, apparently at random. He's left an impressive legacy: Seven different people received his organs, and his story has been credited with dramatically expanding organ donation in the country. [BBC / Harry Low]
  • How the ACLU, known more for litigation than grassroots organizing, became the institutional center of anti-Trump activism. [Fast Company / Kathleen Davis]
  • You, lame and boring: listen to music on Spotify. Me, sophisticated and urbane: only listen to new music released on "cassettes covered in shards of actual broken glass." [Vice / Miles Rayner]


  • “A man killed a squirrel with a bow and arrow that was outside his window after the animal gave him ‘a look,’ prosecutors said.” [DNAinfo New York / Nicholas Rizzi]
  • “Asked why reporters were asked to leave, a PR person [for Jared Kushner's family business] who declined to identify herself said simply, ‘This is not the story we want.’” [Washington Post / Emily Rauhala and William Wan]
  • “Head-mating is a common theme with Sirocco. He has tried to mate with heads so often that scientists once fashioned an ‘ejaculation helmet’ for volunteers to don. The rubber headgear features an array of dimples to collect semen — essentially, a hat of condoms. It never worked, as kākāpō are intense at intercourse, doing it for close to an hour while most birds require just a few seconds." [Smithsonian / Claire Voon]
  • “After the anonymous internet user called on others on 4Chan, an online message board favored by the alt-right, to start a ‘Total Meme War’ to help Ms. Le Pen, he warned against mimicking American-style attacks. Yet international supporters repeatedly used Pepe the Frog, a cartoon tied to anti-Semitism and racism that has become an unofficial mascot of the alt-right movement. Many did so without realizing the amphibian is often used as a slur against French people.” [NYT / Mark Scott]
  • “LARSEN: 'Kevin, what happened on that Gobert kerfuffle?' CURRY: 'That is a word right there.' DURANT: 'What’d you say?' LARSEN: 'Kerfuffle.' DURANT: 'Good job, bro.' CURRY: 'That is STRONG.'“ [Andy Larsen, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant via SB Nation / Kristian Winfield]

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