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Vox Sentences: “Don’t kill us, kill the bill!”

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Senate Republicans revive their long-shot health care bill; Iraqi Christians get a temporary reprieve from deportation under Trump; metal detectors at a Jerusalem holy site spark violence and worldwide protests.

The Senate health care bill is not dead yet

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • For the past few weeks, the Senate health care bill seemed finished. So many senators disliked the bill so much that four said they would not even vote for a motion to proceed with debate on it. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • Now, after a vote so tight that Vice President Mike Pence had to break a tie, senators have voted to begin debate. That debate continues tonight, and will include consideration of two bills that are almost certain not to pass. [Politico / Jennifer Haberkorn, Seung Min Kim, and Burgess Everett]
  • One bill is called the Better Care Reconciliation Act. It would repeal and replace Obamacare with a health plan that would severely cut Medicaid and drastically change other parts of the law. [NPR / Gisele Grayson]
  • The BCRA is the bill that Republican leaders have been working on for months, but conservatives didn’t like it because they thought it was too much like Obamacare. Meanwhile, moderates didn’t like it because they were concerned about Medicaid cuts. The bill would cause 22 million Americans to lose insurance. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • The other bill Republicans are considering is called the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, a straight repeal bill that would throw 32 million people off of health insurance. [Congressional Budget Office]
  • Both bills still face extremely steep odds, including procedural hurdles and continued opposition from senators. [Washington Post / Amber Phillips]
  • There’s also the possibility that senators could entertain a third option, so-called “skinny repeal,” which would repeal some of Obamacare's unpopular provisions like the individual mandate — but leave other things intact. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • The clock has already started on the health care debate; there will be 20 additional hours of debate before senators determine what exactly they’re going to vote on. [Vox / Alvin Chang]
  • To recap, Senate Republicans are taking a very short amount of time to vote on a to-be-determined bill, which could take away health insurance from millions of Americans. That’s unprecedented. [Vox / Sarah Kliff, Garet Williams, and Carly Sitrin]

Iraqi Christians won’t get deported ... yet

Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images
  • About 1,400 Iraqi Christians are safe from deportation, for now. [Vox / Sarah Wildman and Lindsay Maizland]
  • On Monday night, a federal judge in Detroit allowed lawyers for Chaldean Christians from Iraq to appeal their case federally, buying them extra time in the United States. They were facing immediate deportation back to their home country. [Vox / Sarah Wildman and Lindsay Maizland]
  • A huge reason the judge allowed the Chaldeans to stay is many feared they would be tortured or killed if they returned to Iraq. Christians are a minority in the country and have been targeted by jihadist groups in the past. [The Guardian / Amanda Holpuch]
  • The case has attracted nationwide attention because shortly after President Trump promised to welcome Iraqi Christian refugees into America, his administration arrested and prepared to deport about 200 Chaldeans, leaving the remaining 1,200 vulnerable to arrest at any time. [BBC]
  • US Homeland Security officials said all those arrested had serious criminal records, but lawyers for the Iraqis argued most of their clients had served their time and had committed no other offenses. [CNN / Lauren del Valle and Sonia Moghe]
  • The situation has also exposed a cruel irony for the Iraqis: Many supported Trump in the 2016 election, favoring his promises to grow the economy and oppose abortion. [NYT / Vivian Yee]
  • The decision of the federal judge in Michigan means that no Iraqi Christians can be deported from the US for the next few months, while their case heads to federal court. [Reuters / Steve Friess]

Metal detectors are causing chaos in the Middle East

Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • The Temple Mount, one of Israel’s holiest sites for Jews and Muslims alike, has become a site of violence and contentious protests in the past few weeks, and has opened up a serious rift between Israel and Jordan. [Vox / Sarah Wildman]
  • The incident that set it all off was two Arab-Israeli assailants shooting and killing two Israeli policemen on July 14 near the holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City. [Washington Post / William Booth]
  • That incident prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to temporarily close the site and install metal detectors. He closed the mosque to Muslim worshipers, which coincided with Friday prayers. [Times of Jerusalem / Alexander Fulbright]
  • Though this may seem like a routine security measure, the Temple Mount is a holy site shared by Jews and Muslims, and Netanyahu acted without consulting Muslim leaders. [Vox / Sarah Wildman]
  • That angered leaders in neighboring, predominantly Muslim countries, including Jordan and Turkey. Jordan’s King Abdullah called for the metal detectors to be removed, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of trying to kick Muslims out of the holy site, under the guise of security. [Haaretz / Barak Ravid]
  • The rift has sparked protests and violence in the region, claiming both Israeli and Palestinian victims. [The Guardian / Peter Beaumont]
  • And though Netanyahu promised to remove the metal detectors today, the damage may already be done; it has caused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to cut off tenuous diplomatic ties with Israel and caused protests as far away as Indonesia. [Vox / Sarah Wildman]


  • In the most benign political scandal of all time, a 25-year-old lawmaker in Australia resigned after his mother told him there’s a chance he’s Italian and has dual citizenship there. [Associated Press / Rod McGuirk]
  • Thousands of people are petitioning a Florida mayor to take down a statue of a Confederate general and replace it with one of a beloved local manatee named Snooty. [HuffPost / Dominique Mosbergen]
  • The curious incident of former press secretary Sean Spicer (allegedly) stealing a minifridge from a group of young White House aides. [WSJ / Michael Bender]
  • Facebook’s cafeteria workers make above minimum wage, but the tech giant’s influential presence in the area makes it impossible to buy homes or pay for medical bills on that salary. Now some employees say they want CEO Mark Zuckerberg to pay attention to the income disparity he has helped create. [The Guardian / Julia Carrie Wong]
  • Female athletes are very prone to concussions, but scientists don’t know a lot about how it affects them, because they almost exclusively study male athletes. [NPR / Jon Hamilton]


  • “I don’t take meetings without knowing what they are and I’m a suburban divorced woman who works part-time in a jewelry store.” [NYT reader Marty Hagerty / Ester Bloom via Twitter]
  • “We thought all the negative stories about the Islamic State were lies. When you fall in love with someone you only see the good side, and if someone tells you he or she is bad for you, you don’t listen.” [Nour Khairadania to BuzzFeed / Borzou Daragahi]
  • “The statewide political establishment is overwhelming Republican, white and male. It isn’t that they don’t care about African Americans, it’s that they don’t even think about them, unless it is in negative terms. As a result, everything in Alabama is tougher for African Americans.” [Alabama State Sen. Henry Sanders to the Guardian / Chris Arnade]
  • “‘Okay, we’ll call it Donald Fluffy Trump.’” ['Joe Scarborough to his children, as reported by New York Magazine / Olivia Nuzzi]
  • "This week, I was driving in my neighborhood when I spotted that most American of sights — a bunch of kids running a lemonade stand, waving signs and trying to flag down passing cars. And yet I didn’t stop — not because I don’t like lemonade (or kids), but because I simply don’t carry cash anymore, and I’m fairly sure the neighbor children weren’t taking credit cards." [Recode / Jan Dawson]

Watch this: The bizarre physics of fire ants

They're not just an animal; they're a material. And that's got engineers interested. [YouTube / Joss Fong and Dion Lee]

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