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Vox Sentences: Instant divorce is no longer a thing in India

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The US Navy searches for answers after another fatal warship crash; Missouri puts off the execution of Marcellus Williams; India's highest court bans the practice of instant divorce.

Navy ships keep crashing in the Pacific

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/US Navy via Getty Images
  • Sailors' bodies are starting to be recovered after a fresh tragedy for the US Navy on Monday, when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore. Ten sailors were missing initially. [Vox / Kelly Swanson]
  • Beyond Monday's accident, though, a lot of US ships have been crashing in the Pacific this year. [CNN / Joe Sterling]
  • Seven US sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald hit a container ship near the coast of Japan. An investigation found the ship’s crew members weren't at their posts on the ship’s bridge, watching for other vessels, as they should have been. [Washington Post / Dan Lamothe]
  • There have been two other crashes involving Navy ships in South Pacific waters this year — in May and January — although neither resulted in injuries. [CNN / Joe Sterling]
  • Each crash has had different circumstances, but some experts are pointing to deeper problems in the Navy, including lag times for needed maintenance on ships and less training for sailors, combined with longer deployments. [CNN / Jeremy Herb]
  • There have also been questions of whether hackers have played a part in the spate of crashes. Top Navy officials said there’s no indication right now that’s the case, but added they’ll be looking into the possibility during a full investigation. [Adm. John Richardson via Twitter]
  • In the meantime, the Navy announced it was pausing day-to-day operations temporarily to examine what went wrong and focus on improving communication among ship crews. [NYT / Eric Schmitt and Keith Bradsher]

Missouri will hold off on its latest execution

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
  • After an eleventh-hour stay by Missouri’s Republican governor, death row inmate Marcellus Williams won’t be executed, for now. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch / John Bohler]
  • Gov. Eric Greitens relented after intense pressure not to put Williams to death as scheduled on Tuesday, after his defense attorneys presented new DNA evidence that they say exonerates him. [Washington Post / Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery]
  • Williams was convicted of killing former St. Louis Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle in 1998. But many questions have persisted about Williams's role in Gayle’s murder, especially after his attorneys said newer DNA technology showed that cells found on the murder weapon and hairs found on Gayle’s body belonged to another man. [Reuters / Chris Kenning]
  • His attorneys also want to take the case to the US Supreme Court, to either get a new trial to consider the new evidence or commute Williams’s sentence. [The Independent / Mythili Sampathkumar]
  • Before he decides whether to grant Williams a full pardon, Greitens said he would form a panel to examine the new DNA evidence. [Washington Post / Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery]
  • This is all playing out in a state that executes a lot of people each year. In 2015, Missouri surpassed Texas for the most lethal injections per capita. This was in part due to their ability to get pentobarbital, the pharmaceutical drug most often used to kill people on death row. [The Marshall Project / Maurice Cammeh]
  • Pentobarbital is in short supply right now because European pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell it to US prisons. [WNYC / More Perfect Podcast]
  • Missouri had been keeping quiet about the source of its drugs, but a sealed courtroom document showed the state was able to get pentobarbital from a supplier, even after that supplier said it wouldn’t allow the drug to be sold for executions. [BuzzFeed / Chris McDaniel]

Indian men can no longer divorce their wives with a text message

Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
  • Women’s rights advocates in India scored a huge win today, as that country’s Supreme Court outlawed the practice of “triple talaq,” or instant divorce, among its Muslim residents. [The Guardian / Michael Safi]
  • "Triple talaq" is more or less what it sounds like: Muslim men who wanted to divorce their wives just had to say the word “talaq,” Arabic for divorce, three times and their marriage was instantly dissolved. [Washington Post / Vidhi Doshi]
  • The outcome was much more difficult for women (who could not do the same). After a few years — or a few decades — of marriage, women were left to fend for themselves while their husband disappeared with no legal obligation to them or their children. [BBC]
  • The judges ruled that triple talaq violated women’s equality in India and also was not a necessary part of Islam. [Hindustan Times / Ashok Bagriya and Bhadra Sinha]
  • The practice isn’t mentioned in the Quran; as a matter of fact, the Islamic holy book says divorce should happen over a period of three months to allow both husband and wife to think it over.
  • Triple talaq has also been banned in more than 20 Muslim countries, including India's neighbors Pakistan and Bangladesh. But it’s persisted among India’s Muslim population; the religion is the second most prevalent in the country. [BBC / Geeta Pandey]
  • The legal challenge was brought by five women whose husbands instantly divorced them in various ways, whether it was verbal, in writing, or in a text message. [HuffPost / Betwa Sharma]


  • Fabric dye flowing into a Mumbai river is turning some of the Indian city’s stray dogs bright blue. [Hindustan Times / Badri Chatterjee]
  • The most prolific and nasty internet trolls that populate comment sections apparently live in ... wait for it ... Vermont, according to new survey data. Neighboring New Hampshire, meanwhile, takes the prize for being the least toxic state. [Wired / Lo Bénichou]
  • Donald Trump’s face has been stamped onto thousands of ecstasy pills seized by German police. Guess what color they are? [Associated Press]
  • A group of black women are demanding a statue honoring J. Marion Sims, known as “the father of modern gynecology,” be taken down, due to Sims using female slaves for medical experiments in the 1800s. [HuffPost / Jenavieve Hatch]
  • The Democratic governor of Colorado and the Republican governor of Ohio both think health care should be a right, and have been working on a bipartisan health care proposal that they plan to unveil in the coming weeks. [Colorado Public Radio / Rachel Estabrook]


  • “You can put all the risk assessments in place but you really don’t expect people to try to get into the artefacts.” [Museum director Claire Reed to the Guardian / Mattha Busby]
  • “It rarely — but not never — occurred to my younger self that, as a descendant of persons just like those, I built my body in a trinity of places built upon the brokenness of theirs.” [The Atlantic / Vann Newkirk]
  • “All you have to do is take your cookie pods (available via a subscription) out of the fridge, scan a QR code on the pod packaging via the accompanying CHiP app to set the correct baking settings, pop the dough pods (a maximum of four at a time) onto the baking surface, and wait 10-or-so minutes until your cookies ready.” [Thrillist / Tony Merevick]
  • “In Angola, they call Portugal the laundromat. It’s because it is.” [Portuguese lawmaker Ana Gomes to NYT / Norimitsu Onishi]
  • “He said, ‘It must’ve been really easy for you to get your job because you’re an Asian woman and people assume you’re good at math.’ It was absolutely stunning. I remember me just emotionally shutting down.” [Qichen Zhang to the Guardian / Sam Levin]

Watch this: Trump’s plan to cut his own taxes

The proposed budgets in Congress will make Trump even richer. [YouTube / Alvin Chang, Javier Zarracina, Mallory Brangan, and Liz Scheltens]

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