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Vox Sentences: Will Trump kill the Iran nuclear deal? Who knows!

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Trump is being very cagey about what he intends to do with the Iran nuclear deal; the SEC commissioner tell Congress about a very big hack; Germany heads to the polls, with a far-right party poised to pick up parliament seats.

Trump is playing the “will he, won’t he” game with Iran

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  • President Trump has made a decision on whether the US will pull out of its nuclear agreement with Iran. But what that decision is, he’s not saying yet. [Washington Post / Abby Phillip]
  • Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly this week, the president made it clear he wants to renegotiate parts of the deal. Less certain is whether he wants to scrap it altogether and start over. [Politico / Louis Nelson]
  • At the UN, Trump called the agreement an “embarrassment to the United States” and said he wants to add provisions to the deal including a clampdown on Iran developing ballistic missiles. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • The nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015, meant that Iran had to stop its nuclear weapons program and agree to UN inspections, in exchange for the lifting of US economic sanctions. [CNN / Eric Bradner]
  • For his part, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been pretty clear, saying the deal can’t be renegotiated but also that he’s open to fixing its “flaws.” Rouhani has also been very critical of Trump, calling his rhetoric unworthy of a sitting US president. [Reuters / Babak Dehghanpisheh]
  • There has been a lot of tough talk from Trump on the Iran deal since he took office, but not a ton of action to match it. Every 90 days, he has to certify that Iran is in compliance with the deal, and so far, he has done that. [The Guardian / Peter Westmacott]
  • The next big deadline for certification is October 15. If Trump decides to pull out of the deal, there would be no incentive for Iran to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and French President Emmanuel Macron recently warned that the Middle Eastern nation could turn into another North Korea if the deal were scrapped. [USA Today / Owen Ullman]

Hackers gonna hack

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  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed Wednesday that hackers were able to penetrate its system and access the filings of publicly traded companies. [Washington Post / Renae Merle]
  • Even more worrisome, SEC officials said hackers may have traded those files illegally in order to profit. But the agency didn’t provide much more detail, saying it's continuing to investigate the situation. [WSJ / Dave Michaels]
  • The SEC became aware of the initial hack last year but didn’t realize the information potentially was used to make trades until last month, SEC Chair Jay Clayton told members of Congress. [Bloomberg / Benjamin Bain and Matt Robinson]
  • The SEC is the country’s top watchdog and enforcer of federal securities laws, so a hack of its systems that could be used to make illegal trades is particularly embarrassing for the agency. [Reuters / Sarah N. Lynch and Dustin Volz]
  • But there have been warnings that the agency’s cyberdefenses were down. A report by the US Government Accountability Office found problems with the SEC’s IT systems that it said could threaten the confidentiality of company information. [NYT / Alexandra Stevenson and Carlos Tejada]
  • It also highlights the increasing threat of hacks and cyberattacks, especially after the massive hack of the credit ratings agency Equifax, which affected more than 100 million Americans, even ones who hadn't signed up for Equifax’s services. [Ars Technica / Dan Goodin]

Germany’s far-right history is coming back to haunt it

Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images
  • Germany is headed to the polls to pick a new chancellor, and though it’s looking like longtime leader Angela Merkel is poised for another win, the election is one to watch for a number of reasons that have little to do with Merkel. [Washington Post / Rich Noack]
  • Campaign season has been pretty quiet in Germany so far; the center-right Merkel is running against only one other serious candidate, center-left Social Democrat Martin Schulz. The two candidates have only had one debate, and polls show Merkel ahead by 40 percent, with Schulz trailing at around 25 percent of the vote. [The Guardian]
  • But the biggest story of the election has nothing to do with either of them; it’s the fact that for the first time since the Nazis were defeated, a far-right party is looking like it will have delegates in German parliament. [Deutsche Welle]
  • The party in question is called Alternative for Germany party, or AfD for short. Like many other far-right movements in Europe and the US, the party is riding a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment. [NPR / Esme Nicholson]
  • That’s been apparent in the anti-Islam and anti-immigration rhetoric coming from the AFD’s leaders. They have proposed deporting refugees, as well as a ban on burqas and minarets in Germany. [Reuters / Tina Bellon]
  • AFD candidate Alexander Gauland drew criticism when he said Germans should be proud of soldiers in both the world wars, and the party has also been getting support from German neo-Nazis and anti-Muslim extremists. [BuzzFeed / J. Lester Feder and Felix Huesmann]
  • It’s not just getting them notice; it’s also getting them support. The latest polls show that AFD is hovering at around 10 to 12 percent support. And while that won’t get them anywhere near the chancellor’s seats, it means they could become Germany’s third-largest political party. [Al Jazeera]


  • It’s not just you: Jellyfish also become drowsy when they don’t get enough sleep the night before — a remarkable feat, considering they don’t even have brains. [Washington Post / Sarah Kaplan]
  • Put some toasted Brazil nuts, deviled ham, an avocado "pear," and Worcestershire sauce smack dab in between two doughnuts and presto! You’ve got a Goblin sandwich. The question of whether you’d want to eat it is another matter entirely. [NPR / Cynthia Greenlee]
  • Skinny-dipping in Estonia, volcanic sand baths in Japan, and water parks in China: how families around the world spent their 2017 summer vacations, in some very cool photos. [NYT Magazine]
  • It’s been almost five years since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the coasts of New York and New Jersey, but New York City’s non-emergency hotline is still getting calls about recovery and relief assistance. FiveThirtyEight tracked all the calls in a neat graphic. [FiveThirtyEight / Julia Wolfe and Oliver Roeder]
  • DC, get ready to be swamped with a whole bunch of new bike-share bikes: Three new dockless bike-share programs are coming in to compete with Capital Bikeshare. [Curbed / Michelle Goldchain]


  • “One of the earliest cases of exploding pants, and the one most closely associated with the phenomenon, involved a farmer named Richard Buckley, who made the local news after some of his pants exploded in his house.” [Atlas Obscura / Eric Grundhauser]
  • "What's being judged is not whether Soul Quest does serious work, but whether it is a true religion, and whether ayahuasca is so central to the exercise of this religion that it trumps drug laws.” [Anthropologist Bia Labate to Motherboard / Josh Adler]
  • "Seeing those words made me disgusted and disappointed — disgusted by these sentiments and disappointed that our systems allowed this.” [Sheryl Sandberg on Facebook’s controversial ad targeting to BuzzFeed / Alex Kantrowitz]
  • “With a maze, you've got to make all these choices about which way to go, and some are dead ends, some aren't. With the labyrinth, the only choice is to go in or not.” [Jeff Bridges to GQ / Caity Weaver]
  • “I define a best friend as someone who can empathize (i.e. personally share the same feelings) with most my vulnerable experiences as a person living in this world, and for that I’ve found my girlfriends to be much better qualified, at least as of now. However, I’ve never considered that a count against my romantic relationship.” [Man Repeller / Harling Ross]

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The design process for problem solving, in four steps. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin and Gina Barton]

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