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Vox Sentences: The great US-Canada trade war of 2017 rages on

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Ella Nilsen. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

The US and Canada are engaged in another nasty trade fight; Bali residents are evacuating ahead of a possible volcano eruption; Trump's Cabinet members are spending a whole lot of taxpayer money.

Make trade wars great again

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • The US, Canada, and the UK are currently caught up in a nasty trade dispute that could have far-reaching consequences. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it would hit the Montreal plane manufacturer Bombardier with a whopping 220 percent tariff on its planes. [US Department of Commerce]
  • The move came after the American airplane manufacturer Boeing complained about Canadian government subsidies for Bombardier, saying they were unfair. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • Hitting the Canadian company with tariffs may have pleased Boeing, but it pissed off both Canada and Britain, where wings for Bombardier planes are manufactured. The tariff could imperil some 4,000 jobs in the UK. [The Independent / Ben Chu]
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a stern warning to Boeing, saying the company's behavior undermines its relationship with her government. Part of the reason she’s coming out against this so strongly is the location of the Bombardier plant; it’s in Northern Ireland, which is a strategic political partner for May. [Reuters / William Schomberg and David Milliken]
  • The fact that the US stepped in on Boeing’s side so forcefully could put it in a rocky position as it continues to renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, amid ongoing uncertainty about what exactly President Trump wants out of the agreement. [The Toronto Star / Tonda MacCharles]
  • And it underlines the fact that even though Trump often blasts countries like China and Mexico when he talks trade, Canada is bearing the brunt. The country was also hit with a lumber tariff earlier this year. [CNN Money / Alanna Petroff]

Bali watches and waits as a volcano rumbles

Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images
  • The Indonesian island of Bali is on volcano watch, as Mount Agung has been rumbling a lot in recent days. [NPR / Bill Chappell and Richard Gonzales]
  • More than 130,000 people have fled their homes in recent days. The government placed the volcano on its highest alert level last week, after recording hundreds of small volcanic earthquakes near the mountain. Indonesia’s government has called the seismic activity “unprecedented.” [Associated Press]
  • It’s tough to predict exactly when a volcano is going to erupt, but hundreds of small earthquakes are a pretty good indicator that it could happen soon. [The Guardian / Kate Lamb]
  • Some locals in secluded mountain areas are refusing to leave their homes and farms. [The Telegraph / Nicola Smith and Simon Roughneen]
  • Agung is located in the so-called “ring of fire,” a very active volcanic region in the Pacific Ocean that goes through Indonesia’s islands. The mountain last erupted in 1963, spewing rivers of lava and debris and killing 1,000 people. [BuzzFeed / Ellie Hall]
  • Bali is a very popular tourist destination. Even as the Indonesian government is evacuating local residents, it’s still encouraging tourists to visit the island, and flights to Bali have not yet been canceled. [ / Matt Young]
  • If the volcano does erupt, it could spew a cloud of ash so big that it would temporarily obscure the sun and, by doing so, could bring down the Earth’s temperature. [Al Jazeera]

Tom Price and the case of the $25,000 plane ticket

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • US Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price apologized today for all the fancy private jets he’s been flying on recently. [Alice Ollstein via Twitter]
  • A series of reports by Politico revealed that in recent months, Price has spent upward of $400,000 on at least 26 chartered flights as he's traveled around the US for speeches and events. Past HHS secretaries have normally flown on commercial airlines, which are much cheaper. [Politico / Josh Dawsey, Andrew Restuccia, and Louis Nelson]
  • Some of Price’s trips have been incredibly short — and incredibly expensive. In one case, he took a $25,000 chartered flight from Washington, DC, to Philadelphia, which takes an hour and a half by train. Many of the visits have been to meet with state and local officials, but some have included visits with friends and family members — all on the taxpayers' dime. [Politico / Dan Diamond and Rachana Pradhan]
  • Trump is reportedly angry about all the high-cost travel. When a reporter asked yesterday whether Price would be fired over the chartered flights, Trump responded, “We’ll see.” [CNN / Lauren Fox, Jeremy Diamond, and Jeff Zeleny]
  • Today, Price issued an official apology, vowing to pay back the government (though there's a big discrepancy in what he's paying versus what he spent). [Dan Diamond via Twitter]
  • But Price not the only Trump Cabinet member spending big lately. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt has also been taking chartered and military flights since he started in February. He’s taken fewer than Price, but it’s still cost taxpayers about $58,000. [Washington Post / Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin]
  • Pruitt also seems extremely preoccupied with privacy and security; he has a 24/7 security detail after reportedly receiving numerous death threats, and he recently pulled EPA agents off criminal investigations to staff the detail. [Washington Post / Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin]

Pruitt also recently spent more than $25,000 for a soundproof communications booth for his computer and phone, which has never been requested by any prior EPA administrator. [NYT / Lisa Friedman]


  • North America’s most isolated rural communities could benefit the most from online shopping for basic supplies. But retailers like Amazon are having a hard time delivering the goods — literally. [Racked / Hilary George-Parkin]
  • In BuzzFeed’s ongoing defamation lawsuit over the explosive Trump dossier (think the alleged pee tape), it’s trying to depose former FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. [Vanity Fair / Joe Pompeo]
  • After a rainbow pride flag flew at a rock concert in Egypt, the government cracked down harshly on concertgoers, arresting seven. [NYT / Declan Walsh]
  • There is a huge homelessness problem among America’s transgender youth, many of whom have been kicked out or left their families and have nowhere to go. About a third of the 1.3 million trans people living in the US have dealt with homelessness at some point in their lives. [Rolling Stone / Laura Rena Murray]
  • A dual-language high school in Boston is teaching students in both English and Spanish in every subject, from history to calculus. [Hechinger Report / Tara Garcia Mathewson]


  • “If there were not cultural appropriation there would never have been hippies. I don’t mean to be flippant, but we turned away from the culture of the time and looked elsewhere.” [Diane Albino to the Outline / Alex Ronan]
  • “In another episode, a double-decker bus named Bulgy comes to the station and talks about revolution — ‘Free the roads from railway tyranny!’ he cries. He is quickly labelled a ‘scarlet deceiver,’ trapped under a bridge, and turned into a henhouse.” [New Yorker / Jia Tolentino]
  • “It’s a little bit like Tom Hanks in ‘A League of Their Own.’ There is no crying in baseball. There is no getting your feelings hurt in show business, because the entire system is based on hurting your feelings.” [Actor Dana Carvey to Washington Post / Geoff Edgers]
  • “Your brain is a gelatinous mass, floating in a pool of cerebrospinal fluid inside your skull. A concussion occurs when the brain hits the skull, even if the person’s head doesn’t collide with an object. Whiplash alone can generate a concussion. After all, it doesn’t take much to deform Jell-O.” [The Verge / Elizabeth Lopatto]
  • “I love doing impressions of politicians because the task is always to imagine the private lives of these people whose job it is to project an image of staunch, unflinching leadership and grace, and that’s just not how human beings, in their heart of hearts, work.” [SNL star Kate McKinnon to Vanity Fair / Lili Anolik]

Watch this: How Hans Zimmer and Radiohead transformed "Bloom" for Blue Planet II

Radiohead's "Bloom," remixed for the ocean. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin and Gina Barton]

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