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Vox Sentences: Shutdown countdown

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A government shutdown looms; 2017 takes second place for warmest year ever.


Government shutdown alert

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
  • Time is running out. Congress must pass a spending bill by midnight Friday, or the government shuts down. [Vox]
  • That’s looking more likely by the hour. Senate Democrats say they have enough votes to force a shutdown. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • The Democratic sticking point: a long-term deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
  • Republicans have put forward a short-term spending bill that would keep the government open until February 16. The deal would extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) another six years, and delay some Obamacare taxes. But it wouldn’t offer a solution to DACA. [Washington Post / Mike DeBonis, Elise Viebeck, and Ed O’Keefe]
  • Some lawmakers rallied around the idea of an even shorter short-term bill to fund the government a few more days as Republicans and Democrats hammer out a deal on immigration. But right now, that plan is also quite a long shot. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • How is President Trump handling all this? Well, he’s not exactly helping out his GOP colleagues. Blame Twitter, as usual. [NYT / Thomas Kaplan]
  • So what actually happens if the government shuts down? “Non-essential” services and operations are put on hold, and thousands of federal workers are furloughed. [Politico / Louis Nelson]
  • But the Trump administration is, at least, mulling a plan to keep national parks and monuments open in case of a shutdown. [Washington Post / Lisa Rein and Juliet Eilperin]

The past four years have been the warmest in human history

  • 2017 was either the second- or third-warmest year on record, according to reports released today by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Why the “or”? The two government agencies use different methodologies to calculate global temperatures. [Washington Post / Chris Mooney]
  • What the two reports do agree on, however, is that the planet is undergoing a long-term warming trend that shows no sign of abating. They also say that temperatures are driven by human activity, largely through the production of greenhouse gases. [Scientific American / Mindy Weisberger]
  • Notably, the heat recorded in 2015 and 2016 was exacerbated by El Niño, the Pacific climate pattern linked with higher-than-average temperatures. But 2017 was not an El Niño year, making it the warmest year on record without the climate pattern. [NYT]
  • The warming temperatures are linked to a series of catastrophic climate events over the past year, including a devastating hurricane season in the Atlantic, wildfires in California and Portugal, flash floods, and blistering heat waves. [Washington Post / Angela Fritz and Jason Samenow]

Miscellaneous

  • A large group of hospitals are fed up with rising drug prices and frequent shortages. So they’ve decided to produce their own prescriptions. [NYT / Reed Abelson and Katie Thomas]
  • Russian oligarchs are panicking in anticipation of the release of a new list of US sanctions. Some are even changing their schedules to avoid being seen with President Vladimir Putin. [Quartz / Max de Haldevang]
  • Amazon’s list of finalists for the location of its second headquarters was released today ... and it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect. [The Verge / Jacob Kastrenakes]
  • As a break from political controversy, here’s a different sort of strife: the search to figure out who really designed the US dime. [Atlas Obscura / Christina Djossa]

Verbatim

“We can’t believe the Pope married us. A pope has never married anyone on a plane.” [A flight attendant speaking to press after his on-flight wedding performed by ... well, you know / CNN]


Watch this: How faster computers gave us Meltdown and Spectre

These industry-breaking computer security exploits affect nearly every computer ever built. [You Tube / Danush Parvaneh]


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