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Vox Sentences: Suspicious packages

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Explosive devices mailed to public figures like the Obamas and Clintons prompt a national response; the EU votes to ban single-use plastics by 2021.

A trail of pipe bombs on the East Coast

Gio Benitez/ABC News via Twitter
  • A series of explosive devices sent to the homes and offices of prominent public and political figures in the past three days has sparked a national investigation by the FBI, law enforcement, and the media. [Vox / Jane Coaston, Emily Stewart, and Jen Kirby]
  • Targets of the attempted attacks were former President Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former US Attorney General Eric Holder. [CBS News]
  • The Secret Service intercepted the attacks against the Obamas and Clintons, who were mailed the pipe bombs at their home addresses in Washington, DC, and upstate New York, respectively. Brennan’s package was addressed to the CNN studio in Manhattan, prompting the entire newsroom to evacuate the building early Wednesday. Brennan does not work for CNN. [Washington Post]
  • The package meant for Holder was delivered to its return address, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Florida office. A suspicious package addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters was intercepted at a congressional mail facility before it reached her. [NYT / William K. Rashbaum]
  • These bomb threats came only two days after an explosive device was found in a mailbox at the home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros. [New Yorker / Eric Lach]
  • The FBI said Wednesday evening that the bomb and suspicious packages received over the past two days will be sent to the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis. Law enforcement has not commented on the motives behind the attacks or whether the incidents are related. [CNN]
  • Leading GOP and Democratic figures took to social media to condemn the bomb threats and thank first responders. President Donald Trump briefly commented on the incidents at a White House event, saying that “acts of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.” [Vox / Stavros Agorakis]

EU-wide ban on throwaway plastics

  • The European Parliament approved a sweeping ban on single-use plastics across all EU nations and the UK on Wednesday in an effort to encourage manufacturers to recycle and help reduce ocean pollution. [BBC]
  • Under the new legislation, plastic straws, cotton swabs, and other readily disposable items will no longer be in use by 2021, and EU residents will be obliged to recycle 90 percent of plastic bottles by 2025. The directive passed with an overwhelming majority: 571 members voted for it. [Guardian / Arthur Neslen]
  • Plastic products make up more than 80 percent of ocean litter. Marine species like sea turtles, seals, and whales are often found with plastic residue in their stomachs after they die. [European Parliament]
  • The EU recycles only a quarter of the 25 million tons of plastic waste it produces annually, so the ban will have a significant impact on marine conservation. The final measures of the ban still need to be discussed with some member states. [Reuters / Alissa de Carbonnel]


  • After banning clown costumes from a Halloween event in a Michigan city, its Parks and Recreation Commission reversed the decision, instead advising parents to use their best judgment when dressing their children. [Detroit Free Press / Fiona Kelliher]
  • British police is searching for a David Schwimmer look-alike who stole a wallet, phone, and jacket from an English restaurant in late September. [Newser / Arden Dier]
  • Steve Carell is returning to television next season for the first time since The Office ended, now starring in a morning show drama along with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Whitherspoon. [THR / Lesley Goldberg]
  • New research suggests that taller people are at greater risk of cancer because their bodies have more cells in which dangerous mutations can occur. [Guardian / Nicola Davis]


“I feel as if they kidnapped my daughter. This is my first bonsai.” [Hawaii police are looking for a stolen bonsai tree, whose owner said he cared for it for 56 years / AP]

Watch this: The quest for the perfect apple

SweeTango, Zestar, Rave, Cosmic Crisp, EverCrisp, Arctic, Kissabel, Envy. These are the names of fancy new apples hoping to satisfy your taste buds. [YouTube / Ellen Rolfes and Alexandra Cardinale]

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