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Vox Sentences: G20 questions

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Everything you need to know ahead of the G20 summit; midterm ballots may have been tampered with in a North Carolina congressional district.

For our readers in DC: Join Kara Swisher for a live taping of the Recode Decode podcast on December 4. Details here.

20 world leaders sit around a table in Buenos Aires

Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images
  • Leaders from the world’s most powerful nations are meeting Friday and Saturday at the annual G20 summit, which is held in Buenos Aires this year. They are expected to discuss issues affecting citizens on a global scale, including climate change, sustainable development, food security, and international trade. [Guardian / Julian Borger]
  • Talks of the summit were initially overshadowed by the US’s tumultuous ties with China, as the two nations are locked in a trade dispute over US President Donald Trump’s recent threats to escalate tariffs to 25 percent from the current 10 percent. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet on Saturday for the first time in more than a year. [Reuters / Caroline Stauffer and Cassandra Garrison]
  • The presence of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, at the summit has also sparked controversy after months of speculation over whether he was behind the murder and dismemberment of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Argentinian prosecutors are considering filing criminal charges against him for human rights abuses. [NYT / Daniel Politi and David D. Kirkpatrick]
  • The only G20 attendant to immediately embrace MBS appeared to be Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the two were seen enthusiastically shaking hands and smiling at each other. MBS has planned meetings with several leaders, including Putin, Jinping, and French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump canceled his formal meeting with Putin after condemning Russia’s naval attack on Ukraine last weekend. [Huffington Post / Sara Boboltz]
  • On Friday, the Argentine president opened the summit with remarks on unity, saying it is “our duty to show to the world that today, global challenges require global responses.” CNN has live coverage of the G20 meetup. [CNN / Angela Dewan, Brian Ries, and Jessie Yeung]
  • There’s more to the G20 summit than what’s happening inside closed doors, though. Protesters have flooded the Buenos Aires streets with the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, a group of women whose children were lost during Argentina’s military dictatorship; International Monetary Fund dissidents are among them. [Al Jazeera]
  • And Trump had a rather unwelcome visitor outside the Argentine Legislature: The massive Trump baby blimp that made him “feel unwelcome” during his July visit to London has followed him in Latin America. [Business Insider / Bill Bostock]

Why a North Carolina district is still making us talk about the midterms

  • The state board of elections and ethics enforcement will not certify the midterm results in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District following allegations that many absentee ballots may have been tampered with. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • Voters in rural Bladen and Robeson counties described people visiting them at home and asking them to hand over their absentee ballots, often without filling them out or signing them. Officials are especially looking into Bladen County, where unusually high numbers of ballots were cast, most for the Republican candidate. [Washington Post / Amy Gardner and Kirk Ross]
  • Republican Mark Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready by roughly 900 votes. The ballots in question could be a lot more than the discrepancy declaring a winner. [Charlotte Observer / Jim Morrill]
  • With the district results in limbo, experts suggest there will be a new election to decide on a congressional representative from the district near the South Carolina border. [CNN / Adam Levy]


  • The hotel chain Marriott announced Friday that its client reservation system had been hacked and the personal information of roughly 500 million guests was compromised. [CNN / Jordan Valinsky]
  • Fresh off the success of Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8, rising star Awkwafina is getting a 10-episode sitcom order on Comedy Central. [Comedy Central Press]
  • In a true fashion experiment, Payless Shoes converted a former Armani store in California into a fake luxury brand, in which brand influencers dropped as much as $640 for pairs of shoes worth only $20 each. [Twitter / NowThis]
  • An Atlantic story is making the rounds on social media for identifying some key spots across college campuses where students stay up past their bedtime. Some of the winners: a Waffle House, a diner, and a 24-hour Burger King. [Atlantic / Ashley Fetters]


“I would not buy anything in a grocery store that says ‘Italian’ on it.” [A representative for an Italian importing company talks to Mari Uyehara about the dubious provenance of San Marzano tomatoes / Taste]

Watch this: Why cartoon characters wear gloves

Animators had a few tricks up their slee ... err gloves. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell, John Canemaker, and Gina Barton]

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