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Vox Sentences: Tragedy in Florida

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A school shooting kills more than a dozen in Florida; Netanyahu faces corruption charges.

American carnage

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • A school shooting at a high school in South Florida has left at least 17 people dead. The suspected shooter, a 19-year-old former student, opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. [CBS News and Associated Press]
  • This is still a developing story, so as the night goes on, we’ll likely learn more about the death toll, the shooter’s motive, the lives he ended, and so on. But in another sense, we all already know how this story goes. It’s a familiar one in America: There have been more than 1,600 mass shootings in the US in less than five years. [Vox / German Lopez, Ryan Mark, and Soo Oh]
  • We know, also, what comes next. As Adam Gopnik wrote in the New Yorker after the Virginia Tech massacre almost 11 years ago: “The cell phones in the pockets of the dead students were still ringing when we were told that it was wrong to ask why.” [New Yorker / Adam Gopnik]
  • But we know why. America has more guns. It also has more mass shootings. This isn’t about mental health or video games or bullying; it’s about easy access to dangerous weaponry. [NYT / Max Fisher and Jared Keller]
  • And while we don’t yet know the shooter’s stated motive in Wednesday’s attack, we do know a general warning sign for mass violence: domestic violence. [The Cut / Rebecca Traister]
  • ”We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else,” Democrat Chris Murphy said on the Senate floor shortly after the shooting. [Hartford Courant / Russell Blair]
  • We’ll leave you with this: At 3:06 pm Central time at Northern Illinois University, bells began tolling to honor the five students killed in a mass shooting 10 years ago today. [Chicago Tribune / Mike Danahey]
  • But the latest atrocity was likely to overshadow the anniversary. An hour and a half earlier, the gunshots had begun at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, the 18th time a gun was fired in an American school in the 45 days since 2018 began. [McClatchy / Crystal Hill]

A political scandal in Israel

  • Meanwhile, in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing multiple corruption charges. [Vox / Yochi Dreazen]
  • Netanyahu has led Israel for more than a decade and has weathered a number of political scandals during that time. But none have been as severe as this: Police say he allegedly received around $280,000 in gifts in return for political favors, while also making a secret pact with an Israeli publisher for favorable coverage. [Washington Post / Loveday Morris and Ruth Eglash]
  • Education Minister Naftali Bennett publicly criticized Netanyahu, saying, “Taking gifts in large sums over a long period of time is not living up to [the] standard of his office. ... Last night was an unpleasant moment for every citizen in Israel, and also for the Prime Minister, who is human.” [CNN / Oren Liebermann and James Masters]
  • Fighting back against the allegations, Netanyahu said the investigators’ findings were “full of holes, like Swiss cheese,” and vowed to serve to the end of his term. By Israeli law, he is only required to step down if he is convicted and the conviction is upheld through the appeals process to the high court, a process that could take years. [NYT / David M. Halbfinger]


  • Try as he might, Trump can’t shut down the Russia investigation ... even if he fires Mueller. [Politico / David Yassky and Bennett L. Gershman]
  • They’re 8,000 years old, discovered in Sweden, and mounted on stakes. They’re ... human heads, and nobody can explain where they came from. [National Geographic / Elaina Zachos]
  • There’s an explanation for conspiracy theories like the Illuminati, and it’s rooted in basic human nature. [Guardian / Julian Baggini]
  • If you fall in the forest and nobody is around to see it, did you really embarrass yourself at all? Research says no: For something to be embarrassing, other people have to be around to witness it. [Quartz / Katherine Ellen Foley]


“There’s no day like Valentine’s Day to remind you that your relationship probably won’t last forever!” [The Verge reports on Netflix’s Black Mirror releasing a promotional website that calculates how long your relationship will last / Lizzie Plaugic]

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