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Vox Sentences: The suspect in the Austin bombings is dead

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The Austin bombing suspect kills himself as police close in on him; French travel workers go on strike.


After a terrifying month, Austin breathes a sigh of relief

Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • A man suspected to be behind the serial bombings that targeted Austin, Texas, for the past month is now dead after blowing himself up early Wednesday morning, according to police. [NYT / Dave Montgomery and Jonah Engel Bromwich]
  • Authorities have identified the suspect as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, who lived in Pflugerville, Texas. Police are still piecing together Conditt’s background, but he attended Austin Community College and reportedly espoused conservative views. [Austin American-Statesman / Sean Collins Walsh Claire Osborn Tony Plohetski]
  • The package bombs Conditt was suspected of planting outside homes and sending through the mail killed two people and injured three others over the course of the month. [Washington Post / Alex Horton, Eva Ruth Moravec, and Eli Rosenberg]
  • The two people killed were Anthony Stephan House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17. House and Mason were both black, prompting initial concerns that the bombings were racially motivated. [Austin American-Statesman / Katie Hall and Jeremy Schwartz]
  • Over the course of the month, the bomber’s tactics changed. He started by placing package containing bombs outside homes, but the bombs grew more sophisticated; earlier this week, one bomb set off by tripwire injured two men in southwest Austin. [Houston Chronicle / St. John Barned Smith]
  • Police identified Conditt as a suspect when he started sending packages through the mail earlier this week; they were able to find him on FedEx security footage and track him through receipts at the hardware stores where they suspect he bought ingredients. [CNN / Doug Criss]
  • Police are still investigating the bombings and whether the suspect had accomplices. Authorities are urging people in Austin to remain vigilant. [San Antonio Express-News / Kelsey Bradshaw]

On Wednesday, police investigated the Pflugerville home Conditt lived in, sending a robot and bomb-sniffing dogs and evacuating residents in the area. [Allie Morris via Twitter]


French travel workers are going on strike

  • French President Emmanuel Macron is picking a fight with the country’s powerful railroad workers union by attempting to institute labor reforms that would include cuts to railroad benefits (some of the best in the country). [Bloomberg / Gregory Viscusi and Helene Fouquet]
  • Union workers aren’t happy with these proposed changes, and, as is customary in France, they’re going on strike. In addition to rail workers, air traffic controllers are planning to strike from Wednesday to Friday. [Independent / Simon Calder]
  • This is snarling travel into and out of France, and creating problems for European travel as a whole, as Paris is a major Euro hub. Furthermore, French air traffic controllers also monitor many more flights around the continent. [Condé Nast Traveler / Sebastian Modak]
  • Macron wants to get rid of certain benefits for rail workers, including the ability to retire early. These aren’t the last strikes workers are planning; there’s meant to be a rolling series of strikes starting next month as well. [NYT / Alissa Rubin]

Miscellaneous

  • A brief history of “serial killer glasses” and why they have such a distinct look. [Racked / Tori Telfer]
  • In more concerning environmental news: The amount of plastic littering the world’s oceans is expected to triple within a decade. [CNN / Lauren Said-Moorhouse]
  • A Holocaust denier whom the Illinois Republican Party described as a Nazi is the official GOP nominee in a liberal Chicago-area district. (Yes, really.) [NYT / Liam Stack]
  • Queen Elizabeth’s 92nd birthday will be cooler than any party you’ve ever thrown. [Time / Raisa Bruner]

Verbatim

“It was heartbreaking yesterday, but I was relieved I could say goodbye.” [Photographer Ami Vitale talks to CNN about documenting the last male white rhino’s final moments / Kyle Almond]


Watch this: Why female condoms are so hard to find

There are hundreds of kinds of male condoms for sale in the US — so why is there only one female condom? [YouTube / Dean Peterson]


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