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Vox Sentences: Lordy, I hope there are pee tapes

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James Comey’s explosive new book is about to come out; that turtle with green hair that went viral this week is endangered.

Heeeere’s Comey!

Ralph Alswang/ABC via Getty Images
  • James Comey is back, baby. And he has some tea to spill. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
  • The former FBI director’s new tell-all book about his tenure at the bureau and firing by President Donald Trump is out next week, but excerpts started leaking to the Washington Post last night. And from what we’ve read so far, it’s a doozy. [Washington Post / Philip Rucker]
  • First of all, there’s the revelation from Comey that Trump was seemingly obsessed with the possible existence of the infamous “pee tape” of Russian prostitutes urinating on a Moscow hotel bed that the Obamas had slept in, on Trump’s behest. [Washington Post / Philip Rucker]
  • Comey writes that Trump wanted him to try to make the scandalous, unverified dossier go away because the revelations about the prostitutes were too difficult for first lady Melania Trump to read about. [ABC / George Stephanopoulos]
  • Comey says Trump ran things at the White House like a mob boss runs the Mafia, on which everything was based on loyalty. [Reuters]
  • He said plenty of other things about Trump’s character as well, describing the president as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.” [CNN / Chris Cillizza]
  • Trump, predictably, did not handle the news well. The president had several afternoon outbursts on Twitter, in one calling Comey a “slimeball” and in another lashing out at former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, saying, “McCabe was totally controlled by Comey — McCabe is Comey!!” [Donald Trump via Twitter]
  • As much as Comey is making himself out to be the hero in this, it’s worth noting he has a problematic past, including how he handled the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails while staying silent about the investigation of Trump during the 2016 campaign. [Vox / Alex Ward]

Meet a turtle with a green mohawk on the endangered species list

  • The internet was captivated Thursday by a turtle with green “hair” (it’s actually algae) and the uncanny ability to breathe through its genitals, which had this week been added to a list of “evolutionarily distinct” endangered species. [Reuters / Colin Packham]
  • The list of “weird reptiles” is defined by both their extinction risk and how unusual their features have become through evolution, according to Imperial College London. Like other endangered species lists, the goal is to highlight species that will need help from conservationists if they want to avoid going extinct. [Newsweek / Elana Glowatz]
  • As of now, Australia doesn’t have a plan for protecting the Mary River turtle. (Even when an animal is designated an endangered species, that does not mean it’s automatically protected.) [Guardian / Lisa Cox]
  • The list also comes a few days after the publication of a new study showing how marketing affects our perception of endangered species, the thought being that the more often we see an animal, the less at risk of extinction we believe it is. [Australian Broadcasting Corporation / Nick Kilvert]


  • Checkout lines are about to get (marginally) faster: Credit card signatures will soon be a thing of the past. [The Verge / Chaim Gartenberg]
  • A small Dutch village installed “musical rumble strips” to warn drivers who veered onto the shoulder. A few days later, annoyed residents demanded they be removed. [NYT / Palko Karasz and Yonette Joseph]
  • When it comes to the fresh hell that is glitter sunscreen, can we just ... not? [Racked / Cheryl Wischhover]
  • A moss specialist was accidentally hired for one of the most intense covert operations of World War II. Then he helped end the war. [Mental Floss / Jake Rossen]


“Our society is quite conservative, and for someone to come out and point a finger at someone who’s assaulted her is huge, I don’t know if we’re ready for it yet.” [Cindy Bishop, a Thai celebrity, on creating the hashtag #DontTellMeHowToDress after the Thai government told women to prevent sexual assault by dressing conservatively / Bloomberg]

Watch this: How border walls disrupt nature

The environmental impact of Trump’s wall, explained. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin and Eliza Barclay]

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