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Vox Sentences: T-Mobile and Sprint promise their proposed merger won’t increase your phone bill

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Sprint and T-Mobile try to join forces yet again; another deadly spate of attacks in Afghanistan targets journalists and schoolchildren.


It’s merger time

David A.Grogan/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
  • Mobile phone carriers Sprint and T-Mobile plan to merge, if US regulators under the Trump administration sign off on the $26 billion deal. [The Verge / Colin Lecher]
  • This isn’t the first Sprint–T-Mobile merger attempt; the two companies also tried to merge in 2014 but ended up canceling the deal because the FCC under the Obama administration signaled it wouldn’t approve the deal. [NYT / Michael de la Merced]
  • There’s another reason Sprint and T-Mobile are trying again, besides hoping for a friendlier regulatory environment: Mobile companies are working on speedy 5G data network technology, which is expected to start rolling out soon. [NBC News / Martha White]
  • CEOs John Legere of T-Mobile and Marcelo Claure of Sprint have also promised the deal would create “thousands” of jobs, including in customer service, retail, and engineering. (This is a direct appeal to Trump.) [Vox / Emily Stewart]
  • While a giant merger may be concerning for regulators who want to preserve competition, consumers are more concerned about what might happen to their phone bill. [Washington Post / Brian Fung]
  • T-Mobile and Sprint are known for their cheaper phone plans, especially compared to AT&T and Verizon. The companies have promised their prices won’t go up, but it’s tough to tell if they’ll be able to follow through, especially if they want to get in on the faster 5G network. [CNN Money / Paul La Monica]
  • Whether the deal goes through is a test on a number of fronts. As Vox’s Matt Yglesias writes, one key test is whether FCC regulators will approve a deal that will mean less competition for American consumers ... at the same time that the Trump administration is suing to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of Time Warner. [Vox / Matt Yglesias]

The deadly attacks in Afghanistan show no signs of stopping

  • Monday was another day of deadly attacks in Afghanistan, with the latest spate of bombings seemingly targeting journalists. One journalist who was killed was Shah Marai, a well-known photographer for Agence France-Presse. [NPR / Diaa Hadid and Scott Neuman]
  • Two bombings and another shooting in the capital of Kabul killed at least 31, 10 of whom were journalists. It’s the most lethal day for Afghan journalists since 2002, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. [Guardian / Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Akhtar Mohammad Makoii, and Haroon Janjua]
  • The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks; it appears the perpetrators used a two-bomb strategy, deliberately drawing journalists and emergency responders to the scene of a first blast, then attacking again. [NYT / Mujib Mashal and Fahim Abed]
  • Bombers also struck in the southern city of Kandahar, killing 11 schoolchildren and injuring 16 more (no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack). The past few months have been particularly bloody for Afghanistan, with multiple suicide bombings. [CNN / Euan McKirdy and Ehsan Popalzai]

Miscellaneous

  • Avengers: Infinity War has officially had the biggest box office opening weekend of all time. The movie topped Star Wars for the title. [Time via the AP / Jake Coyle]
  • The intersection of international security and gender is the subject of a new series of research, arguing you can’t properly understand international relations without understanding the role of gender. [Pacific Standard / Elizabeth Weingarten]
  • Flat-earthers are circulating a wild new theory: “Real” trees no longer exist. [Atlantic / Sam Kriss]
  • The habits of pregnant people are the subject of much public scrutiny. But there isn’t great research to back it up. [PopSci / Sara Chodosh]

Verbatim

“I skate with a group of women. We call ourselves Mujeres Skateando. A lot of our mothers have bought into machista culture; they say we shouldn’t spend so much time with boys, that it’s dangerous for a girl. That women are delicate. ... But we know how to take care of ourselves.” [Danna Valencia, a skateboarder in La Paz, Bolivia, to California Sunday / Annie Avilés]


Watch this: Why sports sound better in your living room

Audio engineers are the unsung heroes of the live sports broadcast. [YouTube / Joss Fong and Dion Lee]


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