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Mississippi’s Senate race is getting increasingly crowded; there have been more violent clashes in Gaza.

A Democrat running for Senate is doing well in ... Mississippi

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  • Today, Democratic candidate (and former Congress member) Mike Espy announced his candidacy for US Senate in Mississippi’s upcoming Senate race to replace longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who is retiring due to health issues. [Wall Street Journal / Janet Hook]
  • The chances of a Democrat winning a Senate race in Mississippi might seem like the longest of long shots, but we are post-Alabama special election, and there is already a very chaotic and crowded race on the Republican side. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • Mississippi’s Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has already announced Cochran’s temporary replacement: the state’s agriculture commissioner, Cindy Hyde-Smith. Hyde-Smith plans to run in November, but she has a challenger in conservative and Tea Party favorite state Sen. Chris McDaniel. [Washington Post / Sean Sullivan and Michael Scherer]
  • McDaniel has curried no favors with the state GOP, and Bryant said he picked someone he thinks could beat McDaniel. But Hyde-Smith used to be a Democrat, which could be a problem (and is something McDaniel has picked up on). [Clarion-Ledger / Geoff Pender]
  • McDaniel is a known entity in the state for running against Cochran in 2014 and losing narrowly. Since he almost beat Cochran, he should be taken seriously. (The 2014 race was also incredibly nasty.) [Talking Points Memo / Dylan Scott]
  • To make things more complicated, there will be no primaries ahead of the November 6 special election to replace Cochran. It’s what’s known as a “jungle primary,” where every candidate of both parties runs on Election Day. And Espy isn’t the only Democrat running; Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton also has announced, which could complicate things. [Washington Post / Sean Sullivan]
  • If one candidate gets 50 percent of the total vote, they win, but if not, the top two will advance to a primary the same month. The crowded field of candidates won’t be winnowed before then. [Clarion-Ledger / Geoff Pender]
  • Espy’s campaign released a poll it commissioned earlier this week that shows him leading both Hyde-Smith and McDaniel, but there are two caveats. One, it was a campaign-commissioned poll, and two, there are still months to go before November and things could change wildly. [Weekly Standard / David Byler]
  • This is all to say: Get ready for a wild ride in Mississippi.

More deadly violence along the Gaza Strip

  • For the second week in a row, mass protests at the Gaza-Israel border have turned deadly. [Haaretz]
  • On Friday, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition and tear gas at Palestinian protesters, killing eight people and wounding at least 780 others, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. [Al Jazeera]
  • A Palestinian journalist covering the demonstration was reportedly shot in the chest, despite wearing a clearly marked vest saying that he was a member of the press. [Middle East Monitor]
  • But today’s unrest was less violent than what occurred during last Friday’s protest, which left 22 dead and more than 700 wounded. The clash was organized by Israeli extremist group Hamas and was meant to kick off months of demonstrations. [Washington Post / Loveday Morris and Ruth Eglash]
  • Why Palestinians are protesting goes back to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and their descendants were displaced from their homes. (Now protesters are fighting for the right to return.) [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • Demonstrators are also responding to the crippling air, sea, and land blockades imposed on Gaza by both Israel and Egypt since 2007, when Hamas took power and overthrew the Palestinian Authority government. [Vox / Jennifer Williams]


  • Protests are looking pretty different under Trump. Those organized by teachers in West Virginia, Kentucky, and, most recently, Oklahoma, show us why. [New Yorker / Benjamin Wallace-Wells]
  • A full seven months after Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, the island is still feeling the disaster’s full effects. Now, hundreds of schools are closing on the island due to low enrollment. [ThinkProgress / E.A. Crunden]
  • Why isn’t Reddit doing more to stop alt-right hate speech on its platform? Because ... capitalism. (Which is to say, it makes them a lot of money.) [Quartz / Tim Squirrell]
  • When hearses are no longer fit for funeral processions, many find an unlikely resting place inside the walls of museums. [Atlas Obscura / Jessica Leigh Hester]


“A lot of things you do as a parent are kinda invisible. There’s a lot you achieve — just getting dinner on the table — that are more than making a song.” [Indie rock legend Stephen Malkmus to Pitchfork / Alex Frank]

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