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Vox Sentences: Bye Bye Endangered Birdy

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The Trump administration wants to roll back regulations protecting endangered species; Israel makes a controversial decision that could spark violence.

Trump administration endangers protections for endangered animals

bald eagles Lance King/Getty Images
  • The Trump administration wants to “modernize” regulations for the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It says the proposal would “advance conservation by simplifying and improving” the ESA’s regulations and usage. [AP / Matthew Brown]
  • The proposal would make it easier to remove endangered species from protected lists and get rid of a stipulation that automatically extends endangered protections to threatened species. [The Hill / Miranda Green and Timothy Cama]
  • The 1973 law has stopped species like the bald eagle and humpback whale from going extinct. It passed thanks to a bipartisan effort. [Huffington Post / Chris D’Angelo]
  • This isn’t the only way the Trump administration is rolling back environmental laws in ways that are friendlier to industry. [Bloomberg / Ari Natter]
  • These rollbacks would eliminate guidelines that require officials to make decisions about protecting wildlife without regard to economic consequences. Ignoring economic impacts prioritizes the maintenance of the environment. [Washington Post / Darryl Fears]
  • In November 2017, the US US Fish and Wildlife Service lifted a ban on bringing elephant body parts into the US on a case-by-case basis. Hunting groups like the NRA were thrilled. [Vox / Brian Resnick]
  • Even some of Trump’s immigration policies are a danger to animals and the environment. [Vox / Eliza Barclay]
  • The ESA was an important act when it was put in place by the Nixon administration. It’s even more important today amid the threats posed by climate change. [Axios / Henrietta Reily]

Israel declares itself a Jewish state

  • The Israeli parliament just passed a controversial “nation state” bill that formally declares Israel a Jewish state. The law names Israel “the national home of the Jewish people” and prioritizes the “development of Jewish settlement as a national value.” [Independent / Bel Trew]
  • Opponents say this bill marginalizes the Israeli-Arab community and strips away the country’s Arab identity. The bill declares Hebrew Israel’s official language and demotes Arabic to a “special status.” [Al Jazeera]
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly called on Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, said this is a “defining moment in the history of Zionism.” [Haaretz / Jonathan Lis and Noa Landau]
  • Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence first established the country as a Jewish and democratic state. But for 70 years, it has struggled to balance the two identities. [AP / Ilan Ben Zion]
  • Some speculate that high birthrates of Israeli Arabs and alternative proposals to a two-state solution were catalysts to create and pass the law. This bill effectively “anchors the Jewishness of Israel in law.” [BBC]


  • Washington, DC, has launched a $1.5 million initiative to count the city’s feline population, including stray and house cats. [Curbed / Adele Chapin]
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the highest-paid actor ever to appear on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Glad to hear that America’s sweetheart is thriving. [Business Insider / John Lynch]
  • The Cleveland Browns made a spot-on recreation the intro to The Office, Jell-O stapler and all. [SB Nation / Christian D’Andrea]
  • Comcast has waved the white flag, leaving Disney victorious in its battle to acquire 21st Century Fox. [The Verge / Chaim Gartenberg]


“The power of bad news is magnified … because people tend to estimate the probability of an event by means of ‘the ease with which instances come to mind,’ they get the impression that mass shootings are more common than medical breakthroughs.” [Joshua Rothman wonders “are things getting better or worse?” / New Yorker]

Watch this: Cricket, explained

How did cricket, an old British pastime, become one of the world’s most popular sports? We asked superfans, experts, and players to weigh in on the evolution of the game in this week’s episode of Explained, now on Netflix.

And for those of you still confused by the rules of cricket, we explain those too! [Netflix]

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