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Vox Sentences: Trump drains his own swamp

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Trump tells Pruitt to pack up his lotion and leave; the EU allows memes to live another day.

Scott Pruitt resigns from the EPA

Scott Pruitt Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump tweeted that he has accepted Scott Pruitt’s resignation as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The resignation follows a year-and-a-half of near-constant scandal for Pruitt. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • Pruitt is accused of using taxpayer money for his own personal gain for much of his time in office — including attempts to acquire a job for his wife, housing for himself, lotion, and “tactical pants.” [The Atlantic / David A. Graham]
  • Current Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will take over Pruitt’s job in the meantime. Wheeler, who used to work as a coal lobbyist, will likely carry on Pruitt’s mission to dismantle the EPA’s regulations from the inside. [LA Times / Evan Halper]
  • Aside from his record of scandal, Pruitt worked to tear up much of the progress made by the EPA since it was founded in 1970. Within one year in office, Pruitt rolled back at least 22 regulations. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • The former administrator made it his mission to control the Clean Water Act, which determines what “waters fall under federal jurisdiction.” Lax determinations allow energy, real estate, and agricultural projects to move forward with fewer permits and regulations. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • Pruitt is unconvinced of a link between CO2 emissions and climate change. At least, that’s what he said to defend his decision to weaken Obama-era fuel-emission standards. [Reuters / Doina Chiacu and Valerie Volcovici]
  • Appointing six new “industry advisers” to review standards, Pruitt gutted the Clean Air Act, which works to reduce emissions of the six most harmful pollutants. He essentially gave economics consideration in an act where it does not belong. [Earther / Yessenia Funes]
  • At the wheel of the EPA, Pruitt was one of the few officials who actively — and swiftly — advanced Trump’s agenda. That’s probably why Trump took so long to accept his resignation. [Business Insider / Andy Surabian]

The EU rejects a copyright law that jeopardized content creation

  • The European Parliament has rejected a controversial copyright law. [The Hill / Brett Samuels]
  • The first part of the law, Article 11, would make popular websites like Facebook and Google pay to repost and share content from publications and outlets. The second part, Article 13, put the onus on websites to enforce these laws. They would thus have to filter the content that users post. [BBC]
  • Musicians like Paul McCartney support the law. Supporters think the law will “protect the music industry” by stopping users from illegally spreading content. [Independent / Andrew Griffin]
  • Opponents of the controversial law feared it would effectively end the practice of posting, sharing, and remixing content like memes. [CNBC / Ryan Browne]
  • The law isn’t gone for good. Parliament rejected the law in its current form, so there is still opportunity for a rewrite and second vote. [The Verge / James Vincent]


  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Americans are less social and more addicted to games than ever before. [Quartz / Dan Kopf]
  • Scientists are racing against the clock to stop bananas from going extinct in the near future. [Daily Star / Martin Coulter]
  • Sony is producing a film with the first-ever plus-size superhero as its lead. [Racked / Rebecca Jennings]
  • Lions ate a group of rhino poachers in an animal reserve in South Africa. [US News & World Report]


“Despite living in a world of every kind of niche pornography, strip clubs … sex education … Viagra, pussy-grabbing scandals, and #MeToo … we still … haven’t found a way to talk about [sex] that is truthful, open, informative, and not scaring the living daylights out of our young people.” [Caitlin Moran on discerning good relationships from the bad ones at a young age / The Cut]

Watch this: Extraterrestrial life, explained

extraterrestrial life explained

Despite decades of searching, we have yet to discover extraterrestrial life. Scientists discuss the reasons in the latest episode of Explained, now on Netflix. [Netflix / Explained]

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