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Vox Sentences: An all-out brawl

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Tonight’s primaries will be a showdown; a Japanese medical school was caught rigging its exams in favor of male applicants.

Tonight’s primaries are high-stakes for both parties

A vote here sign Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
  • Primary elections are happening across five different states on Tuesday. Residents from Kansas, Ohio, Missouri, Michigan, and Washington will vote in a “test” to see if Democrats “get their ‘blue wave’ on Election Day this fall.” [Vox / Li Zhou, Ella Nilsen, Tara Golshan, and Dylan Scott]
  • The focus in Kansas is mostly on the gubernatorial race. Republican incumbent Jeff Colyer is running against Secretary of State Kris Kobach. President Trump endorsed Kobach, a staunch supporter of the president, despite his ties to white nationalists. If Kobach wins, Democrats may have a leg up in November. [Mother Jones / Stephanie Mencimer]
  • In the special election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, “pragmatist” Democratic nominee Danny O’Connor, a Franklin County recorder, is running against establishment Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson. O’Connor, who is very much a capitalist who has no interest in far-leftist values, may have a fighting chance in this election. He’d be the first Democrat to win the district in 35 years. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • A US Senate seat, five US House seats, and the governor’s mansion are up for grabs in Michigan. All eyes are on the gubernatorial race: On the Democratic side, newcomer Abdul El-Sayed is going up against frontrunner Gretchen Whitmer and Shri Thanedar. El-Sayed, who recently secured Sen. Bernie Sanders’s endorsement, would be the first Muslim governor in America. He’s a long shot to win, but the energetic support behind his campaign is indicative of a larger trend across America. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
  • Incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill will likely win the nomination in Missouri. But her campaign has been overshadowed by the decision she must make in the coming weeks on whether to confirm SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. [Kansas City Star / Melinda Henneberger]
  • Washington state will pick three representatives and a senator. There’s little doubt that incumbent Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell will win come November. But these races are notable because Washington has a top-two primary, in which voters pick two candidates, regardless of party, to run in the general election. This means that voters could be faced with picking between two Democrats or two Republicans in each race come November. And it’s turned into an “all-out brawl.” [Vox / Li Zhou]
  • If things go well for the democratic socialists across Michigan, Missouri, and Kansas, it will be proof that their playbook is successful outside the Bronx, and that the Democratic Party has some reevaluating to do. [Axios / Alexi McCammond]
  • Tonight will also be a test of the effects of the Trump endorsement. [CNN / Adam Levy]

A Japanese med school doesn’t want women to attend

  • Tokyo Medical University has admitted to rigging its entrance exams in favor of male applicants since 2006. The confession followed allegations from a university source that it was trying “to reduce the number of successful female applicants” after women overwhelmingly succeeded in a previous year’s exam. Only 2.9 percent of women passed the entire exam in 2018, compared to 8.8 percent of men, due to the alterations. [Japan News]
  • The school did so by programming a computer that analyzed the exams to reduce the scores of female test takers. There were four men for every woman in the 2018 class as a result. The university has issued an apology. [WSJ / Phred Dvorak and Megumi Fujikawa]
  • ”Profound sexism” was at play, according to lawyer Kenji Nakai. The investigation discovered that the rigging was due to the belief that Japanese women have shorter careers that aren’t as worth investing in as men’s because they stop working after having children. [AP / Mari Yamaguchi]
  • The school had conducted an internal investigation after two university officials resigned. They were accused bribing a state bureaucrat into giving the university government subsidies in exchange for admitting his son and subsequently indicted. [The Mainichi]
  • More women do leave their careers behind after becoming mothers, though this is often because Japan provides less realistic child care assistance for women. This leaves working and student mothers with “few options.” [NYT / Austin Ramzy and Hisako Ueno]


  • Erratic tweeter Elon Musk announced to his 22 million followers that he was “thinking of taking Tesla private.” Since then, Tesla has halted its stock market trading. [Recode / Johana Bhuiyan and Rani Molla]
  • Batwoman will be openly lesbian on The CW’s series of DC Comics television shows, and queer actor Ruby Rose has been cast in the role. [Variety / Joe Otterson]
  • A woman from Chicago was trying to search for jobs at a career fair without her current employer finding out. Much to her dismay, she didn’t notice a local news station filming her while she applied, and she made it to screens across the city on the nightly news. [BuzzFeed / Tanya Chen]
  • Get ready for a blast from the past: A Chinese company is launching a new version of the Palm Pilot later this year. [The Verge / Jacob Kastrenakes]


“I never rule anything out.” [Rev. Al Sharpton on whether he will run for president in 2020 / Guardian]

Watch this: How “levee wars” are making floods worse

Explained with a giant scientific model. [YouTube / Katie Campbell and Ranjani Chakraborty]

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