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Vox Sentences: Schultz stirs up a Venti-size debate

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Howard Schultz tests the political waters; European nations form a company that could trade with Iran.

Former Starbucks CEO is thinking about a new job

Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced on Sunday’s airing of 60 Minutes on CBS that he is thinking of running for president — an idea that, to put it mildly, has not been met with universal acclaim in the days since. [60 Minutes / Scott Pelley]
  • Schultz would run as a third-party candidate — which might end up helping President Trump. Polls show many Americans don’t want to vote for Trump, but an independent candidate could split the anti-Trump votes and help him win a second term. [Vox / Aaron Rupar]
  • A lifelong Democrat, Schultz now calls himself an “independent centrist.” But the idea that American voters are yearning for an independent, middle-of-the-road third party to get behind isn’t based in reality. [Politico Magazine / Jeff Greenfield]
  • Schultz’s media tour has also led to more scrutiny on his time as Starbucks CEO, including his efforts to fight workers’ attempts to unionize. [Slate / Terri Gerstein]
  • If Schultz were to run, his strategy might be to win voters who don’t want to vote for Trump or for Democrats — so he’s taking an aggressive stance against the Democratic Party, saying on MSNBC that he does not share the party’s beliefs. He also tweeted (and later deleted) praise for a column that referred to Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) as a “shrill ... quasi-socialist” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as “Fauxcahontas.” [Washington Post / Michael Scherer]
  • Schultz is also reportedly heading to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, the typical itinerary for a major-party presidential candidate. Unlike other candidates, though, he wouldn’t need to win a primary or caucus to get on the ballot as an independent. [Vox / Emily Stewart]
  • All of this has made for quite a book tour: Schultz is currently promoting his new book, From the Ground Up, describing his upbringing in a public housing project in Brooklyn and his rise to a net worth of almost $3.5 billion. [60 Minutes / Scott Pelley]

Avoiding sanctions on Iran

  • Three European countries — the UK, France, and Germany — have joined together to get around President Trump’s sanctions on Iran, creating a new company that would be able to trade with Iran while avoiding the American banking system. [NYT / Steven Erlanger]
  • Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran last year after pulling the US out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The sanctions, which hit the financial, automotive, and oil industries, among others, were meant to punish the Iranian regime. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • The sanctions have escalated an economic crisis in the country: Unemployment and inflation have soared, and even food and medicine are running short. [Washington Post / Erin Cunningham]
  • The hope is that the new company, called Instex, will be a carrot to help persuade Iran to stay with the 2015 deal, which included the three European countries. At first, it will be used to get humanitarian supplies to the country. [Guardian / Patrick Wintour]
  • For now, Iran is still in compliance with the deal, US intelligence agencies announced Tuesday — something that Trump wasn’t too pleased to hear. [Washington Post / Shane Harris and John Wagner]


  • Six immigrants are being force-fed through plastic nasal tubes by US federal officials at the El Paso Processing Center. Detainees in Texas and other states have been refusing food in a hunger strike against long legal proceedings. [Associated Press]
  • Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is still refusing to step down amid pressure from foreign governments, including the US. Maduro has enlisted a new national police unit to crack down on protests and conduct raids on gangs. [NYT / Ana Vanessa Herrero and Nicholas Casey]
  • Facebook had record profits this quarter, despite bad press about data privacy. The tech giant’s revenue per user increased in the US, Canada, and Europe. [WSJ / Georgia Wells]
  • Affirmative action is under threat due to a lawsuit disputing the role of race in college admissions. Here’s what it’s like for minority students applying to top colleges. [Vice News / Antonia Hylton, Lindsay Van Dyke, and Dave Mayers]
  • Pregnancy apps have as many as 4 million users per month, but with gendered language and exclusive content, the platforms are failing to work for parents. [The Lily / Caroline Kitchener]


“One person can make a big difference in setting the tone of this country.” [George W. Bush in 2005, honoring Jackie Robinson, who would be 100 years old today, via Politico]

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