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Vox Sentences: Paris promises falling short

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US carbon emission rates are rising; election results in the Democratic Republic of Congo are still delayed.

US breaking Paris climate promise

Robert Alexander/Getty Images
  • US carbon emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest spike since 2010, setting back a three-year decline in national rates. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • One reason for the spike was a cold winter, but a growing economy, increased air travel, and trucking contributed. More demand for power overall also played a role. [NYT / Brad Plumer]
  • The US is the world’s second-largest carbon emissions producer. If the world wants to meet the Paris climate agreement goal to keep global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius, the US’s help will be needed. So far, the nation’s rise in emissions has only set back global aims. [Scientific American / Chelsea Harvey]
  • Power-producing states such as Pennsylvania are reacting by taking emissions reductions into their own hands. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced a state goal to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 80 percent by 2050. Pennsylvania is one of the country’s top three electricity, coal, and natural gas producers. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / Anya Litvak and Laura Legere]
  • President Trump has vowed to pull the US out of the Paris agreement. However, the agreement officially doesn’t allow an exit until the day after the 2020 election. [Scientific American / Chelsea Harvey]

A lack of transparency in the DRC

  • The first-ever democratic elections occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo in December, and the polling results are still being counted. The indefinite delay in revealing the results has raised suspicions that the country’s president, Joseph Kabila, is attempting to interfere with the count and extend his 18-year reign. [Economist]
  • Police in anti-riot gear and armored vehicles are prepared for the announcement of the results. [Associated Press / Mathilde Boussion and David Keyton Associated Press]
  • Observers have identified 52 “major irregularities” in the vote counting. [Al Jazeera]
  • The Catholic Church announced its own election results last week, claiming the count should end. A government-sponsored internet shutdown in the country has also prevented candidates or local organizations from publishing “unofficial” results.[BBC]
  • Public opinion supports Kabila’s resignation. The former oil executive has used violent force to suppress opposition forces leading up to the election. The president’s family is also involved with the mining of cobalt using Congolese labor. [NYT / Denis Mukwege]


  • There are more women over 50 years old than at any other time in American history. These women are working and living longer than their male counterparts, rising to positions of power in their later years. [NYT / Jessica Bennett]
  • Millennial burnout is a thing, but what should skilled young Americans do to have a satisfying career? A long-term, engaging job may be difficult to find in today’s market. [Bloomberg / Noah Smith]
  • Start thinking up recipes: The US Department of Agriculture is dealing with a record 1.4 billion-pound cheese surplus, due to high milk production and declining consumer demand. [NPR / Samantha Raphelson]
  • 5G is going to change everything — at least according to a recent speech by Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg. The tech term actually refers to the speed at which data is transmitted, a pace so fast it will redefine how we receive and send wireless information. [Wired / Lauren Goode]


“The women and children on the border that are trying to seek refuge and seek opportunity in the United States of America with nothing but the shirt on their backs are acting more American than any person who seeks to keep them out ever will be.” [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Rachel Maddow / MSNBC]

Watch this: How salmonella-tainted food gets in your fridge

More than a million Americans get sick every year from salmonella. Better federal regulation could stop outbreaks. [YouTube / Madeline Marshall]

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