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Vox Sentences: Trump wins some, loses some

Trump’s legal battles against House Democrats continue; Yemen sees dengue fever outbreak.

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Trump and House Dems trade blows in court

  • President Donald Trump’s week began with a court loss and a court win: a federal judge ruled a former White House official cannot ignore a congressional subpoena, as Trump instructed him to do; while the Supreme Court said Trump’s accounting firm doesn’t have to turn over the president’s tax returns to Congress. [Lawfare / Gordon Ahl]
  • Monday, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify before Congress. McGahn was subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee in May to testify and submit evidence regarding allegations he’d been instructed to fire special counsel Robert Muller. [New York Times / Charlie Savage]
  • The Trump administration argued McGahn did not have to submit to the subpoena because he has “absolute testimonial immunity” as a former presidential aide, but Jackson rejected this argument. [Politico / Darren Samuelsohn]
  • But this decision doesn’t mean McGahn — or other White House officials who have ignored congressional subpoenas — will be testifying anytime soon: The Trump administration announced Tuesday it’s appealing the decision, leaving the matter in the hands of the Supreme Court. [Vox / Ian Millhiser]
  • In a Supreme Court action that has already gone Trump’s way, justices granted the president a stay in his ongoing battle with the House Oversight Committee over his financial records. [Roll Call / Todd Ruger]
  • The stay means that although a federal appeals court ruled in October that Trump has to turn over his financial records — which likely include his tax returns — the documents must remain with his accounting firm. For now. [Wall Street Journal / Brent Kendall]
  • The stay also mandated Trump’s lawyers file paperwork for the justices to hear the case by December 5, essentially fast-tracking it — the Supreme Court could issue a final ruling on the matter as early as next June. [Vox / Ian Millhiser]

Dengue fever breaks out in Yemen

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says Yemen is experiencing a severe dengue fever outbreak. [Al Jazeera]
  • Monday, the European Commission’s humanitarian aid organization counted 10 dead from the disease in the last week in the governorate of Taiz. [AP News / Edith Lederer]
  • Dengue fever is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, in a manner similar to the way the insects spread the parasite that causes malaria. Overall, 7,970 cases of dengue have been reported in Taiz alone; there are 3,215 confirmed cases there, with 103 patients under hospital observation. [Asharq Al-Awsat]
  • ICRC UN observer Robert Mardini noted that this newest outbreak had compounded an already intense cholera epidemic that began ravaging the country last year, as well as an ongoing malaria epidemic. [Washington Post]


  • Four Google employees say they were fired for protesting the company’s involvement with US Border Patrol. [The Guardian / Julia Carrie Wong]
  • Streaming platform competition will cost companies like Netflix and Disney a collective $16 billion. [Vox / Peter Kafka]
  • Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, a World Anti-Doping Agency panel recommended Russia should be banned from global sports competitions for the next four years for ignoring doping rules. [New York Times / Tariq Panja]
  • Trump has Thanksgiving dinner plans in his new home state of Florida. [Miami Herald / David Smiley]
  • A “bleak” UN report: Countries are far off course in reducing emissions and fighting climate change. [Vox / Umair Irfan]


“The ugliness my jokes help reveal is why I’m so worried about our pluralistic democracies. Demagogues appeal to our worst instincts. Conspiracy theories once confined to the fringe are going mainstream, fueled in part by President Trump.” [An excerpt from actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s op-ed in the Washington Post]

Watch this: How stop animation began

Vox Almanac explores the winged and many-legged beginnings of stop-motion animation. [YouTube / Phil Edwards]

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