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Vox Sentences: Emergency! Emergency!

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Trump doesn’t call for a shutdown, but a national emergency looms; Amazon nixes its planned headquarters in New York.

Trump to declare national emergency

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • President Trump will both declare a national emergency and sign a spending bill to prevent another government shutdown, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The emergency would give Trump the power to use government funds to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. [WSJ / Kristina Peterson and Natalie Andrews]
  • First, the spending bill: The 1,159-page legislation will keep the government open through September, ending months of conflict that included a 35-day government shutdown and cost 800,000 federal workers and even more contractors two consecutive paychecks. [NYT / Peter Baker and Emily Cochrane]
  • The deal will force Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain fewer immigrants — even though it contains a larger-than-usual amount of funding for detentions. That’s because ICE has been blowing through its budget to detain a record number of immigrants in the Trump era. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • The bill only includes $1.375 billion for border fencing, far less than the $5.7 billion Trump initially demanded. [NPR / Kelsey Snell and Jessica Taylor]
  • The emergency declaration is Trump’s attempt to have it both ways — and even though there’s no real emergency at the border, it’s not clear that Congress or the courts can stop him from declaring it. [Vox / Emily Stewart]
  • Meanwhile, declaring a state of emergency gives Trump a whole new range of powers that have never been used — and are ripe for abuse. [Atlantic / Elizabeth Goitein]

An Amazon break-up

  • Amazon announced on Thursday that it will drop its plan to build a second headquarters in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood, after the plan sparked protests from activist groups and local officials pushed back on giving the company a massive tax break. [Vox / Matthew Yglesias]
  • Amazon’s campus was supposed to create 25,000 new jobs. But it would also cost the city nearly $3 billion in tax breaks and stirred up concerns about gentrification, housing costs, and the company’s resistance to unionization. [NYT / J. David Goodman]
  • City council members called Amazon executives to two hearings to review the deal’s details, but Amazon eventually chose to leave. Its planned campus in Arlington, Virginia’s Crystal City suburb is still going forward. [WSJ / Laura Stevens, Jimmy Vielkind, and Katie Honan]
  • Some have argued that the news will be good for New York City. Maybe no one wants to experience the reality of San Francisco in the 2010s: when companies develop cities, rich people benefit while poor people are pushed to the edges. [Atlantic / Alexis C. Madrigal]
  • Long Island City is home to many immigrants, so council members were also concerned by the fact that Amazon had pitched its facial recognition software to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [CNBC / Tyler Clifford]
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo had supported Amazon’s arrival. Cuomo initiated meetings between union leaders and Amazon executives as late as Wednesday, but no deal was reached. Just months ago, the city had offered the company a huge incentive deal to get Amazon to agree. [NYT / J. David Goodman]
  • Where to next? Amazon has announced it will not look for a second city to land in for now — but it will need to expand somewhere eventually. The New York and Washington, DC, areas already have extremely tight housing markets. Vox’s Matt Yglesias argues that companies looking to develop in cities should look for looser markets, such as Indianapolis, to actually benefit local economies. [Vox / Matthew Yglesias]


  • Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chair, lied to special counsel Robert Mueller on multiple accounts, according to a ruling by a federal judge on Wednesday. Manafort already faces a lengthy prison sentence — and that could be extended if he isn’t pardoned. [Vanity Fair / Eric Lutz]
  • Maria Ressa, a Philippine journalist and critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, was freed on bail on Thursday after being arrested Wednesday. Ressa is the co-founder of Rappler, a news site critical of the president that was accused of producing “fake news” amid a government-led crackdown on the media. [NPR / Sasha Ingber]
  • News publishers in Europe can now seek compensation from Google for having their content featured on Google News, thanks to a new copyright reform EU institutions agreed to on Wednesday. The policy is a win for news sites and artists, but now platforms like YouTube face an uncertain path toward making agreements with content providers. [Politico Europe / Laura Kayali]
  • No more double-decker planes. Airbus announced on Thursday it will not manufacture its largest plane, the A380, anymore. The move is a reaction to calls to reduce the air travel carbon footprint problem. The four-engine plane required high fuel costs and can’t compete with frequent regional flights that have a smaller footprint. [CNN / Charles Riley]
  • Feeling single in the city this Valentine’s Day? Some metro areas just have more singles than others, and there are more single heterosexual women on the East Coast and in the South than in the western portions of the US. [CityLab / Richard Florida]


“The entire aspect of grieving and getting over something like this is bull****. You don’t get over something like this. You never can. You can’t get over something that never should have happened.” [March for Our Lives activist and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor David Hogg on the first anniversary of the shooting, via NPR]

Watch this: Why the government keeps shutting down

Government shutdowns are disasters for Republicans, but right-wing media makes it almost impossible for the GOP to compromise in a budget fight. [YouTube / Carlos Maza and Madeline Marshall]

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Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of jobs Amazon’s New York campus was said to potentially bring to the city. It was 25,000, not 50,000.