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Vox Sentences: The Yellow Vests’ 19th Act

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Protests in Paris turn violent; Cyclone Idai ravages Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.

The Yellow Vests get violent

Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images
  • In the fourth month of protests in France, 1,000 members of the “Yellow Vests” damaged 91 businesses on Saturday, including stores on the renowned Champs-Élysées, in what was considered “Act 19” in an effort against French President Emmanuel Macron and what protesters see as elitism in France. [BBC]
  • 19 refers to the number of weeks the Yellow Vests have been protesting across France. In the wake of the protests, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced a ban on protests on the Champs-Élysées as well as in the cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse. The Paris police chief will also be replaced. [Associated Press]
  • Police will also have greater autonomy to make arrests going forward — which is likely to further anger the Yellow Vests. The protesters have continued to claim that Macron is out of touch with the people’s needs. [Politico Europe / Rym Momtaz]
  • The protests originally began as a reaction to a proposed fuel tax. Every Saturday since November has seen protests, although this weekend was the first time demonstrators were particularly violent since last year. Luxury businesses and famous restaurants were tagged with phrases such as “They have millions, we are the millions.” [Reuters / Luke Baker]
  • Macron, who is accused of representing the metropolitan French elites, is increasingly under scrutiny from rural French citizens who desire fewer taxes but also more social services. [CityLab / Rachel Donadio]
  • The Yellow Vests refuse to become a political party and put forth candidates — so how do they gain power? Social media has put the movement in an unlikely spotlight, and led to a spike in false information that garners national attention. The movement has lost some popular support in the past few weeks, but YouTube communication has earned millions of viewers. [Politico Europe / Nicholas Vinocur]

Cyclone Idai’s death toll could be in the thousands

  • A tropical cyclone that hit Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe last week killed potentially thousands of people and affected millions more. Displaced people are seeking food and shelter, but destroyed infrastructure has interrupted relief efforts. [NPR / Francesca Paris]
  • Idai is a tropical storm that has brought destructive flooding and overcome entire villages with water. Because the storm disrupted telecommunications and response efforts moved slowly, it’s hard to know the full scope of the storm. Flooded roads mean authorities may only reach affected areas via helicopter, further complicating access to help. [AP / Andrew Meldrum]
  • The storm had about the same amount of power as a Category 3 hurricane on the Atlantic Coast. Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi estimated on Monday that the death toll in the country could be in the thousands. Red Cross reports said 90 percent of the city of Beira has been destroyed. The storm started in Mozambique in early March before growing and moving toward Malawi and Zimbabwe. [AccuWeather / Kristina Pydynowski and Eric Leister]
  • Zimbabwe was struggling with a drought when flash floods and winds rushed through the eastern and southern regions of the country. Ensuing mudslides destroyed bridges and roads and thwarted relief efforts in areas where food was already scarce. Families have reportedly struggled to bury their dead amid repeated flooding. [Al Jazeera]
  • 122 deaths have been confirmed in Malawi; even more rain is expected to come in the southern portions of the country as well as in northern Mozambique. [BBC]


  • In a new poll of 9,000 female economists, 2 percent reported having been sexually assaulted. Women in the male-dominated field also said they experienced discrimination. [WSJ / David Harrison]
  • The US Justice Department has launched a probe into the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of the Boeing 737 Max 8, which was involved in two related recent crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Boeing is also under investigation. At least one subpoena has been delivered to a person who helped develop the plane. [The Verge / Andrew J. Hawkins]
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ordered an investigation into whether government agencies could have prevented the mass shooting that killed at least 50 people at two mosques last Friday. She has also asked to address the country’s gun laws. [NYT / Emily Steel]
  • Fox News did not air Jeanine Pirro’s weekly television show, Justice With Judge Jeanine, after Pirro made Islamophobic remarks about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The network suspended Pirro, prompting a response from President Trump saying that Fox must not prioritize what he termed political correctness, “which will only bring you down!” [Politico / Quint Forgey]
  • A fertility doctor used his own sperm to impregnate women and have at least 48 children. Now these long-list half-siblings are finding out the truth about their father, and one another. [Atlantic / Sarah Zhang]


“America’s elected representatives have a duty to regulate who comes in and when. In meeting this responsibility, it helps to remember that America’s immigrant history made us who we are. Amid all the complications of policy, may we never forget that immigration is a blessing and a strength.” [Former President George W. Bush at a naturalization ceremony on Monday in Dallas, Texas]

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