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Vox Sentences: Brooklynites’ choice: a vaccine or a fine

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New York declares measles outbreak a public health emergency; Trump wants the Department of Homeland Security to crack down on immigration.

A public health emergency in Williamsburg

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • New York declared the measles outbreak a public health emergency and ordered mandatory vaccinations for residents in parts of Brooklyn, where the disease has hit hardest. [The Wall Street Journal / Melanie Grayce West, Brianna Abbott, and Betsy McKay]
  • The announcement follows a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that stated there were 78 new cases of measles last week. There have been 465 cases of measles so far in 2019, most of them in children, and a large number of them are concentrated within the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. [CNBC / Angelica LaVito]
  • Experts blame the outbreak on anti-vaxxers, who have been spreading misinformation and fear in their communities. [The Washington Post / Reis Thebault]
  • While the city has no legal grounds to physically force vaccinations, officials said that those who don’t oblige will be fined $1,000. [AP]
  • Such strict measures have been challenged in court, such as a lawsuit filed in March against Rockland County, New York, banning unvaccinated children from public places. On Friday, a state judge temporarily blocked the order, despite pushback from the county. [CNN / Ray Sanchez and Steve Almasy]
  • The mandatory vaccinations are partially an attempt to keep the disease contained, especially because Passover is in two weeks, Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said. As people travel for the holiday, there is concern that the outbreak will escalate. [USA Today / John Bacon]
  • Future prospects aren’t completely bleak though, as 8,000 people have been vaccinated since September. The message from the city is incredibly clear: The vaccine is safe. [CNN / Susan Scutti]

The policies throwing DHS into chaos

  • The reason for the departure of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — and the withdrawal of the nominee to head ICE, and the rumored resignation of other top officials — is becoming clear: Trump wants to go further on immigration restrictions, and he’s getting rid of anyone who might stop him. [NYT / Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Nicholas Fandos, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs]
  • One change being floated: putting Customs and Border Protection officials in charge of interviewing asylum applicants, presumably because they’d be likely to reject more of them immediately. [NBC News / Julia Ainsley, Carol E. Lee, and Kristen Welker]
  • Another change Trump and Miller want: resuming family separations by forcing parents to choose between being detained with their children indefinitely or separated from them so the children can avoid detention. [NYT / Michael D. Shear, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, and Maggie Haberman]
  • One problem with the Trump administration’s aggressive moves on immigration is they keep getting thrown out in court. A federal judge ruled on Monday evening that migrants can’t be forced to wait in Mexico. [Vox / Dara Lind]


  • The future of the internet may come down to Amazon vs. SpaceX, as CEO Jeff Bezos announced his plan to launch more than 3,000 satellites to provide high-speed service everywhere — a plan that closely resembles SpaceX’s “Starlink” project. [NBC News / Michael Sheetz]
  • Burger King in New Zealand is under fire for an ad that promoted its new “Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp” burger by having people awkwardly try to eat it with chopsticks on screen. [Eater / Tim Forster]
  • Filing your taxes is a pain without third-party services like TurboTax. However, any hope of a free online filing service through the government may be squashed with a new bipartisan bill. [ProPublica / Justin Elliott]
  • Stanford joins Yale in kicking out students who have been implicated in the college admission scam. [BuzzFeed News / Julia Reinstein]
  • A recent poll shows that not even major gun violence can cause a dramatic political shift within communities. [The Washington Post / Tim Craig / Scott Clement]


“The measles vaccine works. It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested.” [New York Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference on Tuesday]

Watch this: The devilish history of the explicit lyrics sticker

The explicit lyrics sticker is one of the most recognizable images in American music. Its placement on an album cover signifies you’re going to hear something for adult ears only, and it’s an image we often take for granted. The story behind how we got that sticker is bonkers, to say the least. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell]

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