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Vox Sentences: China’s national pork crisis

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Trump unveils his new immigration plan to a lukewarm crowd; African swine fever has led to a national pork supply crisis in China.

Trump’s very vague immigration plan

Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Trump has revealed his newest immigration plan, which would favor young, educated immigrants over those with family ties. [Politico / Jordyn Hermani]
  • The new “merit-based” system, which was spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, wouldn’t change the number of green cards allocated but prioritizes those who gain more “points” based on age, education, job offers, and English proficiency. [CNBC / Ylan Mui and Eamon Javers]
  • One thing that the new plan fails to address: legal status for DREAMers. Despite Democrats’ push for new protections for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the plan didn’t include it because it is too “divisive.” [Washington Post / John Wagner, Seung Min Kim, Josh Dawsey and David Nakamura]
  • Unfortunately for Trump, it seems like his newest plan will be a hard sell, especially for Democrats who want to secure DACA protections and prioritize keeping together immigrant families. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the merit system for being “condescending.” [The Hill / Jordan Fabian]
  • Republicans, too, seem wary of the vague nature of the plan. Not only does it leave out legal status for DREAMers, but it also fails to address the “broken” asylum system and the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. [USA Today / John Fritze, Alan Gomez and David Jackson]
  • If anything, Trump’s new plan is an attempt to unite Republicans behind a unified message on immigration — an issue that has long caused so much controversy. So far, however, the reaction seems to be lukewarm at best. [CNN / Maegan Vazquez and Kevin Liptak]

Swine fever could kill a third of China’s pigs

  • China’s pig livestock industry, the largest in the world, is dwindling at a rapid rate due to the African swine fever. [NYT / Mike Ives and Katherine Li]
  • Experts estimate that the pig population will shrink by a third in 2019 — which would be like eliminating all the pigs in Europe and the US combined. Swine fever is so deadly for pigs because it is highly contagious, but the disease does not harm humans. [CNN / Andrew Stevens and Lily Lee]
  • The disease has already spread to Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Hong Kong, and possibly North Korea. Experts worry that the swine fever will spread even further to countries that aren’t prepared to deal with the disease. [Science Magazine / Dennis Normile]
  • The people of China are already feeling the effects of the soaring prices of pork, which is the staple meat for most of the country’s 1.4 billion people. Last week, China’s inflation rate jumped to its highest in six months for this very reason, and experts are concerned that the situation will only worsen. [South Morning China Post / Karen Yeung]
  • The spread of swine fever also points to a larger problem: many Chinese farms have low biosecurity, partially because they cannot afford it. Diseases will continue to threaten the stability of the country’s food supply if this issue isn’t addressed. [South Morning China Post / Danny Lee]
  • The impact of China’s struggling pork industry will likely affect US farmers with a sharp drop in demand for feed exports such as soybeans. [Financial Times / Emiko Terazono]


  • Pop art icon Jeff Koons sold a sculpture of a rabbit at a record price for a living artist: $91 million. [Reuters]
  • This German startup plans to get flying taxis up and running in six years. [CNN / Rishi Iyengar]
  • Against all odds, China’s biggest import may be TikTok, the viral video sharing app. Fans say you’d have to see it for yourself to understand the user experience. [BuzzFeed News / Ryan Broderick]
  • A couple snatched the deal of the night when they were accidentally served a bottle of wine that’s nearly $6,000. [USA Today / Ryan W. Miller]
  • The College Board recognizes that the playing field for college preparation isn’t always even. That’s why they’re introducing “adversity scores” to capture students’ economic and social background. [The Wall Street Journal / Douglas Belkin]


“Democrats are proposing open borders, lower wages and, frankly, lawless chaos. We are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages and safety of American workers first. Our proposal is pro-American, pro-immigrant and pro-worker. It’s just common sense.” [Trump during his speech announcing his new immigration plan]

Listen to this:

Brian Stelter is the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, as well as the network’s chief media correspondent. Ezra Klein sat down to interview him about the future of cable news and its effect on the political system in a new episode of The Ezra Klein Show. [Spotify | Apple Podcasts]

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