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Vox Sentences: Hide-and-seek in Oregon

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Oregon Republicans are in hiding over a climate change bill; the Council of Europe ends its punishment of Russia for the annexation of Crimea.

Oregon Republicans flee the state in protest of a climate bill

Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
  • Republican state senators in Oregon have fled the capital of Salem to avoid voting for a climate change bill — and their absence threatens the fate of about 100 bills that still need to be voted on. [Salem Statesman Journal / Connor Radnovich]
  • Republicans haven’t appeared at the capitol since Thursday to avoid the vote on House Bill 2020, which would require businesses to extensively reduce greenhouse gas emission. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • Democrats say the bill is necessary to combat climate change, which is becoming a major threat to humans’ well-being. Republicans, however, believe the bill would harm rural businesses, especially those in the logging industry. [NYT / Timothy Williams]
  • Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has sent state police to track down the Republican lawmakers and imposed a $500-per-person fine for every session day they miss. State police can only do so much, however, when it is speculated that the lawmakers have fled the state to Montana, Washington, and Idaho. [NPR / Dirk VanderHart]
  • The Senate needs at least 20 people present to reach a quorum. While Democrats have the majority with 18 people, without any Republicans present, they are two short of the number needed to conduct business. [Oregonian / Hillary Borrud]
  • The Republicans seem to be trying to stall until the end of the legislative session on June 30. The problem is that the climate bill isn’t the only one that will die at the end of this month; 100 other bills — many that actually benefit rural communities — will also go down the drain. [Salem Statesman Journal / Connor Radnovich]
  • Brown has threatened to call a special session in July if the Republicans do not return by the end of June. [WSJ / Ian Lovett]
  • It seems, however, that Democrats may be backing down from the climate change bill in hope of at least getting the Republican lawmakers back into the room. [Daily Beast / Will Sommer]

The Council of Europe restores Russia’s voting rights

  • The Council of Europe, an international human rights organization, voted to restore Russia’s voting rights, drawing strong opposition from Ukraine. [Politico EU / Ya Chun Wang]
  • The country’s voting rights had been suspended for the past five years due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its support for the eastern Ukraine separatists, which is leading a deadly conflict. [Deutsche Welle]
  • Russia had threatened to leave the council if its voting rights weren’t restored by Wednesday, when members will vote for the new secretary general. [NYT / Steven Erlanger]
  • Ukraine did not shy away from expressing disappointment with the council’s decision. The country’s delegates said that the vote showed Europe’s inability to rein in Russia before walking out of the room. [Guardian / Andrew Roth]
  • Those who supported restoring Russia’s voting rights said that Russian civilians would have nowhere to turn when they face injustice if Russia left the council, further worsening human rights in the country. [BBC]
  • Russia has also refused to pay its annual fee of about $37.1 million since 2017, which makes up a significant part of the council’s budget. With its voting rights restored, Russia will once again contribute financially to the council. [NYT / Steven Erlanger]
  • This is a big win for Moscow, especially given the increase in international scrutiny after investigators announced Kremlin connections to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. [Independent / Jon Stone and Oliver Carroll]


  • Ravelry, a social media site for knitters, declares there’s no room for Trump talk at the crafting table by banning all topics related to the president. [NYT / Sarah Mervosh]
  • San Francisco is home to the producers of Juul, the popular vaping device. San Francisco is also very close to banning the sale of e-cigarettes in the city. [NPR / Laura Klivans]
  • Illinois has become the 11th state in the US to legalize recreational marijuana. Gov. J.B. Pritzker calls it a step in the right direction. [AP / John O’Connor]
  • Airbnb’s latest endeavor: Airbnb Luxe, a service specifically catering to those who want to spend more than $1,000 a night. [The Verge / Nick Statt]
  • Bill Gates’s biggest mistake? Failing to build a mobile operating system that could rival Apple’s iOS. [CNN / Ahiza Garcia]


“I am deeply concerned about the current situation Senate Republicans have put us in and the amount of legislation still pending. Every member of the House is fulfilling our commitment — for the sake of every Oregonian, I hope the Senate Republicans will join us before it’s too late.” [House Democratic leader Jennifer Williamson’s statement on the fleeing Republican lawmakers in Oregon]

Listen to this: Republicans on the run

A landmark cap-and-trade bill in Oregon is on life support after Republicans fled the state to avoid voting on it. [Spotify]

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