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Vox Sentences: A killing in Iraq

Iran-US tensions escalate with airstrike against IRGC general; vape ban leaves a few exemptions.

At a protest in Pakistan, women and children hold posters and signs depicting Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian military leader killed in a US airstrike in Iraq. AP

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Iran vows revenge

  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised there will be “harsh retaliation” for the death of the “international face of resistance,” Qassem Soleimani, the top military leader killed in an American airstrike in Baghdad early Friday morning. [AP News / Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Zeina Karam]
  • Soleimani’s killing is unprecedented in recent Middle Eastern history; he was simultaneously a crucial military leader and a symbol of the Iranian regime. [The Atlantic / Kim Ghattas]
  • If you read one thing to understand Soleimani’s influence and importance, make it this 2013 New Yorker profile. [New Yorker / Dexter Filkins]
  • Tensions between the US and Iran have been building for years, ever since President Trump announced he’d pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal. Then Iranian-backed militias struck American interests in the Middle East, including an attack that killed a US contractor and injured members of the military. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • The two US presidents before Trump had rejected plans to kill Soleimani, fearing what the fallout of such a consequential strike might be. [NYT / Eric Schmitt, Helene Cooper, and Thomas Gibbons-Neff]
  • The Pentagon announced plans to deploy about 3,500 more troops to the Middle East to join the 5,200 servicemembers already stationed in Iraq. All Americans in Iraq have been advised to leave immediately. [ABC News / Elizabeth McLaughlin]
  • In Iran, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to demonstrate against America and the escalating events between the two countries within Iraq. [Al-Monitor]
  • Several members of Congress and presidential candidates expressed their outrage at the lack of notification before the strike as well as many demands for briefings after the fact. [Vox / Emily Stewart]

FDA’s vape ban looks to curb teen illnesses

  • The Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that it will ban cartridge-based vaping devices that appeal to children, with exceptions for vape pens as well as menthol or tobacco flavors. [CBS News]
  • This Trump administration initiative is geared toward answering the concerns of parents and public health officials worried about the epidemic that took the form of hundreds of vaping-related hospitalizations that began at the end of 2019. [New York Times / Abby Goodnough, Maggie Haberman, and Sheila Kaplan]
  • Federal officials said the move aims to prevent teens from being targeted while not shutting down the vape industry. [Wall Street Journal / Jennifer Maloney and Thomas M. Burton]
  • Last month, the FDA also raised the age to purchase tobacco products, including vapes, from 18 to 21. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]



“Sticking your head in the sand is no way to advocate for a better future for women.” [Researcher and author Sarah Hill said about taboos in women’s health]

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