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Vox Sentences: This newsletter is not a draft, a mistake, or unsigned

The fallout from Soleimani’s killing; an attack at an Indian university.  

People visit the historical Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan on April 12, 2018. 
ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images

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A threat of war crimes

  • Trump’s rhetoric against Iran now includes a threat to attack cultural sites in the country, which goes against decades of American leadership on cultural heritage and would be a war crime if carried out. [Washington Post / Rick Noack]
  • Trump says he’s picked out 52 sites to represent the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran from 1979 to 1981. [NYT / Lara Jakes]
  • Trump might just be sounding off on Twitter. But if he were to actually direct the US military to commit a war crime, it would put the military in a bind: Follow the commander in chief, or follow the laws of war? [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • On Monday, Iranians thronged the funeral of Gen. Qassim Soleimani, whose death has been marked with an unprecedented level of public ceremony. [AP / Aya Batrawy]
  • Escalation in the US-Iranian conflict seems inevitable, but fears of World War III are overblown. [NYT / Max Fisher]
  • The Defense Department sent a letter to Iraqi officials Monday saying it was moving American troops in preparation for withdrawal. But the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the letter was “a draft, it was a mistake, it was unsigned, it should not have been released.” [Washington Post / Rick Noack]

Mob violence on a New Delhi campus

  • Masked men stormed the campus of India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University Sunday in New Delhi, assaulting students and faculty with iron rods and appearing to focus on students involved in protests against student fee hikes. [CNN / Vedika Sud and Tara John]
  • Left-wing activism is common on the campus, and witnesses to the attack accused members of the student affiliate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing ruling party BJP of carrying out the assault. [Al Jazeera / Bilal Kuchay]
  • Police failed to stop the attack, raising questions about whether they stood by as the mob beat students and professors. [Los Angeles Times / Ashish Malhotra]
  • Supporters of India’s right-wing government gathered outside the university, attacking journalists and vandalizing an ambulance. [Washington Post / Joanna Slater and Niha Masih]
  • The attack is part of a larger trend of increasing activism and violence in India, even as the country’s Hindu nationalist ruling party shifts further to the right following elections in 2019. At least 23 people were killed following major protests last month against a new citizenship law, which excludes Muslim immigrants. [AP / Sheikh Saaliq and Emily Schmall]


  • Jury selection is underway for Harvey Weinstein’s trial in New York. Now he faces new charges in Los Angeles. [NPR / Vanessa Romo]
  • A trip to the Iowa town where Marianne Williamson is beloved and it’s illegal to sell nonorganic food. [Politico Magazine / Adam Wren]
  • If you think the problem with Cats is it’s not enough like a weird, drug-induced hallucination, here’s what it’s like to watch it while high out of your mind. [Washington Post / Maura Judkis]
  • Why are wages finally growing for lower-income people? Because minimum wage laws are forcing them to. [NYT / Ernie Tedeschi]
  • Lots of great art from 1924 is in the public domain now, including Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. There’s also some terrible art! [Slate / Matthew Dessem]


“Don’t be a misogynist, don’t be a homophobe, don’t be a whatever-phobe and show up.” [Advice to the GOP on winning elections from Rep. Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House of Representatives / NYT]

Watch this:

Our electrical grid is alarmingly fragile. But there’s a better way to make it so that one storm — or squirrel — can’t take it down. [Alvin Chang, Laura Bult, and Madeleine Marshall / Vox]

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