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Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

The Trump administration releases a new plan on climate change; women activists in Saudi Arabia face the death penalty.


1,400 extra deaths

coal-mining-truck Vox Sentences: The Trump administration is not down with CPPShutterstock
  • The most important story this week, in the long run, might be the Trump administration’s release of a new climate rule to replace President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • Rather than the federal government setting targets for states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, states can decide for themselves how much they want to reduce them. This is a much weaker regulation. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • The EPA’s own analysis found the rule would lead to up to 1,400 additional deaths per year when compared to the Clean Power Plan. [NYT / Lisa Friedman]
  • The big picture is that coal is dying no matter what, and utilities are shifting to cleaner methods such as gas, wind, and solar. [NYT / Brad Plumer]
  • On the other hand, the plan might let some individual coal plants keep going for years by making refurbishment cheaper. [Washington Post / Dino Grandoni]
  • Future generations might look back on August 21 not just as a wild day in the news but as the day the fight against climate change was definitively lost. [Washington Post / Philip Bump]

A chilling milestone in Saudi Arabia

  • Five female human rights activists are facing the death sentence in Saudi Arabia. This is the first time prosecutors are seeking the death sentence for women who committed nonviolent rights-related offenses in the country’s history. [NBC / F. Brinley Bruton]
  • The detainees, all of whom are Shiite Muslims, are allegedly on trial in a secretive “terrorism tribunal.” [Al Jazeera]
  • They are charged with “participating in protests,” “incitement to protest,” “chanting slogans hostile to the regime,” “attempting to inflame public opinion,” “filming protests and publishing on social media,” and “providing moral support to rioters.”
  • [Guardian / Emma Graham-Harrison]
  • They are being tried because the judge has the power, called “tazir,” to define the crimes they committed and the sentencing. [Human Rights Watch]
  • Saudi Arabia has arrested 13 female human rights activists since May. Shiite activists are at a particular risk in Saudia Arabia. [BBC]

Miscellaneous

  • Idris Elba has broken hearts across the world by announcing that, no, he will not be the next James Bond. But maybe he’s trying to throw us off … right? [The Root / Anne Branigin]
  • An adult entertainment company has launched AI technology that allows customers to digitally insert their faces into their favorite scenes. [The Verge / James Vincent]
  • Researchers studying anti-refugee violence in Germany found that there were more attacks on refugees in places with higher-than-average Facebook use. [NYT /Amanda Taub and Max Fisher]
  • ”Enigmatic lights” akin to the aurora borealis, known as the “northern lights,” have appeared in the Canadian skies, and scientists are stumped about where they came from. [Gizmodo / George Dvorsky]

Verbatim

“Doctors are more qualified than we are, but they’re also imperfect humans who sometimes get it wrong. You’re not crazy or wrong to doubt yours from time to time.” [Katie Heaney on following your gut when a medical professional tells you your illness is all in your head / The Cut]


Watch this: Michael Cohen: sex, lies, and campaign finance

Trump’s former personal lawyer pleaded guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations related to hush money he paid to women accusing the president of extramarital affairs. [YouTube / A.J. Chavar]


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