“America’s surrender”: What Afghans think about US-Taliban peace talks

The grave of Ahmad Shah Massoud in Panjshir. | Christopher Jones Many Afghans fear US-Taliban peace talks are coming at their own expense. KABUL, Afghanistan — At a time when America is vehemently divided politically, there is one policy that seems to have almost unanimous support: ending the US war in Afghanistan. Poll after poll […]

Halloween costumes have a size problem

HalloweenCostumes.com has a fairly robust selections for plus-size costumes, but most retailers don’t have much to offer. | Sarah Lawrence for Vox; HalloweenCostumes.com Mainstream retailers like Target and Party City only offer extremely limited options. When Disguise Costumes released a “sassy” — read: “sexy” — Ursula-style costume for The Little Mermaid fans in 2012, it […]

6 comic book callbacks from Watchmen’s series premiere

A squid-themed Easter Egg | HBO From falling squids to a certain mask … There’s absolutely no need to read Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s 12-issue graphic novel to understand what’s going on in HBO’s new Watchmen series. It’s set in 2019, decades after the events of the novel, and doesn’t focus on those characters […]

Watchmen episode 1 plunges straight through the funhouse mirror into another 2019

Sister Night is ready for action in the first episode of Watchmen. | HBO Here’s what’s different and what’s the same about the HBO show’s new world. Also: Oklahoma! Watchmen’s series premiere, officially titled “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice,” is a slick piece of television. The episode skillfully blends real-world fears — […]

UK leaders insist Brexit will happen by Oct. 31 despite an extension request

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his way to Parliament for a vote on extending the Brexit deadline. | Peter Summers/Getty Images Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the EU for three more months to deliver Brexit. But Johnson and other leaders say it won’t be needed. Senior officials in the British government said Sunday the […]

US troops leaving Syria will fight ISIS from Iraq

US backed forces prepare for an operation in Syria in 2017, during the period of US-Kurdish cooperation. | Bedir Ehmed/Barcroft Media/Getty Images Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the troops will help “defend Iraq” and “perform a counter-ISIS mission.” One week ago, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced nearly all US troops in Syria would be […]

State Department talking points counter Trump’s optimistic message on Syria

A Syrian girl reacts to her wounds on October 20, 2019, in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad which was seized by Turkish-backed forces last week.  | Bakr Alkasem/AFP via Getty Images “Turkey does not appear to be mitigating the humanitarian impact of its invasion and occupation of some parts of northeast Syria,” one […]

Trump won’t host the G7 at his Miami resort after all

Donald Trump at his Doral golf club where he’d hoped to hold the next G7 meeting. | Scott Halleran/Getty Images Critics accused Trump of wanting to use the meeting to personally enrich himself. President Donald Trump has retreated from a plan to host next year’s G7 summit at his Miami resort amid criticism that it […]

Algorithms are grading student essays across the country. Can it really teach kids how to write better?

Janine Schmitz/Photothek via Getty Images The AI algorithms grading student essays are a black box. Algorithms are grading student essays across the country. So can artificial intelligence really teach us to write better? Todd Feathers, who wrote about AI essay grading for Motherboard, called up every state in the country and found that at least […]

Clinton’s email practices were risky but not malicious, State Department finds

Hillary Clinton on the set of Good Morning America in October 2019. | Lou Rocco/ABC/Getty Images Investigators found no “deliberate mishandling” of classified information by Clinton and her aides. A multi-year State Department investigation into the private email server that haunted Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign is complete. After reviewing 33,000 emails sent to or […]

In London, hundreds of thousands demand another chance to vote on Brexit

Demonstrators march in support of a “People’s Vote,” a second referendum on Brexit on October 19, 2019. | Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images A massive protest was held as lawmakers voted to ask the EU for a Brexit delay.  As Parliament met in London Saturday morning and voted to force a Brexit delay, hundreds of thousands of […]

Tulsi Gabbard calls Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers” in her latest clash with top Democrats

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on the set of “Fox and Friends” in September 2019. | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images Why are Hillary Clinton and Tulsi Gabbard fighting? Tension between Gabbard and Democratic leaders goes way back. Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers” Friday in response to […]

The UK Parliament just blew up Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Brussels on October 17, 2019. | Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images Parliament just voted to make the prime minister seek a Brexit delay, even if his deal passes. The British Parliament has made Boris Johnson’s premiership very difficult. Saturday was no exception. This time, it spoiled the vote on […]

The 4 words that will decide impeachment

Amanda Northrop/Vox Ezra Klein and Gene Healy discuss the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors” on a new podcast, Impeachment, Explained. This was the week of confessions. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted to a Trump administration quid quo pro with Ukraine, with cameras rolling. EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland confirmed that President […]

Vox Sentences: Impeachment, Day 24

Amanda Northrop/Vox This week in impeachment news; Friday prayers turn deadly in an Afghanistan mosque bombing. 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. This week in […]

Why a vote to close New York’s Rikers Island is being met with backlash

Activists hold a rally calling for the closure of Rikers Island on October 17, 2019. | Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images City leaders say they want to create smaller, more “humane” jails in the city. Some activists argue that there shouldn’t be jails at all. For the better part of eight decades, Rikers Island Jail […]

Barney the Dinosaur is getting a new movie. But is America ready?

PBS/YouTube Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya will co-produce Mattel’s plunge into a dark purple abyss from which there is no escape. Barney the Dinosaur, the giant purple nightmare from our childhoods, has found his way into our current hellscape — because if there’s anything we as a species deserve right now, it’s remixes of “I Love […]

Trump loves dictators. Erdogan is the latest to take advantage of that.

President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend the opening ceremony at the 2018 NATO Summit on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images The troubles facing Syria — and troubles elsewhere — are in large part caused not by America’s weakness, but by Trump’s. President Donald Trump is bragging […]

The problem with Amazon’s speedy shipping, in one graphic

A woman sorts packages at the Amazon fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York City, on February 5, 2019. | Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images “The quota system pushes you to really not work at a pace that’s normal, but at a pace where you’re almost running for the entire 10 hours.” Amazon warehouse workers […]

ABC’s Emergence blends Lost with This Is Us and adds a dash of E.T.

Allison Tolman stars as a police chief who meets a mysterious young girl in Emergence. | ABC Studios It’s better than that sounds. In Watch This, Vox critic at large Emily VanDerWerff tells you what she’s watching on TV — and why you should watch it too. Read the archives here. This week: ABC’s new […]

Trump’s Dallas rally showed how untethered from reality his impeachment pushback is

President Trump arrives for a “Keep America Great” campaign rally at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on October 17, 2019. | Tom Pennington/Getty Images It’s little more than lies and gaslighting. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s disastrous press briefing on Thursday was a prime example of how the White House is struggling to […]

Support for impeachment isn’t as high in battleground districts

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) arrives for a closed session before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees on October 17, 2019, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.  | Alex Wong/Getty Images Backing for an impeachment inquiry is growing nationally — but polling is tighter in battleground districts. The majority of Americans […]

When I twerked onstage with Lizzo, it was an act of political defiance

Courtesy of Sami Schalk Some think professors shouldn’t have fun. I’ve got something to show them. Last week, I made one of my dreams come true: I donned a skin-tight purple romper, tied a silver cape around my neck that read “100% THAT BITCH,” and twerked with Lizzo. By day, I am an author and […]

A new high-powered super PAC is going to spend millions to back Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang has raised millions of dollars from small contributors. Now he has a super PAC, too. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images It’s a test for the candidate, who says he wants to eliminate super PACs. A new super PAC is planning to spend over $1 million to back Andrew Yang’s campaign for the presidency, a […]

The Syrian ceasefire the US brokered is already falling apart

People are being carried in the trunk of a truck as residents continue returning home to Tal Abyad, Syria, on October 17, 2019. | Bekir Kasim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images “Trump has managed to bungle this policy challenge in the worst of all ways,” said one former Pentagon official. It took less than a day […]

House Democrats say migrants aren’t getting fair hearings at tent courts on the border

Rosa Gomez, from Honduras, and her family camp for hours on the Mexican side of the Gateway International Bridge, just across the line that separates Brownsville, Texas, from Mexico on Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Matamoros. | Jahi Chikwendiu/Washington Post/Getty Images They’re calling for investigations of possible civil rights abuses. House Democrats are calling for […]

Netflix’s The Laundromat is certainly the most entertaining way to learn about the Panama Papers

Meryl Streep in The Laundromat. | Claudette Barius/Netflix Meryl Streep leads a star-studded cast in an uneven, but illuminating, tale of real-life corruption, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Every week, new original films debut on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, often to much less fanfare than their big-screen counterparts. Cinemastream is Vox’s series highlighting the […]

Impeachment is too important to leave to Congress — it’s going to take mass mobilization

Hundreds of protesters march in New York City demanding Trump’s impeachment on October 13, 2019. | Ryan Rahman/LightRocket via Getty Images A lawless president won’t be constrained by establishment politics alone. Watergate is the ur-text for how Americans imagine the defeat of a sitting president, but it shouldn’t be how to think about the impeachment […]

How propaganda works in the digital age

Activists coordinate a “die-in” in front of Fox News to call attention to misinformation spread by the broadcast news company surrounding the climate crisis in New York City, on October 10, 2019. | Karla Ann Cote/NurPhoto via Getty Images Propaganda has evolved, and it’s transforming politics. What is propaganda? The question is not as simple […]

Basic income can’t do enough to help workers displaced by technology

A driverless truck being tested in Russia in 2018. | TASS/Getty Images Basic income can end poverty, but it can’t save truckers from being replaced by driverless trucks. The October Democratic presidential debate featured something that many activists would have considered impossible just a few years ago: a lengthy debate between leading presidential candidates about […]

Netflix’s Tell Me Who I Am is a nearly unbelievable documentary about a dark secret

Alex and Marcus Lewis, the subjects of Tell Me Who I Am. | Netflix Twin brothers tell their harrowing story in a documentary about memory, trauma, and silence. Every week, new original films debut on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, often to much less fanfare than their big-screen counterparts. Cinemastream is Vox’s series highlighting […]

Brands are using Instagram to sell colored contacts. They might not be safe to wear.

Pinky Paradise Most colored lenses are not FDA approved, but influencers and even average customers are promoting them online. My first pair of colored contact lenses was purchased inside an accessory shop in Koreatown. A middle-aged Korean clerk convinced my then-teenage self to fork out $30 for hazel contacts that would lighten and “enhance” my […]

Introducing Impeachment, Explained with Ezra Klein

Amanda Northrop/Vox We’re living through history. This new podcast helps us make sense of it. On Saturday, October 19, I’m launching a new podcast: Impeachment, Explained. We are likely about to witness the third impeachment of an American president. It’s a historic event. And understanding it is going to require some history. I first fell […]

How the abortion debate moved away from “safe, legal, and rare”

Protesters in favor of abortion rights gathered in New York’s Times Square as part of a national day of action against recent abortion bans on June 4, 2019. | LightRocket via Getty Images Democratic politicians used to say abortions should be rare. Here’s how that changed. “I agree with Hillary Clinton on one thing,” Rep. […]

Vox Sentences: A bitter pill for Johnson & Johnson

Education Images/UIG via Getty Images Opioid manufacturer looks to settle for $4 billion; Catalan separatist leaders’ jail sentences spark protests. 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 […]

The US and Turkey reached a Syrian ceasefire. But what does that mean?

Vice President Mike Pence meets to discuss a ceasefire with Turkish President Recep Yayyip Erdoğan in Ankara on October 17, 2019. | Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Turkish Presidency via Getty Images It certainly looks as though it’s a big win for Turkey. The United States and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in northeastern Syria, a week after […]

The importance of Elijah Cummings’s fight for voting rights

A photograph of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is pinned up outside the committee’s offices on October 17, 2019. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images “I will fight until the death to make sure every citizen … has that right to vote.” Over the course of his 12 terms in Congress, […]

The thousands of lawsuits against opioid companies, explained

Education Images/UIG via Getty Images The lawsuits could force drug manufacturers and distributors to pay for a crisis they helped cause. It’s impossible to talk about the causes of America’s opioid epidemic without pointing to the manufacturers and distributors that marketed and proliferated dangerous opioid painkillers. Yet for much of the crisis, these multibillion dollar […]

Trump is still trying to collect citizenship data for redistricting

Mina Alabdalah, 6, of Brentwood, left, and her mom Sabreen Alabdalah, take part in a children’s citizenship ceremony at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, California, on Monday, July 29, 2019. | Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images He doesn’t need a question on the 2020 census to determine the citizenship of the US population. […]

Elizabeth Warren raised five times as much money from Big Tech as Joe Biden did

Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden at the Democratic debate this week. | Win McNamee/Getty Images Another sign of Silicon Valley’s divide. Elizabeth Warren is crushing Joe Biden when it comes to donations from employees at Silicon Valley’s largest tech companies — despite her pledge to break many of them up. Warren raised five times as […]

Zombieland: Double Tap is an adequately fun throwback to a bygone era (of 2009)

The gang’s all here. | Sony Pictures Entertainment The original cast of Zombieland reunites for more undead slaughter in a sequel that feels like a time capsule. It’s been a long, long, long time since 2009. That was the year of Barack Obama’s inauguration. The year when swine flu became a global pandemic, and Michael […]

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