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Vox Sentences: A message from Denver’s teachers

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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.

Denver’s teachers go on strike; a video shows a reportedly dead Uighur musician alive.


Denver teachers strike for the first time in 25 years


Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

  • 2,631 teachers went on strike in Denver on Monday after negotiations between the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Denver Public Schools over baseline salaries failed. [Denver Post / Elizabeth Hernandez, Elise Schmelzer, Jessica Seaman, and Saja Hindi]
  • Denver’s teachers are some of the lowest-paid in the nation, earning about $44,000 in some cases. DCTA is demanding better baseline salaries to end a system of awarding bonuses based on performance evaluations or for teachers working in high-poverty schools. [NYT / Julie Turkewitz and Dana Goldstein]
  • 4,714 preschool students didn’t go to school on Monday, but all other classes were held. Keeping schools open could cost as much as $400,000 per day, according to Polis, because most classrooms are staffed by administrators and substitute teachers. 71,000 students will be affected across 147 schools. [NPR / Matthew S. Schwartz]
  • The bonus system, known as ProComp, was designed to encourage good teachers to work in underfunded schools or hard-to-staff positions. Critics say the system is unpredictable, confusing, and arbitrary because the bonuses are awarded based on criteria such as collective student test scores. [Denver Post / Elizabeth Hernandez]
  • Denver’s strikes are the most recent in a string of teacher strikes in places including Arizona, West Virginia, and Los Angeles. [Associated Press]

China releases a video of a not-so-dead man

  • Is a Turkic musician detained in China alive or dead? The imprisonment of Uighur artist Abdurehim Heyit led to pushback from Turkey, a Muslim-majority country, on China’s mass detention of Uighur Muslims. [WSJ / Eva Dou and Shan Li]
  • Turkey was surprised to see Heyit safe and alive in a video provided by Chinese media after reports said Heyit was dead, and the Turkish Foreign Ministry openly condemned China’s internment of Uighurs. Turkish officials now fear economic reprisals from China. [BBC News]
  • Heyit had reportedly been arrested for a song he performed and sent to an internment camp. Uighur writers and intellectuals especially have been detained in “teaching and training centers” in Xinjiang, China, by the thousands in an effort to destroy their ethnic identity. [NYT / Amy Qin]
  • The transgressions that can get ethnic Uighurs reported to the police or sent to “political education” camps are many, and often minor, such as growing a beard or having a relative who has traveled to a Muslim country. [BuzzFeed / Megha Rajagopalan]
  • China claims the internment program is meant to target terrorism. Few Muslim nations have spoken out to protest China’s treatment of the Uighurs, but Turkey’s President Erdogan has positioned himself as a protector of Turkic people. [Washington Post / Gerry Shih]

Miscellaneous

  • The story of one victim’s family nearly one year after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed 17 students and staff in Parkland, Florida. [NPR / Melissa Block]
  • Sen. Kamala Harris is a presidential hopeful known as a “progressive prosecutor.” But the Democratic candidate faces skepticism from the left, especially for her approach to reform in the criminal justice system. [NYT / Kate Zernike]
  • Reports of a reduction in average tax refunds are “misleading,” according to a Monday tweet by the Treasury Department. Tax filing season began just as IRS workers returned to work at the end of a 35-day government shutdown. [The Hill / Michael Burke]
  • 2018 was deemed “the year of the woman” by the media, but a rise in feminist movements around the world was covered by mostly male reporters. [Atlantic / Gabby Deutch]
  • A new report found that in India, the world’s second-largest maker of fashion garments, millions of workers are exposed to dangerous working conditions for long hours and are paid less than minimum wage. [NYT / Elizabeth Paton]

Verbatim

“I’m a leader. I’ve been in some very difficult situations. Life and death situations, taking care of sick children. And right now, Virginia needs someone that can heal. There’s no better person to do that than a doctor.” [Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in an interview with CBS This Morning]


Listen to this: The Ezra Klein Show


Ezra Klein Show

This is a conversation about the fundamental structure of America’s parties, public opinion, and media institutions. It’s worth the time. [iTunes]


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26 Photos Proving That Happiness Is Not About iPhones

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Some people are chasing their future so fast that they stop noticing how great their lives today actually are. And truly happy people don’t need to chase anything: they are happy to have a comfortable bed, a loyal friend who is always there for them, a present from their grandmother, and for every small achievement on their life path.

These people are more effective than any coach at teaching us to be happy right here and right now and we at Bright Side were inspired by their ability to be happy no matter what.

1. His person just got home after a few months of work. That’s the look of pure happiness.

2. Soap bubbles are absolutely necessary for a happy childhood.

3. These 4 guys agree.

4. “My son has struggled with autism, Tourette’s, agoraphobia, severe anxiety, and OCD. He found solace in writing and just published his book on Amazon! Here he is giving a copy to one of his teachers that helped him along the way.”

5. “The photo my sister sent me of her dog and the new puppy they just got”

6. “My mom made my girls one Pom-Pom rug each. They took 80 hours, 320 Pom-Poms, and she let them choose their favorite colors. Just missed Christmas, but they are ecstatic nevertheless.”

7. “After years of sleeping on the floor and then on an air mattress, I finally own a bed!!! ”

8. I call this one “Pure Happiness.”

9. “My niece has always loved pumpkins. Today, we took her to a pumpkin farm for the first time…”

10. “10 months ago I decided to start learning to love myself. I moved states, got a new job, and have surrounded myself with amazing friends (some new & old). This photo has captured exactly how I feel… Pure happiness! I am so proud”

11. “My wife captured a moment between my daughter and I on the train while she was ‘booping’ my nose with hers. Pure happiness.”

12. “Makes me weak in the knees to see the happiness in my 8-year-old yellow Lab’s eyes, as well as the happiness in the eyes of my 81-year-old Mom.”

13. He is genuinely happy.

14. When your friend is with you and you’re happy:

15. Weee… that was fun.

16. With age, people are more likely to find harmony with themselves and with the world.

17. “My boyfriend got me a lemur experience for my birthday!”

18. Snow. This is all these guys need to be happy.

19. There is no such thing as pure happiness… Or is there?

20. “My mother had wanted a miniature poodle for over 30 years. This is the day Zoe came home.”

21. “My dad got married this past weekend after being single for 13 years and raising 3 girls alone. This is what happiness looks like.”

22. “Here’s another shot of my 101-year-old grandfather with our new puppy! This is pure joy if I’ve ever seen it!”

23. “Me and my girlfriend were in a car accident in which her arm had to be amputated. A week later we adopted Lola, I don’t know who’s happier… I’m going with Lola.”

24. “After an 8 month apprenticeship, and numerous clean downs and set ups, this is me doing my first tattoo on some fake skin. It is what it is but I couldn’t be happier. I earned this.”

25. “My parents split up when I was a baby. Even though they didn’t get along, they maintained a healthy relationship so they could equally raise me. This is our first picture together in a decade. I’m thankful to be proof that parents who are separated can still work together.”

26. Happiness is a state of mind.

Which of these photos seems the most uplifting to you?

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Dan Brock’s Viral Traffic Optimizer | Dan Brock’s Viral Traffic Optimizer

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