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Vox Sentences: Notre Dame in flames

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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 Notre Dame Cathedral is heavily damaged by fire; Quebec proposes a new bill that bars public workers from wearing any religious symbols.


The burning of Notre Dame


Night falls as firefighters continue to battle the flames.

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

  • The Notre Dame Cathedral, one of Paris’s most famous landmarks, suffered significant damage from a fire today. [AP]
  • About 400 firefighters are working to put out the fire, and the main structure has been “saved and preserved.” The cathedral has still experienced significant damage — including the fall of its famed spire and the loss of its roof. [Guardian / Mattha Busby]
  • Police said they believe the fire started from construction as part of the restoration work on the building. [NYT / Adam Nossiter and Aurelien Breeden]
  • The building, which has been damaged and renovated several times over its long history, was crumbling and its wooden frames were eroding from water leaks. A long-needed $180 million renovation on the building began with the spire — which collapsed Monday as the flames raged. [NYT / Aurelien Breeden]
  • President Trump sent his condolences to the French and also recommended they should use “flying water tankers” to put out the fires. [Twitter / Donald Trump]
  • Paris police, however, said the use of such tactics could damage the old and brittle building, potentially causing even more harm. The agency is using “all means” to handle the fire, which is being treated as a national emergency. [AP]
  • The cathedral has been standing at the heart of Paris since the 12th century. The fire is a heartbreaking loss for Parisians and the world, and several prominent figures and religious groups sent their thoughts and prayers. [BBC]
  • French President Emmanuel Macron declared his determination to rebuild Notre Dame and said an international fundraising campaign will be launched. [Independent / Andrew Griffin and Jon Stone]

A controversial proposal in Quebec

  • Quebec has proposed a bill that bars public employees — including teachers, nurses, bus drivers, and lawyers — from wearing “religious symbols” while at work. [AP News / Tracey Lindeman]
  • The government issued the proposal on Thursday, but it has been trying for years to restrict civil servants from wearing religious symbols like turbans, yarmulkes, and headscarves in what it says is an effort to preserve a secular society. [Al Jazeera]
  • While some municipal leaders and school boards have said they will not enforce the ban if it becomes law, the mayor — who opposes the bill — said she would not stand in its way if it passed. [CBC / Isaac Olson]
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his disagreement with the bill before the text was released on Thursday. “It’s unthinkable to me that in a free society we would legitimize discrimination against citizens based on their religion,” he said. [Bloomberg / Sandrine Rastello]
  • Similar bans have been proposed and passed in France and other European countries. While the laws sometimes apply to all religious symbols equally, the debate often focuses on headscarves and veils worn by Muslim women. [Guardian / Matthew Weaver]

Miscellaneous

  • Tiger Woods just won his first Masters since 2005. Now Trump wants to give him a Presidential Medal of Freedom. [Fox News / Liam Quinn]
  • Morehouse College, America’s only historically black all-male school, is making history by now accepting the admission of transgender men. [NYT / Sandra E. Garcia]
  • Have you ever wanted to name your own planet? Now’s your chance, as scientists from NASA are asking the public to vote for one of three names –– Gonggong, Holle, and Vili –– for a minor planet. [Newsweek / Aristos Georgiou]
  • A Florida man kept a cassowary, known as the world’s most dangerous bird, as a pet. That same animal killed him on Friday. [Washington Post / Kayla Epstein]
  • There are just four Yangtze giant softshell turtles left in existence. On Saturday, the last known female died in a Chinese zoo. [USA Today / N’dea Yancey-Bragg]

Verbatim

“Like all our compatriots, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burning.” [President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter following the Notre Dame fire]


Watch this: The real reason Boeing’s new plane crashed twice

Two Boeing airplanes have fallen out of the air and crashed in the past six months. On the surface, this is a technical failure. But the real story is about a company’s desire to beat its rival. [YouTube / Alvin Chang, Dion Lee, and Kim Mas]


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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony is set for July 17

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After weeks of speculation about whether special counsel Robert Mueller would testify before Congress, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff have announced Mueller will appear in front of their committees in July.

On Tuesday night, Nadler announced Mueller had agreed to testify, after his committee and the House Permanent Select Committee issued subpoenas. Mueller will testify in open session on July 17, according to the chairs.

“We look forward to hearing his testimony, as do all Americans,” Schiff and Nadler’s statement reads. “Americans have demanded to hear directly from the Special Counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia’s attack on our democracy, the Trump campaigns acceptance and use of that help, and President Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation into that attack.”

But don’t expect too many bombshells from the special counsel’s testimony. Mueller has been very clear about what he will and will not talk about publicly in front of Congress: He will talk about what is already in his report on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and President Donald Trump’s alleged obstruction. He won’t talk about what he thinks about how Attorney General William Barr handled the report’s rollout, or anything else not in the report’s 448 pages.

“The report is my testimony,” Mueller said in a rare public statement last month. “I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”

House Democrats want Mueller to give more information. They are deeply suspicious of the way Barr and the Trump administration handled the Mueller report rollout this spring and want to hear Mueller’s side of the story. But Mueller, seemingly afraid of politicizing the report and his role in it, has clearly said he has no desire to speak on it.

Democrats had hoped Mueller would willingly agree to testify in front of Congress, but House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler also floated the option of subpoenaing the special counsel last month if Trump tried to claim executive privilege to block it. “We will subpoena him if we have to,” Nadler reiterated in a CNN interview earlier this month.

Given the fact Mueller said his decision not to testify was his and his alone, committee chairs were hesitant to take the step of subpoenaing him, but eventually chose to. Mueller was easier to persuade than Trump administration officials, many of whom have chosen to ignore Democratic subpoenas.

Even if Mueller can’t speak to anything beyond the report, Democrats believe his testimony will be valuable as they slowly and methodically mount their campaign of investigations against Trump. Whether it will ultimately lead to impeachment is another question entirely — one House Democrats don’t appear any closer to tackling.

Mueller believes Congress should hold Trump accountable

Twice — once in his report and once in his public statement — Mueller has said he believes Congress is the body that should decide whether Trump obstructed justice by attempting to stop the investigations into his 2016 campaign.

Even with plenty of evidence, Mueller explained why his team did not charge Trump for obstructing justice, saying long-standing Department of Justice policy prevented him from indicting a sitting president. And as Vox’s Andrew Prokop wrote, Mueller went a step further, concluding he couldn’t even state whether Trump had broken the law because “it would be unfair to the president, because the fact that he can’t be charged means he can’t clear his name with an acquittal at trial.”

Mueller instead punted a fix to Congress. After examining Congress’ role through the lens of separation of powers in the US Constitution and past court cases, Mueller concluded in his report that lawmakers are the ones with the authority to act in cases in which a president may have committed obstruction of justice.

“With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” Mueller’s report reads.

He added this critical line: “The conclusion that Congress may apply obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

Mueller wrote that no person — not even the president of the United States — is above the law, and that the US Constitution doesn’t “categorically and permanently immunize a President for obstructing justice.” DOJ precedent effectively prevented Mueller from charging a sitting president but, as Prokop wrote, Mueller’s decision to investigate and lay out the potential for crimes and still not come to a conclusion one way or another sets another precedent for future presidents to act above the law — especially if they have confidence a politically split Congress won’t do anything about it.

Congress’s next steps will be critical because Mueller’s report explicitly states, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Many Democrats viewed this as tantamount to an invitation to the House Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment inquiry — something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants have been hesitant to wade into. The Democratic leader has instead advocated for her party to continue investigating the president, even as a growing number of her caucus calls for an inquiry to be opened.

The number of calls for an inquiry grew even more after Mueller’s public statement. Even if he is simply talking about the already known conclusions of his report, there’s the potential to cause even more Democrats to back an inquiry.

The drumbeat on an impeachment inquiry is growing steadily, but whatever House Democrats do, it is a decision now out of Mueller’s hands.

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Tik Tok China Daily Trending Videos 20190602 抖音每日热门视频

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#涂磊 Parenting and children’s 52 things Children’s Day, personally light your care! #摇音小助手(#涂磊育儿之和孩子的52件事 六一儿童节,亲手点亮你的小心愿!#抖音小助手) – 涂磊

Blame me… didn’t choose well… Hey! !(怪我了…没选好…唉!!) – A.燁煬(拳师犬阿卢)

This is quite fun(好好玩哦) – 陈乔恩

After 90, the old Timo will have to pass 6.1! I also sang a short paragraph of Deng Ziqi’s “The Devil from Heaven” #魔的天堂鬼# Today is a child(90后老提莫也要过6.1哼!我也唱一小段邓紫棋的《来自天堂的魔鬼》#来自天堂的魔鬼 #今天就做个孩子) – 冯提莫

200w powder thank you for giving you a peach blossom in the June 1st ~ Song pants is good for jumping this! I loved ~#original national wind plan(200w粉感谢❤️在六一给大家来一首桃花笑~宋裤好适合跳这个!我爱了~#原创国风计划) – Fofo酱

Is the June 6 unfair to me? ! ? ! Is my mom fake? !(六一节对我这么不公平吗?!?!我妈是假的吗?!) – 陈赫

Teacher Lang said: If a meal can’t be solved, then… two meals(浪老师说:如果一顿饭解决不了的,那就…….两顿) – 慕容瑞驰

Jie Ge, I forgive you.(杰哥我原谅你了) – 小沈阳

You are really funny, jump up, wipe your mouth, and go to sleep right away. #看我多玩玩#猫#摇音小助手(你确实很搞笑,跳上去,擦擦嘴,马上就睡觉#看我多会玩 #猫 #抖音小助手) – 可可西里

For the history of urine, this last expression(为啥史尿多最后这个表情) – 哈K

Childhood is – will look at the rain like it grows up but will envy it so rain, 6.1 happy(童年就是——会像它一样看雨 长大却会羡慕它这样看雨,6.1快乐) – 十一

Don’t let her wear high heels when going out with friends, or you will be like me.(以后跟朋友出门千万不要让她穿高跟鞋,不然你就会像我一样) – 赵铁柱

The sneak shot of a man who is about to be a father. Are men all like this?(偷拍即将当爸爸的男人。男人是不是都是这样) – 娜娜有个别人家男友

The video was found out, and the tone was lowered. It was not shouted out. It was recorded once, and I was afraid of disturbing others. The certificate is a civilized dormitory.(视频呢找出来了,降调了,不是喊出来的,就录了一遍儿,怕打扰到别人。奖状是文明宿舍。) – 风浪才子

Eat a daughter-in-law’s mental weight loss and my action to lose weight … @ Zoo Band @音乐盒(吃货媳妇的精神减肥和我的行动减肥 …@动物园乐队 @音乐盒子) – Q朋克

Some of the Magic Fairy dialects that Grandma is learning on the way home, you guess who said it. I wish you all a happy day #六一儿童节#雨女无瓜(奶奶在回家的路上现学的一些魔仙堡方言,你们猜猜是谁说的。 祝大家六一快乐#六一儿童节 #雨女无瓜) – 淘气陈奶奶

What is this position? #邓超#Deng Chao Yinhe Tuition Class @摇音小助手(请问这是什么走位?#邓超 #邓超银河补习班 @抖音小助手) – 邓超工作室

On the Children’s Day, Children’s Day is so against me, should I endure it?(六一儿童节小歪居然这么对我,我该忍着么) – 开挂的猫二歪

Classmates, Happy Children’s Day! #Apple original camera #vlog日常#爱#六一 @摇音小助手(同学,六一快乐!#苹果原相机 #vlog日常 #爱情 #六一 @抖音小助手) – 土木一班姜同学

Happy Children’s Day(六一快樂) – 张庭

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20 Marvelous Behind-the-Scenes Shots That Are Sure to Make History

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When it comes to the magic of moviemaking, it takes a lot of work to make the impossible a reality. While special effects are nearly as old as film itself (it has even appeared in silent films), the industry has come a long way. You’d be surprised to see how some of your favorite action scenes became a reality.

We at Bright Side love sharing the scenes from our favorite movies and revealing how they were made, and we can’t wait for you to see it all!

1. To be fair, Sean Gunn is cuter than a talking raccoon.

2. No, Hollywood movies don’t usually set the actors on fire.

3. Who’s a good boy?

4. A stormy day may start out green and bright.

5. It’s like space is just a room away…

6. That said, I’m sure one day we’ll make it through the looking glass.

7. So, you’re saying you shouldn’t go out and pet tigers?

8. It’s never been this easy to get to the seashore.

9. We can put a man on the moon and have a war in the stars.

10. You’d think they’d use a green screen to get to Emerald City but to each his own.

11. The most impressive part is how the pillow and wall changed color.

12. Now, if we could just find a way to actually travel back in time to the ’20s…

13. It’s time to turn off the lights (and put up the sun)!

14. Being an action hero is much safer when using a harness.

15. Who knew that getting superpowers could be so easy?

16. Finally, after all these years, they tell us how to get some air on a broomstick.

17. Sadly, giant, talking turtles are hard to come by, so you’ve got to get creative.

18. Who knew it was so easy to make a monkey out of you?

19. It’s time to put on the air conditioner!

20. This has got to be the easiest way to lose weight.

Bonus: People can have fun even in-between shots.

Do you know any other tricks filmmakers use to make their movies even more impressive? Let us know!

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