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Vox Sentences: O-H uh-oh

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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.

Federal judges toss out Ohio’s congressional map, citing gerrymandering; two Reuters reporters are released from prison in Myanmar after more than 500 days.


Court: Ohio’s congressional map is unconstitutional


Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • A federal court ruled on Friday that Ohio’s congressional map is unfairly drawn to benefit Republicans — just a week after a Michigan court made a similar ruling for the state’s map. [Cleveland.com / Rich Exner]
  • The current map, which was drawn by a Republican-controlled legislature in 2011, is unconstitutional because it violates Democratic voters’ rights by diluting their votes, the court ruled. It has ordered lawmakers to create a new version by June for the 2020 elections. [Roll Call / Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin]
  • Ohio’s attorney general said he would appeal to the Supreme Court, which is already reviewing two gerrymandering cases from Maryland and North Carolina — the former map favoring Democrats and the latter favoring Republicans. They are expected to make a decision by the end of this spring. [Cincinnati Enquirer / Jessie Balmert]
  • Until now, the higher court has only restricted racial gerrymandering and has never found partisan gerrymandering to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court, however, will now have to deliberate on a key question: How does one differentiate between unconstitutional partisan maps and acceptable political maps? [Washington Post / Robert Barnes]
  • Ohio voters are also on board with making the process of mapping congressional districts fairer. In 2018, they passed a ballot measure that would require a map to receive 50 percent support from the minority party. [NPR / Gabe Rosenberg]
  • Lower courts and voters are collectively sending a message to the Supreme Court that partisan gerrymandering is an immediate issue that has to be addressed. [NYT / Trip Gabriel and Michael Wines]

Reuters reporters released after more than 500 days

  • Two Reuters journalists were finally freed from Myanmar after more than 500 days in prison. [Reuters / Simon Lewis and Shoon Naing]
  • Wa Lone, 33, and U Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, were arrested while investigating the death of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys, which was part of a military-led attack against the minority group. [CNN / Euan McKirdy and James Griffiths]
  • They were sentenced to seven years in prison after being charged under the Official Secrets Act for receiving documents from a police officer. Reuters has maintained the reporters’ innocence. [NYT / Russell Goldman and Mike Ives]
  • The two men, along with their Reuters colleagues, were awarded a Pulitzer Prize in April for “expertly exposing the military units and Buddhist villagers responsible for the systematic expulsion and murder of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.” [Pulitzer.org]
  • Although the reporters’ repeated appeals to the court were rejected, they were pardoned under an amnesty granted by the president to more than 6,000 other prisoners. It is not unusual for Myanmarese authorities to grant pardons to criminals during the beginning of the traditional New Year, which began on April 17. [NPR / Laurel Wamsley]
  • The two reporters had become the faces of a global campaign for press freedom. Journalists, foreign diplomats, and human rights activists demanded their release. [LA Times / Shashank Bengali and Cape Diamond]
  • The journalists’ report and arrest contributed to a darker global image of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was once an international icon for democracy. [Washington Post / Shibani Mahtani]

Miscellaneous

  • A company called Liquid Death is selling tallboy cans of “punk rock” water. Naturally, it led to plenty of internet jokes. [BuzzFeed News / Ryan Broderick]
  • In 2017, a man who was later found to be highly intoxicated killed eight people in Texas. The bartender who served him the night of the crime could face up to a year in prison. [NBC News / Ben Kesslen]
  • A Japanese fashion tycoon who paid a hefty deposit to become SpaceX’s first commercial passenger to the moon now says he’s broke — and some wonder how this may impact the company’s funding for the project. [Futurism / Kristin Houser]
  • If you played a lot of Pokémon when you were a kid, it’s likely that a specific area in your brain is dedicated to identifying the characters. [Engadget / Christine Fisher]
  • The theme of last night’s Met Gala was camp. No, not as in camping in the wild. Think over-the-top, glam, flamboyant. [The Cut / Kelly Conaboy]

Verbatim

“We conclude that the 2012 map dilutes the votes of Democratic voters by packing and cracking them into districts that are so skewed toward one party that the electoral outcome is predetermined.” [Federal judges in their 301-page decision tossing out Ohio’s congressional map]


Watch this: China’s secret internment camps

… and the internet detectives working to find them. [YouTube / Danush Parvaneh]


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How Self-Hatred Can Insensibly Poison Our Lives

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American woman Shelli Wilder Netko wrote a post about what worries all the women in the world — self-hatred, inevitable aging, and the race against time that will definitely be lost. But instead of worrying about these things, we should just focus on loving the people around us. Her post was so moving that we feel for her from the bottom of our hearts.

Here at Bright Side, this post has moved us a step closer to the most sincere love for ourselves. We hope it will do the same for you.

I have never really liked my hands. I have short, calloused fingers, wide palms, and messed up nail beds from a nail-biting stint when I was in grade school. Add to it the effect of knuckle-popping, which I became obsessed with after I saw the cool kid on the block do it in second grade. But nonetheless, I’ve always referred to my hands as looking like “dog paws,” versus the long, graceful hands that my sister has and that I’ve always wanted. I’ve always thought I was in the wrong line when God sprinkled “beautiful hand fairy dust” on the babies.

To add to my hand shame, since my 20s I’ve had the biggest, juiciest veins in my hands and forearms that have always been a phlebotomist’s dream come true, causing my hands to look a bit masculine and old if you ask me. When my kids were young they liked to sit by me during church and “play” with my veins to make the time pass more quickly. They would sometimes ask why my hands were “like that.” The standard mom answer applied here, “They just are, Hun.” But I always liked it — having one of them holding and touching my hands, no matter where or when or why.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve done my part to win the anti-aging race with my body and face. Eating healthy, exercising, and spending far too much money taking care of my skin. And yet, when I look down at my keyboard countless times a day, I still see these hands that look much older than my heart feels, and appear as if they could use a nice rest.

When the photographer stopped me to pose for this photo at my wedding in March to capture my sash and ring on the lace pattern of my dress, I automatically blurted out, “Can you edit the picture? I don’t like my hands.” Everyone has something they don’t fully embrace about themselves, don’t they?

But when the wedding photos came back I saw my hands in a whole new light. This picture is so beautiful, it captures everything. I saw the hands that had baked about 200 Birthday cakes, a truckload of cookies, changed thousands of diapers, wiped away a million crocodile tears, and clapped till they were raw cheering my kids on through every sport.

I saw this picture and I saw a gift. These hands may not be the smoothest, most graceful, longest, most feminine hands, but they are perfectly suited for the work that was laid out for me. These hands have been blessed with holding my newborn babies and grandbabies and holding the father of my children as he took his last breath.

I will find a beautiful frame for this picture to remind myself constantly of the love and purpose and duty I have in this life, and to remind myself that I have my mother’s hands — her gift to me.

What do you think of this story? Is there something about your appearance that you don’t like? Tell us in the comment section below.

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A Daughter Wanted to Brag About Her Gorgeous Mom on Twitter and Accidentally Started a Beauty Contest

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We’re totally used to social media sites that turn out to be an unpredictable phenomenon today and any post has the potential to go viral. This is what happened to a girl whose screen name is Your boyfriend’s best friend who posted a photo of her 43-year-old mom on Twitter and accidentally started a beauty contest. And even though it was just moms who took part in this sudden marathon, it was a dad who won!

Bright Side couldn’t stand aside and has decided to show you some women who know about the secret of eternal youth. And the winner, of course.

In just one day, a daughter made her mom popular: her post got 23,000 likes and caused a lot of hype in the comments. Twitter users were really interested in her beauty secrets, because this 43-year-old woman looks really magnificent. So some people asked for her cosmetologist’s contact details and others tried to find out the woman’s phone number, promoting themselves as potential suitors.

Some people also wanted to show off their beautiful moms, so they started posting their photos in the comments. As a result, the post turned into a real beauty contest.

The more women who have managed to stop time there were, the more they were suspected in using magic.

Some users even doubted that they were relatives with their moms at all. Let’s agree: when a mother looks better than her daughter, the suspicions about whether they have common genes or not are pretty relevant.

Undoubtedly, all these women are extremely popular with men, even the younger ones.

It’s hard to believe that these hot beauties have 3, 4, or even 5 kids.

The finalists were women who were older than 60. When you look at them, you realize that age is just a number.

But the winner was a dad. Apparently, a user who calls themselves Taste Booster wanted to dilute this beauty flow with a touch of masculinity. All in all, the photo of a man lying down among all the fish he caught, a cat, and a dog hit the jackpot: the picture got 1,700 likes and became more successful than any of the other photos in the comments. The only exception was the photo of the person who started this beauty contest.

Undoubtedly, all the moms who participated in this viral post deserve admiration, but the picture “Dad and some bream” is an amazing sensation. Which one do you like the most?

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Costs of raising pets and changing pet market consumer trends

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반려동물 1마리 키우는데 드는 비용과 소비 트렌드 변화

In the past couple of decades, it’s become far more common in Korea to own a pet.
Owning a pet, of course, usually costs some money.
In this report, our Hong Yoo looks at how much that might be and how the petcare market is changing.
More than 10 million people living in South Korea have a pet.
That’s one pet for every four households.
According to a pet report by KB Financial Group, raising a dog costs an average of 85 U.S. dollars a month and raising a cat requires an average of 64 dollars a month.
Most of that money goes on food and treats.
The rest of the money is used for medical care and grooming.
But people are happy to treat their pets because these days pet owners think of their pets as a member of their family.
In Korea, these people are called “PetFam”.
The pet food market alone has seen an average of 19 percent annual growth on the back of this trend.
And because people think of their pets as part of their family, they want to take their pets along with them on trips.
So tour companies have started creating “pet tours”.
“Because there are people who want this kind of tour, we saw the potential of such a product in the market and so we came up with our Jeju pet tour. Pets can accompany their family all the time during the tour to Jeju Island including at the restaurant, tour spots, and the hotel because this tour is pet-centered.”
There are even home spa products for pets such as skin moisturizers, scaling products and grooming mists labeled as premium products because they are organic, eco-friendly, and pet-friendly. They can cost up to 40 dollars.
“Before, people used to think about pets as a living thing that you can buy just like a toy. But because people think of their pets as a part of the family, the pet market has become similar to the baby market. So now, owners are turning to premium products for their pets.”
And there are also luxury pet shops which sell premium products that can cost up to a thousand dollars.
That is the cost of a pet bed made out of oak in the style of the bed of King Louis the 16th.
And at this luxury department store, the most popular dog food costs more than 50 dollars for just 1-and-a-half kilograms.
These changing consumer trends in the pet market show how owners are willing to spend a lot on the best quality products for their pets now that they are seen as part of the family.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.

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