Jan 9, 2016

Mexico resets “Days Since Chapo Guzman Escaped” sign to 0

On Friday, January 8, 2016 7:00 PM, Vox Sentences <newsletter@vox.com> wrote:

Mexico captures Chapo Guzman for a third time; two high-profile terrorism arrests and a bizarre ISIS-"inspired" attack; Saudi Arabia to sell share in $1 trillion company.
Vox Sentences is written by Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind.


The re-recapture of Chapo Guzman

"El Chapo" is Spanish for "The Chapo."
Alfredo Estrella/AFP
  • Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the semi-retired leader of Sinaloa cartel and one of Mexico's most legendary drug lords, was recaptured this morning after agents raided a Sinaloa safe house. [Vox / Dara Lind and Amanda Taub]
  • For a sense of just how big a deal Guzman is, you could do worse than read this Patrick Radden Keefe feature on Guzman's life during the thirteen years he spent on the run between his first escape from prison in 2001 and his recapture in 2014. [The New Yorker / Patrick Radden Keefe]
  • The 2014 capture was supposed to be a big statement that Mexico had regained the upper hand against crime and corruption. Instead, when Guzmán escaped again from Mexico's highest-security prison in 2015, it proved Mexico still couldn't handle the situation. [Vox / Amanda Taub]
  • Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is not-so-subtly trying to spin Guzman's most recent recapture as a sign that, in his words, "our institutions have demonstrated once again that they are worthy of citizens' trust." [Nicolas Medina Mora via Twitter]
  • The question is whether the government has regained the US's trust. The US was involved in the operation to catch Guzman... [Reuters / Gabriel Stargardter]
  • ...and it's likely to insist that he gets extradited out of Mexico to face trial in a US court (an option with both pros and cons, as the Economist explains) rather than risk his escape yet again. [The Economist]

Today in Terrorism

A video surveillance shot of the attack in progress.
Mark Makela/Getty Images
  • A Philadelphia police officer is in serious but stable condition being ambushed and shot by a 30-year-old man named Edward Archer, who then told authorities he'd been inspired by ISIS. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • It's not clear whether ISIS actually had anything to do with the attack. [Reuters]
  • "Inspired by ISIS" can mean that there was direct involvement by group members, or just that the group has a high enough profile for people to want to dedicate their attacks to it. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • Given that Archer's mother says he was showing signs of mental illness in the weeks leading up to the attack, it could be the latter. [LA Times / Matt Pearce]
  • Meanwhile, 2 Iraqi men who'd entered the US as refugees were arrested Thursday night on terrorism charges related to jihadi rebel groups fighting in Syria. [Vox / Dara Lind]
  • Neither man is alleged to have considered an attack in the US. But one of the cases might raise questions about whether the US's process for screening refugees is as effective as it claims.
  • Many Republican elected officials have taken the opportunity to renew calls to ban Syrian and Iraqi refugees from the US — or even, in Ted Cruz's case, for a "retroactive assessment" of refugees already here. [TPM / Caitlin Macneal]
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in fact, appears to have been so eager to break news of the arrest that he released a statement while the FBI inquiry was ongoing — possibly forcing them to prematurely wrap things up. [Reuters / Mark Hosenball and Julia Harte]

The most valuable company on earth

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser (L) talks with Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne this past October.
Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images
  • Saudi Arabia is considering selling off a minority stake in its state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco. [Vox / Matt Yglesias]
  • The sale would likely confirm Aramco's position as the most valuable company in the world. It's estimated that the company would be valued at more than a trillion dollars. [Quartz / Matt Phillips]
  • In some corners, this is being hyped as a sign that the new generation of Saudi leadership is committed to transformational change. [Financial Times / Simeon Kerr]
  • But it's a little hard to parse why, exactly, the sale would be a good idea for the Saudi regime. [The Economist]
  • It's eminently possible that it wouldn't be. The Saudis have been making a lot of decisions based on fear recently — fear of everything from populist uprisings within its borders to the US abandoning it for Iran. [Vox / Jennifer Williams]
  • Even though the US/Saudi relationship isn't just about oil, opening Aramco to American business investment might be a good way to strengthen ties. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]


It's very appealig to think that everyone just has different "learning styles." But there's basically no evidence for the idea. [NY Mag / Jesse Singal]

  • If Ted Cruz gets the Republican nomination, the general election will have the clearest contrast of any presidential race in years. That's good for everyone. [New Republic / Brian Beutler]
  • Inside Unit 9900, a selective squad in the Israel Defense Force that recruits heavily among autistic teens. [The Atlantic / Shira Rubin]
  • I've read some promising headlines in my time, but none more promising than "A Harvard Poetry Professor Reviewed Haiku I Got Sent on Tinder." [Cosmopolitan / Julia Edelman]


"It's remarkable how often Obama has gotten what he wanted, in many cases policies that Democrats (and sometimes moderate Republicans) have wanted for decades, and how often those policies have slipped under the radar." [Politico / Michael Grunwald]

  • "The production is being financed by one of the newest and more unexpected patrons of American theater: Roy Cockrum of Knoxville, a onetime Episcopal monk who bought a Powerball ticket at his local supermarket in 2014 and won $259 million." [NYT / Michael Paulson]
  • "When real men disappoint us — in their politics, their bullshit, their basic human inconsistencies — the internet's boyfriend is a paragon of enlightened masculinity, constructed by committee." [NY Mag / Sulagna Misra]
  • "While there are multiple urban legends surrounding toilet-based animal attacks, and they are rare, several people have been known to have been bitten by animals while sitting down on the toilet. And not just by snakes." [Slate / Forrest Wickman]
  • "If only it were possible to do something good and rewarding without publicly prioritizing what effect that act has on you." [Jezebel / Jia Tolentino]


The world has never eradicated a parasite. But Jimmy Carter is about to. [YouTube / Sarah Kliff and Estelle Caswell]

The Carter Center

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