Politics
Vox Sentences: On top of everything else, there’s a nasty flu going around

By Ella Nilsen

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world, curated by Ella Nilsen. 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 Iran nuclear deal survives; the flu is officially everywhere in the US.


The Iran nuclear deal lives another day

 Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • Yet again, President Donald Trump threatened to not approve the US nuclear deal with Iran, and then approved it at the last minute. [USA Today / Oren Dorell]
  • On Friday, Trump signed off on the nuclear deal (something he must recertify every 120 days), while vowing that it would be the last time he would do so. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • Trump said he would reimpose the US sanctions on the country that the deal was meant to relieve if European leaders and the US Congress did not do more to change the scope of the deal. [CNBC / Tom DiChristopher]
  • Specifically, Trump wants more inspections of Iranian nuclear programs, as well as to get rid of current clauses that allow the country to keep enriching uranium once the deal formally ends. [NYT / Mark Landler]
  • With this move, Trump is putting more pressure on Europe. European leaders have so far said they’ll discuss the situation, but they haven’t shown a ton of appetite for agreeing with him. [Associated Press / Matthew Lee]
  • The US Treasury Department also slapped new economic sanctions on multiple Iranian businesses and individuals, including the head of the country’s judicial system. These sanctions are largely a reaction to recent economic protests in the country, which Trump has weighed in on by siding with the protesters. [Voice of America]
  • It’s tough to tell how serious Trump is about pulling out of the deal, since it’s a threat he has been dangling — and then going back on — for many months. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]

This year’s flu season is particularly bad

  • It’s flu season, and doctors and health experts around the country say this year’s is shaping up to be particularly nasty. [Vox / Julia Belluz]
  • This is because there’s a bad strain of the flu circulating around the country called H3N2, plus this year’s flu vaccine is more effective for a different strain and not as effective on H3N2. [NYT / Aaron Carroll]
  • Nationwide, there have been more hospitalizations for flu in January than there were in December, leading some public health experts to believe the season may have peaked. So far, 20 children have died from flu this year (there were 101 total pediatric flu deaths last season). [CNN / Susan Scutti]
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still urging people to get their flu shot to protect themselves from some of the strains floating around, even if it doesn’t guard against H3N2. [NPR / Rob Stein]

Miscellaneous

  • After facing months of criticism for its role in helping to spread dubious information, Facebook is radically changing its newsfeed to move away from “public content.” [NYT / Mike Isaac]
  • Soccer gained more fans in the Middle East today: Women in Saudi Arabia are finally being allowed to attend games. [Guardian / John Duerden]
  • Art galleries are always keen to show the newest thing, and as a result, older artists often see interest in their work decline. One NYC museum aims to change that with a “60 and older” policy. [NPR / Susan Stamberg]
  • The Trump news cycle keeps snowballing. The latest story involves our president, a former porn star known as “Stormy Daniels,” and a $130,000 payment for a nondisclosure agreement. [WSJ / Michael Rothfeld and Joe Palazzolo]

Verbatim

“A baby mouse tested the limits of concert convention Thursday night when it raced up and down the aisle in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, eliciting a few squeals and much commotion in a setting known for its strict silence and decorum.” [Washington Post / Peggy McGlone]


Watch this: The new US tax law, explained with cereal

We’re a few Crunch Berries short, friends. [YouTube / Liz Scheltens, Alvin Chang, and Mallory Brangan]


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