Vox Sentences: Collin’ for an indictment

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The Justice Department just indicted a Republican representative from New York; Argentina could become the most populous country in Latin America to legalize abortion as Congress gathers to vote.


The DOJ indicts a Republican representative

 Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Rep. Chris Collins
  • Republican Rep. Chris Collins was arrested by FBI agents and charged with insider trading on Wednesday morning. The New York representative, who was “one of President Trump’s earliest and biggest supporters,” is accused of sharing insider knowledge on a pharmaceutical company with his son. [Vox / Jane Coaston]
  • Collins’s son Cameron, and his son’s future father-in-law, Stephen Zarsky, were charged with insider trading as well. The three men allegedly tried to cover up the scheme and were also charged with lying to the FBI as a result. [NBC / Erik Ortiz and Jonathan Dienst]
  • Collins, the representative for the 27th District in upstate New York, is on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics. He is also one of their largest shareholders. Collins tipped off his son, who tipped off Zarsky, when an Innate drug trial failed. They subsequently saved more than a combined $768,000. [Wall Street Journal / Nicole Hong and Kristina Peterson]
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Collins will be removed from the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the subject of a “prompt and thorough investigation by the House Ethics Committee.” [US News & World Report]
  • Geoff Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that Collins “cheated our markets and our justice system” and “acted as if the law didn’t apply to him.” [The Hill / Sylvan Lane]
  • Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump during the 2016 election cycle. He then held weekly meetings with members of Congress to garner more support for the president. [CBS]
  • Collins’s lawyers are “confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated” despite evidence against him that is reportedly substantial. The evidence includes logged calls and texts with his son immediately after receiving the Innate news (while he was attending a congressional picnic, no less). [CNN / Erica Orden and Maegan Vazquez]
  • The indictment comes at a time when the left is working to turn the narrative that Democratic politicians are part of the Washington “swamp” back on Republicans. Collins has inevitably given the Democrats a load of ammo. [Washington Post / Renae Merle and Mike DeBonis]

Will Argentina legalize abortion? Stay tuned.

  • The Argentine Senate began its session to decide whether to legalize abortion on Wednesday. The historic vote isn’t expected to wrap up until early Thursday morning. Argentina would be the most populous country in Latin America to legalize abortion if the bill passed. [AP]
  • Multiple senators have pulled their support from the bill. Still, it’s unclear which way the vote will go. [NPR / Colin Dwyer]
  • President Mauricio Macri personally opposes abortion. But he said that it was up to Congress to make a decision and that he would sign the bill if passed. Some believe he is using the bill as a way to distract from Argentina’s economic troubles. [Reuters / Hugh Bronstein]
  • Abortion is legal in the country when a woman’s life or health is at risk or in cases of rape. But women who don’t fit into either category are forced to seek out abortions in secret. Human rights groups estimate that about 500,000 women are getting under the table procedures. Eighteen percent of all maternal deaths were due to illegal abortions in 2018. [NYT / Megan Specia]
  • Pope Francis, who called abortion “the white glove equivalent of Nazism,” hails from Argentina. The southern Latin American country is deeply religious. [BBC / Katy Watson]
  • The feminist movement has surged in Argentina. The country has its own version of the #MeToo movement called #NiUnaMenos, meaning “not one less” (woman hurt by or lost to gender violence). One million women are expected to rally outside of the Argentine Congress on Wednesday as #EsHoy, meaning “it’s today,” trends on Twitter. [The Guardian / Uki Goñi]
  • Activists believe that, no matter the outcome, a vote on abortion is a win in and of itself [Vox / Emily Stewart]

Miscellaneous

  • “Hurricane Kanye” will sit down with Jimmy Kimmel for his first real interview since announcing he was a Trump supporter (if we don’t count the TMZ tirade). The rapper and fashion designer disappointed and angered many fans in late May when he pledged his support for the president. [Complex / Eric Skelton]
  • Does your child’s dreaded bedtime routine fill you with bouts of anxiety? Disney has launched a new, toll-free “Sleep Shop Hotline” that enlists Mickey Mouse and friends to explain some bedtime routine etiquette and wish your testy offspring a goodnight. What’s parenting without a little “Disney magic,” right? [CBS Philly / Matt Yurus]
  • SpaceX lent a helping hand to Indonesia’s National Institute of Aeronautics and Space program on Tuesday. Elon Musk and his company launched a space booster from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to send an Indonesian communication satellite into orbit. [AP / Marcia Dunn]
  • The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has added a category at the Oscars for “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.” Is retroactive justice for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 out of the question? [The Verge / Bijan Stephen]

Verbatim

“I have found that the only way to give feedback without triggering white fragility is not to give it at all.” [Robin DiAngelo in her new book, White Fragility]


Watch this: The decline of Hong Kong’s iconic neon glow

Neon is fading. [YouTube / Johnny Harris]

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