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At least a little confidence in Theresa May; Michael Cohen gets three years.
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote challenging her leadership of the Conservative Party on Wednesday — a hit to her authority as she continues to struggle to get a Brexit deal through Parliament. [BBC]
- The deal lays out exactly how the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, which voters approved in June 2016, would go. May claims it’s the best she can do, but the deal is wildly unpopular. [NPR / Bill Chappell and Colin Dwyer]
- The biggest sticking point is the Irish border. Ireland would remain in the European Union, but Northern Ireland — part of the United Kingdom — would not. But a hard border between the two would violate the Northern Ireland peace accords. [BBC / John Campbell]
- May’s deal would essentially keep the UK in the European Union for trade purposes until at least December 2020 to avoid a hard Irish border. This alternative was not popular with Brexit supporters. [CNBC / Sam Meredith]
- In fact, the question isn’t whether the deal will fail; it’s by how much. A defeat by a large margin leaves May with very few good choices: She could call for another referendum or a general election, or the UK could try to leave the EU with no deal. [NYT / Allison McCann and Stephen Castle]
- For now, May is headed to Brussels to try to get a better deal. (The EU does not seem inclined to give it to her.) [Bloomberg / Emma Ross-Thomas]
- Meanwhile, in Brussels: “Asked about his reaction to the chaos in London, [an] EU diplomat responded with an emoji of an exploding head.” [Politico / Lili Bayer and David M. Herszenhorn]
Somebody’s Cohen to jail
- Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, was sentenced to three months in jail after his guilty plea on charges of financial crimes, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
- Cohen had hoped to avoid prison time by cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation (which eventually charged him as well), but prosecutors said he wasn’t helpful enough — continuing to hold back information. [Washington Post / Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett]
- Meanwhile, the National Enquirer’s parent company is cooperating into the investigation into hush money payments to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels — admitting that it paid the women “in concert with” Trump’s campaign. [NYT / Rebecca R. Ruiz and Ben Protess]
- All of this means that the hush money probe is far from over. In fact, it seems to be moving closer to either the Trump Organization, Trump himself, or both. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
- Russian state television lavished praise on a robot for its realistic dancing. Except it turned out to be a man dressed up like a robot. [Guardian / Andrew Roth]
- The latest sign of a strong economy is workers ghosting on their employers like “millennials on Tinder.” [Washington Post / Danielle Paquette]
- If you’re going to Rapid City, South Dakota, pack everything: It has the least predictable weather in America, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight. [FiveThirtyEight / Nate Silver and Reuben Fischer-Baum]
- The mystery surrounding what happened to American government employees in Cuba two years ago deepens with a new report finding they all had inner ear damage. [NYT / Frances Robles]
“It’s James Kennedy from Vanderpump Rules, your favorite, the white Kanye West … Wanted to say you should join the DSA, comrades.”
Listen to this: Recode Decode
Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism. You can listen to Recode Decode wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, and Overcast.