The Atlantic Daily: Two Presidents Defend Their Deal

Backlash on the nuclear accord, a history of anti-vaccination, and more ...

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

What's Happening: Backlash on the Nuclear Accord

One day after a significant nuclear accord between Iran and six countries was signed, President Obama defended the controversial agreement, calling it “a historic chance to pursue a safer and more secure world.” He also chided a reporter for asking about the Americans still imprisoned in Iran. As a salve for an agreement that Israel doesn’t like, the president also reportedly offered a military upgrade to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call on Wednesday.

Iran’s president chimes in: Even while admitting the nuclear deal wasn’t “perfect,” President Hassan Rouhani also defended the agreement on Wednesday. “No one can say Iran surrendered," he said, calling it a “legal, technical, and political victory.” Iran’s hardliners were mostly quiet about the deal, some say because the public mood was so jubilant.

The deciding vote in Congress: Just as President Rouhani has to answer to Iran’s Supreme Leader, President Obama also has a key figure to court if he wants the nuclear deal to pass through Congress: Chuck Schumer. If the hawkish Democratic senator approves the deal, it seems unlikely that Republicans will get enough other Democrats onboard to block the treaty. So far, the characteristically bombastic New York lawmaker is keeping his views on the deal quiet.


In east London, Muslims attend Friday prayers in the courtyard of a housing estate next to the small BBC community center and mosque on July 10, 2015. For more images of Ramadan celebrations from around the world, visit The Atlantic Photo. (Paul Hackett / Reuters)


  • Elizabeth Earl: “Modern vaccination activists come from a different world than those in the 19th century. While anti-vaxers today are largely upper middle class, the crowd opposing vaccination in the 19th century was largely composed of lower- and working-class British citizens.”
  • David A. Graham: “There’s a small cottage industry devoted to producing videos that showcase the emotionally wrenching side of abortion… The latest sting appears to have been in the works for quite some time—a timestamp on the video released Tuesday says it was shot on July 25, 2014, nearly a year ago.”
  • Roc Morin: “In contrast to the hundreds or thousands of study hours required to attain fluency in other languages, a general consensus among Toki Pona speakers is that it takes about 30 hours to master.”

News Quiz

1. The average student at a four-year college graduates with about __________ in student-loan debt.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

2. Health problems linked to stress cause _________  deaths in the U.S. each year.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

3. The NAACP is suing the state of North Carolina over the issue of ___________.

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Evening Read

Wednesday Martin on the ways motherhood has changed in the past 50 years:

Sure, today’s college-educated women have a degree of autonomy and self-determination that Johnson and her peers only dreamed of, and that required an entire second wave of feminism to engineer, through consciousness raising, lawsuits, and legislation. Thanks to Title IX, they played sports that were off limits to a previous generation. Now, as middle- and upper-income women who stay home with kids they have recourse to no-fault divorce, laws protecting them from workplace discrimination, and access to birth control and abortion.

And yet.

The educated woman who stays home now may face a measure of not only the longing and lack of fulfillment that Johnson and Friedan articulated, but also the awkward silence and turning away at a cocktail party—the lack of interest when she says she is a stay-at-home mother. She is in for a heaping helping of something relatively new: widespread cultural contempt.


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Answers: $26,000, 120,000, VOTING LAWS