The News You Need To Read This Morning

One of the biggest Florida storms in decades, the real-life impact of misogynistic influencers, and a secret Kardashian proposal.

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"My brother is so far gone": How male influencers turned the men in these people's lives toxic

an image of a white guy overlayed with a red image of a bombed building

Former kickboxer Andrew Tate found infamy online as a top influencer within an ecosystem of toxic male figures preaching the lucrative gospel of misogyny. He and similar “alpha male” creators such as influencer Kevin Samuels (who died in May 2022) and Myron Gaines and Walter Weekes of the Fresh & Fit podcast position themselves as life coaches endorsing “hustle” culture, misogyny, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. While Tate was banned from most social media platforms this summer, the audience he’s helped cultivate remains.

What makes this particular strain of content creation so insidious is how it’s packaged: most often as self-help for men who are struggling with real issues.

“My father has gone from a man who minored in women’s studies in college — who was kind and in touch with his emotions and who treated all people, men and women, around him with kindness — to a man who says that whenever he sees an ‘effeminate’ male stranger, he gets an overwhelming urge to murder them,” one 22-year-old woman told BuzzFeed News.

Her father’s divorce in 2018 “was messy, and that’s part of why he started subscribing to those ideals — that was a major trigger,” she said. “I wish I could just tell him that I love him, and I want the real him back. … It’s getting to the point where he’s about to lose his whole family.”

Experts confirm that many people are most vulnerable to this toxic rhetoric during times of crisis or personal loss.

“On the surface, there’s that appreciation of genuine problems that the men suffer in society, but these communities are not about support,” said Dr. Lisa Sugiura, an author and professor who studies the crossover between gender and cybercrime. “Instead, they’re taught to self-loathe, hate women, and blame women and broader society for it.”

Russia plans to annex Ukraine territories

SNAPSHOTS

Rapper Coolio has died at age 59. Artis Leon Ivey Jr., who won a Grammy for his '90s rap hit "Gangsta's Paradise," reportedly died at a friend's house on Wednesday.

For the first time in over 50 years, the White House has launched a major new nutrition plan. Here's how it could actually change your daily life. The $8 billion initiative aims to increase access to free school meals, reduce food waste, encourage farms to donate fresh produce to local food banks, expand education on nutrition, and improve enrollment rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Victims of the 4th of July mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, are suing gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson for marketing practices. "As part of our recovery, we feel it is appropriate to hold accountable the actions of others that enabled the gunman to carry out this senseless act," said Michael Zeifert, who was shot in the chest. "More importantly, we are advocating that we as a society need to take additional steps to prevent and limit the amount of destruction a gunman can cause at any one time."

Khloé Kardashian secretly accepted a proposal from Tristan Thompson one month before he impregnated Maralee Nichols behind her back. Sources with insider knowledge told BuzzFeed News that the athlete actually proposed to Khloé multiple times in the last couple of years.

Hurricane Ian has made landfall in southwestern Florida

a flooded road, stormy grey skies, a string of traffic lights swaying in intense wind

Hurricane Ian officially made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida near Cayo Costa on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane. Forecasters expect it to be one of the biggest and most powerful storms to hit the state in decades.

More than 2.5 million residents were under an evacuation order late on Tuesday as powerful winds pummeled the Florida peninsula. More than 1.8 million customers had lost power by Wednesday night, according to a power outage tracker, and hundreds of flights to and from Florida have been canceled. US Border Patrol said Wednesday that four Cubans swam to shore on Stock Island, Florida, after a boat carrying immigrants sank during the hurricane. Another 23 people remain missing.

A storm of Ian's intensity could lead to heavy infrastructure damage and power outages lasting weeks or months. Ian is expected to move toward central Florida on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. On Friday, Ian is forecast to turn north toward the northeastern Florida coast before moving toward the Georgia and South Carolina coasts late Friday.

Lizzo played a 200-year-old crystal flute in concert, and its history is fascinating

NOBODY HAS EVER HEARD THIS FAMOUS CRYSTAL FLUTE BEFORE NOW YOU HAVE IM THE FIRST & ONLY PERSON TO EVER PLAY THIS PRESIDENTIAL 200-YEAR-OLD CRYSTAL FLUTE— THANK YOU @librarycongress ❤️

Twitter: @lizzo

Lizzo surprised fans at her Washington, DC, concert on Tuesday with a historic performance — playing a 200-year-old crystal flute that once belonged to President James Madison, a founding father.

A classically trained flutist, Lizzo has gone viral in particular for her ability to twerk while playing trills. The flute, according to the Library of Congress, was rescued from the White House in 1814 during the British invasion of Washington, DC, during the War of 1812. The library currently hosts more than 1,800 historical flutes — one of the largest collections in the world. And on Tuesday, Lizzo became the first (and so far only) person known to have played the historic instrument.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden told BuzzFeed News that she was "thrilled" to see the performance and help make it happen. "Lizzo thanked the Library of Congress for making history cool," Hayden said in a statement. "She made it cooler.”

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