The News You Need To Read This Morning

The latest on the Colorado Springs shooting, Alex Murdaugh’s confounding legal charges, and the incoherence of celebrity politics.

This is an excerpt from Incoming, BuzzFeed News’ morning newsletter dedicated to making sense of this chaotic world we live in. Join the club here.

The latest on the Colorado Springs gay club shooting

Authorities are pursuing murder and hate crime charges against the man accused of killing five people at a Colorado Springs gay bar. Police declined to say anything about motive or what evidence supported the bias-motivated crime charge, which is one of Colorado's hate crimes charges. As of Monday, 13 people remain hospitalized and five people have been treated and released.

Before the deadly shooting, LGBTQ people turned to Club Q for safe haven and community. Colorado Springs has a strong conservative and evangelical Christian history. At Club Q, queer people found a tight-knit support system.

What we know about the victims of the Colorado Springs shooting. Daniel Davis Aston, a trans man who bartended at the club, was “the light in every room,” his friend Tempest Cartwright told BuzzFeed News. Derrick Rump performed in drag at an event at Club Q last month and gushed over the love and support he felt from the community. Kelly Loving, a trans woman who was visiting from Denver, was tough and caring, her loved ones said. Ashley Paugh was married to her high school sweetheart and had an 11-year-old daughter. Raymond Green Vance was celebrating a birthday with a group of friends when the shooting happened.

For LGBTQ people across the country, the most devastating part of this slaughter was its sense of inevitability, David Mack writes. For some time now, a resurgent right-wing strategy of portraying queer people as an invasive species of predators has burrowed into mainstream political discourse. The result has been an alarming and clear escalation in attacks and demonstrations against LGBTQ people.

Russia’s supply issue

  • Shelling got "dangerously close" to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Russia and Ukraine blame each other. International experts have been concerned for months about attacks near Europe's largest nuclear plant, the Washington Posts reports.

  • Military analysts believe that Russia is running low on wartime supplies, the Wall Street Journal reported. "Both sides have suffered heavy losses of men and materiel since the invasion began in February, but Moscow is more dependent on its own shrinking economy to replenish supplies than Kyiv is," Stephen Fidler and Ann Simmons write.

SNAPSHOTS

A suspect has not yet been found for the University of Idaho shooting. Also, two of the students who were killed called someone multiple times that night, a victim's sister in a recent interview.

Raw onions cannot absorb viruses, bacteria, or other "toxins" from your skin or the air, no matter what natural medicine proponents say on TikTok. As groundbreaking as that would be, there’s just no evidence to support this, according to experts who spoke to BuzzFeed News, including a pediatrician, respiratory therapist, and former onion breeder.

Travis Barker discussed new details about overcoming his fear of flying since surviving a deadly plane crash in 2008. Kourtney Kardashian "just knew, and she stuck by me and toughed it out. And it was the best flight. And I wasn’t scared once,” Barker said in a new interview with GQ.

Alex Murdaugh — who’s charged with the murder of his wife and son, 90 counts of fraud and money laundering, and planning his own botched killing — filed a new alibi

Former attorney Alex Murdaugh was charged with murder in July for the deaths of his wife and son, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. In a South Carolina formal alibi filing, his legal team said he wasn’t at home when the two were killed last year.

Authorities have not publicly outlined any motive for Murdaugh, who is due to go on trial in January on two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

This murder trial is not even close to the only charges Murdaugh currently faces: Almost three months after the killings, Murdaugh was arrested and charged with planning his own botched killing so that his surviving son, Buster, could receive a $10 million insurance payout. He’s also been charged with 90 counts of fraud and money laundering connected to insurance payouts managed through his former law firm, including some related to the death of his former housekeeper.

Finally, Murdaugh's law license was suspended after his firm discovered he had misappropriated millions of dollars to fund an addiction to oxycodone, for which he subsequently went to rehab. He was officially disbarred in July.

IMAGE OF THE DAY

Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the incoherence of celebrity politics

This month, Katy Perry made more news for her politics than she has for her music in almost a decade, Alessa Dominguez writes. An Instagram post announcing her vote for “tough on crime” billionaire Rick Caruso in the LA mayoral election sparked so much anger that she had to turn off the comments. Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow made news for endorsing him as well.

It’s not surprising that white women would back Caruso. As a group, they continue to vote Republican. And while prominent men like Snoop Dogg and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos also endorsed Caruso, celebrities like Perry received a disproportionate amount of attention because of what they represent as seemingly liberal women.

Perry, Kardashian, and Paltrow have all been proponents of a certain kind of women’s empowerment. Kardashian has used her pioneering reality TV show to spearhead successful business ventures and reinvent herself as a criminal justice reformer. Perry’s songs hinted at her LGBTQ allydom, and her 2013 single “Roar” was literally Hillary Clinton’s campaign anthem. She wore a “Resist” armband after Donald Trump’s election.

But despite some recent, public shifts in its purported values, Hollywood has never been even liberal, let alone progressive. And maintaining a liberal-friendly image while upholding corporate and pro–Wall Street values amid unprecedented levels of inequality and increasing financialization is becoming more difficult. As more entertainment figures reach higher levels of wealth, and even billionaire status, these contradictions become more evident.

Still reading, eh? Seems like you might want to get this in your inbox. No pressure though. Just some food for thought.