The News You Need To Read This Morning

Earth’s biggest active volcano is live, the Respect for Marriage Act moves forward, and The White Lotus is full of masculine butts.

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 Senate passed a bill to protect marriage for same-sex couples. Here's what it does and doesn't do.

On Tuesday, 61 senators, including 12 Republicans, passed a bill that would act as a fail-safe to protect the LGBTQ community in the event that the Supreme Court reverses its own precedent on marriage equality.

The US Constitution grants states — and not the federal government — the power to determine who may wed in each state. But the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 that states refusing to recognize marriages for same-sex couples violated the 14th Amendment. Should the court overturn Obergefell, state bans for same-sex marriages would suddenly return, as was the case with abortion trigger laws after Roe v. Wade was terminated this summer.

Under the Respect for Marriage Act, the federal government recognizes any married couple’s legal rights, benefits, or protections, even if they live in a state that outlawed marriage between same-sex partners. The bill would also formally repeal the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which had denied such federal rights and benefits in the first place.

This bill version will still need to pass in the House of Representatives before it is sent to President Joe Biden for his signature, but that outcome is expected. With Republicans set to narrowly assume control of the House next year, the bill is likely to be one of the last bipartisan proposals that will pass in this Congress.

A hotline for surrender

  • Ukraine set up a hotline where Russian troops can arrange the best way to surrender to Ukrainian forces. Demand is up to about 100 inquiries a day, BBC reports. "We can't judge an entire country," one hotline call handler said. "The majority of them are worried about their lives."


Amoxicillin is in short supply. Here's what to know about the liquid antibiotic that's commonly used to treat kids. Parents and caregivers are starting to feel the impact of the shortage, with many asking online about alternatives to help with bronchitis, ear infections, and strep throat.

A Walmart employee said she'd filed a complaint about the shooter's "disturbing behavior" before the attack, and that the company failed to take action that could have prevented the shooting. A new lawsuit against Walmart states that the shooter was well known for making bizarre and threatening comments, including saying if he was ever fired "he would retaliate and 'people will remember my name.'"

Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, was convicted of seditious conspiracy for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. So far, about 900 people have been charged with federal crimes for their behavior during the insurrection.

Jennifer Lopez said that breaking up with Ben Affleck in 2004 sent her on an 18-year "spiral." "But now, 20 years later, it does have a happy ending,” Lopez said in an interview for Apple Music.

The biggest active volcano on earth is erupting for the first time in nearly four decades

a massive orange volcano erupting

For the first time since 1984, the Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island suddenly began erupting late Sunday night, sending sprays of lava up to 200 feet in the air.

There doesn’t yet appear to be a risk to residents or homes on the island, according to updates from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The flow is concentrated on the northeast side or “rift zone,” which is less steep than the volcano’s other side, so it will be a while before the slow-moving lava potentially poses a threat to structures. Residents, though, have been advised to stay alert, especially given that volcanic gas and ash, as well as very fine stands of molten lava known as Pele’s hair, can be carried downwind.

The volcano has erupted 33 times since record-keeping began in 1843, with the most recent prior eruption lasting over three weeks.


The men — and butts — of The White Lotus

Spoilers ahead.

The first season of The White Lotus explored privilege and imperialism against the backdrop of a luxury Maui resort. The show’s second season, set in Sicily, sets up themes of power and gender. But its other focus is definitely butts, David Mack writes.

In the first episode alone, we see the butts of smarmy rich guy Cameron (Theo James) and Tanya’s new husband Greg (Jon Gries). By the end of Sunday’s fifth episode, we have also seen the butts of Ethan (Will Sharpe) and piano player Giuseppe (Federico Scribani), and twice seen the butts of Albie (Adam DiMarco) and Jack, as well as Uncle Quentin taking it in the butt.

Why all the butts? Well, I didn’t do media studies at college for nothing.

Perhaps it’s just that the cast is full of male actors who are down to clown. But I think the motif is also a pretty clear extended visual metaphor: These men are butts. Gender dynamics and masculinity are central to this season of The White Lotus, and time and again it’s the male characters who are making an ass of themselves.

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