Morning Update: Grumpy Cat Is Dead. Long Live Grumpy Cat.

Congress won't fix health care anytime soon, Grumpy Cat has passed away, and your weekend longreads. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, May 17.

Everyone agrees the health care system needs fixing but nothing will be done to fix it

Americans are paying sky-high drug prices as more people go without health insurance, and those who have it pay higher premiums. Meanwhile, maternal mortality rates soar above the rest of the developed world.

It all points to a system in crisis. But it's increasingly likely that this Congress won't pass any significant health care legislation, keeping things as they are through the 2020 election.

The latest example: House Democrats passed an extensive package of legislation Thursday to reduce drug prices and shore up health insurance markets, but they are already mourning the bill’s death.

Therapy dogs for the Parkland shooting survivors got their own school yearbook page and it's pretty great

Flip past the last glossy page of underclassman yearbook photos and you'll see them: 14 smiling, tongue-flashing dogs, their names listed like the rest of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and staff.

They're the therapy dogs that have been an unwavering, consoling, integral part of the school since last year's mass shooting.

"Including them was a really good representation of what we have gone through," said one student. "These dogs are going to be there until the last of us are gone."


Internet sensation Grumpy Cat has passed away at age 7. The famously furious feline died in the arms of her owner following complications from a urinary tract infection, her family said in a statement. RIP to a real one.

Chelsea Manning is going back to jail. Manning was released for a week after the grand jury she had been subpoenaed to testify before expired, but a judge ordered her to be detained again on Thursday. She said she'd rather "starve to death" than testify about WikiLeaks.

Bill de Blasio is running for president and everyone loves to hate it. The NYC mayor confirmed his candidacy as everybody was having an amazing time booing the hell out of him. It might be the most unifying campaign of 2020. And if no one wants him to run, why's he running? One theory is that he's got nothing else to do.

A pregnant woman in Chicago was killed before her baby was cut from her body. Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was lured to a house to pick up free baby clothes and a stroller that had been offered in a pregnant mothers' Facebook group, police said. Three people have been arrested, and her infant son is in the hospital in grave condition.

The College Board will give students an "adversity score" to contextualize SAT numbers. The program aims to give college admissions officers information about applicants' socioeconomic background (like family income and neighborhood crime and poverty rates) and more. “The purpose is to get to race without using race,” a former College Board employee said.

Forget the trade war. TikTok is China’s most important export right now.

Tensions between the US and China over an escalating trade war are dominating headlines this week.

Those tensions make it an interesting time for one of the most popular social media platforms in the US to be Chinese. TikTok, a video-sharing app designed by a Beijing-based tech company, became the first Chinese-owned app to reach No. 1 in the US Apple App Store.

The app’s success has come despite its embracing of features that are central to Chinese social media networks: TikTok heavily mines user data, and it is largely oriented around a central recommendation algorithm instead of a network of friends and family.

As Ryan Broderick explains, TikTok’s popularity may signal the arrival of a subtler form of algorithmic influence, with sophisticated Chinese AI controlling what becomes viral content shared among millions of young Americans.

Steal some time away this weekend for these thoughtful reads

There’s No One To Root For In The James Charles Beauty YouTuber Drama. You may have seen the headlines this week about the very public fiasco between Tati Westbrook and James Charles. The internet seems to agree on who is wrong and who is right. In an insightful essay, Pier Dominguez writes, “there is no moral high ground in sight.”

Long Shot Is Refreshingly Honest About The Garbage Women Deal With. Have you seen Long Shot? I intend to after reading Anne Helen Petersen’s analysis of the film: “There’s a particular solace in being able to acknowledge the world, and its exacting toll, for what it is. Sometimes, the most feminist thing a man — or a movie — can do is stop pretending that everything is fine.”

These Conservatives Want To Stop Fighting LGBT People. A growing faction of religious conservatives are betting on a compromise bill that would establish some LGBT protections at the federal level while adding religious exemptions. But like all grand bargains, Dominic Holden writes, the bill has critics before it has even been filed.

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