HERE ARE THE TOP STORIES
ICYMI: President Donald Trump has made a couple of international calls.
To Australia: Trump called Australia’s refugee deal with the US “dumb.” The Twitter comment followed a phone call in which Trump apparently berated Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The two leaders were talking about a deal made during the Obama administration in which the US would take in 1,250 refugees from Australia.
“This is the worst deal ever,” Trump reportedly said, before accusing the Australian PM of attempting to export “the next Boston bombers.” When Turnbull tried to change the topic, Trump reportedly hung up.
To Mexico: President Trump threatened to send US troops into Mexico to take care of “bad hombres” in a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The White House said in a statement that the leaders had a productive discussion. But on Wednesday, journalist Dolia Estevez reported that Trump “humiliated” Peña Nieto during the phone call.
Two Republican senators said that they’d vote against Betsy DeVos — Trump’s controversial pick for education secretary — jeopardizing her nomination.
In back-to-back speeches on the Senate floor, Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski announced that they could not support DeVos’s nomination, leaving Senate Republicans one vote short of confirming her.
DeVos’s cabinet nomination could be the first in history for which a vice president has been forced to step in and break a tie. Former education officials say it's extremely unusual for education nominees to go through this kind of confirmation process; most pass with bipartisan support.
Protesters shut down alt-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos’s scheduled speech at University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday night.
The protests began peacefully outside the campus building where Yiannopoulos — an outspoken Trump supporter and writer for the far-right website Breitbart — was scheduled to give a speech. But then demonstrators started fires, broke windows, and repeatedly defied police orders to disperse. UC Berkeley later announced that Yiannopoulos’s speech had been canceled. In a statement, the university condemned “the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display.”
WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON
Tech and Trump:
Twitter employees have raised $530,000 for the American Civil Liberties Union to support relief efforts following President Trump’s controversial immigration order. The company’s Chairman Omid Kordestani and CEO Jack Dorsey each matched that figure, bringing the total to $1.59 million.
“The Executive Order’s humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting,” Dorsey tweeted over the weekend. “We benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to the US.”
QUICK THINGS TO KNOW
Neil Gorsuch: Here’s what Trump’s Supreme Court nominee wrote about excessive force by police. BuzzFeed News looked at his record on the issue.
Brexit: UK members of parliament have voted in favor of a crucial bill that gives approval to trigger Article 50, which means Brexit can begin. And a Brexit trade deal could bring American chlorine-dipped chicken to the UK.
More anti-Semitic hate incidents were reported in the UK in 2016 than in any year since records began.
What does the raised fist mean in 2017? Once a sign of solidarity for the black civil rights movement, the raised fist, now used by everyone from Winona Ryder to Trump, has come to mean everything and nothing at the same time.
Tech: The emergence of Snapchat clones — most prominently Instagram’s knock-off of its Stories feature — appears to have hurt parent company Snap’s growth prospects, data shows. And a jury has ordered Facebook to pay $500 million in damages for copyright infringement.
For the latest news and updates, download the BuzzFeed News app for iOS and Android (available in Canadian, UK, Australian, and U.S. app stores).
This letter was edited and brought to you by BuzzFeed News. You can always reach us here.