Incoming: 20 Feet From Stardom, Foreign Policy Edition

John Bolton is out, Apple introduces its new iPhones, Google faces antitrust investigation. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, September 11.

Trump fired John Bolton as national security adviser

After a week of reports that President Donald Trump and John Bolton sparred over Trump’s plan to meet with Taliban officials to negotiate the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, the president fired his national security adviser.

Trump and Bolton appeared to clash often on diplomacy and foreign policy issues and Bolton was reportedly troubled by the president's moves to soften relationships with North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Most recently, Bolton opposed Trump signing a peace agreement with the Taliban in order to fulfill his campaign promise of bringing home troops from Afghanistan. Shortly after Trump announced that Bolton was fired, Bolton reportedly texted a number of journalists emphasizing that he had resigned and had not been fired.

A deeper look: As reporters Miriam Elder and Hayes Brown explain, Trump often wants to look strong, so he talks a big game. Bolton wanted him to act on it.

Everything you need to know Apple’s new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max

With a complete disregard to naming conventions, Apple announced that its new slate of iPhones. The “11 Pro and Pro Max” are Apple’s high-end phones, and upgrades to the iPhones XS and XS Max. Meanwhile, the more budget-friendly iPhone 11 is the successor to the iPhone XR.

The biggest difference between the devices is their screens. The 11 has an LCD screen, while the Pro and Pro Max have OLED screens, which have more contrast (in other words, blacker blacks and brighter whites).

The 11 has two camera lenses and the Pro/Pro Max lines have three. Here’s everything you should know about the new phone — including pet portrait mode!!!!!!

Also: the new phones are triggering people’s fear of small holes. Yes, trypophobia is a thing — and the new phones are activating it for lots of people.


Michael Flynn is looking for a way out of his guilty plea. Flynn had agreed to cooperate with the government as part of the deal, in which he admitted to lying to the FBI about contact with the Russian ambassador. His lawyer told a judge that there was evidence that shows his case should be dismissed due to “egregious government misconduct.”

Scottish judges have ruled Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament was “unlawful.” Scotland's highest civil court ruled that the British prime minister’s decision to shut down parliament for five weeks “had the purpose of stymying parliament." The government is appealing to the Supreme Court, the UK's highest court, next week.

Kid YouTube channel Ryan ToysReview has been slapped with an FTC complaint. The mega-popular kids YouTube channel, where 7-year-old Ryan reviews toys, has been accused of tricking preschoolers into watching ads in a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission by a consumer watchdog.

The viral “storm Area 51” event got canceled for being a “possible humanitarian disaster.” Alienstock was billed as “an experience that celebrates aliens and the unknown” and promised “live music, arts, and camping under the stars” to coincide with the viral “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop Us All” Facebook event. Organizers canceled Alienstock, because they wanted to avoid a Fyre Festival-like disaster.

Nearly every state is launching an antitrust investigation of Google

This week, attorneys general from 48 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico announced the antitrust investigation focused on Google.

In effect, this is an investigation looking at whether the search giant stifled competition and restricted access to its platforms from other companies. State regulators from California — where Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is based — and Alabama did not join.

States have the ability to fine companies found to be engaging in anticompetitive practices. But the investigation has a bigger consequence: according to Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute, the most important aspect of the investigation is that it will reveal how exactly Google works.

A dad is now responding to thousands of strangers after a private, sentimental Instagram post about his sons went hugely viral

Brandt Barber probably didn’t expect to become a father figure to thousands of strangers on the internet. It all began when he posted a beautiful, emotional post about his three sons on Instagram.

Brandt shared photos he took over the years of himself and his sons at a local Dairy Queen in Georgia. It became a ritual: They would go to the same DQ, sit in the same booth, order the same things.

This year, for the first time, all his sons are in college, so he posted a sentimental post to his 23 followers on his private account. When his son Brooks saw it, he was emotional and shared screenshots of it on Twitter. It instantly went viral.

The result can only be described as so lovely. Thousands have messaged Brandt to say they wished they had a father like him. He’s trying to use this opportunity to respond to as many of those messages as he can to be “encouraging.”

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