Incoming: Let Lizzo Be Corny

Tear gas made in America, what's next for Brexit, your weekend longreads. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Sept. 6.

Made in America: for $9.50 an hour, they brew tear gas for Hong Kong

Our reporter Rosalind Adams was covering the demonstrations in Hong Kong when she saw a spent tear gas canister in the street. Police there have deployed as much as 800 in one day to disperse pro-democracy protesters.

On the canister, it said it was made in Pennsylvania. So Adams followed the story 8,000 miles back to the US. That’s where she found the tear gas is made by low-paid workers in potentially dangerous conditions.

The tear gas canisters are made by hand by workers, with pay starting at $9.50 an hour. The company they work for, Nonlethal Technologies, makes crowd-control products in Homer City, Pennsylvania.

Our investigation reveals how the company relies on low-wage American workers to produce potentially dangerous products with few safety measures to protect them. Then those products are shipped to foreign governments, employees said, including Turkey, and Egypt during the height of the Arab Spring.

All the ways Brexit could go now, for people who are confused (i.e. everyone)

Just to quickly catch you up: This week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost some key votes. Now, Parliament is going through the process of ensuring a no-deal Brexit doesn’t happen. Johnson wanted to call an election, but he doesn’t have the numbers to do so.

Once the bill preventing a no-deal scenario passes, there are a number of ways this can go. We’ve outlined them all for you, in hopes of helping you not get too overwhelmed.


Robert Mugabe, the longtime leader of Zimbabwe, has died at 95. From jailed militant, to first leader of an independent Zimbabwe, to long-reigning dictator, Robert Mugabe left a lasting mark on the region.

36 people died in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire — and the trial ended without a guilty verdict. A jury couldn't agree whether Derick Almena, the man who converted an Oakland warehouse into an artists colony and event space, was guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors had argued that Almena, the warehouse’s master tenant, and a friend who helped him run the space did nothing to protect the safety of residents and visitors.

Facebook’s dating app is launching in the US. The app was previously only available in Colombia. Facebook Dating is now available to users who are 18 and older, and it will not match you with your preexisting Facebook friends. Here’s how it works.

Nicki Minaj announced she’s retiring and planning to have a family. The rapper made the announcement in a tweet, saying “I've decided to retire & have my family. I know you guys are happy now.” Fans are not convinced she’s telling the truth.

Democratic presidential candidates are embracing bigger ideas to tackle the climate crisis than than ever before

To put it bluntly, the stakes have changed.

You could be forgiven if you didn’t sit through a seven-hour CNN town hall on climate change this week, but here’s the big takeaway: it’s clear that the top candidates for the Democratic nomination are each pushing for more sweeping change at a faster rate than Democrats were calling for even just a few months ago.

For instance, every leading Democratic presidential candidate has vowed to ensure the US is in the Paris climate agreement, reversing one of President Donald Trump’s most popular promises undercutting climate action. Committing the US to Paris is the “cost of entry” into the Democratic presidential race now.

The fact that every candidate has a 100% clean energy or net-zero target was a consistent throughline. It’s a signal that the priorities of Democratic voters have changed significantly, in just a few years.

Some weekend longreads for you to relax with

Think Trump Can’t Win In 2020? These Bikers Want To Change That. It’s genuinely difficult to pick one scene to tell you about from James Pogue’s deep dive into this fascinating movement and the Trump personality cult. It’s a long read, and you’re going to want to read it. But let’s try: “‘I need to get him a cab,’ the bejeweled woman said, motioning to the dog. ‘It says on Twitter that antifa is going to try to target him today.’”

Lizzo Is Proudly Black No Matter What Azealia Banks Implies. This week, Azealia criticized Lizzo, saying the singer caters to white audiences. Tomi Obaro dissects that claim — one that’s been leveled at Whitney Houston and Prince — and defends Lizzo’s cheesy persona: “To accuse Lizzo of pandering to the white gaze, when all she does is her work, is silly and unfair. And whomst among us hasn’t engaged in some corny shit?”

Will Cory Booker’s America Rise? Booker is waging the civil rights movement's last battle — to unite a racially divided country on the verge of disaster — against Donald Trump. Will enough people listen to make him the nominee? Darren Sands looked into Booker’s search for momentum.

Topics in this article

Skip to footer