Incoming: One Singular Sensation

Boris Johnson's extreme measures, Gillibrand drops out, the student TikTok strike. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Aug. 29.

Boris Johnson is planning a series of extreme measures in the coming weeks to force through Brexit

Yesterday, in a highly unusual move, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the Queen to suspend parliament for five weeks in the run-up to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.

As it turns out, the request was the opening salvo of a strategy of extreme measures meant to eat up time and neutralize any attempts by rebel MPs to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

The prorogation of parliament was called a “constitutional outrage” by Commons speaker John Bercow, and heavily criticized by a number of senior Conservatives.

The extreme measures Johnson’s team explored include potentially introducing a budget to create new debates in Parliament, thereby eating up more time. They’ve even discussed the possibility of creating new bank holidays.

One senior Brexiteer equated the strategy to a soccer team wasting time at the end of a match: “We are into the final 10 minutes, and we are holding the ball by the corner flag.”

Kirsten Gillibrand is ending her presidential campaign

The New York Democrat ran a campaign focused on her identity as a woman and mother, arguing that it was time to continue Democrats’ success in 2018, when women candidates retook the House and offices all over the country for Democrats in the months following the #MeToo movement and Women’s Marches.

But the campaign struggled from the outset to gain traction in polling, despite Gillibrand’s work over the last decade to build a national profile. Now, she’s ending her bid for president, after failing to qualify for the third Democratic debate.


California is considering the strictest vaccine law in the country after anti-Vaxxers gamed the system. After a handful of skeptic doctors helped anti-vax parents exploit a loophole that’s resulted in hundreds of schools no longer having immunity from dangerous diseases like measles, lawmakers are pushing to tighten the rules around remaining medical exemptions.

High schoolers are using TikTok to organize a strike in solidarity with their teachers. Students in Clark County School District in Nevada are planning a strike using the app known for its short and funny videos. Their strike will be in solidarity with their teachers who are planning a strike to protest being denied raises they say they were previously promised.

Two American hackers accused of murder in the Philippines have been identified in court. In a surreal court appearance, Troy Woody and Mir Islam, the two American hackers accused of killing Tomi Masters in the Philippines last year, were identified by a witness as having dumped a box later found to contain Masters’ body in the Pasig River.

Troye Sivan put an interviewer on blast after they asked him whether he’s a top or bottom. The South African–Australian singer tweeted his anger after he was asked by a New Zealand reporter about his preferred sexual position. Sivan called the question “invasive, strange, and inappropriate.”

An influencer is admitting to photoshopping her photos after people noticed multiple Instagrams with the same cloud formation

A travel blogger with over 280,000 followers made the admission that she adds clouds into the background of her photos after screenshots of her account went viral.

Tupi Saravia of Buenos Aires told us she uses a photo-editing app to enhance or impose clouds into her photos if the camera can't pick them up.

While people online laugh at the story, Saravia seems genuinely confused by the negative responses.

By the way: Reporter Tanya Chen is one of the best in the biz at keeping up with influencers — and she'll be doing it even more with her newsletter, Please Like Me, which launches tomorrow! Sign up here and have it waiting for you Friday morning.

Teens are using Instagram to cast each other in fake Broadway shows

We’ve spent enough time in this space lamenting the modern horrors of social media and technology. Today will not be one of those days. Today is reserved for some wholesomeness.

A subculture of “fake casting” has popped up on Instagram, where young Broadway fans are auditioning for and casting their own imaginary musicals.

Here’s how it works: To cast a show, users will post on their accounts what Broadway musical is next in their “season.” To audition, followers will DM a video of themselves singing a song from the show. When the deadline comes, the casting director will post the cast list in a new Instagram post.

That show doesn’t go into production. That’s the end of the line. The people auditioning are doing it for fun and bragging rights. It’s the virtual equivalent of the rush they get seeing their names on the cast list on the school bulletin board.

The whole thing is so nice. Read about how theater kids are finding community on Instagram.