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Incoming: Sharpay Was Right

Why gas prices might be high, two stories from the Democratic race, the new iPhone and your doggo. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Sept. 17.

Posted on September 17, 2019, at 7:28 a.m. ET

If gas prices seem high this week, here’s why

Early Saturday morning, two oil production facilities in northern Saudi Arabia were attacked and several structures were heavily damaged. The aftermath has people worried about a war with Iran, and closely watching gas prices.

Let’s walk through this.

Background context: On its own, Saudi Arabia produces about 10% of the world’s daily oil output, or about 9 million barrels a day. The attack cut that down by 5.7 million barrels a day — aka 5% of the world’s daily oil output.

What happened to the price of oil? The temporary shutdown of the facilities for repairs led to a spike in oil prices. After a big jump, the price settled to be around 10% higher than before the attack took place.

Who is responsible for the attack? A Yemeni rebel group named the Houthis said they executed the attack with a swarm of 10 drones. Saudi Arabian–led attempts to remove the Houthis from power have produced a humanitarian disaster that has left an estimated 70,000 people dead.

What does this have to do with Iran? The Houthis have been supported by Iran in their fight — with Iranian money and training, Houthi fighters have launched numerous missile attacks into Saudi Arabia with limited success.

What does the US say? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — who's been vocal on the need to confront Iran — became the first senior official to blame Iran directly for the attack. Iran said it is not responsible. You can imagine tensions are high.

Reuters

Two stories from the Democratic candidate race

The Bernie Sanders campaign says it needs a movement to win — and the Democratic Socialists of America are building one. Since the 2016 election, DSA has grown to more than 55,000 members nationally. Now, the socialist organizers who helped get Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into Congress are working to get Bernie Sanders into the White House.

At her biggest rally, Elizabeth Warren laid out a model for her own kind of movement. In a speech in New York City's historic Washington Square Park, Elizabeth Warren brought her plans together under an anti-corruption message with an inside/outside strategy to create change.

Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images

SNAPSHOTS

Hong Kong asked eight global PR firms to help rebrand its image after months of protests — everyone said no. Documents obtained by BuzzFeed News show that the Hong Kong government sought help from international public relations agencies to rebuild its image with western audiences.

A suspected serial killer has been linked to the deaths of four women in Florida. Robert Hayes, 37, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the 2016 death of Rachel Bey. DNA evidence also linked Hayes to the 2005 and 2006 unsolved murders of Laquetta Gunther, Julie Green, and Iwana Patton.

A missing Florida mom and her four children have been found dead in Georgia. Michael Wayne Jones Jr. has been arrested for allegedly killing his wife, Casei Jones, and their four young children, whose bodies were discovered after he was involved in a car crash.

SNL has fired Shane Gillis for his racist remarks just days after NBC announced he was joining the show. The comedian was fired after past derogatory and racist remarks he made on his podcast were made public.

An iPhone 11 review for dog owners

If you exist inside the tech bubble, you know the fancy specs and numbers behind new devices, and what it means for your experience with that device.

If you’re like the rest of us, your first question is: Okay, but how does this fit into my life, which mostly consists of me taking a lot of pictures of my pets?

Well, fear not, John Paczkowski knows this, and he wrote a review of the new top of the line iPhone model for you, the dog owner who is ready to take 2,000 pictures of their pupperino doing the doggo thing.

From the piece: “Not only is the iPhone 11 Pro Max capable of taking dog photos of great variety and visual accuracy, it can take them in the low-light conditions dogs so enjoy and with studio effects that do a good job of making them appear as adorable as they truly are.”

John Paczkowski / BuzzFeed News

A student’s slide presentation proves that High School Musical did Sharpay dirty

Sharpay Evans has often been understood as the villain of High School Musical. But we are fallible beings, and this is one of our greater errors.

Emily Cacnio, a 19-year-old musical theater major at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, put together a slide presentation arguing that Sharpay was wronged greatly and should not be understood as the villain.

Cacnio shared slides from her presentation on Twitter, and as you can imagine, it has since gone viral, and with good reason: It’s opening hearts and minds everywhere. Here’s the title slide:

Emily Cacnio


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