Morning Update: A Movie Season Of Talented Sad White Boys

Kavanaugh's accuser negotiates her terms, the UK moves to regulate the internet, and your weekend longreads. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, September 21.

The woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of assault still wants to testify, according to her lawyers

There’s an impasse over the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.

The committee in charge of the hearings wants to hear from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing with Ford for Monday.

Ford is open to testifying in Congress next week, but her lawyers are still trying to negotiate the terms. Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz says Monday is “not possible.”

Katz wrote to the committee that Ford “has been receiving death threats … and she and her family have been forced out of their home. She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.”

Sticking points: A senior Republican staffer familiar with the negotiations with Ford told us there are two things that Ford and her lawyers are asking for that are nonstarters for the Judiciary Committee: subpoenaing a high school friend of Kavanaugh's who Ford says witnessed the assault, and allowing her to testify after Kavanaugh.

The UK government is planning to set up a regulator for the internet

This is significant. According to documents we obtained, the British government is preparing to establish a new internet regulator that would make tech firms liable for content published on their platforms.

The regulator would also have the power to punish companies for failing to take down illegal material such as terrorist content, child abuse images, or hate speech within hours.

Under the legislation being drafted, a new regulatory framework for online “social harms” would be created. We obtained the details of the proposals, which describe an agency similar to Ofcom, the body that regulates broadcasters, telecoms, and postal communications.


A woman said she had to jump out of a moving car after her Uber driver refused to stop. Brooke Adkins, who suffered cuts and scrapes to her foot and hands, told Tallahassee police that her driver answered only “no” when she asked to be let out multiple times during what she described as a weird and terrifying ride. Adkins tweeted, “I got out okay but jumping out a moving car window and running for help has to be the scariest thing I've ever gone thru.” The driver, 30-year-old Destiny Racquel Green, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.

US overdose deaths will double again in eight years, scientists predict. According to a new study, US drug epidemics of the last four decades — from crack to pain pills to heroin — have led to an accelerating rate of overdose deaths. If the trend continues, the researchers say, then the deaths will double every eight years for the foreseeable future.

A woman shot and killed three people at a Rite Aid distribution center. The shooting in Aberdeen, Maryland, left four others wounded, according to authorities. The lone shooter, identified as Snochia Moseley, used a handgun and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being taken into custody, the sheriff's office tweeted. Moseley was a 26-year-old temporary employee at the distribution center.

Passengers bled from their noses and ears after pilots “forgot” about cabin pressure. The Jet Airways flight headed from Mumbai to Jaipur had to turn back shortly after takeoff when the crew reportedly failed to press a switch that would have maintained pressure. India's Ministry of Civil Aviation said 30 of the 166 people on board had received medical treatment.

Cary Fukunaga of True Detective will direct the next James Bond movie. Fukunaga is taking over from Danny Boyle for the 25th installment of the Bond series, which will be the last to feature Daniel Craig as 007.

California just became the first state to ban restaurants from automatically giving out plastic straws

A major victory for the anti-straw movement: California’s new law prohibits full-service, dine-in restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws unless requested by customers.

The state’s Gov. Jerry Brown called the law “a very small step” to help reduce waste from single-use plastic products. Several California cities have previously adopted policies regulating or banning the use of plastic straws, including San Francisco, Davis, and Malibu.

Straws are the sixth most common item found during beach cleanups, according to the California Coastal Commission. Plastic straws often end up in the ocean, where they endanger aquatic animals and contribute to pollution.

In July, Starbucks announced it would stop offering plastic straws in its stores by 2020. Other companies, including Marriott International and American Airlines, have taken similar steps.

Relax, have some tea, and enjoy these longreads

Two breakout actors of the last couple of years, Timothée Chalamet and Lucas Hedges, find themselves in similar roles this fall. Three movies coming out — Beautiful Boy, Ben Is Back, and Boy Erased — each offer a different take on the idealized white suburban son whose parents fail to see him as he really is. You should read Alison Willmore on the throughline that binds these movies — films that are “about homophobia and about the opiate crisis,” but are also “just as much films about characters trying to fight their way out from under a narrow vision of high-achieving white masculinity that's been laid on top of them like a weighted blanket.”

Speaking of which, Shannon Keating wrote a brilliant piece on the troubling ways we make more room for boys’ suffering at girls’ expense. Keating writes, “I have felt so attuned to men’s feelings that sometimes I prioritized them over my own (all the sex I didn’t want but had anyway) — either to make those men feel better or to protect myself from their wrath; sometimes both.” She uses that to explore the controversy over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. Should 17-year-old boys be held responsible later in life for alleged sexual assault? That depends on whose pain we value most.

I know nothing about credit card points. I know there are people out there who are professionals at collecting them and then using the ones they’ve collected to collect more, and so on and so on. Matt Ortile wrote a lovely reflection on uncertainty and risk, but mostly on what it means to try to gain some benefits from a world insistent on taking from you. As Ortile writes, “These days, we’re guaranteed nothing… So any opportunity to secure even the smallest earnings for every gamble made is a valuable one.”

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