Morning Update: Amazon Splits The Final Rose

Trump spreads bogus voter fraud claims, CNN sues the president, a secret recording of NGO workers. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Nov. 14.

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New York and Virginia offered Amazon more than $2 billion in incentives for HQ2

After a reality-show-like hype, Amazon has chosen to split the site of its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, between New York City and Arlington, Virginia.

This means that, along with Seattle, Amazon will have three “headquarters” in North America, which isn’t really how headquarters work, but OK. Amazon said it has also chosen Nashville as a new site for a smaller operations office.

The company will receive direct incentives of $1.525 billion from New York City for creating 25,000 jobs, $573 million from Virginia for 25,000 jobs, and $102 million for 5,000 jobs in Nashville.

Public officials are already starting to protest the generous incentives packages that Amazon is getting. Here are 11 other things you need to know about the HQ2 announcement.

👉 Amazon made a big to-do of the search for a new headquarters, but when you dig into the announcement, it’s evident that the company is just opening three new offices in the US.

😐 New York City’s infrastructure is crumbling, but it just agreed to build Amazon a helipad.

👉 Amazon owns one-fifth of all the office space in Seattle — more than the city’s next 40 largest employers combined, according to the Seattle Times. Many Seattleites blame Amazon for rising rents and gnarly traffic.

Trump is tweeting bogus claims of voter fraud

With the Florida midterms results being so close as to warrant a recount, tensions over the outcome are high. Against this backdrop, President Donald Trump has been baselessly claiming that voter fraud has taken place.

He cited ballot tampering without evidence and ended one tweet on the subject with: “An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”

This president making such untrue claims is a big deal on its own, and public officials have openly disputed his account.

But our reporters show how that his claims mirror what seems to be a coordinated push from conspiracy-oriented Twitter users to deliberately spread bad information.

👉 This isn’t the sexiest story, but my colleagues’ reporting gets at something much bigger, which is that misinformation is not a pipeline that flows one way, but rather an interplay between bad actors, people who don’t verify what those bad actors say, and the giant megaphone that is the president’s Twitter account.

👉 Twitter promised to be vigilant about misinformation on the platform in relation to the election, but it hasn’t done anything about Trump’s tweets. So we asked Twitter about this. The company said it’ll wait until 2019 to address the issue.

Cool but also worrying

Here’s something scary: About 350,000 homes across the US, worth about $190 billion at today’s prices, are built on land that’s at risk of annual flooding by 2050. Will rising seas threaten your home? This is the cool part: We made a map to help you figure it out. Click here to play around with it, then let me know if your home is fine.


Hate crimes jumped 17% in Trump’s first year in office, according to the FBI. The rise is the highest in more than a decade. One expert told us, “This is a historic increase, and it has to be recognized as such. It can’t be explained away by increased reporting. We’re at a new plateau.”

Trump’s acting attorney general is already facing a constitutional challenge. The challenge comes from Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, whose office filed court papers arguing that because Matt Whitaker isn't a Senate-confirmed official, his appointment violates both federal law and the US Constitution.

CNN sued President Trump for banning Jim Acosta from the White House. The network filed the lawsuit after its correspondent’s access was revoked when he refused to give up a microphone while asking Trump a question at a press conference.

A white teen is denying she is “posing” as a black woman on Instagram after followers said they felt duped. Emma Hallberg, a 19-year-old “influencer” living in Sweden, has more than 193,000 followers on the platform. Last week, black women who had been following the teen revealed they had assumed Hallberg was black or mixed race. They said they felt deceived by how she presented herself in her photos. Hallberg self-identified as white to BuzzFeed News and said she does not use any self-tanner and that she merely has a “deep tan naturally.”

The Game of Thrones final season will air in April, HBO says. The show will return with a run of six episodes, each expected to be “feature-length,” meaning more time in each one for your favs to die. When you play the game of thrones, etc.

Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and T.I. will host a music competition show for Netflix called Rhythm + Flow. The superstars are tasked with helping undiscovered hip-hop artists pursue their dreams. Auditions begin this fall in the US, including in each of the judges' hometowns of Atlanta, Chicago, and New York. The show will debut in fall of 2019.

A far-right YouTuber has been secretly recording NGO workers inside one of Europe’s worst refugee camps

Are you familiar with the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos?

It has become synonymous with the failures of Europe to cope with the arrival of people fleeing war, instability, and poverty. Moria reportedly houses 8,000 people despite being built for just 3,000.

Earlier this week, Canadian far-right YouTuber Lauren Southern released a video that appears to show an NGO worker at the camp admitting that she has coached refugees on how to speak to immigration officials in order to get into Europe.

Our reporters explain why the release of Southern’s video has huge implications for the safety of refugees living in camps across Europe, as well as the NGO workers — the majority of whom are volunteers — trying to manage the crisis.

26 people told us how public libraries make their lives better

This week, we’re celebrating libraries and free access to information, because frankly, libraries are amazing.

You can check out the whole Love Your Library series here, but in the meantime one post from the series stuck with me.

People shared how these amazing resources have changed their lives, and their stories are moving and wonderful. Have a look at these lovely contributions.

I really loved this one: “I can't afford to pay an internet bill every month so I go to the library to study for my community college courses. Because of my local library, I'll be attending a master's-level program in the fall.”