Morning Update: Ariana's Grande Problem

Scanning faces at the airports, what happens when Mueller is done, France takes on anti-Semitism. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, March 12.

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The US government will be scanning your face at 20 top airports, documents show

Two years ago, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to speed up the implementation of biometric verification of the identities of all travelers crossing US borders.

Trump’s order mandates that facial recognition technology be used on “100 percent of all international passengers,” including US citizens, in the country’s top airports by 2021. It’s an accelerated timeline of a system signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Secret documents shared with BuzzFeed News show that to meet the deadline, Homeland Security is rushing the implementation without proper vetting, regulatory safeguards, and a process that some privacy advocates argue is in defiance of the law.

The scope: The goal of the “biometric entry-exit system” is to use facial recognition technology on travelers aboard 16,300 flights per week — or more than 100 million passengers traveling on international flights out of the US.

Here’s what happens when Robert Mueller is done

To be clear, this isn’t a story about when the special counsel will conclude his investigation. For some weeks now, there has been speculation that Mueller is nearly done, but his office is famously tight-lipped.

Zoe Tillman gives a detailed account of what happens when Mueller is done. Hint: the regulations are clear that his report is “confidential” — it’s Attorney General Bill Bar who has the discretion to release the report, or any information from it.

Here’s everything you need to know about what happens when the highly anticipated moment comes.


A man says a series of events caused him to miss, by mere minutes, the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed, killing everyone on board. Antonis Mavropoulos said that boarding had closed when he tried to make his tight connection, and he saw the last passengers in the tunnel preparing to board the flight.

The spa founder who allegedly sold Chinese officials access to Trump is looking to Roger Stone’s defenders for help. Li “Cindy” Yang is looking to hire a husband-wife duo involved in holding fundraisers and rallies for Stone to serve as her lawyer and spokesperson.

Tucker Carlson made racist misogynist remarks in a newly-surfaced audio and he’s refusing to apologize. In the audio, Carlson says women are “like dogs,” Iraqis are “primitive monkeys.” He says he won’t apologize because he doesn’t want to be a casualty of the “great American outrage machine.”

Facebook removed Elizabeth Warren’s ads calling for its breakup, then it put them back up. The company said it removed the ads advocating for the breaking up of big technology companies because they violated the policy about featuring Facebook’s logo, but restored them “in the interest of allowing robust debate.”

Ariana Grande’s Starbucks drink isn’t vegan and people are seriously confused. See, because she’s vegan, and it is impossible to make a vegan version of the drink. It’s a whole thing, and many people are upset.

France has recruited Facebook to help solve its anti-Semitism problem

A bit of background first: France is in the middle of what has been described as the worst period of anti-Semitism since World War II, and much of it is playing out online.

President Emmanuel Macron announced in November that Facebook had taken his government’s officials behind the scenes of the content moderation process.

After reviewing Facebook’s tools for taking down hate speech, the French government is introducing a draft bill to punish social media companies that fail to quickly take down hate speech.

Many policymakers believe they have no choice but to rely on companies like Facebook. But free speech and anti-racism advocates question Macron’s decision to invite Facebook to help craft policies intended to police it.

Read Lester Feder’s fascinating report on a debate that’s central to the future of the internet.

This student accidentally sent her tutor a photo of Suga and now she’s into BTS

We’ve all been in that situation where you accidentally text a picture of your favorite member of K-pop group BTS, right?

Well, when law student Nadia Qureshi accidentally sent a photo of Suga, her tutor responded with “omg who is that.”

This was the beginning of an excellent journey that I won’t spoil for you, but let’s just say a new BTS fan was born.

And though I know no one asked me, my fav. Is J-Hope.

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