Morning Update: Elon Musk Doesn't Know What He's Talking About

Queer Eye is coming back early, Ireland votes on abortion, and Trump cancels the North Korea summit. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, May 25.

Ireland heads to the polls today for a historic vote on abortion

Ireland’s referendum on abortion is today. The predominantly Catholic country is voting on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment of its constitution, which makes abortion illegal under almost all circumstances.

This is a huge deal. The last time Ireland voted on abortion was in 1983 — that was to insert the same amendment into the constitution. Since then, an estimated 170,000 women have traveled from Ireland to England for abortions — roughly 12 per day last year.

This time around, thousands of Irish citizens are flying home to vote, from places as far away as Los Angeles, Spain, Vietnam, and Australia. One woman cut her honeymoon short to go back and cast her ballot.

We visited one of the most conservative counties in Ireland, and even there the vote appears to be tight. Laura Silver’s report from Roscommon is fantastic, and you should read it.

Quick brief

Trump just canceled his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un

For a story that is ostensibly about talking peace with an unstable government, this story sure takes a lot of unpredictable turns. The latest: President Donald Trump abruptly canceled his upcoming summit yesterday, blaming the North Korean leader’s “open hostility” in recent statements.

He hinted that the meeting could still take place at a later date.

Trump's move to pull out of the summit aligns with the advice on backing away from negotiations he gives in his book The Art of the Deal.

Following the announcement, a source close to Trump told us, “The book is a best-seller for a reason. The tactics work.”

A senior North Korean official said the cancellation was unexpected, and that Kim Jong Un’s government was still willing to meet with the US.

No word yet on whether senior North Korean leadership has also read The Art of the Deal.

Here’s why you’re getting so many privacy policy emails

Are you getting all of those “we’ve updated our privacy policy” emails? I stopped counting after 25, to be honest.

Here’s why it’s happening: There’s a new European law called the General Data Protection Regulation (sexy name — GDPR for short), and it comes into effect today. If you’re thinking, Hey, man, I’m not in Europe, let me explain.

The GDPR is a big document (261 pages!), but basically it sets out what companies are allowed to do with your data. Companies with European users have had to change their privacy policies to be in compliance with the GDPR.

Many companies are rolling out the new data policies to everyone, including you. They’re eager to comply because the stakes are high if they don’t — there's a fine of up to 4% of their global revenue or 20 million euros (whichever is higher).

If you’re curious about what’s actually in the GDPR, we made this very handy explainer for you.

PSST: The News

We made a new podcast to help you catch up and really understand the news. It’s called The News, and it comes out every Saturday.

The next episode is out tomorrow. I highly recommend last week’s episode — you can find it on Apple, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts from.

Elon Musk doesn’t know what he’s talking about

Earlier this week, Elon Musk tweeted that the way the media treats Tesla’s labor practices is unfair and driven by oil industry advertising dollars.

Many of his critics rushed to compare Musk’s move to Trump. In a new opinion piece, Ben Smith argues that this is actually unfair to Trump: Trump knows the media, as evidenced by how deliberate he is, while Musk clearly does not.

Smith writes that the whole episode is a great illustration of “how little the tech barons shaping the new ways we live and consume information understand about journalism.”

The piece ends up going to a worrying place: “journalists should be alarmed that educated, literate Americans don’t understand how our jobs work, even if they don’t run tech companies.”

The best thing about long weekends is longreads

Earlier this week, Jason Bateman drew criticism for defending his Arrested Development costar Jeffrey Tambor, excusing Tambor's outburst at Jessica Walter. Bateman’s defense of Tambor used a common refrain: “This is family.” Anne Helen Petersen wrote a thoughtful piece about how that loaded word is so often used to paper over serious problems.

Hannah Allam wrote an extraordinary piece on a family who escaped Syria only to encounter a very American hardship: health care. The family fled war, only to struggle in finding help for their autistic 16-year-old son Mohammad while learning to navigate the US health care system. It’s genuinely a harrowing read.

You turn away for one second, and a major institution of your childhood that you thought had disappeared forever has suddenly returned. Don’t look now, but the boy band is back. Sandi Rankaduwa penned this essay on how refreshingly diverse all-male musical groups like PrettyMuch and Brockhampton are expanding what it means to be an American boy band — by owning the label.

Let yourself enjoy a solid nap,


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