Morning Update: Harry Potter And The Generation That Can't Cope

A crucial vote on Theresa May’s leadership, an attack in France, and the frustrations of tech CEO questioning. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Dec. 12.

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Conservative MPs will hold a vote of confidence in Theresa May’s leadership

This afternoon, the British prime minister will face a decisive vote on her leadership after members of Parliament in her own party decided to revolt over her handling of the Brexit deal.

MPs were set to vote this week on the deal May negotiated with the European Union, but she pulled the vote at the last minute after it became apparent that the deal would fail.

To force a confidence vote, at least 15% of Conservative MPs must submit letters calling for one. That threshold — 48 members in Parliament’s current composition — has now been passed.

May gave a defiant statement in the face of the situation, saying, “I will contest that vote with everything I've got.”

Trump, Pelosi, and Schumer got into a big fight over the wall on live TV

What was supposed to be a standard meeting between President Donald Trump, House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer devolved into open chaos.

The point of the meeting was to discuss border security funding ahead of a Dec. 21 deadline after which part of the federal government will shut down if a spending bill is not passed.

Trump dug in on the idea of building the border wall even though it will become less feasible when Democrats take over the House.

The spat ended with the president threatening a shutdown: “If we don’t get what we want, one way or another … I will shut down the government.”


A gunman opened fire on a Christmas market in France, killing three people. A further 13 people were injured in the attack in central Strasbourg. The shooter remains at large, and a massive manhunt is underway. Authorities are investigating the attack as terrorism.

Some guy climbed 460 feet to fake having sex on top of a pyramid. Andreas Hvid, a photographer from Denmark, climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza and photographed himself and an unidentified model pretending to have sex at the top. A lot of people are unhappy with him.

Lines of people waited to say goodbye to Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva. The 91-year-old, who founded and co-chaired Russia's oldest human rights organization, died over the weekend. Crowds of people lined up to pay their respects.

A California teacher was arrested after forcibly cutting off a student’s hair while singing the national anthem. In a video of the incident, Margaret Gieszinger, a teacher in Visalia, remove chunks of the student’s hair and flings them backward. She then demands another student take his place, which is when the whole class runs out.

People are trying to make YouTube’s Rewind 2018 the most disliked video on the platform. Soon after the release of the company's annual lookback, people began criticizing it for failing to truly cover YouTube's content. I’ll just sum it up for you: No one is happy.

The white supremacist who killed a protester at the “Unite the Right” rally was sentenced to life in prison. The judge accepted the jury's recommendation of a life sentence for James Alex Fields Jr. for the first-degree murder of Heather Heyer, plus an additional 419 years and a $480,000 fine.

Meghan Markle made an appearance at the British Fashion Awards and showed off her royal baby bump. Markle, aka the Duchess of Sussex, presented the British Designer of the Year award to Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller, and she was positively glowing.

The big question after Silicon Valley’s congressional hearings: What’s the point?

A notable sight this year has been the besieged tech executive, sitting in the hot seat in front of Congress. Usually, they come across as contrite and polite and definitely not cocky, because that would be a bad look.

The thing is, the questions these leaders get from lawmakers are almost always simple and comically disconnected from the complex realities of technology in 2018. Tech CEOs never actually have to deal with uncomfortable questions.

This was again at work as Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai had to contend with mostly superficial questioning as he testified for three and a half hours in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

Read Charlie Warzel’s analysis of the frustrations and pointlessness of tech executives answering shallow queries from Congress.

People are loving this person’s edit of the last Harry Potter book

For obvious reasons, this section is a bit of a spoiler. A heartbreak shared by all of the Harry Potter fandom is a certain death that takes place in the last book.

But sometimes we don’t have accept reality just because the author says Hedwig the innocent, brave owl is dead. Sometimes we can, uh, copy and paste our pain away. And people absolutely love it.

Here’s the edit:

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