Morning Update: How Women Are Leading Sudan's Protests

A crumbling Venezuela, Roger Stone posts about the judge in his case, Netflix cancels the Marvel shows. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Feb. 19.

20 years after Hugo Chávez launched the revolution, Venezuela is falling apart from within

For the last month, the US has been pressuring Caracas, in hopes of bringing down the government of Nicolás Maduro.

The Trump administration’s rhetoric has been dramatic, to be sure — there’s been talk of “all options” being on the table, and a matching tone from President Trump’s national security adviser.

But the reality is, the biggest threat to Maduro’s government comes from the inside. Once-loyal working-class supporters are turning their backs on the government, while politicians and diplomats have crossed the aisle to join the opposition.

The main question is whether Maduro can keep Venezuela’s army from turning against him, while quelling the anger of his supporters.

You should read Karla Zabludovsky’s excellent report on a crumbling Venezuela.

Roger Stone posted a photo of the judge presiding over his case next to crosshairs

The longtime Republican operative and former adviser to Donald Trump was recently charged with lying to Congress.

He posted a photo to Instagram of US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over his case, in which she appears to be next to a crosshairs symbol.

Stone’s efforts to get his case reassigned to a new judge have been denied. He claimed in the post that Robert Mueller used “legal trickery” to place his case in front of Jackson.

Stone has since deleted the photo and filed a “notice of apology” in court. Here’s the post:


Five people are dead after a gunman opened fire at an Illinois manufacturing plant. The gunman was killed in a shootout with police. He had worked at the company for 15 years, and opened fire in his termination hearing with HR. The victims include a plant manager, the head of HR, and an intern in his first day on the job — here’s what you need to know about them.

Robert Mueller’s office says Paul Manafort is facing as much as 24 years in prison — for just one of his cases. Manafort also faces a fine of up to $24 million, and another $24 million in restitution. Prosecutors did not make a recommendation on what sentence Manafort should get.

Kamala Harris said she’d support changing “Columbus Day” to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” The change is a focal point for some progressives. Harris also said she would support making Election Day a federal holiday as part of a new Voting Rights Act.

A Florida student was arrested after he refused to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. Police said they arrested the sixth-grade student because he “disrupted a school function” and “resisted an officer without violence,” but not because he refused to recite the pledge.

The Academy Awards have reversed the decision to give some Oscars during commercial breaks after facing a major backlash. The Academy had planned to give awards for Cinematography, Film Editing, Live-Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling during breaks. Those plans are now abandoned.

Netflix has cancelled The Punisher and Jessica Jones. There are now no more Netflix shows based on the Marvel Defenders characters, with Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist all having previously been axed. The upcoming season of Jessica Jones will be its last.

These women joined Facebook to talk about their crushes. Now they’re using their skills to expose abusive police.

Right now, there are huge anti-government protests in Sudan, aimed at the regime of President Omar al-Bashir. At least 57 people have been killed, and countless others have been shot at, tear gassed, and tortured.

As the protests swept the country, private Facebook groups that women initially started to share information about their love interests have been turned into powerful tools to expose abusive security officers.

Women are using the groups to identify and dox the officers brutalizing demonstrators. As a result, agents have been hounded by people in their own neighborhoods, beaten up, and sometimes even chased out of town.

Bashir has said protesters cannot change the government with Facebook or WhatsApp. But the women behind the doxing campaigns may yet prove him wrong.

Tamerra Griffin’s report on this story is so, so good.

This video of a mom and her sons dancing became a massive meme. Here’s the full story.

When I started seeing this video going around, I laughed at every single variation of the meme. Every single one.

The video shows three people dancing in a circle and having the time of their life, and has been used to make politics jokes, retail jokes, history jokes, and really, really good science jokes.

We spoke to Aspect Za’vier and his mother Willona, who gave us the original video and its magic. Enjoy the countless memes this video spurred, and tell me which is your favorite.

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