Morning Update: If You're Reading This, The Second Civil War Didn't Happen

A new case of nerve agent poisoning in the UK, a woman climbed the Statue of Liberty to protest family separations, revisiting the American dream. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, July 5.

Two people in the UK are in a critical condition after being exposed to the military-grade nerve agent Novichok

A man and a woman are in the hospital following exposure to Novichok in the British town of Amesbury, Wiltshire, according to police.

Authorities confirmed that a major incident was underway after paramedics found a woman, 44, and a man, 45, unconscious in a property on Saturday. The pair have been named in media reports as Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess.

Novichok, you’ll recall, is the same military-grade nerve agent that left former Russian military spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia both in a critical condition when they were poisoned in March. The incident triggered a crisis in the UK–Russia relationship.

There is an ongoing attempted murder investigation into the Skripal incident, but police remain unsure whether a crime has taken place regarding the latest poisoning.

A government official said the “working assumption” was that the couple were not targeted as victims, as police believed the Skripals were.

Claustrophobic photos and videos show just how treacherous the rescue of the soccer team in the cave is going to be

Remember the story from earlier this week about the boys’ soccer team who were found after they went missing in a cave in Thailand?

The boys and their coach have been trapped in the flooded cave for nearly two weeks now, and newly released videos and photos show the potential peril in the rescue operations.

The rescue crews are working with a series of pipes fed through the winding cave in an effort to pump water out, but their efforts are hampered by Thailand’s rainy monsoon season.

Officials have said they are still exploring a series of options on how to bring the soccer team out, including teaching them to dive, drilling a hole to extract them, or waiting for the waters to recede enough to ease the rescue.

The coach and players have been equipped in the meantime with at least four months' worth of food. According to reports, officials are in the process of installing a fiber-optic internet line in the cave so the boys can talk to their parents.


A woman climbed the Statue of Liberty on the 4th of July to protest family separations. The incident prompted officials to evacuate Liberty Island. According to police, the woman told first responders that she climbed onto the statue “for the children in Texas.” She was identified by the Associated Press as Therese Patricia Okoumou. Police said Okoumou apologized to them for forcing them to climb up and get her.

Alex Jones said the Democrats are planning a civil war for the 4th of July, and Twitter had jokes. Jones, the host of Infowars and noted conspiracy theorist, made the claim a couple of days ago, saying Democrats were planning to launch a revolt against President Donald Trump. On the morning of the 4th, Twitter was ready with some heavy joke artillery. The only thing wounded was my face, from laughing too hard.

Chance the Rapper just got engaged to his girlfriend, Kirsten Corley, at a 4th of July barbecue. The 25-year-old, born Chancelor Bennett, said in a video posted by the Shade Room, “Kirsten Katrina Corley, will you make me a man and be my wife?” The couple's 2-year-old daughter, Kensli, was in her father's arms as her parents kissed.

Steph Curry and his wife, Ayesha, just welcomed their third child. The new arrival is a baby boy named Canon W. Jack Curry, with the W. standing for Whoknowsitsasecret. Yes, there are pictures. The couple has two other children: Ryan Carson, age 2, and Riley, 5.

Kim Dotcom just lost his appeal bid to avoid extradition from New Zealand to the United States. The internet mogul who cofounded file storage website Megaupload faces criminal copyright charges in the US. The US alleges Dotcom and his co-accused engaged in “criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale” costing copyright holders more than $500 million. Megaupload was closed by the FBI in 2012. The decision to extradite now rests with New Zealand’s minister for justice.

This is what the American dream really means for Americans

Photographer Ian Brown has been traveling across the US for years, asking a simple question: “What does the American dream mean to you?”

Simple questions are blank canvases, wide ranges full of possibility, and sure enough, the answers Brown has drawn have been as complex as can be.

Asking that question in such a polarized time means something entirely different. As Brown says, “I think that it has exposed a lot of issues and questions about what direction the country is going and what values and ideals make up the national identity.”

All this complexity can be found in Brown’s photo essay, where he talks about his subjects and their relationship to the American dream. The whole project is well worth your time.

This one caught my eye: “I piss, shit, and eat to refill. ... My dreams were in my youth and it's a nightmare to me as I can do none of any of that now. Stupid that I'd want to.”

People think this story about a guy meeting a girl on a plane is the best thing ever

Rosey Blair and her boyfriend were coming home on a plane when they asked a young woman if she would swap seats so they could sit together. They joked with the woman that maybe whoever she sat with would be the love of her life.

What unfolded next was absolute proof that good things still happen in 2018. The newly paired seatmates began flirting as they discovered they have a lot in common. Blair documented the whole saga on her Instagram as it was unfolding.

I won’t spoil the ending, but the internet is in love with the potential romance.

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