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Cate Blanchett leads a red carpet protest, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is saved, the $1 test strip that could save lives

Posted on May 14, 2018, at 7:37 a.m. ET

The nine minutes that almost changed America

Two dozen members of Congress were nearly killed, and the country didn’t change very much at all. How?

Last June, a gunman attacked Republicans practicing for the congressional baseball game. If it wasn’t for a handful of unlikely events, things could’ve ended up very differently: It could have been one of the deadliest political assassinations in US history.

That day, the ambulances hit green lights all the way. A gate next to third base was locked — keeping the shooter off the field. One of the politicians was a doctor and Iraq War vet, and was able to help victims right away.

On top of all that, the fact that Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot and spent months in recovery, was even there was a miracle. As the third-ranking House Republican, he had an armed security detail. They engaged the shooter right away.

From the story: “most people don’t think very often about June 14, 2017, the difference between everything changing, and almost nothing changing at all.” You’ll be utterly riveted by this deep dive into a near miss of modern American history.

PSST: This is big

News moves so quickly, you barely have time to slow down and understand it. We get it. But don’t give in to the Overwhelm — we’re here to help.

On Saturday, BuzzFeed News launched a new weekly podcast! It’s called The News. We see it as our job to help you cut through the noise.

I could tell you so much about it, but I’d rather show you — the first episode of The News is here, and I think you’re going to love it. You can find it on Apple, Google Play, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts from.

At least 13 people died in three church bombings believed to have been carried out by one family in Indonesia

Three Christian churches in the Indonesian city of Surabaya were bombed on Sunday morning, leaving at least 13 people dead and injuring more than 40, according to police.

Among the dead are a family of six — a couple and their four children, aged 9, 12, 16, and 18 — who police reportedly believe carried out the attack.

The father reportedly drove a car that contained explosives into the gate of one church. The mother and two daughters allegedly attacked a second church, while it’s believed the couple’s two sons rode a motorbike with bombs into a third church.

A few hours after the bombings, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Quick brief:

  • In a rare public speech, the head of MI5 said Russian propaganda could destabilize Western democracy.

  • Ryan Coogler says he might make a Black Panther spinoff focused on the women of Wakanda.

  • Benedict Cumberbatch said he would refuse acting roles unless women costars had equal pay.

Cate Blanchett, Ava DuVernay, Kristen Stewart, and Salma Hayek just protested in Cannes

Eighty-two women stood together on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in France in a protest for better treatment and representation of women in film.

The number itself is important: It symbolizes the 82 female directors who've had films screened at the festival since it began in 1946, compared with 1,688 male directors. Cate Blanchett, who this year serves as the president of the Cannes jury, called these statistics “stark and undeniable.”

The pictures of the protesting women lined up on the red carpet are powerful.

People are using a $1 test strip to check their drugs for fentanyl

A key driver behind the current opioid crisis is that fentanyl is turning up in other drugs, like cocaine and heroin.

Most users don’t want it. From the perspective of the dealers, it’s also bad for business — as one expert told us, “They can’t make a living by killing off their customers.”

Public health experts nationwide are providing fentanyl test strips to drug users to let them test the drugs for themselves. They’re intended to test for fentanyl in urine, but the strips also work in water mixed with a sample of a drug.

We talked to researchers who conducted a three-city study into how these strips could be used to give drug users more control over what they’re consuming, and in the process have an impact on the opioid crisis.

NBC is saving Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so maybe not everything is the worst

After Fox announced it was going to cancel the police sitcom, there was a massive outpouring of support for the show (yes, including that dramatic time I called it “the last good thing on Earth” in this newsletter).

Well, the support worked: NBC will pick up Brooklyn Nine-Nine for a sixth season after it concludes its run on Fox.

Cynics might say NBC just wanted to look like the good guy. To them I say: Yeah, okay, but it stepped in and saved the show.

Nine-Nine,

Elamin

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