Morning Update: Meritocracy Was The Real Scam All Along

More countries ground Boeing's jet, major Brexit vote fails, California to halt the death penalty. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, March 13.

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Theresa May’s Brexit deal has suffered a crushing defeat for the second time

UK Prime Minister May said she’d won legally binding guarantees from the European Union. It didn’t work. Yesterday, her Brexit withdrawal agreement was defeated — and resoundingly so, by a margin of 149 votes.

In January, her deal was defeated when 118 MPs from her own party voted against it. She brought a few onboard — that number is now down to 75 rebel MPs.

As the March 29 deadline for Britain leaving the EU draws near, parliament will vote today on whether MPs support a Brexit without a deal.

There is speculation that May could attempt to call a third vote on the deal early next week.

Boeing’s 737 Max jet is grounded in much of the world after the Ethiopia crash, but not the US

EU states joined a growing number of countries in grounding the kind of jet that was involved in the deadly plane crash in Ethiopia. The Boeing 737 Max-8 and Max-9 planes are suspended within the EU’s airspace as a precautionary measure.

The EU’s decision follows moves by civil aviation authorities in the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, India, China, and other nations to ground the popular Boeing jet.

The fatal crash in Ethiopia was the second in less than five months involving the plane, after a Lion Air Max-8 jet went down Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board.

The US Federal Aviation Administration says the investigation has “just begun.”

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among dozens charged in a massive college admissions scam

Authorities unveiled the details of an alleged giant college entrance exam cheating plot used by the rich and powerful to guarantee their children’s admissions into their universities of choice.

Among the dozens charged in the scheme are Full House actor Lori Loughlin and Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman.

The FBI said in many instances, students taking the exams were unaware that their parents had arranged for this cheating.

Rick Singer, the ringleader for this scam, pleaded guilty to multiple charges. He also detailed how he pulled it off.

There are so many memes about this, and they are all good.


Some senators want Homeland Security to “pause” its airport facial recognition program. Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and Republican Sen. Mike Lee released a joint statement saying the program should be paused “until American travelers fully understand exactly who has access to their facial recognition data.”

Marielle Franco’s accused killers have been arrested nearly a year after her death. Franco was a Brazilian queer politician known for her support for minorities and criticism of police violence. Two former police officers were arrested in connection with her high-profile murder.

California’s governor will halt state executions, granting a reprieve to more than 700 prisoners. Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to announce a moratorium on capital punishment in the state.

Spotify Premium subscribers can now get Hulu with ads for free. Spotify’s partnership with Hulu offers yet another incentive for people to cut the cord, and helps the companies distinguish themselves from their biggest competitors.

I was not prepared for how Mitt Romney blew out his birthday candles. Frankly, I can’t believe it’s legal to do it this way.

Kim Kardashian West will reportedly pay 5 years’ rent for a former inmate after he was denied housing. Matthew Charles served 20 years for a non-violent drug offence. After he was denied housing in Nashville, he posted on Facebook that Kardashian West stepped in to pay his rent. Charles wrote that “Kim did not do this for attention or publicity, but I had to share it.”

The #MeToo movement brought down a rising political star. Now his hometown has to decide whether he can come back.

Former Rep. Ruben Kihuen was a powerful man brought down by the #MeToo movement. He hit on women he worked with repeatedly and allegedly touched a woman on his staff without her permission. He ultimately left his job over it.

This was a year ago. Now he’s trying to make a comeback.

Kihuen’s name barely registered outside Capitol Hill, where he had not even served a full year when the story broke, and his home state of Nevada, where he had been a rising star.

Now, as he attempts to run for a modest city council seat in suburban Las Vegas, a battle over his election acts as a stand-in for a battle over the limits of #MeToo.

This teen got her mom a “thanks for vaccinating us” cake

Moms: they’re the best. There are definitely lots of reasons to be grateful for moms, and somewhere near the top is for vaccinating kids.

At least those were the sentiments of Alyssa Jackson who got her mom an ice cream cake showing that gratitude.

People loved the sentiment, and it went viral on TikTok. It’s a lot of fun to watch Jackson give the cake to her mom. It looked like this:

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