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Morning Update: Mueller's Tired College Professor Energy

A presidential race about climate change, facial recognition in schools, Louisiana's abortion bill. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, May 30.

Posted on May 30, 2019, at 7:51 a.m. ET

In his first and last public statement at special counsel, Mueller said — once again — he didn’t clear Trump

Special counsel Robert Mueller announced he’s stepping down yesterday. In his parting remarks, he reiterated again that his report did not exonerate President Donald Trump.

Mueller’s office explored whether the president had committed obstruction during the investigation, but declined to reach a conclusion — a move that Democrats criticized.

In his statement, Mueller said, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

👉 Read Zoe Tillman’s smart analysis on what it means that Mueller said he couldn’t decide if Trump committed a crime: “Mueller ultimately presented evidence on both sides of the obstruction issue in his report, while noting there was ‘substantial evidence’ Trump had engaged in potentially obstructive acts.”

👉 After Mueller’s statement, more Democrats began calling for impeachment. Nancy Pelosi and House leadership are pushing back on this — but it’s complicated, because they are on the record accusing Trump of committing crimes and cover-ups, and their party is demanding a response.

👉The internet appreciated Mueller’s tired college professor energy, scolding Americans for not doing the required reading. There were memes. Some of them were actually good:

The first public schools in the US will start using facial recognition next week

A school district in western New York will become the first in the country to pilot using facial recognition technology on its students and faculty.

Testing of the system begins in Lockport City School District’s eight schools next week. It will track sex offenders, students and staff who have been suspended, and credible threats to student safety.

The pilot comes amid increased scrutiny of facial recognition across the US, including growing civil rights concerns.


Louisiana’s Democratic governor is ready to sign a bill that will make nearly all abortions illegal after six weeks of pregnancy. The bill, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. John Milkovich, outlaws nearly all abortions before many women know they're pregnant. Several other states have recently passed similar laws, including Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.

Alex Trebek says his cancer is in “near remission.” The beloved Jeopardy! host, who announced in January that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, shared the good news about his health, saying, “the doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory.”

A white campground employee pulled a gun on a black couple trying to have a picnic. After the couple arrived, a woman with a gun in hand identified herself as the Mississippi campground's manager and told the couple to leave, and that they needed reservations. Kampgrounds of America says the woman has been fired.

A man has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for his wife’s honeymoon catamaran death. Lewis Bennett asked his wife, who had little sailing experience, to take control of the boat so he could sleep. He said he awoke when the boat hit something and began to sink. He did not call for help until he was on the life raft and did not look for his missing wife.

Democrats want to make 2020 the climate change election

It was bound to happen eventually, seeing as it’s the most pressing story of a generation: it looks as though Democrats will be centering climate change in the 2020 presidential election.

This is significant. Climate change is usually brushed aside in presidential elections because we are myopic creatures who seek immediate gratification but Democratic candidates are focused on making the issue central to the race.

In practice, this means talking about it — and 22 presidential hopefuls mention climate change on their website, while 14 have signed a pledge not to accept fossil fuel money. Nine candidates even want a debate focused only on climate change.

It helps that the issue is consistently polling as one of the major things Democratic voters care about. Read Zahra Hirji’s analysis of what happens when climate change is central to a presidential campaign.

Taylor Swift and the cast of Booksmart are fangirling over each other, and it’s extremely wholesome

Have you seen Booksmart? If you haven’t, I recommend you do — it’s a great time. In the week after its release, on the strength of a lot of excitement and thinkpieces, the movie has gained a great internet following.

Booksmart’s stars are out there promoting their movie, trying to drum up publicity, and Diana Silvers pulled a bold move: she posted a video of herself singing a Taylor Swift song, asking the singer to go see the movie.

I won’t spoil what happens next, but it’s a lot of fun. And it ended like this:

ummmm i dont even care that boys ghost me. taylor swift CAME THRU. and that is feminism working.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.