Morning Update: Only Olds Worry About Social Media

How Texas gets its execution drugs, search and rescue workers in California are going home, a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Nov. 29.

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Inmates said the drugs burned as they died. This is how Texas gets its execution drugs.

Texas executes more prisoners than any other state.

Questions about the source and quality of the execution drugs used there have been acute this year — in their final moments, 5 of the 11 prisoners the state has executed in 2018 said the substance they were injected with felt like it was burning. It was supposed to be painless.

Here’s the thing: Texas has faced difficulties in getting lethal drugs. The manufacturer of pentobarbital, the substance Texas uses, requires distributors to agree they will not sell their drugs to death penalty states.

So Texas sought out a compounding pharmacy, which can combine the basic ingredients of known drugs.

The source of the state’s execution drugs has until now been a closely guarded secret.

But a BuzzFeed News investigation can reveal that one source is Greenpark Compounding Pharmacy in Houston, which has been cited for scores of safety violations in recent years. Its license has been on probation since November 2016, when authorities found it had compounded the wrong drug for three children.

The massive search effort for human remains from California’s deadliest fire is now over

Thousands of search and rescue workers are going home after spending the last 20 days combing through the ash and rubble looking for residents who died in California’s deadliest wildfire.

The Camp fire in Northern California killed 88 people, and became the state’s most destructive, destroying 14,000 homes and 5,000 other buildings. It’s the nation’s worst fire in a century.

As of Tuesday, there were still nearly 200 names listed as unaccounted for, although that list has fluctuated dramatically and the number of people missing continues to decline.

👉 In heart-lifting news, an 89-year-old man gave $1,000 to every high school student and teacher from Paradise, California, who survived the fire.


Nancy Pelosi is one step closer to becoming the next speaker of the House. Pelosi was nominated for the job by House Democrats. She ran unopposed but faced opposition from a group calling for generational change. She must now secure 218 votes in a January floor vote.

Another woman in China is pregnant with a genetically engineered baby. Jiankui He, the scientist who created the first genetically engineered babies, revealed that a second woman is pregnant with a gene-edited embryo. Seven couples were enrolled in the experiment, he said, which created 31 embryos.

A woman spent three months in jail after police mistook cotton candy for meth. Dasha Fincher is suing a Georgia county and the manufacturers of a roadside drug test used by cops after it falsely identified an old piece of blue cotton candy as methamphetamine.

Two Florida men allegedly stabbed their ex-roommate to death because they thought he stole their PlayStation 4. Jake Bilotta, 22, and Ian McClurg, 21, face first-degree murder charges. The local sheriff said their plan apparently unraveled when a third roommate came home after a date and discovered McClurg holding a knife and Bilotta putting the victim’s body into plastic bags.

The US life expectancy has dropped — again. It fell slightly, from 78.7 years to 78.6. Life expectancy peaked in 2014 and has been dropping ever since, a worrisome decline that experts attribute largely to drug overdoses.

Margaret Atwood is writing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale called The Testaments. The follow-up will arrive in September of 2019, about 34 years since the publication of the highly acclaimed novel.

Melania Trump has responded to all the jokes about her “blood tree” Christmas decorations. The first lady said she doesn’t care what the haters say, and that “I think they look fantastic. ... In real life, they look even more beautiful.”

Teens say social media isn’t as bad for them as you might think

While you and I get all caught up in the hand-wringing that the olds do, the youngs are doing fine, thank you for asking.

A Pew Research Center report reveals that the vast majority of teens believe social media is good for them. The numbers are solid: 81% of teens said it makes them feel more connected to friends, and 71% said it helps them show their creative side.

Meanwhile, 68% feel like they have people who support them through tough times.

While us olds are busy worrying about the ways social media has become a “waste of time” or whatever we’re supposed to be alarmed about, it seems Gen Z have figured out a better relationship with their smartphones.

Read Katie Notopoulos’s analysis of the report.

The guy who photoshopped a fake ad and accidentally made a company go viral was just hired by that company

Back in October, a Twitter user identified only as Mike made a hilariously crass edit to an ad for a company called Self Lender, just for the jokes.

Because this is the internet, people believed the photoshop was a real ad. It went viral, and was being cited as an example of “great marketing.”

The people at Self Lender reached out to Mike, saying they wanted to talk. He was certain they were going to sue. Instead, they offered him a contract with their marketing team.

Kids: Be crass on the internet. You never know what might happen. Here’s the ad, and Mike’s edit on the right:

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