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Morning Update: Senate Fails To Fix DACA — again

Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Feb 16.

Posted on February 16, 2018, at 8:01 a.m. ET

The Senate couldn’t pass anything to fix DACA, leaving DREAMers in limbo

Senators voted on four different plans to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects the children of undocumented immigrants from deportation. They couldn't pass any of them.

It doesn’t look like the Senate will get to try again — Senators plan to take next week off and there is no indication Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will allow further votes on DACA after that. President Trump has scheduled the program to expire on March 5.


The immediate aftermath of the Florida high school shooting

— Shortly after he was taken into custody, suspect Nikolas Cruz told officers that he was the shooter who entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire, killing at least 17 people.

— Cruz posted racially charged messages on social media and was claimed to be a member of a white nationalist militia.

— President Trump gave a short address about the tragedy, saying, “no child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school.” Here’s the full transcript of his speech.

— If only the FBI had asked YouTube about Nikolas Cruz. The agency likely didn't follow up with YouTube last year to determine the identity and location of a person by the same name who wrote, “I'm going to be a professional school shooter” under a vlogger's video.

— Students who lived through the school shooting are angry and they want you to know: “I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours. It was about guns. You weren’t there, you don’t know how it felt.”

— “Mr. Beigel was my hero and he still will forever be my hero.” These teachers died protecting their students, and the tributes from students are heartbreaking.

— Roughly 88% of all K–12 students across the US attend schools that have a plan in place for possible emergencies. The vast majority of these plans include active shooters as a threat. Active shooter training in US schools has become the new normal.


Steve Bannon refuses to answer Russia investigation questions

The former top White House strategist appeared before the House Intelligence Committee for an interview on the Russia investigation, and mum was the word. Bannon refused to answer most questions, fielding only 25 that were preapproved and scripted by the White House. He would not answer any other questions, claiming he was invoking executive privilege on behalf of President Trump. Congress appears increasingly likely to vote to hold Bannon in contempt.


No, “sonic weapons” did not give US diplomats in Cuba concussions

In 2016, 24 US diplomats in Cuba reported hearing loss, fogginess, and vertigo after hearing chirping sounds. The reports set off fears of a sonic weapon attack. Now a long-awaited medical report has concluded they suffered from concussion symptoms with no known cause, but ruled out sonic attacks as the explanation.


Quick Catch-up

Jeffrey Tambor: The star of Transparent will officially not be returning to the hit show, Amazon said after an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations that surfaced a few months ago. Tambor had already said he would leave the show after costar Trace Lysette and former assistant Van Barnes accused him of sexual harassment.

South Africa: Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as the fifth president of post-apartheid South Africa yesterday after Jacob Zuma resigned. Ramaphosa was the deputy president, and the only name put forward in parliament to replace Zuma.

UKIP: The British far-right party is facing financial ruin, staring down an enormous bill after a court ruled it is responsible for paying some of the £670,000 in legal costs of an expensive libel battle involving one of its politicians. The party's finances are so poor that it cannot afford to pay a salary to Henry Bolton, its current leader.

Unhappy Meal: McDonald’s says it’s cutting cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from its Happy Meal. The fast-food chain said the changes to the meal mean each version will be fewer than 600 calories. People on the internet were, uh, the opposite of happy.


McDonald’s and Uber Eats need each other now more than ever

This is a story of unexpected love. It’s been a year since the two companies came together to offer McDelivery in a few Florida cities. Now they’re ready to expand that to 5,000 locations in the US — that’s a third of US McDonald’s locations.

Uber Eats now delivers from nearly 7,000 McDonald’s locations in 20 different countries. Considering the platform works with 80,000 restaurants globally, that means McDonald’s already represents nearly 9% of all outlets. Uber Eats, which launched in 2015, now accounts for 10% of Uber’s business.


Some great long reads for your long weekend

I don’t know how you unwind, but I like to delve into a thoughtful long read — that’s my jam. Here are a few for your weekend:

— Best Picture nominee Phantom Thread and the relatively unnotable Fifty Shades Freed, the final film in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But as Alison Willmore writes, both movies concern themselves with our enduring love affair with trying to win the hearts of difficult men. Neither film banishes the fairytale, “but they do hold it up to a new light.”

— Hey, Black Panther opens today! Alanna Bennett spoke with the film’s creative team about the process of designing Wakanda and creating a pan-African medley of real-life culture, crafty fiction, afrofuturism, and big ideas about revolutionizing black and African representation in film.

— Hope Hicks, Trump’s communications director, has made a point of existing outside the spotlight, making herself as invisible as she can be. In doing so, she is doing what PR experts know intrinsically to do: never, ever make the story about you. That is, until now. Anne Helen Petersen looks at how Hicks found herself at the center of a major White House scandal. Here’s how Hope Hicks became the story.


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