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Morning Update: This Ain’t A Scene, It’s A Goddamn Trade War

Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, March 9: Tariffs, North Korea, Super Smash Bros. coming to the Switch.

Posted on March 9, 2018, at 7:08 a.m. ET

Trump officially introduced new tariffs, despite fears he’s starting a trade war

Democrats pushed back. World leaders pushed back. Hell, people inside his own party pushed back. Still, President Trump stuck to his guns: He is enacting a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports. They come into effect March 23.

Trump did make one major concession: He exempted Canada and Mexico. If the three countries had gotten into a cycle of escalating retaliatory tariffs, the fallout would’ve been enormous.

While Canada and Mexico are exempt, the European Union is already preparing to launch retaliatory tariffs against American products. The president insists, however, that they are necessary to revive the US steel industry.

If you’re not quite sure what a “trade war” is, we’ve explained it here using GIFs from The Simpsons.


Trump has agreed to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un

Well, it’s happening. The meeting will take place by May. South Korean officials announced that the North Korean leader has "expressed his eagerness" to meet with President Trump, and that he has also said he is "committed to denuclearization." Trump later confirmed the meeting is being planned.

In the meantime, North Korea promises to refrain from nuclear and missile tests. Trump tweeted: “...Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached.”


Iran’s supreme leader dismissed calls to change hijab laws

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme religious and political leader, has rejected calls to loosen laws that require women to wear hijab in public. It’s his first time addressing a recent, growing protest movement.

Khamenei said the calls were a part of “the enemy's extensive propaganda and huge investment” against hijab.

Since late last year, Iranian women have been taking videos and photos of themselves posing without their headscarves in public spaces in a challenge against Iran’s dress codes.

Khamenei’s comments come after one woman, who became a symbol for the movement when a photo of her waving a headscarf around on a street corner went viral, was sentenced to two years in prison.


Fast food chains tried to end sexism with #branding, because 2018

The first L goes to KFC Malaysia, which celebrated International Women's Day by making Colonel Sanders' wife its new logo. You should see it — it’s really something.

The next [grimace emoji] goes to McDonald’s, which marked the occasion by flipping its golden arches upside down so they would look like a "W" instead of an "M," because women.

No word yet if Popeyes will change its name to Olive Oyl next year to celebrate the big day.


Quick catch-up

Rachel Dolezal: A former civil rights leader who disguised herself as a black woman for years is the subject of a new Netflix documentary titled The Rachel Divide. People are not happy.

The Sopranos: Eleven years after the classic series, the creator of The Sopranos is working on a prequel movie to the show, set in the 1960s. David Chase will produce and cowrite the film, currently titled The Many Saints of Newark.

Jared Kushner: Just weeks after the 2016 election, the president’s son-in-law and adviser secretly engaged in talks to sell his struggling news organization, the New York Observer, to some of Trump’s political enemies. Kushner shopped the Observer to Media Matters founder David Brock, who was looking to build “the Breitbart of the left.”

Salmonella outbreak: A total of 170 people in seven states have gotten sick after eating chicken salad contaminated with Salmonella typhimurium. The outbreak has been linked to ready-to-eat chicken salad sold at Fareway grocery stores in those states. There have been 62 hospitalizations so far, but no reported deaths.

Nintendo: The gaming giant announced that it would bring Super Smash Bros., one of its most beloved franchises, to its latest console, the Switch. People can barely contain themselves.


Is it unconstitutional for the president to block anyone on Twitter?

I don’t know the answer, but it’s a cool law question. I love cool law questions. Lawyers are duking it out over this at the moment: The plaintiffs say the president violated their First Amendment rights by imposing a viewpoint-based restriction on their participation with his Twitter account — which they argue is a public forum.

The judge pressed a lawyer representing President Trump on whether Twitter was different from a public town hall, where government officials can't do something like cut the microphone to block unwanted opinions.

"Once it is a public forum, you can’t shut somebody up because you don’t like what they’re saying. Why is that possibly OK?" US District Judge Naomi Reice asked.

Read Leticia Miranda’s coverage of this case. It’s a fascinating discussion.


Some longreads you can sit with over the weekend

First up, a beautiful piece from contributor Alanna Okun on knitting. Our relationships with our bodies may be fraught, but as Okun writes, “there is such power in creating something designed to fit only you. It’s a quiet fuck-you to any clothing company or magazine or person that’s ever made you feel less.” Knitting My Own Clothes Let Me See My Body Clearly.

Jennifer Lawrence is 27. She’s “an award-winning actor who is, by any measure, one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. Yet she is rarely taken seriously.” In a great exploration of Lawrence’s trajectory, Anne Helen Petersen traces how in four years, her embrace of the Cool Girl “J. Law” persona has since become an albatross. Jennifer Lawrence Is A Prisoner Of Her Cool Girl Image.

Being big on Instagram is an illusion. It costs time — so much time — and it costs a lot of money. BuzzFeed’s Jarry Lee spoke with aspiring style icons who opened up about the hours and dollars they’ve spent to establish themselves, and whether it’s all been worth it. The result is a deeply honest piece about the personal cost of chasing Instagram celebrity. What Does It Cost To Be Big On Instagram?

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