Morning Update: That Might Be Too Soon, Louis C.K.
Puerto Rico revised the Hurricane Maria death toll, STDs are on the rise, Trump might regulate Google. Here's your BuzzFeed News newsletter, August 29.
The US has warned it might resume drills with South Korea after talks with the North stalled
In case you, too, are losing track of time under the near-constant artillery fire of the news cycle, it’s been less than three months since the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Talks with North Korea were apparently going well back then — but we live in a different world now, so US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said large-scale military exercises with South Korea are back on the table.
The exercises were a major sticking point for North Korea. Just ahead of the Trump–Kim summit in Singapore, Trump said the US would halt them, even adopting North Korea’s description of the exercises as “very provocative.”
The strategy has since shifted. Here’s how Mattis described the new attitude: “we took the step to suspend several of the largest exercises as a good-faith measure coming out of the Singapore summit. We have no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises.”
Why did the Border Patrol shoot Claudia Gómez?
Customs and Border Protection is the largest law enforcement agency in the US. It is also one of the least transparent.
In May, an agent with Border Patrol, CBP's enforcement arm, shot and killed Claudia Gómez, a 20-year-old unarmed Guatemalan migrant. Months later, little is known about the case.
Here’s what we know: Gómez entered the US by crossing into Texas. Moments after she crossed, an agent shot and killed her.
The reason we know this isn’t because of the Border Patrol — it’s because of Marta Martínez. Martínez heard a gunshot outside of her home, grabbed her phone, ran outside, and hit record. If it weren’t for her video, there’d be almost no record of what took place that day.
Authorities say they’re investigating and won’t say much about the case. Immigrant advocates tell us that’s business as usual for an opaque agency that’s long been criticized for its use of force.
Adolfo Flores follows this story and the questions around it.
A mom says her 9-year-old came out as gay and then killed himself after classmates bullied him. Jamel Myles died four days after starting fourth grade. Over the summer, he told his mom, Leia Pierce, he was gay. He also told her he’d like to start dressing in a more feminine style. Pierce said Jamel told her “he was gonna tell people he’s gay because he’s proud of himself.” Last Thursday, Jamel killed himself in his home. Pierce said, “Four days is all it took at school. I could just imagine what they said to him.”
Puerto Rico changed the death toll of Hurricane Maria from 64 people to nearly 3,000. The revision came after an independent study — commissioned by Puerto Rican authorities in January after months of media reports calling their figures into question — was published, pegging the estimated death toll at 2,975 people. The study also found that Puerto Rico did not adequately prepare residents for Maria, which devastated the island in September 2017, and that doctors were confused about how to classify the dead.
California just became the first US state to condemn surgeries on intersex children. The state’s legislature passed a resolution denouncing the “corrective” surgeries, a landmark decision celebrated by advocates who have fought against this medical practice for decades. One advocate said, “It’s the very first time that a US legislative body has recognized that intersex children deserve bodily autonomy and the right to make decisions about their own bodies just like everyone else.”
The US had another record-setting year for STDs. According to preliminary numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis diagnosed last year, an increase of more than 200,000 compared with 2016. The CDC says the most common diagnosis was chlamydia, accounting for more than 1.7 million of those cases. It's the fourth consecutive year of “steep and sustained” increases in cases, according to the agency.
Dozens more women say they were sexually assaulted at Massage Envy. Remember the 2017 BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered that more than 180 women had filed sexual assault lawsuits, police reports, and state board complaints against Massage Envy spas? Dozens more women have since come forward, adding to the hundreds who say they were abused by therapists employed by the billion-dollar massage chain.
Louis C.K. performed at a comedy club for the first time since admitting to sexual misconduct. The comedian made a surprise appearance at the Comedy Cellar in New York to a sold-out crowd of 115 people, his first gig since since he was accused of sexual misconduct by five women in November 2017. C.K. performed a 15-minute set and was apparently greeted by a standing ovation before his performance even began.
Trump might regulate Google for anti-conservative bias, based on a “not scientific” web post
Donald Trump accused Google of rigging search results against him, claiming that 96% of results for “Trump News” were from left-wing media that contained only “BAD” stories about him.
The president claimed Google is “suppressing” conservative voices and “hiding information and news that is good” about him. He suggested that the company’s supposed actions were illegal and that he would address this “very serious situation.”
At an event yesterday, Trump said, “I think what Google and what others are doing, if you look at what is going on with Twitter and if you look at what’s going on in Facebook, they better be careful because you can’t do that to people. You can’t do it.”
The White House said it was looking into the issue, suggesting that the administration was considering investigating or regulating the tech giant.
Goats really like to see humans smile, according to a new study
In what is probably the most wholesome study ever commissioned, the Royal Society says goats can tell when humans are angry or happy, and they prefer to see people smiling.
The study is the first to indicate that domesticated farm animals such as goats — which haven't been bred specifically to interact with humans, as have horses or dogs — can read facial communication cues from humans.
It’s also just really wholesome to think that goats are waiting about to see you happy.