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Morning Update: The Arianators Have Been Expecting You

Remembering Stan Lee, the death toll of the California wildfires climbs, the midterm elections in overtime. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Nov. 13.

Posted on November 13, 2018, at 7:20 a.m. ET

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A winner in Arizona and recounts in Florida: the midterms in overtime

Let’s quickly refresh your memory: Florida’s Senate race shows Republican Gov. Rick Scott just 0.15% ahead of incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson. In the gubernatorial election, Republican Ron DeSantis is 0.41% ahead of Democrat Andrew Gillum.

With these tiny margins, the state is headed to a recount.

Here’s what’s new: Yesterday, a judge said Republicans haven’t shown any evidence of voter fraud or misconduct. Judge Jack Tuter rejected Scott’s request to have police oversee ballots.

Scott had filed five lawsuits against county election officials. Yesterday, he too was sued over allegedly abusing his power as governor to swing the outcome of the Senate race.

Meanwhile in Arizona: One week after the election, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has defeated Martha McSally to win a seat in the US Senate. It marks the first time Arizona has elected a woman to the Senate in the state's 106-year history.

The reason this is a big deal: The race became one of the most widely watched contests of the 2018 midterms. It was seen as a national proxy for the fight between Trump Republicans and the Democratic “resistance” to his presidency.

At least 42 people have died in the worst wildfire in California’s history

The death toll from the blaze in Northern California, dubbed the Camp fire, has climbed to 42, making it the deadliest fire in California’s history. The flames scorched 6,700 structures, which makes it the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history as well.

As of Monday night, the Camp fire was about 30% contained. Read this man’s harrowing tale of escape, and the horrors he found when he returned.

Meanwhile, two major wildfires — the Hill fire and the Woolsey fire — are tearing through Southern California. The latter has forced the entire city of Malibu to evacuate.

California power companies reported outages minutes before the deadly fires began. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the disaster, but the self-reported outages correspond very closely to the time and location of both the Camp and Woolsey fires.

Miley Cyrus, Neil Young, and Gerard Butler are the latest celebrities to lose their homes to the flames.

👉Here’s everything you need to know about how to help the victims of California’s fires.


Marvel Comics giant Stan Lee has died at 95. The comic writer and film producer was best known for co-creating iconic superheroes like Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, and Black Panther. Our obituary is here. Many people are remembering him by sharing a column he wrote in 1968 condemning racism. Celebrities and artists are paying their respects. And this is his life in pictures.

An Illinois security guard was shot dead by police after he stopped a gunman at a bar. Jemel Roberson, 26, was killed by a Midlothian police officer who arrived at the bar in Robbins following reports of a shooting. Roberson reportedly apprehended a man who opened fire inside the bar. A witness told reporters the security guard was standing over the suspect with his gun drawn. She said she did not hear police tell Roberson to put his gun down.

Michelle Obama said in her new memoir she stopped trying to smile during Donald Trump’s inauguration. She also said she wanted “to block it all out and go to sleep” after it looked likely Trump would win the presidency.

High school students in Wisconsin did the Nazi salute in their prom photo, and police are investigating. The Baraboo School District is also investigating after the photo, whichwas taken last spring and reportedly featured all the male students from the class of 2019, was widely shared on social media. The local superintendent says the photo was not taken on Baraboo High School property or at a school-sponsored event.

Doctors are sharing gruesome photos of what it’s like to treat victims of gun violence. The trend is a response to a tweet from the National Rifle Association admonishing doctors who advocate for tighter gun restrictions to “stay in their lane.” Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist, tweeted, “Do you have any idea how many bullets I pull out of corpses weekly? This isn’t just my lane. It’s my fucking highway.” The pictures are graphic, and the messages are powerful.

Ariana Grande is the first woman to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 since Adele’s “Hello.” Grande’s breakup anthem “Thank U, Next” officially dethrones Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You,” which held the top spot for what felt like 1,000 years (it was seven weeks). For a little extra Sweetener, this is Grande’s first No. 1 song ever, which only proves that y’all were sleeping on Ariana, but you’re finally awake. Welcome. The Arianators have been expecting you.

This town was once a progressive fairy tale. But in 2018, it’s living a far-right nightmare.

Domenico Lucano is the mayor of Riace, a small Italian village that was crumbling when he took office. He helped rebuild it by welcoming refugees.

Riace’s program of integrating immigrants revitalized the village. Lucano was celebrated by magazines and praised by the pope. More than 300 communities run their own programs on what’s become known as the “Riace model.”

This visibility put him on the radar of the star of Europe’s nationalist movements, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has turned politics into a shouting match over immigration.

Now, Lucano is a target of Italy’s populist government. He’s been barred from his own village, where he is still mayor. He’s seen as a hero to the left, but he doesn’t want to be.

This story does a fantastic job exploring the personal costs of how fractured politics has become, and you should read it.

These Eritrean kids experiencing snow for the first time are just too precious

The season’s first snow is always a big event, but this one is a little extra special.

An Eritrean family of five — a mother and her four children — just arrived in Canada last week. They were living in a refugee camp in Sudan before coming to Toronto on Thursday.

And they made it just in time for snow. One of the family’s sponsors, Rebecca Davies, shared a heartwarming video of two of the kids dancing with utter joy as they experience snow falling for the first time.

I am not going to lie you, I teared up watching it. The video quickly went viral and, trust me, you will want to watch the whole thing.

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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.