Morning Update: The Britney Musical Was Inevitable

The US grounds Boeing 737 Max jets, Beto O'Rourke is in, a Britney Spears musical. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, March 14.

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The US is grounding all Boeing 737 Max planes over safety concerns

Three days after a plane crash in Ethiopia killed 149 passengers and 8 crew members, President Donald Trump announced that the US will ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes. That’s the model that was involved in the crash.

The US had been one of the last major holdouts in taking action — many other countries, including China, Germany, France, the UK and India had already suspended the aircrafts.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it made the decision “as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today.”

The crash in Ethiopia was the second deadly crash for 737 Max planes in five months. The first was a Lion Air jet that crashed in the Java Sea in October, killing all 189 people on board.

Beto O’Rourke has announced he will run for president in 2020

In the course of a year, O’Rourke has gone from a little-known Texas Congressman to a national figure. He narrowly lost a Senate race to Ted Cruz, but his run generated widespread enthusiasm and raised tens of millions of dollars in small donations.

Now, he’s taking the show national. O’Rourke has announced that he’s launching a presidential campaign that’s expected to focus heavily on themes of unity and positivity.


Theresa May says Brexit will be delayed after MPs voted to reject no-deal under any circumstances. MPs voted that they do not want to leave the European Union without a deal. However, that remains the default scenario unless MPs approve a deal. What a time to be alive.

Paul Manafort will spend nearly seven more years in prison. Manafort was already sentenced to 47 months in his case in Virginia. A judge in DC nearly doubled that time. Then he was hit with new criminal charges.

University of Southern California says it will deny admission to all students connected to the cheating scheme. USC also says it has begun reviewing current students and graduates who may be connected.

ICE can access hundreds of millions of license plate scans to follow immigrants. According to documents made public by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), immigration officials use the scans to help them track people wanted for deportations. The ACLU says this is concerning from a civil rights perspective.

YouTube shut down the channel SevenSuperGirls after its creator was convicted of child abuse. Ian Rylett was arrested a few months ago on charges that he had molested a 16-year-old girl. He reportedly entered into a plea agreement to avoid a public trial. YouTube terminated the channel.

Britney Spears has a musical coming to Broadway, and the plot sounds nuts. It’s called Once Upon A One More Time because of course it is, and it'll revolve around fairy-tale characters, including Cinderella and Snow White, who will see their lives reimagined through the pop star's music, because of course it will.

Two stories you should know about Facebook

The first: Facebook is under criminal investigation over data deals with other companies. The investigation concerns the social media giant’s partnerships with other tech companies that gave them access to its users’ data. The New York Times was first to report the story.

The second: The WhatsApp cofounder who sold to Facebook for $19 billion has told students to delete Facebook. Brian Acton defended his decision to sell his company, but warned students that it’s users who give Facebook the power: “That’s the bad part. We buy their products. We sign up for these websites. Delete Facebook, right?”

A British newscaster dropped a thermonuclear eye roll

Let’s get one thing out of the way: British news programming is significantly more savage at poking fun of political theater. And it makes for great television.

Emily Maitlis, host of the BBC’s Newsnight, was grilling a panel of MPs on what the hell is going to happen next with Brexit.

As Maitlis was getting a non-answer from one of the MPs, she was suddenly fed up with the whole thing. And she dropped an eye roll so severe, it may have caused an earthquake.

The internet loved it for capturing how a whole country feels about the messy news.

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