Morning Update: The Paul Blart Of The Deal

The shutdown is over for now, a deadly dam bursts in Brazil, the future of LGBT media. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Jan. 28.

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The government shutdown is over — for now — as Trump gives in on wall funding

In the end, it was hard to see what President Donald Trump got out of all this. In December, his standoff with Democrats led to an unprecedented 35-day partial shutdown.

He insisted that he would not sign a bill to reopen the government unless it included billions of dollars in border wall funding. But on Friday night, the president signed a bill that included no money for the wall.

The deal is temporary — it reopens the government only until Feb. 15. Crucially, though, it will allow 800,000 federal workers to receive back pay for the five weeks that the government has been shut down.

Trump later told reporters that he would invoke a national emergency if Democrats don't agree to the wall.

More than 50 people are dead and 250 others missing after a dam burst in Brazil

On Friday afternoon, the dam owned by mining company Vale gave way in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, unleashing a torrent of mud and iron ore waste.

As of Sunday evening, 58 people were confirmed dead, though officials expect that number to rise. Approximately 250 people were still unaccounted for. Dozens remain hospitalized.

The catastrophe comes three years after the collapse of the larger Bento Rodrigues dam in the same state, also owned by Vale, which killed 19 people.


A 3-year-old who was found alive after vanishing said he “hung out with a bear for two days.” Casey Hathaway wandered away from his grandmother’s yard in North Carolina. After a massive search effort through the rural wooded area, he was found alive. His aunt wrote on Facebook that he said he hung out with a bear.

Naomi Osaka is the first Asian tennis player to be world No. 1 after her Australian Open win. The tournament was Osaka's second grand slam championship after she defeated Serena Williams to win the US Open in September. Li Na, the first Asian player to win a grand slam, presented Osaka with the trophy.

A man suspected of shooting five people dead in Louisiana was arrested after a manhunt. Dakota Theriot, 21, was taken into custody as the suspect in a series of shootings that killed his parents and three members of another family. Authorities described the killings as a “domestic incident.”

This trailer for the movie about serial killer Ted Bundy has people seriously divided. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile premiered at Sundance, starring Zac Efron as the murderer. After the release of the trailer, people worried that the film glorifies his deadly legacy.

Lady Gaga surprised an audience when she asked Bradley Cooper to come up and sing “Shallow.” Naturally, the audience went crazy for the onstage reunion of the couple from A Star Is Born. This is the kind of nice thing we all deserve.

Does LGBT media have a future?

It was not long ago that LGBT media experienced a bit of a renaissance. Major online outlets launched their own verticals, and even major legacy media companies began covering LGBT topics more regularly.

Fast-forward to today, and there is a notable decline and systematic gutting of LGBT media: Companies large and small have cut their staff and moved away from dedicating resources to covering the community.

Even our house is not immune: As of Friday, BuzzFeed had laid off its deputy LGBT editor and LGBT video producer (the only openly trans staffer at BuzzFeed News), leaving just one remaining full-time US employee on the LGBT beat.

That one staffer, Shannon Keating, edited this brilliant piece by Trish Bendix that looks at the decline in LGBT media, and what it’s going to take for it to survive.

A fun drama to follow: this feud between these two Instagram “dick runners”

Among many of the things that make me say “okay but why” is the phenomenon of “dick running.”

And because I have a weird job, I get the pleasure of explaining to you this morning that “dick running” is when you go for a run and create a route that looks like a penis on your Nike running app.

Claire Wyckoff was posting so many pictures of her penis-shaped routes that she went viral for her dick runs in 2014. However, in 2019, enter a new dick runner, also named Claire, who went viral for her phallic jogs.

Wyckoff suggests that the dick run wars be settled with a dick run-off — “a dickathlon.” This is what a dick run looks like:

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