Morning Update: The Summer Of Scam Is Extended

Florida will recount votes by hand, more than 600 people are missing in California's wildfires, weekend longreads.

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A judge ruled that thousands of voters in Florida can fix their rejected ballots amid a statewide recount

Florida voters whose ballots were set aside uncounted — and there are thousands of them — must be allowed time to fix problems with the signatures on their ballots so they can be considered, according to a federal judge.

The ruling sides with Democrats, who argued a policy of tossing out valid ballots with signature issues was unconstitutional. It gives voters until 5 p.m. on Saturday to “cure” their ballots by offering proof of identity.

Meanwhile, the state just ordered a recount by hand in the tight US Senate race. Democrats hope a hand count could find thousands of votes in left-leaning strongholds that machines had failed to register in previous counts.

Currently, incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson trails challenger and Republican Gov. Rick Scott by 12,603 votes, or 0.15%.

Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for five people accused of killing Jamal Khashoggi

None of the five suspects in the murder of the Washington Post journalist have been named, as per the country’s legal code, but they are among 11 people charged in connection with Khashoggi’s death.

Khashoggi was last seen alive entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 2. The Saudi story of what happened to him shifted constantly in the weeks that followed.

Government officials have said that the men acted without the knowledge of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Amid an international outcry, there have been claims it would be highly unlikely that the crown prince would have been unaware of the decision to kill Khashoggi.

Two things you should read:

👉What kind of leader is the crown prince? Here’s everything you need to know about him and how he has changed Saudi politics.

👉Despite new sanctions, Democrats remain critical of how Trump has handled the Khashoggi case.


It was a huge day in Brexit, and it’s still not settled. After losing two senior ministers over the deal she has struck to withdraw from the European Union, UK Prime Minister Theresa May now faces turmoil inside her own party. Members of Parliament still have to vote on May’s proposed deal, and there are huge questions over whether it would pass, seeing as her own colleagues are openly speaking out against it.

Sixty-six people have died in the California wildfires, and the number of the missing has soared to more than 600. Officials said the remains of seven more victims were located, bringing the death toll from the devastating Camp fire in Northern California to 63. Another three deaths have been linked to the Woolsey fire in Southern California.

The New Jersey couple and the homeless man from that heartwarming GoFundMe story were charged with running a scam. Remember the story of the homeless man who used his last $20 to help a woman with car trouble, leading her to start a massive crowdfunding campaign to help him? The trio became famous last year after the woman and her boyfriend raised over $400,000 for the man, and then refused to give him the money. Now, all three are charged with making the whole thing up. Summer of scam: extended to fall of scam.

Facebook filed a patent to predict your household’s demographics based on family photos. The proposed technology would analyze your #wifey tags, shared IP addresses, and photos to predict whom you live with.

A man was kicked out of a theater for allegedly yelling “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump” during Fiddler on the Roof. He was escorted out of the Baltimore venue after apparently shouting this during the intermission. Fiddler on the Roof — if I may editorialize, an all-time great musical — is about the life of a Jewish family in imperial Russia’s Pale of Settlement in 1905.

The trailer for A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding has dropped. I hope you tuned in to Netflix’s A Christmas Prince last year. It was a simple movie that didn’t ask much of you, except for maybe love. And it became a viral sensation, for reasons only god knows. But look, we are getting a sequel, it now has a trailer, and for this we shall rejoice. I’m just upset it’s not called A Christmas Prince: Prince Another Day or A Christmas Prince: Back 2 Aldovia.

The racist backlash to the migrant caravan is building in WhatsApp groups in Mexico

As the giant caravan of migrants traveling from Central America to the US–Mexico border makes its final approach, racist sentiment is spreading through social media and spilling onto the streets of Tijuana.

The growing backlash to the caravan is taking root in WhatsApp groups and Facebook pages. Several groups have popped up on these platforms in the month since the migrants set out from Honduras.

Their rise underscores escalating anti-immigrant sentiment in northern Mexico.

As the caravan approaches, the incendiary rhetoric increases, with people calling for the group’s deportation — or worse. And with a long wait ahead of the migrants, the odds of a confrontation rise with every angry message sent.

Karla Zabludovsky’s report on the tensions and the way they’re escalating is excellent, and you should read it.

Some longreads for this indoor reading weather

I’m From Seattle. Here’s What Amazon Will Do To New York City. After Amazon announced it’ll be opening offices in New York, Arlington, and Nashville, those cities are bracing for change. What will that look like? Paul Constant sheds some light on this: “All those well-paid young Amazon employees tipped Seattle’s housing market into a frenzy. … Seattle is now more than ever a city of haves and have-nots living in uneasy proximity.”

Some Libraries Are Facing Backlash Against LGBT Programs — And Holding Their Ground. What are libraries for? Inside a growing number of them, drag queen storytimes and other LGBT programs are meant to create safe spaces for the queer community. Mitchell Kuga wrote a great piece about how the librarians running them are getting death threats. From the story: “‘Every program we offer or don't offer, every book we shelve or don't shelve, is a stance. So this notion that libraries are neutral is hurtful nonsense. Libraries, as long as they are run by human beings, will always have some sort of mission.’”

When A Blogger Died From Silicone Genital Injections, His Fans Blamed His Partner. Tank Hafertepen and his dom boyfriend, Dylan, ran a popular blog about their relationship, but after Tank’s death from testicular silicone injections meant to enhance his bulge, their fans said Dylan was responsible. The story from Katie Notopoulos and Blake Montgomery is a wild read at every turn. Here’s a sample: “For Tank, a self-described gainer, silicone injections to his genitals drew immediate praise and encouragement on social media. As one fan said of a picture he posted to Tumblr, ‘that underwear bulge * SWOON * what a handsome minotaur man you are :smile:.’”