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Morning Update: The US, Canada, And Mexico Will Host The World Cup (!!!)

AT&T and Time Warner merger approved, the fallout of a surreal summit in Singapore, and Argentina's crucial abortion vote. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, June 13.

Posted on June 13, 2018, at 8:09 a.m. ET

A federal judge just ruled AT&T and Time Warner can merge

AT&T can now complete its $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner, the media giant that owns such prominent properties as Warner Bros., HBO, and CNN.

The history here: The deal has been proposed since 2016, but it hit a snag last November when the Justice Department sued to block the deal, arguing that the merger would harm consumers by raising their costs and limiting competition.

Meanwhile, AT&T and Time Warner’s counterargument is that a merger helps competition because it lets them stand a chance against tech behemoths like Netflix and Google, which owns the internet's biggest video company, YouTube.

The judge’s decision to allow the merger is considered an overwhelming defeat for Trump’s Justice Department.

The larger context: AT&T and Time Warner are following a long tradition of telecommunications giants acquiring media companies. Comcast acquired NBCUniversal in 2011, and Verizon purchased websites like the Huffington Post and Yahoo.

And here’s why that matters: Deals like this give cable giants control over not just how television shows and movies are made but also how the content is distributed to millions of people — whether on their mobile phones, through broadband subscriptions, or on cable and satellite TV.

The US–North Korea summit is what you get in a world obsessed with reality TV

I’m not quite sure we’ve all processed what we saw yesterday. Sure, we’ve read the words about an agreement between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But processing it all is another thing.

Our reporter Megha Rajagopalan was in Singapore for the summit and wrote an excellent piece on the consequences of such a surreal experience.

Among the strangest moments: Trump saying he shared a “special bond” with Kim, and discussions of real estate opportunities on North Korea’s beaches.

Perhaps the most absurd — yes, this really happened — was when Trump showed Kim a fake movie trailer produced by the White House, starring the two of them as heroes.

And in the end, after all of the pageantry, for what? Here’s Rajagopalan on the “freeze-for-freeze” deal: “Kim agrees to put the kibosh on nuclear and ballistic missile tests, and the US scraps its military exercises with South Korea in return. Both moves are easily reversible, and neither was codified in the written agreement that emerged from the meeting.”

SNAPSHOTS

The US, Canada, and Mexico will host the 2026 World Cup. The joint bid, known as the United bid, received 134 votes to Morocco's 65. It will be only the second time more than one nation has hosted the World Cup, after Japan and South Korea held the tournament in 2002. I know you haven’t asked for my opinion, but I am absolutely thrilled about this. In case you’re interested.

California voters will decide whether to split the state in three this November. If approved by voters and Congress, the state would be divided into Northern California, California, and Southern California. The initiative was proposed by billionaire Tim Draper, who said previously that California has become "ungovernable" and dividing it into smaller states would create governments that were more responsive to local needs.

President Donald Trump is now attacking Robert De Niro on Twitter. He called the actor a “very low IQ individual” and gave him a Trump-trademark nickname: “Punchy.” De Niro surprised the Tony Awards show when he suddenly and repeatedly declared "Fuck Trump" before introducing Bruce Springsteen, eliciting a thunderous standing ovation from the audience.

Police say a mother used tacos to distract a fake cop with a gun who was threatening her family. The mother stopped for dinner at a taco truck when a “dangerous stranger” approached the family, intimidating them and claiming to be an undercover officer. The woman offered him one of her tacos and excused herself to grab napkins from the taco truck. There, she calmly explained the situation to the taco truck owner and asked them to call 911. Officers arrived within minutes.

Argentina has a huge vote on abortion coming. Here’s why it matters.

Abortions are illegal in Argentina. Yet estimates are that 400,000 to 500,000 Argentine women resort to secret terminations every year.

The health toll of this far too high: According to the Ministry of Health, at least 10,000 women are admitted to hospitals with complications due to abortion every year. In 2017, according to official data, there were at least 60 deaths attributed to illegal abortions in the country.

This could all be about to change — the country's Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Argentine National Congress, will vote on a bill that authorizes abortion without restrictions until the 14th week of pregnancy.

A local newspaper did a count and found that 119 deputies plan to vote against the bill and 111 are for it. Twenty-four deputies have either declared themselves undecided or refuse to say which way they intend to vote.

The world stopped to watch a raccoon scale a Minnesota skyscraper

It was one of those special moments on the internet, where everyone stops to just do the one thing. And that one thing was to cheer on a lil’ raccoon as it made its way up a skyscraper.

Videos started emerging in the afternoon of the trash panda making its way to the top of 24-story UBS Tower in St. Paul. It was a startlingly slow climb, and the internet was stressed about the little furball, but by gosh, it made it.

I have to tell you that, despite all our differences, I like that we all cheer for the underdog. Racoon 1, skyscraper 0.

Believe to achieve,

Elamin

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