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Morning Update: Trump Threatens Mexico Over A Migrant Caravan

A second caravan makes its way to the US, Muslims say #MeToo, and your weekend longreads. Your Buzzfeed News newsletter, October 19.

Posted on October 19, 2018, at 7:59 a.m. ET

As tensions build over a new caravan, Mexican officials seize the man who organized the last one

Remember the migrant caravan from earlier this year?

A second migrant caravan is making its way to the US. As its journey continues, President Donald Trump is again threatening Mexico and Honduras with retaliation if they don’t take action and stop the caravan from reaching the US border.

Trump said he asks Mexico “to stop this onslaught,” and threatened to close the southern border if Mexico does not comply.

Yesterday, Irineo Mujica, the head of the organization that led the spring caravan toward the US border, was detained by Mexican authorities. Mujica, who holds US citizenship, was in southern Mexico in support of the new group of Central Americans heading north.

The first caravan had hundreds of people, and triggered not only angry tweets from the president but also the dispatch of National Guard troops to the border, new rulings about asylum law from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and a “zero tolerance” policy for border crossers that led to family separations.

Yesterday, there were reports of the new caravan having grown to 4,000 people.

A senior NSA official engaged in abusive behavior toward women, an inspector general’s report found

According to a National Security Agency inspector general’s report, a senior official touched women inappropriately at the agency, sent sexually suggestive and racist messages over a top-secret computer network, and covertly used his supervisor’s email account to send himself a sexually charged email.

The incidents took place in 2012, but details about the allegations have remained classified. They are only now being disclosed after BuzzFeed News filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the NSA for copies of its inspector general reports.

The name of the official at the center of the allegations was redacted from the report on privacy grounds. The document identifies him only as a “deputy chief” of a division within the NSA.

The official retired from the agency after he was interviewed by investigators and confronted about his behavior, the report said.


Police have made their first arrest of a member of the far-right men’s group that beat up protesters in New York. Geoffrey Young, a member of the Proud Boys, the far-right men's organization that assaulted protesters after a Republican event last week in Manhattan, was arrested for the brawl. Young, 38, was arrested at his home, on charges of riot and attempted assault. He was the first member of the group arrested in connection with the violence.

Trump praised a congressman who assaulted a journalist, calling him “my kind of guy.” Speaking at a rally for Republican candidates in Montana, the president brought up Rep. Greg Gianforte. A day before winning a special election in 2017, Gianforte attacked Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, knocking him to the ground and breaking his glasses. As Trump brought Gianforte onstage, he said, “And by the way, never wrestle him. Never. Any guy that can do a bodyslam, he's my kind,” Trump trailed off as he mimicked throwing a person to the ground. “He’s my guy.”

A woman claims a pharmacist denied her miscarriage medication because he said he “was a good Catholic man.” Rachel Peterson filed an official complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union against a Meijer pharmacy in Petoskey, Michigan, claiming a pharmacist who was employed by the company had refused to fill a prescription she needed to help complete a miscarriage. He allegedly cited his personal religious beliefs — and refused to transfer the prescription elsewhere. Meijer said the pharmacist “has not been employed by Meijer” since early July, but did not confirm if his severed ties with the company were due to the incident in July.

A 16-year-old allegedly baked her grandfather’s ashes into cookies and fed them to her classmates. Police in Davis, California, are investigating the allegations that the female student at Da Vinci Charter Academy allegedly baked the cookies at home, brought them to school, and along with another female student, handed the cookies to her classmates, nine of whom ate the sweets. Police declined to identify the cremation cookie baker, but they believe the allegations are credible. Some students who knew about the ashes apparently ate the baked goods anyway.

A California deputy says a drunk man attacked him, but the dashcam video appears to show otherwise. According to court documents, a Southern California sheriff’s deputy yanked an intoxicated man from his parked car and repeatedly punched him in the face until he lost consciousness, placed him under arrest, and then blamed the violence on the motorist. In an incident report and ensuing interview with their supervisor, the deputy and his partner stated that the intoxicated motorist provoked the attack.

Surprise! Supermodel Karlie Kloss got married. Kloss announced on Instagram that she married her longtime beau, venture capitalist Josh Kushner. The pair have been dating since 2011, but their engagement only began in late July. While it’s been reported there were 80 guests, it is as yet unclear whether Josh’s brother and sister-in-law, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, were in attendance. Kloss’s sometimes BFF Taylor Swift is currently on tour in Australia, so she was unable to make it.

He counseled a teen for years, but she says he was grooming her for sex

For the past year, Muslim women activists have raised a flag: They say their communities are being left out of the #MeToo reckoning because of traditions that enforce a culture of silence.

But that may be about to change. A young woman filed a lawsuit and a police report accusing a popular and respected Texas imam of sexual misconduct.

Jane Doe says Zia Ul-Haq Sheikh was a trusted spiritual guide since she was 13, and when she turned 18, he changed. He started asking her to sext every day, and to touch herself as he watched on video. Eventually, the lawsuit says, the imam invited her to a motel.

Doe says they had sex, which the lawsuit argues was the culmination of years of exploitation, an influential religious leader taking advantage of a struggling teen.

If it’s rare for Muslim women to publicly accuse their religious leaders of misconduct, it’s virtually unheard of for them to sue. Many hope her case will be a landmark moment for Muslims saying #MeToo.

Breathe a little and spend time with these longreads

These Netflix comedies show teens in all their gross, embarrassing glory. Are you watching American Vandal or Big Mouth? I am fond of both of these shows — they’re both smart shows that go for intelligent, complicated laughs. Steven Scaife wrote an excellent look at what these shows do, which is take teen realities seriously, in itself a difficult feat. Here’s Scaife: “By engaging younger audiences through a frank, if comedic, approximation of the issues they face every day — without worrying about who’s old enough to buy a ticket — these series are offering a profound empathy, freely accessible to the people who need it most.”

Bollywood’s beauty standards are the ultimate catch-22. It’s no secret that the beauty standards that Bollywood sets are impossibly high. There are indeed numbers to back this up: India’s beauty and wellness markets are growing 18% year over year, around twice as fast as those in the United States and Europe. Rega Jha wrote a brilliant piece about why those beauty standards are the ultimate catch-22. From Jha’s essay: “In looking for someone to blame, my eyes fall easily on Bollywood stars, the most visible women in India. Images of them can feel like a hallucinogen sprayed over us, transporting girls into a fantasy where we will only succeed if we subscribe to the rules they set.”

Kiese Laymon knows his new memoir is raw, but it’s not trauma porn. Have you read any of Kiese Laymon’s work? The stuff I’ve come across, mostly nonfiction, has a stinging clarity to it, whether he’s writing about race in publishing or American patriotism. With his new memoir, Heavy, our editor Bim Adewunmi visited Laymon in the Southern town where lives and teaches, and the result is a deeply meaningful profile. From Adewunmi’s piece: “‘I’ve been getting a lot of starred reviews for Heavy, and sometimes when they describe what they read it doesn’t match up with what I wrote,’ he says. ‘And it seems like sometimes they’re just grasping for all of the clichés they know about blackness and pain and regional blah blah and throwing it into a review. You read that shit and you’re like, that’s not my black book, that’s some other black book you read.’”

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.