Morning Update: Florida Shooting Survivors Are Trying To Start A Revolution

Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, February 20th.

After the Florida shooting: anger, action, and what comes next

Survivors of the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida are organizing a nationwide “March for Our Lives” to end school shootings. One junior said, “People are saying that it’s not time to talk about gun control, and we can respect that. Here’s a time: March 24th in every single city.”

The march’s purpose will be to call for action on gun control, and to hold politicians accountable for donations they receive from the National Rifle Association.

We spent time at the headquarters of the teens trying to start a revolution from their parents’ living rooms: “We slept enough to keep us going, but we’ve been nonstop all day, all night.”

More context

This Florida man gave up his AR-15–style rifle in the wake of the shooting. In a post that has since gone viral, he wrote, “I am a responsible, highly trained gun owner. I do not need this rifle. … This rifle is not a 'tool' I have use for.”

Elsewhere, President Donald Trump appeared to blame the shooting on the FBI's Russia investigation. Trump tweeted that it’s “very sad the FBI missed all of the many signals” because “they are spending too much time” on the Russia probe.

Trump’s former campaign manager is under scrutiny for $40 million in “suspicious” transactions

Federal law enforcement officials have identified more than $40 million in “suspicious” financial transactions to and from companies controlled by President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort — a much larger sum than was cited in his October indictment on money laundering charges.

Missouri executed 17 men using drugs from a “high-risk” pharmacy

The state of Missouri did everything it could to keep you from being able to read this story.

To hide where it got the drugs it uses to kill inmates, the state took extraordinary steps. It used code names. It paid for the drugs with envelopes full of cash. It went to court to keep the press at bay.

But BuzzFeed News discovered what it was hiding anyway. The state has been buying its execution drugs from a troubled pharmacy repeatedly found to engage in hazardous pharmaceutical procedures that could put patients at risk.

Seventeen men have been executed using this pharmacy’s drugs. Next month, the state plans to execute another.

The success of Black Panther could change Hollywood

Black Panther made a lot of money. The film trounced all expectations. With an astonishing $201 million three-day domestic opening, it was a debut bigger than any movie released in February. Or March. Or April. But that’s just one of the records it set. It also set the record for:

  • Biggest domestic opening weekend ever for a Marvel film that doesn’t have “Avengers” in the title.
  • Biggest domestic opening weekend ever for a black director.
  • Biggest global debut ever for a film with a predominantly black cast.
  • The fifth-biggest domestic opening weekend of all time (behind Stars Wars Episodes VII and VIII, Jurassic World, and The Avengers, in that order).

With such a colossally successful showing, Black Panther has the potential to change how Hollywood promotes its films starring actors of color, and should destroy the assumption that movies with black stars don’t do well outside the US.

Not to mention: Michelle Obama liked it, so that should more than seal the deal.

PSST: See Something, Say Something is back! Our podcast about being Muslim in America has returned for its fourth season with a brilliant episode breaking down how the “FBI agent” meme is appropriating Muslim culture. So many thoughtful moments and laughs along the way. Check out the episode — you’ll love it.

Quick catch-up

Iran crash: A passenger plane crashed in the mountains in central Iran on Sunday, and all 59 passengers and six crew members on board were killed. The Aseman Airlines flight left Tehran and was en route to Yasuj when it disappeared from radar.

Pennsylvania electoral map: Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court issued a new congressional map for the 2018 election. It’s the result of a January decision that the existing map violated the state's constitution. Under the challenged map, only five of the state's 18 congressional districts are represented by Democrats — despite the fact that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state.

The Maze Runner: James Dashner, the author of the popular young adult novels, was dropped by his publisher and agent in response to sexual misconduct allegations against him. Dashner later wrote on Twitter, “to those affected, I am so deeply sorry.”

Newsweek: Links from the publication have been banned from one of the biggest traffic-driving sections of Reddit due to concerns about paid spamming. Moderators of /r/news decided to classify all links to as spam. Newsweek says it does “not engage in any form of paid promotion on this platform.”

We clucked up: Some UK locations of KFC have run out of chicken and people are freaking out. The restaurant chain says some locations may be closed because of “teething” problems related to switching to a new delivery company.

He managed to escape a brutal crackdown against gay men. Others won’t be so lucky.

This is the story of one gay man who's managed to escape the crackdown against LGBT people in Chechnya. He was tortured and beaten. He saw unspeakable, horrific violence. Now he’s living in relative safety — he was snuck out to Canada by activists — but back in the region, the crackdown continues. He doesn't want the world to forget: “It’s not just Russia’s business, this is a crime against humanity and the international community has to apply strength to resolve it.”

Still, the man has hope. Read Jane Lytvynenko’s incredible story.

I want to start every day like this professor starts lectures

I recognize that you might need a little motivation to get going this morning, so I’ve got you covered: This professor at East Tennessee State University greets his students with a loud, booming “Hellllooooooo!” at the beginning of every lecture and students absolutely love it.

You should watch it — it’s delightful.

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