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Morning Update: From Hollywood To Trump, The Florida Shooting Forces A Response

Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Feb. 21.

Posted on February 21, 2018, at 7:07 a.m. ET

The Florida shooting is inspiring significant reactions at all levels

It’s been a week since a shooter walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and opened fire, killing 17 people. The tragedy is forcing conversations many have tried to avoid:

Nationally: President Donald Trump has asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to come up with regulations banning gun accessories that "turn legal weapons into machine guns," including so-called bump stocks. Bump stocks became a national discussion after the Las Vegas mass shooting, where the shooter altered rifles to enable them to fire like machine guns.

Locally: We’ve seen survivors of the Florida attack call for a nationwide March for Our Lives, set for March 24. Some didn’t want to wait that long: Students in Florida high schools organized walkouts in solidarity with Stoneman Douglas. In one case, students marched more than 10 miles to the school where the attack took place. They held signs and chanted messages calling for gun reform.

In the military: The US Army is awarding the Medal of Heroism to three students killed in the shooting. All three were members of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps. One cadet, Peter Wang, was last seen holding a door open so that others could escape the shooter. He was 15 years old.

In Hollywood: George and Amal Clooney have pledged $500,000 to the upcoming march organized by survivors. The couple also said they will be attending the march. Steven Spielberg and Oprah pledged to match the Clooney family’s donation.

On the street: Someone vandalized a billboard in Louisville, Kentucky, to say “Kill the NRA.” The National Rifle Association posted a picture of the billboard with the caption: “To all American gun owners, this is a wakeup call. They’re coming after us.”


A new report says Hawaii is not prepared for a nuclear attack

The report was prepared by Brig. Gen. Kenneth Hara, who is the second in command at the Hawaii Department of Defense. Hara found that Hawaii is not prepared to respond to a nuclear attack and was not fully ready to start testing its alert system when it sent out a false missile alert last month.

“The response and recovery sections of the plan were minimally developed,” the report said. “The plan lacked details for sheltering, county coordination, and protocols for decision to send out all clear or false missile alert messages.”


The special counsel’s office has charged a lawyer who did work for Ukraine’s government with lying to the FBI

Alex van der Zwaan is accused of lying to investigators about his interactions with Rick Gates, a former Donald Trump campaign official. Gates is also a longtime associate of Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chair, who is also facing criminal charges in the special counsel's investigation.

Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty in court to one felony count of making false statements. Sentencing is currently set for April 3.


Quick catch-up

Transgender ban: New emails reveal that Gen. Joseph Dunford, the country’s highest ranking military general, was surprised by Trump’s move to end transgender military service. Trump tweeted that he consulted with “my Generals and military experts,” but Gen. Dunford’s emails to top generals say Trump’s announcement “was unexpected” and that Dunford intended to say he was “not consulted.”

Milo Yiannopoulos: The alt-right personality dropped his $10 million lawsuit against publisher Simon & Schuster, according to court documents and representatives for both parties. Yiannopoulos sued after the cancellation of his book Dangerous, claiming the publisher violated the terms of their deal following public outrage. Simon & Schuster claimed the book had "substantial problems."

Blac Chyna: An attorney for the reality star says Chyna is reviewing her legal options after a sex tape was leaked online over the holiday weekend. "We don't know who [leaked the footage]. We have some suspicions, but we don't know," her attorney said.

What’s my age again? A judge says a law allowing actors to censor their age on IMDb is unconstitutional. The Screen Actors Guild says it is “extremely disappointed” with the ruling, and it will appeal.


Your shopping experience is about to be invaded by robots

In an era of losing ground to artificial intelligence–driven retailers like Amazon, traditional retail stores are turning to AI to compete. At the Mall of America in Minneapolis, three robots have been deployed to help shoppers with navigation. The bots also suggest gift guides and take selfies with you.

Over at Lowe’s, the home improvement chain has rolled out LoweBot (good name) in 11 of its stores — the lil’ bot roves and answers questions and escorts customers to the products they’re looking for.

These AI-driven changes raise real questions about the future of work for humans. Read our deep dive into how AI is changing retail.


In Canada, animals do polite things like watch TV and obey traffic signs

I don’t know what it is about animals in Canada, but they’re always up to weird business that makes your day. Today’s no different. First, enjoy these deer who obey traffic signs in a very orderly fashion that you probably couldn’t pull off.

Then top it off with this moose who’s very sorry to bother you — he’s just interested in watching the Olympics.

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