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Morning Update: "Parks And Rec" Stars Told The NRA To "Fuck Off"

Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Feb. 23.

Posted on February 23, 2018, at 7:47 a.m. ET

A new indictment charges Paul Manafort and Rick Gates with bank fraud and filing false tax returns

OK first, a quick refresher: Paul Manafort is Donald Trump’s former campaign chair. Rick Gates is Manafort’s longtime associate. Both are already facing charges laid by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Then some history: In October, a federal grand jury in Washington, DC, returned a 12-count indictment against the two men, accusing them of conspiring to hide their work on behalf of the Ukrainian government, and the millions of dollars they earned from that business.

The new development here is: A federal grand jury, in Virginia this time, returned a new 32-count indictment against Manafort and Gates. The pair are charged with filing false income tax returns, failing to report foreign financial accounts, and bank fraud.

Manafort and Gates were previously charged in DC with money laundering. The new indictment in Virginia doesn't include that charge, but in describing Manafort's alleged criminal activities over the years it increased the amount that he is accused of laundering to more than $30 million.


An armed deputy stood outside as the Florida shooting took place and did “nothing”

As a gunman opened fire on students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, an armed deputy was outside and did “nothing,” according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. The sheriff said he was “devastated” watching footage of the deputy taking position outside the building but never going in. The deputy was placed on unpaid leave, and has since filed for retirement.

Asked what the deputy should have done, Israel answered, "Went in. Address the killer. Kill the killer."

Trump linked the Florida shooting to violent video games and movies

President Trump argued that the internet and violent video games are "shaping young people's thoughts" and need government attention in the aftermath of the school shooting. "We have to look at the internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds, and their minds are being formed," he said.

Trump didn't use the word “censorship,” but his comments hinted at it.


People of color deal with more air pollution than white people do

According to a new study by Environmental Protection Agency scientists, in 46 states people of color face more air pollution than white people do, and black people bear the biggest environmental burden of any group.

Compared with the average American:

— Black US residents are exposed to 1.54 times more fine particulate matter, a pollutant that contributes to haze and has been linked to heart and lung diseases.

— Hispanic US residents are exposed to 1.2 times more fine particulate matter.

— People below the poverty line were exposed to 1.35 times more fine particulate matter.


PSST: In the wake of the Florida high school shooting, the Outside Your Bubble Facebook group is discussing the AR-15 and the value US society places on guns and, in turn, lives. We'd love to hear from you, too, as we share stories and experiences that shaped our perspectives. Join the conversation here.


Quick catch-up

Governor arrested: Eric Greitens, the governor of Missouri, was arrested and charged for invasion of privacy. A grand jury indicted him for allegedly taking a nude photograph of a woman without her consent while the two were having an extramarital affair.

Second-best: After the US women’s hockey team won gold at the Olympics, a Canadian hockey player angrily took off her silver medal, and people are upset. Many people are unhappy with Jocelyne Larocque's decision, calling her an "embarrassment to Canada."

Hurricane Maria death toll: There will be an independent study of the death toll in the aftermath of the storm, four months after the official count was called into question by reports from funeral homes, crematoriums, and medical facilities. George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health will lead the study.

Quincy Jones: The legendary music producer says he’s sorry for what he said during a particularly candid interview he did with Vulture. Jones dropped quite a few gems in the interview, saying he knew who killed John F. Kennedy and that Marlon Brando slept with Richard Pryor, Marvin Gaye, and James Baldwin.

Parks and Rec: Stars of the comedy show have slammed the NRA for using a Leslie Knope GIF on Twitter. The show’s creator relayed a message from Amy Poehler, who played Knope: “Can you tweet the NRA for me and tell them I said fuck off?” Nick Offerman added: “Our good-hearted show and especially our Leslie Knope represent the opposite of your pro-slaughter agenda.”


These women are the only reason some people in Mexico City get any water

You may have heard Cape Town is running out of water. That’s hard to imagine for a lot of people, but parts of Mexico City have been without water for a year.

In one hard-hit district, authorities gave up control of the supply. Women are in charge of the distribution of water to their neighbors. They gather requests, and coordinate the routes of water trucks. They ride along to ensure the operation runs smoothly.

Police are sometimes forced to guard water trucks — they’re popular targets for kidnappers who sell their contents for hefty prices. Meanwhile, some have resorted to bathing their children with bottled water.

The future millions fear has already arrived for these people.


It’s been a hard week. These longreads will restore you.

First, a beautiful piece from contributor Sandra Allen, who wrote about baking pie. I don’t bake pie — I don’t bake anything — but this piece about discovering and practicing and making time for your own methods of self-care resonated: “Taking care of yourself is an ongoing labor, one that takes commitment.” How Pie Keeps Me Steady.

Anne Helen Petersen spoke with the authors of two highly anticipated books, Terese Marie Mailhot and Tommy Orange, who are part of a new generation of indigenous writers. Everything about this piece is powerful — these writers and the wave they’re a part of are upending the standards of white academia, and expectations for what writing should sound like. How Do You Launch A New Generation Of Native American Writers?

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