HERE ARE THE TOP STORIES
ISIS claims responsibility for Tunisian museum attack. In an audio file posted online yesterday, the militant group called the attack a “blessed invasion of one of the dens of infidels and vice in Muslim Tunisia.” The statement comes roughly a day after several gunmen stormed the Bardo National Museum in the capital of Tunis — killing 23 people, most of whom were foreign tourists, and injuring many others. Local security forces have arrested nine people in connection with the attack, and the Tunisian president’s office has also deployed the country’s army to increase security in major cities.
A little extra. The victims of the attack include mothers, a former government official, and a recent college graduate. Two cruise lines said that several of those killed were passengers aboard their ships. Read more about the victims’ lives.
The biggest threat to anti-ISIS forces are small, handmade bombs. Local forces combating ISIS say that most of their casualties come from improvised explosive devices that are planted all over the country by the militant group. The crudely crafted explosives, which can be delivered through suicide bombers and booby traps, are proving to be a tough and pervasive threat that jeopardizes efforts to fight off ISIS in the region — and they are getting more sophisticated, BuzzFeed News’ Mike Giglio reports from Iraq.
WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks back on his statement on Palestinian statehood. Ahead of the country’s election on Tuesday, the prime minister said that he would not establish a separate Palestinian state if he won. Since his party’s victory, he’s backtracked on his statement, saying that he didn’t intend to reverse his previous endorsement of a two-state solution but that it’s not possible now. “I haven’t changed my policy,” he said in an interview with MSNBC. “What has changed is the reality.” He added: “I was talking about what is achievable and what is not achievable. To make it achievable, then you have to have real negotiations with people who are committed to peace.”
What’s next? Netanyahu’s pre-election comments did not sit well with the Obama administration. As a result, President Obama told Netanyahu yesterday that the U.S. is “reassessing” its approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace, the Associated Press reports.
Hillary Clinton has given what’s expected to be her last paid speech before she kicks off her 2016 campaign. Clinton spent yesterday afternoon speaking to camp professionals in Atlantic City. BuzzFeed News’ Ruby Cramer reports from New Jersey on the “fitting end” to Clinton’s non-campaign.
What’s next? Start watching for candidates of both parties to officially make their 2016 intentions known. And don’t necessarily count out Joe Biden: Politico’s Jack Shafer argues that the vice president deserves more media coverage. “He’s still closer to becoming our next president than Hillary Clinton,” he writes.
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?
A college student was banned from class for his views on rape. A lot of people were talking yesterday about a Reed College freshman who was banned from the discussion portion of a humanities class for making comments that made other students uncomfortable — including saying, among other things, that rape culture doesn’t exist. The student, Jeremiah True, says this infringes upon his freedom of speech, and has launched an online petition to challenge the ban.
ISIS may have committed genocide against Yazidis in Iraq. A United Nations report published yesterday says that Islamic State fighters may have committed genocide against the minority Yazidi community in Iraq, as well as “crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians including children,” The Guardian reports. The report urged the UN security council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.
Get ready for the first winter World Cup. FIFA, the world soccer governing body, has announced that the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar will take place on December 18 — the week before Christmas. This isn’t good for European soccer leagues, as the date is right in the middle of their regular seasons. And the 2019 Women’s World Cup will be held in France for the first time ever.
A University of Virginia official says the 20-year-old student who was bloodied during an arrest — which sparked protests this week — was not intoxicated. Marcus L. Martin, vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity at the University of Virginia, told CNN that Martese Johnson was not intoxicated when he was taken into custody by state liquor agents. Johnson’s attorney said he plans to fight the charges of obstructing justice without force and public swearing that came after Johnson’s arrest.
Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen argues that sharing services (like Airbnb and Uber) reduce income inequality. Andreessen argues that anyone who owns anything can “share it” it either by renting it out or using it to drive people, thereby increasing their income and reducing income inequality. But Business Insider’s Shane Ferro writes: “The problem is that it's not true,” arguing that “there's also very little sharing going on in the sharing economy.”
You need photos to rule the internet, BuzzFeed News’ Charlie Warzel finds in a survey of social networks and their histories. That’s because photos serve as a strong way for strangers to build a sense of shared experience. “Social networks should be windows,” he writes.
Quick things to know:
March Madness Vine to watch: A first-round upset win for Georgia State, ranked 14, against Baylor, ranked 3, caused Georgia State coach Ron Hunter to literally fall out of his seat
Welcome to the future: Tesla CEO Elon Musk says there will be self-driving Tesla cars in the U.S. by summer and Amazon just got permission from the FAA to start testing its delivery drones in the U.S.
FOR THE WEEKEND
We’re trying something new this week — we’ve picked a few stories that you might enjoy reading now that the week is coming to an end. As always, we love hearing your feedback on our experiments: reply to this email or email@example.com.
The government says Matt DeHart is an online child predator. He says that’s a ruse created because he discovered shocking CIA secrets and claims he was tortured by federal agents. The only thing that’s clear is that he’s in deep trouble, David Kushner writes in BuzzFeed.
A black girl’s history with southern frat racism. “When footage of the University of Oklahoma’s SAE fraternity singing a disgustingly racist chant emerged a couple weeks ago, I felt many things, but surprised wasn’t one of them,” writes BuzzFeed’s Tracy Clayton in this essay of her time as one of few black students at a small college in Kentucky in the early 2000s. “Every day I was reminded just how unwelcome I was there.”
Activist Oswaldo Cabrera says he was crusading for the rights of undocumented immigrants. But many of the people he was supposed to be helping say he was just taking their money, BuzzFeed News’ David Noriega reports on the critical shortage of legal services for immigrants and the resulting underworld of informal and usually illegal consultants — notarios. We’ve got the story in Spanish too.
The trials and triumphs of Heidi Cruz. Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi, have always had big ambitions for public service. A decade ago, uprooting her career was a difficult detour. BuzzFeed News’ McKay Coppins and Megan Apper profile Mrs. Cruz.
And two photo series we liked this week: What PTSD really looks like and Average women get photoshopped to look like cover models.
Meet the farmer who lives in Fukushima, Japan, caring for the animals left behind after the city was evacuated in 2011 when a nuclear reactor had a radioactive meltdown. “I had no choice but to stay,” 52-year-old Naoto Matsumura said. “I couldn’t leave the animals behind.”
Bonus! Today is International Day of Happiness, and the United Nations has the happiest playlists for you.