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The U.S. House passed a bill tightening its visa program for people who’ve traveled to Iraq or Syria in the past five years. Meet the lawyer challenging Jamaica’s ban on homosexuality. And how to meditate anytime, anywhere.

Posted on December 9, 2015, at 8:41 a.m. ET

America’s white nationalists are embracing Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims.

While several of Trump’s fellow candidates and other Republicans have criticized and condemned his proposal, America’s top white nationalists are praising it.

“In what is becoming a fairly routine ritual in a campaign that has seen no shortage of racially charged rhetoric from the Republican front-runner, America’s prominent white nationalists again found comfort in a proposal from the The Donald,” BuzzFeed News’ Andrew Kaczynski and Christopher Massie write. Conservative radio hosts didn’t reject Trump’s rhetoric and “almost uniformly refrained from criticizing him or his plan.”

Wow, what a day. So many foolish people that refuse to acknowledge the tremendous danger and uncertainty of certain people coming into U.S.

And a little extra.

  • Despite the international outrage that followed Trump’s proposal, the billionaire is standing by his proposed ban.

  • Democrats have a new favorite question to ask Republicans: Will they support Donald Trump if he’s the party’s presidential nominee? “Republicans would not, largely, say they’d refuse to support Trump if he were the Republican nominee — something Democrats have already pointed to in an attempt to keep Trump tied to the other Republicans,” BuzzFeed News’ Tarini Parti writes.

  • Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told a late-night television audience on Tuesday that Trump’s antics will fail. “That kind of crap is not going to work in the United States of America,” he said.

  • Trump’s comments have soured the appeal of glitzy projects in the Muslim world that bear his name, including a golf resort in Dubai, a hotel in Bali, and upcoming real estate projects in Baku and Abu Dhabi.

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved new screening measures for European travelers.

The Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act would place new requirements on travelers from the 38 countries for whom visas are not currently required to enter the U.S., BuzzFeed News’ Claudia Koerner writes.

If signed into law, anyone entering the U.S. who has traveled to Iraq or Syria in the last five years would need to file a visa application. At the moment, visas are not required for short-term travelers from European countries — including the focal points of the recent Paris attacks, Belgium and France — as well as Japan and South Korea, Koerner writes.

And a little extra.

The bill, which was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 407-19, would also require visa waiver countries to share counterterror information and check travelers against international police databases.


The third attacker at Paris’s Bataclan concert hall has been identified as a Frenchman who traveled to Syria in 2013, reports say.

The attacker was identified as 23-year-old Foued Mohamed-Aggad, from the eastern French city of Strasbourg. Mohamed-Aggad traveled to Syria in late 2013 with about a dozen other young men from the area, the Associated Press reports.

The other two Bataclan attackers have been identified as 29-year-old Omar Ismail Mostefai and 28-year-old Samy Amimour.

All of the identified attackers in the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks across Paris that killed 130 people –– at least 89 people died inside the Bataclan, making it the deadliest site of the attacks –– have been from France or Belgium and were native French speakers who joined ISIS extremists in Syria, the Associated Press reports.

Attentats : Foued Mohamed-Aggad, troisième kamikaze du Bataclan identifié


What’s next?

Police still have more identification work to do. “One of the attackers, who was killed Nov. 18 in a police raid on a hideout, remains entirely unidentified,” the Associated Press reports.

Police are still searching for suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam, who has sparked an international manhunt.

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This man is challenging Jamaica’s ban on homosexuality.

Maurice Tomlinson, a gay Jamaican attorney, is challenging a law that criminalizes homosexuality, BuzzFeed News’ J. Lester Feder writes. The new case comes more than a year after a man challenging the law withdrew his case because of safety concerns.

The law — known as the “buggery law” — was introduced when Jamaica was under British colonial rule. Tomlinson is looking to have the law nullified in all cases of adult consensual sex. Currently, adult sex between same-sex couples is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and hard labor, and those convicted are required to register as sex offenders.

While nobody has been convicted under the buggery code since 2005, it’s been used as blackmail “allowing police to use the threat of arrest of gay men for extortion,” Feder writes.

Facebook / Via

Quick things to know:

  • Beijing’s government has declared for the first time a “red alert” over air pollution. (New York Times) And these insane photos show the difference a day makes for Beijing’s skyline. (BuzzFeed News)

  • The North Face co-founder Doug Tompkins died while kayaking in Patagonia. He was 72. (BuzzFeed News)

  • What’s going on at Yahoo? Here are seven things you need to know about the state of the tech giant. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Russia said it hit ISIS targets in Syria with a submarine-launched missile for the first time. (Reuters)

  • Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto is probably unknown Australian computer genius Craig Steven Wright. (Wired) Hours after Wright was unmasked as the alleged Bitcoin mastermind, tax officers raided his house. (BuzzFeed News)

  • The FBI will start collecting more comprehensive statistics on police use of force across the U.S. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Some U.S. sheriffs and police chiefs are urging Americans to arm themselves after last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which killed 14 people. (BuzzFeed News)

  • The latest in tech: Apple has released the first Arabic version of Siri. (Reuters) Twitter is testing an algorithmic feed. (BuzzFeed News) BuzzFeed reviewed Apple’s new iPhone battery case. (BuzzFeed Life) Bonus: Here are the best tech gifts you can give this year. (BuzzFeed Life)

  • A hidden portrait was found beneath the famous Mona Lisa painting using reflective light technology, a French scientist said. (BBC News)

Via Giphy / Via

Happy Wednesday

Everyone needs a little ~zen~ from time to time. When artist and author Yumi Sakugawa was 23 years old, she realized that meditation could help ease her depression, BuzzFeed’s Arianna Rebolini writes. So she decided to make art about it. She wants you to know that anyone can meditate, any way they’d like. So squeeze a little meditation into your daily routine to expand your sense of ~inner peace and joy~.

Yumi Sakugawa / BuzzFeed

This letter was edited and brought to you by Claire Moses and Brianne O’Brien. You can always reach us here.

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