HERE ARE THE TOP STORIES
The Republican U.S. presidential candidates had a feisty debate Thursday night.
The debate was their last before Super Tuesday, so-called because it’s the single biggest day for both Republican and Democratic candidates to amass delegate votes in their bids to win their parties’ nominations.
Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz tried hard to thwart Donald Trump’s momentum after his third straight primary election win, BuzzFeed News reports. In turn, Trump unloaded some of his nastiest lines, including calling Rubio a “choke artist” and Cruz a “liar.”
“Trump’s target status confirmed his position as the central figure in the campaign, and underscored the position that Cruz and Rubio are in: scrapping desperately to be the last man left standing against him,” Rosie Gray writes for BuzzFeed News.
Here are some of the highlights:
Trump claimed he didn’t support the 2011 U.S. intervention in Libya — but he did, on video.
Trump dared Marco Rubio to hit him — so Rubio did (metaphorically, at least).
And Rubio came out in support of the FBI’s position against Apple, which has strongly opposed a government order to assist federal investigators with unlocking an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the attacks in San Bernardino.
And a little extra from the Democratic side: In the second in a series of essays by women about Hillary Clinton, the writer Lynne Tillman wonders why being a woman with a past is different from being “a man with a past.”
WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON
Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter will all support Apple in court.
The FBI’s battle with Apple over an encrypted iPhone has inspired a legal alliance in Silicon Valley. Next week, Microsoft will file a “friend of the court” brief in support of Apple’s challenge to the Justice Department, according to the company’s top lawyer. A number of other big tech companies tell BuzzFeed News they plan to do so as well, BuzzFeed News’ Hamza Shaban and Mat Honan report.
What’s the latest in this Apple vs. the FBI battle anyway?
Apple has asked a judge to remove an order demanding the company help crack the iPhone, which belonged to one of the San Bernardino terrorists. Apple’s argument is that the order is not authorized under current law and in any event is unconstitutional, BuzzFeed News reports. “This is not a case about one isolated iPhone. Rather, this case is about the Department of Justice and the FBI seeking through the courts a dangerous power that Congress and the American people have withheld,” the motion begins.
And a little extra.
This week, representatives of the country’s top tech and entertainment companies met with U.S. counterterrorism officials to tackle one tough question: how to stop the spread of ISIS online, BuzzFeed News’ Sheera Frenkel reports.
“The standoff between Apple and the FBI did not come up during the meeting, though the issues it involves are at the heart of the very things being discussed,” Frenkel writes.
For the latest updates, download the BuzzFeed News app for iOS and Android (available in U.S. app stores only).
DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT THAT DRESS AND THOSE LLAMAS?
Today is the first anniversary of the day everyone watched two llamas on the loose in Arizona, then argued about what color that dress was.
(It’s blue and black, by the way.)
“Outrageous, controversial, and frivolous things catch fire online all the time, but February 26 2015 was different. The Great Llama Escape and The Dress besieged our timelines just hours apart, almost as if connected, in some unknown way. On an internet that can feel increasingly toxic, these two back-to-back news events were nearly impossible to politicize. They were silly and fleeting — but, a year later, they’re still lodged in our collective cultural memory,” BuzzFeed News’ Charlie Warzel writes. Warzel goes behind the scenes and back in time, talking to 30 people to tell us the story of the internet’s best day.
Do you know what happened in the news this week? Take the BuzzFeed News quiz!
Quick things to know:
A gunman opened fire at several locations in Kansas on Thursday, killing three people and injuring 14 others. The gunman died following a shootout with an officer. (BuzzFeed News)
Indonesian officials closed a Muslim school for trans women in the midst of an unprecedented wave of anti-LGBT rhetoric in the nation. (BuzzFeed News)
The rescue of a Swedish teenager in Iraq has cast a spotlight on how the country is a new recruiting ground for ISIS fighters’ child brides. (The Guardian)
This is how Turkey became the top censor of Twitter accounts worldwide. (BuzzFeed News)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reprimanded employees for crossing off “Black Lives Matter” slogans and replacing them with “All Lives Matter” on a company building. (BuzzFeed News)
Surgeons at a clinic in Cleveland have performed the first uterus transplant in the United States. (New York Times)
The Oscars are on Sunday — here are BuzzFeed News’ Adam B. Vary and Alison Willmore’s predictions for who will win versus who should win. (BuzzFeed News)
Happy Black History Month
As Black History Month in the U.S. and Canada comes to a close, BuzzFeed News’ Anita Badejo shares a list of powerful stories to mark the annual observance. From a look inside Hollywood’s shocking blackface problem to an account of a modern-day lynching — it’s time for some black American history education.
To the cops, Jabbar Gibson was just a low-level drug pusher. But to the residents of a New Orleans public housing complex, he’s the man who rescued them from Hurricane Katrina when no one else would.
This letter was edited and brought to you by Natasha Japanwala and Stacy-Marie Ishmael. You can always reach us here.