Today: Before Super Tuesday, After The Oscars

Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders in South Carolina. Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar for Best Actor last night. And we step inside the last few hours of Britain’s biggest gay bathhouse.


Hillary Clinton won the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday.

She defeated Bernie Sanders with 73.5% of the vote. Polls leading to the victory showed that Clinton was popular among black voters, who made up the majority of those who turned out on Saturday, BuzzFeed News reports.

“The victory carried with it some combination of relief and excitement — a cautious hope that the campaign, after 10 months, might finally start to click,” BuzzFeed News’ Ruby Cramer writes.

Super Tuesday is tomorrow.

It’s make-or-break time for many of the candidates: A path to a potential nomination for many of the candidates will either become much clearer or much muddier after Democrats and Republicans each vote in 11 contests on Tuesday, BuzzFeed News reports:

  • Republicans: Donald Trump is the frontrunner in most states. Over the weekend, former Republican candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Republican Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions endorsed Trump.

  • Democrats: Clinton is expected to beat Sanders in most of the states. After losing momentum following Clinton’s win in South Carolina, Sanders is expected to remain competitive in some states, like Massachusetts, and win his home state of Vermont.

To follow what happens, download the BuzzFeed News app for iOS and Android (in U.S. app stores only).


Leonardo DiCaprio (finally!) won an Oscar and Spotlight won Best Picture at last night’s 88th Academy Awards.

After six nominations, DiCaprio won Best Actor for his role in The Revenant. Some other big winners: Alejandro Iñárritu won Best Director, also for The Revenant, and Brie Larson won Best Actress for her role in Room.

Vice President Joe Biden introduced Lady Gaga, who received a standing ovation for her performance of “Til It Happens to You,” the Oscar-nominated song from The Hunting Ground, a film about campus sexual assault.

If you didn’t stay up to watch the ceremony, here’s what you missed. And even if you did watch, here are some behind-the-scenes moments.


Racial inequality in Hollywood was the topic of the night and host Chris Rock started in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy as soon as the ceremony began, BuzzFeed News’ Kate Aurthur writes. For the second year in a row, no actors of color received any nominations.

Among the celebrities who boycotted this year’s Academy Awards for lack of diversity were Will and Jada Pinkett Smith as well as director Spike Lee. Scandal’s Kerry Washington said that while she supported those who decided to boycott, she feels that true change can only come about if diverse voices are part of the conversation, BuzzFeed News’ Jarett Wieselman reports.


Ms. Veteran America: A beauty pageant unlike any you’ve seen.

Every year, female veterans put on ball gowns and combat boots to compete in Ms. Veteran America — a pageant for women who’ve served in the armed forces. The race for the crown includes a push-up contest, trivia, and talent shows. But for many contestants, just being there is a victory in itself, BuzzFeed News’ Ema O’Connor reports from Las Vegas.

The pageant, now in its fourth year, started as a fundraising effort for Final Salute, a nonprofit that aims to benefit homeless female veterans in the U.S. An all-female, all-veteran panel judges the contest, which is “more sisterhood than sabotage with the contestants striving to prove their resilience, grace, and poise,” O’Connor writes.

During one of the pageant’s two talent rounds, one of the contestants “dressed convincingly as a World War II era housewife and hosted a faux cooking-show segment,” O’Connor writes. Another “told the story of having to deploy shortly after giving birth and return to a daughter who didn’t recognize her.”

Inside the final hours of Britain’s biggest gay bathhouse.

Chariots Roman Spa in east London closed on Feb. 21 and BuzzFeed UK’s Patrick Strudwick donned a towel to experience the climactic final few hours. The site is being sold to developers and a luxury hotel awaits. But the story behind it goes beyond a widespread exasperation with gentrification.

“More than 20 LGBT venues have closed in London this decade. The capital’s gay scene is gasping for air, and now, with the end of Chariots, even the steam is evaporating.

“I think back to my early twenties when I used to come here regularly. The outside world didn’t feel very safe then. Obviously gay from a young age, I heard and felt its attitudes towards me keenly. Sometimes painfully. I suffered terrible anxiety at that time following a brutal homophobic attack — something I needed to numb. I used food, I used sleeping pills, and I would come here: cut off from my life, my head, distracted by this bewitching, hidden world,” Strudwick writes.

Quick things to know:

  • At least 30 people have died after an Islamist group bombed a busy junction and restaurant in the Somali town of Baidoa. (The Guardian)

  • At least 70 people were killed in twin suicide bombings by ISIS in Baghdad on Sunday. It was the city’s deadliest attack so far this year. (Reuters)

  • At least 36 people, including five rescue workers, died after a coal mine collapsed in Russia on Sunday. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Pakistan hanged Mumtaz Qadri, who shot and killed the liberal governor of Punjab province over his call to reform the country’s strict blasphemy laws. (The Guardian)

  • Europe’s first case of sexually transmitted Zika virus has been recorded in France, where a woman was infected after her partner returned from Brazil. (The Guardian)

  • Apple will debut a new iPad and a 4-inch iPhone on March 21, a day before the FBI hearing that could compel the company to help unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Starbucks will open its first Italian location in Milan in early 2017. CEO Howard Schultz said Italian coffee makers inspired his vision for the chain, which now has more than 23,000 stores around the world. (BuzzFeed News)

Happy Monday

It’s been 20 years since Pokémon came out in Japan and that deserves a celebration. If you’re late to the party, don’t worry: It’s never too late to become a fan (and if you’re really serious about it, here are 17 absurdly adorable products). “What started as a Japanese-centric cartoon — a boy leaving home to traverse richer, urban climes in the search for better prospects — resonated beyond Asia to all manner of families, rich and poor alike,” The Economist writes (paywall). Pokémaniacs unite!

This letter was edited and brought to you by Natasha Japanwala and Claire Moses. You can always reach us here.

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