HERE ARE THE TOP STORIES
President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the man leading the probe into his campaign’s ties with Russia.
The administration’s stated reason for the sudden firing is Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use. The unexpected move shocked bureau employees in Washington, DC. “Nobody saw this coming,” an officer told BuzzFeed News. “We have no idea what is going on.”
“I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote in a memo to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday. (Trump and Sessions praised Comey for the very reason he was fired yesterday.)
Republicans are now calling for independent investigations into Russia’s meddling in the election.
A little extra
A former top official who is cited in the Department of Justice’s memo called the firing a “sham,” saying Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation was being used to justify his dismissal “for a very different reason.”
Hanging over everything is the fact that Comey’s FBI was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
What’s next: Now that Trump has fired Comey, here are four things to watch for.
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?
The US paid some musicians to tackle terrorism in Kenya — then they fled to Europe.
The US is spending millions of dollars on a controversial anti-terrorism program in Kenya that critics say has endangered the lives of the very people it was intended to help, and is seen by some as a means of collecting personal data on young Muslims.
Since 2011, the US government has been funding a secret campaign to dissuade young Muslims in Kenya from joining terrorist groups, such as al-Shabaab and ISIS, which are increasingly threatening the country. Although the program has been running for more than five years, little is known about how it operates.
But hundreds of internal documents obtained by BuzzFeed News from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reveal for the first time it has paid out more than $3 million in grants to more than 60 different organizations — and a USAID official said they plan to spend an additional $20 million.
The recipients of US funding range from Muslim community organizations to musicians, including a group who ended up fleeing to Europe out of fear of retaliation from extremists.
QUICK THINGS TO KNOW
Going places: Uber will be charging customers in eight US states an extra 5 cents per mile so drivers can buy personal injury insurance. And a massive brawl broke out after Spirit Airlines canceled 81 flights in one day at Fort Lauderdale’s international airport.
The Nightwatch: They don’t look like the normal faces you’d see on a tech campus, but Google’s Nightwatch team is building tools that the rest of the company might not consider.
Snapchat update: You can now send snaps that last forever.
Election in South Korea: The liberal Moon Jae-in won yesterday’s presidential election. He favors a more open policy toward North Korea, CNN reports.
Outer space: There’s a storm on Saturn and people think it looks like a giant nipple.
Books and culture: “Ivanka Trump’s Women Who Work isn’t a good book. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t tell us something about one of the most important people in the country.” And the narrator of HGTV’s House Hunters is ready to step out from the shadows.
Reunited and it feels so good: Stephen Colbert hosted a Daily Show reunion on The Late Show Monday, waxing nostalgic with his former colleagues.
For the latest news and updates, download the BuzzFeed News app for iOS and Android (available in Canadian, UK, Australian, and US app stores).
This letter was edited and brought to you by BuzzFeed News. You can always reach us here.