Incoming: Calling to America

Hong Kong's protesters make an international appeal, recovering bodies from Dorian's wreckage, the future of the Apple Store. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Sept. 16.

Hong Kong’s protesters are trying hard to get the US’s attention

The historic protests in Hong Kong have entered their 15th week. At this point, violent clashes between demonstrators and authorities have become almost routine.

So new tactics have come into play: pro-democracy protesters used the latest rally as an appeal to the international community to intervene and break the stalemate between them and the Hong Kong government.

Protesters waved United States flags as they marched through the streets. Many told us that they were carrying a foreign country’s flag because they wanted to look beyond their own government as the situation becomes more and more intractable.

The protests originally erupted over a controversial extradition bill. Pro-democracy demonstrators now have five demands, including withdrawing the bill and investigating police violence.

After Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she would withdraw the bill, the protesters have adopted the slogan “five demands, not one less.”

The grim, exhausting task of finding those killed by Hurricane Dorian takes its toll

Since the historic storm struck the Bahamas on Sept. 1, search and rescue teams from all over the world have been pouring into the islands, to try to locate bodies as residents continue to post “have you seen” or “still haven’t heard from” with pictures of loved ones on Facebook.

The number of people killed in the hurricane has hovered around 50 for nearly a week. But officials continue to warn it will rise sharply. The country’s National Emergency Management Agency has asked for help in the overwhelming task of looking for bodies under the piles of rubble.

Read Brianna Sacks’s extraordinary report on this grim mission.


A hand-drawn swastika was found inside Homeland Security headquarters. The Office of the Inspector General launched an investigation after the Nazi symbol was found inside the agency's Washington headquarters. Homeland Security oversees US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and other agencies.

Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in jail for her role in the college admissions scandal. The actor, who pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 in order to raise her daughter’s test score, was also ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and to serve one year of supervised release. She is the first parent to be sentenced in the high-profile, nationwide scandal.

Sam Smith announced that their gender pronouns are they/them. The singer, who came out as nonbinary earlier this year, made the announcement in a Twitter thread. In it, they said, “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”

A gold toilet worth millions of dollars was stolen from Winston Churchill’s birthplace. The solid gold toilet, created by an Italian artist and titled “America,” was taken from an art exhibit at Blenheim Palace in the UK. Because the toilet was a functional piece of plumbing as well as art, its removal caused flooding and "significant damage," police said.

Apple Stores are boring but they’re still raking in cash

The Apple Store was never supposed to work. When the first one opened its doors in 2001, many experts thought the experiment would fail — the New York Times offered that “no computer manufacturer has successfully branched into retail stores.”

Spoiler alert: The experiment worked. It was wildly successful and managed to change the retail game. People spent hours in its sleek stores hovering over the rows of Mac laptops playing with the filters on Photo Booth and uploading the best photos to Myspace. Then they kept coming back.

But that’s the thing with changing the game — 20 years later, when so many other retailers are also depending on curating an experience to bring customers in, Apple’s offering has become the norm.

A week away from the grand reopening of Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York, the company faces the same challenge with its stores as it does with its products — how to keep pace once its cutting-edge ideas have become standard.

They lost 113 of their companions in Hurricane Dorian. Now these dogs and cats are ready for new homes.

Almost 170 doggos and cattos survived a storm that flooded a Humane Society shelter in the Bahamas and they're ready for some love.

The 83 dogs and 86 cats survived a Category-5 hurricane that sent a roaring river into the shelter on Sept. 2. After a 20-foot storm surge, the water burst in, stunning the six staffers who stayed behind to watch after the animals and forcing them to swim for their lives.

Thanks to a now-viral GoFundMe campaign and organizations like International Fund for Animal Welfare, GreaterGood, and Wings of Rescue, which is flying them to the US, the hurricane animal survivors will be resettled.

The dogs are now going to live at the Halo No-Kill Rescue Center in Florida, while the cats are going on to Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey.

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