Morning Update: Scammer Season Has Been Extended

Apple unleashes new services, $1 billion for Trump’s wall, a bold scam. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter.

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Apple debuted new TV, gaming, credit card, and news services at its spring event

It was definitely the vision of the founders of the internet: that one day, Apple will be up against Amazon for Best Picture at the Oscars.

On a star-studded stage (yes, Oprah was there!), Apple announced a slew of new services at its annual spring event. Like Apple TV+, which signals that Apple is moving into the original content game, with a new streaming platform for original shows and movies.

The company will also launch a news subscription service, Apple News+. It’ll get you access to magazines like Time, Vogue, and the New Yorker, as well as newspapers like the Wall Street Journal.

Apple launched a new credit card as well. The Apple Card will work just like a credit card, except it’ll be built into the Apple Pay wallet app. There will also be a physical “titanium, laser-etched” card, if you’re fancy.

The high level: Apple used its high-profile event to remind us that it isn’t screwing us over on privacy like everyone else.

The US military will spend up to $1 billion to build 57 miles of Donald Trump’s border wall

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced that the Department of Defense will allocate up to $1 billion in military funding for construction along the border to combat drug smuggling.

The Department of Homeland Security requested military funding for construction and fencing for 11 projects along the US–Mexico border.

Shanahan agreed to fund three, which he described as constructing 57 miles of 18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, roads, and lighting in the El Paso, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona, sections of the border.


A man scammed over $100 million out of Google and Facebook with fake invoices. Evaldas Rimasauskas, from Lithuania, doctored a number of legal documents, like invoices and contracts, that were apparently believable enough to the giant tech companies, because they paid their “bills.”

A California mosque was set on fire and marked with graffiti referencing the New Zealand attacks. The fire at the Escondido mosque is being investigated as a hate crime, and police believe it was set by an arsonist. Authorities avoided describing the graffiti, saying only that it “mentioned the New Zealand incidents — let’s leave it at that.”

UK MPs will vote on alternative Brexit plans on Wednesday, but Prime Minister Theresa May says she won’t be bound by the result. After backbenchers seized control of the agenda, Parliament will now consider new options that could include no-deal Brexit, a second referendum, and a softer Brexit.

Attorney Michael Avenatti has been arrested on wire fraud and extortion charges. The lawyer, who rose to prominence representing adult film star Stormy Daniels, is accused of conspiring to extort $20 million from Nike by threatening to use his fame to inflict harm on the company’s image.

The teenager who egged an Australian senator for comments about Muslims has given his first interview. Will Connolly, who went viral for egging Sen. Fraser Anning, said, “I understand what I did was not the right thing to do; however, this egg has united people...”

Big Sean opened up about his anxiety and depression on Instagram. The rapper spoke candidly about his recent struggles, and explained why he took a one-year hiatus.

Donald Trump’s newest way to divide Democrats: Israel

The president is aware that his path to reelection in 2020 includes seizing upon any cracks in the Democratic Party, and this week he was doing just that.

Just ahead of his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump attacked the party as broadly “anti-Jewish” while taking steps to bolder his pro-Israel image.

You should read Tarini Parti’s analysis on how Trump is deploying this strategy, and its consequences.

It’s also a good opportunity to revisit our deep dive into why Israel will be the first great foreign policy debate of the Democratic primary.

37 amazing new books to add to your spring reading list

Spring: a time for renewal, and for you to maybe revisit the resolutions you laid out but have since lapsed on.

Like remember how you were going to read more this year, and then winter happened? Well. Time to claim your plan back.

All of this is just to say: We’ve put together an incredible list of 37 (!!!!) new books that we think you should read. If it makes you more motivated, you can pick one, read it, and tell me what you thought of it.

Here’s the whole long, beautiful list. Get excited.

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