Meet the Syrians who returned home after being forced to flee

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Their city of Homs lies in ruins.

Thursday

May 26, 2016

Eleven U.S. states are suing the Obama administration for telling schools to let trans students use the bathroom of their choice. A Ukrainian pilot convicted of murdering two Russian journalists was released from Russian custody yesterday. And what happened when we went shopping for XXL clothes from Zara.

Editor’s note: The BuzzFeed News newsletter is taking a long weekend. We’ll be back on Tuesday, May 31. For breaking news and the latest stories in the meantime, follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter and check out the BuzzFeed News app for iOS and Android (available in Canadian, UK, Australian, and U.S. app stores).

Here are the top stories

Eleven U.S. states are suing the Obama administration over transgender guidelines.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials in 10 other states on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in federal court resisting the Obama administration’s policies advancing transgender rights, including the recent guidance that instructs schools to let transgender students use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

The suit argues that the Obama administration has overreached by interpreting civil rights laws that ban discrimination on the basis of sex to also cover transgender people.

In addition to Texas, the other states are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

What’s next?

In response, a Justice Department spokesperson said that “while the Department will review the complaint, the federal government has strong legal foundations to uphold the civil rights of transgender Americans,” BuzzFeed News’ Dominic Holden and Chris Geidner report.

We're keeping an eye on

President Barack Obama will become the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima since the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb there 71 years ago.

He’ll visit the city on Friday. Prior to his visit, BuzzFeed News asked people there what they want the U.S. and Obama to know. People urged the president to learn from the horror of atomic bombs, to abolish nuclear weapons, and to never forget.

“We don’t think that his visit was too late, or that he should apologize. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have to visit Pearl Harbor next time.” For more, go here.

“We don’t think that his visit was too late, or that he should apologize. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have to visit Pearl Harbor next time.” For more, go here.

Kota Hatachi / BuzzFeed

World leaders are meeting in Japan for the G7 summit. Among the topics on the agenda: the global economy, terrorism, the refugee crisis, and the South China Sea.

Did you hear about this?

The latest in retail.

J. Crew says it’s back on track, but customers don’t seem convinced — the chain’s sales fell 6% in the last three months. Japanese retailer Uniqlo is having a tough time attracting customers in the U.S. We tried to buy XXL clothes from Zara and this is what happened. And several women told BuzzFeed News that their diamonds were apparently swapped for worse quality stones after Kay Jewelers sent their engagement rings away for repairs.

BuzzFeed News identified at least seven other women on Facebook who claimed their stone had been replaced by Kay.

Via Giphy


Quick things to know 

  • U.S. politics: The Republican party spent years building a Latino outreach project — is Donald Trump about to destroy it? (BuzzFeed News) And Bill Clinton got into a 30-minute debate with a 24-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter. (BuzzFeed News)

  • In Canada: Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper will resign from parliament this summer. (BuzzFeed News). And if you buy medical marijuana legally, you can now get same-day delivery of your weed right to your door in Toronto and Calgary. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Twitter has disbanded its commerce team and ceased product development on its “Buy” button and product pages. (BuzzFeed News)

  • A Ukrainian pilot convicted of murdering two Russian journalists in 2014 has been freed from Russian captivity in a prisoner exchange for two servicemen. (BuzzFeed News)

  • And these Syrians have returned home after surviving the siege that destroyed the Syrian city of Homs. (BuzzFeed News)

Naser, 60, and his family ran Falafel Safoor, one of the most popular falafel shops in the older part of Homs. But when fighting erupted, customers stopped visiting and the family eventually decided to leave. When the road to the Old City reopened, Naser decided to return home because he could never leave Syria and move abroad.

Naser, 60, and his family ran Falafel Safoor, one of the most popular falafel shops in the older part of Homs. But when fighting erupted, customers stopped visiting and the family eventually decided to leave. When the road to the Old City reopened, Naser decided to return home because he could never leave Syria and move abroad.

Pawel Krzysiek / ICRC

This letter was edited and brought to you by Claire Moses and Brianne O’Brien. You can always reach us here.  

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