Stolen art, politics, and pandas

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September 30, 2016 

Anti-Mafia police in Naples have recovered two Van Gogh paintings that were stolen in Amsterdam 14 years ago. BuzzFeed News’ investigation of investor-state dispute settlement has provoked a call for change on Capitol Hill. And we bring you pandas…because you deserve it.



At least one person died and 114 others were injured after a commuter train crashed into New Jersey’s Hoboken station.

The train crashed into the station during rush hour Thursday. Photos showed massive wreckage and debris. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters the fatality involved a woman who was struck by debris from the crash while she was standing on the platform. Officials declined to speculate on the cause of crash, citing the train’s high rate of speed. 

“We have no indication that this is anything other than an accident,” Christie said.

Debris in the Hoboken train terminal

Pancho Bernasconi / Getty Images


The US presidential election. (Fewer than 40 days to go, guys.)

In the days following his first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump has shifted his opinion on the outcome, calling it “rigged,” complaining about his microphone, and maintaining he was not sick, despite sniffling through the event. Here are five things he’s said about it.

Decades of insults by Trump against Native Americans are sending tribal leaders toward Clinton. For years, the Republican presidential nominee has questioned the rights of Native American tribes. Now tribal leaders are bracing for the election.

A handful of former Republican officials who support Clinton tried to explain why others in their party support Trump. And can you, unlike Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, name a single world leader?



BuzzFeed News’ investigation of investor-state dispute settlement provokes a call for change on Capitol Hill.

Citing a BuzzFeed News investigation, a dozen senators urged President Obama to remove a controversial element of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the massive trade deal the administration is pushing Congress to ratify in the coming months.

The senators — including Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren — highlighted a private legal system contained in the deal that would empower foreign companies to sue the US government before a panel of arbitrators, often drawn from the ranks of corporate lawyers. Including this provision in the deal “means our country’s own public health, worker safety, and environmental standards, among others, are vulnerable to corporate challenges,” the senators wrote.

Senators Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren

Senators Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. BuzzFeed News; Getty



  • RIP Shimon Peres: World leaders — including US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas — gathered for the former Israeli statesman’s funeral in Jerusalem on Friday, BBC News reports.

  • Two paintings that were stolen from Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum have been recovered by Italian anti-Mafia police in Naples following a sting operation that targeted organized crime.

  • The FBI had information on Dylann Roof — who’s accused of shooting and killing nine people in a historically black church in South Carolina — that might have prevented him from purchasing the firearm used in the June 2015 fatal shooting, according to a new US Department of Justice report on gun buyer background checks.

  • Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte likened his anti-drug campaign, which has left more than 3,000 people dead, to Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, saying he would “be happy to slaughter” 3 million drug users.

  • The top official at Yosemite National Park said he would retire, amid an ongoing sexual harassment scandal that has engulfed national parks across the US.

  • In the UK: Members of parliament will examine Asos working practices after a BuzzFeed News investigation revealed allegations of exploitation. The biggest ever UK inquiry into child sexual abuse has descended into chaos — here’s how it happened. And Deliveroo’s “self-employed” workers say they're driving the food delivery app’s growth with little reward or security.

  • Super Bowl: Lada Gaga said on Thursday that she has signed on to headline the 2017 halftime show.

  • Princess Charlotte might like balloons even more than Bill Clinton does. Find someone who looks at you the way Princess Charlotte looks at balloons.

Pure joy. Via

Pure joy. Via



It’s been a long week, you deserve this: Here’s a baby panda falling off a stage.

No pandas were harmed in the making of this content.

No pandas were harmed in the making of this content. Vcg / Getty Images


📝  This letter was edited and brought to you by Claire Moses, Christina Cocca, and Brianne O'Brien. You can always reach us here.  

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