The perpetually controversial Justin Bieber is apologizing for posting two pictures of a Japanese war shrine to Instagram. His photos of his visit to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine angered many Chinese and South Korean Beliebers, who view the shrine as a brutal reminder of Japan's World War II atrocities.
The monument, which has been a constant source of international controversy, enshrines more than 2 million Japanese who died in war, including 14 of Japan's convicted class A war criminals. It also includes a museum that defends Japan's wartime aggression. The Instagram photos elicited a comment from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, who helpfully reminded the pop star of the lasting tensions between China and Japan.
"I hope this Canadian singer, after his visit, can have some knowledge of the Japanese militaristic history of external aggression and their militaristic thinking," he said.
Bieber deleted the pictures and apologized. "I was mislead [sic] to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry," he said in a post on Instagram. "I love you China and I love you Japan." Jordan Valinsky
HBO talk show host Bill Maher has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. He likes Hillary Clinton, but "we've never had a leftist in my lifetime, a true leftist," he told Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday's Kimmel Live. Sanders is "putting things on the table no one ever put on the table before." That doesn't mean Maher thinks Sanders will win, but he argued that the Vermont senator has earned the benefit of the doubt. "Now, is he probably going to win in the South? Probably not — he's a socialist Jew who's 100," he said. "But you know what? People have never seen this product before. People didn't know they wanted an iPhone until they put it in the window, and everybody bought it."
If Sanders doesn't win, "if we go back to the old rules, fine," Maher said. He's told his audience that he's for Bernie, "but Hillary's good, too. It's like if you're on a plane — if you don't get your first choice, eat the chicken." That may not seem like a rousing plug for No. 2, but when Kimmel asked, Maher made it clear he doesn't like any of the Republicans. You can watch him name and mock his least-favorite Republican candidate, and make his case for Sanders, below. Peter Weber
Seth Meyers checks in on 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli, finds he's just the tip of a price-gouging iceberg
Martin Shkreli, the widely despised former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, infamous for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent, was called to testify before Congress last week. But instead of answering questions, Seth Meyers said on Tuesday's Late Night, "he spent the time doing what he does best: looking like a real slappable prick." Meyers illustrated his point with some footage of Shkreli invoking his Fifth Amendment right instead of answering even the most mundane questions.
As fun as it is to make fun of Shkreli, though, he's "not alone," Meyers said. "He's just doing what a lot of pharmaceutical companies already do, except he's being loud and conniving about it while they're being secretive and conniving about it." In fact, Shkreli is "just a convenient, deserving scapegoat" for the price-gouging of Americans by the drug industry, Meyers said, aided by Congress' decision to prevent the U.S. government from negotiating the price of drugs, like almost every other country does. Case in point, a company called Valeant bought two heart drug just last year and immediately raised the price 525 percent and 212 percent, Meyers said, but "Valeant didn't cause nearly as much outrage as Shkreli did because they don't have a smug, irritating face; they have a soothing logo." Watch Meyers' "closer look" at Shkreli and the unsavory behavior he exposed below. Peter Weber
It was just his second time outside, but Bei Bei was ready for an adventure. On Monday, the panda cub born last summer at the Smithsonian's National Zoo climbed a tree for the first time, but was hesitant when it came time to climb back down. Luckily, his doting mother, Mei Xiang, was there to gently give him some assistance. Watch the sweet video below. Catherine Garcia
Jim Gilmore has a theory as to why he's virtually unknown among the Republican presidential candidates.
"I entered the race having been out of office for a considerable amount of time," he told USA Today. "I wasn't a sitting governor, my father wasn't president, and my brother wasn't president." Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, was upbeat at his primary party in New Hampshire on Tuesday, attended by less than a dozen people. "I don't think we'll win this thing," he told one supporter, "but let's see if we can get some recognition."
With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Gilmore received 125 votes, or 0.0 percent. It was, however, a major victory compared to how he did in Iowa, where he was backed by just 12 caucusgoers, and Gilmore said he's looking forward to campaigning in South Carolina on Wednesday. New Hampshire state senator Sam Cataldo told USA Today Gilmore has a "hell of a background," but is practically invsible because "the media keeps playing Trump, Trump, and Trump. There's more to life than just Trump." Catherine Garcia
On Monday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed that he's considering an independent run for president this year, telling the Financial Times that he finds "the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters." He'll decide soon, he said, and is "listening to what candidates are saying and what the primary voters appear to be doing." That's widely considered code for Bloomberg waiting to see if Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are likely to win the Republican and Democratic nominations, respectively.
Both Trump and Sanders notched solid victories in New Hampshire on Tuesday night. And a potential Trump-Sanders race is "a dream scenario for those — most notably Bloomberg himself — who dream of a real chance for the former mayor," says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. "I wouldn't fall down dead if later this week 'a Bloomberg insider' leaked either polling numbers or some sort of internal memo designed to stoke the fires for the former mayor’s independent bid." Since a Bloomberg run would probably ensure a Republican win in 2016, maybe this should be scored as two wins for Trump. Peter Weber
Both CNN and The New York Times have called Donald Trump the winner of the New Hampshire primary, where he holds 35.1 percent of the vote with 88 percent of precincts reporting. Giving his first victory speech of the election, Trump vowed "to make America so great again. Maybe greater than ever before."
A number of news organizations have called John Kasich the second place winner with 15.9 percent. Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio are locked in a battle for third place, virtually tied between 11 and 10 percent. Jeva Lange