February 23, 2016
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Microsoft founder Bill Gates weighed in Tuesday on the fight between the FBI and Apple over whether the government would set a dangerous precedent in unlocking the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone without Apple's consent.

"You don't just want to take the minute after a terrorist event and swing that direction, nor do you, in general, want to completely swing away from government access when you get some abuse being revealed," Gates said, appearing to back away from directly choosing a side. "I do believe there are sets of safeguards where the government shouldn't have to be completely blind."

The debate, Gates added, isn't about creating a "backdoor" to the iPhone. It's about determining when the government has "a right to know." Becca Stanek

2:05 a.m. ET

So, you had to walk five miles to school, uphill, in the snow? That's absolutely nothing compared to the route children living in an isolated mountain village in China have to take.

In the Atuler village in Sichuan province, 15 children between the ages of 6 and 15 have a treacherous 90-minute journey to school that takes them down a 2,600-foot rock face — some areas have unsteady ladders, while in other sections the children have only rocks to grab onto. When photographer Chen Jie of the Beijing News first witnessed this dangerous commute, he was "shocked by the scene I saw in front of me," he told The Guardian. He hopes that the photos he took of the children carrying their backpacks as they make their way down the sheer rock will change this "painful reality."

The village's oral history says its founders selected this mountaintop to avoid war. The community is home to 72 people, and the head of the village, Api Jiti, told the Beijing News "seven or eight" people have died after losing their grip and falling down the mountainside, with even more injured. The children now have to board at school so they don't have to make the trek every day, and they only go home twice a month to visit their families. The community is very poor, The Guardian reports, with villagers living on an estimated $1 a day or less, and there isn't room to build a school. The region's Communist Party spokesman said while they develop a permanent solution to the village's accessibility problem, a steel staircase will be constructed to connect the townspeople to the outside world. Catherine Garcia

1:22 a.m. ET

As a child growing up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache was fascinated by the U.S. forces he saw conducting humanitarian missions, in awe of their technology, military hardware, and Chinooks. He says he didn't dare dream that one day, he'd be among their ranks.

No greater feeling than that of accomplishment! #DutyHonorCountry (@usarmy photo by: Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant)

A photo posted by U.S. Military Academy (@westpoint_usma) on

"People where I'm from don't grow up to be pilots, right?" he told a military reporter. "You don't just say I'm going to be a pilot and make it happen. There's no aviation, there's no helicopters, no flight schools. There's none of that." Idrache, 24, ended up proving himself wrong — on May 21, seven years after immigrating to the United States, he graduated from West Point as the top physics student. In July, he will enter the Army Aviation Center for Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama, going in as the recipient of the Brigadier General Gerald A. Counts Memorial Award for earning the highest rating in physics.

Idrache's joy at being a West Point graduate was immortalized by a photographer at the ceremony, who captured Idrache's tear-stained face right before the graduates threw their caps. His father, Dieujuste, had to drop out of school at 14 to care for his family, and he encouraged his son to use education as a way to improve his life. Idrache was lured to the Maryland Army National Guard "because of a free T-shirt," he said, and thought the closest he would get to West Point was a sticker his sister brought home from a high school presentation. With the support of his platoon leader and unit's office administrator, he applied, and he left the National Guard in 2012 to enter the 214th class of West Point cadets. The administrator, Sgt. 1st Class Christi McKinney, was at his graduation, tears streaming down her face as well, as she became the first person to salute Idrache. Catherine Garcia

12:22 a.m. ET

"Listen up, liberals," Samantha Bee said in short intervention posted Thursday. "Whether you think that Hillary Harpies are corrupt liars who should be burned at the stake, or that Bernie Bros are condescending pricks who should be drowned in a lake, we can all agree on one thing: This primary has ruined the internet." To end the scourge of "liberal-on-liberal violence" before it leads to President Donald Trump, Bee explained, Full Frontal has created a site that liberals can post in the middle of any Bernie-Hillary online grudge match. Check out and see for yourself — how can you be mad when faced with adorable puppies and calming bromides? On the other hand, why do you hate kittens, Full Frontal!?! Peter Weber

May 26, 2016

For the third year in a row on Thursday night, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie. This year's precocious co-champions are Jairam Hathaway, the 13-year-old younger brother of 2014 co-champion Sriram Hathaway, and 11-year-old Nihar Janga, the youngest National Spelling Bee winner yet.

The finale was a nail-biter, as far as spelling out loud goes — each finalist misspelled two words, until Jairam spelled "Feldenkrais" correctly and Nihar followed up with "gesellschaft," both of which are apparently real words.

Each spelling champ will get $45,000 in cash and prizes, and each will get a trophy. Peter Weber

May 26, 2016

If you want to be great, you don't need to have integrity, strength, courage, or grace — as long as you've got money, you're good to go.

So says Donald Trump, who dropped this truth bomb during a campaign rally Thursday in Bismarck, North Dakota. "There's one more thing that we must do to make America wealthy again, and you have to be wealthy in order to be great, I'm sorry to say," he said, in a sound bite that's sure to make its way into a Hillary Clinton ad someday soon.

Trump also brought up crime, which he says is going up in major cities across the United States, a development that is "totally unacceptable." He called crime a "stealth tax, it's a stealth tax on the poor," and said it "undermines their schools, slashes the value of their homes, and drives away their jobs." But Trump has a message for "those living in fear. I say: Help is coming, it's coming soon. A Trump administration will return law and order to America." Catherine Garcia

May 26, 2016

Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers famously foiled an attack by a gunman who stormed Parliament Hill in 2014, and on Thursday he tackled a protester who interrupted a ceremony in Dublin.

The invitation-only event commemorated the 100 British soldiers who died during the 1916 Easter Rising, when Irish republicans tried to overthrow British control of the country. The protester, wearing an Easter Rising t-shirt, jumped up and yelled, "This is an insult," CBC News reports. Vickers then grabbed the man, identified by the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) as a member named Brian Murphy, and lead him away. Murphy was later arrested, and the IRPWA said what Vickers did amounted to "assault."

"We were all kind of surprised, to put it mildly, that a dignitary kind of beat the Irish police in wrestling this guy to the ground," photographer Colin Keegan told CBC Radio's Vanessa Vander Valk. "I have to hand it to him. It was impressive." Before Vickers was appointed ambassador early last year, he was sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons of Canada, and helped stop gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as he entered a parliament building while shooting at people. Before he came into the building, Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed a soldier serving as a ceremonial guard at the Canadian National War Memorial. Catherine Garcia

May 26, 2016

An afternoon thunderstorm caused flash flooding in Horse Cave, Kentucky, on Thursday, trapping 19 people inside a cave.

On Thursday morning, students from a Clemson University geology course embarked on a guided tour of the Hidden River Cave, which only has one way in and one way out. They had no cellphone service, and after heavy rains caused water to rush into the cave, two police officers entered to help get the group out; they also became stranded.

The group was caught in an area known as The Attic, which has a higher ceiling, Kentucky State Trooper B.J. Eaton said in a statement. As the water continued to rise, they decided it was time to attempt an escape. "When they came out of the cave, they were neck-deep in water," Hart County Emergency Management Director Kerry McDaniel tells The Associated Press reports, "The waters were continuing to rise under the flash flood. They saw an opportunity to exit the cave, so they took the chance." The students, four tour guides, and two police officers were all checked for hypothermia, and all declined additional medical attention. "We looked at this from the beginning and hoped it was a search rather than a recovery operation," McDaniel said. Catherine Garcia

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