10 things you need to know today: March 19, 2015

Attackers kill foreign tourists at a Tunisia museum, the White House pushes back against Netanyahu, and more

Tunisians protest the museum attack.
(Image credit: (AP Photo/Michel Euler))

1. Attackers kill at least 19 people at Tunisian museum

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi on Thursday vowed to fight a "merciless war against terrorism" after two gunmen killed 17 foreign tourists and two Tunisians in a brazen attack at a major museum in Tunisia's capital. Another 50 people were wounded in the attack at the National Bordo Museum. Security forces later stormed the museum, killing the two armed attackers. Tunisian officials promised to step up security in tourist zones.

The Washington Post The Christian Science Monitor

2. Governor calls for investigation after bloody arrest of black UVA student

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called for an investigation on Wednesday after the bloody arrest of a black student, Honor Committee member Martese Johnson, outside an Irish pub. Bystanders caught the incident on cellphone video showing a bleeding Johnson, 20, calling white alcohol-control agents "racists" as they try to cuff his hands behind his back and pin him to the pavement. Johnson, 20, was charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice. Hundreds gathered on the University of Virginia campus to protest his treatment.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The Washington Post

3. Obama administration pushes back against Netanyahu's campaign rhetoric

The Obama administration on Wednesday called the hardline campaign rhetoric of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies ahead of their Tuesday election victory this week "deeply concerning" and "divisive." Netanyahu, trailing slightly in polls ahead of the parliamentary vote, wooed right-wing voters by declaring that there would never be a Palestinian state as long as he remained in office. Obama administration officials said they might have to do more to push for a two-state solution if Netanyahu holds firm.

The Associated Press

4. U.S. considers keeping two bases open in Afghanistan beyond 2015

The U.S. might slow down its troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and keep military bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad open after the end of 2015 to help the country's new government fight the Taliban, according to a senior U.S. official. The change reflects improving cooperation between the two governments under Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani, after a period of tense dealings with his predecessor, Hamid Karzi. The current plan is to halve the number of troops in Afghanistan from 10,000 by the end of 2015.


5. Ex-convict arrested for Phoenix shooting spree

Police arrested ex-convict Ryan E. Giroux for a Phoenix shooting rampage that left one person dead and five others wounded on Wednesday. The gunman shot and killed a man and injured two women in an argument at a motel, then carjacked a vehicle to get away. Later he reportedly committed a home invasion before police spotted him at a nearby apartment building, and subdued him with a stun gun. Giroux, identified as a neo-Nazi, has been to prison three times since 1994 for burglary and other crimes.

The Associated Press NBC News

6. Fed signals possible rate hike in June

The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it was prepared to raise borrowing rates in the coming months for the first time since 2006. The central bank's policy-setting body said a rate hike was "unlikely" in April because of slightly lowered expectations for the recovery. However, in a break with past statements, the Fed no longer pledged to be "patient" about raising interest rates, suggesting a hike in June. Stocks surged globally Thursday as investors took the statement as a sign the Fed would raise rates gradually.


7. Durst had disguise and cash at time of his arrest

Real-estate heir Robert Durst had a latex mask and $40,000 in cash when he was arrested in New Orleans over the weekend, according to court documents that emerged Wednesday. Durst, 71, is being held in Louisiana on weapons charges, awaiting extradition to California to face charges for the December 2000 murder of family friend Susan Berman. Durst's lawyer Dick DeGuerin said police were "acting like a bunch of Keystone Kops" and searching Durst's home 14 years after the crime because they were embarrassed about an HBO documentary in which he implicated himself.


8. San Francisco archdiocese stops dousing homeless at cathedral

The Archdiocese of San Francisco, facing a backlash, removed a system designed to douse homeless people with water to discourage them from sleeping on the steps outside Saint Mary's Cathedral. Local Catholic officials said the archdiocese had the system installed after learning that such systems were used in the Financial District to prevent people from leaving "needles, feces, and other dangerous items." The archdiocese pointed out to critics that the church was San Francisco's leading supplier of services to the homeless.

The Washington Post

9. Target agrees to $10 million settlement in data-breach lawsuit

Court documents filed Wednesday in Minnesota show that Target Corp. has agreed to a $10 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed after the company's 2013 data breach. Victims would be eligible for up to $10,000 compensation under terms reached on March 9 but not yet approved by a federal judge. As many as 110 million people were hit by the breach, and hackers stole encrypted PIN data, customer names, credit and debit card numbers and expiration dates, and the embedded code on the back of the card.

USA Today

10. First Four games end, kicking off NCAA tournament

The NCAA basketball tournament kicks off in earnest with 32 games on Thursday and Friday, after Robert Morris, Dayton, Ole Miss, and Hampton won "first four" games to round out the field of 64 teams. Hampton, at 17-17, defeated Manhattan Tuesday to become only the fourth team to enter the NCAA tournament with a losing record and win a game by double digits. They will next face undefeated No. 1 Kentucky. President Obama, and many others, picked the dominant Kentucky team to remain undefeated and win the championship.

SB Nation ESPN

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.