What We're Following This Afternoon

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

U.S. labels ISIS’s actions genocidal: Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement today. It’s unclear what, if any, legal obligations the designation prompts, but as Adam notes, the move was a long time coming.

Political scandal widens in Brazil: Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was named the chief of staff to his hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff. It’s a Cabinet position that could protect Lula from prosecution. The former president, as well as the current one, are embroiled in a corruption scandal that has stunned Brazil. Add to this mix a transcript of a phone call purportedly between Lula and Roussef in which she appears to offer him the position as a shield from prosecutors. Its effect: thousands took part in anti-government protests across the country.

No more orca breeding at SeaWorld: The theme park announced the change this morning. The move comes, in part, because of the backlash directed at the theme park following Blackfish, the 2013 documentary that alleged that orcas are suffering in confinement at the water parks.

News from the morning here