The Atlantic Daily: Terror in Pakistan, Palmyra’s Ruins, Apple and FBI

The country mourned the victims of a terrorist attack, Syrian forces recaptured an ISIS-held city, the U.S. government broke into an iPhone, and more.

Mohsin Raza / Reuters

What We’re Following: Remembering the Dead in Lahore

Friends and relatives mourned the victims of a bomb blast that tore through a public park in the eastern Pakistani city yesterday. The park was crowded with families celebrating the Easter holiday, and the explosion left at least 70 people dead and more than 300 wounded. A faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, and Pakistani government officials have vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Recapturing Palmyra: Officials prepared to survey the damage in Palmyra a day after Russian-backed Syrian government forces regained control of the historic Syrian city, which was under a months-long siege by the Islamic State. ISIS militants had destroyed centuries-old temples and shrines there, citing the rejection of idol worship to justify their actions. Syria’s antiquities chief said several thousand archeologists and historians will work to determine whether any sites can be restored.

Abandoning a Legal Battle: The U.S. government dropped its case against Apple, saying it doesn’t need the tech company’s help to access the data on the iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter last year. Turns out the feds were able get in with the help of an unnamed third party. Apple has argued that cooperating with law enforcement would put smartphone users at increased risk of snooping from hackers and the government, while the FBI contended that accessing the device would be in the interest of national security.


Masked participants of Holy Week celebrations in central Philippines pose for a selfie on March 21, 2016. See more photos of Holy Week around the world here. (Erik de Castro / Reuters)


“Having real choice is not the issue, humans don’t feel too strongly about that, but having the feeling that you have a choice makes a difference.” —Alan Kazdin, a child psychologist

“This [admissions] process, instead of being a wonderful exploration of the future and something that's exciting and dynamic and happy, is a burden, a thing to be feared, a thing to be endured.” —Rod Skinner, a college counselor at a New England prep school

“I drive a Honda Odyssey minivan, man. If you’re coming after me at midnight and following me … someone else is getting away.” —musician Ben Harper, who is black, on being followed by police

Evening Read

Christopher Moyer on how Google’s AlphaGo computer beat a world-champion Go player:

It’s curious that when someone is really good at something, we call them a “machine.” Lee Sedol is a Go-playing machine, enlisted to beat, well, a Go-playing machine.

Lee is not a machine, of course. He is a particularly young-looking 33-year-old. He is a man who gets up and eats breakfast, takes naps, feels embarrassed, gets nervous. Within the Go world, however, nobody is scarier than Lee, who plays with an unnerving confidence. He creates situations that should end in disaster and then—effortlessly to the observer—turns them on their heads, like a magic trick, steamrolling his opponents. …

Other Korean professionals joke that they’re envious of Lee, that they feel the DeepMind Challenge Match is the easiest million dollars a top-level player could ever make.

Minutes into Game 1, all expectations change.

Continue reading here.

News Quiz

1. The mobile app-based car service Uber’s expansion to __________ has been met with some violent protests.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

2. Neuroscientists are studying elephants, parrots, and sea lions to better understand the origins of __________.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

3.  The consumption of __________ could cost the global economy up to $1.6 trillion by 2050.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

Reader Response

Jon, a gay Mormon, writes in about choosing between love and the Mormon church:

I feel like if I leave the church, I loose one half of myself, and I will lose one half of myself if I stay and don’t live a life filled with a wonderful relationship with a man I love. Either way I lose.

So as of yet, I’m stuck in the middle, trying to decide, “What do I want to lose?” Many LGBT Mormons feel the same way. I have very personal experiences that have caused me to believe many of the teachings of the church. Many things that I believe are so deep and personal they are at the core of my being, things that I cannot deny. And then I have the very deep and personal feelings of being attracted to men … something that is a core to my being and that I cannot, nor want to, deny.

Continue reading here.


Easter eggs rolled, South Korea’s ducks culled, Alaska’s most active volcano erupted, Berlin’s hidden David Hasselhoff museum thrived, baby animals livestreamed.

Answers: kenya, rhythm, meat