News·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Nashville, commercial spyware, and planets aligning

People gather at a makeshift memorial for victims outside the Covenant School building in Nashville, TN.
March 28, 2023


The Story

The US is mourning another school mass shooting.

What happened?

Yesterday, a 28-year-old white suspect killed three 9-year-old students, a custodian, substitute teacher, and top administrator at The Covenant School in Nashville, TN. Police said the shooter was a former student of the private Christian elementary school and that the assailant identified as transgender. They said the suspect had no criminal record and legally purchased at least two assault-style” weapons and a handgun. Authorities killed the shooter less than 15 minutes after getting the initial 911 call. Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said they found evidence the shooting was planned — including a manifesto and map — but the motive is still unknown.

This is awful. 

Unfortunately, the US has seen more than 100 mass shootings this year alone. And there have been at least 12 other school shootings this year that have either turned deadly or ended with injuries. Meanwhile, the tragedy in Nashville is reigniting conversations about gun control — a topic that has Americans divided. In 2021, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a law allowing adults over 21 to carry a handgun without a permit. About a week after an 18-year-old killed 19 children at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Lee signed an executive order to evaluate school security, but said his admin was “not looking at gun restriction laws.” After Uvalde, one poll found that a majority of Americans — including 56% of gun owners — said it’s more important to curb gun violence than protect gun rights.

How are people reacting?

President Biden said the shooting was a “family's worst nightmare” and urged Congress to pass an assault weapons ban. He ordered flags at the White House and all federal buildings to be flown at half-staff through Friday in honor of the victims. Gov. Lee called on people to “join us in praying for the school.” In a statement, The Covenant School said it's focused on “loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff, and beginning the process of healing.”


The US is mourning another tragedy. As politicians and Americans continue to debate how to address the gun violence epidemic, many parents and families are left broken.

And also...This

Who’s cracking down on ‘I spy with my little eye’…

President Biden. Yesterday, he signed an executive order that restricts how the US government uses commercial spyware. For years, surveillance programs have been able to steal people’s data and location. The tech can reportedly infect cell phones without people having to click on a malicious link (so a little scarier than those annoying phishing emails). While governments around the world have used spyware to counter terrorism and other crimes, critics allege that the tech’s increasingly being used against human rights advocates, journalists, and dissidents. Now, the Biden admin says US agencies won’t be allowed to use spyware that could pose security risks. It comes as at least 50 US government employees are suspected or confirmed to have been the target of spyware hacks.

Where people were rushing to the grocery store…

Philadelphia. Yesterday, Philadelphians got the OK to drink the city’s tap water through at least today. It comes days after a chemical spill left many scrambling. Over the weekend, a pipe burst near a manufacturing plant, spilling about 8,100 gallons of finishing solution into the Delaware River — apparently a main source of water for Philadelphia. It had many residents worried that the spill may have contaminated the water supply. But after testing, local officials say things are looking good for now. Still, that didn’t stop many from panic buying bottled water from the grocery store. Now, officials say they'll continue to monitor the situation.

Who’s hitting pause…

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. Yesterday, he delayed a plan to overhaul the country's judicial system. In January, Netanyahu's gov — the most right-wing in Israel's history — unveiled a measure that would grant parliament more power to overturn Supreme Court decisions and appoint judges. The Israeli PM and supporters say the changes are to curb liberal bias in the court. But critics say it gives the gov too much power. Earlier this week, monthslong protests against the plan reached a boiling point after Netanyahu fired his defense minister for speaking out against the proposed changes. The largest trade union called for a strike, the main airport closed down, and most of the country came to a standstill. Now, Netanyahu says that in order to avoid a “civil war,” he's hitting pause on the gov's plans until parliament's next session begins in about a month. Meanwhile, the national security minister says “the reform will pass.” Many are planning to protest until the gov completely gives up on its plans. 

While glass beads on the moon might not be visible to the naked eye…

These planets aligning might be.

What’s set in stone…

The NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Who thinks an IG post will do the trick…

Becky G’s apologetic fiancé.

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