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The Latest: Feds investigating missing window on plane

The Latest on the plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

A federal investigator says that a crack on the interior of a jet engine is what led to the failure that shot debris at the plane, leading to the death of a passenger.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said at a news conference Wednesday that one of the 24 blades in the Southwest Airlines 737’s engine fractured from metal fatigue.

Sumwalt says he is very concerned about Tuesday’s engine failure, but would not extrapolate that to the CFM56 engines or the entire fleet of Boeing 737s. The plane is the most popular airliner ever built.

He says investigators are still trying to figure out how a window came out of the plane. Sumwalt says that the woman who was wearing a seatbelt and sitting next to the window died.


4:50 p.m.

A federal investigator says that they are still trying to figure out how a window came out of a plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, killing the woman seated in that row.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said at a news conference Wednesday that there was no acrylic material from the window found in the Southwest Airlines 737 that made an emergency landing Tuesday.

Sumwalt says the leading edge of the left wing suffered damage after the plane blew an engine.

Jennifer Riordan’s family said in a statement that the 43-year-old community leader from New Mexico died Tuesday in the plane that was headed from New York to Dallas.

Passengers say Riordan was partially sucked out of the window after the plane was hit by engine debris.


4:45 p.m.

A federal investigator says a plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia landed much faster than normal because they were concerned about losing control of the plane at a slower speed.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said the Southwest Airlines 737 landed at about 190 miles per hour. He says a typical plane lands at around 155 mph.

He says the leading edge of the left wing suffered damage after the plane blew an engine at 30,000 feet Tuesday and got hit by shrapnel.

One person was killed and seven others were injured after the twin-engine 737 blew an engine at 30,000 feet Tuesday and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window.

The plane from New York to Dallas landed in Philadelphia.


3:45 p.m.

A Southwest Airlines pilot is being lauded as a hero in an emergency landing after a passenger was partly sucked out of the jet’s damaged fuselage and also being hailed for her pioneering role in aviation.

Tammie Jo Shults’s husband, Dean, says she was one of two pilots of the Dallas-bound Flight 1380 that landed in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The twin-engine Boeing 737 that left New York with 149 people board was hit by shrapnel that smashed a window, killing a passenger and injuring seven others.

Naval Air Force Commander Ron Flanders says Shults was among the first women fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy.

Friend Racheal Russo said Shults “loved” her military career and says she learned by overcoming obstacles things as a woman in a male-dominated field.


2:20 p.m.

A Texas rancher says he and a Texas firefighter pulled a woman back into a plane after a window was damaged following an engine failure.

Tim McGinty told reporters late Tuesday that he helped his wife and a friend put on their oxygen masks before he realized the woman sitting in the row in front of him was in trouble on the Southwest Airlines plane from New York to Dallas that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

He grabbed her with his right arm and tried to pull her back into the window, but the force from outside the plane was too strong.

McGinty says that’s when Celina, Texas, firefighter Andrew Needum ran to help and the two were able to pull the woman back in.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico, woman was killed.

12:50 p.m.

A second piece of a plane that made an emergency landing after a fatal engine mishap has been found in a Pennsylvania town about 60 miles (97 km) northwest of the Philadelphia International Airport.

WCAU-TV reports that the debris believed to be from the plane was found on state game land near Reading Wednesday morning.

It’s the second piece of debris from the Dallas-bound flight found in the area. National Transportation and Safety Board officials said a piece of the engine covering was found in nearby Bernville Tuesday.

The flight from New York was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after the twin-engine 737 blew an engine at 30,000 feet Tuesday and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window.

State police spokesman Trooper David Beohm says anyone who believes they have found debris should call the FBI office in Allentown.


11:30 a.m.

The family of an Albuquerque bank executive who died on a Southwest Airlines flight says the mother of two was full of “vibrancy, passion, and love.”

Jennifer Riordan’s family said in a statement that the 43-year-old community leader died Tuesday on a plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Passengers say Riordan was partially sucked out of the window after the plane was hit by engine debris.

The family called Riordan the “bedrock of our family” and asked those mourning her passing to “be kind, caring and sharing” in her honor.

The death generated an outpouring of grief from Albuquerque business leaders, elected officials, poets, and activists.

The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce held a moment of silence Tuesday night during a special reception for new University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes.


9:35 a.m.

A retired registered school nurse says she performed CPR on the woman who passengers say was partially sucked out of the window of a Southwest Airlines plane that had been hit by engine debris.

Officials say Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died after the plane heading from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas made an emergency landing Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Peggy Phillips spoke to WFAA-TV upon her arrival in Dallas Tuesday night. She says shortly after takeoff there was a loud noise and the plane started shaking like it was “coming apart.”

She says they started losing altitude and the masks came down.

She heard a lot of commotion a few rows behind her, noise and a whoosh of air and calls for someone who knew CPR.

She says she and an EMT lay the woman down and performed CPR for about 20 minutes, until the plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.


4:50 a.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board says a preliminary examination of the blown jet engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that set off a terrifying chain of events showed evidence of “metal fatigue.”

One person was killed and seven others were injured after the twin-engine 737 blew an engine at 30,000 feet Tuesday and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window. The plane from New York to Dallas landed in Philadelphia.

In a late night news conference, NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said one of the engine’s fan blades was separated and missing. The blade was separated at the point where it would come into the hub and there was evidence of metal fatigue.

As a precaution, Southwest says it will inspect similar engines in its fleet over the next 30 days.

White House hypes North Korea trip to boost Pompeo’s image

Mike Pompeo is pictured. | AP Photo

The meeting between Mike Pompeo (pictured) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un marks the highest-level known talks between the U.S. and North Korean governments since 2000. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo

The CIA director is facing a narrow Senate confirmation vote to be Trump’s next top diplomat, and supporters say the high-stakes trip proves he can handle the job.

The White House on Wednesday cast CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s meeting with North Korea’s leader as evidence of his qualification to be President Donald Trump’s top diplomat, putting a political spin on his act of high-stakes nuclear diplomacy.

Word of the trip, arranged to discuss an upcoming summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, leaked on Tuesday in the midst of the White House’s effort to ensure Pompeo’s confirmation as secretary of state. Trump has tapped Pompeo to replace the ousted Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, but his fate in a narrowly divided Senate is uncertain.

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The revelation was timed to shore up Pompeo’s image as a diplomat capable of executing sensitive negotiations on the president’s behalf, according to a senior administration official—and to undermine Democratic efforts to portray him as a warmonger unsuited to lead the country’s diplomatic corps.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a leading GOP foreign policy voice, echoed that theme in a Wednesday conference call with reporters conducted by the White House. Pompeo’s meeting with Kim is “the best evidence imaginable that he is committed to diplomacy,” Cotton said, suggesting that blocking Pompeo’s nomination could derail talks aimed at dismantling Pyongyang’s swiftly advancing nuclear program.

“This is a good example of how critical it is on the merits to confirm Mike Pompeo. He’s already invested deeply in the upcoming summit between the president and Kim Jong Un,” Cotton said. “It would send a very bad sign and it would, I believe, set back the preparations and perhaps even the results of that upcoming summit for the Senate Democrats to oppose as a bloc Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be secretary of state.”

Trump confirmed on Twitter Wednesday that Pompeo had traveled to Pyongyang to help prepare for a summit with Kim that Trump agreed to last month. The White House says that meeting will likely occur in late May or early June at an undetermined location in Europe or Asia. The talks will focus on Trump’s demand that Kim dismantle his nuclear weapons arsenal and halt his long-range missile program and offer Trump the prospect of a historic diplomatic achievement.

Speaking to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort Wednesday, Trump predicted that Pompeo “will go down as truly a great secretary of state,” and said that his CIA director “got along with [Kim] really well, really great.”

If so, that would be a remarkable change of attitude for Pompeo, who has publicly expressed his hope that Kim—a brutal dictator who has had ordered the execution of family members—be removed from power.

“Nothing could better underscore the importance of getting America’s top diplomat in place for such a time as this,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted Wednesday morning. “Dems have an opportunity to put politics aside, acknowledge our national security is too important, and confirm Mike Pompeo. Statesmanship.”

But the news of Pompeo’s unusual visit with the reclusive Kim was not enough to prevent several leading Democrats from declaring their opposition to his nomination Wednesday.

In remarks at a Washington think tank Wednesday, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, said he would oppose Pompeo’s nomination—and said Pompeo was wrong not to disclose it to him.

”Even in my private conversations with him, he didn’t tell me about his visit to North Korea,” Menendez said. “Now I don’t expect diplomacy to be negotiated out in the open but I do expect for someone who is the nominee to be Secretary of State, when he speaks with committee leadership and is asked specific questions about North Korea, to share some insights about such a visit.”

The meeting between Pompeo and Kim marks the highest-level known talks between the U.S. and North Korean governments since 2000, when then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Kim Jong Il, the now-deceased father of the current North Korean leader.

A summit between Kim and Trump would represent a significant shift in relations between the U.S. and North Korea, two nations that have been adversaries since the beginning of the Korean War.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee members grilled Pompeo last week and will be the first to vote on his nomination. Republicans hold an 11-10 majority on the committee, but Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) has said he will vote against Pompeo, raising the prospect that his nomination will be sent to the full Senate with an unfavorable recommendation by the committee.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Trump suggested that Paul could have a change of heart.
“Rand Paul is a very special guy… He’s never let me down, and I don’t think he’ll let me down again,” Trump said.

With Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) away from Washington as he undergoes cancer treatments and Paul currently an expected no vote, Pompeo needs at least one Democratic supporter to be confirmed. Fifteen Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), voted to confirm him as CIA director, although it remains unclear whether any will support him for secretary of state.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also declared his opposition to Pompeo Wednesday. “I do not believe Mr. Pompeo will be an independent voice in advising the president, nor an advocate for leading our allies and friends around the world in support of the international norms and values that protect America and enhance our prosperity and security,” Cardin said in a statement.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also said Wednesday that he will vote against Pompeo. “He just has a track record of statements that are sort of anti-diplomatic,” Kaine told MSNBC.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday that he expects a floor vote on Pompeo as soon as next week and that word of the Kim meeting “likely doesn’t have much effect” on his chances of winning Democratic votes.

Given that the U.S. has long “kept back channels to North Korea through intelligence” officials, Corker told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor-sponsored breakfast, “I think it’s perfectly natural then that he would be the person that would have the first meeting and sit down.”

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, both Cotton and Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway noted that more than a dozen Democrats supported Pompeo’s confirmation as CIA director and suggested that he had earned more, not less, support from the party. Cotton noted that several Senate Democrats face tough 2018 reelection fights in states carried easily by Trump, including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). Cotton also said he believes Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) will back Pompeo’s nomination.

Conway also noted positive words for Pompeo from former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright. Clinton recently said she saw a “glimmer of hope” in Pompeo’s reliance on career officials at the CIA, and Albright told NPR that she appreciated his efforts to show he values diplomacy during his confirmation hearing.

Cotton was highly critical of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, telling reporters that it is not representative of the Senate as a whole.” He said Paul “has unusual foreign policy views that are not representative of the Republican Senate caucus” and called the Foreign Relations Committee Democrats “two-bit Tallyrands,” a reference to the 19th century French foreign minister famous for his wily cynicism.

Trump stunned the international community last month when he announced he had accepted an invitation to meet with Kim, breaking with the precedent set by his predecessors from both parties, who largely worked to isolate North Korea as punishment for its nuclear program and human rights abuses.

Trump warned on Tuesday that the summit is not guaranteed to take place, saying “it’s possible things won’t go well and we won’t have the meetings, and we’ll just continue to go on this very strong path we have taken.”

Trump has repeatedly said he might attack North Korea if it appears close to mounting a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the U.S., a capability some officials say Pyongyang could achieve within less than a year, at one point threatening it with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Pyongyang, for its part, has conducted regular ballistic missile tests during Trump’s first year, and last September detonated its sixth test of a nuclear device, its most powerful to date.

Elana Schor, Eliana Johnson, and Michael Crowley contributed to this report.

IRS Website Glitch Leaves Last-Minute Tax Filers Scrambling

The crash was reminiscent of the problems that plagued the Affordable Care Act’s online health insurance exchange under President Barack Obama. It came on a day when President Trump and his top advisers were trumpeting the $1.5 trillion tax cut passed by Congress late last year.

Treasury Department officials had no comment, but the I.R.S. acknowledged that the agency’s systems are experiencing technical difficulties.

The outage comes as Republican lawmakers have been mulling legislation to restructure the I.R.S. and after years of depleted budgets for the agency. The passage of the new tax law has put an additional strain on the I.R.S. as it attempts to issue new guidance and regulations to clarify lingering questions about the tax code overhaul Mr. Trump signed into law.

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The failure of the I.R.S. website drew fierce criticism on social media, with taxpayers berating the agency.

“There’s no greater example of government incompetence than the IRS e-file system and direct pay service being down on #TaxDay,” Joe Walsh, the former Republican congressman and conservative radio host, wrote in a post on Twitter.

Republicans have been trying to sell the new tax law to the public as a major success ahead of November’s midterm elections. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, traveled to New Hampshire with Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, on Tuesday to hail the success of the tax overhaul.

Despite the balky website, Mr. Kautter said on Tuesday that the agency had much to be proud of this year.

“This year’s tax season is an example of what the I.R.S. must do more of going forward, delivering for the nation’s taxpayers,” he said.

Larry Kudlow, the president’s new head of the National Economic Council, joked about the outage with reporters during a briefing in Mar-a-Lago, the president’s Florida estate, where Mr. Trump is meeting with Japan’s prime minister.


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“Sounds horrible. Sounds really bad. Hope they fix it,” Mr. Kudlow said. He later returned to the topic on a more serious note, saying he was confident the I.R.S. would rectify the issue and saying that the 2017 tax overhaul would simplify filing for everyone going forward.

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Parents Of Children Who Were Killed In Sandy Hook Are Suing Alex Jones Over His Conspiracy Theories

Infowars host Alex Jones is being sued by the parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre over his claims that it was a hoax.

Jones’ conspiracy theories led to death threats and “intense emotional anguish,” the parents allege in two separate lawsuits that seek more than $1 million in damages each.

Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 20 children and six adults at the Newtown, Connecticut, school in 2012 before turning the gun on himself. In the years since, Jones has aired several segments accusing the parents of the children who were killed of lying and calling them “crisis actors” involved in an elaborate plot.

The lawsuits were filed late Monday in Texas’s Travis County District Court by Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, who lost their 6-year-old son Noah in the shooting, and Neil Heslin, who lost his son Jessie, also 6.

The lawsuits chronicle Jones’ campaign since the shooting, claiming that De La Rosa is a “crisis actor” and urging his audience to not “believe any of it.”

The lawsuit cites an April 2017 segment called “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed” in which Jones talks about an interview De La Rosa did with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Jones claims the interview uses a green screen and that it did not take place at the Edmond Town Hall in Newtown. He also rants about CNN, the Gulf War, the Arab Spring, Libya, and Syria, before circling back to say that CNN and De La Rosa are not to be believed.

“Based on the video footage of the Anderson Cooper interview with Mrs. De La Rosa, Mr. Jones sought to convince his audience that they should not “believe any of it.” the lawsuit states.

Jones’ conspiracy theories have not only caused emotional suffering but resulted in Pozner receiving death threats from an Infowars fan in January 2016, the lawsuit adds.

Florida resident Lucy Richardson sent four voice and email messages to Pozner, with threats, such as “you gonna die, death is coming to you real soon” and “LOOK BEHIND YOU IT IS DEATH,” according to the complaint. She was sentenced in 2017 to five months in prison and three years of supervised release over the threats and is banned from accessing conspiracy theory sites, including Infowars.

The other lawsuit, filed by Heslin, focuses on Jones’ claim that the father was lying when he told Megyn Kelly in a June 2017 interview that he had held his son’s dead body and seen the bullet hole in his head.

“I lost my son. I buried my son. I held my son with a bullet hole through his head,” he responded when asked to about Jones’ claims.

Jones and Infowars correspondent Owen Shroyer, who is also named as a defendant in Heslin’s lawsuit, then aired a segment in which Shroyer claimed that Heslin couldn’t have held his child because bodies were identified through photo identification after the shooting.

“The statement [Plaintiff] made, fact-checkers on this have said cannot be accurate. He’s claiming that he held his son and saw the bullet hole in his head. That is his claim. Now, according to a timeline of events and a coroner’s testimony, that is not possible,” Shroyer said on the show.

“You would remember if you held your dead kid in your hands with a bullet hole. That’s not something you would just misspeak on,” he added.

The bodies of Sandy Hook victims were released to their families for burial after the initial photo-based identification.

“This heartless and vile act of defamation re-ignited the Sandy Hook ‘false flag’ conspiracy and tore open the emotional wounds that Plaintiff has tried so desperately to heal,” the lawsuit states.

In November 2016, Jones aired a segment titled “Alex Jones Final Statement on Sandy Hook,” but continued to repeat his conspiracy theories into 2017.

“By making renewed accusations about the plaintiffs in 2017, Infowars breathed new life into this conspiracy and caused intense emotional anguish and despair,” the lawsuit states.

Jones, Shroyer, Free Speech Systems, and Infowars did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“For the last five-and-a-half years since they have had to bury their children, Infowars and Alex Jones have repeatedly and continuously called them liars, called them crisis actors, and have made them re-live what they’ve had to go through. As a parent, it takes a toll on you,” Bill Ogden, an attorney representing the parents in both cases, told BuzzFeed News.

Ogden’s law firm, Farrar Ball, is also representing Marcel Fontaine, a man suing Jones and Infowars for defamation after the site falsely identified him as the attacker in the Parkland school shooting.

“The First Amendment has restrictions on it. You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a movie theatre, you can’t incite a riot,” Ogden said. “You don’t have the right to just make up anything you want, especially as a news outlet, which they count themselves as the truth of journalism and truth media. You can’t just make up something that’s going to damage people this way and not expect consequences.”

Another man, Brennan Gilmore, is also suing Jones in a separate defamation claim after Infowars published conspiracy theories about him being an “operative of the Deep State” because he captured on video the moment a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia, allegedly plowed his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters last year, killing one and injuring dozens.

Starbucks, North Korea, Shinzo Abe: Your Wednesday Briefing

The move comes as Beijing said its economy grew 6.8 percent in the first quarter compared with last year — well ahead of the pace needed to hit its target of 6.5 percent growth for the year.

And the Chinese telecom giant Huawei laid off its top Washington liaison and other American employees — a move that suggests it has accepted that its political battles in the U.S. are unwinnable.



Lawrence Jackson for The New York Times

In Syria, inspectors were seeking to enter Douma, a suburb of Damascus, where the U.S. and Western allies say President Bashar al-Assad’s forces dropped chemical weapons. Here’s a look at the group that sent the inspectors, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. And Syrian refugees in Turkey who are following the crackdown are reliving the trauma from a distance.

The White House, meanwhile, distanced itself from the U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, on Tuesday, as one of Mr. Trump’s advisers said she had gotten “ahead of the curve” in announcing new sanctions against Russia.

And President Trump quickly rejected new sanctions in a move that critics say highlights his inconsistent strategy toward Russia.



Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

Who will get the first look at materials seized last week from President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen? No one, it seems.

A federal judge didn’t agree to let Mr. Trump’s team review the 10 boxes of documents and roughly a dozen electronic devices before prosecutors can. But she didn’t say prosecutors would get the first look either. Discussions will continue. Above, Mr. Cohen leaving court on Monday.


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Separately, we looked at what effect James Comey’s book tour — and his pointed critiques of Mr. Trump — might have on the former F.B.I. director’s image as a principled professional.



David Maurice Smith for The New York Times

Australia’s economy is driven by immigrants.

That’s among the findings of a government report that contrasts sharply with the governing party’s anti-immigrant language. In fact, the report concluded, reducing immigration would cost Australia billions of dollars and reduce job growth.

Here are four takeaways from the report.

Separately, the Australian Greens party’s proposal to legalize marijuana was quickly shot down by the government. Here’s a guide to the debate.


• Tesla’s stock price tumbled on news that the electric carmaker would halt production of its Model 3 compact car for several days to “improve automation.” Tesla shares have dropped 20 percent since March 12.

Starbucks said it would close more than 8,000 of its stores in the U.S. on May 29 to conduct racial-bias training for nearly 175,000 employees.

• Japan discovered huge undersea deposits of rare earth minerals that could meet demand for centuries for tech and other industries.

• The Philippine Stock Exchange dropped as much as 2.3 percent, bringing its loss in market value this year to more than $20 billion.

• U.S. stocks were up across the board. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News


Con Chronis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In Melbourne, Cardinal George Pell’s lawyers said all sexual abuse charges against the Vatican official should be thrown out, calling the accusers “unreliable.” [ABC]


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• The U.S. and Britain issued a joint warning about Russian cyberattacks against government and private targets, including homes and offices. [The New York Times]

• In the U.S., the parents of two children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School sued Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist, for defamation, for calling the mass shooting a “giant hoax.” [The New York Times]

• In Malta, the family of a murdered journalist fears a cover-up because of the powerful interests involved. [The New York Times]

• Britain apologized to Caribbean immigrants who were threatened with loss of jobs and benefits because they couldn’t prove they arrived before 1973. [The New York Times]

“Wrong then and wrong now.” Prime Minister Theresa May said she deeply regretted Britain’s role in criminalizing same-sex relations in its former colonies. The laws are still used in 37 of the 53 nations once under British rule. [BBC]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

• What to pack for a trip to Victoria, British Columbia.

• Reading aloud to children may help them deal with emotions.

• Recipe of the day: Try this version of coconut noodles from a Burmese food writer who says it’s “so easy, the worst cook in the world could make it.”



The New York Times

• Female empowerment: In India, hundreds of girls, above, are taking free self-defense courses with the New Delhi police, as the country combats sexual assault. (The Times Editorial Board said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on women’s safety is “deeply worrying.”)


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• In memoriam. Choi Eun-hee, 92, a South Korean movie star of the 1960s and ’70s who was once kidnapped by North Korea and forced to make films for the state.

• And our team explains San Francisco’s giant seismic gamble. The city knows the Big One will come, but we found that its building code doesn’t protect from earthquakes as much as you might think.

Back Story


Some days, you wish the news would just stop.

That was the case for the BBC on this day in 1930, when its 8:45 evening bulletin was surprisingly brief: “Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news,” the radio announcer said. That update was followed by 15 minutes of piano music.

There was some major world news that day, including a typhoon in the Philippines and an attempted raid on an armory by Indian revolutionaries demanding independence from Britain, but it happened too late for the BBC.

And what made the front page of The Times on April 18? In addition to stories about Prohibition violations, there was one about gas masks for horses that were doing well in military testing.

The next day’s front page reported on a plane crash in Jersey City, a deadly church fire in Romania, the weather forecast for Easter Sunday and a study that found that only 700 words were needed for the vast majority of telephone conversations.

These days, it can seem as if the amount of news is limited only by the time you have available to consume it. But if you need a break, here’s some classical piano.

Jennifer Jett contributed reporting.


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