White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest released this statement Thursday night regarding Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, with a call for a ceasefire between Russia, Ukraine, and pro-Russia separatists, in order for a full investigation of the evidence to be conducted. The statement also clearly puts the responsibility on Russia to take these actions, after having substantially aided the separatists, in contrast to a much clearer trust in the Ukrainian government. --Eric Kleefeld
The United States is shocked by the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, and we offer our deep condolences to all those who lost loved ones on board. We continue to seek information to determine whether there were any American citizens on board.
It is critical that there be a full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation as quickly as possible. We urge all concerned – Russia, the pro-Russian separatists, and Ukraine – to support an immediate cease-fire in order to ensure safe and unfettered access to the crash site for international investigators and in order to facilitate the recovery of remains. The role of international organizations – such as the United Nations and the OSCE in Ukraine – may be particularly relevant for this effort, and we will be in touch with affected nations and our partners in these organizations in the coming hours and days to determine the best path forward. In the meantime, it is vital that no evidence be tampered with in any way and that all potential evidence and remains at the crash site are undisturbed. The United States remains prepared to contribute immediate assistance to any international investigation, including through resources provided by the NTSB and the FBI.
While we do not yet have all the facts, we do know that this incident occurred in the context of a crisis in Ukraine that is fueled by Russian support for the separatists, including through arms, materiel, and training. This incident only highlights the urgency with which we continue to urge Russia to immediately take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine and to support a sustainable cease-fire and path toward peace that the Ukrainian government has consistently put forward. [The White House]
Monday, April 20, was the unofficial national day of marijuana appreciation (or something), for reasons you might already know if you are a recreational marijuana user. If you are, and are still feeling the effects of 4/20 — or are perfectly sober and like Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, for example — Late Late Show bandleader Reggie Watts has a psychedelic treat for you. Host James Corden asked Watts to perform an original ode to national pot day, and this is what he (and his effects pedals) came up with. (The mellow vibe gets a little harsh near the end.) —Peter Weber
It's happening: The Full House revival Fuller House will air on Netflix in 2016.
John Stamos broke the news Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, saying the project was a long time in the making. "It's a labor of love," he said. "We've been trying for so many years to do it right, and I think we've finally got it perfect."
Netflix inked a deal for 13 episodes, with the show following basically the same storyline as Full House: D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure) is a recently widowed and pregnant veterinarian (because it wasn't enough for her mother to die in the original show? How much tragedy can the Tanners take?). Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) is now the female Uncle Jesse, an aspiring musician who moves in to help D.J. take care of her sons, 12-year-old J.D. and 7-year-old Max. And, because the house just isn't quite full enough, D.J.'s childhood BFF Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) will help her friend out in her time of need, just like Joey did for Danny all those years ago. The only difference is, she has a teenage daughter accompanying her, and they won't be forced to live in an alcove for several episodes.
While Stamos will definitely reprise his role as Uncle Jesse, Netflix says it's still discussing guest appearances with other original cast members Bob Saget, Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Dave Coulier, and Lori Loughlin. Watch the video below to hear Stamos deliver the good news. —Catherine Garcia
Phil Rudd, longtime drummer for the rock bank AC/DC, has unexpectedly changed his plea to guilty on a charge that he threatened to kill a former employee he had fired after a solo album failed to sell well, a court in Tauranga, New Zealand, said Tuesday. Rudd also pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and methamphetamine.
According to court documents, Rudd called an associate in September and said he wanted one of the fired employees "taken out," then later offered that same associate about $150,000 plus "a motorbike, one of his cars, or a house," apparently to carry out the earlier request. Rudd also allegedly called the unidentified ex-employee and threatened to "come over and kill you," which frightened the worker, BBC News reports. A second murder-for-hire charge was dropped due to lack of evidence.
Rudd's lawyer, Craig Tuck, downplayed the seriousness of the charge, saying it "essentially revolved around an angry phone call — that was it." But it could land Rudd in prison for up to seven years, plus nine months for the drug charges. He is free on bail until a hearing in June. Peter Weber
The Detroit Zoo is looking to turn 400 tons of animal waste generated every year into thousands of dollars in savings.
The Detroit Zoological Society and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to build a biodigester, ABC News reports. The biodigester would turn all of that manure and other organic waste into methane-rich gas that could help power the Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex, saving the zoo between $70,000 to $80,000 annually.
The biodigester would also convert manure into compost to fertilize habitats, gardens, and public areas. If $55,000 is raised through the campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and crowdfunding platform Patronicity will give a $55,000 matching grant, meaning there will be plenty of waste-generated power to go around. Catherine Garcia
During Monday's Daily Show, Jon Stewart announced that the Aug. 6 broadcast will be his last.
Stewart waited until the end of the episode to make his announcement, and while he didn't give any details about what will happen on that final show, he did remind viewers that there is a contest underway to give a fan the opportunity to attend his last taping, Variety reports. Stewart did not say when new host Trevor Noah's first show will air. Catherine Garcia
On Tuesday, prosecutors in Italy arrested the Tunisian captain and a Syrian crew member of the boat that capsized over the weekend, sending as many as 900 migrants to a watery grave. Both men were charged with abetting illegal immigration, and the captain was slapped with multiple charges of reckless homicide. Some of the 27 survivors told prosecutors that hundreds of fellow migrants were locked below deck, unable to escape when the boat keeled over.
On Monday, European Union officials had an emergency meeting to address the growing number of migrant boats from North Africa, and the resulting glut of maritime tragedies. This latest disaster off Libya's coast was "a game-changer," Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said at a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "If Europe doesn't work together history will judge it very badly." EU leaders are meeting in Brussels to discuss how best to address the migration problem.
LL Cool J warned Jimmy Fallon multiple times on Monday's The Tonight Show that he can't draw, and it wasn't a case of someone downplaying their talents: LL Cool J really can't draw. During another celebrity edition of Pictionary, LL and Rose Byrne faced off against Fallon and Big Sean, who were surprisingly in sync with each other. LL tried his hardest when it was his turn, but his doodle of a tattoo was so bad — not to mention accidentally obscene — that Byrne was left speechless. Watch the video below. —Catherine Garcia