A Russian rocket launch into space didn't go exactly as planned. On Friday, a Proton-M rocket carrying communication satellites meant to provide internet access to remote areas of Russia exploded shortly after taking off from a base in Kazakhstan. Officials lost contact with the rocket 100 miles into its ascent, when it reportedly veered off path and disintegrated.
Several Russian television networks aired the launch live, so the whole incident was caught on camera. The European-built satellite that the rocket was carrying was worth $29 billion and the rocket was insured for $225 million. There were no injuries on the ground, reports Russia Today.
This accident is just the latest in a string of embarrassments for Russia — this is the sixth major launch failure in the past three and a half years for that type of rocket.
Watch the rocket go boom about 1:30 in. -- Jordan Valinsky
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Monday he won't give in to demands from Democratic leaders that he recuse himself from the House's Russia investigation.
Voice of America's Katherine Gypson reports that Nunes said he has no plans to step down, adding, "Everything is politics here." Nunes then appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, and told host Bill O'Reilly, "I'm sure the Democrats do want me to quit because they know I'm quite effective."
Nunes has admitted he visited the White House the day before he went to President Trump to tell him he had seen evidence that communications made by members of his transition team had been picked up incidentally by intelligence. Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in light of this, the public cannot have "the necessary confidence that matters involving the president's campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California told CNN Nunes has a "serious responsibility to the Congress and the country," and his "discredited behavior has tarnished that office." She then called on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to "insist that Chairman Nunes at least recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation immediately. That leadership is long overdue." Catherine Garcia
Under a proposed settlement announced Monday, the state of Michigan will pay $47 million to replace lead pipes in Flint and distribute free bottled water to residents.
The water crisis in Flint started in 2014, when the city changes its water source to the Flint River, which was contaminated and exposed residents to lead. In 2016, several activists filed a lawsuit against the state, saying officials violated the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the settlement will be reviewed Tuesday by a district judge in Detroit. In addition to the $47 million, which will be used to replace lead and galvanized steel pipes with copper service lines at 18,000 residences, bottled water will be delivered to people who are unable to leave their homes and provided at water distribution centers operating every day except Sunday. Flint residents will also still be able to have their tap water tested for free for the next four years, up to four times annually.
The state has already budgeted $40 million to cover the water crisis and set aside $10 million for any unexpected expenses. Earlier this month, Michigan was awarded a $100 million emergency grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to upgrade Flint's infrastructure; the grant was approved by Congress in December and signed into law by former President Barack Obama. Michigan State Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich of Flint called the settlement "very fair," and said he has received "assurances" the city will get enough money to replace all of its lead pipes over the next several years. "I'm gonna hold them to that," he told The Detroit News. "We'll make sure that the resources are there." Catherine Garcia
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday that "after much consideration," he believes Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the committee's chairman, should recuse himself from further involvement in the Russia investigation.
Schiff came to this conclusion after Nunes admitted he went to the White House to meet with a source that told him about the incidental collection of communications from members of President Trump's transition team, and he later filled Trump in on what he learned. Nunes was also a member of the transition team, and Schiff, who has worked with Nunes for several years, said this recommendation is not one he makes lightly. "But in the same way that the attorney general was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after failing to inform the Senate of his meetings with Russian officials, I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president's campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman," he said in a statement.
None of the committee's members on either side of the aisle have seen the documents Nunes claimed to see, Schiff said. "Whether the documents support the argument that names were improperly unmakes or distributed, it is impossible to judge, but one things is very clear: There was no legitimate justification for bringing that information to the White House instead of the committee," he added. "That it was also obtained at the White House makes this departure all the more concerning. In the interests of a fair and impartial investigation whose results will be respected by the public, the chairman's recusal is more than warranted." Catherine Garcia
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is setting his sights on something new: "neural lace" technology, which involves implanting tiny electrodes into the brain that could one day help humans function at a higher level.
His new company, Neuralink, will pursue developing these cranial computers, which at first would most likely be used to treat people with brain disorders like epilepsy and major depression. While Musk would not comment to The Wall Street Journal about Neuralink, several people with information about the company said he is actively setting it up and could have a significant leadership role. Musk has said it's important for humanity to not be left behind as advances are made in artificial intelligence. Catherine Garcia
Two years after HBO series True Detective's widely panned second season came to an end, rumors of a third season are bubbling up. Though HBO has yet to give the season the go-ahead, Entertainment Weekly reported Monday that the show's creator Nic Pizzolatto has written at least two episodes for a possible third season, and Emmy-winning writer and producer David Milch — known for his work on Deadwood and NYPD Blue — has signed on to help.
— Paste Magazine (@PasteMagazine) March 27, 2017
While HBO head of programming Casey Bloys said in July 2016 that the network was "open to another season," there was not a "take for a third season yet." Pizzolatto was said to be working on other projects at the time. If the revival does get the greenlight from HBO, Matthew McConaughey — half of the dynamic duo from the widely acclaimed first season — has already said he'd be interested in reprising his role. Becca Stanek
Early voting has started in Georgia's 6th congressional district in an election to replace former Rep. Tom Price (R), who now serves as President Trump's health secretary. And if you are in need of a ride to the polls, you can hitch one with Who's the Boss? actress Alyssa Milano and actor Christopher Gorham.
— Christopher Gorham (@ChrisGorham) March 27, 2017
Milano and Gorham have thrown their support behind Jon Ossoff, one of five Democrats in the race. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution describes Ossoff as a "29-year-old small business owner — he runs a firm specializing in anti-corruption investigations — [and he] once worked as a congressional aide and has the endorsements of Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson as well as some other party leaders."
The qualifying election for the seat runs Monday through Wednesday, with the special election scheduled for April 18 and a runoff election set for June 20. Read more about the candidates at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution here. Jeva Lange
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins is working with Amazon to transform The Underground Railroad into a limited series
Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning director and writer of the Best Picture-awarded film Moonlight, is teaming up with Amazon for his next project. Amazon announced Monday that Jenkins is set to write and direct a television adaptation of Colson Whitehead's novel The Underground Railroad, a story of slavery and the South intertwined with reinvented details — like a literal railroad system serving as the historic slave escape route. The fictional novel won the 2016 National Book Award.
"It's a groundbreaking work that pays respect to our nation's history while using the form to explore it in a thoughtful and original way. Preserving the sweep and grandeur of a story like this requires bold, innovative thinking," Jenkins said in a statement. "In Amazon we've found a partner whose reverence for storytelling and freeness of form is wholly in line with our vision."
Actor Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment and Jenkins' production company Pastel are on board to executive produce the limited series. The New York Times noted the series has not "officially been given the green light, though the high-profile nature of the title and figures involved make that seem likely."
A potential debut date has yet to be announced. Becca Stanek