FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
March 29, 2016

Cypriot officials have arrested the hijacker of EgyptAir flight MS181 following negotiations and a stand-off with hostages, NBC News reports. The tense situation has been declared "over" by a Cyprus official who spoke with the The Associated Press.

Egyptian officials reported early Tuesday that EgyptAir flight MS181 from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus. Cypriot officials identified the hijacker as Seif Eldin Mustafa, and President Nicos Anastasiades said the man, claiming to be wearing an explosive belt, appeared to be motivated by the prospect of reuniting with his estranged Cypriot wife.

After the plane, an Airbus with 81 passengers aboard, landed at Larnaca airport in Cyprus, the hijacker allowed most passengers to disembark. Jeva Lange

10:59 p.m. ET

Astrophysicists are thrilled with the discovery of a planet outside our solar system that is within the "habitable zone" of the star Proxima Centauri, meaning water could exist there.

"Finding out that the nearest star to the sun hosts not just a planet, not just an Earth-sized planet, but one which is in the right location that it could support life — and there are a lot of caveats there — really underscores that not only are planets very common in our galaxy, but potentially habitable planets are common," Eamonn Kerins, an astrophysicist at Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics, told The Guardian. Named Proxima b, the planet is believed to be at least 1.3 times the mass of Earth, and is 4.2 light years away, meaning if a spacecraft left today, it would take close to 70,000 years for the probe to make it to the planet.

In the journal Nature, researchers wrote they found the planet after analyzing data based on light emitted by Proxima Centauri. It takes 11.2 days for the planet to travel around Proxima Centauri, and it orbits at five percent of the distance separating the Earth and the sun. Researchers say it's still in the habitable zone because Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf that is smaller, cooler, and dimmer than our yellow dwarf sun. It's unclear if the planet has an atmosphere, oceans, or any forms of life, but one of the authors of the study said it's possible the planet "could be detected with direct imaging within the next 10 years." For Guillem Anglada-Escudé of Queen Mary, University of London, "just the discovery, the sense of exploration, of finding something so close, I think it is what makes [it] very exciting." Catherine Garcia

9:34 p.m. ET
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

On Wednesday, U.S. Soccer suspended women's goalkeeper Hope Solo from the national team for six months, following an outburst against Sweden during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

The Swedish team defeated the U.S. 4-3 on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals, and Solo, 35, said because they focused on defense rather than offense, they were "a bunch of cowards." U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said Solo's comments were "unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players. Beyond the athletic arena and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions." In 2015, Solo was suspended for 30 days due to conduct issues. She won't be eligible for selection to the national team again until February. Catherine Garcia

9:00 p.m. ET
Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

After four years of negotiations, the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group announced Wednesday in Cuba they have reached an agreement to end their 52-year armed conflict.

More than 220,000 Colombians died during the fighting, and almost seven million had to leave their homes. U.S. envoy to the peace talks, Bernard Aronson, called it "the final chapter of the Cold War in the hemisphere," while Colombia's lead negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, declared, "The war is over." While an agreement has been made, voters in Colombia still have to ratify the accord, and are expected to head to the polls in October. President Juan Manuel Santos is campaigning for the deal's approval, while his rival, former president Alvaro Uribe, wants it to fail, saying it goes too easy on FARC leaders.

If it is approved, the deal would become law, and FARC would start demobilizing 7,000 fighters and would have 180 days to fully disarm. The conflict between the government and FARC rebels is the longest-running in the Americas, but the government still has to worry about another group, the 1,500 member National Liberation Army, which is hoping to lure disillusioned FARC rebels to its ranks. Catherine Garcia

5:49 p.m. ET

Sometimes, achievements are so big you honor them with a celebratory dinner. Sometimes, they're notable enough to garner an engraved statue or plaque. And sometimes, well, only a corn maze will do:

This is a championship-level corn maze. Thanks for the love, @maplesidefarms! #OneForTheLand #Believeland

A photo posted by Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) on

The Cleveland Cavaliers ended a 52-year championship drought in their city when they won the 2016 NBA title, defeating the favored Golden State Warriors in seven games — thus inspiring Mapleside Farms in Brunswick, Ohio, to dedicate its corn maze to the team. Aww, shucks! Kimberly Alters

5:03 p.m. ET
Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images

Let it be known, hip-hop lovers, that in 2014 your top-secret, against-all-odds fantasy of being serenaded by Frank Ocean while also dating Chance the Rapper did in fact come true — at least, for one lucky lady.

The two hip-hop stars apparently had some good times during the six months Chance test-drove the shiny Los Angeles lifestyle, and although he quickly ditched the West Coast to return to his hometown of Chicago, the 23-year-old rapper did have some juicy Hollywood stories to spill in his new interview with GQ. Among them? The time one Frank Ocean popped by unannounced to help him impress a new flame.

At the time, Chance was living in a huge, decked-out house — think private pool, basketball court, recording studio, and movie theater — in the North Hollywood neighborhood of LA, and he'd racked up some impressive musician friends including Jeremih, J. Cole, and Frank Ocean, America's favorite recluse. The whole lot of them would hang around the house constantly, Chance told GQ. "It was like a big-a-- rapper mansion."

One night, Chance brought a date back to the pad to enjoy some — ahem — recreational substances, at a time when Ocean was apparently also lurking around the house. And while most people would be annoyed if a friend randomly crashed a date, the rules are probably a little different when your friend is Frank Ocean:

Frank just comes up and starts playing the piano and lightly singing in the background of our date. Obviously, that scored me a lot of points with this female. [Chance the Rapper, via GQ]

And so it happened: your dream date, lived in the flesh by some lucky L.A. lady. But until your wildest dreams of a personal Frank Ocean serenade come true, you can listen to the two new albums he unexpectedly dropped this month, and read the rest of the profile on his buddy Chance over at GQ. Kelly Gonsalves

3:19 p.m. ET

Ah, the 2016 election. It's a battle of tear-it-down-and-start-over vs. keep-a-steady-hand; bold baseball cap vs. monochrome pantsuit; combover vs. costly coiffure.

Oh, and it's also a battle of whose celebrity supporters are hotter — at least, that's what Donald Trump implied at a Wednesday rally in Tampa, Florida:

So, America, forget your thoughts on health care, same-sex marriage, or the role of the federal government. Your choice this fall amounts to this: Who wore it better, Scott Baio and Omarosa Manigault, or Jessica Biel and Magic Johnson? Kimberly Alters

2:57 p.m. ET
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Getting old might not be as bad as it's cracked up to be. Though growing older inevitably comes with the aches and pains of an aging body, a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry added further evidence to the theory that it also comes with increased levels of happiness. After surveying 1,546 San Diego residents between the ages of 21 to 99, researchers found that the older people were, the happier they seemed to be.

While the elderly suffered more physically and cognitively than younger individuals, it was people in their 20s and 30s who had "the highest levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, plus the lowest levels of happiness, satisfaction, and wellbeing," Time reported. "Contrary to the stereotype of old and grumpy, the study found older people to be happy and contented," Dilip Jeste, the study's lead author, told Live Science.

Studies have previously suggested that older people are happy, but happiness is usually cast in a bell-shaped curve, with a big dip during middle age. This study, however, found happiness peaking in old age. Researchers don't have an explanation for their findings, but they speculated it may be because with old age comes the wisdom and perspective to better deal with whatever comes your way. Becca Stanek

See More Speed Reads