Police in Virginia say it appears a case of road rage led to the death of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen.
The Muslim teenager went missing on her way back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling early Sunday, and her remains were found Sunday afternoon, not far away from the center. Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, was arrested and charged with murder Monday in connection to the case. In a statement, Fairfax County police said Hassanen's death "appears to be the result of a road rage incident involving the suspect, who was driving and who is now charged with murder, and a group of teenagers who were walking and riding bikes in and along a roadway. Our investigation at this point does not indicate the victim was targeted because of her race or religion."
A friend of Hassanen's, Asma Ibrahim, told BuzzFeed News she was told by teens who were with Hassanen before her death that they were walking back from McDonald's when two of the boys in the group insulted a man's car. He then tried to run them over on the sidewalk, and got out of the car with a metal bat and started chasing them. Another family friend told BuzzFeed News the suspect followed the teens from the McDonald's and threw a beer bottle at them. Officer Tawny Wright, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Department, confirmed that the suspect got out of his car and "the missing teen was the closest one to him. He assaulted her." Ibrahim told BuzzFeed News Hassanen was "very funny" and "a very good dancer" who was "dedicated to her school work," and most members of the mosque agree with the police assessment that Hassanen's death was not a hate crime "because of the altercation that happened right before." Catherine Garcia
A mummified skeleton found in Chile nearly two decades ago inspired many a conspiracy theorist to declare that alien life had made its way to Earth. But a buzzkilling new study published Thursday found that the bones simply belonged to a human with a series of bone mutations.
The 6-inch skeleton — dubbed Ata by researchers and alien aficionados — displays an unusual series of DNA mutations, reports The New York Times. The combination of mutations may have caused a hereditary disorder that has never been seen before in humans, the Times explains.
That explains the utterly bizarre appearance of Ata, whose tiny frame has just ten ribs, rather than 12; a pointy, elongated skull; and large, alien-like eye sockets. Researchers don't know exactly when Ata lived, but some scientists now believe that she was a miscarried or aborted female fetus, preserved by dry conditions in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) March 22, 2018
Because the mutations are brand new discoveries, researchers who sequenced the skeleton's genome are hesitant to declare a definitive explanation for Ata's deformities — unlike, say, a 2013 documentary about UFOs that featured the skeleton as evidence of extraterrestrial life. At least some of the mystery of Ata remains, for now.
It's only been a week since Toys 'R' Us announced it would close all of its stores, but heartbreak has hit the shelves again. Toys 'R' Us founder Charles Lazarus died Thursday, the company confirmed. He was 94.
There have been many sad moments for Toys"R"Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today's news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus. Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles' family and loved ones.
— ToysRUs (@ToysRUs) March 22, 2018
Former CEO Michael Goldstein took over the company from Lazarus in 1994, but told CNN Money that Lazarus' legacy as "the father of the toy business" lived on.
Lazarus got the idea for Toys 'R' Us as he returned from World War II, per USA Today. His friends were ready to start families, and he soon envisioned superstores stocked to the ceiling with toys. The company's name was a pun on Lazarus' last name, while the iconic backwards "R" mimicked a child's handwriting.
Toys 'R' Us thrived through the baby boom and hit its peak in the 1980s, per CNN Money, but the arrivals of Walmart and online behemoth Amazon eventually took their toll. Liquidation sales were scheduled to begin Thursday. Kathryn Krawczyk
CNN President Jeff Zucker isn't quite sure Fox News is an accurate name for his competitor's cable channel.
"The idea that it's a news channel, I think, is really not the case at all," Zucker said at an industry conference Thursday, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Those were reportedly some of Zucker's tamer words, as he went on to label Fox News a "complete propaganda machine" that does an "incredible disservice to this country." He even drew comparisons to Russia, calling Fox News "state-run TV."
Tucker didn't limit his comments to President Trump's network of choice; he spoke on the president too. Trump, Zucker said, "doesn't even understand the danger he's causing to journalists" by sowing "anti-media sentiment" — though late last year, he credited Trump with making "journalism great again."
But that's what makes today the "heyday of cable news," Zucker said — and everyone from CNN to Fox News is benefiting from it. Kathryn Krawczyk
President Trump offered his younger self some advice while speaking at a millennial-focused panel Thursday.
Asked for wisdom he'd pass on to his 25-year-old self, Trump offered a quip: "Don't run for president," he smirked.
Later in the discussion, Trump lamented how much negative press he received once he announced his bid for the White House. Prior to his involvement in politics, he "got the greatest publicity," he said. Despite all the critical coverage, Trump claimed, people "get it," because they now know about "fake news."
"There is a lot of fake news out there, and nobody had any idea," he continued. "I'm actually proud of the fact that I exposed it to a large extent. We exposed it. It's an achievement."
Trump was interviewed by the leader of Turning Point USA, a network of conservative college students. The president also discussed the opioid crisis, the need for more vocational schools, and young conservatives who are too afraid to vocally support his administration. Watch the clip below, via Bloomberg. Summer Meza
Q: "What advice would you give to the 25-year-old Donald Trump knowing what you know today?"
Trump: "Don't run for president," adding "I'm proud of the fact that I've exposed [fake news]" pic.twitter.com/czeHN53cxU
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) March 22, 2018
Instagram's universally despised algorithm has been so widely criticized that the company announced Thursday that it is going to make significant changes to appease users. In a statement, Instagram said it will at last "ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed," which will hopefully mean you will no longer miss, well, everything. As Gizmodo puts it: "Instagram apparently no longer wants you to see Christmas Day photos on New Year’s Eve."
Am I a Bad Photographer or Does the Instagram Algorithm Hate Me: an Autobiography
— Hanne T (@HanneAsInHannah) March 17, 2018
Don't get Instagram's reasoning behind the algorithms at all when about half your followers see your posts
— Jamie-James (@jamiejamesyates) March 18, 2018
PETITION TO BOYCOTT INSTAGRAM UNLESS THEY FIX THE ALGORITHM K THANKS. I WANT TO SEE PEOPLE I KNOW AND SMALL BUSINESSES. NOT EVERY FAMOUS PERSON THAT EXISTS.
— alexis (@alexiskvne) March 12, 2018
While that might seem like common sense, Instagram first started experimenting with a non-chronological feed in the spring of 2016. By 2018, the app was apparently rewarding posts with higher engagement, users who interacted with followers, and making tweaks based on how long other users spent viewing your post or engaging in the content, Later reports.
Other changes are coming too, like a "new posts" button "that lets you choose when you want to refresh, rather than it happening automatically." Finally! Jeva Lange
President Trump says he would still talk to Special Counsel Robert Mueller even without his lead lawyer, The Associated Press reported Thursday.
Another day of legal chaos started Thursday morning as John Dowd, Trump's lead lawyer in Mueller's Russia probe, resigned. A little more than an hour later, Trump was asked if he'd still be willing to testify in Mueller's investigation.
"Yes. I would like to," he replied.
It's pretty much the opposite of what Dowd called for Saturday: an end to the investigation into connections between Trump's campaign and Russia, The New York Times reported. Dowd is said to have resigned because Trump wasn't listening to his advice; Dowd reportedly did not want the president to sit for an interview with Mueller's team, while Trump apparently feels he should. Kathryn Krawczyk
The House passed the $1.3 trillion spending bill Thursday, approving the massive package to fund the federal government through September.
The 2,232-page bill was released late Wednesday after congressional negotiators finalized its terms. The proposal increases spending on the military and border protection and provides $1.6 billion for President Trump's proposed border wall — a fraction of the $25 billion the president sought. It does not address the DACA immigration program or defunding sanctuary cities, two hotly-contested provisions, though it does include provisions to increase school safety.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle applauded victories achieved in the omnibus bill while some criticized the ways it fell short. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called it "the worst bill I have seen." The Senate will vote on the bill next, as lawmakers move quickly to meet a Friday night deadline to prevent a government shutdown.