10 things you need to know today: March 27, 2015

Germanwings co-pilot had history of severe depression, Senate minority leader Harry Reid announces he won't seek re-election, and more

Harry Reid hangs it up.
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

1. Germanwings co-pilot had been treated for depression

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked himself alone in Germanwings Flight 9525's cockpit and flew it into a mountainside in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said Thursday. Lubitz, 28, appeared to have deliberately veered down to crash "for a reason we cannot fathom right now," Robin said. The German tabloid Bild reported that Lubitz had undergone more than a year of treatment for depression six years ago, interrupting his training.


2. Senate minority leader Harry Reid announces he won't seek re-election

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has announced that he won't seek re-election next year. The Senate minority leader told The New York Times that his decision to retire was not due to his eye injury, which occurred in January in an exercise accident, or to his demotion from Senate majority leader after November's midterm elections. Reid, who has led Senate Democrats since 2005 and has served in Congress for over three decades, told the Times, "I want to be able to go out at the top of my game."

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The New York Times

3. Explosion and fire destroy New York apartment building

A five-story apartment building collapsed in Manhattan's East Village on Thursday after an explosion inside touched off a seven-alarm fire. "I heard a big boom, and everybody went to see what had happened," said Kate Walter, who had been eating at a restaurant two blocks away. More than 255 firefighters responded. Emergency officials said one person was missing and 19 injured, four of whom were hospitalized in critical condition.

USA Today

4. Saudi Arabia continues airstrikes against rebels in Yemen

Saudi Arabia, leading a coalition of regional allies, continued its bombing campaign against Shiite Houthi rebel positions in neighboring Yemen on Friday. Airstrikes hit near the presidential compound and military installations in the capital, Sanaa. Egyptian warships headed toward Yemen to help. Saudi state TV said a ground offensive was being considered. Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassin said in Egypt that the government was "forced to request" foreign help as rebels overran government facilities, but hoped a "short, sharp campaign" would turn the tables.

The Washington Post

5. National Guard soldier accused of trying to join ISIS

A National Guard soldier was arrested on Thursday and accused of supporting the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Army National Guard Spc. Hasan Edmonds, 22, allegedly plotted an attack on a military post in Illinois. He was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport while allegedly trying to fly to Cairo to join ISIS. An FBI task force also arrested his cousin, 29-year-old cousin, Jonas Edmonds of the Illinois Army National Guard, at his Aurora, Illinois, home.

CBS News

6. Shiite militias abandon ISIS fight over U.S. role

Three major Shiite militias on Thursday backed out of the Iraqi military's offensive against the Islamic State in Tikrit due to the participation of U.S. warplanes in airstrikes against ISIS holdouts there. A fourth Shiite militia said it would remain in the fight but threatened to fire on foreign members of the anti-ISIS coalition. Together, the four Shiite militias represented a third of the 30,000 fighters going after ISIS, so their absence could complicate efforts to push ISIS remnants out of the mostly Sunni city.

The New York Times

7. Apple's Tim Cook says he will give away his fortune before he dies

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he plans to give away his entire $800 million fortune before he dies. Cook told Fortune he would first provide for his 10-year-old nephew's education. He did not say which charities would get the money, but he has spoken publicly about his support of human rights and equality, and the need to stop HIV/AIDS and climate change. In 2012, Cook donated $25 million to Stanford to build a new children's hospital and $50 million to Project Red.

Fortune The Guardian

8. England's Richard III reburied 530 years after his death

The remains of England's King Richard III were reburied in Leicester cathedral on Thursday 530 years after he was killed in battle. The bones were discovered in 2012 during an archaeological dig in a parking lot, and scientists said DNA tests proved to near certainty that the remains were indeed those of Richard III, the last English king killed in battle. Queen Elizabeth II sent a note saying the event was "of great national and international significance."

Los Angeles Times

9. Kentucky continues its dominance in NCAA tournament

The undefeated, top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats showed off their dominance Thursday night with a 78-39 drubbing of fifth-seeded West Virginia in the NCAA men's basketball tournament's round of 16. The victory gave Kentucky a 37-0 record as they move into the Elite Eight. The game was a mismatch from the start, with Kentucky rocketing to an 18-2 lead and remaining ahead by as much as 41 through the game. Notre Dame and Wisconsin also advanced to regional semi-final games.

The New York Times Sports Illustrated

10. Downton Abbey to end after next season

Downton Abbey's creative team confirmed Thursday that the popular British period drama would end after its upcoming sixth season. "Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception," said executive producer Gareth Neame in a statement. "We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together. Neame said the last episodes would have "all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up."

The Hollywood Reporter

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.