Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 1, 2015

Iran nuclear talks go into overtime, Lufthansa says it knew of the Germanwings co-pilot's past depression, and more


Nuclear talks with Iran continue past March 31 deadline

Marathon talks on curbing Iran's nuclear program continued past a midnight deadline, and negotiators said Wednesday that several "key issues" remained to be worked out. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the discussions in Switzerland paused overnight that foreign powers and Iran had reached "a broad framework of understanding" despite some sticking points on specifics. The U.S., however, said it would walk away if Tehran did not commit to specifics on cutting back its nuclear activities.


Airline says Germanwings co-pilot told flight school of past bout with depression

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz told Lufthansa's flight training school in 2009 that he had suffered a "previous episode of severe depression," the airline said Tuesday. It was the first time the company acknowledged it was aware of Lubitz's condition before he crashed the airliner into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. In France, prosecutors denied reports that investigators had found a memory chip with video of passengers in the last horrifying moments before the crash.


Obama ends freeze on sending arms to Egypt

President Obama on Tuesday ended a freeze on U.S. military aid to Egypt that was imposed nearly two years ago when the country's military took power. Obama ordered the release of 12 F-16 fighter jets, 20 Harpoon missiles, and as many as 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits. National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said the move was "in the interest of U.S. national security." Egypt, a longtime American ally, is emerging from a period of internal conflict and assuming a greater regional role fighting Islamist militants.


Tsarnaev's lawyers rest case in Boston Marathon bombing trial

Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rested their case on Tuesday. They called just four witnesses. The defense never contested the involvement of Tsarnaev, 21, in the 2013 bombing, which killed three people and injured 260 more, and shooting death of a police officer. Tsarnaev's lawyers, however, argued that their client's brother Tamerlan, who was killed by police, was the mastermind. Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled for Monday.


Arkansas approves "religious freedom" bill despite Indiana backlash

Arkansas on Tuesday passed a religious freedom bill similar to the one in Indiana that has sparked an intense public backlash and boycott threats. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has signaled he will sign the legislation into law. Like Indiana's law, the Arkansas version goes further than a federal iteration by protecting against "burdens" on religious freedom even when the state is not a party in the litigation. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) said his state would "fix" its law to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.


Nigerian president loses reelection bid

Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan, was defeated in his bid for reelection by former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. Voters expressed anger over corruption and the deadly insurgency being waged in the country's north by the Islamist group Boko Haram, which is trying to impose Islamic law. Nigeria is one of the world's largest democracies. Jonathan conceded, setting the stage for the first peaceful transfer of power after a sitting president has lost an election since military rule ended 16 years ago.


France arrests three people in connection with a Paris attacker

French authorities have arrested three men linked to Amedy Coulibaly, one of three Islamist militants involved in January attacks in Paris at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket. Coulibaly killed five people, including four at the market and a police officer. Seven people have been detained and placed under investigation since the attacks. Investigators are having more success tracking down links to Coulibaly than the Kouachi brothers, who killed 12 at Charlie Hebdo.


Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell hospitalized

Joni Mitchell was taken by ambulance to a hospital near Los Angeles on Tuesday after she was found unconscious in her Bel Air home. The 71-year-old singer-songwriter was in intensive care and undergoing tests. A statement posted on her website said she was "awake and in good spirits." No cause for her hospitalization has been provided, Mitchell said last December that she has a rare skin disorder called Morgellons disease that keeps her from performing.


Getty heir, 47, found dead in California

Andrew Getty, an heir to the Getty oil fortune, was found dead in his Hollywood Hills, California, home on Tuesday. Getty, 47, was found in a bathroom naked from the waist down. He appeared to have suffered blunt force trauma, and police said a preliminary investigation suggested he died of natural causes or an accident, not foul play. A woman described as a friend of Getty found the body. She alerted police and is being treated as a cooperative witness.


Newly named Daily Show host faces backlash over Twitter quips

Comedy Central stood by newly selected Daily Show host Trevor Noah on Tuesday following a flurry of criticism over edgy posts the South African comedian has posted on Twitter. In one tweet singled out by critics, Noah wrote last May: "Behind every successful Rap Billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man." One Twitter user said that Noah "seems to have a problem with Jews." Supporters noted that the mixed race Noah's mother is half-Jewish, and that other comedians make jokes that are more blatantly offensive.


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