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April 6, 2018

The Trump administration has imposed new sanctions on Russia for "worldwide malign activity," including sanctions on seven oligarchs, 17 senior government officials, 12 Russian companies, and one state-owned company and its subsidiary bank, ABC News reports.

"The sanctions are designed to penalize some of Russia's richest industrialists, who are seen in the West as enriching themselves from [Russian President Vladimir Putin's] increasingly authoritarian administration," The New York Times writes.

President Trump has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike for being too soft on Moscow, given the evidence that Russia sought to sow discord during the 2016 presidential election. Friday's sanctions, which stem from legislation passed by Congress last year, "will only hasten the slide of Washington-Moscow relations," the Times says. Jeva Lange

11:45 p.m.

Trevor Noah was skeptical of Empire actor Jussie Smollett's hate-crime story before Smollett was arrested on Thursday for allegedly faking the attack, but he was incredulous after Chicago police and prosecutors laid out the evidence. Like Smollett's alleged motive: "Are you kidding me? This dude may have faked a hate crime just to get a raise?" Noah asked on Thursday's Daily Show, struggling to find the logic: "You get your ass beat, and then you go to your boss and be like, 'Hey, can I get another million dollars? I need to buy some band-aids'?" He suggested blackmail as a better alternative.

And paying your accomplices by check? "What, did he also write 'Fake Hate Crime' in the memo?" Noah asked. "Even amateurs know if you commit a crime, you go all cash, people! No paper trail!" The bottom line is "if he did do this, Smollett did a horrible job with this fake crime," he said, playing one more detail involving a camera failure.

"So Jussie is potentially going to prison for a while, and in his wake, he has screwed over everyone," Noah said: Members of the gay community, Trump supporters, and Democratic candidates who decried the attack. The only winner here is Subway, he added, for reasons he explained, "but there is a silver lining: When this started out, it was a story about people who hated Jussie Smollett because he was black and gay. But now, people hate him because he's an a--hole. In other words, they're judging him on the content of this character and not the color of his skin. And that, my friends, is progress." Watch below. Peter Weber

11:03 p.m.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched an Indonesian communications satellite and Israel's first lunar lander Thursday night from Cape Canaveral.

This is historic for two reasons: Israel has never before tried a lunar landing, and no one has ever launched a privately funded moon mission. Called Beresheet — Hebrew for "in the beginning" — the spacecraft is roughly the size of a washing machine, and is expected to reach the moon in about two months. The nonprofit organization SpaceIL is behind the $100 million mission, and says that Beresheet has already started sending data back to Earth.

If it makes it to the moon, Beresheet will transmit photos and measure the magnetic field of its landing site. Due to the high price of rockets, SpaceIL chose to tag along with the Indonesian satellite. "This is Uber-style space exploration, so we're riding shotgun on the rocket," SpaceIL co-founder Yonatan Winetraub said. Catherine Garcia

10:28 p.m.

A species of giant tortoise thought to be extinct was found on the Galapagos island of Fernandina this week, Ecuador's ministry of the environment announced.

The last time a Chelonoidis phantasticus, also known as the Fernandina giant tortoise, was seen alive was in 1906. The tortoise spotted on Sunday is a female, and likely more than 100 years old. Researchers took the tortoise to a breeding center on Santa Cruz Island, and she is now living in a special pen.

Based off of tracks and feces found by the researchers, they think it's possible there are other Fernandina tortoises on the island. "This encourages us to strengthen our search plans to find other tortoises, which will allow us to start a breeding program in captivity to recover this species," Galapagos National Park Director Danny Rueda said in a statement. Catherine Garcia

9:15 p.m.

The office of Gov. Bill Lee (R-Tenn.) confirmed on Thursday that a photo of Lee wearing a Confederate uniform appeared in Auburn University's 1980 yearbook.

Earlier in the week, Lee's office told The Tennessean they had no knowledge of any photos showing Lee in a Confederate uniform. Lee attended Auburn from 1977 to 1981, and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. Every year, the fraternity would hold "Old South" parties, where members wore Confederate uniforms, The Tennessean reports. At the time, a large Confederate flag was on display outside of the Kappa Alpha house, and they also held an annual celebration of Robert E. Lee's birthday. The photo of Lee is in the Kappa Alpha section of the yearbook.

In an earlier statement, Lee said he "never intentionally acted in an insensitive way, but with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that participating in that was insensitive and I've come to regret it." Catherine Garcia

8:02 p.m.

It's not something you see every day, or year, or even decade: Snow in Los Angeles.

An exceptionally chilly storm system from Alberta, Canada, brought snow on Thursday to cities across Southern California, including Malibu, West Hollywood, Pasadena, San Bernardino, and Rancho Cucamonga. The snow level dropped to as low as 1,000 feet in some areas, with flakes falling in cities that haven't seen snow in several decades. "This is probably the coldest storm system I've seen in my time in California," meteorologist David Sweet with the National Weather Service in Oxnard told the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Public Library Archives says that it hasn't snowed in the city since January 1962, when snow dusted downtown L.A. Much of Thursday's snow melted as soon as it hit the ground, but it's definitely sticking up in the mountains across Southern California, which have already seen a lot of powder this winter. Catherine Garcia

6:54 p.m.

Peter Tork, bassist and keyboardist for The Monkees, died on Thursday. He was 77.

In 2009, Tork was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer affecting his head and neck. Known for their hits "Daydream Believer" and "I'm a Believer," The Monkees had four No. 1 albums and a television show that ran from 1966 to 1968. The group, comprised of Tork, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith, released the movie Head in 1968, and later that year, Tork left the band. He participated in several reunion tours, both before and after Jones died in 2012. Tork's last solo record, "Relax Your Mind," came out in 2018.

Dolenz tweeted on Thursday that his heart is "broken," and Nesmith said he is "clinging to the idea that we all continue," but the "pain that attends these passings has no cure." Catherine Garcia

4:58 p.m.

Get ready to enter a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.

CBS on Thursday debuted the first full trailer for The Twilight Zone, the new reboot of the classic 1959 series. The trailer teases a variety of storylines that seem just in line with the original show, including one in which a character played by Kumail Nanjiani seems to notice things are subtly off about his universe, and one in which a kid, played by Jacob Tremblay, appears to be the president, similar to the classic devil child episode "It's a Good Life."

That's not the only tie-in to the original series in the trailer, though. An episode starring Adam Scott appears to be a riff on the classic William Shatner episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," in which a man is terrorized by a monster on the wing of a plane. Scott's episode is called "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet," and he's shown freaking out on a plane, just like Shatner's character. A doll resembling the infamous monster on the wing from that episode is also shown washed up on the beach. At another point, we see the same fortune teller machine from another classic Shatner episode, "Nick of Time."

The Twilight Zone debuts on April 1 on CBS All Access. Watch the trailer below. Brendan Morrow

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