The Brief

German police officers carry bags out of a house believed to belong to the parents of crashed Germanwings flight 4U 9524 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in Montabaur on March 26, 2015.
Kai Pfaffenbach—Reuters

Co-Pilot Is Focus in Alps Crash

The motives of the young co-pilot who officials believe slammed a Germanwings jet into a French mountainside Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board, remain a mystery. Investigators searched his apartment in Dusseldorf, as well as his parents' home, for clues

Iraqi security forces prepare to attack Islamic State extremist positions in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, Iraq, March 26, 2015.

Shi'ites Quit Iraq Fight

Three key Shi’ite militias pulled out of the Iraqi assault on the Islamist-held city of Tikrit in protest of U.S. airstrikes supporting the campaign

Yemenis search for survivors under the rubble of houses that allegedly were destroyed by a Saudi air strike, in Sana'a, Yemen, March 2015.

Yemen Ground Offensive Planned

Officials say Saudi Arabia and Egypt will lead a ground operation in Yemen against rebels after a campaign of airstrikes to weaken them

Henry Lihn posted this photo on Instagram of the East Village building fire on March 26, 2015 in New York City.

At Least 12 Injured in Fiery Building Collapse in Manhattan

More than 200 New York City firefighters went to the scene of a large fire and a building collapse in Manhattan on Thursday. City officials said at least 12 people were injured, three critically, after an apparent explosion but no deaths were reported

Zach Auguste #30 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish dunks in the second half against Rashard Kelly #0 and Darius Carter #12 of the Wichita State Shockers during the Midwest Regional semifinal of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 26, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Notre Dame Beats Wichita State for Spot in Elite Eight

The most intriguing matchup of the Sweet 16 didn’t live up to its billing, as Notre Dame topped Wichita State, 81-70, to earn a spot in the coveted Elite Eight. It marks the first time Notre Dame has reached the Elite Eight since 1979

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis on March 26, 2015.

Indiana Governor Defends Signing of Religious Objections Bill

Gov. Mike Pence vigorously defended the state religious objections bill that he signed into law Thursday as businesses and organizations including the NCAA pressed concerns that it could open the door to legalizing discrimination against gay people

Craig T. Nelson at the "Get Hard" Premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater on March 25, 2015 in Los Angeles.

NBC Reviving Coach With Craig T. Nelson

The 1990s sitcom, which went off the air in '97, will apparently be a sequel to the comedy series rather than a reboot. Coach Hayden Fox, who will have been retired, is called back to be assistant coach for his own grown son, who is the new head coach at an Ivy league school

Liam Payne and Zayn Malik of One Direction attend The BRIT Awards 2014 at the 02 Arena on Feb. 19, 2014 in London.

One Direction Member Says Band Is ‘Far From Over’

Liam Payne posted an emotional message after the departure of fellow One Direction member Zayn Malik, becoming the first of the group to directly address Malik's leaving himself, asking that fans keep their faith as the band moves forward as a four-piece

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Goes On Sale

Microsoft Requires Contractors to Offer Paid Sick Time

Seattle-based computing giant Microsoft announced a new rule requiring that many of its contractors give their employees at least 15 days of paid sick and vacation time. Paid sick time has become an increasingly important issue in the tech industry

Downton Abbey, Season 4Premieres Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9pm ET on PBS© Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2013 for MASTERPIECEThis image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only. USE ON THIRD PARTY SITES SUCH AS FACEBOOK AND TWITTER IS NOT ALLOWED.

Downton Abbey Will Draw to a Close After Next Season

Time to put away your teacups and scones as the coming sixth season of Downton Abbey will be its last. Executive producer Gareth Naeme said the final season, due to air in the U.K. later this year, would show "how and where they all end up"

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence responds to a question during a news conference, March 25, 2015, in Scottsburg, Ind.

HIV Levels in Indiana Spark Alarm

Governor Mike Pence declared a public health emergency on Thursday in Indiana's Scott County, which has seen a large HIV flareup from intravenous drug use. At least 79 HIV cases have been tied to the area since January

Pope Francis arrives under heavy rain, for his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on March 25, 2015.

Pope Francis to Pay the White House a Visit

The White House announced Thursday that President Obama and Pope Francis would speak about poverty, economic equality, religious freedom, and immigration when the pontiff visits Washington D.C. in September. The pope will also address Congress.