The Brief

French gendarmes and investigators work amongst the debris of the Airbus A320 at the site of the crash, near Seyne-les-Alpes, French Alps March 26, 2015.
Emmanuel Foudrot—Reuters

'Simply Incomprehensible'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that evidence showing the co-pilot of the crashed Germanwings jet had intentionally sent the plane into a French mountainside added a "new, simply incomprehensible dimension" to the catastrophe that left 150 dead

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.

Building Collapses in Manhattan

New York City firefighters are at the scene of a large fire and a partial building collapse in Manhattan. The Fire Department of New York says it has no immediate reports of injuries. There were some reports of an explosion before the fire. The area is being evacuated

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

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

A Sunni fighter who has joined Shi'ite militia groups known collectively as Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilization), allied with Iraqi forces against the Islamic State, looks at an Islamic State flag and ammunition displayed in al-Alam Salahuddin province, March 15, 2015.

National Guard Soldier Arrested For Trying To Join ISIS

Hasan Edmonds, an Army National Guardsman, had planned to travel to Egypt and team up with ISIS, according to a criminal complaint. His cousin is accused of plotting an attack on the U.S. military facility in Illinois where Hasan had been training

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. stock photos E-Cig Electronic Cigarette Smoke

CDC Runs First Anti-Smoking Campaign Featuring E-Cigs

A new ad campaign by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against smoking features e-cigarettes for the first time. "Nationally, about 3 in 4 adult e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes," the CDC said in a statement