TIME celebrities

Justin Bieber Explains Why It Ain’t Easy Being the Bieb

Comedy Central Roast Of Justin Bieber - Arrivals
Jason LaVeris — Getty Images Justin Bieber attends the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber on March 14, 2015, in Los Angeles

“Unless you're stupid, I don't think you would think it's easy to be who I am”

Being young, rich, famous and talented isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Justin Bieber.

During an exclusive interview with USA Today, the Canadian pop star opened up about the trials and tribulations that come with teenage stardom.

“Just use your head, you’ll understand that my life is not easy. Not having privacy. Growing up in front of the cameras since I was 13, 14,” explains Bieber.

However, after numerous run-ins with the law last year, the 21-year-old says he’s finally turning a corner and embarking on an odyssey of self-discovery.

“Yeah, I’m growing, figuring some stuff out. As you do when you grow up,” said Bieber. “You figure out what type of man you want to be, that’s where I’m at.”

Read more at USA Today

TIME Television

This Is the Greatest Professional Wrestling Entrance Ever

You can't top an actual tank

The wide world of wrestling is no stranger to tender geopolitical fault lines.

At the first WrestleMania in March 1985, tag team partners The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff ratcheted up the Cold War a few degrees before squaring off with the aptly named American duo, the U.S Express. Before the match, The Iron Sheik proudly waved the Iranian flag, while Volkoff gave a throaty rendition of the Soviet national anthem. The tens of thousands of American fans in attendance at Madison Square Garden booed and chucked trash at the ring in response.

Thirty years later, little seems to have changed. With relations between Washington and the Kremlin in a downward spiral again, “Russian” wrestler Alexander Rusev (who is actually Bulgarian) entered Wrestlemania 31 on Sunday in unbelievable fashion: In a tank waving the Russian flag, while being escorted by what appeared to be a platoon of Russian troops.

Who cares that the hitherto undefeated Rusev went on to lose the United States Championship belt to red-blooded American wrestler John Cena? In terms of his entrance, he was a winner all the way.

TIME Aviation

Here’s What We Know About the Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz

Investigators are scrambling to understand why he intentionally crashed Flight 9525 in the French Alps

Andreas Lubitz liked pop music, jogging and, of course, flying.

On Thursday, French prosecutors claimed that Lubitz, who friends say was “rather quiet,” “polite” and “fun,” intentionally crashed Germanwings Flight 9525 on Tuesday, killing himself and the 149 other individuals onboard.

Investigators raided Lubitz’s apartment along with his parents’ home in Montabaur, Germany, this week, as they clamored to shed some light on why or what drove the 27-year-old co-pilot to commit mass murder.

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said there is no evidence to suggest that the co-pilot had any links to a terrorist organization.

“According to the current state of knowledge and after comparing information that we have, he does not have a terrorist background,” said Maiziere.

Officials from Germanwings’ parent company, Lufthansa, said Lubitz had completed all the criteria required to pilot a commercial aircraft and appeared to be both mentally and physically fit. A security probe last vetted Lubitz in January; however, nothing unusual appears to have come up during the routine inquiry, reports the Associated Press.

“The pilot has passed all his tests, all his medical exams, “ Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa’s CEO, told CNN. “All the safety nets we’re so proud of here, have not worked in this case.”

Lubitz, a lifelong aviation enthusiast, first enrolled in the Lufthansa’s pilot program in 2008 and trained in Germany and Arizona. The 27-year-old later joined Germanwings as a pilot in 2013 and logged 630 flight hours on the A320 before this week’s crash.

On Thursday, Lufthansa confirmed that the co-pilot had briefly interrupted his training course about six years ago. The airline said they are still investigating what may have led to that brief hiatus.

German tabloids have inferred that Lubitz might have suffered from some type of psychological breakdown during that time. Other reports have suggested that Lubitz might have recently been reeling from relationship problems with his girlfriend.

Regardless, aviation experts say pilots are thoroughly tested and other crew members are supposed to remain vigilant when it comes to making sure their fellow pilots are fit to fly.

“Every time they fly, there’s always another pilot doing an assessment. So if one pilot thinks another pilot is going weird, that pilot has a responsibility to report that,” Jason Middleton, an aviation professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, tells TIME. “Weirdos and people with mental illnesses are pretty well filtered out.”

TIME Television

Watch President Obama Interview The Wire Creator David Simon

“Omar, by the way, is my favorite character”

A television writer couldn’t have scripted it better.

President Barack Obama, a longtime fan of the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire, sat down with the show’s creator David Simon this week to speak frankly about America’s war on drugs and the perils of law enforcement.

Simon, a vociferous critic of the federal government’s drug policies, pulled no punches as he spoke with the President.

“What the drugs don’t destroy, the war against them tears apart,” said Simon.

Obama appeared receptive to Simon’s criticism and insisted that things were slowly improving in the country.

“The fact that we’ve got people talking about it in a smarter way, gives me a little [encouragement],” he said.

TIME weather

Oklahoma Governor Declares State of Emergency After Deadly Tornadoes

First responders work to free a man from a rubble pile after a round of severe weather hit a trailer park in Sand Springs, Okla., on March 25, 2015.
Matt Barnard—Tulsa World/AP First responders work to free a man from a rubble pile after a round of severe weather hit a trailer park in Sand Springs, Okla., on March 25, 2015.

Tornado season has arrived

Oklahoma’s governor declared a state of emergency for 25 counties Thursday, a day after severe weather whipped through large swathes of state, resulting in one death and widespread power outages.

Governor Mary Fallin announced the declaration in the city of Moore, after touring a stricken elementary school, according to NBC News. No students or staff were injured at the school, which was closed when the tornado hit.

“It’s hard to believe that two years later, we’re back at a Moore public school, surveying damage,” Fallin said. “I am very thankful that this school did not sustain damage during school hours.”

Outside Tulsa, a tornado cut through a mobile home park in the suburbs of Sand Springs Wednesday night, killing at least one person and injuring three others.

“Right now, rescue efforts are continuing and officers are aiding the injured and helping those who need immediate medical care,” Shannon Clark, with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, told CNN. “It’s very tough conditions right now — very touch and go. The conditions my people are working in right now are deplorable at best.”

Further south, near Oklahoma City, officials reported that another tornado touched down outside the town of Moore, overturning vehicles, uprooting trees and injuring at least three people. However, no deaths were reported in the area.

Thousands of Oklahoma residents were without power early Thursday as officials mobilized rescue efforts.

Read next: Doctors Can’t Explain Why People in Kazakhstan Are Falling Asleep For Days

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Aviation

Germanwings Crash Site Yields a Damaged Black Box

Investigators still have no idea why the plane went down

One of the flight recorders, or black boxes, belonging to Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 has been recovered, but French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve says it has been damaged.

Investigators are hoping that at least some data from the recorder can be retrieved to shed light on the crash, the cause of which is still not known.

Search and recovery operations resumed in the French Alps on Wednesday morning, a day after the jet crashed and most likely killed all 150 people aboard.

The 24-year-old Airbus A320 was en route from the Spanish city of Barcelona to Dusseldorf in Germany when it went down just before 11 a.m. local time on Tuesday, scattering wreckage across more than four acres of craggy terrain near the village of Digne-Les-Bains in southeastern France.

French officials estimated that it would take “at least a week” to scour the remote site. More than 300 policemen and 380 firefighters have been mobilized in the effort, according to Agence France-Presse.

At least 67 Germans were believed to have been aboard Flight 4U 9525, along with around 45 Spanish passengers. Two Australians and two Japanese are also believed to have perished, as well as Belgian and Turkish travelers.

An unconfirmed report in Germany’s Spiegel magazine, cited in the Telegraph, said that some Germanwings staff felt the crash was related to repairs made on Monday to the nose-wheel landing doors of the ill-fated aircraft. Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings, denied that there was any connection.

Nevertheless, scattered reports have emerged that some Germanwings employees are refusing to board the company’s planes in the wake of the disaster. “We understand their decision,” said Thomas Winkelmann, a Germanwings spokesperson, in a statement.

On Wednesday, aviation experts continued to wrestle with several puzzling aspects connected to the crash. Why was no distress made by the pilots? And why did it take Flight 4U 9525 an unusually long time to descend from its cruising altitude of approximately 38,000 feet?

“Eight minutes is a long time for a descent in an uncontrolled fashion,” Mike Daniel, an international aviation-safety consultant based in Singapore, tells TIME. “It could be more of a controlled fashion but we won’t know until they read the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.”

Meanwhile, reports have also began to surface of lucky escapes.

Players from the Swedish first division soccer team Dalkurd FF had been originally booked to travel on Flight 4U 9525, but later switched their plans to avoid a layover in Dusseldorf.

“At first, our time was spent calming down our relatives on the phone because they had been worried sick about us,” Frank Pettersson, the team’s goalkeeper, told Yahoo News. “Later came shock as the thoughts of the victims onboard on that plane became more tangible.”

Read next: These Charts Show Why the Germanwings Crash Is Especially Unusual

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TIME Research

If Either of Your Parents Smoked, Go and Get Your Heart Checked Out

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Getty Images

Lasting damage may have been done

A study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulati suggests smoking in front of children may increase their chances of developing dangerous carotid plaque later in adulthood.

For the study, researchers used data gathered on Finnish children between 1980 and 1983, and were able to identify which children grew up in smoking households by noting the amount of cotinine that had been found in their blood samples. (Exposure to smoke increases the presence of cotinine in the blood.)

They then correlated this with examinations of the carotid artery conducted on those same — but now fully grown — individuals between 2001 and 2007.

They concluded from this that participants who had one or two parental smokers had an almost two times (1.7 times) greater risk of developing carotid plaque in adulthood compared with participants whose parents did not smoke, regardless of other factors.

The buildup of plaque can lead to the narrowing of the carotid arteries, which is linked to strokes.

The study’s findings add to the mounting evidence that exposure to smoking from parents has lasting effects on children’s physical health later in life, reports Science Daily.

Read next: 9 Subtle Signs You Could Have a Heart Problem

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TIME 2016 Election

Ted Cruz Doesn’t Own TedCruz.Com

Ted Cruz Announcement
Tom Williams — Roll Call/Getty Images Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a convocation at Liberty University's Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va., where he announced his candidacy for president on March 23, 2015.

An Obama supporter does

Sen. Ted Cruz may have been the first Republican to declare his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race, but he appears to have missed the boat on purchasing a web domain featuring his own name.

Instead, web users landing at tedcruz.com see only two phrases: “Support President Obama” and “Immigration Reform Now!”

With the .com domain out of the picture, the Texas senator has officially settled with tedcruz.org, instead.

TIME Food & Drink

You Won’t Believe Where the World’s Best Whiskey Comes From

Taiwan Whisky Winner
Wally Santana—AP A visitor walks past casks at the Kavalan whiskey distillery in Yilan County, Taiwan

Sorry, Scotland. Nice try, Japan

Taiwan’s Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique is now officially the best single malt whiskey on earth, according to the World Whiskies Awards.

The contest’s judges described the malt as “surprisingly smooth on the palate” and added: “it’s like Bourbon infused milk chocolate.”

The spirit is produced at the King Car distillery in northeastern Taiwan’s Yilan County, where the whiskey is aged in American oak barrels that once stored white and red wines.

The distillery, which went operational just a decade ago, has been racking up a plethora of awards in recent years and getting nods from some of the world’s top single-malt connoisseurs. In 2012, the acclaimed guide Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Kavalan’s Solist Fino Sherry Cask malt the “new whisky of the year.”

Read next: Calorie Count Coming Soon to a Can of Guinness Near You

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TIME Singapore

Global Leaders Pay Respects After the Passing of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore Obit Lee Kuan Yew
Joseph Nair — AP A live broadcast by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the death of his father is watched in a reception area at a hospital where the city-state's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew passed away on March 23, 2015, in Singapore

The nation’s architect was lauded for being a visionary and fostering relations between Asia and the U.S.

Messages of condolence flooded in from the East and the West on Monday as the world paid tribute to Singapore’s founding father and first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, following the former strongman’s death at the age of 91.

Lee died in the early hours of Monday morning local time at Singapore General Hospital, after being treated for severe pneumonia and then an infection since his initial admission over a month ago.

The former head of government has been largely credited with fostering the environment that allowed the former British colony to transform into a flourishing bastion of international business and innovation.

“The first of our founding fathers is no more. He inspired us, gave us courage, kept us together, and brought us here. He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans,” said Lee’s son and serving Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a televised address. “We won’t see another man like him.”

Flags were at half-mast across the city-state as Lee’s compatriots began observing a week of official mourning. A state funeral has been scheduled for March 29.

During his time as head of government, Lee was also viewed as an adroit statesman who helped foster ties and understanding between Western powers and rising nation-states across Asia.

“Minister Mentor Lee’s views and insights on Asian dynamics and economic management were respected by many around the world, and no small number of this and past generations of world leaders have sought his advice on governance and development,” said U.S. President Barack Obama in a statement.

Former President George H.W. Bush echoed these sentiments. “I will always be proud that Lee Kuan Yew was my friend,” he said. “I respected his effective leadership of his wonderful, resilient and innovative country in ways that lifted living standards without indulging a culture of corruption. I was also proud of the progress Singapore and the United States achieved together as partners. Because of the example set by Lee Kuan Yew’s singular leadership, let me add I am confident that the future will be bright for Singapore.”

Chinese Foreign Minister spokesperson Hong Lei described Lee as the bedrock of the Sino-Singaporean relationship and a visionary on the continent.

“Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is a uniquely influential statesman in Asia and a strategist boasting oriental values and international vision,” said Lei.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Lee was both a “far-sighted statesman” and “a lion among leaders.”

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia called Lee “a close friend of Indonesia and renowned as the founding father of modern Singapore.”

“As a great leader and a statesman who truly loved his people, he was also known as an influential political figure in Asia,” he added. “Under his leadership, Singapore has succeeded in transforming itself into a major economic hub for the Asian region and stands in equal footing to other developed nations of the world.”

Amid the tributes, advocacy groups also cautioned against ignoring the strongman’s authoritarianism and checkered record on human rights in the wake of his death.

“Singapore still is, for all intents and purposes, a one-party state where political opponents are targeted and contrary views muzzled — and that too is a part of Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy that many of the new generation of Singaporeans are none too happy about,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

In his homeland, though, the overriding feeling was one of mourning a beloved patriarch.

— With reporting by Yenni Kwok

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