Co-pilot may have hidden illness, German prosecutors say MONTABAUR, Germany (AP) - Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appears to have hidden evidence of an illness from his employers, including having been excused by a doctor from work the day he crashed a passenger plane into a mountain, prosecutors said Friday. The evidence came from the search of Lubitz's homes in two German cities for an explanation of why he crashed the Airbus A320 into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
Internet outages reveal gaps in US broadband infrastructure FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - When vandals sliced a fiber-optic cable in the Arizona desert last month, they did more than time-warp thousands of people back to an era before computers, credit cards or even phones. They exposed a glaring vulnerability in the nation's Internet infrastructure: no backup systems in many places. Because Internet service is largely unregulated by the federal government and the states, decisions about network reliability are left to the service providers. Industry analysts say these companies generally do not build alternative routes, or redundancies, unless they believe it is worthwhile financially.
Watch Top News Video
Saudi airstrikes in Yemen target rebel stronghold in north SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Saudi Arabia bombed the northern stronghold of Yemen's Shiite rebels and key military installations on Friday, the second day of a campaign that military officials said was aimed at neutralizing air defenses ahead of a possible ground invasion. The intervention that began early Thursday is aimed at halting the advance of the Iran-backed rebels, known as Houthis, who have allied with a powerful former president and seized the capital and several provinces.
Senate's Harry Reid announces he won't seek re-election WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who's dominated the Senate for a decade from the minority to the majority and back again, announced Friday he will retire from the institution where he's served for five terms. Reid, 75, who shepherded key Obama administration initiatives including the president's health care law, lost his role as majority leader - the Senate's top job - when November's elections swept the Republicans into control. He suffered a personal setback on New Year's Day, falling while exercising and suffering serious bruises and a lasting injury his right eye.
Senate OKs Republican balanced-budget plan, following House WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans muscled a balanced-budget plan through the Senate early Friday, positioning Congress for months of battling President Barack Obama over the GOP's goals of slicing spending and dismantling his health care law. Working into Friday's pre-dawn hours, senators approved the blueprint by a near party-line 52-46 vote, endorsing a measure that closely follows one the House passed Wednesday. Both budgets embody a conservative vision of shrinking projected federal deficits by more than $5 trillion over the coming decade, mostly by cutting health care and other benefit programs and without raising taxes.
Lawyer for Knox's ex-boyfriend makes final court appeal ROME (AP) - Lawyers for Amanda Knox's ex-boyfriend made a final appeal to Italy's top criminal court Friday, urging it to overturn the pair's murder conviction for the 2007 slaying of Knox's roommate, saying there were errors of "colossal proportions" in the guilty verdicts. Attorney Giulia Bongiorno dissected the 2014 Florence appeals court decision to show what she said were numerous errors of fact and logic that resulted in prison sentences of 28 1/2 years for Knox and 25 years for Raffaele Sollecito in the death of student Meredith Kercher.
2 people unaccounted for after apparent NYC gas explosion NEW YORK (AP) - Firefighters on Friday used high-powered water towers to extinguish pockets of fire at the site of an apparent gas explosion in Manhattan's trendy East Village as authorities reported that two people were still unaccounted for. Nineteen people were injured, four critically, after the powerful blast and fire sent flames soaring and debris flying Thursday afternoon. The police department hasn't yet issued official missing-person's reports on the two people who haven't been located, the mayor's office said.
Critters found in Antarctic ice show how tenacious life is DECEPTION ISLAND, Antarctica (AP) - Deep below the ice, far from the playful penguins and other animals that bring tourists to Antarctica, is a cold and barren world that by all indications should be completely void of life. But recently, scientists researching melting ice watched a half-foot-long (15-centimeter) fish swim by. Not long after that, they saw shrimp-like creatures.
3 astronauts to blast off for 1-year trip to space station BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) - An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts are to blast off early Saturday to begin a year away from Earth. Of the three-man team, American Scott Kelly and Russian Mikhail Kornienko are to stay at the International Space Station until March 2016. Their trip is NASA's first stab at a one-year spaceflight, anticipating Mars expeditions that would last two-to-three years.