Was it a matter of the heart? Authorities have reportedly apprehended Seif Eldin Mustafa — a hijacker claiming to have a suicide explosive belt — after he ordered the pilot of Flight MS181 from Alexandria to Cairo to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus instead. All 81 passengers have been released, and officials have confirmed that the bomb was fake. Some reports say the “unstable” hijacker only wanted to talk to his Cypriot ex-wife, while others have cited political motivations — a question investigators will now be looking to solve.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They don’t need an upgrade. The federal government says it’s unlocked the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone without assistance from Apple, after six weeks of feuding over the company’s refusal to help. While the DoJ says it “successfully accessed” the information with help from an unidentified third party, the battle is likely to continue: Apple wants to know what method was used to crack the phone, and the government’s classified technique to access encrypted data is likely to raise questions about the corporate giant’s ability to keep customer data safe.
Workers were asked to shelter in place while D.C. authorities respond to reports of gunshots in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center this afternoon. Capitol Police said they arrested the gunman, identified as Larry Dawson, and took him to a nearby hospital. One officer was minorly wounded. Easter holidays meant few lawmakers were in the building at the time of the incident — and authorities, who have lifted the lockdown on the Capitol complex, say there are no immediate signs that the incident is connected to terrorism.
They were targeting Christians. Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar says it carried out yesterday’s massacre that claimed more than 70, many of them women and children, when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a playground during Easter celebrations. The Islamic fundamentalists said they were aiming for Christians and letting Pakistan’s leadership know that they “have entered Lahore.” The terrorists are warning of more attacks, area hospitals are on alert and authorities say they have launched a manhunt to bring the remaining perpetrators to justice.
They showed no respect. Yesterday so-called “football hooligans” — many hooded and drunk — disrupted a memorial for last Tuesday’s attacks in the Belgian capital, damaging property and shouting anti-immigrant taunts. Police dispersed them with water cannon and arrested several. The death toll from the bombings now stands at 32, excluding the three suicide bombers. Over 100 remain hospitalized as authorities, who released one arrested person for lack of evidence today, continue hunting eight suspects, believed to be on the run in Europe or in Syria, linked to the Paris and Brussels attacks.
It was too much bad publicity. House Bill 757, which was meant to shore up the power of religious groups to deny customers or fire employees on the basis of being gay, passed the state legislature two weeks ago. But Gov. Nathan Deal decided to risk infuriating religious conservatives, who’ve made the bill a priority, when faced with a wave of backlash not just from activist groups but from Disney, Apple, and the NFL. Deal says he won’t take kindly to political payback from his fellow Republicans, and maintained that “Georgia is a welcoming state.”
The billionaire’s campaigning in the House speaker’s backyard. OZY’s Nick Fouriezos says the April 5 Wisconsin primary isn’t just important for its delegate haul: It also pits the disparate styles of the blunt, non-ideological Trump against the consensus-building and starkly conservative Ryan, the Badger State’s most influential politico. While Ryan says he’ll support whoever becomes the GOP nominee, he’s also spoken out against rhetoric that divides rather than unites and has, at times, voiced concerns over the front-runner who’s likely to become the GOP’s standard-bearer.
You may find this taxing. The number of multinational companies warning shareholders of a risk to earnings caused by higher taxes more than doubled last year compared to 2014. Of 136 American firms that told investors about profits potentially being hurt by the closure of loopholes to drive down tax avoidance, nearly 20 percent were tech companies, and a third were linked to pharmaceuticals, insurance and asset management enterprises. Experts warn that stockholders have been slow to heed the message and appreciate the risks.
Syrian troops recapture Palmyra and issue images of destruction. (BBC)
Bernie Sanders triumphs in Washington, Hawaii and Alaska. (Washington Post)
Ivanka Trump gives birth to third child. (USA Today)
White House hosts Obama administration’s final Easter Egg Roll. (AP)
Ted Cruz waits for top brass party embrace. (NYT)
‘Legends of the Fall’ author Jim Harrison dies. (CNN)
Supreme Court rejects Blagojevich conviction appeal. (USA Today)
Uneasy lies the head. A new study using penetrative radar on the Bard’s grave — which notably bears the inscription “Curst be he that moves my bones” — have determined that his noggin may not be with the rest of him. This would support a rumor, popular since the 19th century, that grave robbers nabbed Shakespeare’s head sometime after he was interred in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 1616. The investigating archaeologists plan to continue combing through historical documents in hopes of finding and reuniting the head with the playwright.
The evidence is conclusive. Lawyers burned by declining career prospects, huge debt and grunt work may be seeing a brighter future in the tech industry. “Technological power is compounding on itself so rapidly that the law can’t possibly keep up,” writes OZY’s Sanjena Sathian. This, in turn, is enabling those with legal know-how to make a lasting impact by not only practicing law, but also shaping legislation. And legal minds with foresight are proving invaluable to tech firms looking to avoid regulatory and copyright pitfalls.
This story has legs. Hazardous levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin in crustaceans and shellfish, threatened this year’s Dungeness crab season, causing a five-month delay. Commercial waters finally reopened this weekend, but Bay Area fishermen — who’ve never started this late in the year — are awaiting test results on the quality of the meat before casting off. The toxin scare threatened many a livelihood, and fishermen are hopeful the tests net positive results so they can enjoy a solid month of catches before the crabs’ mating season begins.
He’s not immune … to criticism. The Oscar winner had defended his decision to screen Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe at his prestigious film festival, despite the fact that Andrew Wakefield, the film’s director and co-writer, authored a widely debunked study linking vaccines to autism. But DeNiro’s had a rethink and is pulling the film from the festival, saying it doesn’t advance discussion of the issue. Wakefield and his team say it’s yet more censorship and plan to keep fighting to get the film seen.
The semifinal matchups are set. Only one regional No. 1 seed made it to college basketball’s biggest stage as March Madness settled into a mix of second-ranked squads and one potential Cinderella story. No. 10 seed Syracuse shocked UVA 68-62, while top-ranked North Carolina held its ground against Notre Dame 88-74. After two weeks of nonstop tourney action, both winning teams get a week’s rest before facing each other on Saturday, when Villanova and Oklahoma will also duel for a chance to play for an NCAA title.