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What is free-range parenting and why did Utah pass a bill on it?

Are you a neglectful parent if you leave your child alone in the car when you run into a grocery store? How about letting your little one walk to school alone?

In many states, you can be prosecuted for such activities, but not in Utah. At least not as of May.

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed into law earlier this month a bill that is being called the country’s first “free-range parenting” bill. The bill amends certain activities previously considered negligent in the state’s legal definition of child neglect. Activities such as letting a child “walk, run or bike to and from school,” or “remain home unattended” are addressed in the new language of the law.

The law does say children must be of “sufficient age,” but does not spell out what that age is. 

>> Read more trending news

“Absence evidence of clear danger, abuse or neglect, we believe that parents have the best sense of how to teach responsibility to their children” Herbert said in a statement.

What is “free-range parenting?” Here is some background.

What is it?

Free-range parenting defines a way of child rearing that encourages independence and less parental supervision. It encourages age-appropriate freedoms, such as playing outside without supervision and walking to school or stores.

How did it start?

While the movement’s origins can be traced back decades to pediatrician Benjamin Spock, the most recent iteration is linked to a column written by Lenore Skenazy, a New York mother and television host. Skenazy wrote about allowing her 9-year-old to make his way home from Bloomingdale’s in New York City by himself on the New York subway system. Skenazy was roundly criticized – some called her the worst mother in the United States – after she left her son in the department store with $20 and instructions on how to use public transit to get home.  

Skenazy’s column and its criticism led to the book, “Free-Range Kids.” She is the president of letgrow.org, a website that advocates for the end of “the culture of overprotection” of children.

What does the Utah law mean for parents?

The bill signed into law in Utah is more a rewriting of the definitions of what constitutes child neglect in the state. Sen. Lincoln Fillmore added and deleted language in existing law to allow parents to give children more freedom without being concerned about being charged with child neglect. 

The law permits a child “whose basic needs are met and who is of sufficient age and maturity to avoid harm or unreasonable risk of harm, to engage in independent activities, including: (A) traveling to and from school, including by walking, running, or bicycling; (B) traveling to and from nearby commercial or recreational facilities; (C) engaging in outdoor play; (D) remaining in a vehicle unattended, except under the conditions described in 323 Subsection 76-10-2202(2); (E) remaining at home unattended; or (F) engaging in a similar independent activity.”

“Kids need to wonder about the world, explore and play in it, and by doing so learn the skills of self-reliance and problem-solving they’ll need as adults," Fillmore said.

Any other states considering such laws?

Utah is the only state that has passed a “free-range parenting” law. Arkansas legislators tried to pass a similar bill in 2017, but it died  in the state’s House of Representatives.

Other states legislators have talked about such bills, particularly after a Silver Spring, Maryland, couple was investigated by child protective services after allowing their 10- and-6-year-old children to walk home alone from a park in 2015.

Easter Sunday brunch 2018: What’s open, where are the best deals?

While some families gather to share a meal to celebrate Easter, others take advantage of special Easter lunches and brunches offered at local restaurants.

Here are a few options if you want to enjoy a meal out and skip all that cooking and cleaning up.

>> Read more trending news

Some restaurants require reservations. Some of the deals below will not be offered at every location, not every franchise honors the deals. Call ahead to your local restaurant to make sure they are honoring the offer.

Where to eat on Easter:

Baskin-Robbins – Bunny-shaped, chick and spring flower cakes are available. 

Bob Evans – The restaurant features the Farmhouse Feast, a complete meal packed cold and ready to heat and serve. The price ranges from $49.99 to $109.99, depending on what you choose.

Boston Market- You can dine in or carry out on Easter at Boston Market. Heat-and-serve meals must be ordered and picked up on March 30, March 31 or April 1; in some areas, home delivery is available. Home deliveries must be ordered by Tuesday (March 27) for delivery between March 28 and 30). A full menu is available for dine-in on Easter.

>>Easter 2018: When is it; what is it; why isn't it on the same date every year?

Buca di Beppo – The restaurant is open at 11 a.m. on Easter. You can make reservations by clicking here.

The Capital Grille – An Easter brunch with appetizer, entrée and dessert will be served Sunday. Cost for adults is $49, for children it’s $15.

Claim Jumper – An Easter brunch with omelet bar, breakfast items, a carving station, pizzas and desserts will be served on Sunday. 

Cracker Barrel – Another to-go Easter option is available at Cracker Barrel. You can get the Heat n’ Serve Easter Family Meal that includes spiral sliced ham, sides, blackberry cobbler and iced tea. You must order 24 hours in advance and pick up between Friday and Sunday. The meals serves up to 10.

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood – Eddie V’s is serving brunch on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Adults pay $49, while the kids’ price is $15. The menu features three courses plus some warm cinnamon rolls to start. You can also order off the dinner menu.

>>Easter 2018: How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg dyeing

Fleming’s – Fleming’s will host an Easter brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Price for a three-course meal is $47. Kids’ meals are $16.

Hometown Buffet – Hometown Buffet has an “Easter Family Pack-To-Go” meal for $89.99. You get ham and turkey, sides and dessert. You have to order by Friday. The restaurant will also serve a dine-in Easter brunch with carved ham, steak, carved roast beef, fried chicken vegetables and desserts.

>>Easter 2018: Quotes about the holiest day on the Christian calendar

Krispy Kreme – What is better than an Easter egg? An Easter-themed doughnut. Look for the yellow chick doughnut and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg doughnut (filled with peanut butter “Kreme” then topped with chocolate icing and nuts.

Legal Sea Foods – Most locations will be open Easter and will have some special holiday offerings along with the regular menu items.

Maggiano’s – The restaurant is featuring a Family Style menu on Easter that includes lunch, dinner and/or brunch items.

Marie Callender’s – You can feed up to six people with one of several take-home Easter Feast options. The price for the meal that includes entrees, sides and desserts, ranges from $99.99 to $139.99.

McCormick & Schmick’s – A brunch and an Easter dinner will be available Sunday. Reservations are recommended.

Mimi’s Cafe – Feed six to eight guests with the Take-Home Easter Feast for $99.99. The meal includes smoked ham with an orange-Dijon herb glaze, sides and salad. You must reserve the meal and pick it up between Friday and Sunday. The restaurant will be open on Sunday.

Morton’s The Steakhouse – Morton’s will feature a steak and lobster special for $59. The restaurant’s full menu will also be available. 

Country Buffet – Country Buffet has an “Easter Family Pack-To-Go” meal for $89.99. You get ham and turkey, sides and dessert. You have to order by Friday. The restaurant will also serve a dine-in Easter brunch with carved ham, steak, carved roast beef, fried chicken vegetables and desserts.

Ruth’s Chris – Participating locations will be serving Easter dinner along with a seasonal three-course spring menu.

Ryan’s – Ryan’s will be serving an Easter menu along with an Easter Family Pack To Go ($89.99). It includes a variety of entrees, sides and pies. The Family Pack must be ordered by Friday.

>>How did crucifixion kill Jesus?

Shoney’s – Shoney’s will be serving a special Easter buffet that includes sliced ham with apples, turkey breast, fried chicken, green beans, sweet potato casserole, peach cobbler and more. 

Tony Roma’s – Tony Roma’s is offering a $23 Easter menu with boneless beef short rib, a choice of soup or salad, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Waffle House – As always, Waffle House will be open 24 hours. 

Martin Luther King Jr.: How the world heard the news of his assassination

April 4 will mark the 50th anniversary of the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. King, the leader of the non-violent movement for civil rights in the 1960s, had come to Memphis the day before to help sanitation workers rally for better wages and safer working conditions.

That evening, as King stood on a balcony at the Loraine Motel, he was mortally wounded by a bullet from a rifle believed to have been fired from a rooming house across the street from the Loraine. King was hit in the jaw and knocked unconscious. He was pronounced dead at the St. Joseph’s Hospital about an hour later, having never regained consciousness.

Here is how the world learned and reacted to the news of King’s assassination:

What King said night before he was murdered:

King came to Memphis in early April 1968 to help striking sanitation workers in their protests for better wages and safer working conditions. On April 3, King addressed a gathering at the Mason Temple in Memphis. He said he did not feel well and did not want to go, but went anyway on the urging of his aides. King stood before the crowd and spoke extemporaneously for more than 40 minutes. The speech turned out to be prophetic as King told those gathered he had “been to the mountaintop,” but that he may not “get there with you.” Here is that speech:

Click here for a look at King’s life, death and legacy.

The obituariesFrom the New York Times:

Martin Luther King Jr.: Leader of Millions in Nonviolent Drive for Racial Justice

“To many million of American Negroes, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the prophet of their crusade for racial equality. He was their voice of anguish, their eloquence in humiliation, their battle cry for human dignity. He forged for them the weapons of nonviolence that withstood and blunted the ferocity of segregation.

“And to many millions of American whites, he was one of a group of Negroes who preserved the bridge of communication between races when racial warfare threatened the United States in the nineteen-sixties, as Negroes sought the full emancipation pledged to them a century before by Abraham Lincoln.

“To the world, Dr. King had the stature that accrued to a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a man with access to the White House and the Vatican; a veritable hero in the African states that were just emerging from colonialism.” (Click here to continue reading)

From the Chicago Tribune

Riots follow killing of Martin Luther King Jr.

“Before darkness fell on this day, a Friday, the plumes of smoke from the West Side already were visible to Loop office workers. In Chicago and across the nation, rioting was breaking out in response to the news that Martin Luther King Jr. had been gunned down in Memphis the day before.” (Click here to continue reading)

Robert Kennedy breaking the news

On April 4, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was in Indianapolis, campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president when he was told of the assassination of King. His staff tried to dissuade Kennedy from going to speak to the crowd in a predominately black neighborhood in the city, as news of riots were beginning to spread.

Kennedy insisted on going to the corner of 17th Avenue and Broadway and talking with the people gathered there. Kennedy began by breaking the news that King had been shot and killed, then called for calm and reminded those gathered that he, too, had had a family member killed and that his family member (his brother, John F. Kennedy) was killed by a white man.

Here is Kennedy’s speech that night.

President Lyndon Johnson’s response

Johnson was notified of King’s assassination as he readied for a trip to Hawaii. He postponed the trip, called King’s wife to offer condolences and declared April 7 a national day of mourning.

The front pages

To see how the world reacted to King’s assassination, click here.

From television:

Walter Cronkite on CBS  

ABC News

NBC News

WBS radio tribute

Coretta Scot King two days after her husband’s assassination

Trump signs Omnibus Spending Bill

Update 1:45 p.m. ET: President Donald Trump has signed the Omnibus Spending Bill hours after tweeting he was considering vetoing the bill. He spoke from the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House.

He said he told Congressional leaders that while he did sign it, he will not do it again, claiming that no one has actually read the bill.

President Trump said that he wanted to include Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, claiming that the Democrats would not consider it. 

>>Read the latest from our Washington Insider: Jamie Dupree

Update 12:55 p.m. ET: President Donald Trump has announced that he will have a news conference at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the Omnibus Spending Bill.

 

Original story: President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to veto a $1.3 trillion funding bill because it did not include money for a resolution for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and failed to fully fund a wall across the country’s southern border.

The Senate had passed the bill early Friday morning. The House passed it on Thursday. The  more then 2,300-page bill was made public less than 24 hours before it was passed.

>> Read more trending news

Trump said in a tweet that he was considering vetoing the omnibus spending bill.

If Trump decides to veto the bill, the government would shut down at midnight, hours before thousands are expected at the “March for Our Lives,” a gun control rally scheduled for Saturday.

Who is John Bolton, H.R. McMaster’s replacement?

On Thursday, President Donald Trump named John Bolton as his new national security adviser.

Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was tapped to replace H.R. McMaster. 

Bolton, 69, has a long history of work in Washington D.C., including leadership roles at the State and Justice departments and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

McMaster replaced Retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn after Flynn was fired 24 days into the Trump administration. Last, fall Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

>> Read more trending news 

Bolton will take over the job on April 9.

Here are a few things to know about Bolton:

  • Bolton, a strong supporter of American military might, served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
  • He was one of President George W. Bush’s lawyers during the Florida vote recount in the 2000 presidential election.
  • From 1985–1989, he was the assistant attorney general at the Justice Department. 
  • From 1989–1993, he was the assistant secretary for International Organization Affairs at the State Department.
  • In May 2001, Bolton was named the under secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
  • Between 1999 and 2001, he served on the board of the Committee for International Religious Freedom. 
  • Bolton served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush. However, Senate Democrats and some Republicans blocked his nomination in 2005. He became ambassador by recess appointment from Bush.
  • Bolton is considered a “super” hawk by some in Washington. According to a profile from Reuters, he kept a defused hand grenade on his desk during his time at the State Department.
  • He recently wrote a commentary piece in the Wall Street Journal titled, “The legal case for striking North Korea first.” 
  • He considered running for president in the 2012 election. 
  • In a December 2012 interview with Greta Van Susteren, he said Hillary Clinton faked a concussion so she would not have to testifying before Congress about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. 
  • Bolton was senior vice president for public policy research at the American Enterprise Institute. The AEI is a public policy research institute.
  • He has been a Fox News contributor.
  • He’s written several books including “Surrender is not an Option,” and “How Barack Obama is Endangering Our National Sovereignty.”
  • Donald Trump considered Bolton for his Secretary of State
  • He was interviewed for the job of national security adviser after Flynn was fired.

How was Mark Anthony Conditt caught? ‘Exotic’ batteries and cell-site analysis

Mark Anthony Conditt, the suspected Austin, Texas, serial bomber, was tracked down early Wednesday morning in part because he used “exotic” batteries in the explosive devices he allegedly made.

Investigators settled on Conditt as a suspect in five bombings in the Austin area after analyzing an unexploded device and sifting through bomb fragments, then finding that all the batteries for the devices came from Asia, according to a story from NBC News.

“These weren’t your store-bought Duracells,” a senior law enforcement officer said of the batteries used in the bombs.

>> Read more trending news 

Conditt, 24, blew himself up early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott warned citizens to be alert because there could be bombs in the area that the suspect either had recently sent or some that were constructed and ready to be sent.

>>Who is Mark Anthony Conditt, the suspected Austin bomber?

“We don’t know if there are any other bombs out there and if so, how many and where they may be,” Abbott said. “Because this individual, either by mail or by placement or whatever the case may be, may have put other bombs out there.”

Abbott said the cellphone number of the Austin bombing suspect was of interest to law enforcement before he was captured on surveillance video at a FedEx store, The Associated Press reported. The person in the video from the store appears to be wearing a blond wig.

Abbott told reporters Wednesday that authorities used cellphone traffic data to put the suspect at the site of the explosions around Austin. He says the suspect’s phone number drew the attention of investigators. Abbott also said Conditt was believed to have purchased materials that could be made to construct bombs from a Home Depot store.

Not much information about Conditt has been released other than he lived in Pflugerville, Texas, and had attended a local community college. His motive remains a mystery, along with whether he acted alone in the five bombings in the Texas capital and suburban San Antonio that killed two people and wounded four others. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story

Easter 2018: When is it; what is it; why isn't it on the same date every year?

“Hey, do you have any idea when Christmas is?” is not a question you usually hear in late November or early December.

Major holidays are stamped on our calendars, often with little symbols, in case you didn’t realize that a cartoon turkey means Thanksgiving. 

Easter, however, is different. The date of Easter, when Christians celebrate the risen Christ, is different every year. 

>> Read more trending news

Many factors have contributed to keeping the date a guessing game, but the rolling calendar on Easter is due mainly to astronomy and a group of men who got together in the ancient city of Nicaea to come up with a system of deciding when to celebrate the holiest day in the Christian calendar.

Here is a look at the origins of the remembrance, the reason for the floating date and when Easter will be celebrated this year.

What is Easter?On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth was a carpenter who became an itinerant preacher at the age of 30. For the next three years, he drew thousands of followers in the relatively small area where he preached. 

When Jewish leaders and Roman officials began to feel threatened by his growing popularity, he was arrested as he came into Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. He stood trial, was found guilty by a crowd and was mocked, beaten and eventually crucified. Followers believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.

The Old Testament prophecy of a messiah being persecuted, then executed, then resurrected – all for the sins of his followers -- is believed by many to have been fulfilled with Jesus’ death.

>>How did crucifixion kill Jesus?

Where in the Bible is the story of Jesus’ execution?The story of Jesus’ death appears in all four of the Gospels of the New Testament. You’ll find them in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 18.

When is Easter this year?Easter is on April 1 in 2018.

Why is it on different dates every year?

The answer is not a simple one. In 325 CE,  the Council of Nicaea, a gathering of Christian bishops, decided that there should be a more organized and universal way to decide when Easter would be celebrated. The council decided that the remembrance would be held the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.

The date for the vernal equinox was based on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter is delayed a week.

How early and how late can Easter be celebrated?Easter can come as early as March 22, and as late as April 25 in the Gregorian calendar.

What does the word Easter mean?It could be from the name of the fertility goddess Eostre. It could be from the Norse "eostur" or "eastur," meaning “the season of the growing sun,” or some combination of those terms and others from pagan festivals and ceremonies.

When was Easter first celebrated?It’s not known when the first remembrance of Jesus’ death took place, but there are records of ceremonies beginning in the 2nd century. The celebrations were held around the Jewish Passover each year, a date that was dependent on the vernal equinox.

What are Good Friday and Maundy Thursday?Good Friday commemorates the day on which Jesus was crucified. Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus had with his disciples.

How did a bunny become a symbol?No one is really sure about how the Easter Bunny came into being, but, he/she likely is a combination of several ancient harvest festival symbols. History.com says the bunny could have come from the pagan festival of Eostre. Eostre is a goddess of fertility and, because of the rabbit’s reputation for, shall we say, productivity, the animal became the symbol for Eostre.

Historians believe it is likely that the festival with its bunny symbol made its way through Europe and gave birth to the Osterhase, or Oschter Haws – an egg-laying rabbit popular in German fiction. German immigrants brought with them to America the tradition of laying colored eggs as gifts in nests built by children during a spring festival. 

Eventually, the bunny started to bring candy and other gifts with the eggs on Easter morning as a sign of the celebration of new life.

Easter 2018: How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg dyeing

With Easter fast approaching, you will want to get your egg situation under control.

Didn’t realize you had an egg situation? That’s why we are here.

>> Read more trending news

If you are going to engage in the long-standing tradition of dyeing Easter eggs, you are going to need to start out with a good, sturdy canvas. 

Coloring eggs has come a long way since the days of the early Christian Church where believers stained eggs red to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The practice was so popular among the faithful, the Church adopted the use of eggs as part of the celebration of Easter in the Roman Ritual, the official ritual works of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

>>Decorating Easter eggs? Here are 11 colorful ideas

Whether you are using commercial dyeing kits where you plop a color “pill” into a cup of vinegar then drop in an egg, or if you are more the Fabergé-has-nothing-on-me type, here’s a guide to producing the perfect hard-boiled egg.

>>Click here to see which grocery stores will be open on Sunday.

Getting a good hard-boiled egg can be tough, but with the recipe below, you can impress your family and friends with your egg boiling skills.

  1. Put eggs in a pot large enough to hold them in a single layer.
  2. Cover the eggs with an inch of water.
  3. Put 1 tablespoon of vinegar in the water.
  4. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. Let the eggs boil in the water for about 30 seconds.
  6. Turn off the heat, and put a cover on the pot.
  7. Let the eggs sit in the covered pot for 12 minutes.

At the end of 12 minutes, the eggs will be perfect - no olive green-looking film on the yokes.

If you want to eat the eggs without coloring them, transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Leave the eggs in the ice water until they are cool.

Crack and peel the eggs under cool, running water. The shells should come off easily.

Facebook breach: Want to leave the social media giant? Here’s how

Officials with Facebook has been notified that the company will receive a letter from the Federal Trade Commission asking how the consultancy firm of Cambridge Analytica gained access to the personal data of 50 million of its users. 

FTC officials informed Facebook that they will be asking both how the firm gained access to the data in 2014, and why users were not notified by Facebook about the breach, according to a story from Bloomberg. 

Cambridge Analytica is a political consultancy firm. It was the firm President Donald Trump’s campaign hired to help with the 2016 election. 

If the thought of having your personal information at risk keeps you up at night, there is something you can do about it. 

>> Read more trending news

You can delete your account. 

Here is how you do that: 

To delete a Facebook account  

Click on the link below, and choose "Delete my account":

Delete my Facebook page 

That’s all you have to do, and your account is deleted from Facebook. There are a few things to keep in mind, however – Facebook delays deleting the account for a few days in case people change their minds, for example. 

Once an account is deleted, it can take a month and a half before all of the information and photos associated with the account are deleted from the backup server, and you cannot gain access to that content after you delete the account. 

Also, according to company officials, material such as records of when you were on the site will remain in its database, but will not be connected to any “personal identifiers.”  

If you want a copy of what’s in your account before you delete it 

You can save the photos and messages on your account before you delete it by going through the following steps on Facebook:

  • Go to the account menu
  • Click the down arrow at the top right of any Facebook page 
  • Click "Download a copy of your Facebook data" at the bottom of the General Account Settings
  • Click "Start My Archive"

Remember, deactivating the account is different from deleting the account. If you choose to deactivate the account to take some time away from social media, you can always go back and reactive the account. 

Deleting the account means ending it so neither you nor others will be able to see it again.

The Austin bombings: A timeline of events in the case

Law enforcement authorities say a bomb that exploded early Tuesday morning at a FedEx processing center in Schertz, Texas could be the latest in a series of blasts that have happened in the Austin area during the past three weeks.

The device went off a little after midnight in the processing center some 60 miles from Austin. Authorities say that bomb was in a package marked for delivery to an Austin address, sent from an Austin address.

>> Read more trending news

The explosion comes on the heels of another attack that took place Sunday night in Austin. The blast, believed to be triggered by a tripwire, injured two men.

Here is a timeline of events since the first bombing happened earlier this month.

Friday, March 2

6:55 a.m. – Anthony Stephan House, 39, finds a package on his front porch as he is leaving his home at 1112 Haverford Dr. in the northwest part of Austin. The package, which was left overnight, explodes as House picks it up. He is taken to an area hospital where he later dies from his wounds. 

Monday, March 12

6:44 a.m. – Seventeen-year-old Draylen Mason brings a package left at his 4806 Oldfort Hill Drive home into the kitchen to open it. A bomb inside the box explodes, killing the teenager and wounding his mother. Mason was a gifted musician.

11:50 a.m. – Later that day, Esperanza Morena Herrera, 75, picks up a package outside her home at 6708 Galindo St. in southeast Austin. The bomb inside the package explodes, critically injuring Herrera.

2:30 p.m. – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asks the public for help in finding information about the bombings. He announces a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in the attacks.

Tuesday, March 13

4 p.m. – The Austin Police Department ups the reward for information about the bombings by an additional $50,000.

<<Austin bombings Q&A: What are the distinctive traits of a serial bomber?

Saturday, March 17

2:53 a.m. – Austin police arrest Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, was arrested on charges of making a terroristic threat in connection with a bomb threat that led to the cancellation of band The Roots’ show Saturday at the  South by Southwest festival.

Sunday, March 18

2 p.m. – The Austin police announce another reward increase, making the total $115,000.

8:30 p.m. – Two men in their 20s either riding or waking a bike in the 4800 block of Dawn Song Drive in southwest Austin trip a wire attached to an explosive device and are injured by the blast. The bomb is the first to use a tripwire to detonate the device.

<<Austin bombings: What we know about the bomber’s habits

Monday, March 19

1:30 a.m.Austin interim Police Chief Brian Manley, warns Austin residents not to pick up suspicious packages or other items, and to call 911 if they should come across one.

2:30 p.m.Gov. Abbott announces he is authorizing the use of $265,500 from an emergency fund to purchase portable X-ray machines that would be used to examine suspicious packages while minimizing the risks to law enforcement officers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

12:30 a.m. – A bomb explodes at a Fed EX processing plant in Schertz, Texas, about 50 miles from Austin. One person was injured when the package detonated as it moved from an upper conveyer belt to a lower one. Authorities said the package was to be delivered to an Austin address and was sent from an Austin address.

 

Austin bombings Q&A: What are the distinctive traits of a serial bomber?

What would make a person create a bomb, set it to go off then deliver it to a victim?

A variety of things, according to a forensic psychiatrist who has studied some of the worst killers society has ever seen. 

According to Dr. Michael Welner, a leading forensic psychiatrist and chairman of The Forensic Panel, a person (almost always a male) who would set a bomb to kill someone is interested in “spectacle through destruction,” hoping that news cameras are rolling following the explosion.

>> Read more trending news

Welner is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is the developer of the Depravity Standard (www.depravitystandard.org ), which delineates traits of the worst of murderers. The Forensic Panel is a practice that works on complex homicides around the United States.

We asked Welner to explain the influences behind what may drive a serial bomber and the traits most common to bombers. 

Q: Are there traits common to serial bombers?

A: Male, detail-oriented, motivated by spectacle through destruction as opposed to merely destructiveness. He takes pride in abilities and planning, is socially isolated and quiet, and feels himself as unsuccessful in intimacy. He has a keen awareness of media and its tendencies in reporting.

>>Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

Q: Have you seen anything in the coverage of these bombings that would be helpful in identifying the bomber?

A: The most important aspect of coverage is to enlist the community to be vigilant and to watch their communities, film with their smart phones to capture the out-of-the-ordinary, and to report what is suspicious. Serial violent offenders are often identified by tips from people who spotted something or someone who does not add up. 

Also, the more vigilant a community is to catching such a perpetrator, the harder it is for such an offender to attack without being identified. And the serial bomber does not want to be caught. It is best to keep the focus on the initiatives and collectiveness of a community to work together.

<<Police confirm trip wire used in fourth bomb that injured 2

Q: A different bomb trigger – a tripwire – was used in the bombing on Sunday night. The first three attacks involved suspicious packages left on doorsteps. The bomb in the package that exploded Sunday was left on the side of a road. Would a bomber “stick to his script” and not change the way he delivered bombs, or would you be concerned that there was a “copycat: bomber who put the latest bomb by the side of the road?

A: Both are possibilities. … Historically, a serial bomber with a passion and training in explosives will be able to shift methods to take advantage of materials available and opportunities to offend without being caught. 

Q: Police said the bomber is trying to “send a message.” Do serial bombers want to send a message generally, or are they only interested in destruction and murder?

A: Bombers create a spectacle to draw attention. They may be motivated to draw attention to themselves and their power to hold a community in fear, or may attach to a cause to draw attention to it. The key point is that a spectacle killer is destructively motivated even before the crimes begin, but attaches to a cause that he thinks justifies violence.

Q: The first victims were African American and Hispanic. Do you think the bomber is targeting only those groups? Is that something a serial bomber generally does, or are victims randomly chosen? 

A: Those who have chosen to bomb, pick targets for their own reasons. The rationale may or may not make sense to the rest of us. But it makes sense to them. If ethnicities are targeted, it may be driven by a desire to instigate violent race conflict, as Joseph Paul Franklin (a serial killer who, in addition to murdering several people, also shot and wounded businessman Vernon Jordan and Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt) told me he intended when I interviewed him. Likewise, since spectacle murderers are attempting to manipulate the media as much as anything, the bomber and whomever is assisting him may be attempting to manipulate a news cycle by staging violence that inflames racial divisions, or what some call a “false flag.” 

How vulnerable is the U.S. power grid to a cyberattack? 5 things to know

When the Trump administration announced new and tougher sanctions on Russia last week, officials also said the sanctions were, in part, punishment for attempted Russian cyberattacks on critical U.S. infrastructure, including the United States’ power grid.

>> Read more trending news 

Over the past several years, hackers have targeted a Vermont utility, power grids in Ukraine and Ireland, a nuclear power plant in the U.S. and U.S. energy companies, according to news reports.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority reported Monday that it was hacked.

>> Related: Researchers: Hackers develop highly customizable cyberweapon aimed at electric grids

The U.S. electrical grid is highly complex with some 3,300 utility companies that work together to deliver power through 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines. The nation also has 55,000 electrical substations and 5.5 million miles of distribution lines that power millions of homes and businesses, according to a report last year.

Just how vulnerable is the U.S. to a cyberattack on its critical infrastructure, like the power grid?

>> Related: The 2017 Russian sanctions bill: What does it do; what is Russia’s response; will Trump sign it?

In April of 2017, the Council on Foreign Relations released a report on the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid. Because of the importance of electricity to the smooth functioning of society and because of the critical nature of power to the 16 sectors of the U.S economy that make up what’s considered critical infrastructure, a significant attack on the grid could cause serious damage in the U.S., if it were to happen. “Any of the system’s principal elements – power generation, transmission or distribution – could be targeted for a cyberattack,” the agency said.

 Here are 5 things to know:

1- The U.S. power grid has long been considered a target for a major cyberattack; however “carrying out a cyberattack that successfully disrupts grid operations would be extremely difficult, but not impossible,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations’ report.

 2- The U.S. power grid was built for “reliability and safety” and is fairly easy to defend. During winter weather or a hurricane for example, U.S. power crews are good at anticipating problems and can generally move away from computers to manual operations, cyber security expert Robert M. Lee said in an interview with Scientific American magazine.

>> Related: Hackers target European businesses, banks, services in new cyberattacks

3- Because of computer technology and the growing interconnectedness of the digital landscape, and because returning to manual operations is growing more difficult, Lee said that there is cause for concern. “Our adversaries are getting much more aggressive. They’re learning a lot about our industrial systems, not just from a computer technology standpoint but from an industrial engineering standpoint, thinking about how to disrupt or maybe even destroy equipment. That’s where you start reaching some particularly alarming scenarios,” Lee told Scientific American.

4- The director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael Rogers, in testimony before Congress in 2014, said that China and a few other countries likely had the capability to shut down the U.S. power grid. “Rapid digitization combined with low levels of investment in cybersecurity and a weak regulatory regime suggest that the U.S. power system is as vulnerable - if not more vulnerable - to a cyberattack as systems in other parts of the world,” officials with the Council on Foreign Relations said.

>> Related: Homeland Security investigating after massive cyber attacks take down sites across the internet

5- A cyberattack on the U.S. electric grid could cause power losses in large parts of the United States that could last days or up to several weeks in some places, and it would cause a substantial economic impact, the Council on Foreign Relations reported. The report found the U.S. needs to work to put in place measures to prevent a cyberattack on the power grid, and to find ways to lessen the potentially catastrophic impact should one occur.

 

Austin bombings: What we know about the bomber’s habits

Police and federal agents continue to investigate the four bomb explosions in Austin this month that killed two people and wounded four others.At a press conference Monday, after the fourth bomb exploded injuring two men, law enforcement authorities asked the bomber to contact them and let them know what message he is trying to send, assuring him that they are “listening.”

>> Read more trending news

The bombings began March 2 when a package exploded on the front porch of the home of Anthony Stephan House, 39, killing him. The second attack happened March 12 when a bomb in a package was taken into the home of Draylen Mason, 17. The package exploded, killing Mason, and injuring his mother.

>>Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

The third bomb exploded when a 75-year-old Hispanic woman picked up a package on her front porch. She was seriously injured.On Sunday, two men were hurt when a bomb went offapparently after one of the two hit a tripwire attached to the explosive device.

>>For investigators, a race to decode hidden message in Austin bombings 

Authorities are operating under the assumption that the bombs were made by the same person.

Here is what we know about the Austin bomber’s habits: 

  • Prior to the explosion Sunday, the three bombs were left in packages at homes.
  • Sunday’s bomb was tripwire-activated.
  • Sunday’s bomb was in a different geographical area than the other three bombs.
  • The victims of the first three bombings were African-American and Hispanic. Sunday night’s victims were white.
  • Fred Burton, a security and terrorism analyst at Austin-based Stratfor, told the Austin American-Statesman that he believes it is the same person doing the bombing. He may have changed bombing locations and methods to throw investigators off, Burton said.
  • Common household items were used to construct the first three bombs, the American-Statesman reported. 

Why was Andrew McCabe fired? What we know now

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe late Friday, hours before the former assistant director of the FBI was to retire.

Sessions said in a statement that McCabe was let go for “lacking candor under oath” in misleading investigators about the fact that he authorized a conversation between FBI employees and The Wall Street Journal.

While some are pointing to a vindictive strike at McCabe from President Donald Trump – McCabe took James Comey’s side following Comey’s firing last year – others say McCabe was forthcoming with information requested of him by the FBI’s inspector general.

Here is what we know about McCabe’s firing.

What Sessions said:

The Justice Department  released this statement from Sessions about McCabe’s firing:

“After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). 

>> Read more trending news

“The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe. Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions.

“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.’ 

“Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”

McCabe’s answer:

McCabe issued this statement after he was fired.

“I have been an FBI Special Agent for over 21 years. I spent half of that time investigating Russian Organized Crime as a street agent and Supervisor in New York City. I have spent the second half of my career focusing on national security issues and protecting this country from terrorism. I served in some of the most challenging, demanding investigative and leadership roles in the FBI. And I was privileged to serve as Deputy Director during a particularly tough time.

“For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country. Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The President's tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing. He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service. And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us.

“No more.

“The investigation by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) has to be understood in the context of the attacks on my credibility. The investigation flows from my attempt to explain the FBI's involvement and my supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton. I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure. The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau, and to make clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in DOJ opposed.

“The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter. It was the type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week. In fact, it was the same type of work that I continued to do under Director Wray, at his request. The investigation subsequently focused on who I talked to, when I talked to them, and so forth. During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me. And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.

“But looking at that in isolation completely misses the big picture. The big picture is a tale of what can happen when law enforcement is politicized, public servants are attacked, and people who are supposed to cherish and protect our institutions become instruments for damaging those institutions and people.

“Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey. The release of this report was accelerated only after my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey's accounts of his discussions with the President. The OIG's focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens. Thursday's comments from the White House are just the latest example of this.

“This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of this Administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel's work.

“I have always prided myself on serving my country with distinction and integrity, and I always encouraged those around me to do the same. Just ask them. To have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the midst of chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair. But it will not erase the important work I was privileged to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see.

“I have unfailing faith in the men and women of the FBI and I am confident that their efforts to seek justice will not be deterred.”

What the inspector general said:

The report from the inspector general has not been released. However, according to a story from The New York Times, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that McCabe had encouraged FBI officials to speak with reporters from the Wall Street Journal about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

An associate of McCabe’s told reporters from the Journal that McCabe did not try to impede an investigation into the Clinton Family charity, the Times reported.

After the investigation, Horowitz recommended to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the department that investigates allegations of bureau employee misconduct, that McCabe be fired because he was not forthcoming with the IG’s investigation.

The report from Horowitz is expected to be released in April.  

What Trump said:

Trump tweeted that it was a “great day for Democracy” on Friday

About McCabe’s firing: 

And this one (Terry M is Terry McAuliffe): 

About McCabe saying he took notes at a meeting he had:

About McCabe’s wife:

What does his wife have to do with it?

McCabe’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, received $467,500 from a political action committee controlled by then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe when she ran for U.S. senator for Virginia. She received an additional $207,799 from the Virginia Democratic Party. 

McAuliffe ran Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and was national chairman for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 bid for president.

In a tweet, the president said McCabe ran the investigation into emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state while McCabe’s wife received the donation from the McAuliffe-run PAC.

McCabe was not in charge of the investigation into Clinton’s emails before FBI Director Comey closed it in 2016.

When an investigation into McAuliffe’s finances arose in 2016, McCabe recused himself from it.

What about his pension?

It has been reported that McCabe lost his pension when he was fired on Friday. That is not exactly the case.

McCabe was fired about 26 hours before he was to set to retire from the FBI. After 21 years of service in the Bureau, McCabe would have been eligible for early retirement at age 50.

What McCabe lost out on when he was fired was the ability to take his full benefits at age 50. He also lost his eligibility for a “top-up,” or “enhanced” benefit formula.

Federal rules state that employees in McCabe’s situation may not be able to draw pension until a date ranging from just before his 57th birthday to as late as his 62nd birthday.

That means he can still collect a pension in a few years, albeit a smaller amount than the $60,000 a year he was set to get. 

McCabe can appeal his firing in the hopes of getting his pension reinstated. 

What others said:

From former FBI Director James Comey:

From Former CIA Director John Brennan:

From U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-S.C): 

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday:

“You know, his firing may be justified. There's no way for us to know at this point, but even though it may have been justified, it can also be tainted. And I think the president's badgering of the attorney general, his urging that he be fired before his pension could vest, and the fact that McCabe and every other of the James Comey associates … who corroborate James Comey on the issue of potential obstruction of justice, every one of them has been targeted by the administration, by the Republicans and Congress. And is this because they corroborate James Comey? That's a question we also have to answer.”

Hillary Clinton breaks wrist in bathtub fall in Indian palace 

Hillary Clinton fell in a bathtub while visiting India for a book tour and fractured her wrist, according to a story from DNA India

Clinton was staying at the Umaid Bhawan Palace when she fell, the story said. The Umaid Bhawan Palace was the one-time home of the former royal family of Jodhpur.

News of the fall comes days after a video was widely circulated showing Clinton twice slipping down stairs at the Jahaz Mahal, an ancient retreat built as an inn to accommodate pilgrims who came to Delhi to visit Muslim shrines there.

Clinton is in India on a book tour for her memoir, “What Happened.” She drew criticism this week when she said in a speech in New Delhi, that President Donald Trump has “quite an affinity for dictators” and that he “really likes their authoritarian posturing and behavior.” 

>> Read more trending news

Clinton went on to say Democrats “do not do well with white men, and we don’t do well with married, white women. And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

According to several sources, Clinton was taken to a private hospital, Goyal Hospital, around 5 a.m. (local time) Wednesday. According to Suresh Goyal, the CEO of the hospital, Clinton “was here for about 15-20 minutes.”

Clinton has had a history of suffering falls in recent years. Five months ago, she had to wear a surgical boot after breaking her toe. She said she fell as she ran down stairs carrying a cup of coffee. 

In 2016, she collapsed as she left a memorial service in New York City for the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Later that day she said she had been suffering from pneumonia and had become dehydrated at the service. Clinton suffered a concussion and a blood clot near her brain after a fall in her home in 2013.

Trump attacked Clinton’s health during the campaign, saying the former secretary of state was not well enough to serve as a president. 

On Thursday, she wore a scarf over her right arm and hand as she toured monuments in the city of Jaipur.

 

 

Miami bridge collapse: What is accelerated bridge construction?

The University City Bridge, the pedestrian bridge on the campus of Florida International University that collapsed on Thursday, apparently leaving several dead, was built under a process called Accelerated Bridge Construction.

>> Read more trending news

The bridge, a 950-ton structure, slammed down onto 8th Street, the roadway known as the Tamiami Trail, landing on at least eight vehicles in addition to hitting some pedestrians who were crossing the road at the time.

>>7 things to know about the fiery I-85 bridge collapse

The bridge was put in place about a week ago but had not been opened to pedestrian traffic. The bridge was designed by FIGG Bridge Group, a Boston firm, and built using the ABC method.

>>Where is the Florida pedestrian bridge collapse?

What is Accelerated Bridge Construction and how does it work? Here’s a look at ABC:

  • ABC projects are constructed offsite and moved to the site to be put together and anchored in place.
  • From the Federal Highway Administration: “The most common form of ABC is the use of prefabricated bridge elements. These elements can be fabricated in a controlled environment off-site and assembled in place at the bridge site. This construction method can best be described as building blocks. The prefabricated elements are connected at the site to form a complete bridge. Prefabrication of beams is not a new concept. Virtually all bridges are currently built with prefabricated beams and girders.”
  • According to a website post from FIU on a page that has since been taken down, but was cached by Google, ABC was used to build the bridge to help minimize the disruption to traffic on the eight-lane roadway it went over. “To keep the inevitable disruption of traffic associated with bridge construction to a minimum, the 174-foot portion of the bridge was built adjacent to Southwest 8th Street using a method called Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) and was driven into its perpendicular position across the road by a rig in only six hours on Saturday, March 10.”
  • From the FIU post: “Civil engineering doctoral student Dewan Hossain said: “I would say this is magic. In five hours using that ABC technology and sensors, the bridge is already there. In the classroom, we learn about the design, the construction, the safety – that’s a big issue – and here we’re seeing it actually happening. Here we are establishing a real, practical application of what we learn in the classroom. I would encourage more students to come view these types of projects to enhance what they learn.”
  • The FHA says ABC “uses innovative planning, design, materials, and construction methods in a safe and cost-effective manner to reduce the onsite construction time that occurs when building new bridges or replacing and rehabilitating existing bridges.”
  • The FHA also said about ABC: “A common reason to use ABC is to reduce traffic impacts … because the safety of the traveling public and the flow of the transportation network are directly impacted by onsite construction-related activities. However, other common and equally viable reasons to use ABC deal with site constructability issues. Oftentimes long detours, costly use of a temporary structure, remote site locations, and limited construction periods present opportunities where the use of ABC methods can provide more practical and economical solutions to those offered if conventional construction methods were used.”
  • FIU hosts the Center for Accelerated Bridge Construction, a national center for education about and promotion of ABC.
  • The University City Bridge, built by the Munilla Construction Management, was designed to survive a Category 5 hurricane.

Trump admits that he made up story about trade deficit with Canada

President Donald Trump, in remarks at a fundraiser Wednesday, said he made up a story about a trade deficit with Canada at a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to a story from The Washington Post 

“Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,’” Trump could be heard saying on an audio recording The Post reported was recorded at a fundraiser in Missouri.

>> Read more trending news 

“Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — ‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’ He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed,”

Trump said, then continued, “... So, he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. ... I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’ He said, ‘Nope, we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case, I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, ‘Check, because I can’t believe it.’"

Trump commented in a tweet Thursday after the Post story was published, writing, "We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do...they almost all do...and that’s how I know!"

According to officials with the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the U.S., in fact, has a trade surplus with Canada. 

The audio also captured Trump talking about the North American Free Trade Agreement, calling Mexico “spoiled” and saying, “The best deal is to terminate it and make a new deal.”

He also talked about his upcoming meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong Un and the criticism he is receiving from the press about it.

“They were afraid of being blown up. Then, all of a sudden, they say, 'Let’s not meet,'” he said of reporters, referring to concerns that tensions between the United States and North Korea are increasing the chances of a military — and possibly nuclear — confrontation.

'Beware the Ides of March' -- What does that mean?

Today marks the Ides of March, which may vaguely remind you of a high school English class. Here are some things to know about the 15th day of the month.

>> Read more trending stories

Day marks the assassination of Julius Caesar

Most famously on this date, some 2,060 years ago, Roman dictator Julius Caesar died in an assassination by senators at the Curia of Pompey.

Tensions had been simmering between senators and Caesar before his death, fueled by Caesar's continued consolidation of power. However, Caesar considered the senators his allies. Just a few years before his death, Caesar was named “dictator in perpetuity,” a move that further strained relations.

According to historians, 60 senators planned and participated in the conspiracy to kill Caesar in 44 B.C.

Death marked a turning point in Roman history

Caesar was popular with the lower class people of Rome, who saw his death as an unwelcome decision made by the aristocratic class. With Caesar no longer leading, potential leaders waged war to fill the power vacuum.

The civil wars eventually culminated in the end of the Roman Republic and beginning of the Roman Empire.

'Beware the Ides of March' made famous by Shakespeare

In case you really did forget your high school English class, it's worth noting the phrase “Beware the Ides of March” was immortalized by William Shakespeare in his tragic masterpiece “Julius Caesar.”

In the play, a soothsayer warns Caesar to be careful on March 15, although the ruler ignores the mystic with tragic consequences.

Famous line based on historical events

It may come as a surprise to know the well-known phrase was actually inspired by real events.

According to Greek historian Plutarch, a seer really did warn Caesar that he would be at the very least injured by the Ides of March.

Caesar did not heed the warning.

On the day of his death, he saw the oracle and joked that he had made it to the Ides of March, to which the seer responded the day had not yet ended.

So why is it called the "Ides of March?"

The Romans kept track of days on their calendar by dividing each month up into three separate points marking the beginning, middle and end of the month. You may have guessed it, but the Ides fall in the middle of the month, on the 15th of March, May, July and October and the 13th for the rest of the year.

The Ides were sacred and marked a monthly sacrifice to the Roman god Jupiter. Various other religious observances also took place on the Ides of March.

Other famous events on this day

Today isn't just the anniversary of Caesar's death. Here are a few other famous events that have happened today in history:

  • 1972: Forty-six years ago (yes, that number is right) Francis Ford Coppola's three-hour crime epic "The Godfather" first played in theaters. Before "Jaws" came along in 1976, the film was the highest-grossing film ever made. It went on to win three Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture.
  • 1917: Czar Nicholas II was forced by the revolting Russian people to abdicate the throne after ruling the country for more than 20 years. The February Revolution -- so named because Russia used the Julian calendar at the time -- broke out just four days before the czar abdicated his throne.
  • 1767: Our seventh president, Andrew Jackson, was born on this day somewhere between the Carolinas near the end of the colonial era. His exact place of birth is disputed.

NCAA Men’s tournament 2018: Time, channel, odds for March Madness

It’s that time. 

The Men’s NCAA basketball tournament begins on Thursday, as millions fill out their brackets and try to figure out a way to watch the games from their desks at work. 

March Madness will see 68 teams vie for one of two spots in the April 2 championship game.  

>> Read more trending news

Office pool betting has begun in earnest and according to the America Gaming Association, the NCAA tournament is one of the most illegally bet on sporting events of the year. The AGA estimates that only 3 percent of March Madness wagers (about $300 million) will be placed legally.

So how does this all work? Here’s a look at what time the games will be played, what channel, how to fill out a bracket, the odds on winning the whole thing, and more.

When does it start?

The tournament actually started on Tuesday with two of the “First Four” games. The First Four are games played by the eight weakest teams (at least on paper) in the tournament. 

On Tuesday, Radford and St. Bonaventure were winners. On Wednesday, Texas Southern and Syracuse both came out on top.

What channel is it on?

The games are broadcast on several channels so fans can see their favorite teams play and networks can make money. CBS, truTV, TBS and TNT will broadcast the games. The championship game will be on TBS. Galavision will provide Spanish language coverage.

How do I fill out an NCAA tournament bracket?

You can click here to fill out a printable bracket to keep up with your picks. ESPN offers a bracket contest where you fill out a bracket and compete with millions of others trying to pick the winner. No one has ever picked every game correctly in the ESPN bracket contest. (Can you say upset?)

How can I watch the tournament without cable?

You can stream the games live by clicking here. It is the NCAA March Madness Live app.  

Boss Button

Watching the games at work? Then you could need a “Boss Button” to keep your nosy employer from seeing you enjoy the games. The button, one of which is on the March Madness website, lets you one-click to replace the game with a fake screenshot of something more work-appropriate when the boss (read: killjoy) strolls through the office.

What channel is truTV on my television? 

Many of the games will be broadcast on the cable channel truTV. Below is a guide to finding the station on your cable network. You can also go to truTV's website using their channel locator by clicking here.

AT&T Uverse: Channel 164, Channel 1164 (HD) DISH Network: Channel 204, Channel 9430 (HD) DIRECTV: Channel 246, Channel 246-1 (HD) SlingTV: Click Here PlayStation VUE: Click Here Time Warner Cable: Click Here to search by zip code Comcast/XFinity Cable: Click Here to search by zip code Charter Cable: Click Here to search by zip code Cox Communications: Click Here to search by zip code Bright House Networks: Click Here to search by zip code Cablevision/Optimum: Click Here to search by zip code Cable One: Click Here to search by zip code Mediacom: Click Here to search by zip code Suddenlink Communications: Click Here to search by zip code WOW! cable: Click Here to search by zip code

What is the schedule?

Here is the schedule of games, times and the channel they are being broadcast on. 

Elite Eight: Saturday, March 24

6:09 p.m. --Kansas State vs. Loyola-Chicago (TBS)

8:49 p.m. -- Michigan vs. Florida State (TBS)

Elite Eight: Sunday, March 25

2:20 p.m. -- Villanova vs. Texas Tech (CBS)

4:55 p.m. -- Kansas vs. Duke  (CBS) 

Final Four: Saturday, March 31

6:00 p.m. -- Elite Eight winners (TBS)

8:30 p.m. -- Elite Eight winners (TBS) 

National Championship: Monday, April 2

9:00 p.m. -- Final Four winners (TBS)

 

Enough National School Walkout: Live updates

Students across the United States and around the world will walk out of their classrooms Wednesday in solidarity with the victims and the survivors of the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The walkout, #EnoughIsEnough, is set for 10 a.m. local time. It will last 17 minutes, one minute for each person killed in the shooting that took place one month ago Wednesday.

According to the Women’s March Youth Empower, more than 3,000 groups have registered to take part in the walkout. The organizers of the event, many of whom are survivors of the shooting, said they hope the walkout will focus attention on gun control reform.

Organizers have seen some movement on gun issues in Floridawhere Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill last week that raised the minimum age for all gun purchases from 18 to 21, created a waiting period for prospective gun buyers, allowed for some school employees to be armed and banned bump stocks, the devices that allow for some weapons to fire more quickly.

What the bill didn’t do was ban the sale of assault weapons, something organizers had hoped for.

The Associated Press reported that free speech advocates are prepared to go to bat for students who may face disciplinary action for walking out of class. The American Civil Liberties Union issued advice for students who walk out, saying schools can’t legally punish them more harshly because of the political nature of their message. In Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas, some lawyers said they will provide free legal help to students who are punished.

Here are the specifics of Wednesday’s event.

Time: The walkout will take place at 10 a.m. in every time zone.

Place: Students, teachers and administrators from across the country and in European countries have said they will participate. So far, 3,000 groups have registered with ENOUGH National School Walkout. Those participating are expected to walk out of class but stay on school grounds.

How schools will participate: It’s up to the student organizers, and depends on what the school will allow. Some students are planning a “lie-in," in which they will lie down to symbolize those killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Others are having discussions on gun issues and some are observing minutes of silence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Certa Pro

Certa Pro painting a project for J.R.