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National
7 things to know now: Comey investigating; missing teen left message; Ivanka’s new office
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7 things to know now: Comey investigating; missing teen left message; Ivanka’s new office

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
FBI Director James Comey, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

7 things to know now: Comey investigating; missing teen left message; Ivanka’s new office

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

  1.  No wiretapping: In a hearing on Capitol Hill Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s associates colluded with Russian officials to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Comey, along with National Security Agency head Admiral Mike Rogers, answered questions for more than five hours about the Russians, wiretaps, spies and Hillary Clinton. Comey said that there was no wiretapping of Trump Tower, that Russia "hates" Clinton and wanted her to lose, and that officials believe both political parties were hacked in 2016 but only Democratic emails have been released so far.
  2.  Gorsuch hearing: Senate Judiciary Committee members will take turns questioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch Tuesday on the second day of his confirmation hearing. On Monday, in addition to explaining why they did not want Gorsuch to be the next Supreme Court justice, Democrats attacked President Trump for comments about judges who issued rulings he did not like. Gorsuch, if confirmed, will take the seat made vacant with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year.
  3.  Device ban: Passengers on flights from eight countries will no longer be allowed to bring most electronic devices – laptops, iPads and cameras included – in carry-on luggage starting Tuesday. According to officials, the ban applies to nonstop flights from Cairo in Egypt; Amman in Jordan; Kuwait City in Kuwait; Casablanca in Morocco; Doha in Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul in Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
  4.  Missing teen: The brother of a Tennessee teenager who went missing with her 50-year-old school teacher said just prior to her disappearance, his sister shared a bizarre post on Instagram about a character from the movie “Beauty and the Beast.” James Thomas said his sister Beth’s post read: “Every beauty needs her beast to protect her from everything but him.” Days before the two disappeared, a student caught Thomas and her teacher, Tad Cummings, kissing in a school classroom, authorities said. 
  5.  Ivanka’s new office: Ivanka Trump has been given an office in the West Wing of the White House, though she is not technically a government employee, nor will she receive a salary. She has been seen at various White House functions during the past two months, has participated in some meetings and accompanied her father to receive the body of a special operations serviceman who was killed during a mission. 

And one more

The jersey that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wore during the Super Bowl has been found in Mexico by the FBI. The jersey was found in the "possession of a credentialed member of the international media," according to a statement by the agency. Authorities also recovered a second Brady jersey and a helmet from another player.

In case you missed it

It’s from a couple of years ago, but it’s trending again.

 

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The Latest News Headlines

  • The Houston Zoo had its hands full Wednesday as its newest edition, a two-week-old elephant calf named Joy, wriggled and scooted her way to temporary freedom.  A zoo visitor captured the moment on cellphone video as Joy lay on the ground, wiggling her way under the bottom cable of the enclosure. Once she was under, she stood up and ran down the line between the primary and secondary enclosure fences.  >> Read more trending news The video, shared with KPRC-TV in Houston, showed zoo patrons hurrying along the outer perimeter of the enclosure, phone cameras at the ready, as Joy enjoyed her jaunt. Zoo workers could be heard calling for handlers and asking the crowd to step back as Joy’s mother paced on the other side of the fence and voiced anxiety over the situation.  A zoo spokeswoman told KPRC that Joy never got past the secondary fence. She was not injured during her brief adventure.   Joy was born July 12 to Shanti, a 26-year-old Asian elephant, after a two-year pregnancy. The calf, who weighed 305 pounds at birth, began nursing within three hours and has since been doing well and meeting milestones, zoo officials reported on Facebook. 
  • The pastor of a Mandarin church has posted a sign outside calling Allah a 'fake God.' Several people reached out to Action News Jax, calling the sign Islamophobic. The sign says: 'Allah fake God, Jesus Christ the real God.' Pastor Gene Youngblood would not come out of First Conservative Baptist Church's locked doors when Action News Jax showed up to ask why he felt this was an important message to display. JFRD: Lightning may have caused business fire in downtown Jacksonville 'I do appreciate your contact. But the sign stands for itself, speaks for itself, to be proven by the Quran,' said Youngblood. 'Ignorance really cultivates fear,' said Alex Sivar, chairman of interfaith organization Atlantic Institute Jacksonville. 'This is a monotheistic religion and the three major ones are, of course, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. And all three of them are worshipping the same god.' Sivar, who is Muslim, said he'd like to invite Youngblood and his family to his home. 'Have a dinner, break bread with me, and ask me all the questions that he has that he doesn't have an answer,' said Sivar. In 2015, Youngblood took a sign saying 'Homosexuals must repent or go to hell' down after a petition. In 2012, he posted a sign saying, 'Pray for our president to be replaced.
  • A Texas teenager is facing felony charges after she falsely claimed she was kidnapped and raped by three African-American men in March, according to reports. >> Read more trending news Breana Harmon, 19, ran into a church wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear and told witnesses she had been abducted, taken to the woods behind the church and raped by two of the men as the third held her down, the Dallas Morning News reported. An investigation found that the cuts on her jeans did not match the cuts on her legs, authorities said. A nurse found no evidence of sexual assault after examining Harmon. Later in March, she admitted to police that she had made up the entire ordeal. Harmon told authorities that “things from her past started going through her head” and she “began cutting herself and her jeans,” the Herald Democrat reported. She then confessed that she had lied about the incident because she didn’t want her mother to know she was cutting herself. Harmon was initially arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. She was indicted Wednesday on charges including two third-degree felony counts of tampering with physical evidence and a felony count of tampering with a government record, among other charges. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison. “The more we have looked at what happened in this case, and considered the harm it caused, and certainly could have caused, we believe what she did fits these higher charges,” Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown said in a statement. “What she did was very serious, and we believe it was felony conduct.”  The Herald Democrat reported that the Denison Police Department, which investigated the case, is also seeking $8,000 in restitution.
  • A 39-year-old Utah woman was killed by her husband aboard a Princess Cruise ship Tuesday night because, he told authorities, she wouldn’t stop laughing at him, according to the FBI. >> Read more trending news An FBI spokeswoman said Thursday that authorities arrested a man in the case after the ship was diverted to Juneau, Alaska. He was identified by The Associated Press as Kenneth Manzanares. Authorities said the woman, who was identified only as K.M., was killed during a loud domestic dispute on the Emerald Princess around 9 p.m. Tuesday, while the ship was traveling the waters off Alaska, The Associated Press reported. “Court documents say a man entered the cabin and saw the woman on the floor covered in blood,” according to the news wire. “Records say Manzanares grabbed his wife’s body and dragged her to the balcony before the witness stopped him.” A passenger on the ship told KTVA that he heard “two or three ladies or girls, definitely women, screaming” on the night of the incident.  He told the news station that his wife looked over their room balcony and saw a man “bruised, cut and covered in blood.” The ship left on Sunday from Seattle, carrying 3,400 passengers on a week-long trip.  The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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