Top News Stories for Today

Top News Stories for Today – May 21, 2016

Last moments of EgyptAir Flight 804

EgyptAir Flight 804 crashedNew information about the last moments of EgyptAir Flight 804 suggests the plane experienced a “fast-moving catastrophe on board,” The New York Times reports, such as a fire or explosion.

Seven messages transmitted to the ground from a communication system aboard the plane reportedly were “terse,” and apparently indicated smoke coming from a lavatory in the aircraft as well as problems with several windows. While the Times notes these messages do not unequivocally state there was a fire on board, U.S. officials have been theorizing a bomb took down the plane, while former CIA director James Woolsey said Friday that there is a “pretty high probability” that whatever downed the plane was an inside job. Terrorism is the suspected cause of the plane’s demise. The New York Times, CNN



Armed man shot near White House

Armed man shot near White HouseA Secret Service officer shot a man reportedly brandishing a gun near the White House on Friday, prompting a brief lockdown. After repeatedly denying Secret Service officers’ requests to drop his weapon, the man was shot and critically injured.

He was then immediately taken into custody and rushed to a hospital. President Obama was playing golf in Maryland at the time of the incident, and Vice President Biden was secured “within the White House complex,” an official told CNN. The Secret Service confirmed that all individuals under its protection are safe. CNN, NBC Washington



Paris terror attack suspect refuses to talk

Belgium transfers attacker to FranceThe last known survivor among the Paris attack suspects, Salah Abdeslam, refused to talk during questioning by anti-terror judges on Friday and invoked his right to silence.

Abdeslam, 26, had formerly claimed he wanted to explain his radicalization but according to his lawyer, Frank Berton, he has since become disturbed by 24-hour surveillance in his maximum-security cell. “Psychologically that makes things difficult,” Berton said. Abdeslam was captured on March 18 in Brussels after apparently abandoning his plan to work as a suicide bomber in the Nov. 13 attacks. USA Today



Blue Moon will be visible this weekend

Blue Moon will be visible this weekendIf you look to the southeastern part of the sky Saturday night, you might be able to glimpse a rare Blue Moon.

Blue Moons aren’t necessarily blue — they shine a bright white but that can change based on weather conditions — but they’re a rare astrological phenomenon nonetheless, and are considered an “extra” full moon in a season. (Each season usually has three full moons, but this Blue Moon will bump this spring’s total to four.) Additionally, thanks to the fact that Mars is in retrograde, the red planet will be positioned directly opposite Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the sun, allowing it to shine its brightest since 2003. Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun

US Presidential election

US Presidential election newsNRA endorses Donald Trump: The National Rifle Association on Friday endorsed Donald Trump for president at the NRA-ILA leadership forum in Louisville, Kentucky. Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA-ILA, offered the endorsement before Trump took the stage for an address. The NRA’s announcement comes much earlier than the organization’s endorsements typically do; GOP nominee Mitt Romney was not supported by the NRA until October 2012. Officials who spoke to Fox News said that the NRA is prepared to make the endorsement because there is an excitement among the group’s members about Trump that did not exist with Romney or Sen. John McCain in 2008. Fox News


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