Trump Fires Tillerson, Deadly Texas Explosions, Nepal Air Crash, Spy Poisoning Allegation, TSA Cellphone Suit

Trump Fires Tillerson, Deadly Texas Explosions, Nepal Air Crash, and more
  • ​U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is removing Rex Tillerson after a rocky tenure as secretary of state and nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo in his place, a shake-up that appeared to take Tillerson by surprise. Trump said he and Tillerson did not see eye-to-eye on major foreign policy issues, naming the Iran nuclear deal as an example, Politico reports. For now, Trump said that replacing Pompeo as CIA head will be Gina Haspel, an agency veteran who was named the CIA's deputy director last year. She ran one of its detention sites in Thailand, where she oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects in 2002, according to a New York Times report.

  • A plane carrying 71 passengers and crew crashed upon landing at Nepal's Kathmandu airport on Monday afternoon, killing 49 people, according to police. Rescuers pulled bodies from the charred wreckage of the plane, operated by Bangladeshi airline US-Bangla, after a raging fire was put out, the BBC reports. Flight BS211 veered off the runway while landing. The airline blamed air traffic control, but the airport says the plane approached from the wrong direction. So, the exact cause of the crash remains unclear. Nepalese government officials promised an immediate investigation.

  • After two more explosive packages were left on porches in Austin, Texas, on Monday, people across the city expressed their worries and talked about how to keep their homes safer, KXAN reports. Austin police investigators determined on Monday that the package bombs that killed a teen and injured a woman were likely connected to a bomb that killed a man on March 2. Investigators say it appears the packages were placed on porches instead of being left by a delivery driver.

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May said it is "highly likely" that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, The Guardian reports. She also warned that her government will not tolerate such a "brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil." In a statement to the House of Commons after chairing a meeting of the national security council, the prime minister said the evidence had shown that Skripal had been targeted by a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. She said the substance is known as Novichok, a Soviet-developed nerve agent.

  • The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is searching the cell phones and other electronic devices of domestic air travelers and should be ordered to document when, how, and why, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday, NBC News reports. In December, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation of Northern California filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking records of TSA searches of domestic passengers' electronic devices, including disclosure of the equipment the agency uses to extract data from cell phones and other equipment. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the ACLU alleged Monday that the TSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has failed to respond.