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Breaking: No survivors following Ethiopian Airlines plane crash

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REUTERS / Tiksa Negeri

An Ethiopian Airlines plane crash reportedly killed 157 passengers, leaving no survivors behind. Eight Americans were among the victims on board Sunday, the airline revealed.

The cause of the crash of the new Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft is still unclear. The flight is said to have departed from Bole Airport in route to Nairobi, Kenya. The pilot sent out a distress call and was given clearance to return.

The plane had shown unstable vertical speed after takeoff, air traffic monitor Flightradar 24 said in a Twitter post.

State broadcaster EBC reported all passengers were dead and that they included 33 nationalities. The Ethiopian prime minister’s office offered its “deepest condolences” to families.

Last October, another Boeing 737-8 MAX coincidentally plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, killing all 189 people on board the plane Lion Air flight. The cockpit data recorder showed that the jet’s airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights, though Lion Air initially claimed that problems with the aircraft had been fixed.

The last deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was in 2010 when the plane crashed minutes after takeoff from Beirut killing all 90 people on board.

Sunday’s crash comes as the country’s reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has vowed to open up the airline and other sectors to foreign investment in a major transformation of the state-centred economy.

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UC Berkeley’s Black Student Union schedules protest following “false arrests” on campus

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RACHAEL GARNER

Students of color at The University of California-Berkeley’s Black Student Union have announced plans to orchestrate protest today (March 20) following the charges filed against two of the institution’s students.

The university’s public-affairs department released a statement on Tuesday revealing news regarding the recent arrest made by University of California police in response to a March 8 report.

The two students were allegedly spotted on campus by authorities, with one carrying a stun-gun, which is prohibited on campus by property by law.

“Following standard practice, officers asked her not to touch the weapon and told her that, due to safety concerns, he would need to take it from her,” the statement said.

“When the officer then reached for the stun device, a struggle ensued between the officer and the owner, as well as the second individual who sought to intervene.”

In that statement, Marc Fisher, UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for administration, said that “we recognize this arrest has become a racial issue for some of our community members. We are committed to supporting a fair and thorough investigation, and to taking the steps necessary to maintain a relationship of trust with our community and our guests while ensuring their safety.”

BSU plans to rally outside the campus near Golden Bear restaurant at noon Wednesday and asked that participants wear black to protest what it called police brutality.

“The constant targeting and harm directed at Black people is repugnant and unacceptable. We are calling on the black community and our allies to advocate for black lives on this campus through direct action,” demanding that all charges against the students be dropped, the statement said.

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Wendy Williams reveals she is living in ‘sober house’

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Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

After months of speculation surrounding Wendy Williams’ ongoing struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, the cat is officially out of the bag and the talk show host revealed the news herself.

Williams, 54, courageously announced she’s been living in a “sober house” on Tuesday to in front of her in-studio audience at “The Wendy Williams Show.”

Aside from her husband and son, no other relatives or close friends knew of her big secret.

Williams says she works out after her show and then is driven by her “24-hour sober coach” to a home where she lives “with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family.”

Williams also admitted she’s been addicted to cocaine in the past and never sought treatment.

She returned to her talk show earlier this month for the first time since December, saying she was off because of continued thyroid issues associated with Graves’ disease.

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Facebook and Instagram outages affect thousands of users

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Two of the most popular social media networks are experiencing massive outages.

Wednesday morning, Facebook and Instagram users across the U.S. began reporting issues with the website and app — including login errors, inability to post comments or photos and problems uploading links, and the list goes on.

Just before 2 p.m., Facebook issued a statement via Twitter saying: “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” The company added in a follow-up message that the problems are not related to a hacking incident.

According to CBS News, there have been more than 11,000 reports of Facebook problems since at around noon on Wednesday. A live map shows it’s apparently a global issue, with outages reported outside the U.S., too, including in India.

Facebook has not yet released at statement regarding the source of the technical issue.

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