Good morning, and happy Friday. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Snow way! Last gasp of winter on first day of spring
Millions of Americans across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic were expected to see snow on the first day of spring Friday, with accumulations of up to five inches forecast in several major cities. The winter storm already was dropping powder on parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia in the early hours of Friday and was expected to shift to New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., by the afternoon. Read more in NEWS.
2. Arrested UVA student says trauma will stay with him
A University of Virginia student whose videotaped arrest — as blood streamed down his face — sparked protests and a criminal investigation said the trauma from the event will haunt him forever. Martese Johnson, a third-year student at the university, appeared at a news conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Thursday afternoon. His attorney read a statement from him: "I was shocked that my face was slammed into the pavement across the road from my school." The state is investigating whether police used excessive force during Johnson's arrest outside of an off-campus bar early Wednesday. Read more in NEWS.
3. Netanyahu says he wants 'peaceful' two-state solution
In his first American television interview since winning re-election this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to back away from his declaration that he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state. "I don't want a one-state solution," he told NBC News' Andrea Mitchell on Thursday. "I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution." But he cautioned that "circumstances have to change" for that to happen. He said that the Palestinian leader refuses to recognize Israel and has made a pact with Hamas calling for Israel's destruction. Read more in NEWS.
4. ISIS-linked site claims role in Tunisia terror attack
ISIS purportedly claimed responsibility for the Tunisia Bardo Museum massacre in an online audio recording posted on a website linked to the group, analysts said Thursday. An unsigned statement identified the two dead attackers as "Abu Zakaria al-Tunisi" and "Abu Anas al-Tunisi" and called them "knights of the Islamic State," according to security analysts Flashpoint Intelligence. An audio version of the claim said that the attack targeted "citizens of the Crusader countries" and that Allah had "brought terror to the hearts of the infidels." Read more in NEWS.
5. Search for man leads to body found hanging in woods
Sheriff's deputies and agents of the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Department discovered the body Thursday morning in Claiborne County, near the Louisiana border. Local, state and federal authorities refused to identify the victim, whose body was badly decomposed. But they said it was discovered as local officers were searching for a person who went missing on March 2 — the same day a missing persons report says Otis James Byrd, a 54-year-old black man, was last seen. Read more in NEWS.
6. TSA let convicted felon through PreCheck lanes: watchdog
A convicted felon and former member of a domestic terrorist group was allowed to use expedited airport security lines last summer, according to the Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog. The DHS Inspector General's Office said Thursday a whistle-blower flagged the incident as a "significant aviation security breach," prompting an investigation. It issued a report saying that the traveler — who had convictions for murder and explosives offenses — had not applied for the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program but was selected for expedited security screening through the "risk assessment rules" in the Secure Flight program. Read more in NEWS.
... What's trending today?
March Madness is living up to its name. One of the most thrilling face-offs during the Round of 64 on Thursday was 14th-seeded Georgia State taking on third-seeded Baylor. Within the last three seconds, Georgia State — trailing by two points — managed to sink a three-pointer to win the game. But the best reaction was from Georgia State coach Ron Hunter, whose son, R.J., fired that game-clinching shot.