Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Search for survivors of missing Malaysian jet called off
Ending another chapter in the saga for the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Indonesian officials said Thursday the plane's disappearance in March 2014 is officially an accident. That also means authorities have called off searching for survivors, and the 239 people on board the Boeing 777 are presumed dead. The underwater search for wreckage in the Southern Indian Ocean, however, will continue. The accident declaration also paves the way for the families of the victims to be paid. Read more in NEWS.
2. New recording sets sundown deadline for ISIS swap
The terror network extended its deadline Thursday for a suggested prisoner swap that would presumably allow one Japanese hostage and one Jordanian hostage to go free in exchange for a jailed would-be suicide bomber. A purported recording featuring Japanese journalist Kenji Goto says ISIS wants the jailed female prisoner to be delivered to the Turkish border. Japanese officials said they were aware of the recording and working to verify it. Read more in NEWS.
3. Loretta Lynch says she’s no Eric Holder
The Obama administration's nominee for attorney general appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday as part of her two-day confirmation hearing. Republicans, still opposed to outgoing AG Eric Holder and his policies, asked Lynch where she stands. "Going forward, every attorney general creates their own path," Lynch told Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. "You've asked how I will be different than Eric Holder. I will be Loretta Lynch." Lynch's potential confirmation would mark a new start to the relationship between the Justice Department and Congress after years of partisan battles between the GOP and Holder. Read more in POLITICS.
4. One of two hostages killed in Sydney siege was hit by police
The 16-hour siege at a Sydney chocolate cafe last month ended with the deaths of two hostages and their Islamic cleric captor. But while one of the victims was shot by the armed hostage-taker, Man Haron Monis, another, Katrina Dawson, was killed by officers' bullets. The details came to light as a coroner's investigation opens about how police responded. Read more in NEWS.
5. Hard-hit Nantucket cleans up from monster snowstorm
Power was slowly returning Wednesday night on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket, which was slammed by the ferocious blizzard that caused devastating flooding in the community of more than 10,000. While some homes were destroyed, Nantucket was spared some of the worst snowfalls in New England. Other parts of Massachusetts got 3 feet of snow. But in a sign that things are returning to normal, schools are reopening Thursday. Still, said Nantucket Police Chief William Pittman, "This was a tough one." Read more in NEWS.
Meanwhile, another blizzard-related story is lighting up social media. A mystery man was photographed shoveling the Boston Marathon finish line, and now, he's been identified.
6. What you should know about the measles
A measles outbreak has infected nearly 100 people in eight states, with California bearing the brunt. Now, Arizona is reporting that 1,000 people, including nearly 200 children, could have been exposed at a Phoenix-area medical center. With more cases expected, here's what you should know about the highly contagious virus. Read more in HEALTH.
And now this ...
The howling snowstorm that slammed the Boston area this week led to a peculiar sighting make the rounds on social media. Is this man or yeti? You decide.