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Inside Daily Brief (Mar 13th, 2018)

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for the 19-year-old accused of fatally shooting 17 people at a Florida high school last month. Nikolas Cruz faces 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, both in the first degree. Cruz is scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday. Attorneys for Cruz said he would plead guilty if prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty. According to the Associated Press, his only other option is life in prison with no chance for parole. Cruz is accused of killing students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14. - CNN

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John McEntee was fired from his job as President Trump's personal aide and then rehired by the Trump campaign. McEntee was terminated because he is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for "serious financial crimes," CNN reported, citing a source familiar with the firing. McEntee's security clearance was revoked and he was escorted from the White House on Monday. According to the New York Times, McEntee was brought in to the White House as Trump’s “body guy" and has traveled with the president on most trips. On Tuesday, Trump's re-election campaign announced that it hired McEntee as its senior adviser for campaign operations. - NYT

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A bus carrying students crashed into a ravine in Alabama, killing the driver. Twenty victims were sent to the hospital, and four were listed in serious condition. The bus was carrying high school band members back to their home in Houston after a trip to Disney World. The accident happened early Tuesday morning near the Alabama-Florida border. According to reports, the charter bus veered across the grassy median of an interstate highway and plummeted down the 50-foot ravine. At least two passengers had to be cut out of the bus. It took roughly three hours to rescue all 45 people. - AP

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Police said that three packages that exploded in Texas, killing two people, appear to be related. The packages were delivered to three homes in the same area of Austin this month. The first explosion occurred on March 2, killing 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House. On Monday morning, a 17-year-old boy was killed in another explosion. A third bombing occurred later that day, seriously injuring a 75-year-old Hispanic woman. The most recent victims have not been identified. Because two of the victims were black and a third is Hispanic, authorities are investigating the possibility of a racially motivated hate crime. The suspect or suspects was able to build the bombs without setting them off, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley noted. “There’s a certain level of skill and sophistication that whoever is doing this has," Manley said. - WAPO

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An Idaho teacher is under investigation for reportedly feeding a live puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students. Robert Crosland, a biology teacher at Preston Junior High, conducted the feeding after school on March 7, Superintendent Marc Gee told the Idaho Statesman. The puppy was reportedly terminally ill. The Preston School District and the Franklin County Sheriff's office are now investigating Crosland. - USAT

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Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he plans to sue oil companies for knowingly "killing people." In an interview with Politico's "Off Message" podcast, the actor said he is speaking with law firms and arranging for a public push to target the industry. Schwarzenegger said oil companies "did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill.” He compared the industry to big tobacco, which hid the harmful effects from smoking for years. "It’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco,” he said. - THEHILL

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Robert Lightfoot, the interim chief at NASA, will leave the agency at the end of April. Lightfoot, who has served as acting administrator since January 2017, announced his retirement on Monday. Lightfoot did not give a reason for his departure. With each day at the helm, Lightfoot and NASA set a new record for the longest time the space agency has been without a permanent leader. The Trump administration's choice — Rep. James Bridenstein, R-Oklahoma — has been stalled in the Senate. The White House nominated Bridenstine last fall, but Senate leaders have yet to bring it up to the full chamber for a vote. Republicans may not have enough votes for the nomination. - THE ATLANTIC

For more news like this, check out Inside Space, our twice-weekly digest of news about the cosmos.

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Actress Heather Locklear has been charged with battery for allegedly attacking police officers who responded to a domestic disturbance at her home. Deputies were called to Locklear's home in southern California on Feb. 25. Locklear, 56, was reportedly intoxicated and arrested under suspicion of domestic battery. Police said she appeared to assault her boyfriend Chris Heisser during the incident. No domestic violence charges have been filed. On Monday, the actress was charged with four counts of misdemeanor battery on a police officer and one charge of resisting or obstructing an officer. She is scheduled for arraignment in Ventura County court on Tuesday. - PEOPLE

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A man who was closely associated with the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been found dead. Nikolai Glushkov, 68, originally from Russia, was living in exile in London. His family and friends found his body inside his home on Monday night. A counter-terrorism command unit is investigating the incident, according to the London Metropolitan Police. The cause of death was not immediately known. Glushkov once testified against Putin ally Roman Abramovich. Glushkov also worked for a company owned by Berezovsky, who opposed and publicly denounced Putin. Berezovsky was found dead at his southeast England home in March 2013. - GUARDIAN

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A 910-carat diamond - one of the largest ever recorded - has sold for $40 million. The British mining company Gem Diamonds found the diamond at its Letseng mine in southern Africa in January. The gem, nicknamed the Lesotho Legend, sold to an undisclosed buyer in Antwerp, Belgium on Monday. The company believes it is the fifth largest gem-quality diamond ever discovered. - BLOOMBERG

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