Colin Dwyer

Once the front-runner in France's presidential election, mainstream conservative candidate Francois Fillon is now confronting serious doubts he will even make it to the final round of voting. That uncertainty only deepened for the scandal-plagued politician Tuesday, as French authorities officially announced they are investigating Fillon on allegations he illegally diverted public money.

An oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew members aboard appears to have been hijacked off the coast of Somalia, which would be the first time a large commercial ship has been taken by Somali pirates since 2012.

Two former high-level Penn State administrators pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor charges of child endangerment, for their roles in covering up child sex abuse by disgraced assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Former Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley each took a plea bargain that — if accepted by the judge — will carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. As part of the plea bargain, the felony charges they originally faced were reduced to misdemeanors.

In a bombshell announcement Monday, Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon told reporters in Edinburgh that she will seek the authority to hold a second independence referendum for Scotland.

Citing a "brick wall of intransigence" from British Prime Minister Theresa May, Sturgeon asserted that the only way to preserve Scottish interests in the midst of the U.K. exit from the European Union is to put matters directly in the hands of Scottish voters.

Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET

Washington state is asking a federal judge to apply the restraining order that temporarily halted President Trump's initial travel ban to the revised ban he signed Monday.

In the span of 93 days, Chris Bertish crossed more than 4,050 nautical miles of Atlantic Ocean — and he conquered this lonely crossing standing up. When the South African surfer entered English Harbour on the island of Antigua on Thursday, he was riding the same massive stand-up paddleboard that bore him from Morocco's Agadir Marina roughly three months ago.

Gunmen dressed as medical staff stormed a military hospital in Kabul on Wednesday morning, killing at least 30 people and injuring dozens more in a raid that lasted hours. In a statement published on the Islamic State-affiliated Aamaq news agency, the militant group claimed responsibility for the assault in the Afghan capital.

The attack on Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital ended midafternoon local time, after several hours of floor-by-floor clashes with Afghan security forces left all four attackers dead, according to Gen. Dawlat Waziri, an Afghan defense ministry spokesman.

For the first time in two decades, South Korea is increasing the reward money it's offering North Korean defectors for classified information. And the hike in the cash reward is no pittance: The South Korean government is quadrupling the amount, from roughly $217,000 up to $860,000.

That sum would be paid to "people who provide intelligence and knowledge that can enhance South Korea's security," the Yonhap news agency reports.

Thomas Starzl, the doctor who pioneered liver transplant surgery, has died at the age of 90. In an announcement on its website, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said Starzl died peacefully at his home on Saturday.

For the second time in less than two weeks, an Indian-born man in the U.S. has been shot by an attacker who, before firing, allegedly shouted, "Go back to your own country." Deep Rai, a Sikh man, was wounded in his Seattle area driveway on Friday night.

Authorities have not yet found the unknown assailant, who has been identified by Rai as a stocky white man about 6 feet tall.

At least 6.2 million people in Somalia — or just about half the country — are grappling with the prospect of an acute food shortage due to deepening drought. And on Saturday, Somalia's prime minister made it clear that the conditions are exacting a stark human cost.

Over a two-day span, at least 110 people died of hunger in just a single region, Hassan Ali Khaire said Saturday during a meeting with the Somali National Drought Committee.

Supporters of President Trump are gathering at locations across the U.S. on Saturday, in a bid to challenge what rally organizers call the country's "seditious fringe." In a series of demonstrations dubbed the "March 4 Trump" — or the Spirit of America Rallies — organizers have pledged to provide "forgotten voices a mechanism so they can be heard."

When the dust finally settled Saturday on Northern Ireland's snap assembly election, it became clear a new political reality now awaits voters there. After an exceedingly strong showing by Sinn Fein, Northern Ireland's government is split all but down the middle between Irish nationalists and their pro-British counterparts.

When Míriam Colón left Puerto Rico for New York City in the 1950s, to study at the Actors Studio, she became the first Puerto Rican actor to be admitted to the prestigious program. By the time she died Friday at the age of 80, Colón had acted in more than 90 films and founded a traveling theater designed to help other Latina actresses follow the trail she blazed.

Updated 9:17 a.m. ET Sunday with White House press secretary statement

In a string of tweets posted early Saturday morning, President Trump let loose a barrage of accusations at his predecessor. He alleged that former President Obama had his "wires tapped" in Trump Tower before Election Day last year, accusing Obama of "McCarthyism" and being a "bad (or sick) guy."

Trump, who is under significant scrutiny for his administration's contacts with Russia before he took office, offered no evidence to support his claims Saturday morning.

At the heart of Gustav Metzger's best-known work rests a seeming contradiction: The truest work of creation contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. Working with acids and liquid crystals, Metzger often made his art to fall apart, break down or disappear entirely — and in doing so, better reflect the crumbling world around it.

It was in 2012 that Barry Eggers, a venture capitalist, noticed that his two high school-aged children were getting obsessed with a curious new app called Snapchat. After a little investigation, Eggers persuaded his company, Lightspeed Venture Partners, to become one of the first to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the fledgling app.

For a man who had just spent a week living inside a rock, sucking oxygen through tiny air holes and storing days' worth of his own waste in bottles closely around himself, Abraham Poincheval was admirably even-keeled.

"I'm a little dazed, which I imagine is totally normal after one week living in a rock," the French performance artist told reporters who had gathered Wednesday at Paris' Palais de Tokyo museum to see him emerge from the more than 10-ton boulder.

Amid escalating anxieties over recent Russian activities, Sweden has approved a plan to reinstitute military conscription beginning next year. The draft, which will pull from both young men and women, will be Sweden's first since 2010, when the country discontinued compulsory service.

The country expects to call up at least 4,000 young people per year for military training, in a bid to erase its deficits in recruitment since the draft ended. The government says it has been recruiting about 2,500 people for military service annually, about 1,500 fewer than it says it needs.

When Ali Cobby Eckermann received the email announcing she'd won one of the world's richest literary prizes, the unemployed Aboriginal poet says she had no idea what to think — though two thoughts weren't long in coming.

In a brief note emailed sent to Uber employees Tuesday evening, company co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick struck a contrite tone. He offered an apology with no caveats or excuses — just hours after a video surfaced showing him arguing with an Uber driver.

Less than a week after a man opened fire in a crowded Kansas bar, killing one man and injuring two others, thousands of strangers from around the world have opened up their wallets to comfort the victims' families.

Three separate GoFundMe accounts have between them raised more than $1 million in donations, which they pledge to help with the families' medical expenses.

Updated at 12:38 p.m. ET

Bill Paxton, prolific actor and big-screen fixture for decades, has died at the age of 61. In a statement released to media outlets Sunday, a family representative says Paxton died of complications from surgery.

"A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker," the statement reads.

The nerve agent smeared onto the face of Kim Jong Nam, estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jon Un, was administered in such a high dose it killed him within 20 minutes, according Malaysia's health minister.

At least 28 people were injured — 21 of whom have been hospitalized — after a man driving a pickup truck plowed into a crowd of spectators Saturday night at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

The city's mayor, Mitch Landrieu, said none of the victims had sustained a life-threatening injury in the wreck, which both he and police are calling a drunken-driving incident.

Consider this your semi-regular reminder that, well, space is pretty neat.

If you're in the southern hemisphere and you happen to look up Sunday morning — or, for everyone else, if you happen to have Internet access — you may have the chance to see an annular solar eclipse. Unlike a total solar eclipse, this one will leave just a sliver of sunlight shining at the rim of the moon's shadow as passes between Earth and the sun.

When Lucille Horn was born in 1920, the odds of her managing to live out the year were long. A premature infant, Horn was just 2 pounds — small enough to be held in her father's hand. Her twin had died at birth, and at that point it looked for all the world as if she would soon, too.

Instead, with the help of an enterprising doctor and a rather odd sideshow at New York's Coney Island, Horn would go on to live another 96 years. She died on Feb. 11, according to Hungerford & Clark Funeral Home, nearly a century after nearly every expert told her parents she would.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A cluster of coordinated suicide attacks have claimed the lives of at least 32 people in the major Syrian city of Homs. The bombings, which targeted two separate security offices in the largely government-held city, killed one senior Syrian intelligence official and left another critically injured.

The video of about a dozen hefty Siberian tigers chasing and batting a flying drone from the sky seemed a lighthearted reprieve from the more serious news of the day. But since sharing the footage, we've become aware that it may conceal a darker story.

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