• In a reversal from previous statements denying all knowledge of the payments, President Trump on Thursday tweeted that he had reimbursed his attorney, Michael Cohen, for the $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels, insisting that the payment was not an impermissible use of campaign funds.  The announcement follows the recent appointment of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Trump’s legal team, the latest in a parade of lawyers associated with the beleaguered President in his fifteen months in office. [BBC]
Bikaner, India on Wednesday.  Source: PTI
  • A severe dust storm followed by heavy rain killed more than 100 in northern India Wednesday evening.  Winds over 60 miles per hour struck the region during the storm, and another dust storm may hit the region in the next 48 hours due to cyclonic weather patterns in the area. [Business Standard]
  • 60 U.S. Marines will be disciplined for sharing nude photographs of female service-members online.  The investigation of the scandal involved 108 Marines and 22 civilians.  7 individuals were court-martialed and convicted, 16 faced non-judicial punishment, and 28 received administrative actions.  7 were discharged from the Corps. [The Cut]
  • As the May 12th deadline for the U.S.’s decision regarding whether to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal approaches, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has indicated that the nation will “stand[] firm in the face of futile attempts at bullying.”  Though Trump announced in January that it would be the “last time” he waived sanctions against Iran, it remains unclear what, if anything, the President will do. [Al Jazeera]
  • Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby were expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts on Thursday.  Polanski fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl, and Cosby was found guilty of a 2004 sexual assault last Thursday.  The Academy, best known for its annual Oscars award ceremony, adopted a code of conduct for its members in December 2017 following the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein in October, and adopted new procedures to handle allegations of misconduct in January. [Hollywood Reporter]

FACT OF THE WEEK:  On this day in 1970, the National Guard killed four students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University in Ohio.  (The song “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young commemorates the tragedy.)

BONUS FACT OF THE WEEK: It’s Mothers Day next Sunday in the U.S.  You still have time to order flowers and avoid obscene shipping fees!