It sounds like the plot of a movie, but this very dramatic escape actually took place Sunday in a prison outside of Paris.
A helicopter landed in the courtyard of the Reau Prison, and within minutes took off with an extra passenger: Redoine Faid, 46, an inmate serving 25 years for planning a 2010 botched armed robbery that ended with a policewoman being killed.
French media reports that the helicopter landed in the only area that didn't have anti-helicopter netting. Two heavily-armed men dressed in black with their faces covered jumped out of the helicopter and entered the visiting room, where Faid was meeting with his brother. The helicopter pilot had been abducted from a nearby flying club, French media said, and was being held at gunpoint by a third person during the escape. The pilot was later released without any injuries, and the helicopter was found burned in the northern suburbs of Paris.
Faid and his accomplices remain on the lam. This is his second time breaking out of prison — in 2013, he used explosives hidden inside tissue packets to escape from a different facility, and was apprehended inside a hotel room a few weeks later. In 2009, Faid was released from prison after serving 10 years for various robberies, and wrote a book about his life of crime. Catherine Garcia
On Celebrity Big Brother, Omarosa Manigault Newman is continuing to dish on what's happening behind the scenes at the White House, and this week, she's letting the world know what she really thinks about Vice President Mike Pence.
The former White House director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison and Apprentice star told her fellow contestants on Monday night's show that as "bad as y'all think [President] Trump is, you would be worried about Pence." People who are "wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their life," she added. "We would be begging for days of Trump back if Pence became president, that's all I'm saying."
Pence is "extreme," Newman continued. "I'm Christian. I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things. And I'm like, Jesus ain't say that. He's scary." She also claimed to have the inside scoop on Trump's plan to deport undocumented immigrants. "I've seen the plan," she said. "The roundup plan is getting more and more aggressive. He's a numbers guy. He wants to outdo his predecessors." Catherine Garcia
Eminem gave a blistering critique of President Trump in a nearly five-minute-long freestyle rap during Tuesday's BET Hip Hop Awards, accusing Trump of attacking the NFL as a way to distract people from gun violence and botched relief efforts in Puerto Rico, and mocking the border wall he's promised to build.
Eminem's "The Storm" touched on Charlottesville, racism, and Trump's many trips to his golf courses, and name-checked NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick and former President Barack Obama, giving him "props because what we got in the office now's a kamikaze that'll probably cause a nuclear holocaust." For those who are fans of both Eminem and Trump, the rapper said he's "drawing in the sand a line/You're either for or against/And if you can't decide who you like more in your split/Or who you should stand beside/I'll do it for you with this/F--k you." Watch the video, which contains explicit language, below. Catherine Garcia
Three teenagers participating in the Los Angeles Police Department's cadet program were arrested Wednesday night in South L.A. after they stole police vehicles, stun guns, radios, and a bulletproof vest, then led officers on two different chases, Police Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.
Beck said it's also possible that the teens, two males and one female whose identities are not being revealed because they are juveniles, impersonated police officers while driving the cruisers. Law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times one of the police cars was stolen from a parking garage at the LAPD Central Division, and another from the 77th Street station in South Los Angeles; Beck said a third car that was missing has been recovered.
The cadet program is open to young people age 13 to 20 who have at least a 2.0 GPA and "maintain good moral character." The goal is to strengthen relationships between the city's youth and police officers and teach them leadership and life skills. After completing 18 weeks of training, the cadets can volunteer at stations across the city. Beck is calling for a "top to bottom" review of the program, but said the department is still "proud" of it and "we don't want the actions of these three individuals to reflect negatively on the other 2,300 cadets." Catherine Garcia
Rex Tillerson says the U.S. has 'spoken enough about North Korea,' won't comment on latest missile launch
Either Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doesn't want to give North Korea the attention that leader Kim Jong Un craves, or he is completely over his job less than three months after starting.
Uhhhh what does this mean pic.twitter.com/PzRpi6xjVt
— Jessica Schulberg (@jessicaschulb) April 4, 2017
Not long after the news broke that North Korea launched a missile into the Sea of Japan, Tillerson released a brief statement Tuesday night confirming the launch of "yet another intermediate-range ballistic missile," adding two very terse sentences: "The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment." If you seek words of comfort in these uncertain times or angry declarations and threats of retaliation, Tillerson made it clear you had better look elsewhere.
If this is the secretary of state's way of hinting he wants out of the job, Tillerson should know by now that all he needs to do is tag Jared Kushner, say, "You're it," and call it a day. Catherine Garcia
The world's largest cruise ship is basically a city on the water, with room for 6,360 passengers and enough activities to keep each one of them entertained.
Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is estimated to have cost $1.1 billion, and after 32 months in a French shipyard, set sail Sunday for England on its maiden voyage (the inaugural voyage is May 22 to Barcelona). The ginormous ship is 1,187 feet long, and has 2,500 staterooms across 16 decks. There are seven neighborhoods, and so many features that it's likely guests will forget they are in the middle of the ocean: The boat boasts a park, an ice skating rink, a movie theater, a casino, a carousel, gift shops, 20 dining venues, 23 pools, a water park, the Ultimate Abyss (the tallest waterslide on a ship), and the Bionic Bar, featuring robotic bartenders — and that's just scratching the surface. Good luck to the 2,394 crew members who will keep the ship afloat. Catherine Garcia
Walk into any college bookstore and you'll likely get sticker shock, considering college textbook prices have gone up an astonishing 1,041 percent since 1977.
NBC News looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and found that from January 1977 to June 2015, textbook prices have risen more than three times the rate of inflation. Experts say textbooks are being sold the same way pharmaceuticals are — like sales reps visit doctors, publishers are making trips to campus to woo professors. "They've been able to keep raising prices because students are 'captive consumers,'" Nicole Allen, spokeswoman for the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, said. "They have to buy whatever books they're assigned."
Publishers and college bookstore managers who spoke with NBC News say this isn't true, and argue that the study didn't look at used or rented books and didn't take into account "the law of small numbers," meaning an increase of $100 to $200 appears as a 100 percent increase, while a tuition increase from $10,000 to $11,000 is only 10 percent. Mark Perry, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan (where one specialized chemistry textbook is on sale for $400), has been studying the rising costs of textbooks for several years, and said that one thing is certain: "College textbook prices are increasing way more than parents' ability to pay for them." Catherine Garcia