People also are talking about a Taco Bell burglar who ate and fell asleep and how bushfires are destroying Kangaroo Island.
Facebook won't stop lies in political ads
Facebook has decided not to limit how political ads can be targeted to specific groups of people, as its main digital-ad rival Google did in November to fight misinformation. Neither will it ban political ads outright, as Twitter did last October. And it still won't fact check them, as it's faced pressure to do.
Instead, it is announcing much more limited "transparency features" that aim to give users slightly more control over how many political ads they see and to make its online library of political ads easier to use.
These steps appear unlikely to assuage critics — including some of the company's rank and file employees — who say Facebook has too much power and not enough limits when it comes to its effects on elections and democracy itself.
Since last fall, Facebook has insisted that it won't fact-check political ads, a move that critics say gives politicians license to lie in ads that can't be easily monitored by outsiders. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly argued that "political speech is important" and that Facebook doesn't want to interfere with it.
Google, the digital ads leader, is limiting political-ad targeting to broad categories such as sex, age and postal code.
Facebook said in a blog post Thursday that it considered limiting the targeting of political ads. But the social network said it learned about their importance for "reaching key audiences" after conducting outreach with political campaigns from both U.S. parties, political groups and nonprofits.
The company said it was guided by the principle that "people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public."
Facebook does plan to let users choose to see "fewer" political and social-issue ads, although it won't let people exclude them entirely. It will also let people search the ad library for exact phrases and to limit their search results using filters such as ad-audience size, dates and regions reached.
Royal rift? Harry and Meghan's announcement roils UK media
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, might want to "step back" from royal duties, but UK newspaper front pages on Thursday reveal that the couple are still squarely in the public's gaze.
The couple said Wednesday they will leave their "senior" roles in the British royal family, aiming "to become financially independent" and "carve out a progressive new role within this institution," according to a statement posted on Instagram.
The UK press splashed the story across their front pages Thursday, with the shock announcement garnering blanket coverage.
Aside from UK general election coverage, it is incredibly rare for one story to get front page headlines across the media spectrum.
It's even more remarkable during a week of high profile international news, such as the ongoing tensions between the United States and Iran and a plane crash that killed 176 people near Tehran on Wednesday.
The Sun dubbed the announcement "Megxit," plastering the portmanteau across the front page and calling the announcement a "palace bombshell" that had started a "civil war."
The Daily Express went with "Queen's dismay as Harry and Meghan step back from royal life," hinting at a brewing conflict in the family.
This was also evoked by The Times, whose headline read: "Harry and Meghan quit roles amid palace split."
And the monarch's reaction was stronger according to The Daily Mail, which wrote: "Queen's fury as Harry and Meghan say: We quit."
Free daily paper Metro had a simple "Harry and Meghan: we quit" headline in the same vein as the i paper, which went with "Prince quits."
Even The Guardian, less likely to focus on royal stories, had "Harry and Meghan to 'step back as senior royals.'"
The Duke and Duchess have a fraught relationship with sections of the British media.
In October last year, the couple announced that Meghan was suing the Mail on Sunday newspaper, alleging it had illegally published a private letter to her father — a claim the newspaper denies.
At the same time, Harry launched an emotional attack on the UK tabloid press for what he called a "ruthless campaign" against his wife.
He likened their treatment of her to that faced by his mother. Princess Diana died in 1997 when her car crashed as it was being pursued by members of the paparazzi.
Impeachment standoff as McConnell and Pelosi don't budge
The standoff over President Donald Trump's impeachment trial deepened as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there will be "no haggling" with Democrats as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demands for more details and witnesses.
McConnell's Senate majority has the leverage Republicans need to launch Trump's trial toward swift acquittal of the charges, but Pelosi's reluctance to transmit the articles of impeachment leaves the proceedings at a standstill.
What started as a seemingly minor delay over process and procedures is now a high-stakes showdown between two skilled leaders facing off over the rare impeachment trial, only the third in the nation's history.
"There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure," McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday before meeting with Trump at the White House. "We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment. The House Democrats' turn is over."
Three weeks have passed since the House impeached Trump on the charge that he abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine's new leader to investigate Democrats, using as leverage $400 million in military assistance for the U.S. ally as it counters Russia at its border. Trump insists he did nothing wrong, but his defiance of the House Democrats' investigation led to an additional charge of obstruction of Congress.
Senators from both sides are eager to serve as jurors for Trump's day in court. The trial will be conducted in the Senate, where Republicans have a thin majority.
But even as McConnell spoke from the Senate floor, Pelosi, D-Calif., was giving no indication of her willingness to agree to his terms. In a closed-door meeting with the House Democratic caucus, she spoke instead about the crisis in the Middle East, with Iran's retaliatory ballistic missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq, according to several Democrats in the room.
The impeachment timeline is complicating the political calendar, with the weekslong trial now expected to bump into presidential primaries. Several Democratic senators are running for the party nomination.
Returning to Washington from the campaign trail, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., told reporters she was confident in Pelosi's plan.
"I have no doubt that she will get this right," Warren said. "Some things are more important than politics, and the impeachment of a president is certainly one of those. No one is above the law, not even the president."
Another 2020 hopeful, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said: "Those articles will come over here for a vote in due time."
The showdown is expected to be resolved this week, lawmakers said.
Pelosi wants McConnell to "immediately" make public the details of his trial proposal, according to a letter to colleagues. She wants to know how much time will be devoted to the trial and other details about the "arena'' before announcing her choice of House managers to try the case in the Senate, according to Democrats familiar with the situation and granted anonymity to discuss it.
"Sadly, Leader McConnell has made clear that his loyalty is to the President and not the Constitution," Pelosi wrote to colleagues late Tuesday. She said the process he is outlining is "unfair."
Hungry burglar breaks into Taco Bell, makes food and falls asleep
A burglar with hunger pangs broke into a Taco Bell, fixed himself some food and then took a nap before taking off, police said.
Police in Georgia are sharing photos and surveillance video of the Christmas morning burglary to try to tack down the thief.
He shimmied in through a drive-through window, then used the fryers to make himself a meal and eat, police said.
Then the man laid down and slept for nearly three hours before he fled the fast-food rstaurant in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
The suspect is described as a black man wearing black sweatpants, black sweatshirt and black sneakers. He also stole a laptop and a tablet.
Pharmacy robber gives clerk note apologizing, saying he has sick child
PHILADELPHIA — A man who allegedly robbed a pharmacy in Philadelphia flashed a demand note that said he needed the money for his sick child, police said.
In video released by Philadelphia police, the suspect, wearing a grey hoodie and dark gloves, entered a Rite Aid store on Jan. 3 and and took an item to the register.
The store clerk can be seen scanning the item and putting it in a plastic bag. Then, according to a police statement on the screen before the video is played, the man handed a note to the employee that read in part, "Give me all the money. I'm sorry, I have a sick child. You have 15 seconds."
The video shows the suspect reach into his pocket and lean over the counter before the clerk opened the register and put an undetermined amount of cash into the same plastic bag.
The suspect then stuffed the bag in his pockets and fled on foot, police said.
The man did not show a weapon to the clerk during the robbery, Philadelphia Police Officer Tanya Little told CNN.
Police haven't identified the suspect. He's described as a black man between 30 and 40 years old, under 6 feet tall, with facial hair.
Friday's robbery is similar to an attempted robbery in the area that occurred months earlier.
In July, a man with a handgun started to rob a smoke shop because he said he needed to pay for his daughter's kidney transplant, CNN affiliate KYW reported. After a clerk had given him several hundred dollars, he stopped, saying the robbery "probably wouldn't help" his daughter's operation.
He left moments later without the money and did not injure the employees, KYW reported.
Little said the two incidents are not related.
Bushfires destroy a third of wildlife haven called Kangaroo Island
One third of land on an Australian island that is a refuge for some of the country's unique and endangered wildlife has been scorched by raging bushfires, NASA satellite images show.
The extent of fire damage to Kangaroo Island in the state of South Australia was captured by NASA's Terra satellite on Tuesday. The devastation can be clearly seen, with brown burn scars and active fires where lush greenery once stood.
NASA estimates that 600 square miles of the island has been consumed by fires, calling it "an ecological tragedy".
Lying off Australia's southern coast, Kangaroo Island is famous for its pristine wilderness. It contains protected nature reserves teeming with native wildlife, such as sea lions, koalas and diverse bird species.
The island is home to the endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart -- a small marsupial found only on the island -- and the glossy black cockatoo, which have been brought back from the brink of extinction over the past two decades.
Devastating blazes have been ripping through the island since late December, killing two people, destroying 56 homes and damaging hundreds of buildings, according to the South Australia government.
The NASA image showed that much of the burned areas were in the island's west, including the Flinders Chase National Park, where the fires were initially sparked by lightning strikes. The park is a popular place for spotting the duck-billed platypus, one of Australia's most beloved species.
Ecologists estimate that about 25,000 koalas on Kangaroo Island have died in the fires, accounting for half of the island's population of the marsupials, according to NASA.
The island was once considered a safe haven for koalas because the population there was free from chlamydia -- a disease that can cause blindness, infertility and death that is prevalent among koalas on the mainland.
The blazes have been burning across Australia for months, razing homes and wiping out entire towns. Across the country, more than 28,000 square miles of land has burned -- much of it bushland, forests and national parks, home to the country's beloved and unique wildlife.