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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including a new phase of war started as Russian forces try to seize the part of eastern Ukraine known as the Donbas; The Education Department announced changes to federal student loan programs that it says will cancel the debt of 40,000 borrowers; The parents of Michigan school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley were denied a lower bond, and more.

National

New reforms estimated to erase student debt for 40,000

The Department of Education announced changes Tuesday to federal student loan programs, revisions that it says will cancel the debt of 40,000 borrowers and help another 3.6 million get closer to the payment finish line.

Students walk on the campus of Miami Dade College in Florida on Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Veteran benefits tangle leaves justices on a tightrope

A 45-year-old fight for disability benefits landed on the Supreme Court steps Tuesday as a veteran asked the justices to enforce a safety-valve provision to save what he says was a wrongly denied claim. 

Visitors walk outside the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 21, 2022. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Regional

Flouting appeals court ruling, Maryland clerks withhold access

Courthouse News asked for an injunction against the court clerks of Maryland who are blocking access to new civil complaints at the time of filing and who operate inside the Fourth Circuit — which has already ruled in favor of this news service on the identical First Amendment issue.

(Art by Carlos Ayala/Courthouse News)

Parents of accused Michigan school shooter denied lower bond

The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old sophomore accused of killing four and injuring several others in a shooting spree at his Michigan high school last year, were back in court for a brief hearing Tuesday in which they were unsuccessful in lowering their bond.

Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, a teenager accused of killing four students in a shooting at Oxford High School, appear in court in Rochester Hills, Mich., on Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Police: Man burned Home Depot to the ground to steal tools

The man who set an enormous five-alarm fire at a Home Depot in San Jose did so to create a diversion so he could shoplift tools, city officials said during a Tuesday press conference. 

San Jose, Calif., Mayor Sam Liccardo announces the arrest of Dyllin Jaycruz Gogue, 27, flanked by local and federal law enforcement officials. Gogue faces arson and grand theft charges over a fire that gutted a Home Depot store during business hours. (Screenshot via Facebook Watch)

Killer of Beverly Hills philanthropist Jacqueline Avant gets life in prison

The man who last month pleaded guilty to murdering Jacqueline Avant, the 81-year-old philanthropist and wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, during a burglary attempt at the couple’s Beverly Hills home was sentenced to life in prison.

Aariel Maynor at his sentencing April 19 in Los Angeles Superior Court. (Edvard Pettersson/Courthouse News)

International

Decisive battle begins for Ukraine’s Donbas region

Russia’s artillery and warplanes unleashed a furious assault on Ukrainian troops during the night on Monday and its ground forces were on the move, signaling the start of what is seen as a decisive battle over Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

Servicemen of the Donetsk People's Republic militia look Monday, April 18, 2022, at bodies of Ukrainian soldiers placed in plastic bags in a tunnel, part of the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant, the second largest metallurgical enterprise in Ukraine, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine. Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov, has been besieged by Russian troops and forces from self-proclaimed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine for more than six weeks. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov)

Science

Links between Greenland and Jupiter moon raise hopes of life outside Earth

The ice shell of the Jovian moon Europa may cover a dynamic system full of pockets of water that make it a prime candidate for extraterrestrial life in our solar system, according to a paper published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

Europa, one of Jupiter's 78 known moons. (Photo by NASA / JPL-Caltech / SETI Institute)

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