It turns out the FBI's 11-hour solution to its huge public fight with Apple didn't come cheap.

FBI director James Comey said on Thursday that the agency paid more than $1 million to unnamed private-sector hackers for help in unlocking the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The FBI first attempted to make Apple write software that would allow law enforcement to unlock the phone quickly, but the company refused and said the request could unconstitutionally expand government authority. The case sparked an uproar over digital privacy as well as a major court battle, which stopped only when the FBI announced it had received the hackers' help and withdrew its order to Apple.

Comey, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, didn't give a specific price for the hack, but said it cost the agency more than he would make in the next seven years of his term as director. The FBI director makes at least $181,500 a year by law, putting the cost of the hack at a minimum of $1.27 million, by Comey's estimate. An FBI press officer could not confirm the accuracy of Comey's estimate or provide a specific cost.

"It was worth it," Comey told the audience in Aspen. But it's not clear how much value the hacking method or the phone actually has. Comey has repeatedly said that the method used to break into the phone would work only on an iPhone 5C running iOS 9, like the San Bernardino phone, and that Apple could discover and fix the security flaw that allowed the hack to work. And on Tuesday, CNN reported that the phone "didn't contain evidence of contacts with other ISIS supporters or the use of encrypted communications during the period the FBI was concerned about." The FBI argues the lack of information is valuable evidence in and of itself.

Prince at Coachella music festival in 2008

Prince wasn't just a major pop icon—he was also a staunch supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Last May, after weeks of protests in Baltimore that followed the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, he released a tribute song, "Baltimore," which honored Gray and those demonstrating against police brutality. Prince performed the song live that month at a free show in Baltimore. He also gave a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement while presenting the award for Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammys. "Albums still matter," he said. "Like books and black lives, albums still matter."

Today fans are mourning the death of the legendary pop star. This week also marks the one-year anniversary of Freddie Gray's death. Check out the video for Prince's tribute to Gray below.

Researchers have identified a new risk factor for homelessness among veterans: military sexual trauma. Nearly 1 in 10 veterans who experienced sexual assault or harassment in the military became homeless within five years—a "staggering number," noted an editorial in JAMA Psychiatry, which published the study Wednesday.

The research, funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, drew on a national sample of 601,892 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who were discharged between 2001 and 2011. Those who reported experiencing sexual assault or harassment while they were in the military were twice as likely to become homeless within five years as those who did not, and the results held true even after controlling for PTSD, alcohol and drug addiction, and serious mental illnesses.

The trauma of violence during a military deployment can make returning to civilian life more difficult, the study's authors point out, with homelessness exemplifying "an extreme case of poor reintegration." Military sexual trauma, or MST, includes forcible and coerced sexual assault, as well as harassment (uninvited or unwanted sexual attention, including cornering, touching, pressure for sexual favors, or verbal remarks). According to the VA, around 22 percent of women and 1 percent of men in the military have experienced some form of MST.

According to the VA, around 22 percent of women and 1 percent of men in the military have experienced some form of military sexual trauma.

Interestingly, the researchers found a slightly higher rate of homelessness among male veterans who experienced sexual violence as compared to women. "Men with a positive MST screen are a particularly vulnerable group," the authors wrote. "In addition to the burden of issues regarding masculinity, sexuality, and self-concept among males who have experienced sexual trauma," they also may be less likely to seek mental-health treatment than women—potentially leading to worsening psychiatric symptoms and homelessness.

The link between homelessness and the experience of different kinds of traumatic events—childhood abuse, domestic violence, even homelessness itself—is well documented. The study also adds homelessness to an already long list of MST's public health consequences. Past research has found that experiencing MST increased a person's odds of mental illness by two to three times—most notably post-traumatic stress disorder, but also alcohol and drug addiction, anxiety disorders, depression, dissociative disorders. That's not to mention the links between MST and certain medical conditions: liver disease, chronic pulmonary disease, obesity, hypothyroidism, and HIV/AIDS.

According to researcher Adi Gundlapalli, an associate professor at the University of Utah medical school, potential consequences of military sexual violence include low social support, poor interpersonal relationships, and revictimization. "These types of problems may compromise employment and put one at risk for financial instability," Gundlapalli says. "Ultimately, this may lead to homelessness."

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will reportedly announce on Wednesday the decision to replace the image of former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with an image of Harriet Tubman.

Politico reports Lew will also announce that the image of Alexander Hamilton will remain on the $10 bill, but that the back of that bill will feature members of the suffragist movement. Last month, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of the Broadway musical Hamilton, met with Lew to discuss keeping the former president on the $10 bill. 

The movement to replace Jackson's image with Tubman's image started with the "Women on 20's" group, which advocated featuring a woman on the $20 bill because of Jackson's controversial support of the Indian Removal Act.

This is a breaking news post. We will update once the announcement is made.

Update, April 20, 10:20 a.m. EST: Three state and city officials have been charged in connection to the Flint water crisis. Flint employee Michael Glasgow was charged with tampering with evidence and two officials from Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality, Steven Bush and Michael Prysby, were charged with office misconduct and tampering with evidence.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is expected to announce the first set of criminal charges on Wednesday in connection with the Flint water crisis that exposed city residents to dangerous levels of lead in their drinking water. The Associated Press reports that up to three officials will be charged, including two state regulators and one Flint employee.

The announcement comes just one day after a federal judge dismissed a $150 million lawsuit filed by Flint residents on behalf of those affected by the city's contaminated water system. The "man-made disaster," as Flint's mayor called the situation, started with a 2014 move to switch the city's water source to the Flint River instead of Lake Huron, where Detroit residents get their water, in an effort to save money.

Gov. Rick Snyder has come under pressure to resign amid growing evidence that state officials knew the change in water systems exposed residents to high levels of lead, leaving thousands of children at risk of brain damage. On Tuesday, Snyder announced he planned to drink filtered water from a Flint residence for at least a month in order to prove it is now safe to consume.

For more on the crisis, head to our investigation here.

Speaking from Trump Tower in Manhattan on Tuesday, Donald Trump celebrated his resounding victory in New York's Republican primary. The GOP front-runner took the opportunity to dismiss his challengers, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, and to declare the race essentially over.

"Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated," Trump told a crowd of supporters. "We've won another state. As you know we have won a million more votes than Senator Cruz. Millions and millions of more votes than Governor Kasich."

"We're really, really rocking," he added.

The real estate magnate closed out his victory speech by once again criticizing the Republican party, describing its presidential nomination system as "rigged." At one point, Trump even referenced the battle that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are currently waging for the support of Democratic superdelegates.

"Nobody should take delegates and claim victory unless they get those delegates with voters and voting," he said. "And that's what's going to happen, and you watch, because the people aren't going to stand for it. It's a crooked system."

On Monday night, Donald Trump displayed the best of his New York values by accidentally referring to the attacks on 9/11 as 7-Eleven, the national chain of convenience stores.

"I wrote this out and it's very close to my heart," the Republican presidential candidate told a crowd in Buffalo, New York. "Because I was down there and I watched our police and our firemen down at 7/11, down at the World Trade Center right after it came down, and I saw the greatest people I've ever seen in action."

Both Trump and his supporters did not appear to notice the error. And judging by the poll numbers ahead of today's New York primary, voters are likely to ignore it. 

For more on how the real estate magnate and Sen. Ted Cruz failed to support 9/11 rescue workers, read here.


The Justice Department and the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia have launched a joint investigation into the treatment of gay and transgender inmates in Georgia prisons. The DOJ confirmed to the Georgia Voice that this is the first time it has opened an investigation focused on LGBT prisoners.

The probe follows the high-profile case of Ashley Diamond, a transgender woman who, as Mother Jones reported last year, sued employees in Georgia's correctional department for allegedly denying her medical treatment and failing to protect her from sexual assault while she was detained. She was released from prison last August, and the lawsuit was settled in February.

"All prisoners in Georgia institutions are entitled to serve their time safely, especially if physical harm or abuse occurs because of a prisoner's sexual orientation or gender identity," John Horn, US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, told the Georgia Voice.

The DOJ recently released new national guidelines to help protect transgender inmates, who face high rates of sexual assault.

Donald Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, will not be prosecuted for a battery charge in connection to former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, Florida prosecutors announced on Thursday.

"Although the facts support the allegation that Lewandowski did grab Miss Fields’ arm against her will, there is sufficient evidence to presume his innocence," Florida state attorney Dave Aronberg said in a press conference.

The decision not to pursue the battery charge should come as a major relief to Trump, who has been under fire for defending Lewandowski despite mounting evidence he forcibly grabbed Fields by the arm as she tried to approach the presidential candidate at a March 8 campaign event. Since the incident, both Lewandowski and Trump repeatedly denied Fields' accusation and attempted to discredit her as an "attention seeker" and "delusional."

But weeks later, surveillance footage that appeared to corroborate Fields' claims was released, prompting Jupiter, Florida, police to charge Lewandowski with simple battery. Even then, Trump continued to insist his campaign manager was innocent.

Despite Trump's public defense, recent reports say Lewandowski's role in the campaign has diminished.

"The crew's expanding," one source told Politico. "The inner circle is not what it used to be."