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Investigators now say Tuesday's Germanwings airline crash that killed 150 people was a "deliberate" act. The co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit. A mysterious tragedy has now become a criminal case.

Also, in the aftermath of the so-called "Arab Spring," instability is producing more violence in a troubled region. Saudi Arabia is leading a bombing campaign in Yemen; and the US has bombed ISIS forces near the Iraqi city of Tikrit. On today's Talking Point, Afghanistan's public diplomacy in Washington and the reality at home.

Photo: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Pilot 'Deliberately' Downed the Germanwings Plane 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Tuesday's Germanwings airline crash that killed 150 people is now being investigated as a criminal case. The co-pilot is suspected of intentionally flying the Airbus 320 into a mountain in the French Alps. Speaking through a translator, French Prosecutor Brice Robin announced, "I consider it to be deliberate. First of all, refusing entry to the cockpit; second, maneuvering the lever for loss of altitude."

Carsten Spohr is chief executive of Lufthansa, which owns GermanWings. The former pilot of the Airbus 320 — the kind of plane now said to have crashed deliberately with deadly results, told CNN today, "Apparently after the pilot... after the captain left the cockpit, he tried to regain access. There were knocks on the doors, according to French authorities, and the door was either kept locked or not opened in the way it was supposed to be. And that for sure is a clear indication that the remaining pilot, the copilot, didn't want the captain to return."

Vivienne Walt, Time magazine (@vivwalt)
Alan Levin, Bloomberg News (@AlanLevin1)
Thomas Anthony, University of Southern California (@USCViterb)

Levin on changes that have made US airlines much safer
Anthony on organizational, personal responsibility for aviation mishaps

Arab Intervention in Yemen and US Airstrikes in Iraq 33 MIN, 21 SEC

Saudi Arabia has begun a bombing campaign against the Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen, backed by all but one of the other Gulf States and with logistical and intelligence support from the United States. The US has bombed ISIS forces near the Iraqi city of Tikrit. In the aftermath of the so-called "Arab Spring," instability is producing more violence in a troubled region.  We hear from a reporter in the region and security analysts in the US.

Borzou Daragahi, BuzzFeed News (@borzou)
Brian Katulis, Center for America Progress (@Katulis)
Peter Bergen, CNN / New America Foundation (@peterbergencnn)

Daraghai on US-led allies' air strikes to dislodge ISIS from Tikrit
Katulis on how regional power struggles stoke Yemen's conflict
Bergen on whether the US coalition is winning the war against ISIS

The Prosperity Agenda

Nancy Soderberg

Can Diplomatic Fanfare Translate to Long-Term Security in Afghanistan? 10 MIN

Ashraf Ghani has completed his first visit to the United States as Afghanistan's President, cutting a very different figure from his predecessor, Hamid Karzai. But public diplomacy is one thing. Security in a corrupt home country is another.  After President Obama agreed to extend the US presence in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani addressed a joint meeting of Congress. He used words America never heard from his predecessor — despite all the dollars spent and the lives lost in his country. 

Sune Engel Rasmussen, freelance journalist (@SuneEngel)
Peter Tomsen, author and former diplomat

Rasmussen on Ghani's struggle in Afghanistan

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