The most important stories of the day. That's all. #TheShortList
Hope-less White House? Trump loses another communications director as Hicks resigns
BREAKING: Hope is officially leaving the White House
Another one bites the dust. White House communications director Hope Hicks is officially leaving the White House. Wait, who? Hicks, 29, is the White House official most responsible for guarding President Trump's public image. Hicks was the fourth White House communications director of the Trump White House, and the longest serving — following the often chaotic tenures of Sean Spicer, Michael Dubke and Anthony Scaramucci. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the resignation will take effect in the coming weeks or months.
Dick's Sporting Goods pulled assault-style rifles after Sandy Hook, too. It didn't last.
On the day survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., returned to class, Dick's Sporting Goods made a controversial announcement: Assault-style rifles will no longer be sold in stores nationwide. As Dick's CEO Edward Stack said in an interview with The New York Times , the Parkland shooting "got to us." While many applauded the decision, others pointed out that's it's not the first time Dick's has done this. In 2012, the company halted sales of similar rifles after a man used an AR-15-style gun to kill 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Sales later continued at Dick's Field & Stream-branded stores. So, will Dick's pull a similar move with this ban? "Never," according to Stack.
What we're reading on the Parkland school shooting and the gun-control battle:
If Georgia doesn't want Delta, these states do. As the Georgia Legislature considers blocking a tax break for Delta Air Lines, other states and cities are lining up to put out the welcome mat for the airline.
Mystery of missing CDC scientist keeps getting stranger
Delete my number, a prominent official from the Centers for Disease and Control allegedly told his neighbor a day before he suddenly disappeared. Timothy J. Cunningham, a Harvard-educated epidemiologist, went missing more than two weeks ago. According to police, on Feb. 12, Cunningham met with a supervisor about a missed promotion, and then told co-workers he needed to go home because he was feeling sick. But he wasn't at home for long, because his family didn't find him there. Wherever he went, he left everything behind – cellphone, car keys and his beloved dog Mr. Bojangles.
WTH is happening in Washington? Call girls, expensive chairs and a "not guilty" plea
From Ben Carson's extravagant spending to a Russian call girl offering information on the Russia investigation in return for help, things are as always getting weird in the world of politics. Here's a look at what we're reading:
Busted? The self-described mistress of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska is begging for an American rescue from Thai prison. In exchange for safety, she said she's willing to detail the "connection between [Russia's] 'dear' parliament members with Manafort, Trump and all this 'buzz' around the election in the USA." Uh, oh.
Trouble in paradise for Trump, Sessions: In a midmorning tweet, Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions over a newly announced investigation into alleged abuse of surveillance powers — a probe Trump himself endorsed for months.
This social app was supposed to replace Facebook, but not anymore
Remember Ello, Peach or Sarahah ? If not, we forgive you. These social apps rose to viral status as potential alternatives to giants like Facebook or Instagram faded faster than you could hit the Like button. The next app facing this fate is Vero, a social app surging to the top of app charts claiming it won't feature the ads or algorithm that have gotten social giants in trouble (think Russian meddling ). Just as it ascended the download charts, the #DeleteVero campaign already took off, following concerns over co-founder Ayman Hariri's connections to his father's Saudi construction company. Users also weren't fans of Vero's terms of service suggesting the content you share doesn't belong to you (Vero said that's not true). Now the question turns to whether we'll be talking about Vero six months from now?