Vanessa Romo

For a company that's all about the future of communication, Facebook is looking to the past to solve at least some of its problems.

After months of intense scrutiny over the role the company played in the 2016 presidential election, the social network giant announced it wants to use postcards to verify the identity of advertising buyers to prevent future foreign meddling.

A group of teenagers who say they are desperate for some action on gun control staged a silent "lie-in" outside the White House Monday, in the wake of the deadly Florida school shooting last week.

President Trump expressed grief Thursday over the school shooting in Florida and sought to comfort victims and their families in his first public address since the mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead and many others injured.

"To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain," he said.

Seattle's mayor and city attorney announced plans to ask the courts to vacate all misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions that were prosecuted before it was legalized in Washington state in 2012 — a move that could affect the records of hundreds of people.

For years, pot convictions have had painful implications on the everyday lives of Washington's most vulnerable populations, Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a press conference Thursday.

"It could be a barrier to housing, to getting credit, to getting good jobs and an education," she said.

Researchers have found a link between today's eight-legged spiders and an ancient group of arachnids that also possessed tails, according to two studies published in the latest issue of Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Here's a reminder that while you are out in the world buying groceries, picking up dry cleaning or catching up on The Crown, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is on the red planet doing work.

Updated 6:45 p.m. ET

Actor Mark Salling died Tuesday in what was reported to the coroner's office as a suicide by hanging. No official determination on whether it was suicide has been annouced. The 35-year-old former Glee star was weeks away from sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.

Attorney Michael Proctor confirmed Salling's death.

A panel of scientists and policy experts moved their Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight on Thursday, citing President Trump's rhetoric on nuclear weapons, environmental deterioration due to climate change and a lack of trust in political institutions.

"We are very concerned with the unpredictability of the United States and how it's thinking of its nuclear weapons," Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which created the clock, told NPR.

Caught in a renewed firestorm of controversy, Pope Francis apologized for remarks he made last week defending a Chilean bishop accused of covering up decades of sexual abuse. But the pontiff held fast in his support of the bishop, maintaining his innocence.

Editor's note: This report includes disturbing descriptions of abuse.

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