Notes
First thoughts, running arguments, stories in progress

Paul LePage backs Trump: Maine’s governor joined New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in endorsing Donald Trump on Friday, giving the Republican frontrunner a crucial boost after his rivals attacked his record and qualifications at a Thursday night debate. “I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular, so I think I should support him since we’re one of the same cloth,” he told a radio host when announcing his endorsement.

Syria truce begins: The first ceasefire in the five-year Syrian civil war went into effect on Friday with the backing of the United Nations Security Council. While government and rebel forces are included in the truce, radical groups like ISIS and al-Nusra Front are not.

A shooting in Belfair, Washington: A gunman killed five people in a rural Northeast town before turning the gun on himself, law enforcement told reporters Friday evening. Although details remain unclear, the gunman is believed to be related to the victim.

News from this afternoon here.

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