The Downed Russian Warplane: The pilots of the Russian fighter jet shot down by Turkish forces Tuesday had ejected themselves from the aircraft before it crashed in northwestern Syria. Multiple news outlets, citing Syrian rebel groups on the ground, reported that insurgents fired at the two pilots as they parachuted down and both were killed. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that one of the pilots was rescued after a 12-hour search, and is “alive and well” on a Russian base in Syria.
Protests in Chicago: On Tuesday, prosecutors indicted a Chicago police officer for first-degree murder in the death of a black teenager and released the dascham video of the shooting that the judge who ordered its release called “deeply disturbing.” Hundreds of protesters marched in the city’s streets in response, some staying late into the night. Matt has the background on the case of Laquan McDonald here.
Brussels Back Up: Schools and the metro have reopened after being shut down for four days amid fears by government officials that suspected extremists in the area could launch a Paris-like attack. The region remains at Belgium’s highest alert level, which indicates a threat is “imminent.”
Pope Travels: Francis makes his first trip to Africa, starting with Kenya. He will travel to Uganda and the Central African Republic next.