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The Morning Rundown™

Israel commits to opening crossing for aid after Biden warning

Apr 5


After President Joe Biden issues a warning on a call with the Israeli Prime Minister, Israel announces plans to increase humanitarian aid. And, you may be out of luck if you’re still looking for that Airbnb for the upcoming eclipse. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Friday, April 5, 2024.

Israel commits to opening crossing after Biden warning

Israel has pledged to establish three corridors, including opening the Erez Crossing in northern Gaza, to enhance the flow of humanitarian aid. This move comes after a phone conversation between President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, April 4, during which Biden cautioned that U.S. policy toward Israel and the ongoing conflict in Gaza might shift unless Israel intensifies efforts to safeguard civilians and aid workers.

When pressed for details at the White House briefing, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby refrained from speculating on potential policy changes.

“I’m not going to preview any potential policy decisions coming forward,” Kirby stated. “What we want to see are some real changes, on the Israeli side. And, if we don’t see changes from their side, there’ll have to be changes from our side. But I won’t preview what that could look like.”

During their call, Biden labeled the Israeli strike that resulted in the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers and the “overall humanitarian situation” as “unacceptable.” He also demanded an immediate ceasefire and encouraged Netanyahu to expediently negotiate a deal to return hostages.

The White House has expressed its approval of the Israeli government’s new measures, emphasizing that these initiatives “must now be fully and rapidly implemented.”

Loved ones of U.S. citizen killed in Israeli strike speak out

Relatives of one of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza earlier this week are sharing their grief.

Jacob Flickinger, 33, a U.S.-Canadian dual citizen and father of an 18-month-old son, was among those killed. His mother, speaking to CBS News, described him as an exceptional person deeply committed to his work, having served 11 years in the Canadian Forces. His father revealed they have received no updates about their son’s death beyond what has been reported in the media.

“We haven’t been told anything by the United States government or the Canadian government,” said John Flickinger, Jacob’s father. “All that we know is what we have read and seen on the media.”

Netanyahu has stated the strike was unintentional. However, World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres believes the aid workers were targeted, prompting calls for investigations into the incident.

In an ABC News interview, Jacob Flickinger’s partner and the mother of their son, Sandy Leclerc, appealed to President Joe Biden to investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

“This situation saddens me so much but at the same time, Jacob was always a warrior, always a fighter and he would always fight to bring more peace into this world,” Leclerc said.

Judges deny Trump’s bids to dismiss election and documents charges

Former President Donald Trump faced two legal defeats Thursday, April 4, as judges in Florida and Georgia dismissed his efforts to drop charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results and his retention of classified documents post-presidency. Amid his campaign against President Joe Biden for the Nov. 5 election, these are among the legal battles Trump confronts, including four criminal indictments.

The first trial against a former or sitting U.S. president is set for April 15 in New York.

In Florida, Judge Aileen Cannon denied Trump’s claim that classified documents held at Mar-a-Lago were personal, not government property. In Georgia, charges of election interference remain, as Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled statements alleged in the indictment weren’t protected by free speech rights.

Awaiting a Supreme Court hearing on presidential immunity, Trump has delayed three of the four criminal cases. Judge Cannon, whom Trump appointed, suggested the May 20 trial date might be delayed, requesting both parties to propose new potential dates. Trump continues to claim the charges are politically motivated.

In Georgia, McAfee refuted Trump and co-defendants’ argument that their actions were protected political speech, stating the indicted conduct, including making false claims and trying to certify alternate electors, wasn’t covered by constitutional protections. All defendants, including Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, pleaded not guilty.

No Labels unable to find candidate for third-party ticket

The No Labels group announced on Thursday, April 4, that it would not nominate a presidential candidate for the November election, acknowledging the challenge of finding a centrist candidate amidst widespread dissatisfaction with Biden and Trump.

Nancy Jacobson, CEO of No Labels, stated the decision was made due to the lack of candidates with a credible path to the White House. This move leaves the electoral field to Biden, Trump, and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Kennedy has secured enough signatures to appear on the ballot in five states, including key battlegrounds.

The decision has been met with relief from Democrats concerned that a No Labels candidate could split the vote in Biden’s favor, potentially aiding Trump. Critics, including MoveOn’s executive director Rahna Epting, urge Kennedy to recognize the slim chances of a third-party candidacy succeeding against the threat posed by Trump.

Meanwhile, Kennedy’s campaign attributes their struggle to the entrenched two-party system, asserting their fight against the “corrupt two-party duopoly.”

No Labels had aimed to offer a bipartisan ticket, drawing interest but ultimately failing to secure a high-profile candidate willing to lead its cause. Figures like Nikki Haley, Joe Manchin, Larry Hogan and Chris Christie have all distanced themselves from the No Labels ticket.

The group’s pursuit of a “unity ticket” to appeal to disenchanted voters has been met with skepticism and resistance from both Democratic and Republican circles, leading to the ultimate withdrawal of their presidential bid.

Short-term rentals fully booked in some cities along eclipse’s path

If you’re planning to travel to cities in the path of totality for Monday, April 8’s total solar eclipse, finding a last-minute Airbnb might be challenging. AirDNA, a company that tracks short-term rentals, reports that stays in more than half of the U.S. cities along the eclipse’s path are fully booked.

The company has released a map illustrating the surge in demand for short-term rentals in these areas over the past few days. According to AirDNA, short-term rental occupancy rates are around 95% in Dallas, 97% in Cleveland, and 98% in Buffalo and the Niagara Falls area.

Athletics to play in Sacramento before moving to Las Vegas

The mystery of where the Oakland Athletics will play before moving to Las Vegas in 2028 has been solved: Sacramento, California. The A’s announced Thursday, April 4, they will temporarily relocate to Sacramento for at least the next three seasons while their new stadium in Vegas is under construction.

They will share a minor league ballpark with the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The arrangement was facilitated by the owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, who also owns the River Cats.

During their stay in Sacramento, the team will forgo using a city in its name, opting to be known simply as “The Athletics” or “A’s.”

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