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The Morning Rundown™

Israeli war cabinet meets after Iran’s direct attack

Apr 15


After Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel over the weekend, the world awaits the next move by the two countries. For the first time in history, a former U.S. president will stand trial on criminal charges, as Donald Trump’s hush money trial begins. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Monday, April 15, 2024.

Israeli war cabinet meets after Iran’s direct attack

Iran launched an unprecedented assault on Israel over the weekend, marking the first time Iran has directly targeted Israel from its own territory. The attack was reportedly in retaliation for a suspected Israeli airstrike on Iran’s embassy in Syria that killed top commanders two weeks ago.

Israel’s military — along with allies from the U.S., Great Britain, France and Jordan — intercepted nearly all of the 350 missiles and drones launched by Iran on Saturday, April 13.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his war cabinet on the evening of Sunday, April 14, but no decision has been made yet on how Israel will respond as the world awaits its next move.

The attacks lasted around five hours.

The Israeli Defense Forces issued a statement on Sunday about the defensive operation that intercepted most of the missiles outside Israeli borders.

“Together, we intercepted 99% of the threat toward Israel,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, an Israeli Military Spokesperson said. “Together, we thwarted Iran’s attack. Iran’s unprecedented attack was met with an unprecedented defense. This was the first time that such a coalition worked together against the threat of Iran and its proxies in the Middle East.”

A 7-year-old girl suffered the most serious injuries in the attack, critically wounded by a missile fragment that tore through her family’s home.

An Israeli Air Force base was hit but continued to operate.

Following the barrage of strikes, Iranian officials stated they “deemed the matter concluded” but warned of a more severe response to any future Israeli actions against Iranian interests.

Biden, G7 leaders hold meeting on Iranian attack in Israel

In a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden congratulated him on the defensive operation against Iran’s attacks. U.S. officials reporting the president added the U.S. would not participate in a counter-offensive against Iran.

White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby said that the U.S. does not seek a wider conflict, but did not confirm those reports.

Biden also convened with leaders of the Group of Seven nations in a virtual meeting on Sunday, April 14.

The leaders of the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan issued a joint declaration condemning the attack and expressing their full solidarity and support for Israel.

They criticized Iran’s actions for destabilizing the region and demanded that Iran and its proxies end their attacks.

UN Security Council holds emergency meeting amid fears of growing war

Iran’s attack on Israel prompted an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council amid fears of escalating conflict in the Middle East. Israel requested the meeting on Sunday, April 14.

The U.N. secretary-general said it was “time to step back from the brink” and called for the United Nations to actively engage with all parties to prevent further escalation in the region. Ambassadors from both Israel and Iran attended the meeting.

Israel’s ambassador urged the council to issue “crippling” sanctions against Iran, accusing the country of crossing “every red line.” Iran’s ambassador defended Iran’s actions, stating Iran had the right to defend itself following a deadly strike on its embassy in Syria.

Both the Iranian official and the U.S. representative at the U.N. stated they do not seek war but would respond to attacks on their interests.

Historic Trump hush money case begins with jury selection

Jury selection for former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial begins Monday, April 15, in New York, marking the start of the first criminal prosecution of a former U.S. president. The trial centers on allegations that, just days before the 2016 presidential election, Trump falsified business records to conceal reimbursements for hush money payments that could potentially affect the election’s outcome.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies any affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels, claiming the trial is a witch hunt.

“Well, you know, jury selection is largely luck,” Trump said on Friday, April 12. “It depends who you get. It’s very unfair that I’m having a trial there. It’s very unfair that we have this judge who hates Trump, and has tremendous conflict, as, you know, tremendous conflict.”

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records. If found guilty, he could face a maximum of four years for each count. Jury selection is set for today and is expected to last at least a week.

“Nobody can believe that this judge isn’t recusing himself,” Trump continued. “The conflict is at a level that nobody’s ever seen before. So I have that and I have venue. We have all of these things that we’ve asked for. They don’t give us anything. It’s a witch hunt that takes place in New York and that is taking place. And it’s very bad for New York, and it’s very bad, and it’s very bad for the judicial system in New York.”

“I’m testifying,” Trump added. “I tell the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth, and the truth is that there’s no case, they have no case. And again, you have to read the scholars, read all of the legal scholars. I haven’t seen one legal scholar that said this is a case. And in fact, even you people said, oh gee, that’s too bad. This the first one. All of them are scams.”

The former president is facing three additional criminal trials in federal court and in Georgia, addressing serious charges including election interference, conspiracy and mishandling classified documents after leaving office.

IRS receives over 100 million tax returns as deadline approaches

Monday, April 15, is Tax Day in America.

For the first time since 2019, April 15 is the deadline to file income tax returns. The IRS reports it has already received more than 100 million tax returns and expects tens of millions more today.

April 15 is also the deadline to file for an automatic extension, with the IRS estimating 19 million taxpayers will request one, although tax payments are still due today.

However, taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts have until April 17 to file their taxes due to the observances of Patriots Day and Emancipation Day.

According to a 2023 Pew Research study, about half of Americans are frustrated by the complexity of the federal tax system, with 53% saying it bothers them a lot, 32% saying it bothers them some and 13% saying it doesn’t bother them much at all.

Scottie Scheffler wins Masters Tournament for second time in three years

For the second time in his career, American golfer Scottie Scheffler earned the right to wear the coveted green jacket by winning the 2024 Masters Tournament on Sunday.

Scheffler, who also won the 2022 Masters, is the 18th golfer to win the tournament multiple times and the fourth-youngest to achieve that feat.

Thanks to his victory at Augusta National, the 27-year-old Texan earned a record $3.6 million and his second traditional green jacket.

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