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The Morning Rundown™

US to experience total solar eclipse for first time since 2017

Apr 8


Grab your eclipse glasses, America! We’ll get you ready for today’s total solar eclipse. And, more trouble for Boeing as a plane loses its engine cover during takeoff. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Monday, April 8, 2024.

U.S. to experience total solar eclipse for first time since 2017

On the afternoon of April 8, millions of Americans are preparing to witness a total solar eclipse — a phenomenon not seen in seven years — during which the moon completely obscures the sun, darkening the sky.

Fifteen states lie within the path of totality, the eclipse’s 115-mile-wide track stretching from Texas to Maine. According to NASA, 31.5 million people reside in the path of totality, with another 200 million within a few hours’ drive. This event is larger than the one in 2017 when 12 million people lived along the path.

Cities along the path are experiencing increased hotel bookings and hosting special events to draw tourists. While not everyone will witness the total eclipse, NASA says most of the U.S. will see a partial eclipse, though cloud cover may obstruct views in some areas.

Safety warnings advise using special glasses for viewing except during the totality phase when it’s safe to remove them, lasting up to four minutes in some locations.

The next total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States is expected in 2044.

Israel withdraws troops from southern Gaza as negotiators meet in Cairo

As the war in the Middle East hit the six-month mark on Sunday, April 7, the Israeli military announced it was scaling back its ground forces in southern Gaza, leaving just one brigade in place.

Israel has been gradually reducing its troop presence in the territory since the start of the year. According to the Israeli Defense Minister, the troops would be preparing for future operations in Gaza.

Israel and Hamas are sending delegations to Cairo, joining negotiators from the United States, Qatar and Egypt to discuss a plan that could lead to a temporary ceasefire and the release of all hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Hamas has previously stated it would only agree to a deal if it led to an end to the war and the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. Israel maintains that after any short-term truce, it would continue its mission to eliminate Hamas.

Lawmakers from House, Senate unveil bipartisan online privacy bill

Two key lawmakers from Washington, Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, introduced the bipartisan American Privacy Rights Act Sunday, April 7, aiming to set “clear, national data privacy rights and protections for Americans.”

The proposed legislation seeks to limit how companies can utilize personal information, enable individuals to opt out of targeted advertising and provide a legal avenue for people to sue those who breach their privacy.

If enacted, the bill would create a national privacy standard, surpassing any existing state laws and give Americans enhanced control over their personal data, including the ability to prevent companies from distributing or selling their information.

Cantwell emphasized that the bill aims to empower Americans over their own information and curb Big Tech’s exploitation of user data for profit.

Currently a draft, the bill has not been formally introduced in Congress.

Man charged with setting fire at Bernie Sanders’ office

A man has been arrested for setting a fire at the office of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. The 35-year-old suspect was taken into custody on April 7 and charged with using fire to damage the building in Burlington, Vermont.

The incident, which occurred Friday, April 5, was detailed by the Department of Justice. According to officials, the suspect entered the building, made his way to the third floor, and was captured on security video spraying a liquid near the senator’s office door and igniting it with a lighter before fleeing.

The fire caused damage to the door and surrounding area, but no one inside the office was injured.

Sanders, who was not in the building at the time of the incident, issued a statement thanking law enforcement for their rapid response.

Boeing 737-800 engine cover falls off, forces emergency landing

A Boeing 737-800 en route to Houston was forced to return to Denver International Airport after its engine cover detached and struck the wing shortly after takeoff.

The Federal Aviation Administration, now investigating, said the Southwest Airlines flight suffered a malfunction while carrying 135 passengers and five crew members.

This incident contributes to a recent series of issues with Boeing aircraft, including eight events involving United Airlines over two weeks last month.

No injuries were reported.

South Carolina defeats Iowa, Caitlin Clark to win National Championship

South Carolina capped its undefeated season in style on Sunday, April 7, by winning the NCAA women’s national championship. Under the leadership of Coach Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks clinched an 87-75 victory over Iowa and standout player Caitlin Clark.

This victory marks South Carolina’s third championship in the program’s history and distinguishes them as the first undefeated team to win the title since 2016.

Despite the loss, Clark achieved two records: most points in a single quarter of a championship game and the all-time NCAA women’s tournament scoring record.

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