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The Morning Rundown™

World Central Kitchen pauses aid operations in Gaza after 7 members killed

Apr 2


World Central Kitchen is suspending its aid operations in Gaza after several volunteers are killed. And, Florida’s Supreme Court makes a decision on the state’s abortion ban while giving voters a say in November. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

World Central Kitchen pauses operations in Gaza after 7 members killed

World Central Kitchen, a disaster relief nonprofit providing humanitarian food aid to Gaza, has paused its operations in the region after stating that seven of its members were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Monday, April 1.

The organization reported its team was traveling in a “deconflicted zone” in two armored vehicles marked with the WCK logo when the convoy was struck while leaving a warehouse in central Gaza. The nonprofit said this occurred despite coordinating its movements with the Israeli army.

Footage from the scene shows the damaged vehicles with World Central Kitchen branding. The organization said those killed include a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, along with team members from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Palestine.

Celebrity chef Jose Andres, the founder of World Central Kitchen, expressed his heartbreak on X, referring to the victims as “angels” and urging Israel to “stop the indiscriminate killing” and the use of “food as a weapon.”

In response, the Israeli military announced it is “conducting a thorough review at the highest level to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.” The military emphasized its extensive efforts to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and its close cooperation with World Central Kitchen in supporting the people of Gaza.

Iran blames Israel for deadly attack on consulate in Syria

Iran reported that an Israeli airstrike on its consulate in Syria on Monday, April 1, resulted in the deaths of two generals and five officers. Hezbollah, the Iran-backed militant group in Lebanon, stated that one of its members was also killed in the attack in Damascus, accusing Israel of attempting to escalate the conflict in Gaza.

Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, there has been increased fighting between Israel and Iran-backed militant groups in Gaza and the surrounding areas.

Israeli officials have not commented on the attack in Syria. However, The New York Times has cited four Israeli officials confirming Israel’s involvement in the strike.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, in a social media post, held the U.S. accountable as an ally of Israel, suggesting America bears responsibility. A spokesman for the National Security Council stated that the U.S. was not involved in the attack and was unaware of it beforehand.

Trump posts $175 million bond in civil fraud case

Former President Donald Trump has posted a $175 million bond in a New York civil fraud case, ending a six-week effort to prevent seizure of his assets. Trump’s legal team considers the bond payment a move towards appealing and reversing what they call an unfair judgment, stating the payment was made “as promised.”

An appeals court reduced Trump’s bond from $464 million to $175 million last week. The former president had been turned down by 30 bond companies before Knight Specialty Insurance Company provided the bond.

A New York judge ruled last year that Trump and his company violated state fraud laws by significantly overstating his wealth in financial statements to banks, with exaggerations up to $3.6 billion. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to appeal the decision, calling the case a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

Florida upholds 15-week abortion ban; voters decide issue in November

The Florida Supreme Court on Monday, April 1, made two pivotal decisions concerning the state’s abortion laws. The court upheld a 2022 law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy which paves the way for an even stricter ban after six weeks to be implemented. Signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2023, the six-week ban is among the nation’s most restrictive and was to go into effect one month after the state’s high court affirmed the 15-week ban.

The court also approved a ballot measure to potentially enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, granting Florida voters the opportunity to directly influence the law this November.

The ballot proposal aims to forbid laws that “prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion when necessary to protect the patient’s health.” For constitutional amendments to be ratified in Florida, they must receive at least 60% of the vote.

Google agrees to delete billions of browsing data records

Google has agreed to delete billions of users’ browsing history records as part of a lawsuit alleging the tech giant tracked people without their consent. The lawsuit accused Google of gathering data from users who thought they were browsing the internet privately in the company’s “Incognito” mode.

Google settled the lawsuit in December and the terms were disclosed for the first time in a filing on Monday, April 1. As part of the settlement, Google will also update its disclosures to inform users about the data it collects in private browsing mode.

Google maintains it does not associate data with users in Incognito mode. No users will receive damages from this settlement, but they retain the right to sue individually for damages.

Women’s NCAA tournament Final Four is set

The Final Four for the NCAA Women’s Tournament is set. No. 3 seed UConn advanced by defeating No. 1 seed USC 80-73 last night.

The Huskies will face Caitlin Clark and Iowa, after the Hawkeyes defeated defending national champion LSU 94-87. Clark tied a women’s NCAA record with nine 3-pointers in the win.

NC State is heading to its first Final Four since 1998 after beating Texas 76-66 on Sunday. The Wolfpack will play unbeaten South Carolina, which won 70-58 against Oregon State on Sunday.

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