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Iran hails attack on Israel as a 'victory'; Photos of Sudan, 1 year into a brutal war

An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles toward Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, April 14.
Amir Cohen
/
Reuters
An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles toward Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, April 14.

Good morning. You're reading the Up First newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox, and listen to the Up First podcast for all the news you need to start your day.

Today's top stories

Iranian officials have been lavish with their praise for the unprecedented retaliatory air strikes Iran sent at Israel over the weekend — despite the fact that Israel and its allies intercepted 99% of the drones. Top Iranian lawmaker Mojtaba Zonnouri called the strikes a "victory," according to Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency.

  • NPR's Peter Kenyon tells Up First that two recent incidents may have made Iran feel like it needed a "show of strength:" the 2020 U.S. assassination of General Qassem Soleimani and the recent strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria, which killed top Iranian officers. Meanwhile, Washington and world leaders are asking Israel to show restraint as it weighs its response to Iran's missile and drone attack.
  • Iran's strikes have renewed pressure on Congress to act after months of delay on foreign aid. House Speaker Mike Johnson has introduced three billsaddressing funding for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. A fourth national security bill could lead to a TikTok ban. NPR's Deirdre Walsh says House Republicans are largely united on approving additional aid to Israel but are split down the middle on Ukraine — with conservatives strongly opposed to voting for any more money.


The Supreme Court hears arguments today that challenge a statute used to prosecute hundreds of defendants charged with invading the Capitol on Jan. 6. Justices will examine how this federal law defines obstruction or attempted obstruction of an official congressional proceeding. The outcome of the case could affect former President Donald Trump, as this law was used to charge him in his immunity case.

  • A federal judge in one Jan. 6 case ruled that the law should only apply to the destruction of documents and records, not to the events of Jan. 6. If the Court rules that storming the capitol doesn't constitute obstructing a congressional proceeding. All cases involving the statute would be halted, NPR's Nina Totenberg says. 


The supply of new bitcoins is expected to be halved sometime this week, an event some experts believe will increase the digital currency's value and increase its awareness and acceptance. The number of bitcoins that can exist is capped at 21 million. Halvings increase the time it takes for miners to reach that cap. Here's everything you need to know about the consequences of this event.

We, the voters

Maura Umble and her son, Alex Patrick Umble.
/ Maura Umble
/
Maura Umble
Maura Umble and her son, Alex Patrick Umble.

As part of the We, The Voters series, NPR is bringing you stories of gun violence and its impact on communities all week.

When gun violence in America is discussed, people often think of mass shootings, homicide or domestic violence. But the majority of gun-related deaths in the U.S. are suicides. Paul Nestadt, one of the leading suicide researchers, says most people don't know how prevalent it is because we're not as willing to talk about it — in the media or in our personal relationships.

  • Maura Umble's son shot and killed himself in 2018. She says she's committed to talking about how his suicide has affected herself and her family and wants to hold her local government officials accountable for having these conversations, too. Listen to her story on Morning Edition, or read it here.


If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing or texting 9-8-8.

Picture show

A man looks at the smoke rising next to the Army General Command in Khartoum, Sudan on April 16, 2023.
/ Faiz Abubakr for NPR
/
Faiz Abubakr for NPR
A man looks at the smoke rising next to the Army General Command in Khartoum, Sudan on April 16, 2023.

Sudan is marking the anniversary of a year-long conflict that has displaced more than eight million people. Security monitors and aid groups say the war has killed at least 14,000 people. Many experts think the true death toll is much higher.

  • Faiz Abubakr, a Sudanese photographer based in Khartoum, documented how the war has upended life in his country. See the photos here.

3 things to know before you go

At the U.S. Olympic trials in Montgomery, Evy Leibfarth wins a spot to represent USA in women's canoe slalom for the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer.
Rolando Arrieta / NPR
/
NPR
At the U.S. Olympic trials in Montgomery, Evy Leibfarth wins a spot to represent USA in women's canoe slalom for the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer.

  1. Alabama held its first-ever Olympic trial this weekend for the little-known sport of canoe and kayak slalom. Montgomery officials hope the Olympic-sanctioned event will revitalize the city's economy and position it as a sports tourism destination. 
  2. Women's college basketball stars Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese were selected in the first round of the WNBA draft last night. Clark will play for the Indiana Fever and Reese for the Chicago Sky.
  3. Now that you're done figuring out how to view the solar eclipse, get ready to see an even rarer celestial event: an exploding star

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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