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5 things to know for April 1: Gaza, Bridge collapse, Severe weather, Weekend violence, Ukraine aid


By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — Be forewarned: Today is April Fools’ Day, so keep your eyes peeled for possible hoaxes and pranks. While the exact origins of the tradition are unclear, some historians believe that practical jokes date back to the 1500s.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

1. Gaza

Pope Francis called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in his Easter message, condemning war as an “absurdity.” The Pope also used his address to insist that “access to humanitarian aid be ensured to Gaza” and authorities ensure the “prompt release of the hostages.” The 87-year-old pontiff has been forced to limit his appearances at recent events due to poor health but surprised many onlookers at the Vatican when he delivered the “Urbi et Orbi” in full and appeared in good spirits. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Israel’s military said it has withdrawn from Al-Shifa Hospital following a 14-day siege. Officials in the region told CNN the sprawling complex, which was Gaza’s largest medical facility, had been “destroyed.”

2. Bridge collapse

Crews are working to remove the first portion of Baltimore bridge wreckage — the starting point in a complicated, extensive cleanup process that could take weeks. This comes after a 213-million-pound cargo vessel slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge last week, killing six construction workers. The bodies of four victims have yet to be recovered. Clearing the channel will allow the search for the missing victims to continue and reopen a port critical to the local and national economies, authorities said Saturday. In the meantime, conditions in the water make it unsafe for divers as pieces of the bridge remain submerged in a “tangled mess,” the Coast Guard said.

3. Severe weather

More than 50 million people across the Central and Eastern US are under severe weather threats today. Forecasts show possible tornadoes, large hail and damaging wind gusts in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. The main area of interest today stretches from northeastern Texas to western Indiana, where the Storm Prediction Center has an enhanced risk for severe storms, or a level 3 of 5, in place. By Tuesday, the storm system will shift east and bring similar dangers to other major cities. An enhanced risk for severe storms later this week is expected from northern Alabama to southern Ohio, including Nashville, Louisville and Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky.

4. Weekend violence

A suspect has been identified in the Nashville Easter shooting that left at least one person dead and seven others wounded. Police said the shooting was an isolated incident that occurred after an altercation between two men at a brunch. Separately, at least seven children between the ages of 12 and 17 were wounded in a shooting Saturday night in downtown Indianapolis, where a large group was gathered near a mall, police said. All the wounded children were taken to local hospitals and are in stable condition. This was the third weekend in a row that Indianapolis police have responded to a mass shooting, prompting more officers to be present downtown.

5. Ukraine aid

Ukrainian forces would have to cede further territory to Russia if US military aid does not arrive soon, President Volodymyr Zelensky warned in his latest appeal to Congress. A $95 billion international aid package is sitting unapproved in the House — which includes $60 billion for Ukraine — more than a month since it was passed in the Senate. Zelensky warned that the lack of aid was urgent, and could endanger Ukraine’s major cities. Rep. Mike Lawler, a moderate Republican from New York, expressed optimism on Sunday that a vote on funding for Ukraine’s war effort could land on the House floor when members return from recess this month.


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Dazzling selection of gems unite in a single museum exhibition
A new exhibit at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the world’s biggest, finest and most unusual natural stones.

Runaway metal blade nearly hits man
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73 million
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“Your path isn’t always a straight line.”

— Retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, on becoming the first female commander of the International Space Station and the American record holder for most days in space. Whitson told CNN that she applied to be an astronaut for 10 years and overcame a decade of rejection until she was finally selected.


Check your local forecast here>>>


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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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