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Good morning. It's Tuesday, April 2, and we're covering a fatal airstrike on Iran's embassy in Syria, sentencing in the final case against a disgraced attorney, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

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Need To Know

Strike Hits Iranian Embassy

An airstrike targeting Iran's embassy in Syria killed at least seven military officers yesterday, including a senior commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. Syrian and Iranian officials accused Israel of the attack, while an Israeli military official accused Iran of a drone strike against a military base in southern Israel. Iran is known to supply weapons and funding to militant groups, including Hamas, which orchestrated last year's raid into Israel.


In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital after a two-week raid. Roughly 200 militants were killed and nearly 900 others detained under an operation to dismantle Hamas, whose fighters were accused of regrouping in Gaza's largest operating medical facility. The World Health Organization said at least 21 patients had also died. 


Separately, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to temporarily shut down Qatar-owned Al Jazeera's local operations after the passage of a law granting officials power to shutter foreign news agencies for national security reasons.


Meanwhile, a deadline lapsed to submit a new law exempting ultra-Orthodox Jewish citizens from compulsory military service, triggering protests


Murdaugh's Third Sentence

Former South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison yesterday for defrauding his clients and colleagues of millions of dollars over a decade. The sentence—nearly double the length suggested by prosecutors—will be served concurrently with two state sentences: a double life term for the 2021  murder of his wife and son and 27 years for similar financial crimes. He also must pay $8M in restitution. 


In September, the 55-year-old pleaded guilty to 22 federal charges of financial fraud, though he blames his actions on his opioid addiction. The case revealed the now-disbarred personal injury lawyer stole at least $8M in inflated fees or skimmed settlement money from injured clients, including a quadriplegic client hurt in a car crash and a wounded police officer (see details). Prosecutors believe Murdaugh killed his wife and son to garner sympathy amid probes into financial crime allegations.


The sentence concludes outstanding charges against Murdaugh. Read an explainer of the saga here


UPS Expands USPS Partnership

UPS announced it will become the primary air cargo provider for the United States Postal Service following unsuccessful negotiations between FedEx and USPS. The USPS, which doesn’t own or operate any aircraft, has had a relationship with FedEx since 2001 for US Mail, Priority Mail, and Priority Express Mail air transportation.


The USPS has been transitioning more parcels to ground transportation to save costs, aiming to reduce annual air transportation expenses by 90% over two years while saving around $1B per year. USPS payments to FedEx totaled $1.7B in 2023, down from $2.4B in fiscal year 2020, largely attributed to USPS’ shift to ground operations. FedEx said it is implementing cost-cutting measures and the termination of the USPS deal could potentially have an impact on hundreds of pilot jobs.


UPS, one of the world's largest package delivery companies, reported $91B in revenue in 2023, with $308M in USPS business. The specifics of the UPS contract remain undisclosed. FedEx will continue providing domestic air transportation services until its contract expires Sept. 29.

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Caitlin Clark leads No. 1 seed Iowa to Elite Eight victory over No. 3 seed LSU; No. 3 seed Connecticut tops No. 1 seed USC to join No. 3 seed NC State and No. 1 seed South Carolina in the Final Four (More) | See Final Four bracket and schedule (More)

> Formula 1 owner Liberty Media purchases MotoGP's parent company Dorna in deal valuing the motorbike series at $4.5B (More)

> Vontae Davis, two-time NFL Pro Bowl cornerback, found dead at his Florida home at age 35 (More) | Barbara Rush, Golden Globe-winning actress whose career spanned nearly 60 years, dies at age 97 (More)


Science & Technology

> Health officials confirm human case of avian influenza A—or H5N1, also known as the bird flu—after coming in contact with infected cattle; case is the second in the US, risk to public remains low (More) | More than 82 million poultry have been infected since 2022; see stats here (More)

> Archaeologists uncover what is believed to be a 130,000-year-old stingray sculpture; artifact would be the oldest known example of humans sculpting depictions of other animals (More)

> Physical activity lengthens the time of non-REM sleep phases at night, increasing the overall quality of rest; study adds quantitative support to anecdotal link between exercise and sleep (More)


Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.2%, Dow -0.6%, Nasdaq -0.1%) as investors consider last week's inflation data (More) | Gold prices retreat from record high (More)

> Trump Media and Technology Group shares close down 22% after the Truth Social owner reports $58M net loss and $4M revenue in 2023 (More) | Sam Altman removed from ownership structure of OpenAI Startup Fund, the ChatGPT maker's venture capital arm (More

> Microsoft to unbundle Teams and Office worldwide following scrutiny from European regulators and rival Slack over antitrust concerns (More) | Google to destroy browsing data of 136 million users to settle class-action lawsuit accusing the tech giant of secretly tracking users of Chrome's private mode (More


Politics & World Affairs

In partnership with Tangle

> Florida's Supreme Court upholds 2022 15-week abortion ban, allowing a separate 2023 six-week ban to take effect in 30 days; court also allows proposed amendment codifying the right to an abortion in the state constitution to appear on November ballot (More) | Former President Donald Trump posts $175M bond in New York civil fraud case, avoiding asset seizure during appeals process (More)

> Severe thunderstorms sweep across central and eastern US, bringing floods, hail, and tornadoes through today (More) | Section of California's Highway 1 near Big Sur remains closed after weekend storm causes part of roadway to crumble (More

> Germany legalizes possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use, effective yesterday; Germany becomes third European Union member to legalize recreational use of cannabis after Malta and Luxembourg (More

From our partners: Tired of biased, one-sided political news? We have a fresh solution. Tangle is an independent, non-partisan politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from the right, left, and center on one big debate every day. In the last week, they've covered the terrorist attack in Russia, Chuck Schumer's comments on Benjamin Netanyahu, and a potential TikTok ban. You read, then you get to make up your own mind. Sign up for free to get a 360-degree political read.



> Northwestern University at Stateville

Chicago Magazine | Bryan Smith. Inside a maximum security prison in Illinois, where the Northwestern Prison Education Program offers inmates the chance to earn a degree from one of the country’s top schools. (Read)


> The Pride of Augusta

Garden & Gun | Latria Graham. A look at how Augusta National’s all-Black caddies, which players were required to use during golf's annual Masters Tournament until 1982, played a pivotal part in the game. (Read)

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"Death walks faster than the wind and never returns what he has taken."

- From Hans Christian Andersen's "The Story of a Mother"

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