One Week Since the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

Happy Tuesday! Christy Kinahan, an Irish drug kingpin on the FBI’s most wanted list, has left a trail of restaurant, hotel, and grocery store reviews worldwide. Even while on the lam, he wants to let you know that you really should try the lamb. 

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • An airstrike in Damascus, Syria, on Monday reportedly killed three high-ranking Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) generals in an attack the Iranian and Syrian governments are attributing to Israel. The strike targeted a building next to the Iranian embassy and also killed four officers in the Quds Force—the IRGC’s espionage and paramilitary wing. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, one of the generals allegedly killed in the attack, was a U.S.-sanctioned Quds Force commander in charge of operations in Syria and Lebanon, where he led Iran’s engagement with and arming of Hezbollah. Israeli officials have not commented directly on the attack, but Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), claimed that Israeli intelligence showed the strike did not target a consulate or embassy but rather “a military building of Quds forces disguised as a civilian building.” American officials have reportedly told Iran that Washington had “no involvement” in the attack, as the U.S. and Israel brace for the possibility of Iranian retaliation.
  • U.S. and Israeli officials met virtually on Monday to discuss disagreements between the two governments over Israel’s planned ground operation in Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza. The talks—described in a White House statement as “constructive engagement”—produced an agreement for an in-person meeting with the same group of officials as early as next week. The news comes just days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had canceled plans for an Israeli delegation to visit Washington, D.C., after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza in a vote from which the U.S. abstained. Meanwhile, the IDF said Monday it was investigating reports that an Israeli air strike killed seven aid workers, including several foreign nationals, delivering food aid on behalf of World Central Kitchen (WCK), a humanitarian organization founded by celebrity chef José Andrés.
  • An investigation published Sunday by “60 Minutes,” The Insider, and Der Spiegel claimed that Russia’s military intelligence agency is likely behind “Havana Syndrome,” a name given to the mysterious and often debilitating neurological symptoms that have affected hundreds of U.S. government personnel at home and abroad in recent years. The investigative team spoke to individuals who believe they have been affected by the syndrome, investigators, and a retired army lieutenant colonel, Greg Edgreen, who led the Department of Defense’s inquiry into the phenomenon. He assessed that the Russian government had developed an “acoustic weapon” that is allegedly responsible for headaches, dizziness, hearing loss, and other symptoms. A report on the incidents released last March by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence found that it is “very unlikely” a hostile government is responsible for the health episodes.
  • In a 6-1 decision handed down Monday, the Florida Supreme Court held that the state’s constitutional privacy provisions do not cover abortion access. The ruling upholds Florida’s previous ban on abortions after 15 weeks and allows a six-week ban that was passed last April to go into effect in 30 days. In a separate, 4-3 decision also released yesterday, the court approved language for a ballot initiative that, if it receives 60 percent support in November, would preserve abortion access in the state until the point of fetal viability—usually at about 24 weeks of gestation—effectively undoing the six-week ban.
  • Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing former President Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial, on Monday granted a request from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to expand a gag order on Trump to include barring the former president from attacking Bragg’s and Merchan’s families. A gag order issued last week ordered Trump not to target witnesses in the case, prosecutors other than Bragg, jurors, court staff, or their families, but after Trump published a series of posts on Truth Social railing against Merchan’s daughter, a Democratic consultant, the judge extended the restriction. “This pattern of attacking family members of presiding jurists and attorneys assigned to his cases serves no legitimate purpose,” Merchan wrote in his ruling.
  • Trump posted a $175 million bond in a New York civil fraud case on Monday, pausing the enforcement of a $464 million judgment while he appeals the penalty. The bond was underwritten by a California-based insurance company, though it’s unclear what Trump used as collateral. If Trump fails in his appeal of the ruling, he will be liable for the full judgment amount.
  • The NCAA basketball tournaments’ respective Final Fours are set. On the men’s side, Purdue will play North Carolina State and Alabama will face off against the University of Connecticut. In the women’s tournament, North Carolina State will play South Carolina and the University of Connecticut will face off against Iowa.

The Key to the City 

Wreckage from the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge rests on the Dali cargo ship on March 30, 2024, as efforts begin to clear the debris and reopen the Port of Baltimore. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Wreckage from the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge rests on the Dali cargo ship on March 30, 2024, as efforts begin to clear the debris and reopen the Port of Baltimore. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

One week ago, Baltimore residents awoke to find that the Francis Scott Key Bridge was gone. 

Instead of standing watch over the entrance to the port of Baltimore, the “picturesque” steel structure that had spanned the Patapsco River for almost half a century was crumpled in ruins over the deck of the Dali, a container ship that had rammed into one of the pylons supporting the structure around 1:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday. 

The disaster—which killed six members of a road crew who had been working on the bridge in the early morning hours—rocked the city of Baltimore and shuttered one of the most active ports on the Eastern seaboard, with serious effects for the people who work there. It’s still unclear how long it will take to rebuild the bridge, how much it will cost, and—crucially—who will pay for it. President Joe Biden—set to visit the site Friday—has promised federal funds to resurrect Key Bridge, but he is already facing pushback from Republicans in what could become a messy partisan fight should congressionally appropriated funds become necessary.

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