Israel Hits Iran Hard

Your unbiased daily news brief

Good morning and happy Tuesday. It is beginning to feel like spring, which is great. But that also means it is the start of allergy season, which is less than ideal. Here are some tips on how to get through it. Have a great day!

In Today’s Brief

  • Baltimore: Temporary channel opens

  • India: Opposition blasts Modi

  • Hope Hicks: Trump trial witness

  • Microsoft: Teams is standalone product

  • Caitlin Clark: Leads Iowa over LSU

... and more

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Top Tips

1) Tensions rise

Israel appears to have bombed Iran's embassy in Syria, killing military leaders.

  • What happened: A consular building inside the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus was hit by an airstrike yesterday. Israel did not confirm the strike -- it rarely acknowledges operations against the Iranians -- but The New York Times reported it was an Israeli attack, citing government officials.

  • The aftermath: Iran claimed seven military advisers were killed in the strike, including two senior generals in the elite Quds Force. Israel accused Iran of a drone attack on one of its naval base in its limited comments on the incident.

  • Big picture: The Israeli operation is a major escalation in its campaign against Iran and its military. While the ongoing war against Hamas is Gaza garners the most attention, Israel also continues to deal with attacks by Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militants to its north.

2) Mail-out

The U.S. Postal Service will make a major change later this year.

  • What happened: The USPS has struck a deal to make UPS its primary partner for moving cargo by air, ending its long-running partnership with FedEx after extension talks broke down. UPS will take over in late September; the pact runs through at least March 2030. UPS said the compensation is "significant" but did not release terms.

  • The significance: FedEx held the contract for over 20 years and USPS was its largest customer. The company said a new deal would not have been in the best interest of its shareholders and it will adjust to drive efficiency and flexibility to make up for the $2B annual hit once the deal expires. FedEx stock was down over 3% on the news.

  • Big picture: USPS lost $6.5B in its 2023 FY despite projecting it would break even. The new deal with UPS is believed to be another step in the agency's efforts to cut spending. UPS stock ended the day down about two-thirds of a point.

3) Sole survivor dies

The last living veteran who served on the USS Arizona has passed away.

  • The news: Lou Conter died at his California home yesterday at 102, his family announced. Conter was the Arizona's quartermaster when it was destroyed in the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The U.S. entered World War II days later.

  • After the attack: Conter went to flight school and flew 200 combat missions. He was shot down off the coast of New Guinea in 1943 but survived after swimming through shark-infested water. Conter went on to serve in the Korean War and retired after 28 years in the Navy, training pilots how to survive if they were shot down and taken as prisoners of war later in his career.

  • A select few: There are only 19 Pearl Harbor survivors still living. Only about 119K World War II veterans are still alive, according to the National World War II Museum. 

Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • A temporary channel will allow essential vessels to pass along the Patapsco River in Baltimore. Two more channels will open soon near the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, providing access to the Port of Baltimore (More)

  • Former President Donald Trump posted a $175M bond for his New York civil business fraud judgment. The bond keeps the state from seizing his assets as he appeals the $450M penalty (More)

  • Vermont police said residents who recently visited Montreal may have hidden tracking devices on their cars. Auto theft is on the rise in Canada, with AirTags and other GPS devices used to track desirable vehicles (More)

World News

  • India's opposition parties accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "match fixing" leading into the country's upcoming elections. A prominent Modi critic was recently arrested while the parties have faced tax issues (More)

  • Germany has legalized recreational cannabis, becoming the biggest European Union nation to do so. The laws are some of the continent's most liberal despite significant public debate (More)

  • Israel is expected to ban Al Jazeera. The Knesset passed a law allowing foreign news organizations to be shuttered for national security purposes (More)

Campaign News

  • Hope Hicks will be a prosecution witness in former President Trump's New York hush money trial. Hicks was Trump's campaign press secretary in 2016 and later served as White House Communications Advisor (More)

  • The White House appears to be dragging its feet on a planned menthol cigarette ban. The FDA's prohibition proposal is considered politically risky by some due to the products' popularity with key voting groups (More)

  • Canada's Conservative Party has a double-digit lead on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party, according to recent polling. The next national election must happen by next October, but could be called at any time (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed mixed yesterday as Q2 opened. Only the Nasdaq eked out a gain (Dow -0.60%, Nasdaq +0.11%, S&P 500 -0.20%).

  • Microsoft will sell its Teams app separately from its Office product in all markets. The tech giant previously unbundled its chat and video app from its other offerings in Europe due to antitrust concerns (More)

  • Trump Media's stock price saw a nearly 22% drop after reporting a $58M net loss last year. Former President Trump's net worth dropped about $1B on paper as a result; he cannot cash out his shares in the social media company for six months (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Caitlin Clark scored 41 points as Iowa defeated LSU to advance to the NCAA women's Final Four. The game was a rematch of last year's national title game, which LSU won (More)

  • Former NFL star Vontae Davis was found dead in his Florida home at 35. The cornerback was a two-time Pro Bowler for the Indianapolis Colts and also played for the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins (More)

  • Formula One's parent company has bought MotoGP. Liberty Media paid $4.5B for a controlling stake in the motorcycle racing circuit's owner, Dorna Sports (More)

Quick Hitters

  • Fun Stuff: A dog got into a cereal box. Instead of eating the food, the cute pup ended up wearing it.

  • Go Deep: Why aren't solar-powered cars on the road? There are a few, but there are several good reasons why they have not caught on the way electric vehicles have.

  • Take Note: If you are tempted to sneak that comfortable hotel room robe into your suitcase before leaving, know this: Whether you ask permission or not, you are going to end up paying for it.

  • Tech Hack: Backing up your devices always seems like a waste of time ... until something goes horribly wrong. Here is how to be prepared and protected when disaster strikes.

  • Life Hack: Brushing your teeth seems pretty straightforward. But there is a right way to do it and many people are missing the mark and risking health issues.

  • OPTIMIZE ME: Researchers “found convincing evidence that higher intake of ultra-processed foods was associated with 50% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related death, a 48% to 53% higher risk of anxiety and common mental disorders, and a 12% greater risk of type 2 diabetes”

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A colorful look at the woodpecker -- one of the world's most diverse and fascinating creatures.

Looking Ahead …

Niagara Falls in Canada has declared a state of emergency because it expects over 1M visitors to flood into the city next week for the solar eclipse. Local officials are concerned the crowd could overwhelm cellphone networks, emergency services and traffic.

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