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House Speaker outlines Israel aid plan and 81-year-old kills Uber driver after both caught in scam: Morning Rundown


Day 1 of Trump’s criminal trial featured haggling over what salacious evidence could be shown to the jury — which could take days or even weeks to be seated. A top psychology group warns that common features on social media platforms are “risky” for kids’ mental health. And an 81-year-old man killed an Uber driver after both were targeted by scammers.

Here’s what to know today.

Search continues for ‘fair and impartial’ jurors in Trump’s historic trial

Donald Trump made history yesterday as the first former president to stand trial on criminal charges — and quickly put in stark relief the polarizing impact on the public.

After the first 96 prospective jurors were brought into a New York courtroom, Judge Juan Merchan asked if any of those assembled could not be “fair and impartial.” More than half raised their hands and were excused from serving on the jury.

The jury selection process got off to a slow start because lawyers from both sides spent much of the day arguing over some of the more sensational evidence in the case. Prosecutors from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office want to use material — including the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, headlines from the National Enquirer from the 2016 GOP presidential primary and the timing of Trump’s alleged affair with another woman — to show why Trump was eager to bury negative stories about him during the 2016 presidential election.

Merchan said prosecutors could use a transcript of the “Access Hollywood” tape but not the tape itself. He also greenlit the request to show jurors Enquirer headlines and said he would allow testimony about the alleged affair.

Trump, who spent much of the day seated at the defense table flanked by his attorneys, called the case “an assault” on the nation and repeatedly attacked the prosecution for waging “election interference.” Merchan said Trump must be in the courtroom for every day of the trial and warned that the former president risks jail time if he disrupts the proceedings. Here’s what else happened on Day 1 and what comes next.

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Jury selection may take days — or weeks — to be completed as both sides try to weed out those who walk into the Manhattan courthouse with deep-seated bias. Today is the second day of voir dire. 

More Trump trial coverage: 

  • The scene outside the courthouse where Trump’s trial was underway “smacked of a Ringling Brothers production,” complete with a smattering of pro-Trump demonstrators and high-profile gawkers, including Nancy Pelosi’s daughter who said “I never miss a freak show,” senior politics reporter Jonathan Allen wrote in an analysis. Inside the courtroom, “the solemn nature of the work ahead was evident.”

Israel and Iran’s longstanding conflict comes into full view

Israel’s war Cabinet convened yesterday to weigh its options for responding to Iran’s unprecedented drone and missile attack. World leaders have urged restraint — and Israel could heed that call, four U.S. officials said.

According to the officials, Israel’s response will be limited in scope and will likely involve strikes against Iranian military forces and Iranian-backed proxies outside Iran. However, the U.S. assessment is based on conversations between American and Israeli officials that happened before Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday night, and the U.S. officials stressed that they have not been briefed on Israel’s final decision. They also don’t know when a response will happen; it could be any time, the officials said.

Whatever Israel decides, the stakes after Iran’s attack could not be higher. In the eyes of some foreign policy hawks, the attacks could be perceived as a grave provocation that demands a furious rejoinder. Other analysts have warned that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decides to hit back hard, it could plunge the wider Middle East into war. 

While Israel and Iran have been enemies since the late 1970s, the bitter conflict has long been confined to secret assassinations, audacious cyberattacks, nuclear sabotage and war-by-proxy. Neither side had openly and directly attacked the other before Saturday. Now, that subtly covert struggle is in full view.

More coverage of war in the Middle East

  • House Speaker Mike Johnson has outlined a plan to pass aid for Israel through Congress, separating it from support for Ukraine and Taiwan in a bid to overcome conservative objections to funding Kyiv’s war effort. Follow live updates.
  • The University of Southern California has sparked condemnation from a leading Muslim group after it canceled a planned commencement speech by its pro-Palestinian valedictorian, citing security concerns due to tensions over “the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.”
  • Demonstrators protesting the war in Gaza shut down San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge for around five hours yesterday, as protests were also held in other cities in the U.S.

Verified pro-Nazi accounts are flourishing on X

Elon Musk’s X is a thriving hub for Nazi support and propaganda, with paid subscribers sharing speeches by Adolf Hitler or content praising his genocidal regime. NBC News found that at least 150 paid “Premium” subscriber X accounts and thousands of unpaid accounts have posted or amplified pro-Nazi content on X in recent months, often in apparent violation of X’s rules. The paid accounts posting the content all consistently posted antisemitic or pro-Nazi material. Examples included praise of Nazi soldiers, sharing of Nazi symbols and denials of the Holocaust. 

The findings are the latest evidence of a flourishing Nazi network on X under Musk’s ownership, where Nazi sympathizers are brought in from dark corners of the internet to a massive platform where they can pay to amplify their content. And by failing to act against these accounts, X continues to earn income from pro-Nazi activity. Read the full story here.

Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 WNBA draft pick, is going to Indiana

Caitlin Clark is headed to the Indiana Fever after the team selected the University of Iowa superstar with the top overall pick of the WNBA pro draft. The announcement came as no surprise to anyone attending yesterday evening’s festivities in New York — or to the thousands of Fever fans gathered to cheer the selection. Clark just ended the most heralded career in the history of women’s college basketball with 3,951 points, more than anyone else in the history of top-flight college basketball.

2024 WNBA Draft
Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected first overall WNBA draft pick. Sarah Stier / Getty Images

The No. 2 pick of the night was Stanford’s Cameron Brink, who was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks. South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso went No. 3 to the Chicago Sky. Perhaps the second-best-known player in college basketball, Angel Reese, was the draft’s No. 6 pick by Chicago, where she’ll team up with longtime rival Cardoso. Here’s who else is headed to the pros.

Top psychology group: Social media not ‘suitable for youth’

Social media features such as endless scrolling and push notifications are “particularly risky” to young people, a top psychology group said in a newly released report. In fact, the American Psychological Association argued, social media platforms are “not inherently suitable for youth.” Young people are less able to disengage from addictive experiences and are more sensitive to distractions, the report said.

The APA’s report urges tech companies and legislators to take greater steps to protect children’s mental health. In the year since the group issued a landmark health advisory on social media in adolescence, tech companies have made “few meaningful changes.” Age limits alone won’t fix the problem, the APA said. 

Ohio man, 81, fatally shoots Uber driver, 61, after scammers target both of them, officials say

Clark County Sheriff’s Office

An 81-year-old Ohio man has been charged in the fatal shooting of an Uber driver he believed was working with a scammer, according to officials who said the victim was sent to the home by the same scammer. William Brock told investigators he shot Loletha Hall, 61, outside his home March 25 because he thought she was working with a man who called him pretending to be an officer at the local court.

“Mr. Brock received some scam call by a person purporting to be someone from our courts who informed him a family member was incarcerated and that he had a bond of a significant amount of money,”Lt. Kristopher Shultz of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said. “The calls turned from ‘I’m an officer in the court’ to ‘We have this subject hostage, this is a ransom demand.’”

The person who called Brock, or an accomplice, requested an Uber ride to his South Charleston home to pick up the money, Shultz said. “Ms. Hall did not have any idea,” he added.

When Hall arrived at the home and approached the front door, Brock confronted her with a gun and asked her who she was working for, Shultz said. After an exchange, she was shot three times and later died from her injuries. 

Politics in Brief

Jan. 6 aftermath: The Supreme Court will weigh whether those involved in the attack on the U.S. Capitol can be charged with obstructing an official proceeding, a case that could have bearing on the election interference prosecution of Donald Trump.

Michigan politics: Voters in Michigan head to the polls today for a pair of state House special elections that will determine partisan control of the chamber. A Democratic win would restore the party’s trifecta of power in the battleground state.

Thomas absent: Conservative Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas was not present at the court for oral arguments yesterday, with the court giving no reason for his absence. 

Tax Day: President Joe Biden and his wife Jill released their tax returns, showing they earned nearly $620,000 in 2023.

Abortion rights: A PowerPoint presentation obtained by NBC News shows the options that Republican state legislators in Arizona are considering as it faces fallout from a state Supreme Court ruling upholding a near-total abortion ban.

Want more politics news? Sign up for From the Politics Desk to get exclusive reporting and analysis delivered to your inbox every weekday evening. Subscribe here.

Staff Pick: Florida teens give back — and forge a path forward

Most people, if they’ve heard of Immokalee, Florida, at all, know it as an agricultural center. It is, of course, but this story focuses on the Guadalupe Center Tutor Corps program, which matches Immokalee high school students, who are children of immigrant workers, with younger students. Not only do the tutors get paid, they also get the tools they need — including help securing scholarships — to go to college.

Especially in a low-income immigrant community, young people being able to pursue higher education without debt while giving back to their peers is something to celebrate.

— Alex Hazlett, deputy platforms editor

Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

If used correctly and consistently, microcurrent devices can lend the appearance of more lifted, firmer and smoother skin. Here are some top-rated options to consider.

Sign up to The Selection newsletter for exclusive reviews and shopping content from NBC Select.

Thanks for reading today’s Morning Rundown. Today’s newsletter was curated for you by Elizabeth Robinson. If you’re a fan, please send a link to your family and friends. They can sign-up here.


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