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ICC reportedly weighs arrest warrants for Israeli officials; new abortion lawsuit

People stand next to a vehicle in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on April 2, where workers from the World Central Kitchen (WCK), were killed in Israeli airstrikes, according to the NGO.
Yasser Qudihe
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Middle East Images/AFP via Getty
People stand next to a vehicle in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on April 2, where workers from the World Central Kitchen (WCK), were killed in Israeli airstrikes, according to the NGO.

Good morning. You're reading the Up First newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox, and listen to the Up First podcast for all the news you need to start your day.

Today's top stories

The International Criminal Court in the Hague is preparing to issue arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on charges related to the war against Hamas in Gaza, according to reports from Israeli and international media. Israeli and foreign officials told The New York Times the ICC is also considering arrest warrants for Hamas leaders.

  • NPR's Peter Kenyon tells Up First that if the ICC does issue these warrants, it would be the first time it has issued warrants against any Israeli official. Under a warrant, the ICC's member states would be expected to arrest and hand over the defendants to the Hague should they enter their territories. Kenyon says the organization could issue the warrants this week. Israel and the U.S. are reportedly calling on ICC prosecutor Karim Khan to hold off or decide against it.
  • Meanwhile, negotiating teams are meeting today in Egypt for another round of cease-fire talks. A senior Hamas official told NPR that the group is "still studying" Israel's latest proposal.
  • World Central Kitchen says it will resume operations in Gaza, almost one month after Israeli airstrikes killed seven members of its staff. 


Pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses across the U.S. show no sign of letting up. Police arrested nearly 300 people nationwide over the weekend. This afternoon, students at Rutgers University in New Jersey plan to rally. Like other campuses, Rutgers students are demanding that their school divest from companies that do business with Israel.

  • NPR's Brian Mann spent time inside the encampment at Columbia University. He says people were singing and praying, and the mood was calm. "Both sides here are clearly working to de-escalate," he says. That's a big change from a week and a half ago when the university summoned the NYPD to break up the encampment with more than 100 arrests, which helped spark this nationwide movement. See photos from protests taking place around the country.


At least four people have been killed and at least 100 injured after tornadoes ripped through parts of the South and Midwest on Friday and into the weekend. All four deaths so far have been in Oklahoma, where Gov. Kevin Stitt has declared a state of emergency in a dozen counties. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds declared a disaster emergency in one county. Her state saw at least a dozen tornadoes on Friday. In Nebraska, the Ponca Tribe reported that thunderstorms and tornadoes caused "significant damage" to its people and local businesses.

Deep dive

Employers are required to make accommodations for pregnant women and new moms like time off for doctor's appointments.
Thomas Trutschel / Photothek via Getty Images
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Photothek via Getty Images
Employers are required to make accommodations for pregnant women and new moms like time off for doctor's appointments.

In the latest battle over abortion rights between Republican-led states and the Biden administration, 17 states are suing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Here's what you need to know:

  • At the center of the issue is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, passed in 2022 with bipartisan support. It requires employers with at least 15 employees to accommodate pregnant workers with things like extra bathroom breaks and time off for prenatal appointments.
  • A new addition to the law includes abortion in the list of "related medical conditions" employers must make reasonable accommodations for, but not before collecting feedback and comments, including about 54,000 from those who objected to its inclusion.
  • Arkansas and Tennessee are the two states leading the lawsuit. They say the implications for employers violating the law would be dire, even in states where abortion is illegal.
  • The new rule has gone into effect in the meantime. The EEOC has a guide for pregnant workers about their new rights under the law and how to file charges against their employers.

Picture show

El Massry took this photo of a felucca sailing down the Nile in the south of Cairo on a morning in 2022. He digitally framed the image with a photo of a window in an old antique shop, and in his signature style, added a bird or two.
/ Nour El Massry
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Nour El Massry
El Massry took this photo of a felucca sailing down the Nile in the south of Cairo on a morning in 2022. He digitally framed the image with a photo of a window in an old antique shop, and in his signature style, added a bird or two.

In 2019, photographer Nour El Massry went viral for a photo he took of a large terrace in a historical building in the Garden City neighborhood of Cairo. Since then, the Cairo-based photographer, art director and film production designer has continued to post photos of the interiors, city streets and architecture of Egypt on his Instagram account. Through his photography, he goes past the "chaos and overpopulation" of Cairo to capture scenes that "feel like a dream."

3 things to know before you go

Seed catalogs on a table.
/ Sasa Woodruff
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Sasa Woodruff
Seed catalogs on a table.

  1. How did a genetically modified purple tomato variety end up on an organic, non-GMO seed company? The mix-up has triggered fears over the spread of GMO crops.
  2. The Louvre Museum in Paris is considering moving the Mona Lisa to its own room underground. It currently shares a large room with other artworks. 
  3. The Biden administration has indefinitely delayed a ban on menthol cigarettes, sparking backlash from anti-smoking advocates. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra alluded to controversy, especially within the Black community, as a rationale for dropping the proposed ban.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi. Anandita Bhalerao contributed.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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