Dozens killed in rocket attack on eastern Ukraine train station, officials say
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said about 30 people have been killed and around 100 injured following a rocket strike on a railway station in Kramatorsk in the east of the country, according to The Associated Press. Kramatorsk is a city in part of the Donetsk region that is controlled by the Ukrainian government, and its railway station was being used to evacuate civilians. Zelenskyy lashed out at Russian forces, saying they were “cynically destroying the civilian population” and called it “an evil without limits.” Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk have claimed that Ukrainian forces were responsible. In Brussels Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned that despite Russia’s recent pullback, the country remains vulnerable. Spurred by reports that Russian forces committed atrocities in areas surrounding Kyiv, NATO nations agreed to increase their supply of arms. The first of 20 Australian-manufactured Bushmaster armored vehicles Ukraine specifically requested left Australia Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. In the U.S., Congress was trying to resurrect the World War II-era program to make it easier to provide Ukraine with the desperately needed firepower to repel the Russian invasion.
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Biden to host celebration for Supreme Court confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson
President Joe Biden will deliver remarks Friday afternoon at a ceremony marking the Senate’s historic confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson, giving the White House and Democratic allies an opportunity to celebrate the first Black woman headed to the Supreme Court. Vice President Kamala Harris and Jackson will also speak at the event on the South Lawn of the White House. The Senate voted 53-47 Thursday to confirm Jackson, a U.S. appeals court judge for the D.C. district. Three Republican senators – Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah – joined all 50 Democratic senators to confirm the 116th justice. She will replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
Privately funded Axiom-1 mission set to launch into space
The SpaceX Axiom-1 mission, the first completely privately funded and crewed mission to the International Space Station, is expected to liftoff from Kennedy Space Center in Florida late Thursday morning after being delayed by two days. According to the Space Force, weather conditions should be about 80% favorable for the launch. Under a deal between NASA and commercial partners SpaceX and Axiom Space, a Houston-based private company that is building its own space station, Axiom-1 will be a first-of-its-kind mission. Former NASA astronaut and current Axiom executive Michael López-Alegría will command the mission and three paying customers – who reportedly shelled out $55 million each – will travel to the ISS for a nine-day stay. The crew is expected to spend about 20 hours in orbit before docking with the ISS on Saturday morning.
Tiger Woods returns for Day 2 of Masters after an encouraging start
Tiger Woods will return Friday for the second round of the Masters after a promising start in Round 1 Thursday. Woods finished with a 1-under 71 in his first competitive round of golf since he nearly lost his right leg after a near-fatal car crash less than 14 months ago. Woods looked comfortable through 18 holes, despite nursing a small limp. Heading into Day 2 of the tournament, Woods is tied for 10th place, four strokes behind Sungjae Im at the top of the leaderboard sitting at 5-under. Cam Smith is currently in second place after he shot 4-under 68. Two-time major winner Dustin Johnson is among those tied for third after he shot a 3-under 69 in Round 1. Woods is scheduled to tee off for Round 2 at 1:41 p.m. ET Friday. .
Pink Floyd releases first new song in decades to raise money for Ukraine
Pink Floyd released its first new music in almost three decades early Friday with the goal to raise money for the Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund. “Hey Hey Rise Up” features Pink Floyd members David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason, with vocals from Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the band BoomBox. The track features Khlyvnyuk singing a patriotic Ukrainian song from a clip he recorded in front of St. Sophia Cathedral in Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv and posted on social media. After Russia’s invasion, Khlyvnyuk cut short a tour of the U.S. to return to Ukraine and join a territorial defense unit. As The Guardian notes, Pink Floyd last released original new music in 1994 with “The Division Bell.” Gilmour and Mason did reconvene to turn outtakes from “The Division Bell” into 2014’s predominantly instrumental “The Endless River” as a tribute to the band’s keyboard player Rick Wright, who died from cancer in 2008.
Contributing: The Associated Press