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Two years after Dobbs; militants attack in southern Russia

Today's top stories

Pro-abortion rights activist rally in front of the US Supreme Court on March 26, 2024, in Washington, DC.
DREW ANGERER/AFP via Getty Images / AFP
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AFP
Pro-abortion rights activist rally in front of the US Supreme Court on March 26, 2024, in Washington, DC.

Two years ago today, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, removing federal protections for abortion. The Dobbs decision allowed states to ban and restrict abortion, significantly changing access—and the nature—of abortions in America

  • 🎧 The number of abortions is actually up across the U.S., NPR’s Elissa Nadworny tells Up First. While access is a lot more limited in some states, Nadworny says there’s been a major rise in the use of telehealth, making it easier for doctors to prescribe and send abortion pills through the mail. Even people in states with strict abortion restrictions like Texas or Mississippi can legally access pills from providers in places like Massachusetts and New York. She adds the big thing she's following is how abortion could be on the ballot this fall in as many as 10 states. Here's where voters will decide. She’s also waiting on the latest Supreme Court decision expected as early as this week about access to abortions in emergency room situations.


​​​​​​Armed militants killed more than 15 police officers and several civilians in Russia’s southern republic of Dagestan on Sunday, its governor Sergei Melikov said in a video statement early Monday. The gunmen opened fire on two Orthodox churches, a synagogue and a police post in two cities, according to the authorities. The attacks took place in the region’s largest city, Makhachkala, and in the coastal city of Derbent.

  • 🎧 Authorities say these attacks were well planned and coordinated, NPR’s Charles Maynes reports on Up First. Maynes says authorities launched an investigation into what they’re calling acts of terror, though it remains unclear how many militants were involved. Dagestan is a predominantly Muslim region on the Caspian Sea that has a history of separatist and militant violence. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.


Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is in Washington to discuss the next phase of the Gaza war and escalating hostilities on the border with Lebanon. Even though the top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requested an arrest warrant for Gallant, the U.S. sees him as a close partner in Israel’s right wing government.

  • 🎧 The visit comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finds himself at odds with his biggest ally, the United States, NPR’s Hadeel Al-Shalchi reports. Yesterday Netanyahu said in a lengthy TV interview the current phase of fighting against Hamas in Gaza is winding down and that the military’s focus could then shift to Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. He also signaled that there is no end in sight for the war in Gaza. Al-Shalchi says Netanyahu’s language seems to contradict the deal that the Biden administration is pushing, which could lead to an end to the unrelenting war and secure the return of the remaining hostages in Gaza.
  • 🎧 Hezbollah is much stronger than Hamas. Could Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system hold up in a war with the group? NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel talks to missile experts who say that Hezbollah's arsenal could push the system past its limits.

Behind the story

Ibrahim Abu Hani, head baker and co-owner of Batool Cakes, a family business in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.
/ Anas Baba for NPR
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Anas Baba for NPR
Ibrahim Abu Hani, head baker and co-owner of Batool Cakes, a family business in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.

This essay was written by Daniel Estrin, NPR's international correspondent.

It was a few months into the Gaza war when NPR’s producer in Gaza, Anas Baba, called me with exciting news: he found a bakery selling cakes.

This is how we began to follow professional baker Ibrahim Abu Hani.

Abu Hani reopened his Rafah bakery, Batool Cakes, to high demand. One man wanted a birthday cake for his injured son. Another man in a tent camp begged for a wedding cake: he was getting married that very night.

The baker did his best to make a high-quality product, even with supplies dwindling in the war.

Soon, the baker got word that a branch of his bakery in Khan Younis suffered extensive damage after an Israeli ground offensive against Hamas there.

It wasn’t long after that Abu Hani himself had to flee.

When Israel launched its offensive in Rafah, he gathered all the baking equipment he could, and moved it to his brother’s outdoor car mechanic shop, farther away from the bombardment.

Despite the flies, he made cakes for children in a nearby tent camp, to help them celebrate their birthdays.

“When you strive to bring happiness to others, you will feel joy, no matter what obstacles come your way,” he told us.

Our producer Anas Baba has documented a lot of horrific scenes in this war, but this baker’s story is just as important. Abu Hani helps people celebrate life amid extreme hunger and hopelessness. While the world sends Gaza canned beans, he offers children delicious cake.

Listen to our radio story featuring him as we continue to follow his journey throughout the war.

Life advice

/ Valeriy Kachaev/Spruce Books
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Valeriy Kachaev/Spruce Books

What was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning? If you immediately grabbed your phone, you might not be aware of your behavior and how it shapes your whole day. And it could mean that you're too online. A recent survey claimed Americans check their phones once every 4 minutes. You can audit your phone usage with this quiz and learn some practical tips to find balance in your digital habits.
📱 Social media is designed to be addictive. The only way to get around it is by setting boundaries, either by deleting apps from your phone or using a screen timer.
📱 Don’t go to bed with your phone. Research shows it makes a big difference to your sleep and focus.
📱 Observe how you feel when you’re scrolling your phone. Experiment with shutting down social media, then slowly reintegrate the apps that serve you.
📱 After a couple of weeks practicing digital minimalism, you might have more time on your hands than you’re used to. Use the time to reconnect with people and re-invest in your hobbies and interests.

3 things to know before you go

In his depiction of the stations of the cross, Bruce Onobrakpeya brings African symbols and traditions into the story of the crucifixion. Above: At station six, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
Michael McKelvey /
Onobrakpeya Station VI Veronica wipes face of Jesus

  1. At 91, Bruce Onobrakpeya, the Nigerian sculptor and printmaker who reimagined the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is celebrated at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art with a solo exhibit.
  2. The late Alex Trebek will be featured on a Forever Stamp set by the U.S. Postal Service. The stamps honoring Trebek, who died in 2020, will go on sale next month.
  3. A Florida family is suing NASA after a piece of metallic space debris belonging to the agency fell to Earth and tore through their Naples home earlier this year, leaving a hole in the roof.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Majd Al-Waheidi
Majd Al-Waheidi is the digital editor on Morning Edition, where she brings the show's journalism to online audiences. Previously, Al-Waheidi was a reporter for the New York Times in the Gaza Strip, where she reported about a first-of-its-kind Islamic dating site, and documented the human impact of the 2014 Israel-Gaza war in a collaborative visual project nominated for an Emmy Award. She also reported about Wikipedia censorship in Arabic for Rest of World magazine, and investigated the abusive working conditions of TikTok content moderators for Business Insider. Al-Waheidi has worked at the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy, and holds a master's degree in Arab Studies from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. A native of Gaza, she speaks Arabic and some French, and is studying Farsi.

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