AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

Booms and sirens in Israel after Iran launches over 200 missiles and drones in unprecedented attack

JERUSALEM (AP) — Booms and air raid sirens sounded across Israel early Sunday after Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in an unprecedented revenge mission that pushed the Middle East closer to a regionwide war.

The attack marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Condemnation from the United Nations chief and others was swift, with France saying Iran “is risking a potential military escalation,” Britain calling the attack “reckless" and Germany saying Iran and its proxies “must stop it immediately."

The Israeli military's spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said Iran fired scores of drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles — with the vast majority intercepted outside Israel’s borders. He said warplanes intercepted over 10 cruise missiles alone, also outside Israeli airspace.

Hagari said a handful of missiles landed in Israel. Rescuers said a 7-year-old girl in a Bedouin Arab town was seriously wounded in southern Israel, apparently in a missile strike, though they said police were still investigating the circumstances of her injuries. Hagari said a missile struck an army base, causing light damage but no injuries.

"A wide-scale attack by Iran is a major escalation,” he said. Asked whether Israel would respond, Hagari said only that the army “does and will do whatever is required to protect the security of the state of Israel.” He said the incident was not over, and dozens of Israeli warplanes remained in the skies.


US shoots down Iran-launched attack drones as Biden team pledges 'support' for Israel against Tehran

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and his national security team monitored Iran’s aerial attack against Israel on Saturday as U.S. forces joined efforts to down explosive-laden drones launched by Tehran.

With tensions at their highest since the Israel-Hamas war began six months ago, Biden pledged that American support for Israel's defense against attacks by Iran and its proxies is “ironclad.”

U.S. forces shot down some Iran-launched attack drones flying toward Israel, according to a U.S. defense official and two other U.S. officials who spoke Saturday on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter. The U.S. and Israel had been bracing for an attack for days after Iran vowed to retaliate for a suspected Israeli strike this month on an Iranian consular building in Syria that killed 12 people, including two senior Iranian generals in the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force.

“At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” Biden said in a statement late Saturday. "Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles."

Biden had cut short a weekend stay at his Delaware beach house to meet with his national security team at the White House on Saturday afternoon, returning to Washington minutes before Israeli officials confirmed that they had detected drones being launched toward their territory from Iran.


Israel has deployed a multilayered air-defense system. It faces big test with Iranian drone strike.

JERUSALEM (AP) — An incoming attack by Iranian drones and ballistic missiles poses the latest challenge to Israel’s air defense system, which already has been working overtime to cope with incoming rocket, drone and missile attacks throughout the six-month war against Hamas.

Here’s a closer look at Israel’s multilayered air-defense system:

The Arrow: This system developed with the U.S. is designed to intercept long-range missiles, including the types of ballistic missiles Iran said it launched on Saturday. The Arrow, which operates outside the atmosphere, has been used in the current war to intercept long-range missiles launched by Houthi militants in Yemen.

David’s Sling: Also developed with the U.S., the David’s Sling is meant to intercept medium-range missiles, such as those possessed by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Patriot: This American-made system is the oldest member of Israel’s missile-defense system – used during the First Gulf War in 1991 to intercept Scud missiles fired by Iraq’s leader at the time, Saddam Hussein. The Patriot is now used to shoot down aircraft, including drones.


The Latest | Iran launches its first direct military attack against Israel

Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday. The Israeli military says Iran fired more than 100 bomb-carrying drones toward Israel. Hours later, Iran announced it had also launch much more destructive ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

Iran had been threatening to attack Israel after an airstrike earlier this week widely blamed on Israel destroyed Iran’s consulate in Syria, killing 12 people, including two elite Iranian generals.

The Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement early Sunday the “vast majority” of missiles launched from Iran were intercepted outside of Israel’s borders. Israel has made missile defense a priority, with a variety of air-defense systems available to shoot down incoming missile and drone fire.

Israel and Iran have been on a collision course throughout Israel’s six-month war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The war erupted after Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two militant groups backed by Iran, carried out a devastating cross-border attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 250 others.

An Israeli offensive in Gaza has caused widespread devastation and killed over 33,000 people, according to local health officials.


Progressive candidates are increasingly sharing their own abortion stories after Roe's demise

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — For decades, only three people knew Gloria Johnson had had an abortion.

But a year of watching women and doctors agonize under Tennessee's strict abortion ban kicked up a fire in the longtime Democrat. She watched in dismay as her Republican colleagues in the General Assembly dismissed concerns that the law was harming women. Many GOP lawmakers argued that only on rare occasions was an abortion needed to save a life.

So without telling her legislative staff or family in advance, the then-60-year-old state representative stood before a Republican-controlled House panel in March 2023 and testified about the abortion she had at age 21. She made the decision to have an abortion, she said, as a newly married college student after being diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. That would likely have killed her if she did nothing, but might have harmed the baby if Johnson got the treatment she needed to save her own life.

“The reality is that we're in a situation where people act like stories like mine are one in a million when actually they happen every day,” Johnson said in a recent interview, nearly a year after her dramatic testimony.

Johnson, now running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Marsha Blackburn, has joined the growing ranks of progressive candidates choosing to tell their own abortion stories. They are doing so more frequently in states that have banned abortion in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.


How a hush money scandal tied to a porn star led to Trump’s first criminal trial

NEW YORK (AP) — It was the kind of tawdry tale that Donald Trump might have relished before politics: a porn actor claiming they had had sex.

But on the eve of the 2016 presidential election, Trump feared the story, which he says is false, would cost him votes. So, prosecutors say, he arranged to pay Stormy Daniels to keep quiet.

Now, after years of fits and starts before an indictment last year, Trump is set to stand trial Monday in New York on state charges related to the very sex scandal that he and his aides strove to hide.

Barring a last-minute delay, it will be the first of Trump’s four criminal cases to go to trial. It will be an unprecedented event in U.S. history — the first criminal trial of a former president.

It wasn’t always clear the hush money allegations would even lead to charges — let alone be the first to reach trial. It is arguably the least perilous of Trump’s indictments, with others involving government secrets and threats to democracy.


Nearing 50 Supreme Court arguments in, lawyer Lisa Blatt keeps winning

WASHINGTON (AP) — No woman has appeared more often before the Supreme Court than Lisa Blatt, who will make her 50th argument this month.

No lawyer, male or female, has done it with quite the same mix of humor, passion and style. And her win-loss record isn't bad, either: 40-6, with two cases yet to be decided.

She elicits laughs and the occasional sharp response from the justices, who seem to enjoy Blatt's presentations as much as they respect her legal acumen.

When Blatt joked that Justice Samuel Alito was being her “enforcer” with a friendly question in a case about a claimed retaliatory arrest that was argued last month, the justice said, “I’m not trying to be your enforcer by any means. ... You don’t need one, by any means.”

The Supreme Court's guide for lawyers who are arguing before the justices essentially warns against trying to emulate Blatt.


How O.J. Simpson burned the Ford Bronco into America's collective memory

The Ford Bronco initially was conceived and designed for rugged outdoorsy types, a two-door means of escape to nature from the bustling cities of mid-century America.

But it had already been tamed and polished for suburbanites, with cruise control and air conditioning, by 1994, when O.J. Simpson cowered in the back of one, a handgun to his temple, as patrol cars followed it for about two hours in the California twilight.

The model was discontinued two years later. But the Bronco — or at least that white Bronco — became one of America's most iconic automobiles after the slow-speed chase that played out on TV screens before an audience of millions, a moment that was seared indelibly into the nation's cultural memory.

“Kids who were born in the 2000s, even they know that’s O.J.,” Marcus Collins, a University of Michigan marketing professor, said of his students. “It’s just as salient as me showing the twin towers on fire. It definitely became etched in the zeitgeist because of all the contextual associations that we applied to it.”

The Bronco ridden in by Simpson, who died Wednesday, now sits in a crime museum in Tennessee, parked near a Volkswagen Beetle that was driven by serial killer Ted Bundy.


Faith Ringgold, pioneering Black quilt artist and author, dies at 93

NEW YORK (AP) — Faith Ringgold, an award-winning author and artist who broke down barriers for Black female artists and became famous for her richly colored and detailed quilts combining painting, textiles and storytelling, has died. She was 93.

The artist's assistant, Grace Matthews, told The Associated Press that Ringgold died Friday night at her home in Englewood, New Jersey. Matthews said Ringgold had been in failing health.

Ringgold’s highly personal works of art can be found in private and public collections around the country and beyond, from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art to New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Atlanta’s High Museum of Fine Art. But her rise to prominence as a Black artist wasn’t easy in an art world dominated by white males and in a political cultural where Black men were the leading voices for civil rights. A founder in 1971 of the Where We At artists collective for Black women, Ringgold became a social activist, frequently protesting the lack of representation of Black and female artists in American museums.

“I became a feminist out of disgust for the manner in which women were marginalized in the art world,” she told The New York Times in 2019. “I began to incorporate this perspective into my work, with a particular focus on Black women as slaves and their sexual exploitation.”

In her first illustrated children’s book, “Tar Beach,” the spirited heroine takes flight over the George Washington Bridge. The story symbolized women’s self-realization and freedom to confront “this huge masculine icon — the bridge,” she explained.


Scottie Scheffler leads Masters by 1 shot on a wild day of movement

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Scottie Scheffler was in the lead and seemingly in control of his game Saturday in the Masters until realizing there was no such thing at Augusta National.

He posed over another beautiful shot at the flag on the 10th hole and was stunned to see it take a hard hop over the green and roll down into the bushes. He made double bogey and suddenly was one shot behind.

“Make another bogey at 11 and all of a sudden I’m probably going from in the lead to a few out of the lead and then," Scheffler said, "you know, things happen pretty fast out there.”

It was so fast and furious that it was hard to keep up.

Six players had at least a share of the lead at one point. There was a five-way tie for the lead early on the back nine. No one was safe. It was like that to the very end.

The Associated Press