A Baltimore bridge collapse timeline; Disney and DeSantis settle legal battle

A Baltimore bridge collapse timeline; Disney and DeSantis settle legal battle

14:06

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Today’s top stories

Authorities have recovered the bodies of two construction workers from the site of the Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. Four people remain missing and are presumed dead. Federal officials are still in the early stages of their investigation into what caused a container ship to crash into the bridge. Here’s what we know so far.

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Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after being hit by the Dali container vessel sending vehicles into the Patapsco River as viewed from Riviera Beach MD on March 26, 2024.

Carol Guzy/Carol Guzy for NPR

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Carol Guzy/Carol Guzy for NPR

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after being hit by the Dali container vessel sending vehicles into the Patapsco River as viewed from Riviera Beach MD on March 26, 2024.

Carol Guzy/Carol Guzy for NPR

Investigators shared a timeline revealing that the accident happened in a matter of minutes, NPR’s Joel Rose tells Up First. They’ve reviewed about six hours of audio and data from the ship’s voyage data recorder. It’s not as sophisticated as a plane’s black box, so investigators say they will need to rely on other information sources, including crew interviews, which have already begun. It was also revealed that the ship was carrying hazardous materials. Though some of the containers have been breached, the Coast Guard says there is currently no threat to the public.
The collapse is expected to affect supply chains for cars, coal and sugar, as well as warehousing and trucking operations. 

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut died yesterday at 82 due to complications from a fall. As Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, he became the first Jewish American on a presidential ticket for a major party. His centrist politics often angered Democrats. In 2006, he lost a Democratic Senate primary but won reelection as an Independent.

During his time in the U.S. Senate, Lieberman was most famous for creating the Department of Homeland Security after the 9/11 attacks, NPR network reporter Molly Ingram reports from WSHU in Connecticut. He also helped repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” clearing the way for LGBTQ+ people to be out in the military. People in his home state have reacted with surprise, as he was holding events promoting his bipartisan No Labels group a few weeks ago. 

The Walt Disney Company and a board appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have settled lawsuits in state court. The settlement ends a battle that began in 2022 when DeSantis passed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law restricting how schools discuss gender and sexual orientation. The two sides say they are now ready to work together on operations and plans to expand Walt Disney World — one of the state’s premier tourist destinations.

“When you get to it, tourism is a big business in Florida,” and both sides come out of this settlement looking like winners, NPR’s Greg Allen says. He explains that for DeSantis, fighting with one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions never seemed like a winning strategy. And now, Disney can put the political and legal battle behind it to focus on improving its Orlando theme park. 

Picture show

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Hundreds walked the 1.2-mile loop, careful not to run, spill or drop anything.

Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

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Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds walked the 1.2-mile loop, careful not to run, spill or drop anything.

Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of spectators gathered in Paris on Sunday to watch more than 200 servers hurtle down the streets as part of the “Course des Cafés” competition. It’s a newly revived version of a centuries-old race. The goal? Carry a tray loaded with a croissant, a full water glass, and an empty coffee cup through a 1.2-mile loop as quickly as possible and cross the finish line without running, spilling, or carrying the tray with two hands at the same time.

See photos of this celebration of France’s café culture and read why participants are so passionate about the industry.

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Since it was first approved for use in 2000, mifepristone has been used by millions of women to provide abortions and manage miscarriages.

Gracey Zhang for NPR

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Gracey Zhang for NPR

Since it was first approved for use in 2000, mifepristone has been used by millions of women to provide abortions and manage miscarriages.

Gracey Zhang for NPR

Attorneys gathered before the Supreme Court this week to argue whether access to mifepristone — one of two drugs used in most medication abortions — should be restricted. Though it’s known as the “abortion pill,” NPR readers last year shared other ways the medication has played an important role in their lives.

Listen to stories of how listeners have used mifepristone for miscarriages, during their fertility journey and more. You can also read their stories here.

3 things to know before you go

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NFL owners voted this week to dramatically change rules around kickoffs — including the elimination of a team’s ability to attempt a surprise onside kick, like the Jacksonville Jaguars did in a 2022 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Charlie Riedel/AP

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Charlie Riedel/AP

NFL owners voted this week to dramatically change rules around kickoffs — including the elimination of a team’s ability to attempt a surprise onside kick, like the Jacksonville Jaguars did in a 2022 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Charlie Riedel/AP

Football fans will see a significant change to one of the sport’s most iconic plays in the upcoming NFL season. Owners voted to radically change kickoffs to reduce injuries and make the play more exciting. 
The Carnegie Mellon Foundation has awarded three $1 million grants to theaters in New Haven, Conn., Portland, Ore., and Louisville, Ky. The theater leaders have strong records of advocating for their theaters and communities as well as supporting local artists.
In 2005, then-college student Kathryn Fumie severely burned herself when a hard-boiled egg exploded in her face. An EMT and unsung hero helped her stay calm and feel less alone as she made her way to the hospital. 

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.