California Governor Jerry Brown declared the state’s historic five-year drought over Friday, lifting some emergency restrictions that forced the state’s residents to curb their water intake. The announcement comes after one of the state’s wettest winters on record, though Brown cautioned Californians against celebrating too early. “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said Friday in a statement. “Conservation must remain a way of life.” Though Brown’s executive order lifting the drought rescinded two emergency proclamations and four drought-related executive orders, some conservation requirements will be maintained, including restrictions on hosing off sidewalks and running sprinklers before and after rainfall. Communities in four counties—Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Tuolumne—will still have access to emergency drinking-water programs to address shortages in groundwater supplies.
Today's News: April 7, 2017
A terrorist attack in Sweden, the U.S. strikes in Syria, and more from the United States and around the world.
—The world is reacting to the U.S. strikes on a Syrian airbase in response to Tuesday’s chemical-weapons attack that’s been blamed on the Assad regime. More here
—A truck crashed into a crowd of people on central street of Drottninggatan in Stockholm. Police say at least four people died and 15 are injured. More here
—The U.S. Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch on Friday to serve on the Supreme Court. More here
—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4).
California's Historic Drought Ends
Senate Confirms Neil Gorsuch as 113th Supreme Court Justice
The U.S. Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch on Friday to serve on the Supreme Court, bringing an end to a year-long dispute and giving Republicans a major victory. Gorsuch now becomes the 113th Supreme Court justice, replacing Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly in February 2016. The move to replace Gorsuch was a drawn out battle that began when Republicans last year refused to consider then-President Barack Obama’s replacement and instead vowed to wait until after the presidential election. Trump’s win in November then pushed Democrats to retaliate, saying they would similarly oppose anyone put forth by the new administration. On Thursday morning, Democrats filibustered Gorsuch’s nomination, and later that afternoon Republicans voted to pass the so-called “nuclear option.” This changed the number of votes needed to confirm a justice from 60 to a simple majority. But the rules change will have much wider impact than on just this vote. The Senate now requires only a simple majority to confirm all presidential nominees for executive branch positions and federal courts.
A Truck Crashes Into a Crowd of People in Stockholm
A truck drove into a crowd of people in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, and local news outlets have reported several casualties, though this has not been independently confirmed. The Associated Press reported the truck drove into a department store near the central street of Drottninggatan, and that shots were fired. Swedish broadcaster SVT is reporting that police say it could be a terrorist attack, and that officers have asked people in the surrounding neighborhoods to stay indoors. The Associated Press also reported that Prime Minister Stefan Lofven confirmed the crash was an act of terrorism. Not much else is known at this time. A police spokesman, Towe Hagg, told Reuters only that “a vehicle has injured people on Drottninggatan.” For the latest updates, follow here.
BREAKING: Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says everything indicates truck crashing into department store is "a terror attack"— The Associated Press (@AP) April 7, 2017
Woman Who Fell Into the River During London Attack Dies
Andreea Cristea, the 31-year-old Romanian woman who fell into the Thames river during last month’s London attack, has died, police said. She’d been visiting London with her boyfriend, who had planned to propose marriage to her that evening. She’s the fifth person to die as a result of the attack. The attacker whom police identified as Khalid Masood, 52, a U.K.-born convert to Islam, drove his vehicle over London’s Westminster Bridge, near the U.K. Parliament, striking pedestrians, and ultimately stabbing a police officer to death. Masood was shot and killed by police.
The U.S. Strikes in Syria
Last night (early Friday in Syria), the U.S. fired cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase from where military, the U.S. says, Syrian military aircraft carried out Tuesday a chemical-weapons attack in Irbil province.
Here’s our coverage so far:
What the World Is Saying About the U.S. Strike in Syria
The Fight Against the Islamic State Just Got Harder
A Polarized Political Response to Trump's Syria Strike
America Should Have Hit Assad Four Years Ago
What Is Al-Shayrat Military Airfield?
The Trump Administration Appears to Embrace Regime Change in Syria
The Painful Syrian Education of Barack Obama and Donald Trump
How Is Syria Still Using Chemical Weapons?
Will Republican Hawks Convince Trump to Take a Tougher Line on Syria?