After losing warship, Russia vows to step up missile attacks on Kyiv
The Russian Defense Ministry pledged on Friday to increase the “scale of missile attacks” on the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, in response to the country’s “hijackings on Russian territory”. The statement comes a day after Russian authorities accused Ukrainian forces of launching airstrikes on residential buildings in one of the country’s regions bordering Ukraine. Meanwhile, the legendary Russian warship Moskva, whose history dates back to the Cold War, sank in the Black Sea on Thursday in the latest blow to Moscow’s war effort. The loss of the ship represents a military setback and a symbolic defeat for Russia. A Ukrainian official said on Telegram that Ukrainian forces hit the Moskva with two missiles. Russia acknowledged that the ship sank, but blamed other factors. In a video address on Thursday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed his nation’s bravery and said Ukraine should be proud to have survived 50 days under Russian attack as the Russians “gave us one maximum of five”.
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Passover and Good Friday are here, and they’re historically late
Friday marks the start of Passover, a Jewish holiday that celebrates the Exodus, the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Also known as Passover, the holiday occurs annually during the month of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, which typically falls around March or April. It is celebrated for eight days, except in Israel where it is celebrated for seven days. This year’s Passover begins on Friday and ends on April 23. Friday is also Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday. Both public holidays are later than usual this year – Easter Sunday is unusually late, falling on April 17 for the first time in 62 years. Both festivals are linked to the moon: Easter takes place after the Paschal moon and the Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycles.
Jackie Robinson Day honors baseball pioneer and legend
Major League Baseball players and organizations will honor Jackie Robinson on Friday, with Robinson’s 75th birthday breaking the major league color barrier. Robinson made history – and helped usher in the civil rights movement – in 1947 when he made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. As part of Jackie Robinson Day, all major league players, managers, coaches and umpires will wear Robinson’s No. 42 in Dodger blue for the first time. MLB retired Robinson’s number in 1997 and all uniformed personnel have worn 42 on Jackie Robinson Day since 2009. The Dodgers play at home in Los Angeles on Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds (10:10 p.m. HE, Apple TV+). They will be joined by Rachel, Robinson’s 99-year-old widow, and her son David. Earlier today, several Dodgers players will take part in events in Pasadena, Calif., where Robinson grew up.
The final two NBA playoff spots are up for grabs with playoff tournament games
After two solid nights of action earlier this week, the NBA play-in tournament will wrap up Friday night with two more game-winning or home-and-away games as the last teams to make the playoffs are decided. First, in an Eastern Conference game, Darius Garland and the Cleveland Cavaliers will host Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Cavaliers could have injured center and second-leading scorer Jarrett Allen for the game. Allen fractured his left middle finger on March 6 and has missed 19 consecutive games. The winner of the game will be the No. 8 seed in the East and face the Miami Heat in the first round. Later in the Western Conference, CJ McCollum and the New Orleans Pelicans travel to Los Angeles to face Paul George and the Clippers (10 p.m. ET, TNT). The winner of that game will be the No. 8 seed in the West and earn a best-of-seven matchup with the Phoenix Suns, who finished the regular season 64-18, the NBA’s best.
Coachella returns to kick off festival season
Music festival season kicks off on Friday as the Coachella Music and Arts Festival kicks off in Indio, California. The festival is making its post-COVID return after being canceled in 2020 and 2021, but has already had to replace one of its main headliners after Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) dropped out earlier this this month. Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd will headline Sunday in its place. Coachella runs from April 15-17 and April 22-24 this year, with Harry Styles and Billie Eilish as other major headliners.
Contribute: The Associated Press