Haiti prime minister to resign and Robert Hur hearing: Morning Rundown

The war in Gaza casts a shadow in Jerusalem’s Old City on the first full day of Ramadan. Economists say post-pandemic inflation has reached a new phase. And a survey reveals what some teens think of their parents’ phone use.

Here’s what to know today.

Rising tensions in East Jerusalem as Ramadan begins

The streets of the Muslim quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City were markedly quiet yesterday on the first full day of Ramadan as small groups of worshippers made their way to Al-Aqsa mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, for noon prayers. With no cease-fire in sight, the war in Gaza cast a heavy shadow over the start of the holy month.

Some Muslims such as shopkeeper Jamil Halwani said the “joy of Ramadan” is absent. Instead, many fear a rise in tensions and possibly violence in East Jerusalem if Israeli authorities block worshippers from accessing Al-Aqsa during the month of Ramadan.

Jamil Halwani in Jerusalem.
Jamil Halwani in Jerusalem.Chantal Da Silva / NBC News

In the weeks leading up to Ramadan, the Israeli government had been unclear about whether it would look to impose new limits on access to the Al-Aqsa compound during the holy month. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said no new restrictions would be enforced.

Already, at least one clash was reported on Sunday. The Palestinian Information Ministry said Israeli authorities blocked young men from accessing the mosque’s compound as they made their way there for the first Taraweeh, an evening prayer held each night of Ramadan. Video circulated on social media showed a large crowd of people being blocked from accessing one of the gates leading to the mosque, with at least two officers appearing to strike people with batons as the group pushed back. 

Chantal Da Silva reports from Jerusalem about the mood in the Old City. Read the full story here.

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Teens on phone use: Parents need to log off

Teens may be attached to their own smartphones, but many agree their parents need to put down the devices more often. A new survey from the Pew Research Center reported that 46% of teens said their parents were sometimes or often distracted by their own phones when having conversations. Only 31% of parents said that was the case. 

Teens meanwhile have mixed feelings when it comes to their own smartphone use. Many said they feel happy or peaceful when they don’t have their smartphones — but 44% also said they feel anxious without them. Read more about the survey results.

Why inflation is stuck in a ‘no landing’ scenario

When the Fed raised inflation rates post-pandemic, they did so with the goal of a “soft landing” that would see lower inflation without a significant increase in unemployment. But with the inflation rate hovering for the past eight months between 3% and 4%, some experts say the Fed’s 2% goal is farther off than once projected. If the first two phases of post-pandemic inflation were breakneck price increases amid job changes and slowing price growth, experts say a third phase has emerged: a stall. They expect further proof of a stall this morning when the Bureau of Labor Statistics announces the inflation figures for February.  

Two big reasons for stagnant inflation rates are the costs of rent and homeownership. Both have remained above 6% on a 12-month basis in January. There are other factors in play, too, including supply-chain issues, particularly related to trouble in the Red Sea. While Fed Chairman Jerome Powell previously said the first post-pandemic interest rate cut would come this year, some experts now think the U.S. will see fewer rate cuts than previously forecast.

Haitian prime minister resigns as gang violence intensifies

Ariel Henry, the embattled prime minister of Haiti, has agreed to resign as the nation’s capital is wracked by out-of-control gang violence.

Speaking from Puerto Rico, Henry said his government would dissolve once a transitional council had been set up, following a week of “systematic looting and destruction of public buildings and private buildings.”

Haiti was sent into a state of emergency last weekend after gangs banded together and attacked government institutions, airports and prisons, setting free thousands of prisoners. The notorious “G9 and Family” gang leader, Jimmy Cherizier — also known as “Barbecue” — threatened more violence if Henry, prime minister since 2021, did not step down. Here’s what else to know about the conflict.

Special counsel in Biden classified docs case faces fierce questioning

Robert Hur, special counsel in President Joe Biden’s classified documents case, will make his first public comments about the case this morning in a House Judiciary Committee hearing. The hearing comes more than a month after Hur’s report portrayed Biden as “an elderly man with a poor memory” who couldn’t recall when his son Beau died, a characterization that the White House pushed back against. Hur is expected to defend the language he used about Biden’s memory as he faces fierce questioning from both Republicans and Democrats over his decision not to charge Biden in the case. 

NBC News’ politics team will have by-the-minute updates throughout the hearing. Follow our live coverage on NBCNews.com.

Politics in Brief 

RNC shakeup: At least four senior staffers were among the Republican National Committee employees who were terminated as the Trump campaign takes over, two sources said.

Border security: President Joe Biden’s budget proposal for 2025 includes a $4.7 billion emergency fund for border security in case of migrant surges. 

Jan. 6 aftermath: A new report from the House committee investigating the special Jan. 6 committee took aim at key witness Cassidy Hutchinson, saying other White House employees did not corroborate her account of Donald Trump’s actions that day.

Biden admin departure: Marcia Fudge, the secretary of housing and urban development since 2021, is stepping down, becoming the second Cabinet member to leave the Biden administration during his first term as president.

‘Trump Employee 5’ speaks: Brian Butler, who worked at Mar-a-Lago, came forward in an interview with CNN and described moving “the boxes that were in the indictment” before the FBI searched the former president’s home over his alleged mishandling of classified documents.

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Staff Pick: The commotion over the edited Kate Middleton pic

I’m not usually one for royal gossip, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been drawn in by the speculation about the whereabouts of Kate, Princess of Wales. What was intended to be a reassuring photo for the public showing that the princess was ok after abdominal surgery instead turned into a public relations nightmare that saw various agencies issue “kill notices” for the image due to signs that it had been altered. Of course, that only fueled more wild rumors about what’s really going on. — Rudy Chinchilla, breaking news editor

In Case You Missed It

  • A police officer in Alabama was disciplined after he arrested a woman at her home because she refused to show him her ID.
  • Airbnb is banning indoor security cameras from rental properties listed on its site, citing privacy concerns.
  • Three more people at a migrant shelter in Chicago have been diagnosed with measles, bringing the city’s total to five cases so far this year.
  • Spelling errors on a Kobe Bryant statue unveiled last month outside the Los Angeles Lakers’ arena will be corrected, the team said.
  • Eric Carmen, the Raspberries singer known for songs like “All by Myself” and “Hungry Eyes,” has died at 74.

Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

Our Select team’s favorite new products this month include a fan-favorite olive oil now in a squeezy bottle, a new Macbook Air model that promises better performance and a tinted sunscreen. See what else caught our editors’ attention.

Sign up to The Selection newsletter for exclusive reviews and shopping content from NBC Select.

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