January 13, 2020

U.S. commanders at the Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq do not think that last week's attacks by Iran were only meant to scare people.

"These were designed and organized to inflict as many casualties as possible," Lt. Col Tim Garland, Commander of Task Force Jazeera, told The Washington Post. Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles, targeting al-Asad and a second base in northern Iraq. The bases house U.S. troops, and were already on high alert after Iran promised to exact revenge for President Trump authorizing an airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The base was told late Tuesday that it should expect an attack from Iran, and went into lockdown. Troops moved into underground bunkers and shelters, while some remained outside to man the perimeter, due to fears there could be also be a ground assault. The strikes came in waves, the Post reports, with up to 15 minutes between each one, and troops felt the shock waves in the air. Two soldiers in a tower were thrown through a window, commanders said, and ultimately several dozen troops were treated for concussion.

The barrage lasted more than 90 minutes, and when day broke, officials were able to fully assess the damage. Prefabricated buildings were mangled and living quarters and a helicopter launch site were damaged. There were no deaths, and Lt. Col. Staci Coleman told the Post it was "miraculous" that no one was seriously injured. Read more at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

2:30 p.m.

Mort Drucker, the beloved artist known for his work at MAD magazine, has died at 91.

Drucker died Wednesday at his home in New York, his friend John Reiner confirmed to The New York Times. Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper his death was not thought to be related to COVID-19.

After joining MAD in 1956, Drucker's hilarious caricatures satirizing pop culture soon became iconic, and he illustrated more than half of the magazine's movie parodies from the 1960s through 2008, per the Times. In a 2000 interview with the Times, he noted, "I think I've drawn almost everyone in Hollywood."

Among Drucker's other notable work includes the poster for George Lucas' American Graffiti; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucas personally drove to Drucker's home on Long Island to convince him to draw it.

"The World has lost a not just an extraordinary talent but a shining example of kindness, humility and humor," the National Cartoonists Society said in a statement.

MAD fans on Thursday quickly began sharing their favorite cartoons from Drucker's legendary career, including his parodies of Jaws and Star Wars. "Many of his illustrations are as vivid in my mind as the movies and TV shows that inspired them," The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff wrote.

Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper that Drucker's final words to him were, "I'm the luckiest man — I've had a wonderful life." Brendan Morrow

2:11 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is officially donning a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the jury's still out on whether her husband will follow suit.

In a social media post Thursday, the first lady shared a photo of herself wearing what appears to be a surgical mask, touting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation "to wear cloth face coverings."

"Remember, this does NOT replace the importance of social distancing," she wrote. "It is recommended to keep us all safe."

Melania's masking comes one week after President Trump announced he would not be wearing a mask, despite the CDC-issued guidelines urging people to do so. At the time, Trump implied that it would be odd to be "sitting in the Oval Office, behind that beautiful Resolute Desk" while wearing a mask, so it's unclear how he's taking this news.

The photo of the first lady appears to show her wearing a surgical mask rather than the CDC-recommended "cloth face covering," the former of which is recommended only for use by health care professionals and medical first responders amid critical supply shortages.