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Up First briefing: Israel is regaining Gaza border; GOP reps race to find new speaker

Israeli soldiers take up position in Kfar Aza, in the south of Israel, bordering Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Thomas Coex
/
AFP via Getty Images
Israeli soldiers take up position in Kfar Aza, in the south of Israel, bordering Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Good morning. You're reading the Up First newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox, and listen to the Up First podcast for all the news you need to start your day.

Today's top stories

The Israeli military says it has nearly regained control of the Gaza border after Saturday's surprise attack from Hamas. Palestinian and Israeli civilian death tolls continue to climb. President Biden and several European leaders have condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with Israel.

  • Reporting on Up First from Tel Aviv, NPR's Daniel Estrin says Israelis are "simply astonished" in the aftermath and feel their government has failed to protect them. Meanwhile, Israel has declared a "total" blockade on the Gaza Strip, and many Palestinians are seeking shelter at the main hospital. An NPR producer spoke to a woman there, who said there is no safe space left in Gaza.
  • Thousands of Americans have participated in pro-Palestinian marches in several cities, including New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. NPR's Brian Mann spoke to People's Forum head Manolo De Los Santos, who defended his group's right to peacefully protest and criticize Israel's ongoing treatment of Palestinians.
  • An Israeli man tells Morning Edition that six of his family members are missing, and he believes Hamas kidnapped them. He says it took him nearly two days to "understand it's not a dream."
  • See photos from the ground with NPR's visual report. Editor's note: This report contains some graphic images. 


The war in Israel and Gaza has heightened urgency in the U.S. House to elect a new speaker. Republican representatives are expected to hold a candidate forum tonight, where Reps. Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan will address their colleagues. A closed-door, secret ballot election among Republicans is expected tomorrow morning.

  • House Republicans don't want another lengthy public battle and multiple rounds of votes for House Speaker. NPR's Susan Davis says. She adds that following the attack on Israel, there's a fear of projecting an image of U.S. democracy in disarray.
  • Without a House Speaker, Congress can't approve foreign aid, pass government spending or confirm ambassadors like former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who is awaiting confirmation as the U.S. ambassador to Israel. Here are five of the most pressing issues on hold.


President Biden was interviewed this weekend by special counsel Robert Hur as part of an ongoing investigation into his handling of classified documents found at his Delaware home and an office in Washington, D.C. The material was reportedly tied to his time as vice president and senator.

Body electric

/ Daniel Hertzberg
/
Daniel Hertzberg

Body Electric is a 6-part investigation and interactive project with TED Radio Hour host Manoush Zomorodi exploring the relationship between our technology and our bodies...and how we can improve it.

Personal computers have revolutionized the way we work and communicate. They've also taken their toll on our bodies along the way.

NPR's Manoush Zomorodi explores how we got into this toxic relationship with computers — and why we stay committed.

Picture show

Charloth Chirino poses for a portrait in her apartment in Medellín. Originally from Maracaibo, Venezuela, Charloth has been living in Colombia for seven years, three of those in Medellín. She has lived her life as a proud trans woman since she was 15 years old, when she also began working as a sex worker.
/ Lexi Parra for NPR
/
Lexi Parra for NPR
Charloth Chirino poses for a portrait in her apartment in Medellín. Originally from Maracaibo, Venezuela, Charloth has been living in Colombia for seven years, three of those in Medellín. She has lived her life as a proud trans woman since she was 15 years old, when she also began working as a sex worker.

Nearly 7 million Venezuelans have fled their country in the past decade due to hyperinflation, violence and censorship. Many are in Colombia's city of Medellín, a bustling hub that promotes progressiveness and inclusivity. But many migrants there say they found empty promises.

See photos of Venezuelans staying there now and read about how they've found community despite all the obstacles.

3 things to know before you go

The artists, brothers Adam and Zack Khalil and Jackson Polys, are part of the collective the New Red Order. They call it a "public secret society." Here they are with Creative Time curator Diya Vij.
Keren Carrión / NPR
/
NPR
The artists, brothers Adam and Zack Khalil and Jackson Polys, are part of the collective the New Red Order. They call it a "public secret society." Here they are with Creative Time curator Diya Vij.

  1. This carnival in Queens, New York, is not what it seems. Instead of cotton candy and snow cones, you'll find an art installation that's trying to convince people to give land back to Native Americans. 
  2. Nearly 1,000 migrating birds died last week after flying into a convention center building in Chicago. 
  3. How long have humans lived on the American continent? Longer than we initially thought, according to this new analysis of fossilized human footprints. 

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Suzanne Nuyen