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Up First briefing: Israel warns Gaza's civilians to leave; Scalise drops speaker bid

Jeremy Schnittman / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center%MCEPASTEBIN%
Jeremy Schnittman / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Jeremy Schnittman / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center%MCEPASTEBIN%

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 news

Israel's military has warned the United Nations that all residents in northern Gaza must relocate to southern Gaza within 24 hours. The U.N. says it's impossible to safely move more than a million people in that amount of time without devastating humanitarian consequences. NPR's team is bringing you the latest updates from Israel and Gaza.

A girl cries as people leave their houses in Gaza City due to Israeli airstrikes for a fifth day on Wednesday.
/ Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via Getty Images
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Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via Getty Images
A girl cries as people leave their houses in Gaza City due to Israeli airstrikes for a fifth day on Wednesday.

  • Hamas announced this morning that 13 hostages were killed by Israeli airstrikes in the last 24 hours. Reporting from Jerusalem, Morning Edition's Leila Fadel speaks with Gershon Baskin, who helped negotiate the 2011 release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. He says no official negotiations are taking place, and the chance that all hostages will be returned alive is small. Baskin urges Egypt to open its border with Gaza so civilians can leave and calls the country's refusal to do so "unacceptable."
  • In Israel's Bedouin city of Rahat, Fadel speaks with residents mourning the loss of loved ones. Many have relatives in Israel and Gaza, as well as the West Bank. "Both sides are losing," tribal reconciliation chief Abu Ghalyun says. "No one wins in a war."
  • NPR's Daniel Estrin reports for Up First from Israel's international airport, where the U.S. and other countries are organizing charter flights out of the country for their citizens. He says Israel could be planning a ground invasion to achieve regime change and remove Hamas from power in Gaza. 
  • The Hamas attack last weekend got past Israel's strongest defense, a network of radar detectors and missile launchers known as the Iron Dome. Here's how it works, and what Hamas wanted to accomplish.
  • Disinformation is flooding social media amid the Israel-Hamas war. The EU has threatened to impose severe financial penalties on social media companies if they fail to curb the spread of falsehoods.
  • As the Israel-Hamas conflict escalates, many are looking to support aid efforts. Here's how you can help.


House Republicans are back to the drawing board after Rep. Steve Scalise dropped out of the race for House speaker just 24 hours after being nominated.

  • NPR's Claudia Grisales says there's a lot of acrimony among the GOP Reps, and they're exasperated. They'll meet again this morning, but it's unclear what they will achieve and who has enough votes to be the next speaker.


A Colorado jury has convicted a white police officer of negligent homicide and third-degree assault in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, an unarmed Black man. The 23-year-old died after police put him in a chokehold while he was walking home from a convenience store. Another officer was acquitted. (via Colorado Public Radio)

  • The ramifications of McClain's death are "far from over," says CPR's Allison Sherry. Jury selection begins today in the trial for the first officer on the scene. Another trial is scheduled for paramedics who gave Elijah ketamine. 

Weekly dose of wonder

Weekly Dose of Wonder highlights wondrous, awe-inspiring stories that deepen our connection to the natural world and humanity.

Regina G. Barber, NPR's scientist in residence, loves black holes. The dense space objects perplex even the scientists researching them. Barber spoke to one such scientist, who shared some valuable life lessons black holes can teach us.

  • Push the limits, even if others doubt you. By testing the limits of his equations, physicist Karl Schwarzschild published the first solution describing black holes.
  • Reputation isn't everything. Black holes aren't just terrifying monsters gobbling up stars and galaxies. They help create them, too.
  • Do your thing regardless of who's watching. Black holes have existed for billions of years, but humans couldn't see an image of them until 2019. 

Weekend picks

In Jennifer Kent's 2014 film, <em>The Babadook</em>, a mysterious monster from a picture book jumps off the page to terrorize a grieving family.
/ Atlaspix/Alamy
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Atlaspix/Alamy
In Jennifer Kent's 2014 film, The Babadook, a mysterious monster from a picture book jumps off the page to terrorize a grieving family.

Check out what NPR is watching, reading and listening to this weekend:

Movies: How are you observing spooky season? Pop Culture Happy Hour is hooking you up with scary movie recommendations.

TV: If spooky binging is more your style, try Netflix's The Fall of the House of Usher. It's a clever reimagining of several Edgar Allen Poe works in a modern setting.

Books: For those looking for some prestigious literature to curl up with, I suggest reading a Kirkus Prize winner this year. You'll find themes of history and community in each novel.

Music: Brooklyn-based composer Angélica Negrón debuts a new piece at Carnegie Hall this December. She talks about how she draws inspiration from her native Puerto Rico.

Games: Meta's new standalone VR headset model, the Quest 3, is a worthy upgrade to the Quest 2 but lacks a robust library of games.

Quiz: NPR is dedicated to bringing you the latest from the Middle East. This week's quiz looks at what else has happened in the news.

3 things to know before you go

Pupils, wearing protective glasses, look at the partial solar eclipse in Schiedam, the Netherlands, on June 10, 2021.
Marco de Swart / ANP/AFP via Getty Images
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ANP/AFP via Getty Images
Pupils, wearing protective glasses, look at the partial solar eclipse in Schiedam, the Netherlands, on June 10, 2021.

  1. An annular eclipse will be visible in many areas of the U.S. tomorrow. If you have viewing plans, make sure you know how to do it safely.
  2. Lauren Passell broke her hip slipping on ice in New York in 2015. Despite her protests, her unsung hero brought her to the hospital and stayed until doctors arrived.
  3. There's no end in sight for the Hollywood actors' strike as negotiations break down again between the SAG-AFTRA union and major studios and streaming companies.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi and Olivia Hampton.

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

Suzanne Nuyen