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Up First briefing: Maine mass shootings; dwindling fuel complicates Gaza aid

A manhunt is on in Maine after a series of mass shootings. And, NPR wants to know how the Israel-Gaza crisis is affecting you.
Joseph Prezioso
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AFP via Getty Images
A manhunt is on in Maine after a series of mass shootings. And, NPR wants to know how the Israel-Gaza crisis is affecting you.

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

Police in Lewiston, Maine, are searching for a person of interest in a series of mass shootings that took place last night. The county is under a shelter-in-place order. Police warn that 40-year-old Robert Card is considered armed and dangerous.

  • Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck said casualties occurred, but did not release a death toll. On Up First today, Maine Public's Patty Wight says police are calling the situation "fluid" and numbers "all over the map." 

  • A few dozen aid trucks have entered Gaza in recent days. But the U.N. says it can't continue to distribute desperately needed relief unless fuel is delivered to power hospitals, the water system and vehicles for transporting food. Israel says fuel deliveries could be diverted by Hamas. 
  • The fuel crisis has left millions of Gazans in darkness at night, stockpiling supplies. NPR's Elissa Nadworny is in Tel Aviv, where she's speaking with Palestinians trapped in Gaza. Mahmoud Khuwaiter, who is in Gaza City, says, "I'm afraid for the next day — afraid for the night to come."
  • Massachusetts resident Wafaa Abuzayda and her family have been trying to leave Gaza for two weeks. "We're trying to stay strong," she tells NPR's Leila Fadel in an update. "But we cannot help but feel hopeless and abandoned."
  • Who were the militants who carried out the attacks that killed more than 1,400 in Israel earlier this month? NPR's Daniel Estrin and producer Abu Bakr Bashir bring the story of an attacker named Mohammed. Interviews with his father and neighbor explore what draws some young men to join Gaza's militant groups.
  • Historically, hate crimes in the U.S. surge during conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians. NPR's Odette Yousef spoke to experts who say there's a "perfect storm" brewing for rising anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim hate.
  • How have the Middle East conflict and the U.S. response affected you? How are you coping? Share your thoughts with NPR, and you could be in a story online or on air. 


Check out npr.org/mideastupdates for more coverage, differing views and analysis of this conflict.

After weeks of chaos, GOP reps voted unanimously for Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson as the new speaker of the House. Johnson is a Trump supporter who voted against certifying the 2020 election. Here's what we know about the ardent conservative.

  • "It's hard to overstate" how relieved Republicans feel right now, NPR's Eric McDaniel says." But Johnson isn't likely to have a "honeymoon" period. He must now work with President Biden and a Democrat-led Senate to tackle an impending government shutdown and aid packages for Israel and Ukraine.


Disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to testify in his defense for his fraud trial today. Throughout the trial, he's maintained he never intended to defraud FTX customers and investors and was in over his head. His ex-girlfriend and closest friends tell a different story.

Picture show

<strong>Left:</strong> Apolonia Plácido picking up flowers. <strong>Right:</strong> Flowers offered to the placenta of a newborn who was just born in the CAMI.
/ Tania Barrientos
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Tania Barrientos
Left: Apolonia Plácido picking up flowers. Right: Flowers offered to the placenta of a newborn who was just born in the CAMI.

In Costa Chica de Guerrero, a coastal region in southwest Mexico, Indigenous women often rely on traditional midwives. Photographer Tania Barrientos documents the lives of several midwives who work at women's centers called CAMIs. Their intercultural approach primarily serves Indigenous women who live in remote areas without access to government-funded health services.

Life advice

d3sign / Getty Images
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Getty Images

Decades of research have shown that "forest bathing," a practice the Japanese call shinrin-yoku, is good for your health. It can improve your immune system, lower blood pressure and ease depression. Next time you need some self-care, try forest bathing with some of Life Kit's tips:

  • Set a good amount of time aside to surround yourself with trees.
  • Move slowly and focus on lowering your heart rate.
  • Try meditating and paying attention to the scents of the forest. 

3 things to know before you go

Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo Portuguese dog, poses for a photo with his Guinness World Record certificates for the oldest dog, at his home in Conqueiros, central Portugal, on May 20.
Jorge Jeronimo / AP
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AP
Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo Portuguese dog, poses for a photo with his Guinness World Record certificates for the oldest dog, at his home in Conqueiros, central Portugal, on May 20.

  1. The world's oldest dog has died. Bobi the purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo Portuguese dog was a good boy for a record-breaking 31 years.
  2. Are movies too sexy these days? A UCLA study reveals that Gen Z wants to see more platonic relationships and asexual characters represented on screen.
  3. After weeks of backlash, Scholastic says it will no longer separate books about race, gender and sexuality from its main Scholastic Book Fair collection. 

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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

Suzanne Nuyen