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Up First briefing: U.S. strikes Houthis again; improve your mental health in 2024

Houthi fighters and tribesmen stage a rally against the U.S. and the U.K. strikes on Houthi-run military sites near Sanaa, Yemen, on Sunday, Jan. 14.
AP
Houthi fighters and tribesmen stage a rally against the U.S. and the U.K. strikes on Houthi-run military sites near Sanaa, Yemen, on Sunday, Jan. 14.

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 U.S. Navy carried out a third round of strikes against Houthi militants in Yemen yesterday in response to Houthi attacks on commercial ships traveling on the Red Sea. While the U.S. says it knocked out Houthi missiles during the strike, the Houthis still managed to launch missiles that hit a Greek-owned ship hours later. The Houthis claim they are attacking ships with connections to Israel.

  • "Clearly, the Houthis have not been deterred up to this point," NPR's Greg Myre says on Up First. Analysts tell him the U.S. should not expect the Houthis to run out of weapons in the short term. As the Israel-Hamas war passes the 100-day mark, Myre reports that hostilities are "playing out in five or six places daily in the Middle East." U.S. forces are involved in several of them. Myre describes the Middle East conflict as a "very volatile moment."


The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case today that could weaken government agencies' power to regulate...everything. The plaintiffs in the case are a small group of New Jersey fishermen who don't want to pay for monitors on their boats to ensure they follow federal regulations.

  • Former solicitor general Paul Clement is asking the high court to overrule a 40-year-old case that asks judges to defer to federal agency interpretations of regulations if they're reasonable, NPR's Carrie Kahn says. Clement argues the precedent gives federal agencies way too much power. David Doniger of the environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council says the real goal of this case is to "enfeeble the federal government so that we don't have the capacity to deal with modern problems."


January is the month most drug companies raise prices, and this year is no different. There have been about 600 price hikes so far this month, according to drug price nonprofit 46Brooklyn Research. But for the first time, 46Brooklyn reported there were also considerable price decreases, driven by legislation passed in 2021 under President Biden. The law increased penalties drug manufacturers would pay if they increased prices faster than inflation. Here's how these drug price fluctuations will affect consumers.

Today's listen

/ Amanda Tipton
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Amanda Tipton

Can a piece of music tell the entire story of the universe? That's the challenge Nokuthula Ngwenyama undertook when she created "Flow," a string quartet piece. She tells NPR's Olivia Hampton that the composition is about how we're connected to one another and nature in irreversible ways. The Takács Quartet debuted the work in November.

Listen to parts of the piece and hear the musicians recount how they pushed their instruments — and themselves — to the limit for this project.

Life kit's resolution planner

/ Sol Cotti for NPR
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Sol Cotti for NPR

This month, we are highlighting some of the most popular New Year's resolutions. Find a resolution and stick to it for the entire year with Life Kit's planner.

Last week, we brought you Life Kit's best advice to get into top physical shape. While improving your fitness is an excellent New Year's resolution, make sure you're taking care of your mental health, too.

  • Don't let work burn you out. It's a risk factor for depression, substance abuse and even suicide. Learn to spot the signs of workplace burnout and how to regain control.
  • Follow a guided meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the mindfulness-based stress reduction technique. Slowing down and being mindful can help you react better to stress.
  • Constantly saying "yes" can lead you to suppress who you are to please others. These tips will help chronic people-pleasers say "no." (This is Life Kit editor Malaka Gharib's New Year's resolution!)


Nurture your mental health this year with more of Life Kit's resolution ideas, including how to have more fun and let go of perfectionism.

3 things to know before you go

As of Tuesday, Guinness World Record said it is reviewing evidence of Bobi's lifespan, while also looking for new information and "reaching out to experts and those linked to the original application."
Jorge Jeronimo / AP
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AP
As of Tuesday, Guinness World Record said it is reviewing evidence of Bobi's lifespan, while also looking for new information and "reaching out to experts and those linked to the original application."

  1. Guinness World Records has suspended the "oldest dog ever" title of Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, as the organization investigates concerns about the dog's real age
  2. ABC News canceled its Republican primary debate initially scheduled for tomorrow because it does not have enough candidates participating. 
  3. Eagles center Jason Kelce announced he's retiring from football. Throughout his career, he was a six-time team captain, selected for the Pro Bowl seven times, named a first-team All-Pro six times and played an integral part in the Eagles' first-ever Super Bowl win. (via Billy Penn at WHYY)

This newsletter was edited by Treye Green.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Suzanne Nuyen