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Biden orders Israel to change course on Gaza aid; No Labels backs out of 2024 race

President Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to express concerns about Israeli strikes that killed aid workers and humanitarian conditions in Gaza.
Bloomberg
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Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to express concerns about Israeli strikes that killed aid workers and humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

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

For the first time, President Biden has said that Israel's behavior will determine the U.S.'s policy on Gaza moving forward. In a phone call yesterday, Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel must take a series of "specific, concrete, and measurable steps" to address civilian deaths, humanitarian suffering and aid worker safety. Israel later announced it would allow temporary aid delivery directly to an Israeli port and open a main crossing in northern Gaza. Biden and Netanyahu's conversation came after an Israeli strike on Monday killed seven workers for the aid group World Central Kitchen.

  • NPR's Daniel Estrin tells Up First that the strike appears to have led to a turning point in U.S. support for Israel. He adds that Biden's patience is "wearing thin" with the civilian death toll, humanitarian crisis and domestic opposition to his support for Israel's offensive. "In other words, Israel cannot continue the war in Gaza without U.S. support," Estrin says. "More aid is a direct U.S. demand." 
  • The seven World Central Kitchen workers who were killed were Australian, British, Palestinian, Polish and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, according to WCK. Read more about their lives here.


The No Labels group said yesterday it will not run a presidential candidate in the 2024 election. In a statement, the organization said it would end its effort to "put forth a Unity ticket" because it couldn't find a candidate. No Labels were formed in 2010 to foster bipartisan cooperation.

  1. It's easy "in the abstract" to talk about running a third-party candidate, NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben says. But it's "way harder" to actually find the right person to "buck the system to bring people together." She explains that the negative partisanship surrounding the 2024 election makes this task even harder. Regardless of how discontented some may feel about their own party, they're more scared that the other party will win. Kurtzleban adds that Democrats seem to be breathing easy after the No Labels announcement, as some were worried the organization could break up the anti-Trump vote. 


A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that border officials are responsible for the welfare of children sheltering in makeshift encampments on the California side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Judge Dolly Gee said that even though the Border Patrol didn't create the camps, the adults and minors there are still considered under Border Patrol custody because agents are monitoring them and telling them where to go.

  • Reporting from NPR network station KQED in San Francisco, Tyche Hendricks says this ruling is significant because a legal settlement from the 90s known as the Flores settlement requires the government to provide safe and sanitary conditions to children who are in immigration custody. Hendricks speaks to Lee-sha Welch of Children's Rights, one of the lawyers who asked Judge Gee to weigh in on these children's treatment. Welch says this case isn't about politics but "how we as a country want to take care of children."

Today's listen

Attendees visit booths at the RePlatform conference in Las Vegas in March. The conference crowd was a hybrid of anti-vaccine activists, supporters of former President Donald Trump and Christian conservatives.
/ Krystal Ramirez for NPR
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Krystal Ramirez for NPR
Attendees visit booths at the RePlatform conference in Las Vegas in March. The conference crowd was a hybrid of anti-vaccine activists, supporters of former President Donald Trump and Christian conservatives.

Many on the far right are distrustful of traditional institutions. Now, some of them are trying to prop up a parallel economy with their own payment platforms, social media, and even computers. Many believe it's a matter of survival. Supporters of this parallel economy are part of a subculture that brings together modern-day conspiracy theories about COVID-19, elections, and transgender visibility with conservative values and free speech absolutism.

Weekend picks

Carol Duarte and Josh O'Connor in <em>La Chimera</em>.
/ Neon
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Neon
Carol Duarte and Josh O'Connor in La Chimera.

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

Movies: If you're looking for a movie with a magical ending that's still tied to reality, Alice Rohrwacher's La Chimera is a period film that'll check all your boxes. It follows a tomb raider in 1980s Italy trying to find treasure — and himself.

TV: The new PBS show A Brief History of the Future is executive producer Katherine Murdoch's response to pop culture's obsession with dystopias. Host Ari Wallach travels around the world to meet the people shaping a hopeful future.

Books: Hanif Abdurraqib's latest book is all about the phrase "there's always next year." He explores the idea through triumphs and defeats of basketball.

Music: This week's contenders for NPR Music's Songs of the Year include Big Thief singer Adrianne Lenker's latest solo outing and wry punk from the Brooklyn band Gustaf.

Quiz: Here's my news quiz hint for you this week: Two of the questions feature an image of Lizzo, but the answer may not be Lizzo both times

3 things to know before you go

People watch the annular eclipse of the sun at the planetarium of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) in San Jose, on October 14, 2023.
Ezequiel Becerra / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
People watch the annular eclipse of the sun at the planetarium of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) in San Jose, on October 14, 2023.

  1. Do you have plans to see the solar eclipse on Monday? We want to hear from you. Send NPR a voice note, and you could be featured on Morning Edition
  2. A large fish tanker truck accidentally released more than 100,000 young salmon smolts into Oregon's Lookingglass Creek after it crashed and turned upside down on an embankment. The truck's driver suffered only minor injuries. More than 25,000 smolts died. The surviving ones are now living in the wrong waterway.
  3. McDonald's is buying back 225 of its restaurants owned and operated by Alonyal Ltd. in Israel. The franchisee has owned the stores for more than 30 years.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi. Anandita Bhalerao and Mansee Khurana contributed.

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