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Up First briefing: Gazans struggle to survive; Biden seeks Israel and Ukraine aid

Workers stack supplies on Sunday at one of the warehouses in North Sinai, Egypt, where the Egyptian Red Crescent stores foreign aid destined for Gaza. The aid convoy, organized by a group of Egyptian NGOs, set off from Cairo for the Gaza-Egypt border crossing at Rafah.
Mahmoud Khaled
/
Getty Images
Workers stack supplies on Sunday at one of the warehouses in North Sinai, Egypt, where the Egyptian Red Crescent stores foreign aid destined for Gaza. The aid convoy, organized by a group of Egyptian NGOs, set off from Cairo for the Gaza-Egypt border crossing at Rafah.

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

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza will reopen to humanitarian aid for Palestinians under siege by Israel. NPR's Aya Batrawy speaks with people in the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

On Up First, Batrawy says it's been "sheer terror and a struggle to survive," with no guarantee of safety for those evacuating to southern Gaza. Food, water and fuel are running out. Egypt plans to bring aid in if the border opens, but Israel's prime minister's office says there's no cease-fire deal yet.

  • At least 1,300 Israelis and more than 2,700 Palestinians have been killed. NPR's report shows photos of the devastation in Israel and Gaza.
  • Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif is believed to be the mastermind behind the attacks on Israel. Here's what to know about the elusive leader. 
  • Two-thirds of Americans think the U.S. should support Israel. But there are sharp racial and generational divides. 
  • In Illinois, a 71-year-old man was charged with a hate crime after he fatally stabbed a 6-year-old boy and injured his mother in an attack over their Islamic faith and the Israel-Hamas war, according to police and a civil rights group.


The White House plans to ask Congress for billions of dollars in foreign aid this week for Ukraine and Israel. Though there's widespread bipartisan support for the request, a vocal group of Republicans — including House speaker nominee Jim Jordan — has reservations.

  • U.S. allies aren't the only ones watching the situation closely, NPR's Tamara Keith says. Adversaries like China, Iran and Russia are looking for signs that alliances President Biden built in Europe and elsewhere are faltering.


Later today, a federal court judge is expected to consider a request for a partial gag order on Donald Trump and his attorneys related to the former president's criminal election interference trial.

  • U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has previously issued a partial gag order on another high-profile case involving Russian operative Maria Butina. But NPR's Carrie Johnson says Trump's case is different because it's unclear whether he will follow the rules — and what Chutkan can do if he doesn't.

Picture show

The "ring of fire" effect caused during the annular eclipse of the Sun over Albuquerque, N.M., on October 14.
Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
The "ring of fire" effect caused during the annular eclipse of the Sun over Albuquerque, N.M., on October 14.

Residents in parts of the U.S. saw a rare "ring of fire" in the sky this weekend during the annular solar eclipse. There won't be another one in the country until 2039, but a total solar eclipse will be viewable next year. If you couldn't witness it in person, check out photos of the sky here.

Today's listen

Students help instructional coach Regina Green caramelize onions for a dish featuring fresh greens from the school garden at Watkins Elementary.
/ Allison Aubrey/NPR
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Allison Aubrey/NPR
Students help instructional coach Regina Green caramelize onions for a dish featuring fresh greens from the school garden at Watkins Elementary.

Across the U.S., classes are popping up that combine lessons in math, science and reading all in one. At farm-to-school events, kids swap paper and pencils for spatulas and measuring cups as they learn to cook with ingredients they've grown.

3 things to know before you go

Girl Scout cookies have risen in price as inflation takes its bite. But it's not all bad news: Customers still seem to be willing to pay up.
/ Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
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Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Girl Scout cookies have risen in price as inflation takes its bite. But it's not all bad news: Customers still seem to be willing to pay up.

  1. Not even the Girl Scouts are immune to inflation. Many regional councils are raising prices for their beloved Girl Scout cookies this year.
  2. Netflix is planning to open brick-and-mortar stores that offer retail, dining and live experiences based on its shows and movies. 
  3. The 76-year-old man charged with stealing the ruby slippers from the film The Wizard of Oz is now pleading guilty. The FBI recovered the slippers in 2018, but no one was charged until earlier this year. (via MPR)

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

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

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