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Up First briefing: Russian rebellion; 'Cop City' protests; Alzheimer's drug approval

Members of Wagner Group stand on the balcony of a building in the city of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday, June 24.
Roman Romokhov
/
AFP via Getty Images
Members of Wagner Group stand on the balcony of a building in the city of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday, June 24.

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

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a former confidant to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the head of the Wagner mercenary group, launched a rebellion over the weekend and began marching toward Moscow. Within hours, he called it off and agreed to leave Russia. Still, some analysts say the incident will weaken Putin's authority.

  • NPR's Greg Myre reports Putin has been quiet since Saturday morning, and no one has heard from Prigozhin after he announced he would leave Russia and go to Belarus. On Up First this morning, Myre says the rebellion came at an opportune time for Ukrainians, and President Volodomyr Zelenskyy stated it proved Russia is weak.
  • The incident has left the fate of the Wagner group unclear. Here's what could happen next.
  • Activists in Atlanta are gathering for a week of action against a proposed police and fire training facility. Police abolitionists and racial justice advocates oppose the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, derisively called "Cop City." Environmental activists say it will destroy a forest some call one of Atlanta's "four lungs."

  • Law enforcement began arresting dozens of activists in December and alleged they belonged to a domestic violent extremism group, according to NPR's Odette Yousef. She says these actions have caused confusion because the U.S. Department of Homeland Security doesn't keep a list of domestic violent extremism groups. It's led to disagreements among local officials: Dekalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston recently announced her office wouldn't prosecute 42 defendants.
  • The Governor's Highway Safety Association estimates that more than 7,500 pedestrians were killed by drivers last year — the highest number in decades. It could take years to implement policies to protect pedestrians. But experts say small changes like implementing sharp corners instead of rounded curves at turns, lowering speed limits and installing speeding and red light cameras could make a big difference now.

    The FDA is poised to approve the first drug shown to slow down Alzheimer's disease by July 6. The approval means Medicare will begin to cover lecanemab, marketed as Leqembi, making it available for more than a million patients. Still, many hurdles remain.

  • Even with insurance, the drug's price could be an obstacle, and brain scans and related services related to the treatment may not be covered, reports NPR's Jon Hamilton. On Morning Edition, he says that Medicare will require doctors to join a registry tracking the drug's safety, and the extra paperwork could discourage them from prescribing the drug.
  • Life advice

    Martinus Evans is the author of the <em>Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run.</em>
    / Left: Photograph by Drew Reynolds; Right: Avery Publishing Group
    /
    Left: Photograph by Drew Reynolds; Right: Avery Publishing Group
    Martinus Evans is the author of the Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run.

    Contrary to popular belief, running is for everyone. At least, Martinus Evans thinks so. He wrote Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run and has advice for people who want to get started.

  • Check your form: Don't clench your fists or look at your feet.
  • Breathe intentionally from your belly, not your chest.
  • Find your "sexy pace:" It's the speed at which you're able to have a full, long conversation while still running. 
  • Pick up specialty running shoes, and don't wear cotton — it chafes.
  • Picture show

    Abdullah Saif Ahmed Numan and his grandson, Mohammad, stand in the building where they live in Al Dawah neighborhood of Taiz, Yemen. The neighborhood is on the front line of a divided city in Yemen's civil war.
    / Claire Harbage/NPR
    /
    Claire Harbage/NPR
    Abdullah Saif Ahmed Numan and his grandson, Mohammad, stand in the building where they live in Al Dawah neighborhood of Taiz, Yemen. The neighborhood is on the front line of a divided city in Yemen's civil war.

    Nearly a decade of civil war has destroyed millions of Yemeni lives, but perhaps nowhere has it been felt more than in Taiz neighborhoods closest to the fighting. Violence has slowed in the past year, and most streets are now calm as Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia negotiate. But so far, talks have not led to a deal to end the siege. Photos from the area tell the stories of residents desperate for change.

    3 things to know before you go

    Judges at the World's Ugliest Dog Contest declared Scooter, a 7-year-old Chinese Crested, the ruffest-looking pup of all.
    Noah Berger / AP
    /
    AP
    Judges at the World's Ugliest Dog Contest declared Scooter, a 7-year-old Chinese Crested, the ruffest-looking pup of all.

  • Meet Scooter. He may be the "World's Ugliest Dog" this year, but it doesn't mean he's not a good boy.
  • Salsa music has been at the heart of New York for decades. Now, the city is home to the first museum dedicated to the fast-tempo, horn-heavy and hip-swinging dance.
  • The Haudenosaunee Nationals are reclaiming their Indigenous identity at the World Lacrosse Championships. Current team members say their former name, the Iroquois Nationals, was derogatory.
  • This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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