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Up First briefing: Defense bill delayed; Threads' news policy; SAG-AFTRA strike vote

A view of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Jemal Countess
/
Getty Images for Get Free
A view of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

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

Hard-right House Republicans have delayed a vote on an $886 billion defense spending bill because they want to make amendments that would shape military policy on things like abortion access, gender-affirming care and diversity in recruiting.

  • The defense bill is one of the few pieces of bipartisan, must-pass legislation, according to Washington Post reporter Marianna Sotomayor. On Up First today, she says the divisive amendments put a lot of vulnerable Republicans in swing districts in "pretty perilous positions." They don't want to vote on controversial issues that would complicate their upcoming reelection campaigns.
  • Threads, the new Twitter rival from Facebook's parent company, Meta, has quickly become one of the most downloaded apps ever. But while many news and politics made Twitter relevant, top Meta executive Adam Mosseri has been transparent about de-emphasizing news and politics on Threads.

  • Meta learned that its users are more engaged when people share content about influencers, celebrities and their friends and family — and that keeps the ad dollars rolling in, according to NPR's Bobby Allyn. Allyn spoke with former Facebook researcher Solomon Messing, who tells him that if Threads replaces Twitter and successfully pushes politics and news to the wayside, it could make users less engaged with those topics or vote.
  • SAG-AFTRA will vote on a strike order this morning after negotiations between the Hollywood actors union and major studios have failed to produce a new deal. Federal mediators joined negotiations yesterday.

  • Joshua Flax, Deputy Director for Policy and Strategy at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, explains how federal mediators help with negotiations on Morning Edition. He tells A Martinez that often, mediators will separate the parties in a private caucus and use reality testing and shuttle diplomacy to try and move negotiations forward.
  • Fox News is facing another defamation lawsuit. Trump supporter and Jan. 6 protester Ray Epps sued Fox News over statements by Tucker Carlson alleging Epps was actually an undercover FBI agent who instigated the violence at the Capitol to make Trump and his supporters look bad.

    Life advice

    As the heat breaks records, remember that preventing heatstroke or heat exhaustion takes planning ahead to ensure you stay hydrated and can cool off frequently.
    David J. Phillip / AP
    /
    AP
    As the heat breaks records, remember that preventing heatstroke or heat exhaustion takes planning ahead to ensure you stay hydrated and can cool off frequently.

    Much of the American South is still experiencing dangerously high temperatures. Heat can take a toll on the body, and there are many misconceptions about how to protect yourself. Avoid these mistakes to stay safe from heatstroke or heat exhaustion, and read the story for four more tips.

  • Your body needs time to adjust to heat. Acclimate yourself over a few days.
  • Hydrate in advance. You're already 10 to 25% dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty.
  • Certain medications make you more vulnerable to heat. Take extra precautions if you're on them.
  • Don't ignore the early telltale signs of heat exhaustion: sweating, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and headache.
  • Deep dive

    A man carries a sleeping bag at a homeless encampment in Portland, Maine, in May, before city workers arrived to clean the area. State officials say a lack of affordable housing is behind a sharp rise in chronic homelessness.
    Robert F. Bukaty / AP
    /
    AP
    A man carries a sleeping bag at a homeless encampment in Portland, Maine, in May, before city workers arrived to clean the area. State officials say a lack of affordable housing is behind a sharp rise in chronic homelessness.

    New York City and LA have recently declared a record level of homelessness. Many other cities have also seen numbers rise, despite dedicating a considerable amount of money to the issue. What's going on? Here are four reasons why homelessness is so hard to end.

  • Housing people is only one part of the equation. An even higher number of people are becoming homeless.
  • Rents have risen faster than wages, and millions of low-cost rentals have disappeared.
  • Zoning laws and local opposition make it hard to build new housing for low-income renters.
  • Many pandemic-era aid programs many people relied on to keep their homes are ending.
  • 3 things to know before you go

    A photo depicts sculptures that were returned to Indonesia during a ceremony in Leiden, Netherlands.
    Aleksandar Furtula / AP
    /
    AP
    A photo depicts sculptures that were returned to Indonesia during a ceremony in Leiden, Netherlands.

  • Two Dutch museums have returned hundreds of cultural artifacts looted from Indonesia and Sri Lanka during Dutch colonization to their rightful home. It's the latest in a move for Western powers to repatriate items they plundered during colonial times.
  • HBO's Succession led the pack at the Emmy nominations yesterday. Pop Culture Happy Hour host Aisha Harris has a few takeaways about what's next for the award show as an actors strike looms.
  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for swords made out of ice cream. A cafe in Japan plans to sell 16-inch "swordsicles," roughly the size of a ninja sword.
  • This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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

    Corrected: July 13, 2023 at 9:00 PM MST
    A previous version of this story incorrectly said that Aisha Rascoe is the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. In fact, Aisha Harris is the host. Also, a previous version of this correction note mistakenly referred to Pop Culture Happy Hour as Pop Culture Happy House.