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Up First briefing: Climate worsens heat waves; Israel protests; Emmett Till monument

Tens of millions of Americans have been living under extreme heat warnings or advisories during the last few weeks including Phoenix. A new study finds climate change is making heatwaves more common.
Patrick T. Fallon
/
AFP via Getty Images
Tens of millions of Americans have been living under extreme heat warnings or advisories during the last few weeks including Phoenix. A new study finds climate change is making heatwaves more common.

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

Climate change is not only making heat waves more common — it's also making them hotter, according to a new study from a team of international researchers from the World Weather Attribution.

  • Scientists tell NPR's Nathan Rott that the findings were not surprising because the effects of greenhouse gasses on global temperatures are known. On Up First, Rott says the "obvious big-picture solution is to stop warming the planet." But many climate scientists think the international community's goal to limit global temperature increases to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit compared to pre-industrial times is already out of reach.
  • In the U.S., heat kills more people on average every year than hurricanes, tornadoes and floods combined. Here's what it does to the body.
  • How do you keep cool without an air conditioner? Read the best advice from listeners like you.
  • Thousands of Israel's military reservists are refusing to serve, doctors are on strike, and protesters hit the streets last night after the Israeli government passed a controversial overhaul of its judicial branch. Under the new law, Israel's Supreme Court can no longer block the hiring and firing of officials if they find it unreasonable. The law was passed despite President Biden's urging against it.

  • Opposition activists say they have already petitioned the Supreme Court to challenge the law, but it is unclear if it will intervene, as NPR's Daniel Estrin describes the law as equivalent to a U.S. constitutional amendment. Estrin adds that advocates say the law is the "first step in a wider move to change democratic institutions to further target Palestinian rights."
  • President Biden is expected to designate three sites as a national monument for Emmett Till today. Two sites are in Mississippi, where Till was abducted, tortured, and killed in 1955 at 14 years old. Today would have been his 82nd birthday. A third site in Illinois will honor his mother, who insisted on an open casket funeral for her son to show the brutality of the Jim Crow South.

  • The Gulf States Newsroom's Maya Miller says these sites will now be federally protected, which means there will be more resources for "teaching what really happened." She adds supporters of the designation believe "racial reconciliation begins with telling the truth."
  • The DOJ has sued Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over his refusal to remove a stretch of buoys placed in the Rio Grande between Mexico and Texas to hinder border crossings. Abbott missed yesterday's deadline to remove the buoys. The DOJ says Abbott's efforts to hinder migrants were "unlawful" and presented "humanitarian concerns."

    Deep dive

    CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 29: People walk through the gate on Harvard Yard at the Harvard University campus on June 29, 2023 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    Scott Eisen / Getty Images
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    Getty Images
    CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 29: People walk through the gate on Harvard Yard at the Harvard University campus on June 29, 2023 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    The Supreme Court may have ended race-based affirmative action, but a different kind of bias in college admissions still exists – and it favors rich kids.

  • The richest 1% of American kids are more than twice as likely to attend the most elite U.S. private colleges as kids from middle-class families with similar SAT scores, according to Harvard University researchers. 
  • Along with legacy admissions and athletic recruitment, rich kids have better non-academic ratings. They have the resources to take more extracurricular activities, get better letters of recommendation and write better personal statements.  
  • The "Ivy-Plus colleges" studied have a huge impact on who gets to influential positions in our society. Researchers say it's important for these colleges to reform admission practices and eliminate bias toward the wealthy.
  • Enlighten me

    Poet Hanif Abdurraqib has struggled with grief from losing important people in his life. He reflects on the ways his spirituality is defined by his understanding of loss.
    / Maddie McGarvey
    /
    Maddie McGarvey
    Poet Hanif Abdurraqib has struggled with grief from losing important people in his life. He reflects on the ways his spirituality is defined by his understanding of loss.

    Enlighten Me is a special series with NPR's Rachel Martin on in-depth conversations about the human condition.

    Editor's note: This conversation contains mentions of grief and suicide. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 9-8-8 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

    Poet, author and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib lost his mom when he was 12 years old. Over the years, he's lost many friends by suicide or drug overdoses. Raised Muslim, he tells Rachel Martin that his spiritual identity and belief in the afterlife are "inextricably linked to loss." Abdurraqib discusses how grief can "make a home within us" and how music can help us process loss.

    3 things to know before you go

    South Korea's Casey Phair, left, and Colombia's Carolina Arias compete for the ball during the Women's World Cup Group H soccer match in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, July 25.
    Rick Rycroft / AP
    /
    AP
    South Korea's Casey Phair, left, and Colombia's Carolina Arias compete for the ball during the Women's World Cup Group H soccer match in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, July 25.

  • At 16 years old, New Jersey teen Casey Phair is the youngest player ever to compete in the World Cup. Only she's not playing for America — she's on the South Korean team.
  • Carlee Russell, who went missing for two days in Alabama after telling 911 that she saw a stranded toddler, has admitted she wasn't kidnapped and didn't see a child wandering the highway.
  • Check your pantries if you shop at Trader Joe's. The company is recalling two types of cookies because they could contain rocks.
  • This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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

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