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Up First briefing: Sweden's NATO approval; Kansas state IDs; Emmy predictions

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson shake hands in front of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg prior to their meeting, on the eve of a NATO summit, in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Monday.
Yves Herman
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POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson shake hands in front of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg prior to their meeting, on the eve of a NATO summit, in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Monday.

Turkey agreed to allow Sweden to join NATO. A Kansas judge temporarily blocked transgender residents from changing their gender on state IDs. It's a weird year for the Emmys. Here are the NPR culture desk's predictions.

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

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to secure parliamentary approval for Sweden to join the NATO alliance after a year of blocking the move. The announcement came one day before the NATO summit in Lithuania's capital Vilnius, which will begin today.

  • As part of the deal, Sweden agreed to cooperate with Turkey on counterterrorism issues and support Turkey's efforts to join the EU. NPR's Asma Khalid reports on Up First that national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters the U.S. had "significant recent engagement in bringing this deal about." She adds that NATO is trying to show it's "fully united in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine," which was the catalyst for Sweden wanting to join in the first place.


Anti-government protests have erupted in Israel again after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revived judicial overhaul plans that demonstrators say will undermine the nation's democracy. Netanyahu previously paused his plans to limit the power of the courts in March due to similar protests. But Israel's parliament recently gave initial approval to a bill that would block courts from intervening in appointments and decisions of elected officials that they deem unreasonable.

  • NPR's Daniel Estrin is in the streets reporting from what he calls a "reenergized nationwide, nonviolent protest movement." He spoke to a protester, who told him the people of Israel "need help from the U.S. to protect us." He says protesters want to keep pressure on the Biden administration — which hasn't invited Netanyahu to the White House yet.


As the South continues to experience dangerous extreme heat, parts of the Northeast are being drenched by heavy rains and flash flooding. Vermont has been hit especially hard. The state saw more than 50 water rescues yesterday, and safety officials are concerned rivers could crest and dams could overflow today, making things worse.

  • Vermont Public's Liam Elder-Connors says the last time his state saw similar flooding was more than a decade ago when tropical storm Irene brought 11 inches of rain in 24 hours. He adds officials are concerned about the current flooding because, unlike Irene, this storm is lingering.

  • Stay updated on the dangerous conditions with Vermont Public's live blog


A growing body of research shows the drug doxycycline, when taken shortly after sex, could lower the risk of contracting three common bacterial STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. The CDC plans to roll out guidance for doctors and public health departments to offer the cheap and widely available drug this summer.


Early Bird: The latest news from Kansas City

  • A Shawnee County District Court judge issued a temporary restraining order yesterday to prevent Kansans from amending gender declarations on driver’s licenses. The pause is pending further consideration of a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Kris Kobach, who sued Gov. Laura Kelly to stop permitting transgender residents from changing their gender on state documents.
  • From the podcast: SleazyWorld Go, who calls Kansas City home, is one of hip-hop’s most exciting new voices. His songs about the city's epidemic of violence earned him a spot in XXL Magazine's Freshman Class of 2023. Listen to that story on Kansas City Today.

The Early Bird is KCUR's daily news email, bringing you all things Kansas City every weekday at 6 a.m. Sign up here, and check out our daily news podcast Kansas City Today.


Life advice

Research shows ten minutes of daily meditation can help people manage stress and cultivate happy memories.
A-Digit / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Research shows ten minutes of daily meditation can help people manage stress and cultivate happy memories.

Stress can make or break a family vacation, turning something that's meant to be relaxing into a stressful, overwhelming trip. Mindfulness and meditation can help you keep calm when things go awry on a family trip. Here are five ways to get started:

  • Stop and take a deep breath for a "micro-hit" of meditation. 

  • Say "I love you" to yourself in the morning to start your day with self-kindness.

  • When things go wrong, use the RAIN method to recognize your feelings, allow yourself to feel them, investigate your emotions and nurture yourself through the moment.

  • Meditate for 10 minutes before bed to promote good sleep.

  • Use the loving-kindness meditation to extend compassion to yourself and others.

Enlighten me

Ayyā Somā (left) and Bhante Suddhāso (right), the co-founders of Empty Cloud Monastery.
/ Ayyā Somā
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Ayyā Somā
Ayyā Somā (left) and Bhante Suddhāso (right), the co-founders of Empty Cloud Monastery.

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

Many meditation and mindfulness practices — including those that help with family vacations — have their roots in Buddhist theology. But mindfulness is only one part of the Buddhist eightfold path. Bhante Suddhāso, one of the co-founders of Empty Cloud Monastery in West Orange, N.J., says only practicing mindfulness within the context of Buddhism is like making a cake with only raw eggs. He and other Buddhists reflect on the wholeness of their faith.

3 things to know before you go

THE BEAR — Pictured: Jeremy Allen White as Carmen 'Carmy' Berzatto.. CR: FX
/ FX
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FX
THE BEAR — Pictured: Jeremy Allen White as Carmen 'Carmy' Berzatto.. CR: FX


  • It's a weird year for the Emmys. Nominations will be announced tomorrow, amid a writers' strike and a potential actors' strike. Here are predictions for tomorrow's announcement from NPR's culture desk.


This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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