Up First briefing: Barbenheimer; Missouri abortion amendment; Trump indictments
Get ready for a "Barbie"/"Oppenheimer" double feature. A big legal victory for supporters of an abortion rights amendment in Missouri. GOP candidates face difficult positions addressing Trump's legal woes.
Today's top stories
Despite two criminal indictments, former President Donald Trump remains popular with Republican voters. Now, he could face a third indictment related to his actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection and his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
- NPR's Franco Ordoñez says an indictment is usually an opportunity to gain political ground. However, Trump's Republican rivals don't want to alienate the base GOP vote, who "pretty much dismiss any allegation" against him. But Ordoñez says on Up First that strategists tell him being careful is not a good way to win an election.
- Here's where all the criminal cases, investigations and civil cases involving Trump stand.
Leaders from seven top tech companies, including Google, Microsoft and OpenAI, will join President Biden at the White House today to announce voluntary commitments they've made on sharing, testing and developing new AI technology.
- "At this point, it's hard to say how effective these commitments will be," says NPR's Deepa Shivaram. The White House hasn't released many details about the announcement, and polls show public trust in big tech to "do the right thing" is low. Shivaram spoke to Biden's chief of staff Jeff Zients, who says implementation and execution will be key to earning back trust.
For years, the Pentagon has denied that U.S. troops harmed civilians during a 2019 raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria. It claimed that two Syrian men who were killed and one wounded were combatants. NPR has analyzed internal documents and found flaws in that claim.
- The Pentagon's central claim was that Barakat Ahmad Barakat and his friends ignored warning shots. But NPR's Daniel Estrin says when the Pentagon's account was compared with aerial images, NPR determined the shots provided barely any warning — about two or three seconds.
Consumers might find some relief with travel, gas and egg prices down, but homebuyers have no such luck. The median home price rose to $413,800 — the second highest ever, and rent has also risen 26% since February 2020. The high prices are driven by high interest rates and a low housing inventory.
Early Bird: The latest news from Kansas City
- If you’ve noticed that the sewers in your neighborhood have gone from particularly smelly to an almost sweet scent, you’re not alone. Kansas City has been putting odor blockers in the sewers for over 20 years. But the city is now strategically placing the devices based on data and residents’ complaints.
- Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s efforts to inflate the cost of an abortion-rights initiative petition were unanimously rejected by the state Supreme Court yesterday, just two days after judges heard arguments in the case. The quick verdict was scathing in its assessment of Bailey’s refusal to sign off on the work of Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off this week in New Zealand and Australia, and the U.S. Women's National Team plays their first match tonight. We have a guide to catching the game in Kansas City and what to look out for.
- Heard on the podcast: The city of Mission has terminated its multi-million dollar deal to bring a new, $270 million mixed-use development to the long-vacant Mission Gateway site. The reason: Its owner failed to pay property taxes. Listen to that story on Kansas City Today.
Few things feel better than entering an air-conditioned room after spending time in the oppressive heat. But engineers say AC systems are only designed to keep indoor temperatures 20 degrees cooler than outside, which means they can struggle during heat waves. Here's how you can maximize your AC's efficiency.
- Don't mess with the thermostat. Set it at a comfortable temperature and leave it alone.
- Turn off anything that produces heat during the day.
- Run your ceiling fan for a nice breeze.
- Cool your house at night and shade the windows in the morning.
Check out what NPR is watching, reading and listening to this weekend:
Movies: Are you team Barbie or team Oppenheimer? Pop Culture Happy Hour host Aisha Harris writes that while Barbie could be corporate propaganda, sometimes it can be "fun as hell."
TV: Does Justified: City Primeval work as a reboot? NPR's Eric Deggans looks at the show's good and bad and compares it to other big reboots.
Books: Award-winning author and illustrator Jon Klassen loves a scary story. That's why his latest work, The Skull, is darker than his past children's books (don't worry — he promises it's not too scary).
Music: If you're among the thousands with Barbenheimer tickets, here's the perfect playlist for your double-feature pregame.
Games: It's been a huge year for video games. NPR's resident gaming nerds compiled an extensive list of the best ones so far. Check it out — there's something for everyone here.
Theater: Here Lies Love opened this week. The $22 million musical, scored by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, literally turns the Broadway Theatre into a disco
Quiz: Can you beat my weekly news quiz score? I got a 9/10 - my highest yet!
3 things to know before you go
- Country Music Television says it will no longer play Jason Aldean's "Try That In a Small Town" music video after critics said it glorified gun violence and promoted racist beliefs.
- Wout van Aert, one of the Tour de France's most exciting cyclists, has left the race days before it ends to be with his pregnant wife.
- The U.S. is hosting the Olympics in just five years. Here's how Los Angeles is preparing for the big event. (via LAist)
This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.