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Up First briefing: Gaza-Egypt Rafah crossing partially opens; Trump family testifies

People enter the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip before crossing into Egypt on Wednesday.
Mohammed Abed
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AFP via Getty Images
People enter the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip before crossing into Egypt on Wednesday.

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

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened for limited evacuations this morning for the first time since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks against Israel. Some foreign passport holders and dozens of seriously wounded people will be allowed to leave Gaza, according to local sources. The first group of people have reportedly entered the Rafah terminal for processing to enter Egypt.

  • The border developments come after Israeli airstrikes hit the crowded Jabalia refugee camp near Gaza City yesterday. The Israeli military says it was targeting Ibrahim Biari, a top Hamas commander, according to NPR's Greg Myre on Up First. Palestinian officials deny Biari was present at the time of the strike and are calling it one of Israel's deadliest attacks yet. The precise number of casualties isn't known yet.
  • Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinian workers from Gaza working in Israel are now trapped in the West Bank and can't go home. NPR's Elissa Nadworny visited a military university in Jericho where hundreds are staying.


Check out npr.org/mideastupdates for more coverage, differing views and analysis of this conflict.

Donald Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. is set to testify today in a New York civil fraud case. His siblings, Eric and Ivanka, as well as the former president are expected to testify this week and next. The judge presiding over the case has ruled the Trump Organization committed fraud by lying about the value of their assets. The trial will determine if it was committed on purpose and the amount the defendants should pay if found liable.

  • New York's Attorney General, Letitia James, wants to prevent Trump and his two sons from ever running a business in New York again, NPR's Andrea Bernstein says.


President Biden heads to Minnesota today to highlight his administration's investment in rural America. He'll be speaking in the home state of Rep. Dean Phillips, Biden's newest challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination.

  • Biden's campaign has been "pretty dismissive" of the challenge, NPR's Tamara Keith says. In a statement sent to Keith, Phillips said he welcomed Biden to Minnesota but would be holding his first campaign town hall in New Hampshire this evening. 


An illness spread by sand flies called cutaneous leishmaniasis — once thought to be primarily a tropical disease — has been present in the U.S. for years, according to new CDC research. Most reported cases have been in Texas. The illness is rarely fatal but can be disfiguring.

From our hosts

A girl tries to collect usable belongings amid the wreckage of vehicles after the explosion at Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.
/ Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via Getty Images
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Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via Getty Images
A girl tries to collect usable belongings amid the wreckage of vehicles after the explosion at Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.

This essay is written by Steve Inskeep. He's hosting Morning Edition from locations in Israel and the occupied West Bank this week.

The other night, we accepted an invitation to visit the Israeli military spokesman's office. My colleagues Reena Advani and Ziad Buchh observed how young almost everyone seemed. Israelis commonly perform compulsory military service after high school. Many others have been called back to service for this war, and with the exception of a few senior officers, hardly anyone seemed to be out of their twenties.

We'd come to see the latest version of an Israeli government video showing the Hamas attack on Oct. 7. On screen, many people were young. One scene, taken from security cameras in a home, shows two boys in their underwear, having been surprised in bed by the early-morning attack. Their father tries to herd them into a shelter but is apparently killed in front of them.

Another scene shows Palestinian attackers, mostly very young men, taking celebratory selfie videos, often showing the people they had killed in the frame.As Israel responds to the Hamas-led attack, much of the suffering has fallen on the young.

As of today, Gaza's Health Ministry said more than 8,500 people had been killed. The U.N. says nearly 70% of them are women and children. Many civilians tell stories of searching for water for their children; Israel cut off the supply at the start of the war.

War is nearly always conducted by the young, though older people tend to send them. It often is inflicted on the young, who are not consulted beforehand. There's a special irony of this conflict in that it turns on arguments over land that stretch back generations — even centuries — long before any of today's participants were born.

Life advice

Open enrollment starts Nov. 1 for Affordable Care Act marketplaces.
/ Carmel Wroth/NPR
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Carmel Wroth/NPR
Open enrollment starts Nov. 1 for Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

Open enrollment begins today for Affordable Care Act plans. If you're among the millions of Americans comparing benefits and prices, here are the changes you need to know about:

  • You could be eligible if you lost Medicaid coverage recently.
  • If you're using a broker, don't procrastinate. Consumers will be asked to certify that they voluntarily agreed to get assistance and that the information provided by their broker is accurate.
  • Shop around. Some premiums could go up, and most people qualify for lower deductibles. 
  • Some 26-year-olds can stay on their parents' insurance a bit longer.


Need more help navigating open enrollment? Life Kit has a glossary of essential insurance terms.

3 things to know before you go

Participants sporting Santa Claus costumes jump into the water during the 111th edition of the Copa Nadal swimming race in Barcelona's Port Vell on December 25, 2020.
Josep Lago / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
Participants sporting Santa Claus costumes jump into the water during the 111th edition of the Copa Nadal swimming race in Barcelona's Port Vell on December 25, 2020.

  1. Today, I'm taking down my Halloween decorations and getting ready for the holidays with Thanksgiving-themed decor and Christmas music. How do you conjure up the spirit of the season? Tell NPR about your holiday traditions, and you could be in an upcoming story.
  2. Peruvian race walker Kimberly García lost her world record this weekend shortly after she broke it. Organizers at the Pan American Games found an issue with how the track was measured.
  3. Meanwhile, Argentina soccer captain Lionel Messi did break a record when he earned his eighth Ballon d'Or as the best soccer player in the world on Monday.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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