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Up First briefing: Senate unveils immigration bill; rain, winds batter California

Left: Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaks on border security and Title 42 during a press conference at the Capitol on May 11, 2023. Right: U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., at press conference on Jan. 23, in Washington, D.C.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images; Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Left: Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaks on border security and Title 42 during a press conference at the Capitol on May 11, 2023. Right: U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., at press conference on Jan. 23, in Washington, D.C.

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Today's top stories

After months of talks, three Senators yesterday unveiled a $118 billion bipartisan bill to address U.S. border security and provide additional aid for Ukraine and Israel. The bill would mandate President Biden to shut down the border once the number of migrants approaching it hits a specific threshold. It also speeds up the process for asylum seekers and gives work permits to those who gain entry. House Speaker Mike Johnson declared it "dead on arrival"

  • In the hours since the bill was unveiled, NPR's Deirdre Walsh reports it's gotten "sharp criticism" from the left and right. On Up First, Walsh says some immigration advocates have a positive view of the changes to expedite the asylum process but oppose the trigger that would shut down entry. Former President Donald Trump wants to wield the immigration issue against Biden for the 2024 election. He lobbied against the bill before it was out and is urging Republicans to derail the Senate deal.


Hundreds of thousands of California residents are without electricity this morning as a major storm moves south. Days before, a separate storm drenched the area. Meteorologists are warning residents in Los Angeles to prepare for life-threatening conditions as the storm moves. The National Weather Service called it "one of the most dramatic weather days in recent memory."

All nine of the biggest categories awarded during the televised ceremony for the 66th annual Grammy Awards last night went to women. Taylor Swift made history as the first artist to win a Grammy for Album of the Year four times. See photos of the red carpet looks and read the full list of winners.

  • Mandalit del Barco tells Up First that highlights from the show included poignant performances from music legends like Billy Joel and Joni Mitchell, who made her Grammy performance debut at 80. Annie Lennox made a call for peace and a cease-fire in Gaza following her tribute to the late Sinéad O'Connor. Viewers await details on Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who was handcuffed and arrested on a misdemeanor charge shortly after winning three Grammys. He was released last night, and more information is expected today.
  • This year's ceremony included a new category for "best African music performance." But it only features nominees from two countries in Africa, and the songs mostly have lyrics in English.


Boeing announced yesterday that about 50 of its jets need additional repairs for improperly drilled holes before they can leave the factory. An employee at Spirit AeroSystems, the company that makes the fuselage, identified the issue. Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems have a long and troubled relationship. Now, the FAA is looking into both companies to determine why a door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines Boeing Max 9 in midair last month.

Deep dive

/ Maria Fabrizio
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Maria Fabrizio

Many factors can affect how fast we age, including what we eat, how often we move and who we spend time with. Biological age tests can tell you how old your DNA is compared to how old you actually are. Here's how they work — and whether you should get one.

  • The tests measure a process called DNA methylation. As we age, chemical tags called methyl groups attach to our DNA.
  • The test can tell only you how fast you're aging compared to your peers, but shouldn't be used to predict lifespan. Results are more useful when interpreted alongside clinical variables like blood pressure and lipid levels.
  • Many tests haven't been evaluated by independent experts and can give you different results.
  • The tests are most useful to researchers who want to understand how interventions like diet and exercise affect aging.
  • For those who do decide to take the test, researchers say the results may be reflective of your daily habits.

Picture show

What is left of Pasha's Palace amid Israel's bombardment of Gaza. Historians of Gaza say Napoleon slept there for three nights in 1799.
/ Omar El Qattaa for NPR
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Omar El Qattaa for NPR
What is left of Pasha's Palace amid Israel's bombardment of Gaza. Historians of Gaza say Napoleon slept there for three nights in 1799.

In 2019, NPR's Daniel Estrin and Abu Bakr Bashir documented the historical and cultural landmarks tourists could visit if they were allowed into Gaza. Four months after the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks, Israel's ground and air response has rendered every site Estrin and Bakr documented destroyed, damaged or inaccessible. Omar El Qattaa, one of the few remaining photojournalists in Gaza City, recently photographed these landmarks for NPR.

See photos of what existed before the war and what remains now.

3 things to know before you go

During a Summer Science Safari demonstration at Texas A&M University in 2022, Dr. Tatiana hits a knife down to make the potato go up. It's not magic, it's inertia.
/ Ryan Carmichael
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Ryan Carmichael
During a Summer Science Safari demonstration at Texas A&M University in 2022, Dr. Tatiana hits a knife down to make the potato go up. It's not magic, it's inertia.

  1. Who needs Bill Nye the Science Guy when your professor is Dr. Tatiana? Texas A&M University professor Tatiana Erukhimova's kid-friendly physics videos have racked up hundreds of millions of views online.
  2. FIFA has announced that the 2026 World Cup Final will be played at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium on July 19.
  3. Women's basketball phenom Caitlin Clark has drawn in both fans and strangers to the sport. Fans are lining up for her autograph, and ticket sales have skyrocketed to see the University of Iowa student play.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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