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Up First briefing: Netanyahu talks Gaza's future; Sean 'Diddy' Combs accused of rape

AP

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

Today on Morning Edition, NPR's Steve Inskeep questions Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Gaza's future following Israel's military response to the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7th. Netanyahu says troops found weapons, ammunition, bombs and a command center at Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital. Inskeep notes reporters have not been shown the command center, though Netanyahu says photos have been released. He responds, "This is not a hospital," and claims Hamas commandeered it.

  • Netanyahu says Israel's two main goals are to demilitarize and deradicalize Gaza.
  • When Inskeep asks if Netanyahu plans to keep Israeli troops in Gaza for generations as the U.S. did with Germany after WWII, he says it wouldn't be necessary because Gaza is small, but the "overriding military responsibility" has to be with Israel "for the foreseeable future."
  • Inskeep shares statements from Israeli voters who oppose Netanyahu. The prime minister emphasizes his country is "united today" as never before.
  • NPR's Greg Myre says that there's "a very real risk" that Israel will find itself stuck in Gaza after its military operation ends, as Netanyahu has expressed he doesn't want Hamas or the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to rule Gaza.


Hundreds gathered yesterday to mourn Canadian Israeli peace activist Vivian Silver, whose remains were found at her home in Kibbutz Be'eri. It's believed she was held hostage after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. Silver spent her life pursuing peace in the region.

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

United Auto Workers union members have voted to approve a new contract with General Motors. It finalizes a 25% wage increase over the next four years, marking the biggest victory for the union in decades. Ford and Stellantis workers are still casting votes for their new contracts.

  • Once Ford and Stellantis ratify their new contracts, the companies will have enough certainty to move forward with production plans, NPR's Camila Domonoske says. Those plans will determine how the strikes and new contracts affect consumers and the wider economy.


R&B singer Cassie has accused hip-hop mogul Sean Combs, also known as Diddy, of rape, sex trafficking, physical assault and more. The lawsuit alleges that Cassie, whose real name is Casandra Ventura, met Combs when she was 19 and he was 37 and that Combs' pattern of abuse began soon after she joined his record label in 2006.

Bernardo Arévalo surprised everyone this summer when he won the Guatemalan presidential election. Since then, the government has launched a campaign to keep him from taking power. Prosecutors now say they intend to bring charges against the president-elect related to a protest at Guatemala's public university.

  • Police surrounded the homes of some of Arévalo's allies last night and arrested protesters, NPR's Eyder Peralta reports from Mexico City. 

Deep dive

Jose Grajeda and his daughter, Victoria, cuddle before bedtime in Alpine, Tex. When Grajeda was a kid, he remembers how his parents employed a soothing caress to send him to sleep. Now he uses it with his kids. "You scratch someone's back, or their head, with the tip of your fingers. And you do it very lightly and softly," Grajeda explains.
/ Jessica Lutz /for NPR
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Jessica Lutz /for NPR
Jose Grajeda and his daughter, Victoria, cuddle before bedtime in Alpine, Tex. When Grajeda was a kid, he remembers how his parents employed a soothing caress to send him to sleep. Now he uses it with his kids. "You scratch someone's back, or their head, with the tip of your fingers. And you do it very lightly and softly," Grajeda explains.

Parenting advice often focuses on what to say rather than what to do when kids are upset or grumpy. But a special caress can help trigger a warm, calm feeling when words fail. It's called yakson in Korea, malish in Delhi and piojito in Latin America. Here's what decades of research say about this phenomenon:

  • Use a very light touch, and don't go too fast or too slow. You're basically giving kids the goosebumps.
  • This touch turns on nerves in hairy parts of the skin called C-tactile fibers. They stimulate the brain's reward centers.
  • Children who get touch and support from parents are more likely to be independent and daring when they grow up.

Weekend picks

Elizabeth Debicki as Diana in the sixth and final season of <em>The Crown.</em>
/ Netflix
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Netflix
Elizabeth Debicki as Diana in the sixth and final season of The Crown.

Check out what NPR is watching, reading and listening to this weekend:

Movies: In Netflix's The Killer, Michael Fassbender plays a ruthlessly efficient international hitman whose detached and methodical life falls apart when a hit goes wrong.

TV: The final season of The Crown focuses on Princess Diana's death. Critic Eric Deggans says it fleshes out an important moment for the royal family in a creative, telling way — as long as you remember you're not watching a drama, not the History Channel.

Books: In Eyeliner: A Cultural History, journalist Zahra Hankir explores how the cosmetic connects civilizations, continents and eras from ancient Egypt to the Instagram beauty influencer age.

Music: Peso Pluma was the first regional Mexican artist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Global 200 chart earlier this year. NPR's Alt.Latino analyzes the rise of regional Mexican music and why people can't get enoughof this updated form of Mexican folk music.

Games: You don't need a TV and a gaming system to have fun. NPR has a roundup of some of the best board games and tabletop games of the year so far.

Quiz: I spent most of the week offline for my bachelorette trip and got a paltry 5/11 on this week's quiz. I'm sure most of you can beat my score.

3 things to know before you go

A mother with her baby in the transit zone of terminal A at Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, on November 4, 2022.
James Arthur Gekiere / Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images
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Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images
A mother with her baby in the transit zone of terminal A at Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, on November 4, 2022.

  1. The holiday travel rush is about to begin. NPR wants to know what advice listeners want about traveling with kids. Send us your questions, and we might answer them on air and online.
  2. With the help of Google's new experimental AI Tool, Dream Track, you can now recruit some of your favorite pop stars to create new song tracks.
  3. New York Republican Rep. George Santos says he won't seek reelection for a second term in the House after the Ethics Committee released a report accusing him of criminal activity and lying to voters.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi. Rachel Treisman contributed.

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

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