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Up First briefing: Israel and Hamas could extend truce; COP28 begins this week

People gesture from a Red Cross bus carrying Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails in exchange for hostages released by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, on Sunday.
Fadel Senna
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AFP via Getty Images
People gesture from a Red Cross bus carrying Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails in exchange for hostages released by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, on Sunday.

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 four-day truce between Israel and Hamas is set to end today, but both sides say they're open to extending the temporary truce for more prisoner-hostage exchanges. Hamas has released 58 hostages taken during the Oct. 7 attacks, and Israel has released 117 Palestinian prisoners so far. Most hostages and prisoners have been women and children. Another exchange is expected today.

  • On Up First this morning, NPR's Daniel Estrin says it "does seem highly likely the cease-fire will be extended for at least another couple of days." Hamas has reportedly gathered a few dozen more hostages, according to Israel. But Estrin says it's just a "drop in the bucket" — there are still believed to be roughly 170 hostages still in Gaza and many Palestinians in Israeli jails.
  • See photos of the family reunions during the hostage-prisoner exchanges that took place over the weekend. 


Police in Vermont say they've arrested a man in connection with the shooting of three college students of Palestinian descent in Burlington on Saturday. The three men, all in their 20s, were wounded and transported to a local hospital. The gunman's motive is not known at this time. The victims' families and civil rights organizations are calling on Vermont law enforcement to investigate the shooting as a hate crime. (via Vermont Public)

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

The 28th annual international climate negotiation known as the Climate of Parties takes place this week in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. World leaders will discuss climate change, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and who will pay for the costs of a hotter planet. President Biden will not attend. Here's why this conference matters.

  • Money will be a big sticking point at this conference, NPR's Rebecca Hersher reports. Less wealthy nations need trillions of dollars to transition to renewable energy. Wealthy nations like the U.S. have not followed through on a promise from last year's talks to set up a fund for the damage caused by climate change in poorer countries. So far, this fund is empty.


Former first lady Rosalynn Carter will be laid to rest Wednesday in Georgia. She died last week at 96. Public and private ceremonies are scheduled over the next three days to honor her life and legacy.

I'm really into

Clay earrings.
/ Natalie Walters/NPR
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Natalie Walters/NPR
Clay earrings.

NPR's Natalie Walters graduated at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. After months of unemployment, she lost motivation to create art. Creating clay jewelry became a way to release the pent-up energy she had. She writes that her clay jewelry business helped her find a sense of pride and connected her with a community that shares her passion.

What are you really into? Fill out this form or leave us a voice note at 800-329-4273, and part of your submission may be featured online or on the radio.

Picture show

The work attributed to Titian hangs between two other paintings of Saint Sebastian in the gallery of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami.
/ Armando Colls
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Armando Colls
The work attributed to Titian hangs between two other paintings of Saint Sebastian in the gallery of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami.

A piece of artwork recently determined to be created by Renaissance painter Titian is now on display — not at an art museum, but at a high school. Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami has a commitment to arts education and its own gallery. See the painting of Saint Sebastian up close.

Axolotls became an internet sensation in 2021 after the video game Minecraft added the species into its universe.
/ AdoptAxolotl
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AdoptAxolotl
Axolotls became an internet sensation in 2021 after the video game Minecraft added the species into its universe.

  1. The grinning axolotl, popular through the Minecraft video game, is at risk of extinction. In order to save the population, a campaign in Mexico will let people virtually adopt one. 
  2. Google will begin deleting accounts that haven't been used in at least two years this starting Friday. Sign in before then to avoid losing your data. 
  3. Honda has recalled a few hundred thousand vehicles after they were found to be missing a part of a seat belt mechanism that protects riders in the event of a crash.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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

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