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Up First briefing: Truce in Gaza extended; Texas Supreme Court to hear abortion case

Released Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Abu Al-Humus, 17, hugs his mother after arriving home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, early Tuesday. Eleven Israelis were also released in the latest Israel-Hamas swap of captives.
Mahmoud Illean
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AP
Released Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Abu Al-Humus, 17, hugs his mother after arriving home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, early Tuesday. Eleven Israelis were also released in the latest Israel-Hamas swap of captives.

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 news

Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend their truce for two more days to allow for the release of more hostages taken from Israel in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Israel says it will release 30 more Palestinians for every 10 Israeli hostages released.

  • Israel has capped the cease-fire to a maximum of ten days, NPR's Daniel Estrin says on Up First. Hundreds of aid trucks have entered Gaza as part of the truce deal, but there still isn't enough aid to go around for basic needs. NPR producer Anas Baba describes long lines for supplies like oil. Estrin adds there's rising anger in Israel over media reports claiming that Israeli leaders neglected intelligence warnings about the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas.


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

A 48-year-old Vermont man accused of shooting three college students of Palestinian descent has pleaded not guilty to attempted second degree murder. Jason J. Eaton is being held in prison without bail and the case. He faces 20 years to life for each of the murder charges. Authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime. (via Vermont Public)

  • As of yesterday, all three men remain in the ICU, Vermont Public's Brittany Patterson reports. They have been friends for 12 years and went to school together in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
  • Elizabeth Price, the mother of ​​Brown University student Hisham Awartani, spoke to NPR about her son's injuries from her home in Ramallah "My husband didn't want Hisham to come back for Christmas," says Awartani's mother Elizabeth Price. "He thought our son would be safer [in the U.S.] than in Palestine." 


In fewer than two months, Republican voters will make their first choice of who will be the 2024 presidential nominee at the Iowa caucuses. The once-crowded field of nominees has shrunk — and the remaining candidates haven't caught up to front-runner Donald Trump.

  • Many factors make this year's caucus unlike others, Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters says. One candidate isn't usually this far ahead at this point in the cycle. Masters adds that Kim Reynolds, the state's governor, made the rare decision to endorse Ron DeSantis ahead of the caucuses because she says Trump can't win the general election. 


The Texas Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in its abortion ban case today. The Center for Reproductive Rights brought on the lawsuit on behalf of 20 patients and two doctors. The plaintiffs argue the medical exceptions in state's abortion law are too narrow to protect people with complicated pregnancies.

Life advice

Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61
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Getty Images/Westend61

After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals end, charities ask us to take a break from spending to donate money for Giving Tuesday. Kevin Scally of Charity Navigator has these tips to consider before making a donation:

  • Make a list of causes you care about and issues you want to help solve.
  • Think about what percentage of your household budget you can afford to donate.
  • Give to a mix of small, local organizations and large national or international ones.
  • Beware of scams and take a second look at anything that feels high pressure or unsolicited.

Picture show

Santa Claus in his sleigh and a team of reindeer fly through the columns of the Entrance Hall of the White House. The theme for this year's White House decorations is "Magic, Wonder and Joy."
Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Santa Claus in his sleigh and a team of reindeer fly through the columns of the Entrance Hall of the White House. The theme for this year's White House decorations is "Magic, Wonder and Joy."

First lady Jill Biden unveiled the White House's Christmas decorations yesterday. More than 300 volunteers worked for more than a week to put together 98 Christmas trees, almost 34,000 ornaments, 72 wreaths and roughly 142,000 holiday lights. Biden says the theme, "Magic, Wonder, and Joy," was inspired by how children experience the holiday. See photos of several whimsical rooms here. You can email your House representative to schedule a tour.

3 things to know before you go

A U.K.-based law firm said at least two contestants felt "unwell" after standing for hours in cold temperatures during a taping for <em>Squid Game: The Challenge. </em>The reality competition was inspired by the hit South Korean drama.
/ Pete Dadds/Netflix
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Pete Dadds/Netflix
A U.K.-based law firm said at least two contestants felt "unwell" after standing for hours in cold temperatures during a taping for Squid Game: The Challenge. The reality competition was inspired by the hit South Korean drama.

  1. Two contestants from the new Netflix game show, Squid Game: The Challenge, are threatening legal action against the streaming service. They say they suffered injuries while filming.
  2. Bowie, a rare half-red, half-blue lobster, has gone viral. A bicolored lobster is a 1 in 50 million occurrence, according to New England Aquarium biologist Jordan Baker.
  3. Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2023 is "authentic." It was one of the most looked up words in the dictionary's 500,000 entries.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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

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