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Up First briefing: 4th GOP debate; safety experts want tech to reduce speeding

The third Republican primary debate was held November 8 in Miami.
Joe Raedle
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Getty Images
The third Republican primary debate was held November 8 in Miami.

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

Four Republican presidential hopefuls take the stage for another debate tonight — the smallest group so far. Former president Donald Trump, who is still the frontrunner, is not attending. The smaller lineup could give participants a chance to stand out. Here's how to watch the debate tonight and what's at stake for the candidates.

  • NPR's Franco Ordoñez says he'll be watching Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis. On Up First, Ordoñez reports Haley has caught up to DeSantis' second-place position in the polls and picked up big donors.
  • On the campaign trail, Haley navigates her gender and family immigration story with a Republican electorate that isn't "as cordial to that kind of messaging as Democrats," says Mona Charen, policy editor at conservative news site The Bulwark.


Support for funding to assist Ukraine is wavering as the war with Russia continues. U.S. aid is set to run out at the end of the year, and European countries are divided.

  • It looks unlikely that Congress will pass more funding, NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports from Kyiv. Republicans say they won't approve additional aid for Ukraine unless it's paired with border security measures at the U.S.-Mexico border. EU leaders will meet next week to discuss Ukraine's funding and membership in the EU. Kakissis adds that the ground military operations for Ukraine's counteroffensive are largely stalled because Russian forces have fortified their positions.


Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville has largely ended his monthslong hold of hundreds of military promotions. He has been blocking votes on promotions because he objects to an unrelated Pentagon policy that pays for travel for service members seeking abortion care.

  • Sen. Tuberville's protest left more than just military members in limbo, Deirdre Walsh says. Officers were unable to move for new positions, which meant their spouses couldn't get new jobs, and their children couldn't start at new schools. The Pentagon policy remains unchanged, though Tuberville says he spotlighted the issue.


Arlington County police have identified the suspect at the center of a massive home explosion Monday night in Virginia. James Yoo is presumed dead, and police say they're investigating what caused the home to go up in flames. Here's what we know about the situation.

Deep dive

A photo released by the North Las Vegas Police Department shows the Dodge Challenger that was travelling more than 100 miles an hour before a fatal crash in January 2022.
/ AP
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AP
A photo released by the North Las Vegas Police Department shows the Dodge Challenger that was travelling more than 100 miles an hour before a fatal crash in January 2022.

More than 40,000 people died in vehicle crashes in the U.S. last year. Speeding was a major reason why. Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, says speeding has become a public health crisis. Safety advocates want automakers to adopt technology to reduce speeding.

  • Intelligent speed assistance technology can either notify drivers when they're speeding without forcing them to slow down or prevent the car from exceeding the speed limit.
  • The technology is widespread in Europe, where it's set to become mandatory in all passenger cars next year.
  • The U.S. has been slower to adopt this technology, adding it makes cars more expensive. The industry trade group, Alliance for Automotive Innovation, says it advocates for driver education, strong laws and infrastructure. 

Today's listen

Palestinian Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish with four of his five surviving children in Gaza in May 2009. Several months earlier, an Israeli tank shell killed three of his daughters in their home. Abuelaish has worked in Israeli and Palestinian hospitals and is an outspoken advocate for peace. He now lives in Canada, but on Nov. 7, an Israeli airstrike killed 22 members of his extended family in Gaza.
Khalil Hamra / AP
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AP
Palestinian Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish with four of his five surviving children in Gaza in May 2009. Several months earlier, an Israeli tank shell killed three of his daughters in their home. Abuelaish has worked in Israeli and Palestinian hospitals and is an outspoken advocate for peace. He now lives in Canada, but on Nov. 7, an Israeli airstrike killed 22 members of his extended family in Gaza.

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish became the first Palestinian appointed to work in an Israeli hospital in the 1990s, paving the way for others. He believes in equality and peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Abuelaish first spoke with NPR after he lost his wife to leukemia in 2008 and three of his daughters were killed by an Israeli tank shell in 2009. He later moved to Canada and documented his experience in his book I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity. Now, the ongoing war has brought new tragedies: An Israeli airstrike killed 22 members of his extended family last month.

Listen to how Abuelaish sees the war now and read his story here.

3 things to know before you go

Brenda Lee attends the CMA Awards at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 8. Her holiday hit "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" has reached No. 1 on the <em>Billboard</em> Hot 100, 65 years after its debut.
Jason Kempin / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Brenda Lee attends the CMA Awards at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 8. Her holiday hit "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" has reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, 65 years after its debut.

  1. Brenda Lee's Christmas classic "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" is No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time since it was released 65 years ago.
  2. Iron oxide pollutes many waterways in southeastern Ohio, turning the water into a toxic orange sludge. This community wants to clean it up by turning the sludge into paint. (via WYSO)
  3. The presidents of Harvard, UPenn and MIT testified before Congress yesterday about rising antisemitism on their campuses. The hearing highlighted the challenge colleges facein balancing student safety with free speech.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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

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