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Gaza cease-fire talks inch forward; Supreme Court hears social media censorship case

Israeli soldiers sit on an artillery unit near the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, in Netivot, Israel, Oct. 22.
Amir Levy
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Getty Images
Israeli soldiers sit on an artillery unit near the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, in Netivot, Israel, Oct. 22.

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Today's top stories

Negotiators are inching closer to a deal for another temporary cease-fire in Gaza to allow for an exchange of Israelis held hostage by Hamas and Palestinians detained in Israel. Representatives of Israel, the U.S., Egypt and Qatar agreed on the "basic contours" of a deal this past week in Paris, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan. The next stage of negotiations will be held in Qatar. Still, despite U.S. objections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will not call off a planned military offensive in Gaza's southernmost city of Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians are seeking refuge.

  • The Israeli military presented to the Israeli war cabinet last night plans for how it will evacuate civilians from Rafah, NPR's Daniel Estrin reports on Up First. Estrin says cease-fire negotiations include discussions for a new technocratic Palestinian government that would manage Gaza and the West Bank when the war is over. The Palestinian Authority government submitted its resignation today. Estrin describes a "sense of urgency" to reach a cease-fire before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins in two weeks. 


The Supreme Court will hear arguments today that center on Florida and Texas laws preventing social media companies from banning users based on political viewpoints or rapidly changing their policies. Legal experts say it's one of the most important First Amendment cases in a generation. The laws were passed months after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, after several social media websites banned former President Donald Trump over fears that his messages could promote more unrest.

  • Two trade associations sued over the laws, saying that they would interfere with steps sites take to remove racist, sexist posts, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. Groups across the political spectrum have filed court filings with the Supreme Court in support of social media sites. Former Justice Department Lawyer Rupa Bhattacharyya says content moderation plays a "really important role in keeping some of the worst of the hate and the violence off of the internet," and if the Supreme Court upholds these laws, content moderation as we know it is dead. 


Congress is facing a partial government shutdown yet again. Lawmakers are supposed to pass laws to fund the government every year by the end of September. But they've been stuck renewing a 2022 spending plan. Federal funding for several departments, including the Transportation, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs, runs out at the end of the week. President Joe Biden is expected to host the top four Congressional lawmakers tomorrow to negotiate ahead of Friday's deadline.

  • "Congress is broken," NPR's Eric McDaniel reports. The delays prevent every part of the government from making long-term plans. Because there's a faction of the Republican party that sees bipartisan legislating as a failure, McDaniel says the only path forward is for House Speaker Mike Johnson to "put the most conservative plan" forward that can still get Democratic votes, even if it means risking his job. 

From our hosts

Kara Swisher attends Vox Media's 2022 Code Conference on Sept. 6, 2022, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Randy Shropshire / Getty Images for Vox Media
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Getty Images for Vox Media
Kara Swisher attends Vox Media's 2022 Code Conference on Sept. 6, 2022, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

This essay was written by Steve Inskeep, Morning Edition and Up First host.

Kara Swisher came by our studios last week and had a lot to say. She's a conversationalist: she talks of one tech leader she has interviewed and is reminded of another. The result is a complex weave of how she processes the world.

Swisher's memoir Burn Book: A Tech Love Story recounts more than three decades covering the tech industry as a beat reporter, analyst, columnist, podcaster and TV personality. She writes that she went from asking tech leaders what they were thinking to telling them what she thought of their business. Today, she's disillusioned with many of them.

I wanted to know what she has learned as a journalist and entrepreneur—and also if she ever felt her sources were co-opting her.

Our conversation moved rapidly from topic to topic and mogul to mogul: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Marc Andreessen, Steve Jobs.

A portion of our long conversation was broadcast on Morning Edition. But a few minutes didn't capture the full flavor. So we have also published a longer version. Think of it as the full Kara: she details her views on the tech world and her disappointments with it.

Picture show

Sunita Kumari Chaudhary weaves a dinner table mat with ropes once used by climbers in the Himalayas. She and her fellow craftswomen are part of a small start-up project in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, to repurpose Everest trash.
/ Tanka Dhakal for NPR
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Tanka Dhakal for NPR
Sunita Kumari Chaudhary weaves a dinner table mat with ropes once used by climbers in the Himalayas. She and her fellow craftswomen are part of a small start-up project in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, to repurpose Everest trash.

The Himalayan mountains are plagued by waste left by mountaineering activities over the years. Nepal's Department of Tourism estimates that there are nearly 140,000 tons of waste on Mt. Everest alone. The government began an initiative in 2019 to clean up the mountains. Some of the material collected from the mountains has found its way to indigenous craftswomen of the Tharu community, who are using their traditional skills to transform the garbage into something entirely new.

See photos of how Sunita Kumari Chaudhary and her fellow crafters change trash into art and read about their fledgling effort to repurpose mountain waste into economic opportunity for their community.

3 things to know before you go

A side-by-side comparison between Sandra Young (left) and an image rendered in 2021 using DNA technology (right.)
/ Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police
A side-by-side comparison between Sandra Young (left) and an image rendered in 2021 using DNA technology (right.)

  1. About 54 years ago, a boy scout in Sauvie Island, Oregon, found the remains of the teenage girl. State authorities have finally identified the young woman after a distant relative uploaded their DNA to a genealogy website. 
  2. A team of scientists in China's Guizhou Province has discovered a complete fossil of an aquatic reptile that resembles a "Chinese dragon" because of its snake-like appearance and elongated neck.
  3. A previously unknown large-scale artwork by Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne has been uncovered in his childhood home, hidden underneath layers of wallpaper, plaster and paint. 

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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

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