© 2024 Innovation Trail

Harris calls for Gaza cease-fire; France to constitutionally enshrine abortion rights

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on the 59th commemoration of "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Ala., on Sunday.
Elijah Nouvelage
/
Getty Images
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on the 59th commemoration of "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Ala., 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

Vice President Kamala Harris has called for an immediate, temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas to reunite hostages taken by Hamas with their families and provide more aid for Palestinians in Gaza. Harris called the situation in Gaza a "humanitarian catastrophe" while speaking at the annual commemoration of "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Ala., a symbolic site in the U.S. fight for civil rights.

  • "Publicly, it's a more urgent plea from the U.S.," NPR's Daniel Estrin tells Up First. But he says the U.S. has all along wanted to start with a six-week cease-fire. Israel and Hamas have agreed to a basic framework of a deal. But Israel wants first to know how many hostages are still alive and how many prisoners Hamas will accept in exchange. Hamas, meanwhile, wants Palestinians to return to North Gaza and trailer homes brought in since many dwellings have been destroyed. 
  • Harris is expected to meet with Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz today at the White House. The trip could worsen Gantz's relations with his political rival, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Polls show Gantz would win today if there were elections, Estrin reports. He says the meeting is an indication the U.S. is "looking at a post-war future which may not include Netanyahu."
  • The U.S. military has begun airdropping food over the Gaza Strip. Estrin says that while the U.S. wants to show that it's doing something, Palestinians say the drops are humiliating and not a solution. 


Nikki Haley has won D.C.'s Republican primary, marking the first victory of her 2024 campaign. She trails far behind former President Donald Trump, who has won all other nominating contests so far by double digits. Her deficit could balloon if she can't win a majority of the 15 states tomorrow on Super Tuesday. More than a third of delegates are up for grabs on the largest primary day of the election season. Here's what to expect.

France is expected to hold a historic joint session of parliament today to enshrine abortion rights in its constitution. If the measure passes, France would become the first country in the world to do so.

  • NPR's Eleanor Beardsley says the vote is "just a formality" because both houses have already overwhelmingly approved the measure, including the more conservative Senate. She tells Up First that the French public was shocked when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. Abortion is not under threat in France. None of the major political parties contest the right, 90% of the French people support it, and 86% say the constitution should be the ultimate guarantor of that right. Still, some lawmakers oppose what they say is "messing with the constitution." Marine le Pen, leader of the far-right populist National Rally party, called the vote a "political stunt" by Macron but ultimately approved sending the measure to the joint session. 

Picture show

Judeh Hirbawi packages keffiyehs at the Hirbawi keffiyeh factory, which has seen an increase in sales since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, in Hebron, West Bank, on Feb. 11, 2024. Hirbawi is one of three brothers who own and run the factory that their father started.
Tamir Kalifa / Tamir Kalifa for NPR
/
Tamir Kalifa for NPR
Judeh Hirbawi packages keffiyehs at the Hirbawi keffiyeh factory, which has seen an increase in sales since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, in Hebron, West Bank, on Feb. 11, 2024. Hirbawi is one of three brothers who own and run the factory that their father started.

In the Hirbawi factory, a small building just off a busy street in the West Bank city of Hebron, 15 old-school mechanical looms whir day in and day out. They're making keffiyehs — traditional scarves closely associated with Palestinian history. The Hirbawi family says theirs is the only factory in the West Bank that makes the scarves. Most others are mass-produced in China. Since the war in Gaza began in October, the factory's sales have soared as people worldwide seek ways to show support for Palestinians.

See photos of the Hirbawi family hard at work at their factory. Then, learn about the history of the keffiyeh and how it became a symbol for Palestinians.

Today's listen

/ LA Johnson/NPR
/
LA Johnson/NPR

What is it like to live with schizophrenia? How does challenging your faith change your family dynamics? How is the college experience different as a middle-aged woman? NPR's College Podcast challenge received more than 500 entries this year. Before the winner is announced later this month, listen to the 10 finalists representing the best of college podcasting this year.

3 things to know before you go

Snow falls downtown, north of Lake Tahoe, during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on Saturday in Truckee, California.
Mario Tama / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
Snow falls downtown, north of Lake Tahoe, during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on Saturday in Truckee, California.

  1. Another storm system could bring an additional one to two feet of snow to California's Sierra Nevada region this week, according to the National Weather Service. Several Lake Tahoe ski resorts closed, and Yosemite National Park visitors were told to leave after California's most powerful storm of the season bore down on the region.
  2. It was a big weekend for basketball records. Iowa's Caitlin Clark became the NCAA's all-time scoring leader on Sunday, surpassing Pete Maravich's career record set in 1970. Meanwhile, Lebron James became the first NBA player to reach 40,000 career regular-season points on Saturday.
  3. Trader Joe's has recalled more than 60,000 pounds of its steamed chicken soup dumplings due to some packages possibly containing plastic from a permanent marker, according to the USDA. 

This newsletter was edited by Olivia Hampton.

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

Tags
Suzanne Nuyen