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Up First briefing: Trump disqualified from Colorado primary ballot; Congo elections

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a commit to caucus campaign event at the Whiskey River bar on Dec. 2 in Ankeny, Iowa.
Scott Olson
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Former President Donald Trump speaks at a commit to caucus campaign event at the Whiskey River bar on Dec. 2 in Ankeny, Iowa.

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

Colorado's Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling yesterday disqualifying former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state's primary ballot next year. The decision stems from Trump's role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. capitol by his supporters. It's based on section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which disbars anyone who has engaged in "insurrection or rebellion" against the government from holding office. Trump's campaign says it will appeal the decision.

  • Election officials and legal experts believe the case will head to the Supreme Court, reports Colorado Public Radio's Bente Birkeland for Up First. Birkeland adds we can "expect to hear a lot more" about the issue, as it "fits into Trump's narrative that his political enemies are out to get him." 


As Israel's ground and air assaults on Gaza continue, the country is facing intense international pressure to limit civilian casualties. Nearly 20,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza's health ministry. The death toll includes nearly 100 journalists as well as U.N. and medical workers.

  • Several homes in the southern city of Rafah were struck in the early morning hours, killing at least 30 people, including a three-year-old and a journalist, NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Tel Aviv. NPR producer Anas Baba spoke to a survivor who described waking up not knowing who to save. U.S.-backed meetings between Israeli and Qatari officials in Europe to establish another cease-fire deal to release hostages are ongoing, according to U.S. officials.


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

Millions of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo head to the polls today to elect their next president. But, many may not be able to get to a voting station to cast their ballots. The nation faces violence from more than 100 armed groups in the east vying for deposits of oil, gold and cobalt — a mineral used in smartphones.

  • President Felix Tshisekedi is seen as the favorite, though his popularity has waned, NPR's Emmanuel Akinwotu reports. Many of the country's most brutal challenges have become more entrenched. Insecurity has worsened in the east, where more than 6 million people are displaced, "It really doesn't get the focus it deserves," Akinwotu says.

Today's listen

Oprah Winfrey says being able to use medication to manage her weight has been a relief.
Steve Jennings / Getty Images
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Oprah Winfrey says being able to use medication to manage her weight has been a relief.

Earlier this week, Oprah Winfrey told People magazine that she was "done with the shaming" as she admitted to using a weight loss drug to lose and maintain her weight. She's an investor in WeightWatchers, the long-running weight loss program. It's known for advocating willpower as the only way to lose weight, but it's now embracing drugs known as GLP-1s.

Listen to the company's CEO, Sima Sistani, talk about people who may feel betrayed by their new approach and what Oprah's revelation signals about the weight loss drugs on All Things Considered.

Deep dive

/ Photo illustration by LA Johnson/Getty Images/NPR
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Photo illustration by LA Johnson/Getty Images/NPR

For decades, public service announcements and school presentations have told high school students to "just say no" to drugs. But research shows this approach alone doesn't work. Some experts say harm reduction education, which focuses on keeping people safe if they choose to use drugs, could save lives.

  • The most important piece of harm reduction education is not to use drugs, professor Bonnie Halpern-Felsher says. Halpern-Felsher directs Stanford University's REACH Lab, which focuses on understanding, preventing and reducing teen and young adult substance use, among other risky behaviors.
  • In situations where teens are using drugs, the curriculum includes safety measures like considering your mindset and setting and checking the substance for things like fentanyl.
  • Halpern-Felsher says a cultural shift that includes involvement from communities and families alongside schools is needed to solve the fentanyl crisis and meet teens where they are.

3 things to know before you go

Former U.S. Rep. George Santos of New York (left) sits down with comedian Ziwe Fumudoh (right) for a highly-anticipated interview about his views on Congress, personal life and future plans. It published on YouTube on Monday.
/ Ziwe/Screenshot by NPR
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Ziwe/Screenshot by NPR
Former U.S. Rep. George Santos of New York (left) sits down with comedian Ziwe Fumudoh (right) for a highly-anticipated interview about his views on Congress, personal life and future plans. It published on YouTube on Monday.

  1. Ziwe Fumudoh, a comedian famous for her interviews grilling controversial celebrities, sat down with former Republican Rep. George Santos following his ousting from Congress. Here's what we learned from their conversation, 
  2. A blue and black star-spangled dress worn by Princess Diana broke an auction record for the most amount of money paid for an article of her clothing. It brought in nearly $1.15 million — 11 times higher than estimated. 
  3. Tater, an orange tabby cat, is a deep space superstar. NASA used a video of the playful feline for its first-ever HD video transmitted by laser from deep space.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi. Anandita Bhalerao contributed.

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

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