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Mexico's first female president; a Georgia cancer patient's Medicaid struggle

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

Claudia Sheinbaum, a former mayor of Mexico City, was overwhelmingly elected the country's first female president yesterday. It's a historic milestone in a country with widespread misogyny and gender-based violence.

Ruling party presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum arrives to vote in general elections in Mexico City on Sunday.
Eduardo Verdugo / AP
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AP
Claudia Sheinbaum addresses supporters after the National Electoral Institute announced she held an irreversible lead in the election in Mexico City, early Monday, June 3.

  • 🎧 On Up First, NPR's Eyder Peralta describes women crying, dancing and hugging the Mexican flag while carrying Sheinbaum dolls as they celebrated the achievement: "It is being celebrated as a woman breaking the highest of glass ceilings." He spoke with 69-year-old Rosa Maria Garcia, who said she felt that a female president was a dream because Mexico's power structures had been in place too long, and Mexicans would never break free of them. She said knowing a fellow woman would be in charge of the Mexican people made her feel "complete."
  • ➡️ Elena Poniatowska, one of Mexico's most distinguished writers and a trailblazing feminist, tells Morning Edition that it is not a dream but rather a battle won. Calling them a “women’s triumph," she says these elections are personally gratifying: “It’s something that makes me happy — that makes me cry sometimes.”


Jury selection begins today in a federal court in Delaware for Hunter Biden's criminal trial on gun charges. Biden faces two charges of making false statements when purchasing a gun and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a drug user or addict. It's the first of two trials the president’s son faces this year as his father runs for reelection.

  • 🎧 The younger Biden has been very open about his addiction to cocaine and alcohol, NPR's Ryan Lucas says. This trial puts that struggle and the toll it took on the Biden family in the national spotlight. Although it comes at a tricky time for the president, Lucas says the potential political fallout of the trial is unclear. He points to how former President Donald Trump still leads many polls despite his legal troubles.


President Biden surprised Israeli leaders and set off a political firestorm inside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet Friday when he publicly endorsed a cease-fire proposal that Israel had offered privately. The plan would unfold in three phases. A six-week phase calls for a full and complete cease-fire and the release of a number of hostages and Palestinian prisoners. A final release of all hostages and a permanent end to hostilities would follow. The final phase would focus on reconstruction efforts in Gaza.

  • 🎧 Although Biden has packaged this deal as a proposal Israel backs, NPR's Daniel Estrin tells Up First that there's major disagreement in Israel. Netanyahu has endorsed it privately, but the far-right flank of his government is threatening to resign because the proposal leaves Hamas intact. "Netanyahu has an important choice to make," Estrin says. "Ending the war could cost him his own political survival."

Today's listen

People hold posters and candles outside a Mumbai church holding a memorial mass for the Indian rights activist and Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy on July 6, 2021. Swamy was detained for nine months without trial under Indian anti-terrorism laws, and died on July 5, 2021 ahead of a bail hearing, officials said.
Indranil Mukherjee / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
People hold posters and candles outside a Mumbai church holding a memorial mass for the Indian rights activist and Jesuit priest Stan Swamy on July 6, 2021. Swamy was detained for nine months without trial under Indian anti-terrorism laws, and died on July 5, 2021 ahead of a bail hearing, officials said.

Tomorrow, Narendra Modi is expected to become Prime Minister of India for a third consecutive term. But a 2018 case that landed professors, lawyers and trade unionists in jail over an alleged plot to assassinate Modi shows the limits of democracy under his rule. The case involves the death of an 83-year-old priest, a computer hacking trail that leads back to local police and the Indian government’s use of the controversial Pegasus spyware.

🎧 Listen to the podcast episode or read the story here.

We, the voters

Amy Wilson, a conductor and artistic director of the Atlanta Philharmonic suffered from brain cancer but isn't able to get medicaid which makes it diffucult to pay her hospital bills.
Claire Harbage / NPR
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NPR
Amy Wilson, a conductor and artistic director of the Atlanta Philharmonic, suffered from brain cancer but isn't able to get Medicaid, which makes it difficult to pay her hospital bills.

As part of the We, The Voters series, NPR is bringing you stories about how politics impacts the nation's health care system.

Atlanta Philharmonic artistic director Amy Wilson wanted to be a conductor since middle school. Four years ago, doctors found a cancerous tumor in her brain, threatening her life and dream. She had to choose between forgoing chemotherapy and surgery or getting the life-saving treatment and figuring out how to pay for it later. She chose surgery. Her recovery has been complicated by the fact that she was denied Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health coverage to low-income people. Wilson was told she makes $30 more than Georgia's limit.

🎧 Listen to why Georgia has rebuffed Medicaid expansion and why doctors say it could help more patients. You can also read Wilson's story here.

3 things to know before you go

Simone Biles performs floor exercises during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/AP / AP
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AP
Simone Biles performs floor exercises during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Sunday, June 2, in Fort Worth, Texas.

  1. Simone Biles won her ninth U.S. all-around championship yesterday, bringing her total number of national titles to 32.
  2. In 2000, Jesuit priest James Martin received the devastating news that his father had cancer. Sister Janice Farnham, his professor of church theology, traveled more than 10 hours on a round trip to visit Martin's father in the hospital. Two decades later, Martin still hasn't forgotten how his unsung hero demonstrated the Jesuit "ministry of presence."
  3. Former President Donald Trump is now on TikTok after previously seeking to ban the app while he was in office. In his first video, he called it an "honor" to join the app.

This newsletter was edited by Olivia Hampton.
Anandita Bhalerao contributed.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Corrected: June 3, 2024 at 7:33 AM CDT
A previous version of this newsletter incorrectly referred to the death of a 83-year-old priest. Rev. Stan Swamy was 84 when he died. Although forensics investigators say a computer hacking trail leads back to Indian police, authorities deny involvement. The Indian government has neither confirmed nor denied its use of Pegasus spyware.
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