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NPR's Up First is the news you need to start your day. The biggest stories and ideas — from politics to pop culture — in 10 minutes. Hosted by Rachel Martin, David Greene and Steve Inskeep, with reporting and analysis from NPR News. Available weekdays by 6 a.m. ET. Subscribe and listen, then support…

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    • Nov 29, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 15m AVG DURATION
    • 378 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Up First

    Monday, November 29, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 11:59

    Two cases of the newly identified omicron variant have been identified in Ontario, Canada, the U.S. is putting travel restrictions in place starting Monday. The trial of of Jeffery Epstein's alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, is set to begin in a Manhattan federal court. And, legendary Black designer Virgil Abloh died on Sunday in Chicago after a two-year battle with a rare heart cancer.

    Investigations: CTE And Desperate Patients' "Last Hope"

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2021 24:48

    CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — is a degenerative brain disease found in many former professional football and hockey players, for whom blows to the head have long been part of the job.But those injuries also occur outside the world of pro sports. And as awareness of CTE has grown, so has a thriving market of dubious remedies marketed to everyday people who believe they are suffering from CTE — a disease that can't even be diagnosed until after death, through an autopsy of the brain. Sacha Pfeiffer of NPR's Investigative Team reports on some of those desperate patients and their search for a cure.

    Saturday, November 27, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 27, 2021 14:09

    A new coronavirus variant out of South Africa called Omicron has been designated by the World Health Organization as a "variant of concern." In response, Friday saw a massive selloff on Wall Street — a phenomenon that extended to Europe and Asia as well. And a titan of American musical theater, Stephen Sondheim, has died at age 91.

    Friday, November 26, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 12:45

    The World Health Organization evaluates a new COVID-19 variant, while the delta strain surges in other countries. Diplomats trying to revive a nuclear deal with Iran face new demands and a harder line from Tehran. Plus, holiday shopping could set records, despite inflation, shipping crises, and retail hiring struggles.

    Thursday, November 25, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2021 13:08

    Three men found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia now face federal hate crime charges and possible life prison terms. An estimated 160,000 active military service members and their families have trouble putting food on the table. And mass protests in Sudan demand a return to full government control by civilians.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 13:21

    A jury in Charlottesville, Virginia finds white nationalists and neo-Nazis liable for millions in damages from the 2017 Unite the Right rally. Jurors in Ohio determine that three of the country's biggest pharmacy chains helped fuel the opioid crisis. And what can Thanksgiving holiday travelers do to cope with what could be the biggest airport crowds in two years?

    Tuesday, November 23, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 12:43

    Waukesha, Wisconsin mourns five who died when an SUV struck the city's Christmas parade. Lawmakers react to President Biden tapping Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for a second term. And Austria becomes the first European country to impose a new national lockdown to fight surging COVID infections.

    Monday, November 22, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 13:08

    At least five are dead and more than 40 are injured after an SUV sped through a holiday parade and struck dozens of people, including children, in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Closing arguments are set for today in the Georgia trial of three white men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery. And experts advise how to gather and travel safely for the holidays, even as COVID cases climb.

    Planet Money: Of Boats And Boxes

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2021 23:47

    More than a third of the goods that the United States imports comes through the Ports of LA and Long Beach. So what happens when shipping backlogs mean that ships have to idle just outside those ports? And what can be done to solve the problem? Planet Money takes a trip to three ports around the U.S. to investigate what broke the global supply chain and how the ports are working to clear the bottlenecks.

    Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict, Booster Expansion, House Passes Spending Bill

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 20, 2021 13:21

    Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two people and wounded a third last year amid violent protests over police conduct, has been acquitted of all charges. COVID-19 vaccine boosters are now available to all adults. And after months of arduous negotiation, House Democrats finally approved President Biden's social and climate spending bill, which now goes to the Senate.

    Friday, November 19, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 12:58


    House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy's marathon speech-making delays a vote on President Biden's spending agenda. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Nigeria to address climate, COVID, cultural influence, and turmoil. And COVID boosters for all American adults could get a green light from federal regulators today.


    Thursday, November 18, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 12:28


    Two men convicted of killing Malcolm X are expected to be exonerated today. One of three men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery tells a Georgia jury it was self defense. And President Biden today talks about COVID, methane, and migration with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.


    Wednesday, November 17, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2021 13:38

    Every adult in the U.S. could be eligible for a COVID vaccine booster within days. Democrats open a cross-country blitz to promote President Biden's vision for spending on everything from childcare to climate. And U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken opens a visit to Africa against a tumultuous backdrop of war in Ethiopia and the aftermath of a coup in Sudan.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 12:38

    The White House says President Biden raised human rights concerns while setting "guardrails" during a three-hour virtual summit with China's Xi Jinping. Ex-White House adviser Steve Bannon remains defiant in the face of federal contempt charges for ignoring a subpoena from Jan. 6 investigators. And Cuba's government cracks down on dissidents who tried to organize widespread demonstrations.

    Monday, November 15, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 13:03

    The White House says today's virtual summit between President Biden and China's Xi Jinping will balance competitive and common interests. COP26 is over, but not all climate delegates are happy with the outcome. And U.S. Catholic bishops are set to debate whether Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights should be denied communion.

    Consider This: 'We Are Not Drowning. We Are Fighting'

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2021 13:41

    Thousands of youth activists from all over the world gathered in Scotland this week for the COP26 UN climate summit. They say climate change is already transforming their countries — and that their generation has the most to lose if greater action isn't taken. In this episode of Consider This, Host Ari Shapiro speaks to some of those activists in Glasgow.

    Saturday, November 13, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2021 13:09

    Steve Bannon has been indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress after defying a subpoena from the House panel investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol. The controversial conservatorship that has controlled pop star Britney Spears' person and estate for 13 years has been terminated by a judge. And inflation last month hit its highest point in more than three decades.

    Friday, November 12, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 13:24

    COP26 summit diplomats confront sticking points to try to forge a global agreement on action to slow climate change. China's Communist Party declares President Xi Jinping a "helmsman" for its economic and strategic power. And an end to Britney Spears' 13-year-long conservatorship could be decided at a hearing in Los Angeles.

    Thursday, November 11, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2021 12:31

    President Biden applauds the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan as a tool to open shipping bottlenecks and ease economic headwinds. A federal judge overrules a ban on COVID-19 mask mandates in Texas schools. And Kyle Rittenhouse testifies that he feared for his life when he shot and killed two people last year during protests in Wisconsin.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 13:25

    A federal judge rejects former President Donald Trump's request to keep White House documents away from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. Poland deploys troops and accuses Belarus of orchestrating a crisis at E.U. border crossings. And as the conflict in Ethiopia escalates, the U.S. calls the reported detentions of at least 16 U.N. staff members "concerning."

    Tuesday, November 9, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 13:44

    The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol subpoenas documents and testimony from six more Trump allies. Climate change accelerates India's environmental challenges. And the Supreme Court hears cases on the death penalty and constraints on federal benefits for U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico.

    Monday, November 8, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 13:26

    Climate advocates and protesters are calling for stronger action at U.N. climate summit in Scotland. Officials investigate what caused a rush to the stage in which eight people died at a Houston music festival. And the U.S. threatens new sanctions after Daniel Ortega wins a fourth presidential term in Nicaragua.

    Invisibilia: Therapy, With Friends

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2021 38:50


    Would you ever consider going to therapy with a friend? Two best friends who call themselves brothers were drifting apart, so NPR's Invisibilia asked psychotherapist Esther Perel to help — and they listened in. This episode was recorded in collaboration with Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel.


    Saturday, November 6, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 6, 2021 14:09

    Houston authorities describe a stampede at the Astroworld music festival. Some of President Biden's spending priorities pass while others continue to face gridlock on Capitol Hill. Jurors were shown video of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery as three men stand trial.

    Friday, November 5, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 13:05

    The Biden administrations orders COVID-19 vaccines for workers at larger U.S. companies. Crowds of climate activists are expected to demand a faster response around the U.N. conference in Scotland. And how many active law enforcement and military members claim membership in a far-right anti-government militia?

    Thursday, November 4, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 13:14

    An election loss in Virginia and a squeaker of a win in New Jersey spurs House Democrats to possible votes on Biden spending plans. The Fed rolls back only some of its pandemic-related economic support. And Russia sets new COVID death records, as Europe reels from a new surge in infections.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 13:26

    Do Virginia's gubernatorial election results indicate how the political winds are blowing nationwide? The CDC OKs COVID vaccines for kids aged 5 to 11. And the Supreme Court hears a major Second Amendment case that could affect gun control laws in multiple states.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 12:34

    The U.N. climate summit is the backdrop for new U.S. methane rules and a commitment from one of the world's biggest greenhouse gas sources. Virginia's neck-and-neck gubernatorial election is a possible predictor for 2022 mid-term contests. And abortion providers and anti-abortion activists react to Supreme Court signals on Texas' new abortion ban.

    Monday, November 1, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 13:15

    World leaders gather in Scotland to try to reshape the battle against climate change and avert more extreme hurricanes, floods and droughts. The Supreme Court takes up challenges to a Texas law that bans most abortions and lets private citizens enforce it. Jury selection begins in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two men during protests after the police shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin.

    The Indicator: Are You Afraid Of Inflation?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2021 10:18

    What's a real-life monster that's scarier than vampires, werewolves and ghosts? Inflation, of course! Today's episode is a very special Halloween episode from The Indicator from Planet Money, NPR's daily economics podcast. It's a tale about inflation—a monster that hides in plain sight and has been recently haunting our economy.

    Saturday, October 30, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2021 16:00

    President Biden is in Rome with leaders of the world's biggest economies to discuss crises including the pandemic and climate change. Kids age 5-11 are one step closer to being eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Russia has started a nine-day national lockdown amid a surge in coronavirus infections.

    Friday, October 29, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 12:42

    Sticking points remain after President Biden tries to unite progressive and moderate Democrats on a new $1.75 trillion social spending compromise. Facebook changes its corporate name to Meta. And former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faces a criminal sexual misconduct complaint.

    Thursday, October 28, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 12:34

    President Biden will make a delayed departure for Europe as Democratic lawmakers spar over his spending agenda. Economic forecasters predict lackluster U.S. quarterly growth numbers. And a federal parole commission creates unique challenges for prisoners seeking release from "hard time" in the nation's capital.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 13:50

    FDA advisors recommend Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses for kids 5 to 11. Democrats say a tax on billionaires probably will be part of a plan to pay for the Biden social spending plan. And some defendants charged in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol plan to act as their own attorney in court.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 13:12

    A former top diplomat on Afghanistan addresses what went wrong in the U.S. withdrawal. Lawmakers are set to question YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok about social media's impact on kids. And the U.S. State Department suspends millions in direct aid to Sudan after a military coup.

    Monday, October 25, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 13:55

    A U.S. envoy says Washington is "deeply alarmed" by reports of a military takeover in Sudan. FDA advisors will review data on kid-size Pfizer vaccine doses for children aged 5 to 11. And jury selection begins for a civil trial targeting accused organizers of the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    Book Of The Day: How Colin Powell Wanted The World To Remember Him

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2021 10:22


    When Colin Powell died on October 18 at the age of 84 from COVID-19 complications, he left behind a long, decorated career in Washington and the U.S. Army. He spent much of his life in the military, eventually rising to the rank of four-star general, and went on to become the first Black Secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs. But, as he discussed in a 2012 interview with NPR's Robert Siegel about his memoir It Worked For Me, Powell's reputation was tarnished when he used faulty evidence to push for the Iraq War: "I'll never leave it behind." This episode comes from NPR's new podcast, Book of the Day.


    Saturday, October 23, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 23, 2021 16:19

    Internal documents show Facebook employees raised alarms about "Stop the Steal" misinformation before January 6. President Biden is negotiating with fellow Democrats about the size of his social spending bill. More adults will now be able to get COVID-19 booster shots; are kids' shots next?

    Friday, October 22, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 14:28

    The CDC closes the loop on booster recommendations for three vaccines. Hospitals confront a pandemic-driven nursing shortage. And NPR speaks with Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough about government failures to meet veterans' healthcare needs.

    Thursday, October 21, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 13:03

    Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine boosters clear another regulatory hurdle. Senate Democrats lose a major push for voting rights protections. And a meeting in Moscow signals Russia's embrace of closer contact with Afghanistan's Taliban rule.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 13:26

    Congressional investigators endorse a criminal contempt charge against a key Trump ally, as Democrats weigh cuts in the Biden spending agenda. The accused gunman in a Florida high school shooting appears in court, while families of victims near a settlement. And will parental outrage at school board meetings translate to votes in fall elections?

    Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 13:32

    Jury selection begins in the Georgia trial of three white men charged with murdering a 25-year-old Black man, Ahmaud Arbery. Former President Donald Trump sues the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. And the Biden administration promotes new support for kids' mental health as new NPR poll data reveals continued pandemic harm.

    Monday, October 18, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 13:50

    U.S. officials join an investigation into the kidnapping of 17 missionaries and family members in Haiti. China's economic growth slows as the huge real estate firm Evergrande races toward possible debt default. And the FDA is poised to approve more COVID vaccine booster shots.

    It's Been A Minute: The Legacy Of 'Soul Train'

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2021 35:05

    When Soul Train was first nationally syndicated in October of 1971, there was nothing else like it on TV. It became an iconic Black music and dance show — a party every weekend that anyone could join from their living room. In the first episode of a three-part It's Been A Minute series examining the concept of crossover in pop music across three decades, Sam Sanders breaks down the lasting influence of Soul Train. With Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Little Devil in America, as well as scholars, fans and even a few featured dancers, they ask: why has there never been another show like Soul Train since it went off the air?

    Saturday, October 16, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 16, 2021 14:56

    A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster shots for those who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The killing of a British lawmaker is called an act of terrorism, and is prompting a review of security protocols. Ethiopia's civil war is entering a new phase, with civilians not only in the path of violence but also facing famine.

    Friday, October 15, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 12:33

    FDA advisors are unanimous in endorsing more COVID-19 vaccine boosters. A former high-profile Trump advisor is first to face criminal contempt proceedings in Congress for defying Jan. 6 attack investigators. And three white men go to trial next week in Georgia in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was shot while jogging.

    Thursday, October 14, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 13:12

    A study suggests Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients could benefit from another booster brand. Also, investigators looking into the Jan. 6 riot await answers from four former Trump administration officials. And the White House calls on ports and private industry to help unstop shipping bottlenecks and rescue the holiday shopping season.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 12:54

    Oil prices and a tangled supply chain are top inflation predictors for today's consumer price snapshot. Thirty countries join a virtual White House cybersecurity summit. And the FDA for the first time is authorizing an e-cigarette product.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 12:57

    A new poll confirms Americans are behind and on edge because of the pandemic. Raiders Coach Jon Gruden resigns after NFL officials found racist, misogynistic and homophobic language in his emails. And a U.S. Navy nuclear engineer and his wife head for federal court to answer espionage charges.

    Monday, October 11, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 12:51

    FDA advisors meet to consider Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine boosters. Poor turnout mars Iraq's parliamentary elections. And Taiwan tells China it will not bow to pressure to reunify.

    Book Of The Day: Two Views On The Realities Of Abortion Politics

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 10, 2021 16:31

    In this episode of NPR's Book of the Day, authors Joshua Prager and Leni Zumas each explore the real world implications of abortion politics, through fiction and non-fiction. First, in a conversation with Michel Martin, Prager talks through his book The Family Roe: An American Story, centered on the woman who was the baby at the center of the landmark Roe v. Wade trial. Then Leni Zumas and Scott Simon discuss Zumas' novel Red Clocks, set in a time where fetal personhood legislation has outlawed not only abortion, but also in-vitro fertilization.

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