Up First Briefing: Russia grain deal; Alabama voting map; 2024 fundraising numbers
Today's top stories
The only bridge linking Russia to Crimea has been damaged — and two people killed — in an apparent explosion that Russian officials are blaming on Ukraine. NPR's Charles Maynes reports from Moscow that the bridge is a key supply line for Russian forces operating in southern Ukraine as well as a "potent symbol of Moscow's hold over Crimea," which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.
Alabama's Republican-led legislature is holding a special session to approve a new map of congressional voting districts, after the U.S. Supreme Court said the current map, approved after the 2020 census, weakens the power of its Black voters. It only has one majority Black district (out of seven), in a state where more than one in four people are Black.
The latest campaign fundraising numbers came out this weekend, offering a fresh snapshot of the state of the 2024 presidential race. President Biden raised $72 million from April through June — almost as much as all the Republican candidates combined, but still short of what former Presidents Obama and Trump had raised by this point in their reelection bids, NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith tells Up First.
If you have a tween in your life, chances are you've gotten a question (or two, or more) about their first smartphone. Namely: When will they get it, and what will you do to keep them safe? Emily Cherkin, a screen-time consultant who spent more than a decade as a middle school teacher, is one of many experts who advise parents to hold off on devices (tablets included!) and social media for as long as possible. Read or listen here to find out why — and what alternatives she recommends instead.
Humans — and our mines, dams, cities and agriculture — have made such a mark on the planet that some scientists argue we're officially in a new geologic time period: the Anthropocene era, or the age of the humans. Three Canadian artists fascinated by the debate captured 50 photos in 22 countries showing humans' impact on the Earth, from a sprawling garbage dump in Kenya to a Texas petrochemical plant. See some of them here.
3 things to know before you go
This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.
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