Up First briefing: Hurricane Idalia; Proud Boys; Spanish Soccer controversy
Updated August 30, 2023 at 8:01 AM ET
Today's top stories
Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida's Big Bend region this morning. Forecasters are warning of its dangerous storm surge potential. Category 3 hurricanes can cause "devastating" damage, and Category 4 storms can cause "catastrophic" damage, according to the National Hurricane Center. Follow Idalia's path with NPR's live blog.
- NPR's Greg Allen says on Up First that many of the homes in the area are older and not built to withstand hurricanes. Florida's emergency management director has warned that search and rescue crews won't be able to respond to calls until after the storm passes. Forecasters expect Idalia will still be a hurricane when it gets to Georgia this afternoon.
Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio is set to be sentenced this morning for crimes related to the Jan. 6 insurrection. Though he wasn't at the Capitol that day, Tarrio was convicted of seditious conspiracy in May, and prosecutors say he directed the Proud Boys to take over the Capitol building. Ethan Nordean, a group member, will also be sentenced today.
- Prosecutors are seeking 33 years in prison for Tarrio and 27 years for Nordean. NPR's Jaclyn Diaz will be in court today. She says if the judge agrees to these sentences, it would be the "most severe punishment given to any Jan. 6 rioter."
Luis Rubiales, the head of Spain's soccer federation, is under investigation after he forcibly kissed player Jenni Hermoso after the team's World Cup win. Rubiales claims the kiss was mutual. Hermoso says she never consented to the kiss and said in a statement she is the victim of a sexist act. The entire Spanish team and 50 more players say they won't play for Spain until Rubiales is removed. The incident has gained global backlash and sparked local protests.
- The Spanish team has been in turmoil even before this year's World Cup, according to NPR's Laurel Wamsley. Last year, the top players refused to play for the women's coach, Jorge Vilda. Gender issues have been a big topic in Spain, which went through its own Me Too movement. The movement culminated in new laws protecting abortion rights and women's equality in the workplace.
Meta, Facebook's parent company, says it disrupted a wide-ranging online influence operation linked to Chinese law enforcement. Meta took down over 8,000 accounts, pages and groups posting political messages. The cross-platform activity used in the operation is called "Spamouflage" because users would intersperse the political posts with random videos and images.
A few miles north of Lahaina's scorched downtown, the Java Jazz cafe remains open. Through power and internet outages and staff shortages, it continues to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to locals desperate for a sense of normalcy. See photos of the community coming together and read about how the cafe has helped people reconnect.
From our hosts
This essay was written by Steve Inskeep. He joined NPR in 1996 and started hosting Morning Edition in 2004. He also hosts Up First.
I was on a playground supervising kids with other parents last weekend when the subject of artificial intelligence came up. Some companies use computers to screen applicants.
Writer Ifeoma Ajunwa says a version of this has been true for years. Decades ago, she interviewed people with criminal records who hated computers — because they had to check a box on job applications to confirm their past, and computers threw out the applications before the applicants ever got to make a case to a human being.
AI takes computerized management to a new level. A chatbot may interview you, and if you're hired, a "mechanical manager" may track your every move — such as the number of keystrokes on a keyboard or your messages to coworkers. A mechanical manager is a computer, possibly guided by AI, that helps employers and employees be productive.
It may become an instrument of control. Ajunwa describes a worker who discovered her boss was also tracking her movements during her weekends off work.
Ajunway says "mechanical managers" can also magnify bias and discrimination depending on the data they are fed. She calls for federal requirements to audit AI-assisted hiring programs. People worry about Matrix-style scenarios of computers taking over someday. But Ajunwa says AI is a powerful tool for humans right now. She wants us to ask if it's working for us or against us.
3 things to know before you go
- House Majority Leader Steve Scalise says he's been diagnosed with "a very treatable" blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. He's currently undergoing treatment and expects to keep working.
- As Lynn Fainsilber Katz ages, she feels more vulnerable and less strong. Her unsung hero, a young man who helped her carry beach supplies down a large step last year, reminds her that when life gets hard, you don't have to do it alone.
- Have you done an audit of your subscription services lately? People often forget to cancel unused subscriptions — and the fees add up.
This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.
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