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Up First briefing: Trump pleads not guilty; July job numbers; Women's World Cup

Nadine Seiler protests as she holds a banner outside the Washington, D.C., federal court on Tuesday in Washington.
Jose Luis Magana
/
AP
Nadine Seiler protests as she holds a banner outside the Washington, D.C., federal court on Tuesday in Washington.

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 news

Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to felony charges yesterday at a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., as crowds of people outside yelled, "Lock him up." He's been charged with four counts related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.

  • NPR's Carrie Johnson was in court all day yesterday. On Up First today, she says Trump seemed somber in the courtroom but at the airport after the hearing, he said, "This was never supposed to happen in America." The next hearing is Aug. 28, when Trump is expected to learn when the trial will begin.
  • On Morning Edition, Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson said the arraignment was not something to look forward to as Americans but something the nation can't go forward without because "our democracy, in its current form, is very fragile."
  • Trump was the only person charged in the indictment, though prosecutors also included six unnamed co-conspirators. Here's what we know about them so far.
  • The Labor Department will release hiring and unemployment numbers for July later today. Forecasters predict that U.S. employers added about 200,000 jobs last month.

  • "There are a lot of openings. Layoffs are rare. Worries about a recession have receded somewhat," says NPR's Scott Horsley. He adds more people have entered the workforce in the past few months, and it's a good sign if the trend continues in July because "the more people who are in the workforce, the more the economy can grow without putting upward pressure on inflation."
  • Alexei Navalny, a fierce critic of Russia's Vladimir Putin, is set to be sentenced on several criminal charges, including extremism. He's currently serving a nine-year sentence on fraud and embezzlement charges, and prosecutors are asking for 20 more years. His supporters have called the charges and circumstances of the trial absurd.

  • NPR's Charles Maynes says some think Navalny's arrest was part of "an attempt to weed out political opponents" before the Ukraine invasion. But he adds that Nalvny has remained a leading voice against the war, railing against it in statements through his lawyers.
  • Antarctica is usually surrounded by millions of square miles of ice this time of year. But sea ice has been decreasing over the years, and this year scientists recorded the smallest amount of sea ice ever. This could have devastating long-term effects in the U.S., causing potentially catastrophic sea level rise in coastal Texas and other places along the Gulf of Mexico later this century.

    From our hosts

    The Hollywood Sign is seen in Angeles, California.
    David McNew / Getty Images
    /
    Getty Images
    The Hollywood Sign is seen in Angeles, California.

    This essay was written by A Martinez. He came to NPR in 2021 and is one of Morning Edition and Up First's hosts. He was previously the host of Take Two at LAist in Los Angeles.

    What makes you think of home?

    For me, it's the most famous sign in the world: nine white block letters, each 45 feet high, spelling out HOLLYWOOD.

    As a kid, it was the first thing I'd see in the morning when I looked out my window. It was always there, towering over Los Angeles, reminding everyone that this is where magic happens. I've hiked dozens and dozens of times to the top of Mount Lee to be so close that it feels like I could reach down and touch it. Whether I'm right next to it or far away, it makes me happy to know that it's been there for a hundred years.

    It has always symbolized creativity, fantasy and fun — and it always will. But I must admit that seeing it these days reminds me of how it's also a business. One that's at an inflection point that feels like it's going to change how Hollywood makes that magic and how we see it. Screenwriters and actors are still on strike, with no end in sight. Whenever deals are done to get everybody back to work, what kind of Hollywood will they be coming back to?

    Weekend picks

    David Tennant as Crowley and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale in season 2 of the Prime Video series <em>Good Omens</em>.
    / Mark Mainz/Prime Video
    /
    Mark Mainz/Prime Video
    David Tennant as Crowley and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale in season 2 of the Prime Video series Good Omens.

    Check out what NPR is watching, reading and listening to this weekend:

    Movies: Break out your swords and shout "Cowabunga!" Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is a visually stunning reboot to the franchise.

    TV: David Tennant and Michael Sheen are back in Good Omens. The second season follows Sheen's Aziraphale and Tennant's Crowley as they hide an archangel that's lost his memory.

    Books: Crack open Nasim Alikhani's new cookbook, Sofreh, this weekend for a contemporary look at Persian cuisine. The recipes reflect an expansive range of Persian culinary traditions, past and future.

    Music: Little Moon's Emma Hardyman just wrapped up her Tiny Desk Contest On the Road Tour. Listen to the winning song and catch up with how Hardyman's life has changed since.

    Sports: The knockout stage of the Women's World Cup begins tomorrow. These are the storylines to watch.

    Quiz: Read today's newsletter carefully. At least two of today's articles reveal answers in the weekly news quiz.

    Recipe: Forget lemonade. Beat the heat with lassi, a yogurt drink from India. All you need is some yogurt, milk, sugar and ice.

    3 things to know before you go

    Post Malone at the 52nd annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards ceremony in New York in June. The rapper just purchased a one-of-a-kind Magic: The Gathering card valued as high as $2 million.
    Evan Agostini / Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
    /
    Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
    Post Malone at the 52nd annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards ceremony in New York in June. The rapper just purchased a one-of-a-kind Magic: The Gathering card valued as high as $2 million.

  • Watch out — Post Malone now possesses the one ring to rule them all. The rapper recently purchased a Lord of the Rings-themed Magic: The Gathering trading card valued at $2 million. 
  • Who you gonna call? New research found that schools are more likely to call a mom than a dad if things get weird in the neighborhood.
  • Many Black Americans are missing big parts of their ancestry. Researchers studying DNA from free and enslaved people at Catoctin Furnace in Maryland have been able to trace ancestry for nearly 42,000 people.
  • This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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