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New Gaza cease-fire talks to begin in Cairo; Senate passes foreign aid bill

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)
Fatima Shbair
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AP
Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

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

U.S., Egyptian, Israeli and Qatari officials are expected to meet today in Cairo for renewed negotiations on an interim cease-fire in Gaza. The talks come as Israel prepares to conduct a ground invasion in Rafah, a southern Gaza city near the Egyptian border where more than a million Palestinians are seeking refuge.

  • Hamas will not be present at today's talks, NPR's Greg Myre reports on Up First. He says it points to how complicated negotiations are since Israel and Hamas don't talk to each other. Any plan today needs to be sent to Hamas for review. Myre adds that this round of talks is critical because a cease-fire deal could prevent heavy fighting in Rafah. Egypt has threatened to suspend its peace treaty with Israel if it moves forward with its ground operation in Rafah.
  • See photos from the past week in Israel and Gaza.


After months of setbacks and negotiations, a bipartisan majority in the Senate voted early this morning to pass a $95 billion emergency aid bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The bill passed 70-to-29, despite warnings from House Republicans that it may never receive a vote. The package does not include changes to U.S. border policy despite early insistence from Republicans that they would not support a foreign aid bill without border policy changes.

Former President Donald Trump's lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to put on hold a federal appeals court ruling rejecting his immunity claim in relation to his election interference case. Trump is accused of leading a conspiracy to cling to power after the 2020 election. His lawyers said Monday they are preparing an application for the high court to take over the case. The Supreme Court's decision could determine whether he will face a trial before the November 2024 election.

Jon Stewart returned last night as host of The Daily Show, nine years after leaving the role. He opened the show by diving into the controversy over the advanced ages of President Biden and Donald Trump.

  • NPR's critic Eric Deggans says last night's episode was "a fine return to form," However, he adds that times have changed as late-night viewing declines and younger viewers head to TikTok. The show must decide whether to evolve into a new voice for late-night TV or do some version of what it's always done.  

Today's listen

Bob Edwards takes a selfie with Steve Inskeep, Renee Montagne and David Greene outside an NPR office in 2014.
Steve Inskeep / NPR
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NPR
Bob Edwards takes a selfie with Steve Inskeep, Renee Montagne and David Greene outside an NPR office in 2014.

Bob Edwards, Morning Edition's first and longest-serving host, has died at 76. Edwards joined NPR in 1974 during the Nixon impeachment and Watergate hearings as a newscaster. He later hosted All Things Considered with Susan Stamberg, who said his voice became part of millions of Americans' morning routine.

Listen to clips of Edwards from the archive as NPR's Steve Inskeep pays tribute to his career.

Life advice

Peathegee Inc / Getty Images/Tetra images RF
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Getty Images/Tetra images RF

No matter your age, it's never too late to set yourself up for a healthy, purposeful life. As part of a new series from NPR's Allison Aubrey about thriving as you age, NPR asked readers to share their secrets to living a long life. Here's what they had to say:

  • Make friends across generations. Older friends inspire 26-year-old Emma Aulenback. Deborah Davis, 73, says her younger friends' energy keeps her youthful.
  • Modify exercise to fit your body. At 73, Cody Brady says she's "happy just to be able to move and enjoy what I do." 
  • Keep your brain active with creative projects and mental challenges. Sewing has been 98-year-old Edith Edmunds' passion for decades. Karen Maslowski, 72, does daily "brain stretchers" like Sudoku. 

3 things to know before you go

A San Francisco 49ers fan reacts while watching a telecast of NFL football's Super Bowl 58 on a screen outside the Chase Center in San Francisco on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024.
Noah Berger / AP
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AP
A San Francisco 49ers fan reacts while watching a telecast of NFL football's Super Bowl 58 on a screen outside the Chase Center in San Francisco on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024.

  1. Sunday's Super Bowl was the most watched in NFL Championship history. Viewership was up 7% from last year's game, which held the previous record. 
  2. Hundreds of flights in Boston, New York and New Jersey have been canceled as the Mid-Atlantic and New England brace for an intense nor'easter that could bring inches of snow.
  3. Grabbing some chocolates for your beau ahead of Valentine's Day tomorrow? It's going to cost you. Cocoa prices have hit a 47-year high, breaking the all-time record from 1977.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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