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Up First briefing: Kevin McCarthy's downfall; 'mommy bloggers' and influencers

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to reporters hours after he was ousted as speaker of the House on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite
/
AP
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to reporters hours after he was ousted as speaker of the House on Tuesday.

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

Kevin McCarthy was taken down from both sides of the aisle yesterday after all House Democrats joined eight Republicans in a vote to remove him as House Speaker. McCarthy says he won't seek reelection. Here are four takeaways from his ousting.

  • NPR's Claudia Grisales says on Up First that this is "uncharted territory." A House speaker has never been removed in this way before. Now, the House floor is frozen, and Congress is still facing a government shutdown on Nov. 17. Republicans plan to hold a candidate forum next Tuesday and vote on a new speaker next Wednesday.
  • On Morning Edition, Republican strategist Brendan Buck tells A Martinez that the problems McCarthy faced still exist and will continue for House Republicans. He adds they'll now need to elect someone who wants the job and can unite quarreling factions. 


China is celebrating the Mid-Autumn festival, an eight-day nationwide holiday. Many tourists have traveled there for the holiday. The Chinese government hopes it will give a boost to the post-COVID economy, which hasn't recovered as expected.

  • Nearly 900 million domestic trips are expected to be made this week, generating more than $100 billion of revenue, NPR's John Ruwitch says. But a vendor he spoke to said people aren't spending like they used to and are mostly there for the experience.
  • Intricate mooncakes are often eaten and shared during this holiday as a symbol of prosperity. Read about how they connect a global community of Asians and listen to how they helped my family bond during the pandemic. 


Support for President Biden and former President Donald Trump is neck and neck among registered voters, according to NPR's latest poll. Trump's voters are more enthusiastic — 43% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they'd be "very satisfied" if Trump were nominated compared to 30% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents who would be "very satisfied" with Biden. But a conviction could shake things up, as independent voters say they aren't interested in voting for Trump if he's convicted of a crime.

The manufacturers of 10 medications have reluctantly agreed to negotiate with Medicare about their prices more than a month after Biden announced the first ten drugs selected for price negotiations. More than a third of the companies that make drugs on the list have sued the federal government, but all the companies have signed agreements saying they will negotiate.

Climate solutions week

Avocados grow on trees in an orchard. Researchers in California have developed a new variety that is more resistant to extreme climates.
Alfredo Estrella / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
Avocados grow on trees in an orchard. Researchers in California have developed a new variety that is more resistant to extreme climates.

NPR is dedicating this entire week to stories and conversations about the search for climate solutions.

Solving the global climate crisis is such a daunting task that it can be easy to forget how much progress has been made, small and large. All over the NPR Network, efforts to mitigate climate change are paying off in new and unexpected ways. Check out a few of them and read more here:

  • Puget Sound has had one of its largest pink salmon runs in the last decade.
  • Researchers in California have developed a new variety of avocado that's more resistant to extreme climates.
  • A handful of baby coral spawned near a Miami lab after it was rescued.
  • "Old ladies" in Cape Cod are diving into ponds to remove trash.


Check out all of NPR's Climate Solutions Week stories, including how you can make any job a climate solutions job.

Enlighten me

Rob Delaney says the words we use are less important than the meaning behind them.
Leon Bennett / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Rob Delaney says the words we use are less important than the meaning behind them.

Enlighten Me is a special series with NPR's Rachel Martin about what it takes to build a life of meaning.

When comedian Rob Delaney was between seasons 2 and 3 of his TV show Catastrophe, his youngest son was diagnosed with brain cancer. He knew the only way his family could get through it was if they stuck together. Though Delaney — who was raised Catholic — moved away from organized religion, he believes 'something similar to faith' entered their lives and helped them do just that.

Listen to Delaney and Martin talk about the limit words have when the unthinkable happens, or read the interview.

3 things to know before you go

The Miami Marlins' Kim Ng is the first female general manager in MLB history to lead her team to the playoffs.
Michael Reaves / Getty Images
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Getty Images
The Miami Marlins' Kim Ng is the first female general manager in MLB history to lead her team to the playoffs.

  1. Kim Ng, general manager for the Miami Marlins, has become the first woman to lead an MLB team to the playoffs. 
  2. Elon Musk is being sued for libel by a college grad who says Musk falsely accused him of being affiliated with a neo-Nazi group on X, formerly known as Twitter. 
  3. Gen Z is often seen as "extremely online." But the first influencers are older than we think. Journalist Taylor Lorenz argues in her new book that Gen X "mommy bloggers" laid the foundation for the $16.4 billion influencer industry we know today. 

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi. Anandita Bhalerao contributed.

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

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