Up First briefing: Zelenskyy at NATO; SAG-AFTRA deadline; #whitepeoplefood
Today's top stories
President Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today as the NATO summit wraps up in Lithuania. NATO leaders agreed yesterday that Ukraine could join the alliance eventually but gave no timeline, angering Zelenskyy. On twitter, he said NATO's reluctance to set a timetable was "absurd."
Some promising news for your budget: The government's monthly consumer price index report for June is expected to reveal an annual inflation rate of about 3%— the lowest it's been since spring 2021.
Hollywood is on edge as the contract between film and TV actors in the SAG-AFTRA union and studios will expire tonight after negotiators issued an extension two weeks ago. If they can't come to an agreement, the actors could join their colleagues from the Writers Guild of America on strike for the first time since 1960.
The farm bill — typically renewed every five years — expires this year. As Congress works towards a new measure, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation's biggest food assistance program, is under scrutiny. Nutrition assistance makes up 80% of the bill's spending, and more than 40 million Americans are currently on SNAP. Here's how lawmakers want to expand or limit access.
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.
On Morning Edition, our colleague Diaa Hadid detailed the Taliban's latest move in Afghanistan: revoking women's beauty salon licenses. Some three thousand businesses are affected in Kabul alone."
A ban on salons can sound frivolous," Diaa says, "but it's one of the few female-dominated industries," and "it was also one of the few places where Afghan women could still congregate outside their homes."
Diaa asked one owner, Samia Faqiri, about the steady progression of restrictions on women and girls, who've been barred from many workplaces and schools. "Death is better than this," Faqiri said. "God should just kill us all. We are alive, but we aren't living."
When Morning Edition and Up First produced a special series from Afghanistan in 2022, we found a consistent theme. Wherever we traveled, in both rural and urban areas, we found people trying to practice democracy. They tried to speak out, to deliver the news, to demand government services and to get girls into school.
The Taliban itself allowed some debate. Some Taliban leaders seemed to favor more openness and even some freedom for women.
But each debate is referred up the chain to a single supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhunzada, whose answer is usually the same: No.
That underwhelming sandwich you ate for lunch yesterday could go viral — in China. Young professionals are playfully embracing #whitepeoplefood, or #白人饭 on Chinese social media. The no-frills, no-fuss lunches are bewildering for many people who are used to complex Chinese dishes that include dozens of ingredients. Check out the funny photos of their Western-style lunches.
3 things to know before you go
This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.
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