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Today’s top stories
President Biden will designate nearly a million acres of land near the Grand Canyon as a national monument today. The monument will protect lands sacred to Indigenous populations and prevent new uranium mining in the area.
- Native nations have advocated for land protection for more than a decade. The Havasupai tribe in the Grand Canyon says uranium mining threatens their sole water source.
- Biden’s trip is also tied to the extreme heat threatening the Southwest, a Biden official tells NPR’s Tamara Keith. On Up First today, she says Biden will also announce $44 million in funding to boost climate resilience in national parks nationwide and notes his trip comes ahead of the one-year anniversary of the climate and health care bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act. She adds the trip is an opportunity for Biden to make local headlines ahead of the 2024 election.
Ohioans head to the ballots today to decide whether to make it harder to change the state’s constitution. Issue 1 aims to raise the threshold of approval for future amendments to 60% instead of a simple majority. The outcome of today’s vote would affect a November vote on a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights. (via Statehouse News Bureau)
- Statehouse News Bureau’s Karen Kasler says an “under the radar” part of Issue 1 would also make it harder to get issues on the ballot at all by requiring groups to get signatures from all 88 counties in Ohio instead of 44. She adds that Republicans say the vote is about more than abortion, and Issue 1 is meant to prevent out-of-state special interests from affecting the state Constitution.
The American Red Cross has adopted new eligibility guidelines for giving blood that will allow gay and bisexual men to donate. The organization is implementing guidelines from the FDA that focus on individual risk factors rather than sexual orientation. The new rules apply to anyone who has had new or multiple new partners in the last three months and has participated in anal sex.
- The Washington Post’s Fenit Nirappil explains that for the first time, heterosexuals could be banned from giving blood under the new rules. He says it’s one of the biggest shifts seen in decades from an organization that contributes a large portion of the nation’s blood supply.
Living Better is a special series about what it takes to stay healthy in America.
NPR’s Yuki Noguchi was born and raised in the Midwest and often visits her family’s homeland in Japan. There, she’s struck by the amount of delicious, fresh food available. While Japan and the U.S. are both wealthy, industrialized cities, they have vastly different obesity levels. Noguchi looks into how Japanese society makes healthy living easier:
- Japan’s “default design” is safe and densely populated, with a population that relies heavily on public transportation. This means they get more exercise through walking.
- The country’s traditional diet leans vegetables, seaweed and seafood, with an emphasis on quality vs quantity.
- Even convenience store food is fresh: noodle salads, rice balls and bento boxes are swapped out multiple times daily.
- Japanese school lunches are free and made from scratch. Students learn about nutrition, serving and cleaning.
Poet Mustafa Zaidi’s death in Karachi, Pakistan in 1970 triggered a media frenzy. At the time, it was reported as a love affair gone bad — Zaidi was embroiled in a public affair with socialite Shehnaz Gul. Both were married with children. NPR’s Diaa Hadid talks to two authors who reexamined the case in a true crime podcast. Clips from the podcast show how Saba Imtiaz and Tooba Masood uncovered a more disturbing story as they brought to life Karachi in the 60s and 70s.
3 things to know before you go
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- “Hank the Tank,” the bear behind 21 home invasions near Lake Tahoe, Calif., has been caught. But here’s the twist: Hank is actually a Henrietta — and she has three bear cubs with her.
- Police in Montgomery, Ala., arrested multiple people after a waterfront brawl quickly spiraled out of control. Videos of the fight went viral on X, formerly known as Twitter.
- Where do bees come from? Scientists have finally answered the question — the world’s first bees emerged more than 120 million years ago from a supercontinent encompassing Africa and South America.
This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.