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Up First Briefing: Israel Rejects Ceasefire; How Technology Affects Our Senses 2024-04-20 13:08:50

Top News for Today Despite international calls for a humanitarian pause in Israel's military operation against Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declares that he will not agree to a ceasefire. Israel has been bombing the Gaza Strip for 24 consecutive days in response to Hamas attacks on October 7th, resulting in 1,400 casualties in Israel. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, over 8,300 people have died in Gaza. More than a third of the victims are women and children.

Restrictions have tightened, and security forces have also stepped up operations in the West Bank. At least 11 Palestinians in Jenin were killed in Israeli airstrikes and raids since October 22nd, causing anxiety among residents.

In the United States, House Republicans have introduced a bill that will allocate around $14 billion in aid to Israel but will not provide any funding for Ukraine. These funds will be offset by cutting $14 billion in IRS funding. NPR's Franco Ordoñez says this deal reflects a "broader shift in the Republican Party away from aggressive foreign policy."

On NPR's Morning Edition, Palestine's UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour discusses last week's UN vote on a non-binding resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire. The United States, Israel, and 12 other countries voted "against."

Visit npr.org/mideastupdates for more in-depth information, diverse perspectives, and analysis of this conflict.

Google has begun its defense in a complex antitrust lawsuit in the District of Columbia District Court. CEO Sundar Pichai was the first to defend the deals under which Google annually pays billions of dollars to companies for its search engine to be the default on devices such as computers and phones.

Pichai states that the goal of these deals is to make Google services "seamless and easy to use," but NPR's Dara Kerr reports that the Department of Justice disagrees. The Department of Justice claims that other companies cannot compete because Google dominates the market and pays for its presence.

Blocking buttons are a valuable tool for combating harassment on the Internet. But should government officials have the ability to block their critics on social media? The Supreme Court is expected to address this question today as it considers several lawsuits.

Americans with sickle cell anemia are one step closer to gaining access to revolutionary gene-editing therapy called CRISPR. An FDA advisory committee is expected to meet today to review scientific data on the treatment and study its long-term safety. The disease disproportionately affects people of African, Middle Eastern, and Indian descent. If the FDA approves this therapy, it will be the first clinical application of gene editing.

 

Most of us are familiar with the five senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing. Interoception, a lesser-known sense, involves noticing and responding to what our bodies feel—often subconsciously.

Zomorodi speaks with neurobiologist Sahib Khalsa to explore how unplugging can help us better tune into our body's signals. Additionally, she investigates what we can learn about the connection between mind, body, and technology during the "tic-tok" phenomenon on TikTok, when thousands of teenagers developed symptoms resembling Tourette's after watching TikTok videos in 2021.

 

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