Up First briefing: Meta’s free AI; Trump’s legal troubles; a scary fish’s teeth

Up First briefing: Meta’s free AI; Trump’s legal troubles; a scary fish’s teeth

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Today’s top stories

Former President Donald Trump’s legal problems keep growing. Yesterday, he said he received a letter informing him he is a target in the special counsel’s investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection. The announcement came just before his attorneys appeared in a Florida court seeking to delay the start of his trial on charges related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents.

FILE – Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, July 7, 2023, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Trump said Tuesday that he has received a letter informing him that he is a target of the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump made the claim in a post on his Truth Social platform. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Charlie Riedel/AP


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Charlie Riedel/AP

FILE – Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, July 7, 2023, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Trump said Tuesday that he has received a letter informing him that he is a target of the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump made the claim in a post on his Truth Social platform. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Charlie Riedel/AP

  • If Trump is indicted on charges related to the insurrection, it would be the “most serious case yet against the former president,” according to NPR’s Greg Allen. He summarized yesterday’s hearing on Up First, reporting that Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon has pushed for a speedy trial. However, he adds she seemed frustrated by the defense’s argument that they couldn’t begin to discuss a trial schedule until November.

A federal judge in California is set to hear a challenge to the Biden administration’s new rules on seeking asylum today. The policy, which took effect in May, gives migrants one legal pathway to seek asylum through a mobile app called CBP One. The Biden administration says it’s led to a drop in illegal border crossings. However, thousands face long waits at the border for appointments. Many decide to wait because the new rules make gaining asylum much harder if they cross the border illegally.

  • Immigrant advocates say the app can’t be the only way to access asylum, as it creates a bottleneck, according to NPR’s Joel Rose. National immigrant rights groups filed a lawsuit as soon as the rules went into effect, saying they were identical to Trump’s policies. Meanwhile, Rose adds that immigration hardliners are also critical of the app, saying it creates a so-called legal pathway that Congress never intended. 

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has released its newest AI model and ChatGPT rival, Llama 2, free for research and commercial use.

  • Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, tells Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition that making the software free is in Meta’s best interest because it will “help set in motion a kind of flywheel of innovation.” When asked about the risk of deepfakes and misinformation associated with open-sourcing its AI technology, Clegg argued that  AI is the “sword and the shield:” While the threat is real, he believes AI can also defeat misinformation.

U.S. officials believe Travis King, a U.S. soldier stationed in South Korea, is in North Korean custody after he crossed the border without authorization. King was recently released from a South Korean prison. He was expected to board a plane bound for Fort Bliss, Texas, to face military disciplinary action when he bolted toward North Korea. Here’s what we know about his situation so far.

Today’s listen

Two people sit next to each other swiping on their phones.

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR


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Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Two people sit next to each other swiping on their phones.

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Go to school, get married, buy a house, have kids: these are the standard milestones in adult life. But more Americans are marrying later in life — some in their 40s or older. A few weeks ago, we asked newsletter readers aged 40+ to share stories about their love life with Morning Edition. Thank you to everyone who shared your personal stories with us.

Deep dive

Negotiations between UPS and the union representing the company’s workers broke down last week with each side blaming the other for walking away from talks.

Brittainy Newman/AP


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Brittainy Newman/AP

Negotiations between UPS and the union representing the company’s workers broke down last week with each side blaming the other for walking away from talks.

Brittainy Newman/AP

First, writers went on strike. Then actors joined. Now, negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters union have stalled, which means workers could strike in early August. It would be the largest strike against a single employer in U.S. history.

  • The last UPS work stoppage in 1997 lasted 15 days and cost the company $850 million.
  • If a strike occurs, competitors like FedEx, USPS and Amazon Logistics won’t be able to absorb the package backlog.
  • Disruptions would impact ordinary Americans and industries like hospitals that rely on medical devices shipped through parcel carriers.

3 things to know before you go

A pacu — a relative of the piranha, but with molar-like teeth — was caught in a neighborhood pond in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation


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Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

A pacu — a relative of the piranha, but with molar-like teeth — was caught in a neighborhood pond in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

  1. An 11-year-old boy in Oklahoma was fishing in a nearby pond when he found this pacu, a cousin of the piranha with humanlike teeth. Talk about the stuff of nightmares!
  2. John Kindschuh’s law career was thriving when he was hospitalized for dizziness. There, his unsung hero and hospital roommate noticed his speech declining and alerted medical staff that he was having a stroke.
  3. A 125-million-year-old fossil discovered in China shows something remarkable: a mammal attacking a dinosaur.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

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Suzanne Nuyen