Up first briefing: New Hampshire primary; Israeli military casualties in Gaza

Up first briefing: New Hampshire primary; Israeli military casualties in Gaza

12:36

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Today’s top stories

New Hampshire’s voters head to the state’s primaries today. Though there are more than 20 candidates on both Democratic and Republican ballots, it’s essentially a two-person race between former President Donald Trump and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

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A woman holds up a small U.S. flag during a campaign rally by GOP presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump at the Rochester Opera House on Jan. 21 in Rochester, N.H.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A woman holds up a small U.S. flag during a campaign rally by GOP presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump at the Rochester Opera House on Jan. 21 in Rochester, N.H.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Haley made her case in New Hampshire by attacking Trump, calling him the “chaos” candidate and arguing she could more easily defeat Biden, NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben tells Up First from New Hampshire. She says while Haley is a conservative, some voters perceive her as moderate because her rhetoric isn’t as harsh as Trump’s. “The meaningful divide in the GOP right now is not moderate/conservative,” Kurtzleben says. “It’s Trump vs. anti-Trump.”
President Biden’s name won’t be on the Democratic ballot in New Hampshire because the Democratic National Committee wanted South Carolina to start the primary process this year. Still, volunteers and politicians are pushing for voters to write in Biden’s name, even if the results in this primary won’t count toward the Democratic nomination.
NPR journalists will bring you primary news, results and analysis — online and on air — all day. Stay updated with NPR’s live blog, check out New Hampshire Public Radio and tune in to live coverage on many public radio stations and the NPR app.

The Israeli army says 21 of its soldiers were killed in Gaza yesterday. An Israeli tank was struck by a missile, and two buildings rigged for demolition by Israeli soldiers collapsed. It’s unclear whether the buildings were struck by enemy fire or collapsed by accident. As details continue to emerge, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an investigation. The incident marks the deadliest day publicly known for Israel since its military offensive began following the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks that killed more than 1,200 people.

The casualties come as Israel’s military is pushing into Khan Younis, a southern Gaza city it says is home to some of Hamas’ toughest fighters, NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel reports from Tel Aviv. Tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians who fled there from northern Gaza are once again fleeing. Though Israel’s military says they expect fighting in Khan Younis to intensify, the country has faced increasing pressure from within, especially from families of hostages. The Israeli government is reportedly considering a two-month pause in fighting with Hamas as part of a multi-phase deal.
See photos documenting the war in Israel and Gaza as Gaza’s health ministry reports more than 25,000 Palestinians –  mostly women and children – have been killed by Israel’s military offensive.

Check out npr.org/mideastupdates for more coverage and analysis of this conflict.

Deep dive

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Russia has more Arctic land area than any other nation. But since the invasion of Ukraine, it has been harder for Russian scientists to share data about how climate change is affecting the region. This tiny chapel is on the grounds of the Northeast Science Station near the Russian town of Chersky.

Arthur Max/AP

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Arthur Max/AP

Russia has more Arctic land area than any other nation. But since the invasion of Ukraine, it has been harder for Russian scientists to share data about how climate change is affecting the region. This tiny chapel is on the grounds of the Northeast Science Station near the Russian town of Chersky.

Arthur Max/AP

The Arctic is warming up to four times faster than the rest of the Earth. Russia has more Arctic land than any other nation, but climate data from the area has been scarce, and collaboration has become increasingly more difficult since the invasion of Ukraine. Here’s how the war could have long-lasting consequences for climate science:

Excluding data from the Russian Arctic, like snowfall levels, temperature and greenhouse gas emissions, makes climate models less accurate. The problem will get worse over time.
One international collaboration to track beavers’ migrations northward has already been hampered. The Arctic Beaver Observation Network’s February meeting will not include a Russian representative.
For Russian scientists who started their careers in the Soviet Union, the current situation is reminiscent of the Cold War. As data dries up, they worry about the future of young Russian climate scientists. 

Picture show

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The Hand in Hand Jerusalem school principal Efrat Meyer, who is Jewish, and vice principal Engie Wattad, who is Arab Muslim, are longtime colleagues and friends. The school is mixed and bilingual.

Ayman Oghanna for NPR

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Ayman Oghanna for NPR

The Hand in Hand Jerusalem school principal Efrat Meyer, who is Jewish, and vice principal Engie Wattad, who is Arab Muslim, are longtime colleagues and friends. The school is mixed and bilingual.

Ayman Oghanna for NPR

Though it’s not mandated, Israeli society is largely segregated. Separation between Jews and Arabs – who make up 20% of Israel’s population – usually happens at a young age with separate school systems. But at Jerusalem’s Hand in Hand school, the sounds of young voices speaking Hebrew and Arabic fill the halls.

See photos of students and teachers collaborating and read about the school’s goals to increase knowledge of Jews and Arabs through mixing.

3 things to know before you go

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Police in Roseville, California, say a woman has been arrested and charged with grand theft after she allegedly stole $2,500 worth of Stanley drinkware.

Roseville Police Department

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Roseville Police Department

Police in Roseville, California, say a woman has been arrested and charged with grand theft after she allegedly stole $2,500 worth of Stanley drinkware.

Roseville Police Department

People will do crazy things for Stanley cups. A 23-year-old woman was arrested in California for allegedly stealing $2,500 worth of the tumblers. 
The Federal Aviation Administration is recommending that airlines check the door plugs on additional models of Boeing planes after the panel blew off of a Boeing Max 9 jet in midair earlier this month. 
In 2017, Aya McMillan was diagnosed with breast cancer after losing her dog and a 10-year romance. As her panic mounted during a double biopsy procedure, an unsung hero’s calming touch helped her endure.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.