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Up First briefing: GOP presidential debate, student debt relief, fire season delayed

A former president Donald Trump supporter stands near the Fiserv Forum as set up continues for the upcoming Republican presidential debate Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash
/
AP
A former president Donald Trump supporter stands near the Fiserv Forum as set up continues for the upcoming Republican presidential debate Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Good morning. You're reading the Up First newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox, and listen to the Up First podcast for all the news you need to start your day.

Today's top stories

The first Republican presidential debate of the 2024 race takes place today in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Trump won't participate. Instead, he will appear in an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, possibly at the same time the debate airs on Fox. Here's how to watchthe debate.

  • Wisconsin is a true purple stateOn Up First this morning, NPR's Franco Ordoñez, who's covering the debate, noted that in 2020, Trump won it by less than 25,000 votes. Four years later, Biden did the same.
  • The debate will be a test of sorts to see if candidates can emerge from Trump's shadow in the GOP primary. Trump has dominated the primary so far, so this is many of the candidates' first chance to introduce themselves to a larger audience of millions.
  • Veteran Republican communications strategist Alice Stewart spoke to All Things Considered's Mary Louise Kelly about how the candidates should approach the debate. 
  • The Biden administration kicked off a new student loan repayment plan yesterday, meant to replace the one struck down by the Supreme Court earlier this year. The SAVE program takes into account borrowers' income and family size to calculate monthly payments, which are expected to lower dramatically for millions of borrowers.

  • As long as borrowers make their monthly payments, they will accrue no additional interest. Those who borrowed less than $12,000 will have all their loans forgiven in 10 years, as opposed to the current precedent of 20 years. 
  • NPR's Cory Turner said on Up First that according to experts, "it's inevitable it will face legal challenge, though this one is on safer footing" than the previous plan.
  • Tropical Storm Hilary may have delayed the fire season in certain areas of Southern California, LAist's Jacob Margolis reports. Fires are driven by dry fuel, wind and topography – meaning features like slopes. A fire that starts at the bottom of a hill is likely to spread faster than one that starts at the top, for example. There's enough moisture in the air to help slow down the last kind – topography-dominated fires. But since the region's most destructive fires are driven by winds, there's still enough to be cautious about.

    Life advice

    sesame / Getty Images
    /
    Getty Images

    Do you have a financial self-care routine? Just as we have routine habits for our wellbeing, like brushing our teeth and washing our hands, there are also habits we can practice regularly to boost our financial hygiene. NPR's Life Kit recommends these five:

  • Look to the future: Ask yourself where you want to be in three, five or 10 years, then set your financial goals accordingly. 
  • Check in on your investments: Take stock of your investment accounts like 401(k)s, Roth IRAs and brokerage accounts — once a year. 
  • Make sure your savings are growing: If your bank isn't helping you grow your savings, consider other options. 
  • Prepare for taxes: Check the tax withholding on your last paystub ahead of time. If you're self-employed, consider setting up a tax savings account.  
  • Maximize your health insurance: Take the time to review updates to your health insurance plans every year, and look out for open enrollment.
  • Deep dive

    An American Airlines Airbus 321 sits at the gate at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, on July 23, 2023.
    Daniel Slim / AFP via Getty Images
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    AFP via Getty Images
    An American Airlines Airbus 321 sits at the gate at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, on July 23, 2023.

    If you're one of the many travelers using 'skiplagging' to get cheaper air fares, a new American Airlines lawsuit might change that:

  • What is skiplagging? When a direct flight is too expensive, some passengers book a flight to a cheaper destination with a layover at their destination of choice – and then ditch the second flight.
  • Airlines lose money in the process, since they could have sold the seat that went empty on the second flight for a higher price as a direct ticket.
  • There are risks to passengers: If airlines find out what you're doing, they could cancel your ticket or ban you from flying with it.
  • 3 things to know before you go

    In this Aug 25, 2019 photo, a Southern Vietnamese box turtle (Cuora picturata) walks in its pen at a turtle sanctuary in Cuc Phuong national park in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam. The International Union for Conservation of Nature rated the turtles a "Critically Endangered" species and is facing threats of habitat loss and poaching for the increased demand for pet trade and food.
    Hau Dinh / AP
    /
    AP
    In this Aug 25, 2019 photo, a Southern Vietnamese box turtle (Cuora picturata) walks in its pen at a turtle sanctuary in Cuc Phuong national park in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam. The International Union for Conservation of Nature rated the turtles a "Critically Endangered" species and is facing threats of habitat loss and poaching for the increased demand for pet trade and food.

  • Federal health officials have linked a salmonella outbreak in 11 states to small turtles. Separately, authorities in Washington state are blaming a deadly listeria outbreak on poorly cleaned ice cream machines at a burger joint.
  • Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande are the latest artists to part with manager Scooter Braun, who most famously engaged in a public battle with Taylor Swift over control of her recorded catalogue.
  • Spain may have won its first ever Women's World Cup on Sunday, but the celebrations were tempered by anger after the head of the Royal Spanish Football Federation planted a kiss on the lips of one of its players.
  • This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

    Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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    Anandita Bhalerao
    Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.
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