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Up First briefing: Morocco earthquake; new COVID boosters; a primer on prenups

A resident navigates through the rubble on Saturday following a 6.8-magnitude quake in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Fadel Senna
/
AFP via Getty Images
A resident navigates through the rubble on Saturday following a 6.8-magnitude quake in Marrakesh, Morocco.

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

Friday's 6.8 magnitude earthquake near Marrakech, Morocco has killed more than 2,000 people, injured thousands and destroyed scores of homes and historical sites. Efforts to find survivors and deliver aid — by both local and international responders — have been complicated by blocked roads and damaging aftershocks, leaving remote areas without help.

  • NPR's Lauren Frayer tells Up First from Marrakech that she's seen ambulances arriving at the hospital's emergency room about every minute, delivering "people with bandages, splints on their legs, some unconscious. Wailing relatives pile out of the ambulances with them. People are caked in dust and dirt."
  • Even those who didn't lose their homes are afraid to be inside because of the aftershocks. Frayer says people are constantly running out of buildings, and "every inch of green space, like highway medians, are covered with sleeping bags." 


New COVID-19 boosters could be available soon, just in time for peak respiratory illness season. The new shots are updated versions of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, formulated to help people fight off the new omicron subvariant, NPR's Rob Stein explains. The FDA is poised to approve them any day now, and some experts are urging everyone to get boosted.

  • The virus "is not a pleasant thing to get even if you're not at particularly high risk of getting really sick" — and vaccines should reduce that chance, University of Arizona College of Medicine's Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya tells Morning Edition


President Biden wraps up his visit to Asia today after stops in India and Vietnam. The trip was meant to deepen relationships with those countries and counter China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region, though Biden has repeatedly said he's not trying to hurt China.

  • NPR's Asma Khalid, who traveled with Biden, explains that he revealed two key proposals at the weekend's G20 summit: one to invest billions of dollars in the World Bank as a way to provide more lending for low income countries, and another to create a shipping and rail corridor that will connect India, the Middle East and Europe. 


Luis Rubiales has resigned as the president of Spain's soccer federation, following weeks of furor after he kissed a player at a Women's World Cup medal ceremony. FIFA had already temporarily suspended Rubiales pending disciplinary review, and members of the national women's soccer team had vowed not to play as long as he remained in his role. While he had initially refused to resign, Rubiales said Sunday he is stepping down because "I cannot continue my work."

Today's listen

An exhibit dedicated to September 11th terrorist attacks is on display inside the Parris Island Museum at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island.
/ Gavin McIntyre for NPR
/
Gavin McIntyre for NPR
An exhibit dedicated to September 11th terrorist attacks is on display inside the Parris Island Museum at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island.

Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a raw day for Americans who watched the Twin Towers collapse, the Pentagon burn and a plane meant for the U.S. Capitol slam into a Pennsylvania field. But it's become more of a piece of history for others — including the new generation of Marines, most of whom were born years after the attacks. That doesn't mean the tragedy isn't personal for some of them. Read the story and listen here.

Life advice

Prenups have become more common in recent years, polls show.
Vstock / Getty Images/VStock RF
/
Getty Images/VStock RF
Prenups have become more common in recent years, polls show.

Prenuptial agreements are in the news again after Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner's recent divorce announcement. But they aren't just for the rich and famous. Here's what you need to know about them — and how to decide if a prenup is right for you.

  • Getting one doesn't mean you think you'll get divorced. Think of it as a financial safety net.
  • They can protect spouses who aren't earning an income by making sure money is fairly split, and the spouse isn't liable for debt incurred during the marriage.
  • They're getting more common. One 2022 poll found that 15% of respondents had signed a prenup, up from 3% in 2010. 

3 things to know before you go

Kian Lutu rushed to Maui to help find his grandfather. As people followed his story on social media, they started sending him money through Venmo.
Bill Chappell / NPR
/
NPR
Kian Lutu rushed to Maui to help find his grandfather. As people followed his story on social media, they started sending him money through Venmo.

  1. People donated thousands of dollars to Kian Lutu to help him find his grandpa, who went missing during the Lahaina fires. His grandpa turned up safe — so he used the money to help Hawaii residents in need.
  2. The Los Angeles City Council saved Marilyn Monroe's former home from demolition, with just hours to spare, by starting the process of declaring it a cultural monument (LAist). 
  3. Police say the convicted killer who escaped from a Pennsylvania prison late last month shaved his facial hair and stole a van with a refrigeration unit on top.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi. Suzanne Nuyen contributed.

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

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