Start your day here: The Supreme Court considers Texas' abortion ban; leaders meet for a major climate conference and more
Here's what we're following today:
Weekend stories you might have missed:Weather and staffing shortages disrupt American Airlines flights, G-20 leaders commit to carbon neutrality and the Astros keep their World Series hopes alive.
Texas abortion law returns to the Supreme Court: Justices will hear arguments on whether the federal government can sue Texas over the law that bans abortions after about six weeks.
The U.N. climate summit is underway: The U.N's chief warned nations that the world faces imminent disaster if fossil fuel reliance continues.
🎧 Also, on Up First, our daily podcast, jury selection gets underway for the criminal trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.
— The Morning Edition live blog team
(Carol Ritchie, Rachel Treisman, Nell Clark and Chris Hopkins)
Here are some costumed pets to improve your Monday morning
Well folks, spooky season has come to a close. It’s now November, the month known for discounted Reese's pumpkins in the back aisles of CVS, and the sometimes-stressful experience of gathering with extended family for Thanksgiving.
Last Friday, we asked Morning Edition's Twitter followers to share photos of their pets in costume for Halloween. We’ve compiled some of the best submissions for you to get one last shred of Halloween-related joy before it’s back to khakis, sweaters and feeling uncomfortably full while sitting next to a relative who won’t stop asking you why you’re still single.
My brother’s dog is staying with us for Halloween and I made him a costume! But he’s a smart, older dog who doesn’t have patience for my hahas and so he has decided to freeze while wearing it which only makes it funnier. He’s stuck in the Suez Canal of my living room. pic.twitter.com/PK6J6a72lp— Carly Guthrie (@carlyguth3) October 29, 2021
We caught one of the escaped zebras over here! pic.twitter.com/FDo6KyKoiO— Lauren Migaki (@lmigaki) October 29, 2021
For more costumed pets, check out Morning Edition’s Twitter account.
How loss of historical lands leaves Native Americans more vulnerable to climate change
Indigenous nations across the U.S. lost nearly 99% of their historical land base over time and were displaced to areas that are now more exposed to a wide variety of climate change risks.
Those are among the findings of a multi-year study published in the journal Science on Thursday. Researchers at Yale University, Colorado State University and the University of Michigan constructed a first-of-its-kind data set to quantify land dispossession and forced migration in the U.S., and examine their long-term environmental and economic impacts.
As a result of the near-total loss of tribal lands, they say, Indigenous people were forced to live in areas that are on average more exposed to climate change hazards like extreme heat and decreased precipitation. Those lands are also less likely to lie over valuable subsurface oil and gas resources.
"Everyone who’s read history — or a true version of it — knows this story, but this is the first scholarly study that has looked at the full scope of change and tried to quantify it, to systematically geo-reference it at scale," lead author Justin Farrell of the Yale School of the Environment said in a news release.
The researchers hope other scholars and members of Indigenous nations will review and improve upon their findings to provide an even more specific picture. They say that information is crucial for establishing policies aimed at mitigating future impacts of climate change, as well as remediating the land dispossession that caused these vulnerabilities in the first place.
“There is a violent legacy that persists today, and it remains critical that we try to understand it at large scales,” Farrell said. “Not only for historical clarity around land dispossession and forced migration, but for concrete policies moving forward: How can we use this information so that day-to-day, lived experiences of Indigenous peoples are improved — so that the existing inequities are righted and future risks mitigated?”
A study seven years in the making
We know that European and American settlers forced Indigenous people off their lands and that settler colonialism laid the groundwork for system inequalities in health, education and food security that persist to this day.
But experts have never before been able to quantify the extent of that displacement or measure how contemporary Indigenous lands compare to those that they lost in terms of environmental conditions and economic potential.
Researchers worked on this study on and off for seven years.
They compiled a comprehensive dataset based on historical sources, from Indigenous nations' archives and territory maps to federal records and digitized treaties. This data is now publicly available in the Native Land Information System.
They classified each tribe's land base data within the historical and present-day periods, then turned to statistical models to answer their driving questions: What was the full extent of land dispossession and forced migration for tribes, individually and collectively, and did their new lands offer improved or reduced environmental conditions and economic opportunities over time?
For the second question, researchers focused on "hypothesized dimensions" including exposure to climate change risks and hazards, mineral value potential, suitability for agriculture and proximity to U.S. federally-managed lands that limit Indigenous management and traditional uses.
Results reinforce long-standing Indigenous claims
Indigenous nations in the U.S. have lost 98.9% of their historical land base since European settlers began colonizing the content, researchers found. More than 42% of tribes from the historical period now have no federally- or state-recognized land, and the present-day lands that tribes do still possess are an average of 2.6% the size of their estimated historical area.
Present-day lands are also generally far from historical lands, with forced migration distances averaging 239 km or just under 150 miles.
In terms of climate change, the analysis found that tribes' current lands face more extreme heat and less precipitation, with nearly half of tribes experiencing heightened wildfire hazard exposure. They're less likely to include economically valuable oil and gas resources. And about half of tribes saw an increase in their proximity to federal lands.
Co-author Kyle Whyte, a University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability professor and member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council — who is also an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation — said the research confirms what Indigenous leaders have been saying for years.
“The U.S. still has not addressed the land dispossession and the suppression of Indigenous territorial governance that are at the root of why Indigenous peoples face disproportionate vulnerability to climate change impacts," he said.
Setting the stage for more specific research
The study co-authors say their findings are an important first step, but just the beginning.
They've made their data public in the hopes that other scholars and members of Indigenous nations can provide a more complete picture of land dispossession and its consequences.
Kathryn McConnell, a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of the Environment, noted that's significant because much of the information the researchers collected has historically remained in the hands of academics and commercial interests.
Contributions through open data and public dashboards will ideally help researchers to look more closely at specific geographic areas, they said.
“Obviously, the top-line finding is that, because of systematic land dispossession and forced migration under settler colonialism, Native peoples are exposed to much higher vulnerability due to climate change,” said Paul Burow, a study co-author and Yale School of the Environment doctoral candidate. “And while this gives us a very broad understanding of climate impacts, the work really opens opportunities to derive a more nuanced understanding of effects at the local level."
For example, he said, the risk of extreme heat is more meaningful to some communities than others — localized data on high temperatures or wildfire risk in the West would be of greater value than in other parts of the country.
This latest research makes an undertaking like that possible, Burow added:
“This is the beginning of a long-term, comprehensive research program that will let anybody drill down on how different climate dynamics are touching specific Indigenous peoples and the places they live.”
Even during the pandemic, Día de los Muertos remains a celebration of life
Día de los Muertos has arrived. Mostly celebrated Nov. 1 and 2, it's a holiday celebrating life, including the lives of deceased loved ones. Celebrated throughout Mexico, parts of Latin America and the U.S., it features parades, family gatherings, visits to cemeteries and tons and tons of cempasúchil, the iconic orange marigolds traditional to the day.
Many people who celebrate also curate detailed ofrendas, offerings honoring loved ones who have died decorated with photos, favorite foods, candles and other meaningful items.
But Día de los Muertos is a communal, family-oriented day — and for some, the pandemic complicates celebrating it safely. Last year, many cemeteries closed themselves off to visiting families and this year some cemeteries are still limiting crowds.
Teams at the Los Angeles Times wanted to keep the spirit of the day alive in the current pandemic world. They created a digital Día de los Muertosofrenda platform where the the public can submit photos and notes celebrating the lives of their loved ones. The result is dozens and dozens of colorful and heartfelt virtual remembrances.
NPR's Morning Edition spoke with Fidel Martinez, an editor on the project, about how it all came together and who he's remembering this year: his courageous, bolero music-loving grandfather Luis Isabel Martinez. You can listen to the story here.
The holiday's origins pull influences from Indigenous cultures throughout Mexico.
"It's deeply rooted in pre-Hispanic Aztec rituals tied to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, or the Lady of the Dead, who allowed spirits to travel back to Earth to commune with family members," NPR's Vanessa Romo reports. "That tradition was blended with the Roman Catholic observance of All Saints Day by the Spaniards when they conquered Mexico."
The holiday's traditional flower can be seen bathing cemeteries and oferendas in an orange glow during celebrations. The flower is called cempasúchil, the Aztec name of the marigold flower native to Mexico.
Romo dug into the history and significance of Día de los Muertos' most iconic flower and you can read the full story here.
And when it comes to the food traditionally used to honor loved ones on the holiday, Mariana Nuño-Ruiz McEnroe says you can't go wrong with tamales and pan de muertos, or bread of the dead.
She's the co-author of the cookbook Dining With The Dead: A Feast For The Souls On Day Of The Dead and spoke toWeekend All Things Considered's Michel Martin about how foods are used during the holiday for happy remembrances.
"Through the food and through the elements that are in the altar, it becomes celebrating life the way through memories. So then it's a joyful act. It's not sad," McEnroe says.
She says she'll be cooking Swiss chard tamales and marigold flan in honor of her grandmother this Día de Los Muertos.
Hackers infiltrate Israel's leading LGBTQ dating app and threaten to out users
Hackers allegedly from Iran infiltrated Israel’s leading LGBTQ dating site this weekend, leaking sensitive personal data and threatening to publish the site’s entire user database unless they are paid a $1 million ransom within 48 hours.
The hacking group Black Shadow shut down several Israeli websites, including Atraf, a dating and nightlife site used primarily by gay men. The group published the personal information of 1,000 users from the site, including users’ cellular phone numbers, email addresses, sexual preferences and HIV status.
“This is definitely a social crisis for the LGBTQ community in Israel,” said Hila Peer, a board member of the Aguda, Israel's LGBTQ advocacy group.
The organization has fielded an outpouring of phone calls from Israelis whose information was exposed in the leak, or who are concerned their identities could be revealed to family members who do not know about their sexuality.
The Aguda estimates Atraf has about a million user accounts. Atraf and Cyberserve, the dating site’s web hosting company, declined requests for comment.
Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point told NPR a forensic analysis of Black Shadow’s previous ransomware attacks on Israeli sites in the past year suggests the hackers originate in Iran.
Israel’s Justice Ministry said the messaging app Telegram shut down Black Shadow’s accounts following Israeli requests, though the group has since reopened new Telegram accounts.
The Israeli government’s National Cyber Directorate said it previously warned the company it was vulnerable to attack. A person working for Atraf, speaking on condition of anonymity because they did not have permission to speak publicly about the matter, told NPR the company was not contacted directly by the hacking group and that it was consulting with the National Cyber Directorate about how to proceed.
7 new books we're reading this month
Some highly anticipated books drop this month, including offerings from Ann Patchett, Louise Erdrich and Huma Abedin, and the final installment of the Bone Saga trilogy. Here are a few we're looking forward to, with a heavy assist from the NPR books team:
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich: Erdrich's latest follows the life of a Native American woman in Minneapolis who is recently released from prison. "Intimate, often sardonic," says reviewer Keishel Williams.
Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee: Lee charts the sweeping history in the final installment of her Bone Saga trilogy. "Lee's Green Bone Saga is The Godfather with an Asian cast, Game of Thrones in a suit, tie and sunglasses," says reviewer Jason Sheehan.
Both/And: A Life In Many Worlds by Huma Abedin: Longtime Hillary Clinton confidant Abedin steps out of the shadow and talks about her life — the good and the bad — including her ill-fated marriage to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, says reviewer Caitlyn Kim.
Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA by Tim Mak: Mak, an NPR correspondent, has written a scathing critique of the NRA that "might be the final blow in terms of exposing the organization's rotten core," writes reviewer Gabino Iglesias.
These Precious Days by Ann Patchett: Personal essays from the author of The Dutch House and Bel Canto on everything from home to friendship to work.
Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu: A young woman takes a job as a nanny for a wealthy New York family in this debut novel. Reviewer Michael Schaub calls the book "a subtle reflection on unbelonging that's constructed beautifully and with great care."
Cokie: A Life Well Lived by Steven Roberts: At the 2019 funeral for longtime NPR journalist Cokie Roberts, her husband, Steven, told personal stories about their life together. He tells many more in this book, which includes heartfelt conversations Roberts had with dozens of her friends, colleagues and mentors.
China tests 30,000 people at Shanghai Disneyland over one COVID case
Shanghai health authorities say they have tested nearly 34,000 people in a single night for COVID-19 at Shanghai's Disneyland.
On Sunday evening, the city suddenly closed Shanghai Disneyland and banned anyone inside from leaving. They also shut down the metro station that services the theme park. The park said they did so to cooperate with a contact tracing investigation after a woman who visited the park Saturday later tested positive for the coronavirus in neighboring Jiangxi province.
Chinese media says an estimated 100,000 people visited the park Saturday and Sunday, all of whom will now need to be tested.
On Chinese social media, frustrated park-goers posted short videos showing thousands of people waiting outside overnight as health workers wearing hazmat suits conducted COVID tests.
A Southwest pilot is under investigation for the divisive phrase 'Let's go, Brandon'
A Southwest Airlines pilot is now under an internal investigation after signing off from a flight using the phrase "Let's go, Brandon," the airline said in a statement provided to NPR.
With its origins in a NASCAR race in Alabama in October, the phrase "Let's go, Brandon" has become common in conservative circles as a way of saying "F*** Joe Biden." It started as a meme that's now widely spread to Republican members of Congress and has even been said on the House floor.
The Associated Pressreported that the pilot used the phrase on a flight from Houston to Albuquerque and there were audible gasps from passengers.
Southwest says it does not condone its employees sharing personal political opinions while working.
"One Employee's individual perspective should not be interpreted as a viewpoint for Southwest and its collective 54,000 Employees," the airlines' statement said.
"Southwest is conducting an internal investigation into the recently reported event and will address the situation directly with any Employee involved while continuing to remind all Employees that public expression of personal opinions while on duty is unacceptable. Southwest does not tolerate any behavior that encourages divisiveness," the airline said.
The best celebrity Halloween costumes of 2021
The only thing better than celebrating Halloween is catching up on the internet's best costumes the next morning (preferably with some leftover candy in hand). Here's a non-exhaustive list of some of Team Live Blog's favorites.
Singer Lizzo was unrecognizable as The Mandalorian's Baby Yoda.
Cardi B killed the game as Morticia Addams, while Chrissy Teigen, John Legend and their kids also moonlighted as the Addams Family.
Horror film lover LeBron James dressed up as Freddy Kreuger, of whom he has an actual tattoo.
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom set the couples' costume bar high, dressed as a vaccine and a healthcare worker (... his name tag 👀).
Harry Styles performed at one of his "Harryween" shows dressed as The Wizard of Oz heroine Dorothy (and a clown at the other).
Lil Nas X went as Voldemort, or as he put it, "he who must be called by your name." The rapper also posed as Seth Powers from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
Ariana Grande threw it back to the 1950s as "Miss Creature from the Black Lagoon."
Singer Bebe Rexha transformed into the Anna Nicole Smith to recreate the late model's infamous 1994 wedding to J. Howard Marshall II.
Janelle Monáe is The Grinch (and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), thanks to a talented team of costumers, makeup artists and filmmakers.
And Steve Buscemi greeted some fellow kids while dressed as his own meme.
The U.N. chief warns that reliance on fossil fuels is pushing the world to the brink
The world faces imminent disaster without urgent action on climate change, with the damage we can already see becoming unstoppable, the United Nations secretary-general tells leaders gathered for a major climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
"Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink," António Guterres said in opening remarks to the 26th meeting of the Conference of Parties, known as COP26, on Monday. "We face a stark choice: Either we stop it — or it stops us."
"We are digging our own graves," he warned.
Gutteres is pushing the world's nations to commit to more ambitious climate action — with a 45% cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050 — goals that scientists say must be reached if the global community has any chance of holding warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century.
But the COP26 conference opened a day after the G20 economies noted only vaguely "the key relevance" of halting net emissions "by or around mid-century" without setting a timetable even for phasing out coal.
"Our planet is changing before our eyes — from the ocean depths to mountain tops; from melting glaciers to relentless extreme weather events," the secretary-general said.
He warned that a rise in sea levels was set to double in 30 years, that oceans "are hotter than ever — and getting warmer faster," and that the Amazon rain forest is now a net emitter of carbon — contributing to the problem instead of helping to ameliorate it.
In the face of all that, he said, recent efforts to address the problem have been mostly "an illusion."
"We are still careening towards climate catastrophe," Guterres said, and if serious action isn't taken, "temperatures will rise well above two degrees."
He said the world must recommit itself to the 1.5-degree goal, and "if commitments fall short by the end of this COP, countries must revisit their national climate plans and policies. Not every five years. Every year."
Without sustained effort, "We are fast approaching tipping points that will trigger escalating feedback loops of global heating," he said. But investment in climate-resilient economies aimed at net zero emissions will "create feedback loops of its own – virtuous circles of sustainable growth, jobs, and opportunity."
Kal Penn is so much more than an actor. He details his many hats in his new book
Kal Penn is no stranger to the spotlight.
As an actor, he's played memorable roles in the TV shows House and Designated Survivor, as well as the Harold & Kumar film series. He also took a high-profile detour into public service, spending two years as an associate director at the White House Office of Public Engagement during the Obama administration.
Penn's new memoir, You Can't Be Serious, details his journey as an actor and White House aide — as well as his 11-year relationship with his now-fiancé, Josh.
Penn said earlier this fall that the book covers a wide range of themes and life experiences, from being the grandson of Gandhian freedom fighters and the son of immigrant parents, the opportunities and obstacles that he faced as a person of color in Hollywood and making the "terrifying/rewarding" decision to put his acting career on pause for the White House.
"I hope 'You Can’t Be Serious' shows how it’s okay to have more than one life story," he added. "No matter who you are or where you come from, you can make more choices than just those presented to you. My story is about struggle, triumph, & learning how to keep your head up. And okay, yes, it’s also about how I once accidentally (and very stupidly) accepted an invitation to take the entire White House Office of Public Engagement to a strip club — because, let’s be honest, that’s the kind of stuff you really want to hear about."
The book has garnered praise from the likes of Mindy Kaling, Ronan Farrow, Andy Samberg and Tony Shalhoub.
And it's already made headlines for its revelations about Penn's romantic life. In it, he shares the story of how he and his fiancé met and fell in love while living in Washington, D.C.
He toldPeople that he wanted to be transparent and authentic — "for the reader to feel like we're having a beer together" — without compromising the privacy of his loved ones, who he says shy away from the limelight.
"Figuring out the narrative [in the book], of how to respect who they really are, with telling my story — that includes: my work life, both in Hollywood and DC, it includes my love life with Josh and how we met, it includes my parents, to the extent that I'm willing to share stories about their upbringing," he told the magazine. "So that was the most important thing for me. I wanted my story to be authentic from my perspective and told in a way that makes you feel like you really get to know me."
The book comes out tomorrow.
The Supreme Court will weigh in on Texas' ultra-restrictive abortion law
A Texas abortion law that was specifically designed to evade judicial scrutiny will face the Supreme Court's examination beginning today.
The justices won't consider abortion rights today though; instead, they'll take a look at whether a state can nullify the constitutional right to abortion by delegating the law's enforcement to private citizens. Texas' SB8 does this by authorizing private citizens to sue for a minimum of $10,000 abortion providers and anyone else who aids or abets an abortion.
NPR's Sarah McCammon notes critics of the law have called it a bounty-hunting scheme — and at least one person who has sued under the law told news outlets he did it to collect the money. Today's hearing is the result of two challenges, the first from reproductive rights groups and a second challenge from the Department of Justice, whose lawsuit said Texas enacted the law "in open defiance of the Constitution."
SB8 bans abortions after around six weeks in Texas, which is well before most people know they're pregnant. The law will remain in place as the justices consider if it is constitutional.
How the Supreme Court rules will have big implications for Texan's access to safe, legal abortions, and it could also set a precedent around who is legally authorized to enforce a law.
The court will weigh in on the constitutional issue of abortion rights next month in a different case out of Mississippi.
For more on the hearing today and the issues the justices will examine,here's a look from NPR's Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg.
4 stories you may have missed this weekend
We hope your November is off to a brisk start. Here are some of the weekend developments we're catching up on this morning.
G-20 leaders committed to reaching carbon neutrality, date TBD
The leaders of the world's biggest economies left the G-20 summit with a new committment to reaching carbon neutrality "by or around mid-century." They also agreed to end public financing for coal-fired power generation abroad, but didn't set a target for phasing out coal domestically. And they endorsed a global minimum tax of 15% on corporations, as part of an agreement on new international tax rules.
Here's what else happened at the weekend summit in Rome. It laid the groundwork for the larger talks that will take place over the next two weeks at the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The stakes for that summit are high, as these charts explain. President Biden will address leaders there today.
It was a chaotic weekend for many American Airlines customers
American Airlines cancelled 1,700 flights over the weekend, including more than 800 on Sunday alone. The carrier blamed weather and staffing shortages, citing severe winds in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (the airline's main hub) and a shortage of crews.
Chief Operating Officer David Seymour said on Saturday that 1,800 flight attendants are returning from leave this month, and that the company will add 600 new flight attendants by the end of the year. AsNPR's Deepa Shivaram reports, this is just the latest disruption in the months-long struggle the airline industry has faced as pandemic travel picks up.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has COVID-19
Psaki said on Sunday that she has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the highest-ranking member of the Biden administration to publicly reveal a case. She is fully vaccinated and said in a statement that she had experienced only mild symptoms.
Psaki said she has not had contact with senior White House officials since Wednesday — four days before testing positive — and last saw Biden on Tuesday, when they were outside, masked and standing more than 6 feet apart. She will quarantine for at least 10 days but said she feels well enough to continue working from home. Read more here.
The Astros kept their World Series dream alive with a Game 5 win
The Houston Astros came from behind to beat the Atlanta Braves — who started the game with a first-inning grand slam — last night, with a final score of 9-5. Here are the highlights:
The underdogs denied the Braves a World Series victory at home, forcing both a Game 6 and a return trip to Houston. The Braves still hold a 3-2 series lead. The two teams will face off again in Houston forGame 6 on Tuesday night.