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Trump disavows Project 2025. What is it? And, how to beat shrinkflation

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

Former President Donald Trump is seeking distance from Project 2025, a controversial plan developed by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation to transform the American government. Trump wrote on his social media website that he knows “nothing” about the project and thinks they are proposing “ridiculous” things. Meanwhile, Biden's campaign is doing everything it can to highlight Trump’s connections to the plan, which would expand his presidential powers. What is Project 2025, exactly — and why is Trump distancing himself from it?

  • 🎧 This is not Trump's plan, per se, but it is a plan for Trump, NPR's Franco Ordoñez tells Up First. He explains that, in many ways, the plan takes some of Trump’s biggest policy goals and shows a plan to execute them. The project outlines a legal framework to overhaul the federal workforce and proposes mass deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants, aligning with Trump’s and the RNC’s platform.


Democrats' private fears about President Biden are going public. Last night, Peter Welch became the first Democratic senator to call on Biden to end his candidacy. He wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that Biden should step aside for the “good of the country.” All this scrutiny on Biden has put someone else in the spotlight: Vice President Kamala Harris. Welsh said she is one of several promising Democratic leaders who can step in, calling her a “capable, proven leader.”

  • 🎧 NPR’s Asma Khalid says Harris is one of Biden's key validators. She has been defending him and shifting the focus towards Trump. One of her strategies has been linking Trump to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “Democrats see abortion as one of the most important policies that could help them win. And Harris is their main messenger,” Khalid explains.
  • 🎧 Biden will face another high-profile public test of whether he’s sharp enough to campaign for a second term today. He's expected to take questions from reporters during a solo news conference at 5:30 p.m. Watch the press conference here.


Frustration remains high in Houston, Texas, after Hurricane Beryl ripped through the city. Nearly a million people are still without power, leaving them without air conditioning as blistering heat continues across the region. Some residents are using generators inside of their homes as they wait for answers, which has resulted in reports of carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • 🎧 "It's been a bit of a whirlwind here in the newsroom," Lucio Vasquez with Houston Public Media says. CenterPoint Energy, the main utility company in the area, has released a map showing the areas that need to be accessed and repaired, but not a timeline of when these repairs will happen. “Of the two million that lost power, half are still in the dark,” he says.

Today's listen

Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024.
Jehad Alshrafi / AP
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AP
Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

Howard Tobochnik never imagined himself as a soldier. The American moved to Israel and joined the military before Oct. 7. This year, he sat down for two conversations with NPR's Aya Batrawy, who has been covering the death and devastation wrought by Israel's strikes on Gaza since the start of the war.

  • 🎧 Tobochnik reflects on the war and his role in it. He questions how much more he can give as Gaza’s death toll soars and the Israeli aims of the war still haven’t been met. Listen to the full conversation here.

Life advice

DON EMMERT / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images

Companies have figured out how to squeeze more money out of consumers through shrinkflation. It is a form of inflation where, instead of just raising prices, companies shrink the amount of stuff in the packages. The price per unit goes up, and you get less product for your money. Don't worry: You can fight back. These tips will help you see through the fog of packaging gimmicks and spot the best deal:

  • 💸 Look for the unit price. It’s a standardized measurement that makes shopping for the best value easier by telling you the cost per pound, quart, or other unit of weight or volume for a product.
  • 💸 Grab a calculator. Some stores might not display prices per unit. Only nine states require stores to do so by law. In that case, you can do a little math. Divide the total price of the product by the amount of product in the package to get the unit price.
  • 💸 Hate doing math? Talk to your elected representative about enacting policies that require stores to post unit prices.
The star cluster Omega Centauri contains millions of stars. The movement of some stars suggests that an intermediate-sized black hole lies at its center.
NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA /
The star cluster Omega Centauri contains millions of stars. The movement of some stars suggests that an intermediate-sized black hole lies at its center.

3 things to know before you leave

  1. The Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers discover evidence of an elusive black hole around 8,000 times more massive than the sun. Finding one this size can help scientists understand the multitude of ways black holes form and grow.
  2. U.S. Soccer has fired the head coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team, Gregg Berhalter, after the team’s disappointing finish at Copa América. This was the last major international tournament before co-hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026 with Canada and Mexico.
  3. A man was caught trying to smuggle over 100 live snakes into China in his pants from Hong Kong.

This newsletter was edited by Suzanne Nuyen.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Majd Al-Waheidi
Majd Al-Waheidi is the digital editor on Morning Edition, where she brings the show's journalism to online audiences. Previously, Al-Waheidi was a reporter for the New York Times in the Gaza Strip, where she reported about a first-of-its-kind Islamic dating site, and documented the human impact of the 2014 Israel-Gaza war in a collaborative visual project nominated for an Emmy Award. She also reported about Wikipedia censorship in Arabic for Rest of World magazine, and investigated the abusive working conditions of TikTok content moderators for Business Insider. Al-Waheidi has worked at the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy, and holds a master's degree in Arab Studies from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. A native of Gaza, she speaks Arabic and some French, and is studying Farsi.
Brittney Melton
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