Up first briefing: Actors on strike; OTC birth control; a White House cocaine mystery
Today's top stories
Hollywood is officially on pause as actors in the SAG-AFTRA union go on strike. They join writers from the Writers Guild of America, who have been striking since May. It's the first time they have been on strike together since 1960.
Temperatures in Phoenix have reached at least 110 degrees every day this month. It's part of the heatwave that's been pummeling the Southern U.S., and it's expected to worsen over the weekend.
The World Health Organization has determined that the artificial sweetener aspartame could "possibly" cause cancer. The global health body clarified that occasional consumption shouldn't pose a risk for most people and did not change their recommended limit for daily aspartame intake. The FDA disagrees with WHO's classification, saying their scientists reviewed the same studies and determined they had inconsistent findings.
Millions of Americans may soon be able to get the birth control pill over the counter for the first time. The FDA approved Opill (norgestrel), a daily oral contraceptive, for use without a prescription yesterday in hopes of reducing barriers to access. Perrigo, the company that manufactures the pill, says it could be in stores as early as the first quarter of 2024 but has not released pricing information.
Even though the Supreme Court struck down President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan, borrowers could have another option: the SAVE plan. But the new form of income-driven repayment isn't as straightforward as loan forgiveness. Here's what you need to know:
Check out what NPR is watching, reading and listening to this weekend:
Books: With both Hollywood writers and actors on strike, there's never been a better summer to read. These are some that NPR critics are excited to read.
Games: If reading's not your thing, perhaps you can pick up gaming. We have a beginner's guide to the hobby.
Recipe: Or, you can spend time improving your kitchen skills. Icebox cake enthusiasts are devastated that Nabisco discontinued its chocolate wafers. Try this recipe for homemade wafers for your cake — you might like them even more.
Music: In Eye on the Bat, Palehound sings about their tour falling apart during the pandemic, followed by their romantic relationship ending. You can feel the songs in your gut.
Quiz: A lot has happened this week. Test how much of it you remember with our news quiz.
3 things to know before you go
This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.
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