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No more noncompetes, FTC says; Tenessee bill would allow teachers to carry guns

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission building in Washington, D.C.
Paul J. Richards
AFP via Getty Images
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission building in Washington, D.C.

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 Federal Trade Commission yesterday banned nearly all noncompete agreements. These employment agreements bar workers from taking new jobs with a competitor or starting a competing company. An estimated 30 million Americans are bound by these agreements, according to the FTC. It predicts the policy could lead to increased wages totaling nearly $300 billion per year by encouraging people to swap jobs freely. The ban, which will go into effect later this year, includes an exception for existing noncompetes for senior executives.

Elon Musk's Tesla has seen a lot of bad news. Sales are slumping, the company is laying off 10% of its global staff, and profits are down 55% this quarter compared to last year. Over the weekend, Tesla slashed its prices for electric vehicles in the U.S., China and other countries. Still, in a call with investments last night, Musk spent little time discussing what he called "unforeseen challenges." Instead, he looked forward to the company's production of a more affordable model and driverless robotaxis.

  • "This is a challenging moment for the broader EV industry," reports NPR's Camila Domonoske, who listened to the investor call. On Up First, she says a lot of companies are struggling to transition EV sales from early adopters to the mainstream. Tesla still sells more than half of all EVs in the U.S., but competitors like Kia, Hyundai, BMW and Rivian are seeing strong growth.

Teachers in Tennessee may soon be able to carry handguns on campus. Protests erupted after the state's House and Senate passed the bill yesterday, prompting state troopers to clear the gallery. The bill comes just over a year after a gunman killed six people at a Nashville school. Many, including students, have opposed the bill, saying that the solution to school shootings isn't to introduce more guns to schools. Under the legislation, staff who wish to carry a concealed firearm on school grounds must get a handgun carry permit, undergo a background check, complete 40 hours of additional training and pass a psychological evaluation. (via WPLN)

Picture show

Riders pass a baton during a Pony Express relay race in Okmulgee, Okla.
/ Ivan McClellan
Ivan McClellan
Riders pass a baton during a Pony Express relay race in Okmulgee, Okla.

Singing with a youth choir at the American Rodeo is one of photographer Ivan McClellan's fondest memories of childhood in Kansas City, Kan. Still, he never fully felt like he belonged there, as everyone around him was white. When McClellan learned about Black rodeos as an adult, it was a revelation. He spent a nearly a decade documenting the unique culture across the U.S.

Get a sneak peek of the photos he took for his upcoming book Eight Seconds: Black Rodeo Culture.

The science of siblings

/ Connie Hanzhang Jin
Connie Hanzhang Jin

The Science of Siblings is a new series from NPR exploring the ways our siblings can influence us, from our money and our mental health all the way down to our very molecules.

When our sun was born 4.6 billion years ago, it had thousands of siblings. Eventually, it became the only star in our galaxy. Star siblings can look as different from each other as human siblings do. And just like human siblings, some interactions cause star siblings to drift apart, never to see each other again.

Astrophysicists Jeremy Webb and Natalie Price-Jones explain in a webcomic how scientists are searching for our sun's siblings — and how finding them may help answer one of space exploration's biggest mysteries.

3 things to know before you go

Travelers and their luggage in a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport in August 2023.
Mario Tama / Getty Images
Getty Images
Travelers and their luggage in a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport in August 2023.

  1. The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced new regulations aimed at cracking down on airlines that charge steep fees to check bags and change flights. Airlines must show the full price of travel before customers check out and provide prompt refunds for canceled flights.
  2. A piece of space junk fell on Alejandro Otero's home in Florida last month. Now, he's working with his insurer on the complicated task of determining who is liable for the damages.
  3. Letters from George Mallory — the British explorer from the 1920s who died trying to become the first climber to summit Mt. Everest — have been digitized and published online. 

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.