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5 things to know for Oct. 9: Israel, House speaker, Auto strike, Ukraine, Afghanistan

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) — Several states today will commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day — a holiday that came about as an alternative to Columbus Day. It is a chance to reflect on the legacy of Indigenous people who lived here long before Christopher Columbus erroneously claimed to have discovered America. It is also a federal holiday, so many will have the day off from work, and places like post offices and banks will be closed.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

1. Israel

Israel formally declared war on Hamas on Sunday after the Islamist militant group launched a deadly surprise assault on Saturday. More than 700 people have been killed in Israel and thousands of others wounded, according to authorities. The multi-pronged attack was an incursion the likes of which Israel has not seen since its 1948 War of Independence. Videos show the horror on the ground, including an attack on a music festival where Israeli rescuers say they found 260 people dead. Other clips show Israeli civilians being taken hostage. Hamas claims it is holding more than 100 hostages, including Israeli army officers. Israel’s military today said it has retaken control of all the communities around the Gaza Strip and additional US assistance is on its way, President Joe Biden said.

2. House speaker

The House speakership drama has entered a second week as pressure mounts to reach a consensus on a candidate to wield the gavel. Two candidates have stepped up to fill the role: House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, who has the backing of former President Donald Trump. Scalise and Jordan are expected to make their pitches to their fellow GOP colleagues later today. The conference will then hold a candidate forum on Tuesday and an internal election on Wednesday, but it’s unclear when the floor vote will happen. House Democrats will hold a similar forum on Tuesday to officially nominate their leader, Hakeem Jeffries, for speaker.

3. Auto strike

More than 25,000 US autoworkers at assembly plants and parts distribution centers are now on strike. Without a tentative agreement in sight, many additional workers are poised to join the picket lines today after the United Auto Workers said its members voted to reject a tentative agreement with Mack Trucks — one of the major US makers of heavy-duty vehicles. The union’s stated bargaining goals at Mack mirror many of its demands in talks with the Big Three automakers — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, which makes cars under the Jeep, Ram, Dodge and Chrysler brands — including improved wages and health care and pension benefits.

4. Ukraine

The US has committed roughly $113 billion to Ukraine, including military, financial and humanitarian assistance. But after a heated spending debate nearly shut down the US government, Congress passed a stopgap funding bill last week that stripped out funding for Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believes Ukraine would collapse if the West ceased its military aid and economic assistance. “The Ukrainian economy cannot exist without external support,” Putin said,” Once you stop this, everything will be over in a week,” he added. Analysts say these remarks show Putin is banking on the West to waver its support, which would lead to a fracture of Ukraine’s forces.

5. Afghanistan

More than 2,000 people were killed in Afghanistan after a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the region on Saturday. The epicenter was around 25 miles west of Herat city in the western Herat province — the third largest in Afghanistan. It was one of the deadliest quakes to hit Afghanistan in years. International aid groups in the war-torn nation are scrambling to send help to survivors who remain stranded in heaps of debris and rubble. However, after the Taliban seized power in August 2021, Washington and allies cut off international funding for Afghanistan and major aid groups pulled out — leaving the country essentially isolated from the rest of the world.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Spooky movies to get you in the Halloween spirit
If you’re in need of some inspiration for a Halloween movie binge, look no further than this list of eerie-sistible options.

Powerball jackpot grows to an estimated $1.55 billion
Feeling lucky? The third largest prize in the game’s history is still up for grabs after no ticket matched all six numbers to claim the jackpot Saturday.

Kelvin Kiptum sets new world record at Chicago Marathon
The 23-year-old Kenyan runner made history on Sunday, becoming the first person to complete a marathon faster than 2:01:00.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson addresses Maui fund backlash
Johnson and Oprah Winfrey launched a recovery fund for Maui residents who lost housing in the wildfires. Here’s why their campaign is facing criticism.

How a lonely mountain lion led to the creation of the world’s largest wildlife overpass
A mountain lion in Los Angeles was struggling to find a mate because he couldn’t cross the city’s bustling six-lane 101 Freeway. Now, a massive overpass is being built to help the lion and other animals cross safely.

IN MEMORIAM

Michael Chiarello, a prominent Food Network chef, died Saturday after suffering a severe allergic reaction. He was 61. Chiarello was known for hosting his namesake Food Network series, “Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello,” which debuted in 2003. He also opened over 10 restaurants and served as a regular guest on several top cooking shows.

TODAY’S NUMBER

200,000
That’s around how many books are being used to train artificial intelligence systems, according to a recent report. Many authors are outraged as some AI companies continue to allegedly copy the content of their novels without receiving permission or providing compensation.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“Our collective focus is a return to normal operations.”

— Kaiser Permanente, issuing a statement after the historic three-day strike involving more than 75,000 health care workers concluded Saturday without a deal. While thousands of hospital employees have returned to work, negotiations are set to resume this week that could kick off another round of strikes if an agreement is not reached.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY …

The secret to aging well
CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta gives wonderful advice on how to age gracefully. Watch this short video to hear tips, including how his parents embrace their golden years.

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