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5 things to know for Nov. 1: Israel, Antisemitism, Maine shootings, Health care, Italy floods

By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — When was the last time you took a moment for self-care? It can be as simple as relaxing with your morning coffee, enjoying a warm bath, or reducing your stress levels for a moment with calming activities. If there was ever a time that it’s especially needed, it’s during the now weekslong conflict between Israel and Hamas that’s dominating the headlines. Read these expert tips on how to stay engaged with difficult news topics without feeling overwhelmed.

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

1. Israel

An Israeli strike on a refugee camp in northern Gaza caused many casualties and left catastrophic damage, according to medics in the enclave. Israeli forces claimed that the strike killed a top Hamas commander responsible for the October 7 attack on Israel. However, Hamas denied the presence of one of its leaders at the camp. A hospital director estimated that scores were killed in the strike on Tuesday, which left massive craters amid the densely populated buildings. Meanwhile, Gaza’s internet connectivity and mobile phone networks have been severely disrupted since the war began. Communications went down again in Gaza today, telecoms companies said, as Israel maintains its bombardment and expanded ground operation despite calls from multiple UN agencies for a humanitarian ceasefire.

Listen to CNN’s podcast “Tug of War” to learn the latest on Israel’s ground operation and if growing international pressure for a ceasefire is being heard.

2. Antisemitism

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday that antisemitism is reaching “historic levels” in the US as the war between Israel and Hamas intensifies. “Our statistics would indicate that for a group that represents only about 2.4% of the American public, they account for something like 60% of all religious-based hate crimes,” Wray said of the Jewish American population. The Anti-Defamation League reported over 300 antisemitic incidents in the US since the Hamas attack on October 7. College campuses are seeing an increase in antisemitic activity as well, like the threats against Cornell University’s Jewish community. Wray said that the FBI is tackling the rise in antisemitism through a series of law enforcement efforts that include joint terrorism task forces, hate crime investigations and intelligence sharing.

3. Maine shootings

New details are emerging about the US Army reservist who authorities say killed 18 people in Lewiston, Maine, last week — including previous warning signs about him from the Army and his family. The Army in July said that the 40-year-old gunman “should not have a weapon, handle ammunition, and not participate in live fire activity,” after he was seen “behaving erratically” and sent for an evaluation at an Army hospital, an Army spokesperson said. Additionally, several attempts were made by officers to check on him weeks before the mass shootings, raising questions over authorities’ handling of the warnings and his access to the firearms. Attention is also being drawn to Maine gun laws, which do not prohibit a person from buying a gun based strictly on a mental health diagnosis or treatment.

4. Health care

The cost of job-based health care coverage will see a steep rise in 2024 due to stubbornly high inflation, benefits consultants say. Companies plan to shoulder most of the increase, but many workers could also feel the pinch in the form of higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for care. Workers will learn just how much more they’ll pay during their employers’ open enrollment period, which typically takes place at this time. Medical providers are pushing insurers for larger cost increases to cover the higher costs they endured over the last few years, experts say. There has also been a significant uptick in the use of specialty drugs, particularly those for diabetes and weight loss, which is driving up the average monthly cost per member for this class of drugs.

5. Italy floods

A storm that brought heavy rain and violent winds to northern Italy on Tuesday sent rapid floods through central Milan and caused Lake Como to breach its banks. Several waterside bars were flooded at the lake — a popular tourist attraction — while civil protection authorities were forced to pump out water from areas nearby and erect mobile barriers. Parts of Milan became inaccessible, while social media posts showed water gushing down stairs into underground train stations and pedestrians falling down or clinging to poles during strong gusts of wind. Tuscany, in Central Italy, was also affected by heavy rainfall and landslides.


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