Want to catch up with the news quickly? Here are the top stories from Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
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1. A 6-year-old Palestinian-American was stabbed 26 times for being Muslim
6-year-old Wadea Al Fayoume was stabbed 26 times on Saturday by his family’s landlord because he was Muslim, according to law enforcement. His 32-year-old mother, Hanaan Shahin, also suffered more than a dozen stab wounds which prevented her from attending her son's funeral.
The landlord, Joseph M. Czuba, 71, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of a hate crime and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, the Will County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois said. The Justice Department is investigating the attacks as hate crimes.
The sheriff's office said that Wadea and his mother were "targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis."
2. MAGA Republican Jim Jordan wins GOP House Speaker nomination — but holdouts remain
After Steve Scalise abruptly dropped out of the race for Speaker of the House of Representatives, conservative Republican Jim Jordan won the GOP's nomination. He still must be confirmed in a vote from the entire chamber, where he faces holdouts from Democrats and several Republicans. Jordan must earn a majority of votes to be confirmed — at least 217.
Jordan previously voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. He also voted against the Respect for Marriage Act and led the House’s debate against the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination through federal law. He has been endorsed for speaker by former president Donald Trump.
The unexpected escalation between Hamas and Israel increases the necessity for House Republicans to come to agreement on who is succeeding Kevin McCarthy quickly. A new speaker must be appointed before the House can pass emergency military aid for Israel, and Congress needs to pass a new spending bill by mid-November in order to avoid a government shutdown.
3. Israel prepares ground invasion of Gaza, world leaders warn of consequences
Israel’s military warned the 1.1 million people living in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes, signalling a possible ground invasion.
Gaza is already one of the world’s most densely populated areas, with more than 2 million people living within 140 square miles. The entire population has been ordered to move into the southern part of the strip – an order the UN has described as “impossible" without "devastating humanitarian consequences."
President Joe Biden on Sunday warned Israel against occupying Gaza, telling CBS' 60 Minutes that "Hamas [doesn’t] represent all the Palestinian people," and urging restraint in their attacks against Hamas, which have overwhelmingly killed Palestinian civilians.
Iran's foreign minister also said on Monday that Israel could face "preemptive action" if it invades Gaza. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on state TV, per a translation by Reuters, that Israel's enemies are "capable of waging a long-term war" and that "all options are open and we cannot be indifferent to the war crimes committed against the people of Gaza."
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- Bernie Sanders Condemns Israel's Seize of Gaza as ‘Serious Violation of International Law’ ›
- Israel Orders 1.1 Million Gazans to Evacuate, UN Warns of 'Devastating Humanitarian Consequences' ›
- Israel-Hamas War Adds Urgency to U.S. House Speaker Battle ›