Want to catch up with the news quickly? Here are the top stories from Tuesday, October 17, 2023.
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1. 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.
2. 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."
3. Gaza death toll far surpasses Israelis — over half of those killed were women and children
As of Sunday, at least 2,670 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed since Israel declared war on Hamas, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. 52 percent of those killed were women and children.
9,600 Palestinians have also been wounded by Israeli shelling. 1,400 Israelis were killed in Hamas’ attacks Oct. 7, with 3,500 wounded. An estimated 120 others were captured by Hamas and are being held as hostages.
Israel said it dropped 6,000 bombs on the Gaza Strip during the first six days of war — that's more than the U.S. dropped in any month while combating ISIS.
- Jewish Communities Fear Israel-Hamas War Will Make Anti-Semitism Worse ›
- Israel Orders 1.1 Million Gazans to Evacuate, UN Warns of 'Devastating Humanitarian Consequences' ›
- Bernie Sanders Condemns Israel's Seize of Gaza as ‘Serious Violation of International Law’ ›
- Israel-Hamas War Adds Urgency to U.S. House Speaker Battle ›