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Home » 10 Things You Need To Know Today: October 18, 2023

10 Things You Need To Know Today: October 18, 2023

1. Gaza hospital explosion kills hundredsAn explosion at a Gaza City hospital killed at least 500 people on Tuesday. Hamas blamed an Israeli airstrike. Israel said an errant missile fired by a second Palestinian militant group hit the facility, where thousands of civilians had sought shelter. The Palestinian Health Ministry said the casualty numbers will rise. An estimated 1,200 people remained trapped in the rubble. President Biden, after landing in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to show solidarity with Israel following Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 attack, told Israeli leaders he was “saddened and outraged” by the blast and from what he had seen, “the other team” was responsible. Much of the Arab world disagrees. At least 1,400 Israelis and 2,800 Palestinians have died in the fighting. The New York Times, USA Today

2. Jordan loses 1st vote for House speakerFar-right House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) fell short of the 217 votes needed to be elected speaker of the House in a first vote on Tuesday. Twenty moderate Republican allies of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was ousted by hardliners, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), the GOP’s first nominee to replace McCarthy, opposed Jordan, as did House Democrats. The vote extended two weeks of chaos that followed McCarthy’s removal, leaving the House unable to pass any legislation two weeks before a deadline to avert a government shutdown. After the vote, Jordan met with opponents hoping to win them over. A second vote is scheduled for Wednesday. CNN

3. Ukraine fires US-supplied long-range missiles for 1st timeUkraine’s military fired a version of U.S.-provided ATACMS long-range missiles for the first time Tuesday, The Washington Post reported, citing a senior Ukrainian military official. The 18 missiles hit Russian airfields and ammunition depots in occupied occupied Berdyansk, on the Azov Sea, and the eastern Luhansk region. “Today special thanks to the United States,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram. “‘ATACMS’ have proven themselves.” Ukraine long pleaded for the U.S. to send the missiles, which have a range of 100 miles — more than weapons previously provided by Washington. “There are no more safe places for Russian troops” in Ukraine, said Zelenskyy adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. The Washington Post

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4. Trump appeals gag order in federal election subversion caseFormer President Donald Trump’s lawyers on Tuesday filed formal notice they are appealing a limited gag order issued by the judge overseeing Trump’s federal 2020 election subversion trial. Trump claimed the order “took away my right to speak.” “We’re being railroaded,” he told reporters before going into a New York courtroom for his separate ongoing civil fraud trial. “I’m a candidate that’s running for office and I’m not allowed to speak.” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s partial gag order, issued this week, restricts Trump from publicly disparaging court personnel, potential witnesses and special counsel Jack Smith’s team, but allows him to speak freely about other matters. CNN, NBC News

5. Putin praises Xi, invites investment in Northern Sea RouteRussian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday made a rare foreign address in China, praising President Xi Jinping for his Belt and Road Initiative, which has built infrastructure including power plants and roads around the world. Putin, whose visit to China for the Belt and Road forum is his second known foreign trip since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, said Xi was fostering “equal, mutually beneficial cooperation” with other countries. He likened the initiative to Russia’s Northern Sea Route shipping lane and invited global investment in that project, which he said would allow ice-class cargo ships to travel from near Russia’s Norway border east to the Bering Strait near Alaska year-round starting next year. Reuters

6. Georgia deputy kills Florida man exonerated after 16 years in prisonA Florida man who spent 16 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of armed robbery was fatally shot this week by a Georgia sheriff’s deputy who pulled him over for speeding on Interstate 95. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Leonard Allan Cure, who was Black, initially complied with the deputy’s commands, then resisted and eventually “assaulted” the officer when told he was under arrest for reckless driving. The deputy tased Cure twice, then shot him. Broward County, Florida, State Attorney Harold Pryor, whose office exonerated Cure, said he was devastated. He said that after Cure, 53, was freed he participated in training to “help our staff do their jobs in the fairest and most thorough way possible.” The Miami Herald

7. US tightens restrictions on AI-chip sales to ChinaThe Biden administration on Tuesday tightened restrictions on China’s access to advanced U.S. semiconductors, placing additional limits on sales of advanced microchips to Chinese firms. The rules could stop most shipments of cutting-edge chips from U.S. companies to Chinese data centers that need them to handle artificial intelligence technology. The administration is requiring more U.S. companies to notify the government or get a special license if they want to sell China advanced chips, or equipment to produce them. The Biden administration says it’s dangerous to give China access to advanced technology because it could help China’s military with such tasks as hypersonic missile guidance or breaking top-secret codes, The New York Times reported. The New York Times

8. India’s high court declines to legalize same-sex marriageIndia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to legalize same-sex marriage, saying the decision was up to Parliament. “This court can’t make law. It can only interpret it and give effect to it,” Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said. The chief justice urged the government to take action to uphold LGBTQ+ rights and prevent discrimination. The high court earlier this year heard 21 petitions asking for legalized same-sex marriage. One of the petitioners said the decision wasn’t reason to “lose hope,” but “the fact that the dream could not come to fruition today is a disappointment for all of us.” The Associated Press

9. United forecasts lower profit after suspending Tel Aviv flights United Airlines said Tuesday it expected fourth-quarter profits to fall short of Wall Street estimates as the Israel-Hamas war forced it to suspend flights to Tel Aviv and higher jet fuel prices increased costs. The airline said adjusted profit would come in at $1.80 per share if Tel Aviv flights were grounded only through the end of the month, but $1.50 per share if it lasted through the end of the year. United said it would not resume the flights “until conditions allow.” Tel Aviv flights amount to 2% of United’s annual capacity, making the route more important to it than to any other U.S. airline. Bloomberg

10. Prosecutors seek new charges against Alec Baldwin in ‘Rust’ shooting deathSpecial prosecutors in New Mexico are pushing for new charges against actor Alec Baldwin in the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie “Rust.” “Additional facts have come to light that we believe show Mr. Baldwin has criminal culpability,” New Mexico-based prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis said. “Rust” director Joel Souza was wounded in the incident, in which Baldwin, a co-producer, pointed a gun at Hutchins during a rehearsal, and the vintage pistol, which was supposed to be loaded with blanks, fired a live round. Prosecutors dropped an involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin in April. They plan to present the case to a grand jury within two months. Santa Fe New Mexican, The Associated Press