12 PM ET: Israel’s Gaza ‘closure’, Congress paralyzed, Walgreens walkouts & more – CNN 5 Things – Podcast on CNN Audio


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12 PM ET: Israel’s Gaza ‘closure’, Congress paralyzed, Walgreens walkouts & more

CNN 5 Things

Oct 9, 2023

Israel says it’s blocking Gaza from getting food, water, electricity and fuel, as a CNN team has to take cover while reporting on ongoing strikes. US officials try to answer questions about the conflict, including what role Iran may have played in the conflict. President Joe Biden is promising to help Israel, but Congress will struggle to act. Some Walgreens staff are walking out today – we’ll tell you why. Plus, AI is being trained with 200,000 books, but nobody asked the authors.

Krista Bo (host)


Hello from CNN. I’m Krista Bo with the five things you need to know for Monday, October 9th.

Krista Bo (host)


No food, no water, no fuel, no electricity. Israel’s military has called for a complete siege of Gaza after saying it has retaken control of the surrounding communities. This comes just over 48 hours after Hamas launched a surprise attack by land, sea and air. Israel formally declared war on Hamas yesterday, while Hamas continues sending a barrage of rockets into Israel. Take a listen to the moment. CNN’s Clarissa Ward had to take cover while reporting on the strikes near Gaza.

Clarissa Ward (correspondent)


Forgive me, I have a slightly inelegant position, but we have just had a massive barrage of rockets coming in here not too far from us. So we have had to take shelter here by the roadside. We’re just about 5 minutes away. We can hear now a lot of jets.

Krista Bo (host)


Over a thousand people have died so far, with authorities saying more than 700 Israelis were killed under the Hamas assault and more than 500 Palestinians are dead as Israel pounds Gaza with airstrikes, with many still missing or being held hostage. Meanwhile, a US National Security Council spokesperson said today nine US citizens have died in the conflict in Israel.

Krista Bo (host)


There are many questions still unanswered about this conflict. How did Hamas launch such a sophisticated strike? How did Western and Middle Eastern intelligence operations not see this coming? Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the US hasn’t seen evidence yet that links Iran directly to planning and executing the attack. But it doesn’t sound like he’s ruled out that possibility yet either.

US Secy. of State Antony Blinken


There’s a long relationship between Iran and Hamas. In fact, Hamas wouldn’t be around in the way that it is without the support that it’s received from Iran over the years.

Krista Bo (host)


Iran has said it was not involved. The administration has also rejected criticism that a recent deal unfreezing $6 billion in Iranian funds was connected to the attack. As far as potential intelligence blind spots, US officials are surprised this happened because the Israelis historically have had dominant capabilities to monitor communications in Gaza. A US official said Israel and the US will compile reports, quote, “in the coming days to see whether there were things missed,” or misread.

Krista Bo (host)


President Joe Biden says the US is unwavering in its support for Israel. But Congress is pretty much paralyzed right now. The House is back this week to elect a new speaker. Majority Leader Steve Scalise and House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan are in the running so far and the pressure is on to reach a consensus on a candidate. An internal vote could happen as soon as Wednesday. A floor vote hasn’t been scheduled yet. Also, a source familiar tells CNN the US can’t confirm Jack Lew as the US ambassador to Israel until at least next week when the Senate is back. And Senator Tommy Tuberville is ongoing hold on military confirmations is impacting a number of senior military appointments in the Middle East.

Krista Bo (host)


Pharmacy staff at some Walgreens stores across the country say they’re locking their gates and walking out today. An organizer told CNN that pharmacists, technicians and support staff will take part. Let’s find out more from CNN’s Nicole Goodkind. Nicole, how big is this walkout expected to be?

Nicole Goodkind (reporter)


It’s actually a difficult question to answer, Krista, because unlike the writer’s strike or the United Auto Workers strike, there’s no actual union leader here to coordinate and publicly address this movement. So it’s difficult to confirm how many pharmacies will actually be closed. Organizers told CNN that they’d heard from well over 500 interested stores. That’s out of about 9000 across the country.

Krista Bo (host)


And why does staff say they’re walking out?

Nicole Goodkind (reporter)


Pharmacy staff are just burned out. They say that these harsh working conditions make it difficult to actually safely fill prescriptions, and that puts the health of their customers at risk.

Krista Bo (host)


The Walgreens strikes comes after CVS also saw walkouts last month, and both companies say they’re working with pharmacy staff to fix the situation.

Krista Bo (host)


‘Hundreds of thousands of books have been used to train artificial intelligence, but there’s a problem. More on that next. Almost 200,000 books are being used to train artificial intelligence without the author’s permission. An investigation by the Atlantic found that a system called Books three uses data based on a collection of pirated e-books spanning all genres from erotic fiction to prose poetry to teach, AI systems to communicate. But the authors weren’t asked for permission. Many only finding out after The Atlantic published a database showing whose work was being used.

Krista Bo (host)


All right, that’s all for now. I’m Krista Bo and I’ll be back at 5pm with more news – ’till next time.

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