10 things you need to know today: October 7, 2023

Israel 'at war' with Hamas following deadly surprise attack, Chuck Schumer leads bipartisan congressional delegation to China, and more

Members of the IDF take cover during a rocket attack
Israel declared war against Hamas following an attack from the Gaza Strip
(Image credit: Ahmad Gharabli / AFP via Getty Images)

1. Israel 'at war' with Hamas following deadly surprise attack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that his country was "at war" with Hamas after the militant group launched a surprise attack from the Gaza Strip, killing at least 40 people. The attack was initiated by Palestinian terrorists from the Hamas-held Gaza Strip, as a flurry of rockets were sent toward Israel as gunmen also encroached on the country's territory. Hamas additionally claimed to have captured several Israeli soldiers during the attack, which came on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. "Citizens of Israel, we are at war. Not an operation, not a round [of fighting,] at war!" Netanyahu said, adding that Hamas would pay an "unprecedented price" for the attack. CNN, The Times of Israel 

2. Chuck Schumer leads bipartisan congressional delegation to China

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) led a bipartisan congressional delegation to China on Saturday, where he urged cooperation between the United States and China as relations between the two countries continue to cool. Schumer helmed a group of six senators to meet with Communist Party officials and said he hoped to get an audience with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Schumer said the U.S. wanted an even playing field "as we compete economically" and urged for the allowance of "American companies to compete as freely in China as Chinese companies are able to compete here." Other senators on the trip included John Kennedy (R-La.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). Bloomberg, Reuters

3. Kevin McCarthy denies reports he will resign from Congress

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Friday that he did not plan to resign from Congress following his historic ousting as speaker of the House. After being stripped of the gavel this past week by a GOP-led motion to vacate, Politico reported that McCarthy was considering resigning from his congressional seat, with sources telling the outlet that he was likely to do so after the new speaker's race concludes. The congressman told reporters, however, that he was not going to resign, replying, "I got a lot more work to do." McCarthy added that he was planning on running for re-election in 2024, saying, "I'm going to help the people I got here, and we're going to expand it further." CBS News, NBC News

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4. Over 100 bodies found at Colorado funeral home, launching criminal investigation

At least 115 decaying bodies were discovered at a southern Colorado funeral home that advertises "green" burials, officials said Friday. Investigators were led to the Penrose, Colorado, funeral home after complaints this past week of a foul smell emanating from the property. The funeral home's owner, Jon Hallford, spoke to federal agents and "acknowledged that he has a 'problem' at the property," according to a letter from state regulators, adding that he "practices taxidermy" at the site. Fremont County coroner Randy Keller said in a press conference that it could take months to identify all of the deceased. The funeral home's website said it practiced environmentally friendly burials that did not use embalming fluids or metal caskets. The Denver Post, USA Today

5. Walgreens pharmacists planning walkout over harsh working conditions

Pharmacy employees at Walgreens stores are planning a walkout next week to protest harsh working conditions, CNN reported Friday. The employees, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other support staff are planning a strike from Oct. 9 to Oct. 11, one of the organizers told the outlet. Employees at at least 500 of Walgreens' 9,000 nationwide stores have expressed an interest in striking, as complaints continue to arise over working conditions and long hours that pharmacists say put patients at risk. Pharmacy employees at CVS as well as Kaiser Permanente have already been striking for similar reasons, the latter becoming the largest health care strike in U.S. history. CNN

6. Man who attacked Capitol with tomahawk on Jan. 6 gets 7 years in prison

A Texas man who attacked the U.S. Capitol with a tomahawk during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison. Shane Jenkins, 46, was convicted by a jury this past March on charges including obstruction of official proceedings and civil disorder. Jenkins had flown to Washington, D.C., the day before the attack and attempted to smash Capitol building windows with his tomahawk. He also threw makeshift weapons at police officers, including a flagpole and metal stick. Since the insurrection, Jenkins had also run a website selling Jan. 6-related merchandise and lambasting those who had been arrested as political prisoners. Prosecutors said Jenkins had collected more than $118,000 in donations. The Associated Press

7. RFK Jr. to speak at far-right CPAC event amid rumors of independent run

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be one of the keynote speakers at an upcoming event run by the hard-right Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the conference's organizer said Friday. The 69-year-old Kennedy will speak at the CPAC investor's conference in Las Vegas, slated to be held later this month. Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is also scheduled to be a headliner. The move comes as Kennedy appears primed to abandon the Democratic Party and launch an independent bid for the presidency given his opposing views from nearly the party's entire platform. The move could potentially siphon votes away from both President Biden and former President Donald Trump. The Hill, The Guardian

8. Mexico hit by 5.9-magnitude earthquake

Southern Mexico was hit by a magnitude-5.9 earthquake on Friday night, triggering seismic alarms across the region but leaving no significant damage. The temblor occurred around 11 p.m. local time near the town of Matias Romero in the state of Oaxaca, according to a seismic reading from the U.S. Geological Survey. Officials confirmed that there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, but continued to monitor the situation. Shaking was reportedly felt throughout the state, including Oaxaca's capital city of the same name. Seismic alarms also went off in the national capital of Mexico City, though most areas of the metropolis did not actually feel the earthquake. The Associated Press

9. Simone Biles becomes most decorated gymnast in history

Simone Biles is now the greatest of all time — literally. The 26-year-old American became the most decorated gymnast in history on Friday when she secured the all-around title at the 2023 Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. The gold medal victory also made Biles the first female gymnast to capture six all-around world titles. The win gave Biles her 27th world championship medal, of which 21 have been gold. Combined with her seven Olympic medals, Biles now has 34 competition medals, beating Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo's 33. Biles' victory in Antwerp came 10 years after she won her first world championship in the same city. Yahoo! Sports, NBC News

10. At least 1,000 birds die in 1 night after crashing into Chicago building

More than 1,000 migrating birds were killed in a single night this past week after colliding with the side of a building in Chicago. The birds, who were traveling during peak migration season, ran into the side of the McCormick Place convention center overnight. "The amount of artificial lighting and glass in the city, combined with millions of birds coming each year, it’s dangerous for them," Annette Prince, director of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, told the Chicago Sun-Times. McCormick Place, positioned along Chicago's lakefront, is covered in large windows, and the light emitted from these windows can often confuse birds' depth perceptions, Prince added. Chicago Sun-Times

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