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5 things to know for October 7: Turkey, whistleblowers, protests, bar shooting, NYC attacks

Good morning and welcome to a new workweek. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. US and Turkey

In a stunning change in US foreign policy, the White House announced last night that US forces would step aside as Turkey plans a military offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria. The move is astonishing because the US-backed Kurdish forces have been America’s most reliable partners in Syria and played a huge role in the fight against ISIS. Turkey has long considered the US-backed Kurdish militia YPG as a terrorist group and has wanted to eliminate it. The White House added Turkey would now be responsible for all captured ISIS fighters who are currently being held by US-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The announcement followed a phone call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. There are about 1,000 US troops operating in northeastern Syria right now.

2. Impeachment inquiry

There’s now a second whistleblower accusing President Trump of abusing his power. Attorney Mark Zaid, who is one of the lawyers for the first whistleblower, told CNN he and his team of lawyers are now representing a second person. This person works in the intelligence community, has first-hand knowledge that supports claims made by the first whistleblower and has spoken to the intelligence community’s inspector general.

The White House downplayed this revelation, with press secretary Stephanie Grisham saying “it doesn’t change the fact that (Trump) has done nothing wrong.” The President is under fire for a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump is accused of trying to get Ukraine’s help to dig up dirt on a political opponent. Click here to get the latest on the impeachment inquiry, and click here to sign up for a new CNN newsletter covering the daily twists and turns in the impeachment inquiry.

3. Hong Kong protests

It was another violent weekend in Hong Kong, as anti-government protesters barged through parts of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, attacking and vandalizing subway stations and Chinese-linked businesses. Subways are closed in Hong Kong for an unprecedented fourth day. Thousands marched on Sunday against a new law that bans people from wearing face masks in public. The law stoked a swift backlash and sparked fears about a crackdown on civil liberties.

During the march a driver mowed down some protesters with a taxi cab. The driver was then severely beaten by a crowd. Fallout from the marches has even reached the world of professional basketball. The general manager for the NBA’s Houston Rockets tweeted out a message of support for the protests. That caused a firestorm in China, with several Chinese businesses suspending ties with the team. The general manager later apologized.

4. Kansas City bar shooting

A suspect has been arrested in a bar shooting in Kansas City, Kansas, over the weekend that killed four people. Javier Alatorre, 23, was arrested yesterday and was charged with four counts of first-degree murder. Police are also searching for a second suspect, Hugo Villanueva-Morales. It’s believed an argument inside the bar hours earlier may have led to the shooting, where two men walked into the bar with handguns and opened fire. There were about 40 people inside the bar at the time.

5. Homeless men attacked

A man was arrested in attacks on the homeless in Manhattan over the weekend that left four men dead. Randy Rodriguez Santos was arrested and charged with four counts of murder. He’s accused of hitting homeless men in their heads with a metal object — which police believe was a pipe — while the men slept in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood. Right now police say the attacks were random. Santos is also homeless.


Nobel prize winners

This year’s Nobel prize in Medicine goes to a trio of scientists for pioneering research into how human cells respond to changing oxygen levels.


RIP, Rip

Rip Taylor was the “Prince of Pandemonium” during his 70s heyday, dressing up in wacky outfits and showering crowds with confetti. He has died at age 84.

How you doin’?

We’re doing great after Courteney Cox shared this selfie posing with fellow “Friends” stars Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc.

All hail the queen

More than two years ago she was shot in the head and left for dead in a canal. Now she’s been crowned homecoming queen.

Major miracle

Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas about a month ago. Rescuers just found a puppy alive inside the rubble of one building.


“I had no intention of hurting him, we just need to get the game going.”

Oregon Ducks’ running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio, who tackled a rowdy fan who ran on the field during the Ducks’ game Saturday against the California Golden Bears. Habibi-Likio later offered to take the man out for ice cream.


Supremes set to go

The Supreme Court’s latest term starts today, and the high court will be deciding some blockbuster cases dealing with issues like abortion, immigration and gun rights. And it will all take place during both an election year and an impeachment inquiry.



Keeping up the fight

He lost the use of his legs because of a stray bullet. He despaired. Then he discovered wheelchair boxing. (Click to view)

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly said today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. It’s actually next week.

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