6 AM ET: 30,000 killed in Gaza, wildfires rage on, forever chemicals banned & more - CNN 5 Things - Podcast on CNN Audio


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6 AM ET: 30,000 killed in Gaza, wildfires rage on, forever chemicals banned & more
CNN 5 Things
Feb 29, 2024

The Palestinian health authority says 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7th. Wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma have burned more than a million acres. Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are heading to the Southern border today. Trump's election subversion case will be delayed again after the Supreme Court said it will decide if he has immunity. Plus, some forever chemicals will be banned from certain types of food packaging in the US.

Episode Transcript
Jo Beck (host)
Hello! From CNN, I'm Jo Beck with the 5 things you need to know for Thursday, February 29th.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel's war with Hamas started on October 7th. The immense death toll from the Palestinian Health Ministry underscores horrific, months long suffering for people living in the territory. Israel's unrelenting bomb and ground campaigns have displaced most of the population and created a dire humanitarian crisis. This woman says she lost half her family because of indiscriminate strikes.
Gaza Woman (soundbite)
Back home, where the Israelis were outside shooting and started firing bombs. We were all injured and fell to the ground from my camp. They started bulldozing the place and dumped it on top of the dead people. My siblings.
Jo Beck (host)
The Israeli military says soldiers were fired on. And that a, quote, "precise strike was executed on the source of the fire." But CNN can't verify that. Many people who fled the strikes are now sheltering in Rafah, and there is grave concern over the Israeli militarys plans to launch an offensive in the border city, leaving Palestinians with nowhere left to turn. And Israel is facing mounting pressure globally to halt the conflict. But its campaign in Gaza is still being supported by the U.S., its key ally and largest supplier of military aid.
The second largest wildfire in Texas's history is still burning, leaving scores of homes destroyed. An 83 year old grandma died at her home because of the fires, and thousands of cattle have been killed. The Smokehouse Creek Fire has burned almost 900,000 acres in Texas and Oklahoma. A blaze that exploded in size after a sudden shift in wind direction in the Panhandle this week. The fire is now 3% contained, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has authorized more state resources to fight it, including over 90 firefighters and six air tankers. One of the towns the fire has burned through in Texas is Fritch, where some people were given just minutes to pack up what they could and get to safety. Like this resident who spoke to KCBD.
Local Resident (soundbite)
You know, we're just trying to get her stuff and figure out what things need to be canceled and basically what we're going to, what we might want to do to restart.
Jo Beck (host)
Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are taking trips to the US southern border today. Immigration and border policy has already become a key election issue, and both men have been battling about their first time records on it. But pretty much everyone agrees that the border is in a crisis. Both trips will take them to Texas, with Trump in Eagle Pass and Biden visiting Brownsville. The Supreme Court says it's going to decide whether Trump can claim immunity in his election subversion case, a move that will mean his federal trial will be even more delayed. CNN senior Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic says the timing of this decision is surprising.
Joan Biskupic (analyst hit)
They have effectively ensured that we will not have a verdict on President Trump's election subversion allegations before summer. The fact that they delayed even this order, this order that basically just says we're going to take it up, that they deleted for two weeks, suggests that they certainly did not embrace the urgency that special counsel Jack Smith tried to impose upon them way back in December.
Jo Beck (host)
The Supreme Court's decision to take up the case is a pretty big victory for Trump, as he can now all give a sweeping presidential immunity that could undermine a lot of the other legal challenges he's facing.
Some forever chemicals are being removed from U.S. food packaging. More on that next.
Certain types of forever chemicals will no longer be used in food packaging in the US. The FDA made the announcement yesterday and said PFAs that are used to make some kinds of grease proofing will be banned. Right now, they're used in things like fast food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags and take out pizza boxes, and they've been linked to loads of health effects like changes in immune and liver function, certain cancers and diabetes.
That's all for now. But if you're looking for a bit of a lighter look at the world, be sure to check out our new show, Five Good Things. It's dropping this Saturday wherever you get your podcasts.