5 things for Thursday, October 6: Hurricane Matthew, Syria, President Obama

Hurricane Matthew strengthens as it approaches US
Hurricane Matthew strengthens as it approaches US


    Hurricane Matthew strengthens as it approaches US


Hurricane Matthew strengthens as it approaches US 01:37

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(CNN)Good Thursday morning. The great American clown freak out continues. And we don't live in a post-racial society after all. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

1. Hurricane Matthew

Matthew will smash into Florida later today as a Category 4 storm, and millions are getting out of the way. And they should. Matthew will be the strongest hurricane the Sunshine State's seen in years, and it's already killed 15 people in the Caribbean. Coastal areas of Florida, South Carolina and Georgia are being evacuated, leading to long gas station lines, crammed highways and crowded grocery stores full of shoppers looking for supplies. Keep an eye on Matthew with this storm tracker.

    2. Syria

    In Syria, no one is safe, not even the folks who try to help. A center used by the White Helmets was destroyed by a barrel bomb in Damascus. The White Helmets are 3,000 civil defense volunteers who rush to the scene of airstrikes and other attacks to rescue people and save lives. Some White Helmet volunteers were injured in the barrel bomb attack.

    3. NSA

    A government contractor at the National Security Agency is accused of stealing top secret intelligence. Harold Thomas Martin III was arrested back in August. Officials said he had copies of "highly classified information" at his home. Martin's lawyers said there's no evidence he "betrayed his country."

    4. Israel

    The US is ticked off at Israel over its plan to build new housing tracts in the West Bank. US officials didn't mince words either, basically accusing the Israelis of breaking their word. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said new settlement construction would "undermine the pursuit of peace." The Israelis insist the additional housing is just the expansion of an existing settlement, not the creation of a new one.

    5. Race

    Remember the term "post-racial?" That was suppposed to be the America we would be living in after President Obama's historic election in 2008. Turns out that didn't happen. A new CNN/ORC poll says a majority of Americans say race relations between blacks and whites have worsened since Obama became president. And more people believe discrimination against blacks is a serious problem as is bias in the criminal justice system.


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