In This Episode
- Seventeen more hostages held by Hamas were released on Sunday under a temporary, four-day ceasefire agreement reached last week between Israel and Hamas. In total, 58 hostages were released over the first three days of the deal, and in return, Israel agreed to release 150 Palestinian women and children from prison. Israel and Hamas have also both expressed openness to extending the pause beyond four days. Meanwhile, people on every side of the war took to the streets across the world over the weekend.
- And in headlines: George Floyd’s murderer Derek Chauvin is stable after being stabbed in prison, Sean “Diddy” Combs faces his third accusation of sexual assault in a month, and SAG-AFTRA published the full, tentative labor agreement reached with studios.
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
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Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Monday, November 27th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi. And this is What a Day where Thanksgiving might be over but we are feasting with concert films this year.
Tre’vell Anderson: Beyonce’s Renaissance documentary just premiered, though somehow my invite must have got lost.
Priyanka Aribindi: Has to be the Postal Service’s fault.
Tre’vell Anderson: Or Jay-Z. I don’t think he ever liked me.
Priyanka Aribindi: You can blame it on him. That’s fine. [laughter] [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: On today’s show, George Floyd’s murderer, Derek Chauvin, is stable after being stabbed in prison. Plus, the Union for Hollywood actors SAG-AFRA releases the full text of its deal with studios to convince more members to vote for it.
Priyanka Aribindi: But first, the latest out of Israel and Gaza. Under a temporary four day long cease fire agreement reached last week between Israel and Hamas, 17 more hostages held by Hamas were released on Sunday, while at least 120 aid trucks entered Gaza via Egypt. This makes for a total of 58 hostages released by Hamas over the first three days of the cease fire, which has been the longest break in the violence since Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7th. Take a listen to Adva Adar, the granddaughter of an 85 year old woman who was released on Friday. She was talking to CNN about what it was like to have her grandmother back.
[clip of Adva Adar] Wow. Uh really it’s overwhelming but we’re very excited and we’re very grateful ah that we’ve got the chance to see her. It’s a mixed feelings because we’re also very concerned and worried about the other 211 people that are still being held hostage, including my cousin Tamir.
Tre’vell Anderson: I definitely understand the mixed feelings, mixed emotions that they spoke to there. Can you tell us more about the hostages who were released over the past few days?
Priyanka Aribindi: Definitely. Hamas released Israeli women and children and citizens of the U.S., Thailand, Poland, the Philippines and Russia. Most arrived in Israel, but others left through Egypt. And according to Israel, one elderly woman was actually airlifted directly to a hospital not because she was harmed in any way. She just, you know, was an elderly woman who wasn’t receiving the same type of care that she normally was. So, you know, in the absence of that over the six week period, needed to go to the hospital to be seen. So there were nine children under the age of 17 who were being held hostage and have since been released. The youngest hostage so far was released yesterday, four year old Avigail Idan. She is a dual U.S. Israeli citizen, actually the first American to be released under the terms of the cease fire. Her parents were killed in the October 7th attack. So really just awful story. But according to President Biden, she is now safe in Israel.
Tre’vell Anderson: Gotcha. So we’ve got some release of hostages. What do the people of Gaza get in return for that release of hostages?
Priyanka Aribindi: So in return for Hamas releasing at least 50 of the remaining hostages they held, all women and children. Israel agreed to four days of a cease fire, as well as the release of 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons, some of whom were detained for violent crimes and some of whom were actually detained but never formally charged with any crimes. So far, 117 Palestinians have been released from Israeli prisons. On Sunday, a bus carrying 39 of them all teenagers, arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Tre’vell Anderson: Gotcha. Can you tell us more about how this deal even came together in the first place behind the scenes?
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I mean, this ceasefire deal came together after weeks of negotiation that started actually very shortly after the October 7th attack itself. US officials played a huge role in pushing Hamas and working with Israel. Qatar and Egypt acted as intermediaries in these discussions. And President Biden, along with other senior U.S. officials, spent a lot of time communicating with the families of these hostages and assuring them that they were doing everything they could to bring their family members back home safely. That is actually a contrast that has been drawn, you know, by these family members of hostages about, you know, the support and the communication they were receiving from President Biden and the U.S. government versus the Israeli government, which I thought had been very interesting.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Priyanka Aribindi: This deal was not without its hiccups, though. Hamas officials threatened to walk away from talks after the Israeli military entered Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza earlier this month. But talks resumed on November 17th, with Israel signing off on the agreement by Wednesday the 22nd. And of course, the cease fire was in motion by Friday. There were fears over the weekend that the agreement might fall apart after Hamas claimed that Israel went back on parts of it and threatened to postpone the release of the second wave of hostages in response to that. But after an hours long delay, they eventually went ahead with the release and now it continues which is really just great news for these hostages and their families that have been waiting for, you know, weeks and weeks now to know that they’re safe and to have them home.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Thanks for that update on the hostages themselves, Priyanka. And now after that right, much of the discussion has turned to what will happen on day five. After this negotiated pause ends and the agreed upon number of hostages are freed. President Biden has said that, quote, “the chances are real” that this pause could lead to a longer term cease fire. But most immediately, it looks like the current pause, which would end today could be extended in the meantime.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: Part of the deal negotiated between Hamas and Israel is that for every ten hostages that Hamas releases beyond that initial 50, Israel will pause violence by another day. According to Qatar’s prime minister who helped broker this agreement, like you mentioned, more than 40 other women and children are allegedly being held captive in Gaza, but not by Hamas. And so if Hamas can finagle those hostages for release, he says that there would likely be an extension. Just looking at the numbers, though, if such an extension did happen, the total pause would be about ten days total.
Priyanka Aribindi: Got it. Okay. So I know there have been some new developments over the last day. What is the sense now that either Israel or Hamas want an extension?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So both Israel and Hamas have expressed kind of an openness to a temporary extension of the pause in line with those already negotiated parameters that I just mentioned. But diplomacy analysts note that both parties don’t really have strong reasons to consider much of an extension in the first place. For example, if Hamas releases all of the hostages, they won’t really have whatever leverage that they might have had over Israel. Not to mention, they have to also appease in some ways the other rival military groups that operate in Gaza, like the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. So, you know, too many concessions with Israel and Hamas’ allies might not be happy or cooperative. And then on Israel’s side, even though their response to Hamas’s attack on October 7th has killed more than 13,000 Palestinians, that’s according to health officials in Gaza. They haven’t actually made too much headway in specifically wiping out Hamas yet. According to estimates cited by The New York Times, only a little over 2000 Hamas fighters have been killed in the war thus far. That is out of some 40,000 people. So only about 5%, meaning that any sort of longer term extension of this cease fire would mean that Netanyahu wouldn’t be able to make good on his vows. And that could harm him politically as the calls for his resignation or replacement seem to be growing by both elected officials a part of his conservative regime and those who are not.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right. And those figures that you are pointing out, I mean, even just the estimate that only a little over 2000 Hamas fighters have been killed thus far. That’s 15%. You know, of the total 13,000 Palestinians that have died over the past six weeks as a result of Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza. I think it underscores the ineffectiveness of this particular tactic of indiscriminate airstrikes in terms of rooting out terrorism, which remains to be seen if anything will change. I don’t think so. But anyways, any extension in the pause would certainly be a positive thing. So many people really hopeful about the release of the hostages, families who are hopeful that they will see their loved ones. And, you know, just a pause in this violence that has cost so many lives for so many people. So let’s say that, you know, this happens. It does happen. It’s a full ten day long hold on the fighting. What happens after all of those hostages are returned? Do we know?
Tre’vell Anderson: Well, so that answer is a little uncertain. But Netanyahu has basically made Israel’s priorities fairly clear. He actually said on Sunday, quote, “We have three goals in this war. Eliminate Hamas, return all of our hostages and ensure that Gaza will not go back to being a threat to the state of Israel.” He added, quote, “We are convinced that we have the force, the strength, the will and the determination to achieve all of our goals for the war.”
Priyanka Aribindi: Got it. All right. So throughout all of those updates, you know, protests on every side of this issue have continued. What was this weekend like in that regard?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So I’ll do a quick little round up here. First, in London, there were two demonstrations over the weekend. Here is a clip recorded by Forbes.
[clip of pro-Palestinian march in London] Thank you for keeping up the pressure. Thank you for coming out to show Israel and your government that you will not relent. Ceasefire now, ceasefire now. Ceasefire now. Free, free, Palestine. Free, free, Palestine. Free free Palestine.
Tre’vell Anderson: That is sound from a pro-Palestinian march that took place Saturday. An estimated 45,000 protesters marched through the city calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. It was a largely peaceful gathering. Only 18 arrests were made, according to officials. And then on Sunday, a 2nd march happened, this one against anti-Semitism. Take a listen to this protester interviewed by The Guardian.
[clip of Jewish person interviewed by The Guardian] We, the Jewish community, are worried about the current situation here in the United Kingdom. The rising wave of anti-Semitism. And we worry about the future. So together with all of the people here today, we are protesting against the rise of anti-Semitism. We’re hoping that the British government will support the Jewish community in their efforts to suppress the anti-Semitism that’s rising and taking over the society.
Tre’vell Anderson: Varying estimates for the demonstration put attendees between 60,000 and 100,000. And it happened as crimes against Jewish people have increased dramatically since the October attack.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: According to the BBC, there were 554 reports of anti-Semitism in London between the 1st of October and the 1st of November this year. So over just that one month time period. That’s compared with just 44 instances in the same period last year. Also, at the same time, Islamophobic hate crimes have also been on the rise in London with 220 instances in that same one month period compared to just 78 last year.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right. Of course, as we’ve dealt with all of the violence, the death, the tragedy in the Middle East, we deal with all of the hate and the ensuing violence and tragedy that comes from it, just all around the world. It’s been awful. But I know we are no stranger to protests right here at home. What has been happening in America?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So protests continued throughout the holiday break with the famed Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade being a bit livelier than usual perhaps. That’s because some pro-Palestinian demonstrators calling for a permanent ceasefire, they dressed themselves in white jumpsuits with fake blood splashed on themselves, and they tried to glue their hands to the pavement of the parade route. One protester, as they were being detained by police, proclaimed, quote, “We have nothing to celebrate.” In total, 34 people were detained by police at the parade. Four of them face charges, including harassment, obstruction of governmental administration and resisting arrest. The other 30 were cited for trespassing and disorderly conduct. This, though, was just one of a number of demonstrations that happened over the holiday break, which also included protests aimed at disrupting Black Friday shopping. And I’m sure we will continue to see demonstrations in the days and weeks ahead. But that is the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break].
Priyanka Aribindi: Now let’s wrap up with some headlines.
Priyanka Aribindi: Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis police officer who murdered George Floyd in 2020, is reportedly in stable condition after a fellow inmate stabbed him in federal prison on Friday. The incident was first reported by the Associated Press that day, and the Bureau of Federal Prisons said that an incarcerated individual was assaulted at the Federal Corrections Institute in Tucson, Arizona. Chauvin has been serving out two concurrent prison sentences there since 2022. And a source familiar with the matter identified Chauvin as the individual who was attacked to the press. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison confirmed the stabbing on Saturday and said that Chauvin’s condition had stabilized. Officials say that no employees were injured in Friday’s attack and that the FBI is aware of the incident. In the meantime, all visitation to the prison has been suspended quote, “until further notice.”
Tre’vell Anderson: Three Palestinian college students were shot in Burlington, Vermont, on Saturday. The 20 year old men were walking near the University of Vermont while visiting a relative. Burlington police said that a white man approached them with a handgun and without saying anything, fired four times and then fled. Two of the victims are in stable condition and the third sustained more serious injuries. Two of the three victims were wearing keffiyehs, which are traditional Palestinian scarves. All three men graduated from a high school in the occupied West Bank and are now currently attending various U.S. universities. The attacker hasn’t yet been identified or caught by authorities, and the police department said they are still in the earliest stages of investigating this possible hate crime. The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced that they are offering a $10,000 reward for any information on the shooting targeting the three students. But this is tragically part of a broader pattern. The organization said they have seen an unprecedented surge in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate since the beginning of the crisis in Gaza last month.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s troubling for so many reasons, it really needs to stop. Switching gears now to yet another update in Silicon Valley, drama Sam Altman has officially been reinstated as the CEO of OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT. The artificial intelligence company announced the move last Tuesday, just days after its board of directors pushed Altman out of the company. Greg Brockman, the company’s president who quit in solidarity with Altman, also returned to the company and OpenAI also announced a new, quote, “initial” board of directors that is made up of three members. It is worth noting that the only two women on the board are now gone. You’ll remember the whirlwind of events that led up to Altman’s return, starting with his ouster from OpenAI on Friday, November 17th. That was followed by Microsoft, which is OpenAI’s biggest investor hiring Altman and Brockman at their company. Then after all of that, nearly all of OpenAI’s close to 800 staff members signed on to an open letter, basically threatening to join Microsoft if Altman and Brockman were not reinstated at OpenAI. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Altman wrote on Tuesday, quote, “I am looking forward to returning to OpenAI and building our strong partnership with Microsoft.” My head is spinning. That is a lot. The man has had to update his LinkedIn twice in one week. [laughter] That is more than I have done in the last seven years. So it’s just a lot.
Tre’vell Anderson: It is a lot. So much drama, so much back and forth. So much foolishness. Huh yi yi. Sean Diddy Combs is facing his third accusation of sexual assault in a month according to a lawsuit filed in New York last Thursday. A woman identified as Jane Doe alleged that Combs and the R&B singer Aaron Hall assaulted her and her friend at Hall’s apartment. In a different lawsuit, Joi Dickerson-Neal accused Combs of assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, sex trafficking, gender motivated violence and making and disseminating revenge porn. Both of these cases pertain to alleged incidents that happened in the early 1990s, and these women filed suits just one day before a provision of New York’s Survivors Act expired last Friday, a temporary provision that allowed victims to file claims older than 20 years old. All of this comes just a week after singer and actress Cassie filed a $30 million dollar lawsuit alleging that Combs raped, sex trafficked and abused her, starting when she was 19 years old. This case was settled one day later, but the amount of money wasn’t made public. Actor Jamie Foxx, New York mayor Eric Adams and singer Axl Rose were among others accused of sexual assault before the Adult Survivors Act deadline.
Priyanka Aribindi: In labor news you may have missed this week. SAG-AFTRA, the union representing more than 160,000 Hollywood actors, published the full tentative labor agreement reached with the studio executives earlier this month. The 129 page draft was posted online on Friday as union members weigh whether or not to ratify the deal. In the past, actors have traditionally relied on the union’s detailed summaries of new contracts to decide. But after several members pressured the union’s leadership for more details of the new deal, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher promised that the full text would be made public. Many union members have praised the new agreement, which is valued at $1 billion dollars in new wages and benefits. But some still aren’t satisfied with the provisions around generative A.I.. Matthew Modine, one of the members of SAG-AFTRA’s own national board, said last week that he voted against the new deal because he believes that it doesn’t provide actors enough protection from digital exploitation. SAG-AFTRA members have until December 5th to vote. I know we will be watching that very closely on this program.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. And finally, Beyonce’s highly anticipated Renaissance film made its world premiere Saturday night at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. And it was, of course, a star studded event. Among those who graced the chrome carpet, a red carpet sans the red were Beyonce’s parents, most of the former Destiny’s Child members, as well as Lupita Nyong’o, Lizzo, Janelle Monae, Issa Rae, Laverne Cox, and many, many others. And if you’re wondering where Taylor Swift was since Beyonce made an appearance at her L.A. premiere of the Eras tour film, Swift was performing in South America. The night’s dress code was reportedly, quote, “cozy opulence” and opulence was definitely served. Beyonce herself wore a silver Versace gown with metallic opera gloves. She also skipped the carpet altogether and entered the theater just as the lights went down, as a diva does.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes.
Tre’vell Anderson: The film reportedly features footage from several performances of Queen Bey’s recent blockbuster tour, and includes appearances from special guests like Megan Thee Stallion, who joined Beyonce on stage in a Houston show, as well as the iconic Diana Ross singing Happy Birthday to Beyoncé in L.A. That’s the show I attended. The movie also features Beyonce’s 11 year old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, who joined her mom on stage as a dancer for My Power, which was apparently only supposed to be a one time thing. And she saw some of you alls horrible comments about her dancing, and she decided that she was going to work a little harder and show all of y’all up. So maybe y’all should stop talking about children when they show up in public.
Priyanka Aribindi: Or I mean, keep talking about them because maybe they’ll have a revenge arc like Blue Ivy and like, turn out to be one of the best dancers we’ve ever seen by the end of the tour.
Tre’vell Anderson: Valid point.
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t know, just– [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: Valid point.
Priyanka Aribindi: –one or the other, the right answer is either one of the two.
Tre’vell Anderson: Valid point. Anyway, Renaissance, a film by Beyonce, is in theaters this Friday. Get your tickets while you can, but if you haven’t already, you might already be a little too late if we’re being honest.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, babes, what? If you missed the tickets you’re not getting in on Friday. You’re getting in at some point. It’s just not opening weekend. But maybe you can live with that.
Tre’vell Anderson: But you want to be there opening weekend. Okay. I think we all–
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah that’s when the energy’s best.
Tre’vell Anderson: –should wear our cozy opulence, which to me sounds just like sweat pants.
Priyanka Aribindi: I know. Same.
Tre’vell Anderson: Um and I love that for us.
Priyanka Aribindi: I was like a Versace gown, [laughter] cozy opulence that is giving my finest sweatsuit. But it’s fine. [laughter] It’s fine.
Tre’vell Anderson: And those are the headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Keep eating those leftovers and tell your friends to listen.
Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just watching Beyonce docs like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And where was our invite to the premiere Bey?
Tre’vell Anderson: Again, I’m blaming Jay-Z.
Priyanka Aribindi: I’m blaming Louis DeJoy. I’m blaming the post office.
Tre’vell Anderson: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our show’s producer is Itxy Quintanilla. Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf are our associate producers. And our show runner is Leo Duran. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka. [music break]