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9 AM ET: American prisoners released, CA vs oil companies, luxury brand hijacking & more - CNN 5 Things - Podcast on CNN Audio

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9 AM ET: American prisoners released, CA vs oil companies, luxury brand hijacking & more

CNN 5 Things

Sep 18, 2023

5 mins

Five wrongfully detained Americans are being released by Iran and are on their way to Qatar. A government shutdown is looming, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is facing an uphill battle to pass a spending bill. Authorities are struggling to reach hard hit communities in Libya. California has filed a lawsuit against the country's biggest oil companies. Plus, a luxury French label says part of its new collection has been stolen.

Hello from CNN I'm Jo Beck with the five things you need to know for Monday, September 18th. Five wrongfully detained Americans are being released by Iran today as part of a deal with the US. An official says they're now on a flight on their way to Qatar. And CNN's Nic Robertson has more.

Nic Robertson (CNN reporter)


Hours away from getting their feet on a country where they will have freedom, which is what's been denied, one of them for eight years, the other four for about five years. So hugely significant, Hugely big deal for them. Hugely big deal for their families. Hours, weeks, months, more than a year of painstaking negotiations behind the scenes. And of course, their release is only part of the picture because there will be the debate about how it was achieved and what the Iranians got and what the United States get.

The agreement between the US and Iran includes $6 billion of restricted Iranian funds being partly freed up. They'll be transferred from South Korean accounts to banks in Qatar, where Iran will have access to them. But the money will be monitored by the US and can only be spent on humanitarian needs. And the US will release five Iranian nationals.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy


These are individuals and they have a right to do what they want, but I'm not going to be deterred from that.

That was House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaking to Fox News about challenges to his leadership. McCarthy is facing an uphill battle to get a spending bill passed in Congress to avoid a government shutdown by the end of the month. He's working with a razor thin margin and some of the hard right members of his party are threatening his job unless that bill includes their demands. Any individual member of the House can move to vacate the speaker's chair, a concession McCarthy made with the far right of his party in order to take the gavel. But even if McCarthy can get all the House Republicans on board, any bill would still need to pass the Democrat controlled Senate in the next two weeks, which is pretty unlikely.

Authorities in Libya are still struggling to get a grip on the extent of the damage left by catastrophic flooding last week. The UN has now revised down its official death toll in the country and estimates almost 4000 people have died, but more than 9000 are still missing. Some areas hit by the floods are still extremely hard to reach, making the rescue and recovery incredibly difficult. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in the hard hit city of Derna.

Jomana Karadsheh (CNN reporter)


What we are hearing from the international teams that have been working on this for days now is that this has become a near impossible mission. This one team says they spotted the bodies of about 300 people, but the conditions are so challenging out there for them. They say that they don't have the right equipment to reach these really hard to reach areas, coves where these bodies have ended up, shallow waters where their boats can go, and they just don't have the equipment and the expertise, the manpower to deal with a situation like this.

California is suing some of the country's biggest oil companies. The list includes BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and ConocoPhillips, as well as their trade group, the American Petroleum Institute. The state says they're responsible for a, quote, longstanding pattern of deceiving the public over the risks associated with fossil fuels and for causing billions of dollars in damage to communities and the environment. Shell and Chevron said in separate statements that they do believe that, quote, action is needed now on climate change, but not through the courts. While Exxon Mobil and BP did not respond with comments.

Coming up, a famous luxury label gets hijacked two weeks before Paris Fashion Week. We're just two weeks out from Paris Fashion Week and French label Balmain is missing parts of its new collection because a delivery truck was hijacked. The creative director for the brand, Olivier Rousteing, says dozens of items were stolen over the weekend when the truck was robbed while it was traveling from the airport to the company's headquarters in Paris. Rousteing posted on Instagram that more than 50 of the label's new items are missing, along with the truck itself, but that Balmain and its suppliers will work, quote, days and nights to remake them. That's all for now. Our next episode drops at noon Eastern.

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