U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: October 21, 2016

Spencer Platt/Getty Images


1. Clinton and Trump tease one another at charity dinner
Fresh off a tense debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met againThursday night for the Al Smith charity dinner in New York, which raised $6 million for Catholic children’s charities. Trump spoke first, ribbing Clinton by saying the event was her first time speaking to corporate leaders “and not getting paid.” He later drew boos for saying Clinton was corrupt, and “pretending not to hate Catholics” at the event. Clinton stuck closer to the dinner’s traditional lightheartedness, poking fun at herself: “I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here.” She later tweaked Trump for claiming the election was “rigged” and refusing to promise to accept the result, saying she was surprised he agreed for her to speak after him because she “didn’t think he’d be O.K. with a peaceful transition of power.”

Source: The New York Times

2. Bomb kills soldier in first U.S. combat death in Mosul fight
A U.S. service member was killed by a roadside bomb in northern Iraqon Thursday in the first American combat death in the Iraqi offensive aiming to drive the Islamic State out of the country’s second largest city, Mosul. The improvised explosive device blew up as some of the 100-plus American advisors in the area accompanied local forces advancing toward Mosul. About 100 miles away, ISIS militants armed with assault rifles and explosives attacked police buildings, a power plant, and a government compound in the city of Kirkuk early Friday, in what was interpreted as an attempt to divert Iraqi security forces from the massive Mosul offensive.

Source: Foreign Policy, The Associated Press

3. Trump promises to accept election result… if he wins
Donald Trump said Thursday that he would “totally accept” the result of the Nov. 8 presidential election, “if I win.” The Republican nominee, who has repeatedly said the election is being rigged at polling places and in the media in favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton, faced harsh criticism for refusing to pledge that he would accept the result during the third and final presidential debate. Critics said Trump was raising unprecedented doubts about the integrity of American democracy. After raising concerns about voter fraud, Trump said he reserved the right to contest a questionable vote tally, as Al Gore did in 2000, but would abide by “a clear election result.”

Source: CNN

4. 10th woman accuses Trump of inappropriate comments, touching
Yoga teacher Karena Virginia said Thursday that Donald Trumpsexually harassed and groped her at the 1998 U.S. Open. She is the tenth woman to make such accusations against the Republican presidential nominee. Appearing in a news conference with lawyer Gloria Allred, Virginia said Trump, whom she had never met, eyed her and said, “Look at those legs.” Virginia accused Trump of then grabbing her breast and asking, “Don’t you know who I am?” Allred, who represented several women who accused comedian Bill Cosby of abuse, last week hosted a press conference with a former Apprentice contestant who also accused Trump of unwanted sexual advances.

Source: CBS News

5. Ex-contractor charged with massive theft of NSA secrets
Federal prosecutors in Baltimore said Thursday that they would charge former National Security Agency contractor Harold T. Martin III with stealing “an astonishing quantity” of classified data over 20 years. U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein and two other prosecutors said Martin is accused of the theft of at least 50 terabytes of data and “six full banker’s boxes worth of documents” in what could be the largest theft of government secrets in U.S. history. The 12-page government memo said Martin also allegedly took dozens of computers, thumb drives, and other storage devices, along with government employees’ personal information.

Source: The Washington Post

6. Philippine president says ‘goodbye’ U.S., hello China
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took a first step toward restoring ties with China on Thursday, meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to resume direct talks on disputes in the South China Sea after years of rising tensions over the issue. The visit came a day after Duterte declared it was “time to say goodbye” to the U.S. Though no major deals were made, Xi and Duterte reportedly signed 13 agreements and also agreed to talk further about territorial disputes. The U.S. is watching the budding relationship warily, as the Philippines has long been a key ally in the region.

Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times

7. Trump national political director to ‘step back’ from campaign
Donald Trump’s national political director, Jim Murphy, said Thursdaythat he had decided to “take a step back from the campaign” for personal reasons. Murphy said in a statement to Politico that he was not resigning but assuming a lesser role. The announcement came with just 19 days to go before Election Day, after Trump lost ground to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in polls. Murphy is a longtime GOP operative who joined the Trump campaign in June, and has been establishing field programs in battleground states, in several of which Trump has been losing ground.

Source: Politico

8. South Africa withdrawing from war-crimes court
South Africa has formally begun the process of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, the country’s justice minister, Michael Masutha, said Friday. South Africa has notified the United Nations of the decision. The Rome Statute under which the ICC was set up calls for arresting heads of state if necessary, but South Africa says that would amount to “regime change” and conflict with South African law giving heads of state diplomatic immunity. South Africa last year ignored a warrant to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg, on ICC genocide and war crimes charges. Bashir denies committing atrocities in his country’s Darfur region.

Source: BBC News, Reuters

9. Cybersecurity firm confirms Russian hackers accessed Podesta emails
Independent cybersecurity firm SecureWorks confirmed Thursday that Russian hackers broke into Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account after he fell for a phishing scam involving an alarming email purportedly coming from Google. As first reported byMotherboard, Podesta allegedly clicked on a Bitly link that sent him to a fake Google page, where he entered his login credentials. SecureWorks determined Podesta was likely hacked by the same group, known as Fancy Bear, that is thought to be behind the recent breaches of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Fancy Bear is believed to be connected to Russia’s military intelligence agency.

Source: Politico, Motherboard

10. L.A. Sparks beat Minnesota Lynx to win WNBA title
The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the defending champions, the Minnesota Lynx, 77-76 on Thursday night to win the WNBA championship. The Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike, the league’s most valuable player, grabbed an offensive rebound and put in a short jumper with 3.1 seconds left, giving her team the victory, and its first championship in 14 years. Candace Parker led the Sparks with 28 points and 12 rebounds, and was named the finals’ most valuable player.

Source: The Associated Press

8 thoughts on “10 things you need to know today: October 21, 2016

  1. #9: Independent cybersecurity firm SecureWorks “claims those in Russian government are “believed to be” ……” Just as the U.S. “believes” it is so. Neither has proof the “Russian government” did the hacking. Quoting SecureWorks, MSM, a presidential candidate and our own president does not make it true! Those who have accused the Russian government and Putin, specifically, are “treading on dangerous ground” and putting our country in harms way!


  2. #4: This is beyond ridiculous! Accusations are just that, accusations! I am no Trump supporter and would never vote for him. However, it is so arrogant of the Hillary camp to keep bringing these “accusers” to the MSM when they won’t print one word of Bill Clinton’s “proven” abuse of women!


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