U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: October 25, 2016

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Trump dismisses ‘phony’ polls, insists he’s winning
Donald Trump shrugged off polls showing his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, expanding her lead with just two weeks until Election Day, telling supporters in Florida that most of the surveys are “phony.” Trump said “phony, disgusting, dishonest” newspapers are touting biased polls to undermine his campaign. An ABC News tracking poll released Sunday showed Clinton up by 12 percentage points, while a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday gave Clinton just a 5-point lead. “I believe we’re actually winning,” the Republican nominee said. Trump campaigned in the battleground state of Florida as his campaign conceded that another key potential swing state, Pennsylvania, was slipping away.

Source: The Associated Press, CNN

2. Elizabeth Warren criticizes Trump at Clinton rally
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leader of progressive Democrats, campaigned with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on Monday, hammering Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump, but also focusing on the state’s Republican incumbent senator, Kelly Ayotte. Ayotte is in a tight race for reelection against Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat. Warren said Ayotte put up with offensive statements by Trump about immigrants, women, and others, then started running from him only when his poll numbers dropped. “Donald Trump is right. Kelly is weak,” Warren said. Her remarks came as Clinton and her allies step up efforts to turn Trump’s troubles against vulnerable down-ballot Republicans to help Democrats regain control of the Senate.

Source: NBC News

3. Trump campaign launches Facebook Live program
Donald Trump’s campaign launched a nightly Facebook Live programcalled Trump Tower Live on Monday night, fueling speculation that Trump is gearing up to launch a media channel if he loses the November presidential election. In an email to supporters, the Republican nominee’s campaign said the show would provide “nightly campaign coverage from Trump Tower.” The inaugural program featured Trump campaign advisers Boris Epshteyn and Cliff Sims, conservative commentator Tomi Lahren, and Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer. Epshteyn said that the program “has nothing to do with Trump TV. It has everything to do with making sure our supporters get out to vote.”

Source: Bloomberg

4. ISIS resistance increases as Iraqi forces close in on Mosul
After advancing quickly toward Mosul, U.S.-backed Iraqi and Kurdish forces have hit “heavy resistance” from Islamic State fighters outside the Iraqi city, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday. “It’s going to get heavier” as anti-ISIS forces enter the city, he said. ISIS, badly outnumbered, continued launching assaults on towns elsewhere in northern Iraq to divert the coalition’s resources. On Monday, ISISseized control of Rutba, a town of 20,000 people hundreds of miles away from Mosul in Iraq’s western province of Al Anbar, near Iraq’s Jordanian and Syrian borders.

Source: Fox News, Al Jazeera

5. Former Pennsylvania attorney general sentenced to prison for perjury
A judge on Monday sentenced former Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen G. Kane, once a rising Democratic star in the state, to 10 to 23 months in prison for perjury and abuse of her office. Kane, 50, was elected less than four years ago. An outsider and political newcomer, she vowed to shake up a male-dominated and corruption-scarred political establishment she called “the Harrisburg old boys.” In August, however, a jury found her guilty of leaking grand jury records to discredit a critic, and lying about it to another grand jury.

Source: The New York Times

6. 59 dead in attack on Pakistan police training college
At least 59 people were killed when several gunmen wearing explosive suicide vests stormed a dormitory at a police training college near Quetta, Pakistan, on Monday. “They just barged in and started firing point blank,” a cadet said. Security forces exchanged gunfire with the attackers, killing one. Two others blew themselves up, according to the chief minister of the Balochistan Province, of which Quetta is the capital city. The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, although intercepted calls involving the attackers suggested they belonged to the sectarian Sunni militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Source: BBC News, The New York Times

7. ObamaCare premiums to rise by double digits in 2017
The Obama administration announced Monday that ObamaCare premiums would rise by double digits in 2017. A report from the Department of Health and Human Services forecast an average 25 percent rise for midlevel benchmark plans across the 39 states served by the federally run insurance marketplace. Major national insurance carriers have also scaled back their participation in the ObamaCare exchange, which could leave about 20 percent of consumers with only one option of insurer. The Obama administration is emphasizing that taxpayer-provided subsidies should offset the increases for most consumers, but “headline rates are generally rising faster than in previous years,” a DHHS spokesman acknowledged.

Source: The Associated Press

8. Politicians slam Pentagon for making veterans repay bonuses
Several California lawmakers harshly criticized the Pentagon on Monday over reports that it had forced nearly 10,000 California National Guard members and veterans to pay back enlistment bonuses they received in error. The Pentagon used the hefty bonuses, many around $15,000, to get soldiers to reenlist about a decade ago. “We were in the Iraq and Afghanistan war at the time,” said one of the veterans, Christopher Van Meter, who had served in the Army 15 years and planned to retire until he heard about the bonuses. “And they wanted to keep soldiers in the military.” Bonuses were intended for soldiers in certain roles, but investigators found that many ineligible service members got them from California Guard officials trying to meet enlistment targets.

Source: Military.com, CNN

9. Buick becomes first U.S. brand in Consumer Reports top 3 in decades
Buick on Monday became the first U.S. auto brand in three decades to place in the top three of Consumer Reports’ annual ranking of the most reliable automobiles. Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, placed first, followed by Toyota at No. 2, and Buick, General Motors’ upscale line, at No. 3, based on a survey of more than a half-million car owners. Audi came in fourth, followed by Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Infiniti, BMW, and Honda. Fiat Chrysler brands Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram took the bottom four positions among the 29 brands included in the survey.

Source: USA Today

10. 4 killed in Australia theme park ride accident
Four people were killed at an Australian theme park when a ride malfunctioned on Tuesday. Two of the victims were ejected from the Thunder River Rapids Ride at the Dreamworld theme park in Queensland, Australia, and two were pinned underneath a seating compartment on a conveyor belt. The victims included two women aged 32 and 42, and two men aged 35 and 38. A park visitor said the same ride had broken down earlier in the day. Dreamworld administrators said the park was being closed as authorities investigated the incident.

Source: CNN, Brisbane Times

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