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Hollywood rewrites its script to resist Trump in midterms

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - On a recent Thursday night, more than 100 people in Hollywood turned their attention to politics. They mingled with Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti inside a hip piano bar lighted by a sign that screamed “OMG WTF.” The sign stands for a political action committee that supports Democrats running for state posts in Republican-controlled Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas and Florida - OMG WTF being the first letters of each state. But the acronym is also a “sentiment we all feel on a daily basis,” Ben Sheehan, a former producer of “Funny or Die” comedy videos, told the crowd to laughs. Hollywood has…

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Facebook Tackles Rising Threat: Americans Aping Russian Schemes to Deceive

SAN FRANCISCO — When Christine Blasey Ford testified before Congress last month about Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault, a website called Right Wing News sprang into action on Facebook.The conservative site, run by the blogger John Hawkins, had created a series of Facebook pages and accounts over the last year under many names, according to Facebook.After Dr. Blasey testified, Right Wing News posted several false stories about her — including the suggestion that her lawyers were being bribed by Democrats — and then used the network of Facebook pages and accounts to share the pieces so that they proliferated online quickly, social media researchers said.The…

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Trump’s lawyers preparing answers to questions in Russia probe: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Donald Trump’s lawyers are preparing answers to questions for the U.S. special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. FILE PHOTO: Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on his investigation of potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein -/File PhotoThe development, first reported by CNN, appears to show progress after several months of talks between the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and Trump’s legal team in connection with the president answering questions…

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Georgia lawsuit is latest blow in U.S. fight over voting rights

(Reuters) - U.S. voting rights advocacy groups on Thursday sued Georgia’s top election official, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, accusing him of putting more than 50,000 voter registration applications on hold to boost his gubernatorial campaign. FILE PHOTO: Stacey Abrams, Candidate for Governor in the state of Georgia, delivers a speech during a fundraiser in Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky/File PhotoKemp is the Republican nominee for governor in one of this year’s highest-profile state races, in which Democrat Stacey Abrams is seeking to become the state’s first black governor. The lawsuit brought by a coalition of state civil rights groups accused Kemp of…

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Wall St. extends slide with trade and rates in focus

(Reuters) - Wall Street indexes continued their slide in Thursday’s volatile session as investors worried about rising interest rates and braced for a trade war hit to corporate earnings a day ahead of the quarterly reporting season kickoff. In its sixth consecutive day of declines, the S&P closed down 2.1 percent after shedding 3 percent in Wednesday’s session. But at its session low the benchmark fell 2.7 percent to its lowest level since early July. The Nasdaq narrowly avoided confirming a correction. During the session it fell as much as 10.3 percent from its Aug. 29 closing record high but ended the day 9.6 percent below the…

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U.S. oil firms restore operations in storm-tossed Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Major oil producers and drillers, including Chevron Corp (CVX.N) and BP Plc (BP.L), on Thursday began returning crews to more than 90 offshore facilities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that were evacuated this week as Hurricane Michael moved through the Gulf. FILE PHOTO: An oil and gas drilling platform stands offshore in the Gulf of Mexico in Dauphin Island, Alabama, U.S., October 5, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Nesius/File PhotoProduction shut-ins that had temporarily halted 42 percent of Gulf oil output and nearly a third of natural gas production were being reversed in some areas. Chevron said it was reactivating two production platforms that were evacuated.…

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Devastated homes, toppled trees mark Michael’s path over Florida

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (Reuters) - Hurricane Michael’s assault on the Florida Panhandle left nothing more than empty foundations and heaps of rubble in some parts of the small towns it crashed into with near-record force. Communications outages and roads blocked by downed trees, strewn power lines and debris made it difficult to get an overall assessment on Thursday of the damage wrought by Michael, but the initial picture was grim. Michael smashed into Florida’s northwest coast near the small town of Mexico Beach on Wednesday with screeching 155 mile per hour winds, pushing a wall of seawater inland. The sky cleared on Thursday, in contrast to the…

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Instant View: U.S. share tumble continues, Nasdaq flirts with correction

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street indexes continued their decline in volatile trade on Thursday as investors continued to shun risky investments, and the Nasdaq dipped in to correction territory. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidDuring afternoon trade the S&P was down more than 2 percent after shedding 3 percent in the previous day’s session, then found its footing and cut losses. The Nasdaq fell as much as 10.3 percent from its closing record high, reached on Aug. 29 before likewise bouncing to almost unchanged. If it closes at the worst level…

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Wall St. extends slide as Nasdaq flirts with correction

(Reuters) - Wall Street indexes extended their decline on Thursday as volatility spiked and investors shunned risky investments, and Nasdaq looked like it could confirm a correction. By late afternoon the S&P was down another 2 percent after shedding 3 percent in the previous day’s session and Nasdaq was down as much as 10.3 percent from its closing record high, reached on Aug. 29. If it closes at these levels, this would confirm a correction. At its session low, the S&P fell 2.7 percent to its lowest level since early July. The CBOE Volatility Index thrust to its highest level since mid-February. The energy sector, pressured by…

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Trump says getting closer to understanding Saudi journalist’s disappearance

WASHINGTON/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said the authorities were getting closer to understanding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as Turkish investigators prepared to enter the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he was last seen. “I have to find out what happened...and we’re probably getting closer than you might think,” Trump said in an interview on the Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” program. Global pressure has mounted on close U.S. ally Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies, who entered the consulate on Oct. 2 to get documents for his planned marriage. His Turkish fiancée, Hatice…

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