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Election Day is Nov. 8, but legal challenges already begin

WASHINGTON (AP) — Election Day is 12 days away. But in courtrooms across the country, efforts to sow doubt over the outcome have already begun. Since the start of this year, more than 100 lawsuits have been filed largely by Republicans around the upcoming midterm election. The call into question mail-in voting rules, voter access, voting machines, voting registration, the counting of mismarked absentee ballots and access for partisan poll watchers. It’s the most litigation ever before an election — and it’s a strategy shift born of the failures of allies of former President Donald Trump in 2020 to challenge the results of the presidential election.

Ukraine battles intensify; Russia eyes space retaliation

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Moscow-appointed authorities have fled the capital of southern Ukraine’s Kherson region as Ukrainian forces attacked Russia’s hold on the city. The region’s Kremlin-installed deputy governor said Thursday that monuments to Russian heroes were also removed along with the remains of the Russian general from a church in the city of Kherson. Amid the fighting, a senior Russian official warned that Western commercial satellites used for military purposes in support of Ukraine were a “legitimate target for a retaliatory strike.” Ukraine has pushed ahead with an offensive to reclaim the Kherson region and its capital of the same name, which Russian forces captured during the first days of a war now in its ninth month.

FBI probing ex-CIA officer’s spying for World Cup host Qatar

A former CIA officer who spied on Qatar’s rivals to help the tiny Arab country land this year’s World Cup is now under FBI scrutiny and newly obtained documents show he offered spy services that went beyond soccer to try to influence U.S. policy, That’s according to an Associated Press investigation into the work Kevin Chalker and his company Global Risk Advisors did for Qatar. Two people familiar with the FBI probe say it is focused on whether Chalker broke laws related to foreign lobbying, surveillance and exporting sensitive technologies. Chalker’s lawyer says the company never engaged in any unlawful activity.

US economy returned to growth last quarter, expanding 2.6%

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a better-than-expected 2.6% annual rate from July through September, snapping two straight quarters of economic contraction and overcoming punishingly high inflation and interest rates. The government report showed that the nation’s gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic output — grew in the third quarter after having shrunk in the first half of 2022. Overall, though, the outlook for the overall economy has darkened. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates five times this year and is set to do so again next week and in December. Concern about the likelihood of a recession next year has been growing.

Musk lugs sink into Twitter HQ as $44B deal deadline looms

Elon Musk posted a video Wednesday showing him strolling into Twitter headquarters ahead of a Friday deadline to close his $44 billion deal to buy the company. Musk also changed his Twitter profile to refer to himself as “Chief Twit” and his location to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, which he once suggested might be better suited as a homeless shelter. The video showed him carrying a sink through a lobby area. “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!” he tweeted. A court has given Musk until Friday to close his April agreement to acquire the company after he earlier tried to back out of the deal.

Ye kicked out of Skechers’ headquarters in California

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The rapper formerly known as Kanye West was escorted out of the California headquarters of athletic shoemaker Skechers Wednesday after he showed up unannounced. Skechers says the Grammy winner, who is now known as Ye, also engaged in unauthorized filming at its corporate headquarters in Manhattan Beach and was escorted out by two executives. Skechers says it condemns his recent remarks and has no intention of working with him. For weeks, Ye has made antisemitic comments in interviews and social media. On Tuesday, Adidas ended its partnership with the artist and a slew of other companies also have cut ties.

European Central Bank makes another large interest rate hike

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank has made another outsized interest rate hike aimed at squelching out-of-control inflation. It increased rates by three-quarters of a percentage point Thursday at a meeting in Frankfurt. That is the fastest pace in the euro currency’s history and has raised questions about how far the bank intends to go with a recession looming over the economy. The bank has matched its record increase from last month and is joining the U.S. Federal Reserve in making a series of rapid hikes to tackle soaring consumer prices. The ECB has now raised rates for the 19-country euro area by a full 2 percentage points in just three months.

Italy’s fascist past under scrutiny a century after putsch

MILAN (AP) — Exactly 100 years ago Friday, the Black Shirt March on Rome triggered events that brought Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to power. And with Italy’s first post-World War II government led by a party with a neo-fascist past newly in office, never before has the country’s failure to come to terms with its fascist past been under greater scrutiny. The National Association of Italian Partisans, which preserves the memory of the wartime resistance, has noted some signs of an emboldened far-right in regions governed by the Brothers of Italy. In one region, for instance, the governor has cut off funding to maintain memorials to Holocaust victims.

Inflation, gas prices looming over sports biz, concessions

CHICAGO (AP) — Persistently high inflation and gas prices are looming over sports and the monetary pipeline that resumed when fans returned to games amid the pandemic. The most recent Consumer Price Index Summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed an 8.2% rise in costs in September from a year earlier. Increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were among the largest contributors to the rise in costs. Given the industry’s reliance on disposable income, the CPI numbers are a troubling sign for sports business leaders.

Prince Harry’s memoir, titled ‘Spare,’ to come out Jan. 10

NEW YORK (AP) — Prince Harry’s memoir, an object of obsessive anticipation worldwide since first announced last year, is coming out Jan. 10. The book will be called “Spare.” It’s being billed by Penguin Random House as an account told with “raw, unflinching honesty” and filled with ”insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.” The 416-page book will come out in 16 languages, from Dutch to Portuguese. Prince Harry himself reads an audio edition. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Duke of Sussex will be using the proceeds to donate to British charities.

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