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Russia Poses Greater Election Threat Than Iran, Many U.S. Officials Say

Election workers in FloridaWhile senior Trump administration officials said this week that Iran has been actively interfering in the presidential election, many intelligence officials said they remained far more concerned about Russia, which in recent days has hacked into state and local computer networks in breaches that could allow Moscow broader access to American voting infrastructure.

The discovery of the hacks came as American intelligence agencies, infiltrating Russian networks themselves, have pieced together details of what they believe are Russia’s plans to interfere in the presidential race in its final days or immediately after the election on Nov. 3. Officials did not make clear what Russia planned to do, but they said its operations would be intended to help President Trump, potentially by exacerbating disputes around the results, especially if the race is too close to call.

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Pope Francis Calls For Same-Sex Civil Union Law In New Documentary

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has called for legislation to protect same-sex couples, according to comments he made in a new documentary that mark a break from Catholic doctrine.

"Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They are children of God and have a right to a family," the pope said in an interview in the documentary Francesco, which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival. "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered."

Francis noted he has stood up for civil unions before, but his remarks in the documentary go beyond what he has said previously and sharply diverge from the view of his predecessors. LGBTQ rights groups hailed the comments as a major step but, along with conservative religious groups, they raised questions about the context of the quotes delivered in a movie and how much weight the comments held.

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Former Mexican defense minister ordered held in U.S. jail without bond

Former Defense MinisterMexico’s former defense minister, Salvador Cienfuegos, was ordered on Tuesday held in U.S. custody without bail pending his trial on drug trafficking charges.

A U.S. magistrate judge also ordered Cienfuegos, 72, sent to New York for further proceedings. Cienfuegos was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport last week.

Cienfuegos was indicted in federal court in New York on four counts of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Federal prosecutors say he took bribes in return for protection for alleged drug cartel members, which included warning them about U.S. investigations. Cienfuegos has not yet entered a plea to the charges.

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France sets one-day record with more than 30,000 new COVID-19 cases

France sets one-day record for Covid-19 cases

French officials announced on Thursday that the European country set another single-day record for new COVID-19 cases, recording more than 30,000 new cases.

France confirmed a total of 30,621 new coronavirus cases as a surge wipes the nation, an increase from Wednesday’s documented 22,591 new cases, Reuters reported.

The highest single-day increase in cases came one day after French President Emmanuel Macron announced a nightly curfew in Paris and eight other cities beginning on Saturday night.

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Nuclear arms talks spiral into confusion as Russia rejects US 'delusion'

Nuclear arms talks spiral into confusion

US-Russian arms control talks have sunk into confusion after the top American negotiator claimed there was “an agreement in principle” between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, a claim Moscow quickly rejected as a “delusion”.

Marshall Billingslea, the US special envoy for arms control, said he had flown to Helsinki on Monday to meet the Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, on the understanding that there could be an imminent breakthrough in discussions on whether to extend the 2010 New Start treaty, which limits the number of deployed strategic warheads on either side, and which expires in February.

“We believe that there is an agreement in principle at the highest levels of our two governments. That’s why I cut short my trip to Asia and made a beeline for Helsinki when the Russians called and wanted to sit down,” Billingslea told a Washington thinktank, in an apparent suggestion that there had been an informal verbal agreement between Trump and Putin.

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Nobel Peace Prize, 2020: World Food Programme

Nobel peace Prize 2020

The need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more conspicuous than ever. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger. In 2015, eradicating hunger was adopted as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The WFP is the UN’s primary instrument for realising this goal. In recent years, the situation has taken a negative turn. In 2019, 135 million people suffered from acute hunger, the highest number in many years. Most of the increase was caused by war and armed conflict.

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U.S. auction theory pioneers win Nobel economics prize

US economists win Nobel prizeU.S. academics Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson won the 2020 Nobel Economics on Monday for work on auctions hailed as benefiting buyers and sellers around the world of everything from fishing quotas to aircraft landing slots.

Among the insights of the two Stanford University economists is an explanation of how bidders seek to avoid the so-called “winner’s curse” of over-paying, and what happens when bidders gain a better understanding of their rivals’ sense of value.

“Auctions are everywhere and affect our everyday lives. This year’s Economic Sciences Laureates, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, have improved auction theory and invented new auction formats, benefiting sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world,” the Nobel Prize’s official website tweeted.

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