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Undecided Voters Key to Georgia Governor Race

By KAYLA GOGGIN

Early, in-person voting began Monday in Georgia where Republican Brian Kemp, currently Georgia’s secretary of state, and Democrat Stacey Abrams are vying to succeed Nathan Deal as the next governor.

Century-Old Direct Democracy Now a 'Pay-to-Play' System in Calif.

By NICK CAHILL

Ahead of Election Day, airwaves and mailboxes across California overflow with expensive campaign advertisements. On top of choosing elected officials, California voters – not lawmakers – will once again decide things like constitutional amendments, $50 billion tax hikes and obscure labor union disputes.

Accused Russian Spy Presses Feds for Arrest Docs, Other Records

By TIM RYAN
Mariia Butina in Moscow, in a photo she posted to Facebook in October 2013.

Accused Russian spy Maria Butina on Sunday filed a letter requesting the government turn over criminal records, arrest reports and details on witnesses prosecutors might use to build their case against her.

‘Treason’ Allegation Marks Debate in Arizona US Senate Race

By BRAD POOLE

Republican candidate Martha McSally called her Democratic rival Kyrsten Sinema a supporter of “treason” Monday night in the only debate between the two for Arizona’s open U.S. Senate seat.

Defrauded Students Win Class Certification in Lawsuit Against DeVos

By NICHOLAS IOVINO

More than 100,000 students defrauded by Corinthian Colleges can team up to sue Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for rolling back Obama-era rules that provided full debt forgiveness, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Munich

Can the Center Hold? Bavarian Elections Leave EU Politics Even More Uncertain

By CAIN BURDEAU

Bavarian voters did what they were expected to do Sunday: They dealt German’s ruling “grand coalition” of conservatives and Social Democrats a resounding defeat at the polls. It’s a defeat that casts doubt on the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s political lodestar.

Italy Targets Town That Welcomes Asylum-Seekers

OPINION

Excessive Fines

By MILT POLICZER

So what exactly is an excessive fine? Is it an exact amount or does it differ depending on who has to pay it? The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution says excessive fines shall not be imposed. What does that mean?

Climate Change Could Put Crimp in Global Beer Supply

By JULIE ST. LOUIS

The global supply of beer could be the next victim of climate change, according to a study published Monday in Nature Plants.

DeLorean Barred From 'Back to the Future' Money

By NICK RUMMELL

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a royalties lawsuit brought by the widow of the inventor of the DeLorean, the car made famous as the time machine in the “Back to the Future” movies, finding her claims are barred by a 2015 settlement agreement.

This photo provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment shows Christopher Lloyd, left, as Dr. Emmett Brown, and Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in the 1985 film, "Back to the Future." A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the widow of automaker John DeLorean over royalties stemming from the "Back to the Future" movies. Sally DeLorean claimed a Texas company using the DeLorean name had illegally accepted royalties from Universal Pictures for the promotional use of images of the iconic car. But a judge ruled Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, that a 2015 settlement agreement in a separate lawsuit over trademarks prohibited her from suing for the royalties. (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment via AP)

Read the Nightly Brief

Affirmative Action on Trial in Harvard Admissions Case

By ZACK HUFFMAN

An affirmative action case against Harvard University finally went to trial Monday, four years after a lawsuit was filed claiming the nation’s oldest college discriminates against prospective Asian-American students by considering race in the admissions process.

Judge Dumps Stormy-Trump Defamation Suit

By MARTIN MACIAS JR.

A federal judge on Monday tossed adult film star Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump, and also awarded the president attorney’s fees.

Athletes' Quest for NCAA Pay Stumbles on Appeal

By HELEN CHRISTOPHI

A Ninth Circuit panel hinted Monday it won’t revive a proposed class action on claims the NCAA has an employment relationship with college football players and must pay them for time spent on the field.

Americans Fear Influence of Social Media Bots: Poll

By MARTIN MACIAS JR.

If you’ve participated in elections in the last two years and stayed engaged politically through social media, you’ve likely come across a pesky automation tool that two-thirds of Americans believe is maliciously used to generate political influence.

More Top News

Briefings

LAW

A can of Dutch Boy Lead Paint. (Photo by Thester11 via Wikipedia Commons)

Justices Reject Appeal on Lead Paint Abatement Rules

DAN MCCUE

Senate Intelligence Staffer Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI

BRITAIN EAKIN
FILE - In this  June 13, 2018, file photo,  James Wolfe former director of security with the Senate Intelligence Committee leaves the federal courthouse, in Washington. James Wolfe appeared in federal court in Washington on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, and pleaded guilty to a single charge in the three-count indictment against him. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Former Senate intelligence Staffer James Wolfe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters during a classified leak investigation.

Florida Justices Nix Outgoing Governor's Bid to Pick Judges

DAN MCCUE

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state’s next governor and not current Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Scott will get to pick three new justices to the state Supreme Court.

China Party Expels General Who Killed Self, Indicts Another

ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE - In this March 8, 2017, photo, Zhang Yang, left, the then-head of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) political affairs department and Fang Fenghui, right, the then-chief of the general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army attend China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. China's ruling Communist Party on Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018, has expelled Zhang, a former top general who killed himself during a corruption probe and indicted another Fang, on graft charges amid a continuing crackdown on military malfeasance. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

China’s ruling Communist Party has expelled a former top general who killed himself during a corruption probe and indicted another on graft charges amid President Xi Jinping’s continuing crackdown on military malfeasance.

NATIONAL

FILE- In this July 8, 2017, file photo people walk into a Sears store slated for closing that is next to a mall that is being torn down in Overland Park, Kan. Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses. The company once dominated the American landscape, but whether a smaller Sears can be viable remains in question. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Sears Declares Bankruptcy, Store Closures

LORRAINE BAILEY

Judge Frees Ex-Trump Aide Gates From GPS Monitoring

BRITAIN EAKIN

A federal judge agreed Monday to free former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates from GPS monitoring and a nightly curfew.

Retail Sales Up Tepid 0.1 Percent in September

DAN MCCUE

Consumer spending rose by a weak 0.1 percent in September, following an equally tepid 0.1 percent increase in August, the Commerce Department said Monday.

High Winds Across California Spur Power Outages, Fire Fears

NATHAN SOLIS
Authorities access the damage after a woman was killed after a large eucalyptus tree toppled and smashed onto a car she was inside of in the driveway of her home in Tustin, Calif. during the heavy Santa Ana winds on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Potentially powerful winds combined with dry weather are raising the threat of wildfires in California. (Mindy Schauer /The Orange County Register via AP)

Strong Santa Ana winds knocked out electricity for about 80,000 residents in Southern California on Monday, while high winds in the north part of the state forced utilities to pre-emptively shut off power to prevent possible wildfires.

Mattis: Trump Says Defense Chief’s Job is ‘100 Percent’ Safe

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Amid speculation that he may soon be replaced, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said President Donald Trump told him he supports the retired Marine general “100 percent.”

INTERNATIONAL

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, centre, is greeted by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, left, after arriving in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018.  Pompeo arrived Tuesday in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Salman over the unexplained disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished two weeks ago during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.(Leah Millis/Pool via AP)

Pompeo, Saudi Crown Prince Meet Over Khashoggi

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Chinese Vaccine Maker Fined $1.3 Billion After Scandal

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Chinese maker of rabies vaccine has been fined $1.3 billion for falsifying production records in a scandal that prompted a nationwide crackdown on the industry.

Macron Seeks Fresh Start with French Government Reshuffle

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Newly appointed Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, center right, and France's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, center left, arrive to deliver a speech during the handover ceremony at the Interior ministry, in Paris, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. French president Emmanuel Macron has appointed a high-profile political ally to the key post of interior minister during a limited cabinet reshuffle. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government sought to give itself a fresh start after a difficult summer with a limited reshuffle on Tuesday that included a new interior minister.

Audi Fined $925 Million in Germany Over Diesel Emissions

ASSOCIATED PRESS

German law enforcement authorities added another chapter to Volkswagen’s diesel scandal Tuesday by fining the company’s luxury division Audi 800 million euros ($925 million) for selling cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests.

Powers, Edugyan, Johnson Tipped to Win Man Booker Prize

ASSOCIATED PRESS

An environmental epic that has been likened to “Moby Dick” for trees, the story of an escaped slave and a powerful debut by a 27-year-old novelist are among favorites to win the Man Booker Prize for fiction on Tuesday.

In Brief

Walt Girdner was born in central Iowa in 1922. He was one of five children. His father took a job as a pastor in Alameda where the family moved and relocated to the Bay Area of California in 1925. Growing up during the Great Depression in the Bay Area was difficult. Walt struggled to make extra money to help out the family by taking on many different jobs.  Such jobs varied from working the corn fields and selling corn, to bucking hay bales and pulling double shifts at the cannery.

As a young man, he developed an interest in art and imagery.  He had faith that imagery was a powerful way to communicate and believed that young people are better at interpreting imagery than adults for their imaginations are more agile and unencumbered.