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  • North Carolina lost out on a $250 million business expansion because of its 'bathroom law'
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 5:58 PM:)

    Pat McCrory

    North Carolina's controversial "bathroom law" has cost it another major business expansion.

    Real-estate research firm CoStar chose Richmond, Virginia, as the site of a 730-job expansion, passing over Charlotte, North Carolina, earlier this week. The state's law, which critics say is anti-LGBT, played a deciding role in the firm's decision, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

    Charlotte will miss out on an $8.2 million initial investment from CoStar, the Journal reported. The company also said it expected to invest $250 million in the local economy.

    "We will affirm LGBT rights and the rights of every one of our employees and those in the community are a very high priority and core to our firm's values," CoStar said in a statement provided to The Charlotte Observer.

    The firm chose Richmond over Charlotte despite North Carolina offering more than double the incentives, the Observer reported Thursday.

    For North Carolina, the loss is another example of financial fallout from the law known as HB2. The Republican-backed law prevents North Carolina cities from protecting LGBT residents with anti-discrimination laws. It also mandates that people must use the public bathroom corresponding with their biological sex and not their gender identity.

    A number of businesses have taken a public stance against the law, and last month Wired pegged the state's losses at about $400 million. The law has cost Charlotte the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, more than a dozen college championship events, concerts from high-profile musicians, and multiple major business expansions, including one from PayPal that would have created 400 jobs in Charlotte.

    North Carolina commerce secretary John Skvarla, appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory, dismissed the idea that North Carolina was suffering because of the law.

    "PayPal wasn’t even a grain of sand on the beach," Skvarla told the Observer, adding that HB2 hasn't affected the state economy "one iota."

    Meanwhile, McCrory, a Republican who is up for reelection in November, is staking his political career on the law. The governor has staunchly defended the law, and one pollster called HB2 the "driving factor" in the tight race between McCrory and Democrat Roy Cooper. The Democrat holds a slim lead over McCrory, according to a RealClearPolitics average of recent surveys.

    SEE ALSO: North Carolina has lost a staggering amount of money over its controversial 'bathroom law'

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    NOW WATCH: 'He never said that': New Clinton ad shows Trump contradicting Pence's VP debate denials

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  • Megyn Kelly's contract negotiations at Fox News have now spilled into public view
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 5:47 PM:)

    Megyn Kelly

    Megyn Kelly, a rising star anchor at Fox News, is in the middle of active negotiation over her expiring contract at the network, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

    Kelly's public profile has increased substantially during the 2016 presidential election, in which she has been seen as tougher on Republican candidate Donald Trump than some of her Fox News peers.

    The Journal reported that sources say in talks over a potential new contract with Fox News, Kelly is asking for "north of $20 million" a year, which would put her on level with Bill O'Reilly, the current ratings leader at the cable-news channel. Kelly is second in ratings at the channel.

    Kelly is set to make $15 million at the end of her current contract, which expires next year.

    Rupert Murdoch, Fox News' chief executive, has made it clear he would like to keep Kelly, but "it's up to her." He says money isn't an issue, according to the Journal.

    Speculation has swirled over whether Kelly might jump ship, possibly to CNN or even morning or afternoon television. She's set to be a guest cohost with Kelly Ripa on ABC's daytime talk show "Live with Kelly" the day after the election.

    SEE ALSO: 29 celebrities who love and endorse Donald Trump

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    NOW WATCH: The final trailer for the Harry Potter spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is here

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  • PUTIN: 'There's a reason' Donald Trump 'behaves extravagantly'
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 5:09 PM:)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Business Russia Congress in Moscow, Russia, October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

    Russian President Vladimir Putin told a group of foreign policy experts in southern Russia on Thursday that Donald Trump's "extravagant behavior" is just his way of getting his message across to voters.

    "He has chosen a method to get through to voters' hearts," Putin said at the annual meeting of the the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi. 

    Trump "behaves extravagantly of course, we see this, but I think there's a reason for this. He represents part of US society that's tired of having the elite in power for decades," Putin said.

    Putin said the mainstream US media's claim he supports Trump over Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, is "nonsense," but that Russia "welcomes statements that US-Russian relations should be improved from anyone." The US intelligence community has accused the Russian government of hacking Democratic Party organizations, a charge Russia has denied.

    Putin and Clinton have a history of mutual distrust, stemming from Clinton's claim in 2011 that Russia's elections that year were fraudulent — which Putin said "set the tone for certain actors inside the country" to protest — and her support for a military intervention in Libya to oust Moammar Gadhafi, which he said was done "without court or investigation."

    Trump's stances on the US's positions in the international community, meanwhile, have tended to align with Putin's.

    Donald TrumpFrom threats about pulling out of NATO to altering the Republican Party's policy on Ukraine — which has long called for arming Ukrainian soldiers against pro-Russia rebels — Trump is "the gift that keeps on giving" for Putin, Russian journalist Julia Ioffe wrote in Politico in June.

    Trump has praised Putin throughout his campaign for being a "leader, unlike what we have in this country," and has said he thinks he would "get along well" with him if he were elected.

    "I don't think he has any respect for Clinton," Trump said in July. "I think he respects me. I think it would be great to get along with him."

    Putin has returned the compliments, telling reporters that Trump is "a very lively man, talented without doubt" and the "absolute leader in the presidential race."

    Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, resigned this summer amid controversy over his previous position advising The Party of Regions, the political party led by the Russian-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych before he was driven out of power in 2014 and exiled to southern Russia.  

    'Is America a banana republic or what?'

    Putin, who spent the better part of his speech on Thursday criticizing Obama administration policies, said that reports of Russian interference in the US election were "hysteria."

    "Hysteria has been whipped up in the United States about the influence of Russia over the US presidential election," Putin said. "It's much simpler to distract people with so-called Russian hackers, spies, and agents of influence. Does anyone really think that Russia could influence the American people's choice in any way? Is America a banana republic or what? America is a great power."

    Obama and PutinReports began emerging in June that the Democratic National Committee had been infiltrated by Russian-aligned hackers. Leaked emails from Democratic Party officials that revealed their apparent coolness toward Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign began appearing on WikiLeaks and the website DCLeaks.com as Trump's campaign gained steam. 

    The leaks led to the resignation of the Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    The US publicly accused the Russian government of orchestrating those cyber attacks for the first time earlier this month, stating that "only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."

    Putin again denied any state involvement in the cyber attacks on Thursday.

    "Cyberattacks against sovereign nations are unacceptable," he said. "A nation must respect other nations and adhere to common rules for the world. The gap between elites and their peoples are a major factor in today’s problems, but not the only one, of course."

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    NOW WATCH: Watch the brutal Hillary Clinton ad that pits Trump against himself

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  • Evening news programs have spent just 32 minutes covering policy issues this election year, report says
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 5:09 PM:)

    GettyImages 610601968

    The broadcast networks' nightly news shows have spent just a combined 32 minutes covering substantive policy issues this election year, according to data from the Tyndall Report, which tracks coverage by weekday nightly news programs.

    So far in 2016, the three broadcasters' evening newscasts — ABC's "World News Tonight," the "NBC Nightly News," and the "CBS Evening News" — have spent a fraction of the time they did in previous election years covering policy issues.

    The report defined policy coverage as taking a public policy, outlining the problem related to that issue, covering the candidates' individual positions on the policy, and evaluating the effectiveness of their solutions. By that measure, evening newscasts combined to spend 114 minutes covering policy issues in 2012 and 220 minutes covering them in 2008.

    The sharp decline in policy coverage this year is an "accurate portrayal" of this election's landscape, the report said, because there is more concern surrounding the candidates' fitness for office based on qualities like "honesty, trustworthiness, judgment, temperament, stamina, good health, comportment, and boorishness."

    Further, the report said that because the candidates themselves are not focusing on the issues as much as they are on the traits of their opponent, the media would be "misrepresenting" the election if it spent more time on the issues than the candidates are.

    With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, nightly newscasts have spent 17 minutes covering terrorism; seven minutes on unrest in the Middle East in areas like Syria, Iraq, and Israel, and the rise of the Islamic State; and they have mentioned issues like LGBT rights, policing, and immigration only in passing, the report said.

    Issues that have gotten minimal or no coverage include drugs, healthcare, poverty, gun control, and climate change. And if these issues were mentioned, "it has been on the candidates' terms, not the networks' initiatives," the report said.

    As far as news coverage of the candidates, of the 1,284 total minutes spent by the three networks' evening newscasts on campaign coverage, 333 minutes, or 26%, have gone to Donald Trump, while Hillary Clinton has pulled a total of 89 minutes, or 6%.

    SEE ALSO: The New York Times used 2 full pages to print all of Donald Trump's insults from the campaign

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    NOW WATCH: Trump says 'every poll' shows he won the second debate, but scientific polls suggest he lost

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  • The history of Donald Trump and NBC's love-hate relationship that made him a star
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 5:05 PM:)

    Getty Images  donald trump nbc

    NBC and Donald Trump have been intertwined in a very prickly relationship for three decades. When it was good, it was really good. But then it got so bad, it was broken up.

    Trump and NBC's relationship has never been so embattled as during his presidential run. All that culminated a few weeks ago when the NBC Universal-owned "Access Hollywood" unearthed a tape of Trump saying lewd, aggressive things about women.

    It would've been much more simple if that was all the recording contained, but it also involved newly hired "Today" show cohost and NBC's rising star Billy Bush as Trump's wingman. 

    As a result, Trump and NBC's relationship has reached a new low, and some argue NBC could sink Trump's chances of winning the election with its Billy Bush tape, years after it made Trump a star.

    Recently, Trump accused NBC and parent owner Comcast of "trying to poison the mind of the American voter."

    Let's take a look at the history of NBC and Trump's thorny partnership:

    SEE ALSO: How the vulgar Donald Trump tape from 2005 was discovered at NBC and leaked to the public

    DON'T MISS: Donald Trump still refuses to concede that he didn't win an Emmy for 'The Apprentice'

    1988: "Saturday Night Live" spoofed Donald Trump for the first time in a sketch called "A Trump Christmas," in which Phil Hartman played the real-estate mogul and Jan Hooks portrayed his then-wife Ivana. The show would spoof Trump many, many times over the years.

    Source: NBC

    2002: Donald Trump, who owned the Miss Universe Organization, decided to take its Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, and Miss Universe pageants from CBS to NBC. NBC began airing them every year.

    Source: Quartz

    2003: In search of a new reality show idea, NBC President Jeff Zucker met with Donald Trump for the first time. It would become a long and fruitful relationship for them both.

    Source: TheWrap

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  • Vine is shutting down — check out Trump's incredible account from 2013
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 4:31 PM:)

    Twitter announced Thursday that it is shutting down video-sharing service Vine "in the coming months." 

    We unearthed Donald Trump's Vine account from 2013. He wasn't active for very long, but in his short stint on the social account he addressed Obama, Miley Cyrus, and ripped Anthony Weiner. 

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter

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  • 'The fight will be relentless and it will be sustained': The body count in the Philippines' 'war on drugs' is mounting
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 4:06 PM:)

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (C) speaks to the media after his inspection at Japan Coast Guard base in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been busy.

    He was in China from October 18 to 21, where he continued to cozy up to Chinese leaders and declared his country's "separation" from the US, a longtime ally.

    He has since qualified that statement and the US says it has not received official requests to alter relations.

    Duterte continued his East Asian tour this week, stopping in Japan to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    Prior to the trip, he softened his earlier comments about a separation from the US. But then during his visit he took the opportunity to again repudiate the US, declaring that the most recent military exercises between his military and the US would be the last and decrying Washington's treatment of Filipinos as like "dogs on a leash."

    Duterte's overtures to China and Russia and his ongoing rebukes of ties with Washington have stoked worry around the world, according to US officials, and his conflicting declarations seemed to have upset the business environment in his own country.

    But amid Duterte's vacillations on the international stage, a much more sinister trend has continued in the Philippines.

    Philippines drug violence victims killings deaths Rodrigo Duterte

    As of September 14, the number of drug suspects killed in police operations was 1,506, though a senior police official lowered that to 1,105. And the killings have continued.

    On October 26, the number of "suspected drug personalities" killed by police had reached 1,725 since July 1, when Duterte took office, according to Philippine news site Rappler. In addition to that, there were 3,001 deaths in extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings through October 23 — though Philippine police said investigations were needed to determine whether those vigilante-style killings were drug related.

    The Philippine National Police has also reported 2,766 unexplained killings as of October 23 and has 2,153 under investigation. As of October 26, the PNP reported 32,909 police operations and 31,629 drug personalities arrested, with 751,703 surrenderers — 54,702 drug pushers and 697,001 drug users.

    According to Philippine newspaper Inquirer, in the first half of the year, just 68 drug suspects were killed by security forces, but that number swelled to 1,578 in the first three months of Duterte's term.

    Philippines police troops security forces Manila Rodrigo Duterte war on drugs crime violence

    "The Kill List," kept by the Inquirer, has attempted to document the suspected drug-related killings carried out daily since Duterte's election — sometimes more than a dozen a day, at all times of day, all over the country.

    Some of the entries are deaths caused by police during official operations; others from unknown assailants. Some victims' names are withheld because of their young age or because they can't be identified.

    As of noon on October 24, The Kill List has registered 1,368 slayings since June 30 and 1,415 since May 10, the day of the presidential election that Duterte won with a 39% plurality in a five-way race.

    'You sons of bitches, I will really kill you'

    Philippines drug war deaths killings violence Rodrigo Duterte

    Duterte has promised a violent campaign against drugs well before he took office. "All of you who are into drugs, you sons of bitches, I will really kill you. I have no patience, I have no middle ground," he said on May 7.

    “They say that my methods are unorthodox and verge on the illegal," Duterte said on June 30, during his inauguration speech. "The fight will be relentless and it will be sustained."

    "My order is shoot to kill you. I don’t care about human rights, you better believe me," Duterte said on August 6, during a press conference in Davao City, where he was mayor for more than 20 years. As mayor, he led a brutal crackdown on drugs and crime and was accused of ties to death squads in the city. Even now, Davao is one of the most violent cities in the country.

    "Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there is three million drug addicts. I'd be happy to slaughter them," Duterte said on September 30, understating the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust.

    "If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have ...," he said, pausing and pointing to himself. (He soon apologized for the comparison.)

    Philippines drug war victims arrests drug users violence

    In response to the dismaying number of extrajudicial killings, Philippine police recently announced a shift in their approach, focusing on arrests rather than "neutralization" and concentrating on high-profile figures involved in the drug trade.

    It remains to be seen how this purported switch to targeting the drug trade's big fish (Duterte has read out names of government officials accused of involvement, and police have said they're making a list of celebrities with ties to drugs) will affect the body count.

    Many of those killed already have impoverished users and dealers, prompting accusations that Duterte's "war on drugs" is really a war on the Philippines' poor.

    'Given himself ... and given his police license to kill'

    Duterte's calls for a campaign against the drug scourge and the people accused of pushing it contrast with the reality of the Philippines' drug problem. While drugs are an issue in the country, it does not appear to be one with the severity Duterte as attributed to it.

    Philippines crime rates 2013 to 2016

    Statistics from the Philippine Dangerous Drugs Broad, cited by the Inquirer, show estimated methamphetamine use falling from 6.7 million in 2004 to 1.7 million now — that number would put the rate of use at about 2%, not much different from the US or Australia.

    Data from the President's Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) put the number of drug users at about 1.8 million, about half the 3.7 million that Duterte has cited in the past, according to Reuters.

    Further, of those 1.8 million users, about one-third had taken drugs only once in the previous 13 months, while only 860,000 had taken shabu, or crystal meth, which has been singled out by authorities, Reuters found.

    The president's office has also claimed that 75% of "heinous crime" in the country is drug related.

    But Reuters' investigation could not pinpoint a source for that statistic. A crime-monitoring office within the PNP put the number much lower, at 15%.

    Philippine police statistics also found that serious crime had dropped in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year, continuing a decline that was registered under Duterte's predecessor.

    By overstating the numbers and upping the rhetoric, Duterte has apparently put pressure on police to apprehend drug users and pushers in numbers higher than their actual population in the country — and he's implicitly given justification for the brutal consequences of that intense law-enforcement effort.

    Philippines drug war arrest victims killings deaths Rodrigo Duterte

    "So what President Duterte has done is essentially create this sense that there is a 'drug emergency' in the Philippines and run with it, and given himself license and given his police license to kill for a reason that has no real factual basis in terms of what the drug situation really is in the Philippines," Phelim Kine, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division, said during an interview on the Global Journalist podcast in mid-October.

    'The real violence ... in the drug economy'

    Even though Philippine authorities have said they would reduce drug-related killings and focus on arresting more high-level suspects, the months of deadly violence may have lasting effects on the country.

    "There is this impression that this will affect in the long run the reputation of the Philippines to the international business community," Jayeel Serrano Cornelio, director of development studies at Ateneo de Manila University, said on the Global Journalist podcast.

    Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Japan Asia trip visit interpreter

    Despite government assurances the antidrug campaign would bring stability, "it seems that many businesses are increasingly apprehensive about staying in the Philippines right now," he added.

    Just as legal businesses may be spooked, illicit enterprises — that is, gangs and other criminal groups that have likely lost members and territory during the violence — will have to recover, which could have dangerous knock-on effects.

    "When you disrupt all these turf lines of the various drug groups, when they come back, when the pressure is released, they're going to have to refight and relitigate ... those turf lines," said Sanho Tree, director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC.

    "That's where the real violence comes from in the drug economy."

    SEE ALSO: The Philippines' president announced his 'separation' from the US with an impression of 'loud ... rowdy' Americans

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    NOW WATCH: 'America has lost': The Philippines president just announced that he's allying with China, wants to talk to Putin

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    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:56 PM:)

    Electoral college map 10 26 16 v2

    Just 12 days remain in the presidential race — and one of the biggest battleground states is seemingly up for grabs.

    Florida, the largest prize among the swing states, now sees Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leading by less than 2 points, shifting it from a state that leaned in her favor to one that is essentially a toss-up.

    But even with Florida looking as if it could be either Clinton's or Donald Trump's to secure, the latest RealClearPolitics average of several polls suggests the former secretary of state maintains a substantial lead in the Electoral College. She would have enough votes to secure the presidency even if she only maintained every state where she is likely or a safe bet to win. That means she could lose each of the three toss-up states along with North Carolina and Nevada, which only lean in her favor, and still come out on top.

    Using polling data from RealClearPolitics and The Washington Post/Survey Monkey, Business Insider found that Clinton, as of this week, would lead Trump 272 to 181 electoral votes in states that were either safe or likely bets to go in favor of either major party's nominee. That alone would give Clinton more than the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency.

    It's a slight difference from last week's projection, which showed Clinton with a 278-to-181 edge in the same categories.

    Business Insider judged that a safe state was one in which a candidate led by at least 8 percentage points, while a likely state was anywhere in which the nominee held a 4- to 8-point lead.

    When including states leaning toward a candidate by 2 to 4 points, Clinton held a 293-to-187 advantage over Trump. Last week, Clinton was up 322 to 187 when including this category.

    Only four states shifted from last week. Virginia moved from "safe" for Clinton to "likely," Nevada moved from "likely" for Clinton to "leaning" in favor of her, Florida moved from "lean" to "toss-up," and South Dakota moved from "safe" for Trump to "likely" in favor of the Manhattan billionaire.

    The toss-up states — where a major-party nominee held a lead of less than 2 points — consist of 58 electoral votes. Last week, the two states that were too close to call were Ohio and Arizona. This week, Florida joined the pack.


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    NOW WATCH: 'He never said that': New Clinton ad shows Trump contradicting Pence's VP debate denials

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  • Donald Trump: 'I agree' with Michael Moore
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:27 PM:)

    Donald Trump said on Thursday that he agreed with liberal filmmaker Michael Moore for recently predicting he will win the presidential election because working-class Americans are sick of the Washington establishment.

    The Republican nominee's remarks came in a tweet that included a promotional video clip for Moore's new documentary film, "Michael Moore in TrumpLand."

    "Trump's election is going to be the biggest 'f--- you' ever recorded in human history — and it will feel good," Moore said in the clip.

    I agree, @MMFlint- To all Americans, I see you & I hear you. I am your voice. Vote to #DrainTheSwamp w/ me on 11/8. https://t.co/D7nBwkogBb

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2016

    Moore added that he knows "a lot of people in Michigan that are planning to vote for Trump, and they don't necessarily like him that much, and they don't necessarily agree with him."

    "Whether Trump means it or not is kind of irrelevant because he's saying the things to people who are hurting," Moore said. "And it's why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human Molotov cocktail that they've been waiting for."

    Moore's film makes the case that Americans should vote for Hillary Clinton over Trump, but the Republican candidate and his allies have seized on the notoriously far-left documentarian's comments anyway.

    Conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Wednesday that Michael Moore, with his "working-class roots," just "gets" Trump's message.

    Moore "realizes that there is a whole generation of people now — hard-working, tax-paying, long-suffering Americans — who have been keeping the country going through the hardest of times, the people that built this country that are screwed over," Hannity said.

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    NOW WATCH: Golf legend Greg Norman reveals the truth behind President Bill Clinton's late-night 1997 injury

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  • A suspect in the destruction of Donald Trump's Walk of Fame star has been arrested
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:21 PM:)

    trump star

    The police have arrested a man suspected of destroying Donald Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, the man's identity has not been released. He was arrested on a charge of felony vandalism.

    On Wednesday, a man who identified himself as James Otis vandalized Donald Trump's star in Los Angeles. It's unclear whether the man in police custody is Otis.

    Otis had said he was willing to face his punishment for the crime.

    "I think I'll have to handle the consequences of what I've done," Otis told Deadline on Wednesday. "I will gladly pay the money if I have to, and if I must go to jail, I will."

    Deadline reported that vandalism carries a sentence of up to three years in jail and upward of $10,000 in fines in California. And the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame, has said it wants the guilty person punished to "the full extent of the law."

    "I'm happy to go to trial," said Otis, who also said he planned to turn himself in to the Los Angeles Police Department.

    At about 5:45 a.m. on Wednesday, the man who identified himself as Otis was seen on video using a sledgehammer and a pickax to destroy Trump's star. He said he had hoped to be able to remove the star and auction it off to benefit the women who are accusing the Republican presidential nominee of sexual misconduct.

    This isn't the first time Trump's star has been vandalized. In January, someone spray-painted a Nazi swastika on it.

    SEE ALSO: A man obliterated Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

    DON'T MISS: How the vulgar Donald Trump tape from 2005 was discovered at NBC and leaked to the public

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    NOW WATCH: Watch this Italian artist use a tractor to make a giant portrait of Donald Trump

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  • The Army just made history and got 10 new female infantry officers
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:11 PM:)

    army ranger females

    The Army just graduated 166 new infantry officers from its basic leadership course at Fort Benning, and for the first time in history, that number includes women.

    Ten female lieutenants graduated from the Infantry Officer Basic Leadership Course on Wednesday, marking the close of the first class that was gender-mixed. The women earned the infantry blue chord and join only one other female infantryman: Capt. Kristen Griest, a former military police officer who transferred to the infantry in April after she became one of the first women to graduate from the Army's Ranger School. 

    The 17-week course consists of classroom instruction, live-fire training, physical fitness, land navigation, and other fundamentals for officers who will later be tasked with leading a platoon of some 30 soldiers. After graduating IBOLC, most will go through additional training such as Ranger or Airborne school before being assigned to an infantry unit.

    “We are in the business of producing leaders and it doesn’t matter if they are male or female," Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Davis, the senior enlisted soldier at IBOLC, told Army Times.

    The military has been slowly integrating females — previously excluded from some occupational specialties — into combat jobs such as infantry and armor, following policy changes initiated by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in 2013.

    Most of those changes affect the Army and Marine Corps, which have the majority of combat-related jobs. While the Marines have graduated some enlisted females through its infantry training pipeline, it has had no women graduate its own infantry officer course, though more than 30 have tried.

    SEE ALSO: Boeing may be building a new passenger plane that takes off and lands vertically

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    NOW WATCH: Former Navy SEAL Jesse Ventura says 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle shouldn't be remembered as a hero

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  • A former FBI profiler offers a theory on why so many politicians use the same weird hand gesture
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:11 PM:)

    hillary clinton

    Even if you're not big into politics, you've probably seen it by now — the gesture.

    In a kind of loose fist, the politician presses their thumb firmly into the middle joint on their index finger, curling their fingers into their palm.

    When they want to make a point, they extend the closed hand out toward the crowd, as if handing over a sum of money.

    It's not a particularly comfortable position to stay in, but former FBI profiler and body language expert Joe Navarro says it has become so common on campaign trails because our bodies tend to reflect what our brains are trying to communicate.

    "When we talk about one precise thing, we tend to do this," Navarro tells Business Insider via Skype, forming both hands into loose approximations of the gesture. "This is a modified precision grip."

    Precision grips are used for a variety of fine-motor movements, including writing, eating, and drawing. If a politician makes a similarly precise gesture during a speech, Navarro takes that as a sign the speaker is trying to make an important or complex point.

    "It is articulating that you're focusing on something, and that you're grasping it cognitively," he says.

    obama speech joe bidenjustin trudeauFrom his experience observing other world leaders, Navarro says the fist-for-emphasis gesture is mostly North American in nature.

    The tendency overseas is to adopt a gesture closer to the one used by Donald Trump, in which he forms a tight "A-OK" sign with both hands. Both are matters of preference, he says.

    Here are French President Francois Hollande and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demonstrating what Navarro is talking about:

    francois hollande

    mahmoud abbas speechBoth styles emphasize the speaker's desire to make a fine point, Navarro says. But he would offer a word of caution to political leaders who turn the tactic into just a tic, as overuse can dilute its power.

    "When we see the same behavior over and over again," Navarro says, "we either ignore it or it becomes a caricature."

    That's how you end up with people like Julia Louis Dreyfus mocking the gesture as "impotent" on late-night TV and branding it with a whole new title. Enter: the thist.

    SEE ALSO: 8 body language tricks to instantly appear more confident

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    NOW WATCH: 4 essential body language tips from a world champion public speaker

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  • Trump official says campaign has '3 major voter suppression operations underway' to discourage Clinton supporters
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:10 PM:)

    Donald Trump

    A senior Donald Trump official told Bloomberg in a story published on Thursday that the campaign had "three major voter suppression operations underway."

    The effort, according to the unidentified official, was aimed at discouraging three groups Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton needs to turn out at the polls — white liberals, millennial women, and black Americans — from voting.

    The official explained that the Trump campaign was highlighting the ongoing dumping of Clinton campaign emails on WikiLeaks and her past support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to turn off supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

    Allegations of sexual misconduct against former President Bill Clinton were meant to turn off young women, the official said, and Clinton's decades-old comment about "super-predators" was intended to discourage black voters.

    The Bloomberg report also highlighted details of Trump's major data operation, called "Project Alamo."

    Brad Parscale, a high-ranking Trump official closely tied to the project, said expensive internal polling done by the campaign showed that Trump was behind in the presidential race.

    "Nate Silver's results have been similar to ours," Parscale said, referring to the renowned statistician, "except they lag by a week or two because he's relying on public polls."

    The campaign has a model, called the "Battleground Optimizer Path to Victory," to help weigh the states that the data team assessed are most critical to hitting the needed 270 electoral votes in November. Florida is the top state in this model, followed by Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia — a reliably red state.

    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump speaks Hindi in unusual new campaign ad aimed at Indian-American voters

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  • Donald Trump speaks Hindi in unusual new campaign ad aimed at Indian-American voters
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:10 PM:)

    donald trump

    Donald Trump's campaign is reaching out to Indian-American voters with a series of new television ads using an adaptation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan.

    Set partially to Indian music, one choppily edited, 30-second ad viewed by Business Insider begins with text on the screen wishing viewers "Happy Diwali" on the eve of the Hindu holiday. The ad then cuts to the Republican presidential nominee's speech to a charity concert in New Jersey earlier this month organized by the Republican Hindu Coalition.

    The ad prominently features an image of Modi as well as Trump's take on Modi's popular campaign slogan, "Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkaar," or, "This Time, We're With Trump's Government."

    It also includes images of a 2008 terrorist attack in India and a spin on a popular Trump campaign sign that says "Great for America — Great for US-India Relationship."

    Chicago businessman Shalabh Kumar, the chairman of Trump's Indian-American advisory committee and the founder and head of the Republican Hindu Coalition, told Business Insider in an interview late Wednesday that the ad was running almost 20 times a day nationally on 20 networks — including Zee TV USA, a Hindi cable network, and TV Asia.

    "He's the only candidate who has ever spoken Hindi," Kumar said of the ad.

    Another senior Trump campaign official confirmed on Wednesday that the ad began airing this week in Indian-American media markets. The official said the campaign contracts many of its television ads through ad makers familiar with different markets.

    After what campaign officials viewed as a successful event in New Jersey earlier this month, the Trump campaign consulted with Kumar about the possibility of running ads targeting Hindu voters.

    Kumar told Business Insider that the ad campaign was part of a late strategy to reach Indian-American, and particularly Hindu, voters in three key battleground states: Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. Kumar said if he could persuade 30,000 Indian-Americans in Florida to vote for Trump, they could help decide the election.

    Indian-American voters have overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates in recent presidential elections, while Trump's harsh rhetoric on immigration has alienated many nonwhite voters in the 2016 campaign.

    But to at least a few close observers of Indian and US politics, the outreach effort has a distinct purpose.

    Trump has garnered support among a niche group of Hindu nationalist supporters in India. As The New York Times has reported, the real-estate magnate's promise to aggressively combat Islamic extremists in particular may appeal to some Indian-American voters. Others have suggested that some voters in the demographic may also support the Republican presidential nominee's previous plan to bar Muslim immigrants from entering the US.

    "Our values are conservative values — there is an information gap," Kumar said of Hindu voters. "When it comes time to vote, or support a particular candidate, they identify themselves as minorities. And as minorities, they just vote for Democrats."

    Kumar argued that Hindu voters he talked to were swayed by his argument that the Obama administration was too soft on Pakistan, citing the administration's plan to sell F-16 fighter jets to the country earlier this year, among other issues.

    "When they come to know all this, they think, 'We should support Trump, we should support Republicans,'" Kumar said.

    Watch the ad below:



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  • Donald Trump is targeting Indian-American voters with a strange new campaign ad
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:06 PM:)

    A bizarre new ad from the Trump campaign targets Indian-American voters, with the candidate speaking in Hindi and aligning himself with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Produced by Noah Friedman. Original reporting by Max Tani.

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  • 'I can't believe I didn't include you': Trump stunned to learn he hasn't insulted George Stephanopoulos on Twitter
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:04 PM:)

    Screen Shot 2016 10 27 at 10.35.15 AM

    Donald Trump reacted with surprise Thursday on ABC News when he learned that he had not yet hurled an insult on Twitter at "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopoulos.

    Stephanopoulos referenced The New York Times' printed two-page list of all the jabs Trump had taken at others during the campaign.

    "Were you one of them?" the Republican nominee asked the ABC host.

    "Actually, I wasn't," Stephanopoulos replied. "I was a little surprised at that."

    Trump couldn't believe it.

    "Oh, well, you should have been," the billionaire said. "I'm surprised. Let's go check it. I can't believe I didn't include you."

    Throughout the 2016 cycle, Trump has used Twitter to sting journalists and his political rivals with crude insults.

    "Look, I believe in fighting back," Trump said. "When people are against me, when they tell lies, I have the power of this instrument. And frankly, sometimes I use that."

    SEE ALSO: The GOP must do something about the conservative media industrial complex if it wants to survive

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  • Top ally on Clinton's use of private email server: 'Whole thing is f---ing insane'
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 3:00 PM:)

    Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Lake Worth, Florida, U.S. October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

    A top ally of Hillary Clinton characterized the situation surrounding the Democratic presidential nominee's decision to use a private email server as "f---ing insane," a hacked email published on Thursday by WikiLeaks showed.

    Neera Tanden, a political activist and the president of the Center for American Progress, emailed Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in July 2015 ahead of an appearance she was making on CNN. She switched from talking about a CNN poll to questioning Podesta about Clinton's emails.

    "Do we actually know who told Hillary she could use private email?" Tanden asked in the hacked emails. "And has that person been drawn and quartered? Like whole thing is f---ing insane."

    The FBI investigated Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, but ultimately declined to recommend the Justice Department move forward with charges against her.

    Newly released hacked emails suggest the scandal took the campaign somewhat by surprise.

    In March 2015, after The New York Times published a story outlining how Clinton used the personal email account while secretary of state, Podesta wrote Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and asked if he had "any idea the depth" of the story.

    "Nope," Mook responded. "We brought up the existence of emails in reserach [sic] this summer but were told that everything was taken care of."

    SEE ALSO: Clinton camp panicked over Obama response to email server: 'We need to clean this up — he has emails from her'

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  • Seth Meyers: Donald Trump 'doesn't even seem to know' what Obamacare is
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 2:45 PM:)

    seth meyers obamacare donald trump late night nbc

    Seth Meyers thinks he knows why Donald Trump and his campaign failed to fully capitalize on the news of upcoming price increases for Obamacare.

    On Wednesday's episode of NBC's "Late Night," Meyers took a look at what Trump was doing instead of coming down on Obamacare in a new edition of "A Closer Look."

    In the past, Trump has been very critical of the healthcare policy, even saying that Obamacare is "killing" businesses and individuals.

    "There are lots of different ideas for improving healthcare in this country that we should have a serious debate about, like letting more people enroll in Medicare or strengthening the individual mandate," the host said. "But unfortunately, one of our two presidential candidates seems much less interested in having that discussion than he is in plugging his own businesses."

    Meyers is referring to Trump's decision to promote his Miami resort on Tuesday. He did speak about Obamacare briefly and generated headlines when he said that his "employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare."

    That's strange because his employees overwhelmingly receive their insurance through Trump's company. "Over 95%" get their insurance through the company, the general manager for Trump's Florida resort said.

    With one day squandered by Trump, Meyers wondered, "You might think Trump would change his approach. Surely, he wouldn't spend a second day plugging one of his businesses in a non-swing state less than two weeks away from the election, right?"

    But he did. Trump spent Wednesday at the grand opening of his new hotel in Washington state.

    "The reason why Republicans haven't presented any real plans to fix or replace Obamacare is because they don't have any," Meyers said. "And the guy they nominated for president doesn't even seem to know what it is. Unfortunately for the Republican Party, it's too late to repeal and replace him."

    Watch the segment below:

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  • The 11 most incredible weapon systems used by the Russian army
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 2:31 PM:)

    T 90 Russian TankThe United Kingdom is planning to send 800 troops to the Russian border as tensions between Moscow and the west continue to increase.

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced the news after NATO called on member states to contribute to its biggest military presence on Russian borders since the Cold War.

    Relations between Vladmir Putin's Russia and the west have been frosty since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 but have worsened in recent months over the role Russia has played in the Syrian civil war.

    Putin's Russia has gone through a significant transformation since the president's re-election in 2012. It had the world's fourth-largest defence budget in 2015, at a cost of $66.4 billion (£46 billion).

    For that, the state boasts 845,000 troops, 22,550 tanks, and 1,399 combat aircraft.

    The army is being split into smaller, more dynamic brigades. The focus is on new technologies rather than brute manpower. (For instance, this Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft system is basically a tank with a load of extra cannons sticking out of it.)

    Here's a review of some of Russia's more menacing military machines.

    Tomas Hirst contributed to this slideshow:



    Bora-class guided-missile hovercraft: This ship is actually a catamaran with a base that turns it into a hovercraft. Armed with eight Mosquito missiles and 20 anti-aircraft missiles, the ship has a crew of up to 68 sailors and a cruising speed of 100km per hour.

    The Pantsir-S1: A combined short-to-medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft missile system. The system consists of 12 surface-to-air guided missiles and two 30-mm automatic guns effective against planes, helicopters, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles.

    A virtually invisible submarine: The first of six diesel-electric stealth submarines, the Novorossiysk was launched from a St. Petersburg shipyard last year. Its designers say its stealth technology makes it virtually undetectable when submerged.

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  • Here is a video of Ken Livingstone singing Phil Collins' Easy Lover on Russia Today
    (Politics - October 27 2016 - 2:25 PM:)

    Ken Livingstone Russia Today

    It has been a strange year for Ken Livingstone.

    The former London mayor was at the centre of an anti-Semitism row which engulfed the Labour Party earlier this year, after suggesting Adolf Hitler supported Zionism before "going mad" and killing millions of people.

    Six months on, the suspended Labour member has found himself in a social media storm once again, only this time for appearing on Russian state broadcaster Russia Today singing along to Phil Collins' 1984 hit "Easy Lover."

    Livingstone, who served as London's mayor for eight years before being replaced by Boris Johnson in 2008, closes the News Thing show by singing the song alongside the show's presenter.

    So @Ken4London insisted that he play out this week's show by singing Phil Collins' Easy Lover. Or maybe we insisted. Either way, here it is: pic.twitter.com/2C75K1uDQj

    — News Thing on RT UK (@NewsThingRT) October 22, 2016

    The weirdness does not end there, though.

    Before talking about Brexit and the challenges facing London, Livingstone was welcomed to the show by a rapper who sang lyrics suggesting he was "as far right" as former UKIP leader Nigel Farage as he entered the studio.

    The rapper, who goes by the name of MC Irah, rapped:"Welcome Mr Dead Stone, he introduced the congestion charge, but him always talk about Hitler, is he just as far-right as Farage?"

    Livingstone seemed totally oblivious to what MIC Irah was saying about him. 

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