The U.S. at a glance ...
Garden City, Kan.
Right-wing terrorist plot: Federal law enforcement officials this week said they had thwarted a terrorist bomb plot, allegedly planned by three members of a right-wing militia known as the Crusaders, against a Kansas apartment building that’s home to many Muslim immigrants from Somalia. Authorities said that Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright, and Patrick Eugene Stein, all in their late 40s, planned to load four vehicles with explosives and detonate them at the four corners of the apartment complex in Garden City, which also contains a mosque, on the day after the November election. They hoped to cause a “bloodbath” that would help spark a religious war, according to the criminal complaint. The FBI had been monitoring the men for eight months but made the arrests only when Allen’s girlfriend led authorities to a large stash of weapons, after she had allegedly been assaulted by Allen. The trio has been charged with one count of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Police chief apologizes to minorities: The head of America’s largest police organization formally apologized this week for law enforcement’s role in the “historical mistreatment of communities of color,” in a conciliatory speech that drew a standing ovation from officers in the audience but was criticized by other police groups. Speaking before the convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in San Diego, IACP president Terrence Cunningham said that while the history of policing “is replete with examples of bravery [and] self-sacrifice,” it “has also had darker periods.” That has “created a multigenerational—almost inherited—mistrust between many communities of color and law enforcement,” said Cunningham, who also serves as police chief of Wellesley, Mass. Civil rights groups commended the apology, but the Fraternal Order of Police said that more action, not words, is needed to address urban decay and unemployment.
Pence allegations: A liberal advocacy group has accused Indiana governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence of voter suppression, after state police raided the offices of a voter registration program aimed at signing up black voters. Police raided the Indiana Voter Registration Project in Indianapolis on Oct. 6—seizing computers, phones, and documents—following a tip-off from suburban Indianapolis election officials that some applications might be fraudulent. State police said that so far “more than 300” seized applications appeared to contain made-up names, incorrect addresses, or false birth dates. Patriot Majority USA says some 45,000 people, most of them African-Americans, might not be able to vote on Nov. 8 if their applications aren’t released and processed. In ads, Patriot Majority USA accused Pence of being behind the raid, which the governor’s office called “beyond absurd.”
‘Quid pro quo’ deal? State Department and FBI officials allegedly discussed a “quid pro quo” arrangement to declassify an email from Hillary Clinton’s private email server, according to FBI documents released this week. In an interview conducted during the FBI’s now-closed probe of Clinton’s server use, FBI official Brian McCauley said he received a phone call in May 2015 from Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, who wanted the FBI to downgrade the “secret” classification of one email, which Clinton’s team believed had been improperly classified. McCauley offered to do so in exchange for approval of additional FBI personnel in Baghdad. McCauley said he retracted his offer when he realized the email in question involved the 2012 Benghazi attack. The email was never declassified, and there is no evidence Clinton was ever aware of the conversation. But Donald Trump said the incident represented “felony corruption by any standards.”
New York City
Trump TV in the works? With Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump lagging in the polls, his son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, has reached out to a boutique investment firm to discuss the possibility of setting up a Trump-branded television network after the election, the Financial Times reported this week. Establishing a rival to Fox News has long been believed to be the backup plan for Trump and his campaign chief executive, Steve Bannon, the former head of alt-right website Breitbart.com—both of whom want to capitalize on the Republican nominee’s current popularity. Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, reportedly approached LionTree chief executive Aryeh Bourkoff to discuss financial backing about a month ago— though Bourkoff was said not to be interested. Sources said Kushner is keen on exploring a subscription online video service similar to Glenn Beck’s GBTV, which could potentially serve as a launchpad to a cable-TV channel.
Political firebombing: A local GOP office in the town of Hillsborough became a casualty of the divisive 2016 election this week after the building was gutted in a firebombing and a swastika was spray-painted on an adjacent unit, along with the words “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.” Although a group of Democrats raised more than $13,000 in a GoFundMe campaign within hours to help rebuild the office, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump laid the blame for the bombing on “animals representing Hillary Clinton and [Democrats] in North Carolina.” Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, said it wasn’t clear who was responsible for the bombing but that it represented “an attack on our democracy.” North Carolina has been at the epicenter of a number of tense political fights this year, including disputes over transgender bathrooms and police shootings.