Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 16, 2015

Clinton and Sanders lead both parties in cash on hand, Dennis Hastert reportedly reaches plea deal, and more

1

Clinton and Sanders match entire GOP field in cash on hand

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) head into fall with nearly as much campaign cash in the bank as the 15 Republican candidates combined, according to Federal Election Commission quarterly financial reports released Thursday night. Democrats outpaced GOP hopefuls in raising direct contributions, although Republicans rely more heavily on super PACs. Clinton raised the most in the third quarter with $29.9 million, but Sanders gained on her, raising $26.2 million.

2

Hastert reportedly reaches plea deal in hush-money case

Lawyers for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Thursday that he had struck an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to agreeing to pay a man hush money to conceal past wrongdoing. The case reportedly involves sexual misconduct with a male student when Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach. Hastert, who served 20 years in Congress and spent nine years as House speaker, was charged in May with structuring $1.7 million in withdrawals to evade bank reporting laws, then lying about it to federal investigators.

3

Trump and Carson threaten to skip the next GOP debate

Republican presidential frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson have threatened to drop out of the next primary debate unless CNBC, which is hosting the forum, meets a set of demands. The two candidates said in a letter to CNBC that they would not participate if the Oct. 28 debate is longer than two hours, "including commercials." They also demanded opening and closing statements. The move came after CNN extended the previous debate to three hours.

4

Suspected hacker charged with terrorism

Malaysian authorities have arrested an alleged hacker from Kosovo on U.S. charges of accessing the personal data of American military and government employees, and giving the data to Islamic State member Junaid Hussain, the Justice Department announced Thursday. In August, Hussain, a British citizen, tweeted a link to the names, email addresses, locations, and phone numbers of 1,351 U.S. personnel, with a caption saying that ISIS "soldiers... will strike at your necks in your own lands!" In September, Hussain was killed in Syria by a drone strike.

5

2 new Lockerbie bombing suspects identified

U.S. and Scottish prosecutors have identified two Libyan men as suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that downed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 270 people on board. The two suspects are believed to have acted along with Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted so far for the terrorist attack. Prosecutors have asked Libya for permission to interview the suspects, although the country's instability is expected to make that difficult.

6

Clinton says she would consider Julian Castro as running mate

Hillary Clinton said Thursday she would consider making Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro her running mate if she wins the Democratic presidential nomination. "I am going to look really hard at him for anything, because that's how good he is," Clinton said. The rising Hispanic leader had just announced his support for Clinton, which could give the Democratic frontrunner an edge as she competes with rival Democrats for support from Hispanic voters.

7

SeaWorld to challenge California ban on orca breeding

SeaWorld said Thursday it plans to sue the California Coastal Commission for banning orca breeding at the company's San Diego marine theme park. SeaWorld Entertainment, under fire from animal rights activists, proposed a $100-million expansion of the enclosure for its 11 killer whales in San Diego, but the commission said at the last minute that the park would have to stop breeding and importing whales. SeaWorld called the conditions "overreaching."

8

Nevada tells fantasy sports sites to close until they get gambling licenses

The Nevada Gaming Control Board ruled Thursday that playing daily fantasy sports is gambling, and ordered websites like DraftKings and FanDuel to close in the state until they get gambling licenses. The decision was the latest recent setback for a mostly unregulated boom industry. Recently, federal and state investigators started looking into allegations of betting with insider information.

9

Oscar Pistorius prepares for parole release a year into manslaughter sentence

Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius, convicted a year ago for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, is due to be released on parole next week after South Africa's parole board said Thursday it had granted his request for house arrest. Pistorius will remain on parole through 2019. Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter. Pistorius shot Steenkamp, a model and law student, through a bathroom door on Valentine's Day 2013. He said he thought she was an intruder.

10

Mets beat Dodgers, advancing to face Cubs for NL championship

The New York Mets beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in Game 5 of their division playoff series on Thursday night, advancing to play the Chicago Cubs for the National League championship. That series starts Saturday in New York. Daniel Murphy had a hand in all three of the Mets' runs, hitting a double off Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke in the first inning, scoring the tying run in the fourth after stealing third base, and hitting the winning run, a solo homer, in the sixth.

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