Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 19, 2016

Obama scolds Trump for saying election is "rigged," Clinton and Trump head into final debate, and more


Obama slams Trump over 'rigged' election claim

President Obama on Tuesday scolded Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for claiming that the November election was being "rigged" in favor of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Obama said Trump's attempt to "discredit the elections" was "unprecedented" for a major party candidate, and that the charge was "based on no facts." Trump has accused the media of trying to tip the scales for Clinton, and said that fraud would take place at some polling places. Trump has tumbled in polls since the release of a hot-mic recording in which he bragged about groping and kissing women without their consent. Obama said Trump should "stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes."


Clinton and Trump head into third and final debate

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off Wednesday night in their third and final debate with the election just three weeks away. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, heads into the forum in Las Vegas with a lead that has grown nationally and in key swing states since the last debate. Trump, the Republican nominee, has accused Democrats and the media of trying to "rig" the election against him by publicizing "false" accusations that he groped and kissed women without consent. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will moderate the 90-minute debate, and the topics are supposed to include immigration, the economy, the Supreme Court, foreign hot spots, "fitness" to be president, and the national debt.


Pentagon: ISIS using civilians as human shields in Mosul

Civilians in Mosul said by telephone on Tuesday that Islamic State fighters are preventing people from fleeing the Iraqi city as Iraqi government forces and allies close in. Some of the civilians are being sent into buildings recently used by ISIS militants. "It's quite clear Daesh (Islamic State) has started to use civilians as human shields by allowing families to stay in buildings likely to be targeted by air strikes," said resident Abu Mahir. Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis confirmed that ISIS was using civilians as human shields. The attacking forces were still 12 to 30 miles from the city on Tuesday, and a Kurdish general said he expected it to take two months to drive out ISIS.


Ecuador embassy cuts off Julian Assange's internet access

Ecuador said Tuesday that it had "temporarily restricted" the internet access of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to keep him from interfering in the U.S. presidential election. "The government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other countries," the embassy said in a Tuesday statement. WikiLeaks accused U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of persuading Ecuador to cut Assange's internet access on Saturday to stem ongoing leaks of emails hacked from the account of John Podesta, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. "That's just not true," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. Assange has been holed up in Ecuador's U.K. embassy since June 2012.


Trump says he will push for congressional term limits

Donald Trump said he would propose a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress. The remarks were widely perceived partly as a swipe at House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has said he will stop defending and campaigning for the Republican presidential nominee. "Decades of failure in Washington and decades of special interest dealings must and will come to an end," the Republican presidential nominee said at a Colorado Springs campaign event. Trump said that limiting the time people can serve in Congress would "break the cycle of corruption" and "end the economic stagnation we are in right now." Passing such an amendment would require the approval of two-thirds of Congress.


Mexican judge in 'El Chapo' case murdered

Vicente Bermudez Zacarias, the Mexican judge who in March suspended the extradition of alleged Sinaloa drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was shot in the head and killed as he left his home to go jogging in Metepec, 43 miles outside Mexico City, on Tuesday. Guzman is being held in a prison near Ciudad Juarez, which borders El Paso, Texas. U.S. officials are still pushing for him to be sent to the U.S. to face drug charges, but his lawyers are trying to block his extradition with appeals. Bermudez also had handled legal challenges in cases involving other suspected drug lords.


Saudi Arabia executes prince for killing

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabeer for fatally shooting another man during a fight, marking the first time since 1975 that the country has put to death a member of the royal family. The last member of the royal family executed was Prince Faisal bin Musaid, who was beheaded for assassinating King Faisal. The Saudi state news service reported that the prince had been executed in the capital, Riyadh, although it did not provide details. Most executions in Saudi Arabia are public beheadings. "The greatest thing is that the citizen sees the law applied to everyone," lawyer Abdul-Rahman al-Lahim said via Twitter.


Temporary Yemen ceasefire set to start

All warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire scheduled to take effect just before midnight Wednesday, said Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the United Nations' special envoy to Yemen. Ahmed said he hoped the brief truce would pave the way for a "permanent and lasting end to the conflict." The accord calls for the internationally recognized government, Houthi rebels who control a large part of the country, and their allies to facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on all parties to respect the ceasefire, "sustain it, and strongly encourage its unconditional renewal."


Retired FBI official denies 'quid pro quo'

Retired FBI official Brian McCauley said Tuesday that he and a State Department official never discussed a "quid pro quo" involving changing an email from Hillary Clinton's private server from classified to unclassified in exchange for letting FBI agents into Iraq. McCauley told The Washington Post that longtime State Department official Patrick Kennedy asked him if the email's status could be changed, but when McCauley learned the message was about Benghazi he replied, "Absolutely not, I can't help you." Kennedy said there was never any negotiation or question of a deal, as suggested by the use of the term "quid pro quo" in a recently released FBI document, but that he simply was trying to clarify the status of the email prior to its public release.


Police break up protest outside U.S. embassy in Philippines

A Philippine police van rammed into anti-American protesters on Wednesday outside the U.S. embassy in Manilla. At least three students were rushed to hospitals after the incident. Police used tear gas to disperse about 1,000 demonstrators calling for the removal of U.S. soldiers from the country as tensions rise between the U.S. and the government of the Philippines' new president, Rodrigo Duterte. In recent months, the Obama administration has criticized Duterte's controversial war on illegal drugs, which has left 2,300 suspected users and pushers dead, and Duterte has called President Obama a "son of a whore" and told him to "go to hell."


Putin likely complicit in downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, investigators say
The reconstructed cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
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Church of England to explore gender-neutral pronouns for God
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Zelensky requests additional aid during surprise visit to U.K.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the U.K. Parliament.
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New Zealand discovers 3.5 tons of cocaine floating in the Pacific Ocean
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