AP News Summary at 6:57 p.m. EDT | Nation and World

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Confident GOP unites behind candidates once seen as risky

ATKINSON, NH (AP) — Republicans are increasingly trusting Senate candidates who party leaders once believed to be essentially ineligible or at least severely flawed. Republican officials are betting big that the political environment driving Democrats around the country will overcome what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell himself called “candidate quality” issues. Republican Senate candidates from Arizona to New Hampshire are grappling with revelations about their personal lives, extreme positions and poor fundraising. Yet they may be in a position to win. And as Republican confidence grows, Democrats have been forced to hunker down on the defensive as voters seek to punish the party that controls Washington for concerns about inflation, crime and the direction of the country.

Police: Pelosi suspect wanted to break speaker’s knees

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal complaint says the man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told police he wanted to hold the speaker hostage and “break her the kneecaps”. David DePape has been charged with two federal crimes. Police say DePape broke into the Pelosis home in San Francisco and hit the Democratic leader’s 82-year-old husband in the head with a hammer. Pelosi was seriously injured in the attack. Monday’s announcement of federal charges came as the San Francisco District Attorney was also expected to announce criminal charges against DePape. He was arrested on Friday on suspicion of attempted murder, child abuse and burglary.

Positive discrimination in danger after judges raise doubts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority are questioning the continued use of affirmative action in higher education. During lengthy closing arguments on Monday, the judges wrestled with persistent and difficult questions of race. The judges heard from six different attorneys in policy challenges at the University of North Carolina and Harvard. These policies consider race among many factors when evaluating applications for admission. A conservative judge likened affirmative action to giving some college applicants a head start in a running race. But a liberal judge said universities are the “pipelines for leadership in our society” and suggested that without positive action, minority enrollments would plummet.

Russia is recruiting US-trained Afghan commandos, vets say

Afghan special forces soldiers who fought alongside US troops and fled to Iran after the chaotic US withdrawal are being recruited by the Russian military to fight in Ukraine. That’s according to three former Afghan generals who spoke to The Associated Press. They said the Russians wanted to entice thousands of elite Afghan commandos with promises of payments of $1,500 a month and safe havens for themselves and their loved ones so they could avoid deportation to this which many assume to be death at the hands of the Taliban. A general said, “They don’t want to go fight, but they have no choice.”

The impetuous Brazilian President Bolsonaro became a mother after his electoral defeat

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The usually vocal Brazilian president remains uncharacteristically quiet after losing his bid for re-election. Monday, several hours after being beaten by his rival, Jair Bolsonaro had not conceded defeat or challenged the results. Left-wing candidate Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva won the second round on Sunday evening with 50.9% of the vote, against 49.1% for Bolsonaro. It was the closest election since Brazil’s return to democracy in 1985. Like former US President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro has repeatedly questioned the reliability of the country’s electronic voting system, without providing no proof.

Musk floats paid Twitter audit, fires board

Billionaire Elon Musk is already announcing major changes for Twitter as he enters his first week as owner of the social media platform. One proposal would charge some users if they want to keep a blue tick on their profile. Twitter has always used the mark to verify high-profile accounts, including Musk’s, so other users know it’s really them. Critics have derided the brand as an elite status symbol. Musk has invited a group of friends and investors from across the tech world to help guide the San Francisco-based company’s transformation, which will likely include a reshuffle of its staff.

Trump asks judges to keep House committee tax returns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is heading to the Supreme Court again, this time to try to block his tax returns from being turned over to a congressional committee. In an emergency appeal filed Monday, Trump wants the court to order at least a temporary stay of the Treasury Department handing over its statements to the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee. Lower courts ruled the committee had broad power to obtain tax returns and rejected Trump’s claims that it was overstepping. Trump had recently sought the intervention of judges in a legal dispute stemming from the search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in August. The court dismissed this appeal.

Does adversity make you stronger? Scientists don’t always say

There is an old saying that adversity makes you stronger. Real life shows that’s not always true, but the adage highlights an evolving debate among scientists about resilience. After traumatic events or major crises — child abuse, gun violence, a pandemic — what explains why some people bounce back and thrive, while others flounder, struggling to cope? Is it nature _ genes and other inherent traits? Or nurture _ life experiences and social interactions? Decades of research suggest that both play a role, but neither seals a person’s fate. Experts say resilience can be learned, but it’s not always easy.

The $1 billion Powerball jackpot up for grabs on Monday night

People are showing up at convenience stores, grocery stores, and gas stations across the country to grab lottery tickets for a chance to win a massive $1 billion Powerball jackpot. Monday night’s draw jackpot skyrocketed after no one matched all six numbers in Saturday night’s draw. It is the fifth largest lottery jackpot in US history. The biggest prize was a Powerball jackpot of $1.586 billion won by three ticket holders in 2016. No one has hit all six numbers since August 3, which speaks to how slim the odds of winning the jackpot are: 1 in 292.2 million. Monday’s huge jackpot comes less than two years after a Mega Millions lottery ticket matched all six numbers to win a $1.05 billion jackpot.

Perfect 10: Taylor Swift sets the Billboard Hot 100 first

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – “Midnights” has become a perfect 10 for Taylor Swift as she is the first artist to claim the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Billboard reported that the pop star has passed Drake, who previously held the record with nine of the 10 songs. Swift’s new album was released on October 21 with a standard version and a deluxe version with bonus tracks and had one of the biggest album launches in nearly seven years. Swift tweeted “I AM IN SHAMBLES” after noting that she had scored the historic premiere of her 10th album. The No. 1 song was his hit “Anti-Hero,” whose lyrics “It’s me/hi/I’m the problem/It’s me” quickly became a TikTok trend.

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