5 things for October 26: WikiLeaks, tax reform, Kenya

(CNN)Halloween’s right around the corner. Let’s all enjoy it by staying safe. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)


div class=”zn-body__paragraph” speakable”>The head of a data analytics company linked to the Trump campaign contacted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2016 regarding thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails kept on a private server while she was secretary of state, according to four sources familiar with the outreach.


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Alexander Nix, the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, sent an email to several people — including top Donald Trump donor Rebekah Mercer — relaying that he had emailed Assange seeking access to emails from Clinton’s private server to turn them into a searchable database for the campaign or a pro-Trump political action committee, two of the sources said.  
The attempt at collaboration raises fresh questions about the willingness of people associated with the Trump campaign to work with WikiLeaks for political gain. The site, which publishes leaked documents, released hacked emails in July from the Democratic National Committee and in October from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. US intelligence has said the Podesta emails were stolen by Russia and handed over to WikiLeaks through an intermediary.

2. Tax reform

Today the House is supposed to vote on the budget blueprint that’s already been OK’d by the Senate, the next step in the GOP and Trump administration effort to overhaul the tax code. But there’s trouble on the horizon. There are a lot of House Republicans upset over the budget framework’s plan to wipe out the deduction for state and local taxes. That tax break is extremely popular in high-tax states like California, New York and Illinois. The Republicans can only afford to lose about 22 votes on this, but there are about 30 GOP members from districts that rely heavily on this deduction — enough to sink the budget. So Republican leaders are scrambling to come up with a compromise.

    Ivanka Trump: Tax reform ‘critically important’

3. Sexual harassment claims

Veteran journalist Mark Halperin sexually harassed women while he was in a powerful position at ABC News, according to five women who shared their previously undisclosed accounts with CNN and others who did not experience the alleged harassment personally, but were aware of it.
“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement to CNN Wednesday night. “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”
Halperin, widely considered to be one of the preeminent political journalists, has, among other career highlights, been political director at ABC News. He also co-authored the bestselling book “Game Change,” which was made into an HBO movie starring Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.

    How NDAs silence sexual assault victims

4. Kenya presidential election

Kenyans are voting today for a new president for the second time in three months, in an election that the opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, is boycotting — a move that essentially guarantees victory for President Uhuru Kenyatta. Odinga called on his supporters to skip the vote too.
This election is being rerun because Kenya’s Supreme Court invalidated Kenyatta’s August 8 victory, citing irregularities, following charges by Odinga that the results were electronically tampered with. But then Odinga turned around and dropped out of the race, saying no electoral reforms had been implemented for the October vote. Turnout today is expected to be low, and police have fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters in Kisumu, where the opposition has strong support.

    Kenya police, protesters clash on election day

5. Store closings

Congrats, 2017. You just set a record, but it’s not a good one. There have been more store closings this year than any year on record. Retailers have announced plans to shutter more than 6,700 stores in the US. That beats the previous record — 6,163 closings — set in 2008 during the financial meltdown. Everybody from Sears to Walgreens to Staples shed stores this year, and there are still two more months to go. So why are so many stores closing in the midst of a booming economy? Online shopping, of course. E-commerce giants like Amazon continue to gobble up market share from brick-and-mortar stores.


People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
RIP, Fats
One of rock ‘n’ roll’s first hitmakers, Fats Domino cranked out a string of piano-based classics, like “Blueberry Hill.” The music legend has died at age 89.

    Antoine ‘Fats’ Domino Jr. dies at 89

Home delivery
Not content to just be shipping stuff to you, Amazon wants delivery people to be able to drop packages off inside your home too, ’cause there’s nothing creepy about that.

    Late night lampoons new Amazon service

Is the Great Pumpkin next?
If you have kids, just keep ’em away from the Air Force’s Twitter feed which (briefly) denied the existence of Santa Claus.
Lady luck is actually a queen
Queen Elizabeth II has won over $8 million in prize money from her race horses over the years. Maybe she can start picking our lottery numbers for us, too?
Ride along
A police officer was called when no one came to pick up a little boy after school. Turns out it was his 8th birthday. The cop knew just what to do.
Now that’s what we call winning
A Scottish woman bought a $60 ticket for a flight to Greece, then sat back and enjoyed all the perks, since she was the only passenger on the 189-seat plane.


The latest death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Water-borne infections are driving this latest increase.
The number of employees that Whitefish Energy, a Montana utility firm, had on the day Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. Whitefish, which has ties to the Trump administration, won the multi-million dollar contract to restore the island’s electrical grid.


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    Power company lands $300M Puerto Rico contract



JFK files
Classified government documents on John F. Kennedy’s assassination are to be released today, although President Trump may block the release of certain files.

    What’s in the JFK files?


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Need for speed
Here’s a quick chat with a record-setting speed talker, because that’s the only way you’ll ever get to talk with him.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/26/us/five-things-october-26-trnd/index.html

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