US briefing: World Series, Afghanistan and Twitter ban on political ads

Tim Walker
<span>Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA</span>
Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA

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Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories.

Nationals’ triumph brings rare moment of unity to DC

The Washington Nationals’ ageing pitcher Max Scherzer flew to Houston on Monday in a neck brace, his participation in the World Series decider in doubt. Yet on Wednesday night his own return to fitness capped his team’s comeback, as Scherzer gave up just two runs in five innings before the Nationals stormed past the Astros in the seventh to win 6-2, thus delivering the franchise’s first ever MLB title – and Washington DC’s first World Series since 1924.

House poised for historic vote on impeachment process

Pelosi praised administration officials who have testified for &#x002018;putting their country ahead of everything else.&#x002019;
Pelosi praised administration officials who have testified for ‘putting their country ahead of everything else’. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

The US House of Representatives is expected to vote to formalise its impeachment proceedings against the president on Thursday, setting out a road map to public hearings, an impeachment vote and a possible Senate trial early next year, with the potential to remove Donald Trump from office before the end of his first White House term. Meanwhile the administration’s top official on Russian affairs is to leave his post, it was reported on Wednesday, a day before he is due to testify to the impeachment inquiry.

  • John Bolton. Trump’s former national security adviser has reportedly been asked to testify on 7 November, amid reports he voiced outrage over Rudy Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine policy. It is unclear how he will respond to the invitation.

  • Russia statement. The state department official Christopher Anderson told the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday that the White House had blocked a statement condemning Russia for seizing Ukrainian military vessels last November.

CIA-linked unit accused of atrocities in Afghanistan

A picture that includes four brothers killed during a raid by CIA-trained Afghan soldiers in Jalalabad.
A picture that includes four brothers killed during a raid by CIA-trained Afghan soldiers in Jalalabad. Photograph: Rahmat Gul/AP

Military units loyal to the Afghan government, backed by the CIA and largely unaccountable to local authorities, have been implicated in summary executions, forcibly disappearing detainees and attacking medical facilities in Afghanistan, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. The report documents multiple human rights abuses across 14 deadly raids, with victims including an elderly woman, a child and a 60-year-old tribal elder.

  • Baghdadi raid. The US military has released aerial footage of the raid in which Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed, warning that it expects a retribution attack by the Isis leader’s allies.

Twitter CEO announces ban on all political advertising

Jack Dorsey: &#x002018;We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.&#x002019;
Jack Dorsey: ‘We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.’ Photograph: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, has said his company will ban all political advertising from its platform, stepping up the pressure on its social media rival Facebook, whose laissez-fair policy on misleading political ads is the subject of growing controversy ahead of the 2020 US election. Announcing the worldwide ban, which takes effect on 22 November, Dorsey tweeted: “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

Cheat sheet


The Macnas Halloween Parade in Galway, Ireland.
The Macnas Halloween Parade in Galway, Ireland. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Which terrifying town celebrates Halloween hardest?

From West Hollywood to Tokyo, Halloween parades are growing in popularity around the globe. But which is the world’s scariest city, asks Matthew Jenkin. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s film writers reveal the movies that terrified them most as children.

Carly Simon: ‘Trump was all over me like ugly on an ape’

Singer-songwriter Carly Simon has just released a memoir about her friendship with the late first lady, Jackie Kennedy Onassis. In fact, she tells David Smith, she has crossed paths with several presidents – including the current one: “I thought he was kind of repulsive.”

Why a record-breaking climber is working for minimum wage

Lhakpa Sherpa was the first Nepalese woman to summit Everest and descend alive, a feat she has repeated a record eight more times since 2000. Yet she has no endorsement deals, and works for minimum wage. “Climbing is my way out of washing dishes,” she tells Megan Mayhew Bergman.

Personal dating ads make a comeback

As some singles grow tired of dating apps and nostalgic for simpler times, the old-school personal dating ad is making a comeback, reports Poppy Noor. Today, though, the ads appear not in the back of the morning paper, but on Twitter and Instagram.


Drug cartels are extorting Mexico’s avocado farmers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year – news that has led some to consider boycotting their favourite breakfast food. That won’t help the farmers, and it won’t stop the cartels, says Adrienne Matei.

Taking action to strengthen gun laws and end the US immigration crises would accomplish far more than boycotting avocados. You can also, it bears mention, not buy drugs.


The Warriors woes got worse on Wednesday night, as their two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry suffered a broken hand during Golden State’s latest embarrassing defeat, 121-110 to the Phoenix Suns.

Liverpool went through to the last eight of the Carabao Cup on penalties at the end of an extraordinary 5-5 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday. But the coach, Jürgen Klopp, has threatened to pull his team out of the competition if “a proper date” is not found for the quarter-final, currently slated for the same week that Liverpool are set to compete in Fifa’s Club World Cup tournament in Qatar.

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