In our news wrap Wednesday, Facebook says it will enforce stricter rules on political advertising ahead of the 2020 elections, in response to revelations that Russians bought thousands of political ads in 2016. Organizations will have to prove they are both legitimate and based in the U.S. Also, union members in Hong Kong protested the firing of airline employees linked to pro-democracy activism.
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The storm dubbed Dorian is a full-fledged hurricane tonight. It struck the U.S. Virgin Islands and passed Puerto Rico with sustained winds at 80 miles an hour, as it headed for the U.S. mainland.
Winds could reach 115 miles an hour when the storm lands, anywhere from seven South Florida to South Carolina, by Sunday or Monday. We will get a report from the Caribbean after the news summary.
The White House today defended plans to shift money from hurricane response to immigration enforcement. The move takes $155 million from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Vice President Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, spoke outside the White House.
I don't think there's a perception that that hurricane relief funding prevents hurricanes. I think there's clarity in our administration what the different pots of resources are for.
I will tell you that other administrations have reprogrammed dollars before. And I think the president and the administration are proud of our record in responding to hurricanes.
Short also denied reports that President Trump promised to pardon officials if they break the law to build a border wall faster.
The administration did serve notice today that some children of U.S. military and government employees will no longer gain automatic citizenship if they are born overseas. The change applies to those born to unmarried parents deployed abroad when only one parent is an American citizen. It takes effect October 29.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is dropping out of the Democratic presidential race. She confirmed her plans late today. Gillibrand championed women's rights and family issues, but she failed to do well in polls and didn't qualify for the next round of debates. We will talk about those debates later in the program.
In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made his boldest move yet to deliver Brexit, even if there is no deal with the European Union. He won the queen's permission today to suspend Parliament before the October 31st deadline for quitting the E.U. The change gives opponents less time to block Brexit from taking place without a formal agreement. We will take a closer look at also later in the program.
Union members rallied in Hong Kong today over the firing of airline employees linked to pro-democracy protests. Cathay Pacific Airways has dismissed 20 pilots and cabin crew in the past two weeks. Hundreds of protesters against the firings filled a square in the Chinese-ruled city. They carried signs and demanded an end to political retaliation.
Rebecca Sy (through translator):
Where's the freedom of speech or of democracy or even is it — Hong Kong — just like said, is Hong Kong really dying or is already dead? It's very — it's pathetic.
Cathay Pacific insisted it has to comply with mainland China's ban on any flights with crew members who were involved in the Hong Kong protests.
Back in this country, Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia announced that he's resigning at the end of the year. Isakson is 74 and is midway through his third term in the Senate. He cited growing health problems, including Parkinson's disease. Georgia Republicans will now have two Senate seats to defend in 2020.
Facebook says it plans to enforce stricter rules on political advertising ahead of the 2020 elections. The company said today that advertisers must prove that they represent a legitimate organization and are based in the U.S. The changes tighten procedures initially announced in 2017. All of this follows revelations that Russians paid for thousands of fake political ads in the 2016 election.
Apple apologized today for letting outside contractors listen to users talking with digital assistant Siri. The iPhone maker said that, from now on, only its own employees will listen to recorded snippets of the conversations for quality control. Facebook, Google and others have acknowledged that they, too, have reviewed audio of users talking to their digital assistants.
On Wall Street today, financial and energy stocks led the broader market higher. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 258 points to close at 26036. The Nasdaq rose nearly 30 points, and the S&P 500 added 18.
And more than 20,000 people drenched themselves in red today at the annual tomato-tossing brawl in Bunol, Spain. Revelers hurled 145 tons of over-ripe tomatoes at each other, covering streets with a sea of red pulp. The Tomatina festival began with battle among children in 1945.