Your Evening Briefing
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Happy Halloween. A haunted Washington is facing up to the specter of Russian collusion. After the first charges were revealed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, the spotlight turned to Silicon Valley. Congress questioned social network giants over the fake news spread on their platforms during the 2016 campaign.—Katie Robertson
Social networks unable to promise election meddling won't happen again. Facebook, Google and Twitter told Congress they aren’t sure they’ve measured the full extent of Russia’s manipulation of social networks in last year’s U.S. presidential campaign and they don’t yet have the technology to prevent it from happening again. The session was the first in two days of hearings before congressional committees, as the technology companies face demands for change—and the threat of new legislation to regulate political advertising—after they acknowledged extensive efforts by Russians to sow discord and spread disinformation.
Bitcoin futures could open the floodgates. The cryptocurrency surged to a new record after CME, the world’s biggest exchange operator, announced plans to launch bitcoin futures by the end of the year. The move is key to opening the asset to institutional investors. With futures becoming mainstream, the next logical step seems to be a bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
The Kushners’ plan to tear down their debt-laden Fifth Avenue tower is unlikely to happen, the building’s co-owner said. Vornado Realty Trust CEO Steve Roth dealt a likely death blow to the idea by Kushner Co. to salvage its indebted marquee Manhattan office building by replacing it with one twice as tall. Jared Kushner’s family bought the crown jewel of their real estate empire a decade ago for a record $1.8 billion.
The Manaforts are exactly why people are so critical of Airbnb. The indictment of the former Trump campaign chairman noted that he operated a high-priced Airbnb in Manhattan, allegedly used to launder money, while a lawsuit shows his daughter and her husband set up a company to sublet several apartments nearby. Critics of Airbnb held up the charges as evidence the site offers a new venue for old-fashioned real estate scams, and suggested the problem is widespread.
Under Armour’s CEO takes a hit. The sportswear brand’s two-year slide has shaved more than $2.5 billion off Kevin Plank’s net worth. Under Armour shares have tumbled 75 percent since their peak and extended losses Tuesday after the company slashed its revenue and earnings forecast, renewing concerns about a brand that was long seen as the industry’s biggest growth story.
Next year will be the cheapest yet for many Obamacare enrollees. Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces begins on Wednesday. About 80 percent of HealthCare.gov enrollees will be able to purchase a plan for $75 or less per month, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services’ policy division.
Earn your drink at these incredibly hard-to-reach bars and pubs. If you crave more than a generic corner pub, don your explorer’s hat and quench your thirst at spots located in the farthest-flung corners of the world. They’re not easy to get to, but that’s all part of the adventure.