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Boeing may start layoffs if US shutdown drags on

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AFP – Boeing said Saturday it may have to send home workers in its defense, space and security unit without pay if the US government shutdown in a budget battle continues.

“While the company is working to limit the negative impact of the shutdown on customers and employees, we expect some consequences could emerge in the coming days, including limited furloughs of employees in some areas,” the company said in an email to AFP.

“At this time, we expect the furloughs to be limited to employees in Boeing Defense, Space & Security.”

The US aerospace and defense giant’s announcement came as the partial federal government shutdown ground through a 12th day with no sign of a political budget deal to end it, and as the nation careened toward an October 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling or face a catastrophic default.

The failure of Congress to agree a budget for 2014 fiscal year that began on October 1 forced the shutdown of so-called “nonessential” government operations, furloughing hundreds of thousands of civil servants and dramatically disrupting military contract work because the Pentagon has no money to cover compulsory inspections and audits.

Boeing said the furloughs would be ordered “as a result of customers issuing stop work orders, limiting access to federal installations where Boeing employees work, and curtailing government inspections or eliminating funds to continue operations.”

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The Chicago-based company did not say how many employees it could furlough from Boeing Defense, Space & Security, which has 59,000 employees worldwide.

Boeing also noted the shutdown was negatively impacting activities such as for NASA and other government customers, and that it was continuing to work with its customers and suppliers to maintain normal operations in as many parts of its business as possible.

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Hope Hicks told Congress that Trump has cut her out of his life — he virtually never calls her anymore

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Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was broadly considered to be one of President Donald Trump's favorite staffers.

But when she left the administration in 2018, the president virtually cut off ties to her, and has only spoken with her five times since then, according to the transcript of the closed-door hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday:

In her interview, Hope Hicks says she has only spoken to Trump between five and ten times since she left the White House in February 2018. (He used to call that much in a day.) They last spoke in April, when they had dinner. Our story from yesterday:https://t.co/3gzVY21c3z pic.twitter.com/VMZqhnbgib

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Elections regulator warns foreign intrusion into US campaigns is already happening

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In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Federal Elections Commission is warning that there is already foreign intrusion in the U.S. campaigns.

FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub was forced to issue a statement after President Donald Trump said that he wasn't sure what he would do if a foreign government approached him with "dirt" on his political opponent. He said that he "might" tell the FBI but would likely hear what they had to say. He said that it wasn't illegal, but Weintraub issued a statement reiterating that it is illegal.

"I am particularly concerned about the risk of illicit funds and foreign support influencing our political system. Foreign dark money represents a significant vulnerability for American democracy. We do not know the extent to which our political campaigns receive foreign dark money, but we do know that the political money can be weaponized by well-funded hostile powers," the letter warned.

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Trump’s anti-abortion rule attacking Planned Parenthood can go into effect in 49 states: appeals court

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According to the Associated Press, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that President Donald Trump's domestic "gag rule" can take effect while litigation proceeds, potentially making it far harder for low-income women to access abortion care.

District judges in California, Oregon, and Washington previously blocked the rule from taking effect. But a three-judge panel in San Francisco today said that the rule was "reasonable" as an interpretation of federal law, and lifted the injunction preventing it from being enforced. The rule can now take effect in every state except Maryland, where another federal judge's order has still enjoined the policy.

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