Nation and World briefs for October 16

Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist Paul Allen dies at 65

SEATTLE — Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates before becoming a billionaire philanthropist who invested in conservation, space travel, arts and culture and professional sports, died Monday. He was 65.

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He died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his company Vulcan Inc. announced.

Gates said he was heartbroken about the loss of one of his “oldest and dearest friends.”

“Personal computing would not have existed without him,” Gates said in a statement.

“But Paul wasn’t content with starting one company. He channeled his intellect and compassion into a second act focused on improving people’s lives and strengthening communities in Seattle and around the world. He was fond of saying, ‘If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it,’” Gates wrote.

Prince Harry and Meghan start Aussie tour with baby gifts

SYDNEY — A beaming Duke and Duchess of Sussex thrilled thousands of fans outside the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday during their first meeting with the general public since the former Meghan Markle’s newly announced pregnancy.

Prince Harry and Meghan spent longer than the 20 minutes allocated in their schedule to speak to and shake hands with as many well-wishers as possible. Meghan, wearing a beige trench coat over a sleeveless cream dress by Australian designer Karen Gee, accepted cards and flowers from an enthusiastic crowd.

The news of the pregnancy was announced after the couple arrived in Sydney on Monday and 15 hours before their first public appearance. The two are on a 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand that their Kensington Palace staff said would not be altered despite confirmation that the American former actress is pregnant.

Among those taken by surprise by the announcement were their Sydney hosts, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Lynne Cosgrove. The governor-general, who represents Queen Elizabeth II, Australia’s head of state and Harry’s grandmother, sent staff to hastily buy a toy kangaroo with a joey in its pouch and a tiny pair of Australian sheep skin boots for their pregnant guest.

“Here’s your first gift for the nursery,” the governor-general told the couple during the official welcome at his official residence, Admiralty House.

Judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ defamation suit against Trump

WASHINGTON — A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump on Monday, saying the president made a “hyperbolic statement” against a political adversary when he tweeted about a composite sketch the porn actress’ lawyer released.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, sued Trump in April after he said a composite sketch of a man she said threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with the real estate mogul was a “con job.”

Trump tweeted that the man was “nonexistent” and that Daniels was playing the “fake news media for fools.” He retweeted a side-by-side photo comparing the sketch with a photo of Daniels’ husband.

In an order handed down Monday, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said Trump’s statement was protected speech under the First Amendment.

“If this Court were to prevent Mr. Trump from engaging in this type of ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ against a political adversary, it would significantly hamper the office of the President,” the judge wrote. “Any strongly worded response by a president to another politician or public figure could constitute an action for defamation. This would deprive this country of the ‘discourse’ common to the political process.”

Sen. Warren: DNA test shows I have Native American heritage

BOSTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday released the results of a DNA analysis that she said indicated that she has some Native American heritage, a rebuttal to President Donald Trump, who has long mocked her ancestral claims and repeatedly referred to her as “Pocahontas.”

The Massachusetts Democrat and potential 2020 presidential contender challenged Trump to make good on his pledge to donate $1 million to charity if she provided proof of Native American heritage, a moment that was caught on video. Trump falsely denied ever making the offer and later said he would donate the money only if he can personally administer the genetic test.

The analysis was done by Stanford University professor Carlos D. Bustamante, a prominent expert in the field. He concluded that the great majority of Warren’s ancestry is European but added that the results “strongly support” the existence of a Native American ancestor.

In his report , Bustamante said he analyzed Warren’s sample without knowing the identity of the donor. He concluded that Warren has a pure Native American ancestor who probably lived six to 10 generations ago, and that it was impossible to determine the individual’s tribal connection.

Warren, who has said her Native American roots were part of “family lore,” also released a video produced by her Senate re-election campaign. In it, she said: “The president likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?”

Democrats lead Republicans on fundraising ahead of midterms

Democrats lead Republicans in the money race in many of the key Senate and House campaigns three weeks ahead of midterm elections that will determine control of Congress.

Although the Senate map positions Republicans to maintain their narrow majority, some of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents continued to rake in cash in the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest campaign finance disclosures. Among House candidates, the Democrats’ campaign arm says that at least 60 Democrats topped $1 million in fundraising during the quarter, with several posting eye-popping hauls in excess of $2 million and even $3 million.

And national Democrats say that includes many challengers outraising Republican incumbents.

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Candidates, party committees and some political action committees were continuing to submit their latest reports to the Federal Election Commission ahead of a midnight deadline Monday.

Democrats’ money advantage has been fueled this campaign cycle by individual donors, particularly small donors.

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