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The Journal Gazette

Friday, October 12, 2018 1:00 am

Nation/world

Facebook kills pages in spam crackdown

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Facebook said it has purged more than 800 U.S. pages and accounts for spamming users with politically tinged garbage links and clickbait just weeks ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.

The banned accounts and Facebook sites exhibited “coordinated inauthentic behavior” such as working together to make the pages appear more popular than they actually are. This, Facebook said, was designed to mislead users about who they are and what they're doing. The social network said these accounts spread “sensational political content” designed to drive people to ad-laden websites outside Facebook

Percentage of unvaccinated kids grows

An estimated 100,000 young children in the U.S. have not had a vaccination against any of the 14 diseases for which shots are recommended, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Thursday.

Most young children – 70 percent – have had all their shots. The new estimate is based on finding that, in 2017, 1.3 percent of the children born in 2015 were completely unvaccinated. That's up from the 0.9 percent seen in an earlier similar assessment of the kids born in 2011. A 2001 survey with a different methodology suggested the proportion was in the neighborhood of 0.3 percent.

Prosecutors drop 1 Weinstein charge

Prosecutors in New York City abandoned part of their sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein on Thursday after evidence surfaced that a police detective coached a witness to stay silent about evidence that cast doubt on the account of one of his earliest accusers.

A judge agreed to dismiss the lone charge in the case related to Lucia Evans, who helped spark the #MeToo movement when she told The New Yorker in an expose published a year ago Wednesday that the film producer had forced her to perform oral sex in his office in 2004 when she was a college student and aspiring actress.

Weinstein, 66, still faces charges over allegations that he raped an unidentified woman in his hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.

Washington state ends death penalty

Washington's Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state's death penalty Thursday as arbitrary and racially biased, making it the 20th state to end capital punishment.

The court's opinion eliminated it entirely, converted the sentences for the state's eight death row inmates to life in prison without release, and furthered a trend away from capital punishment in the U.S.

Former US official declines UN position

Former deputy national security adviser Dina Powell told the White House on Thursday that she's not interested in serving as the next U.N. ambassador, a person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press.

President Donald Trump had said the Goldman Sachs executive was on his shortlist of five people for the job.