even tougher winter next year as natural gas stocks are used up and as new supplies to replace Russian gas, including increased shipments from the United States or Qatar, are slow to come online, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook, released last week.

Europe’s activity appears to be accelerating a global transition toward cleaner technologies, the I.E.A. added, as countries respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by embracing hydrogen fuels, electric vehicles, heat pumps and other green energies.

But in the short term, countries will be burning more fossil fuels in response to the natural gas shortages.

gas fields in Groningen, which had been slated to be sealed because of earthquakes triggered by the extraction of the fuel.

Eleven countries, including Germany, Finland and Estonia, are now building or expanding a total of 18 offshore terminals to process liquid gas shipped in from other countries. Other projects in Latvia and Lithuania are under consideration.

Nuclear power is winning new support in countries that had previously decided to abandon it, including Germany and Belgium. Finland is planning to extend the lifetime of one reactor, while Poland and Romania plan to build new nuclear power plants.

European Commission blueprint, are voluntary and rely on buy-ins from individuals and businesses whose utility bills may be subsidized by their governments.

Energy use dropped in September in several countries, although it is hard to know for sure if the cause was balmy weather, high prices or voluntary conservation efforts inspired by a sense of civic duty. But there are signs that businesses, organizations and the public are responding. In Sweden, for example, the Lund diocese said it planned to partially or fully close 150 out of 540 churches this winter to conserve energy.

Germany and France have issued sweeping guidance, which includes lowering heating in all homes, businesses and public buildings, using appliances at off-peak hours and unplugging electronic devices when not in use.

Denmark wants households to shun dryers and use clotheslines. Slovakia is urging citizens to use microwaves instead of stoves and brush their teeth with a single glass of water.

website. “Short showers,” wrote one homeowner; another announced: “18 solar panels coming to the roof in October.”

“In the coming winter, efforts to save electricity and schedule the consumption of electricity may be the key to avoiding electricity shortages,” Fingrad, the main grid operator, said.

Businesses are being asked to do even more, and most governments have set targets for retailers, manufacturers and offices to find ways to ratchet down their energy use by at least 10 percent in the coming months.

Governments, themselves huge users of energy, are reducing heating, curbing streetlight use and closing municipal swimming pools. In France, where the state operates a third of all buildings, the government plans to cut energy use by two terawatt-hours, the amount used by a midsize city.

Whether the campaigns succeed is far from clear, said Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, a European think tank. Because the recommendations are voluntary, there may be little incentive for people to follow suit — especially if governments are subsidizing energy bills.

In countries like Germany, where the government aims to spend up to €200 billion to help households and businesses offset rising energy prices starting next year, skyrocketing gas prices are hitting consumers now. “That is useful in getting them to lower their energy use,” he said. But when countries fund a large part of the bill, “there is zero incentive to save on energy,” he said.

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Midterm Disinformation Has Taken Over Pennsylvania

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Disinformation has long been a feature of American politics. Mudslinging, smear campaigns, dirty tricks. Yet wading through the muck ahead of this year’s midterm elections in one fiercely contested state, Pennsylvania, shows just how thoroughly it now warps the American democratic process.

In July, a tweet made the rounds spreading a falsehood about voting. “BREAKING: Pennsylvania will not be accepting mail-in ballots,” declared someone using an account called the Donald J. Trump Tracker.

In September, mysterious letters began arriving in mailboxes in Chester County, on the old Main Line west of Philadelphia, falsely telling people that their votes might not have been counted in the last election.

No, the Democratic candidate for United States Senate, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, does not have tattoos of the Crips, the notorious street gang from Los Angeles, as Newt Gingrich said on Fox.

contentious primaries, Pennsylvanians have experienced a deluge of false or misleading posts, photographs and videos on social media, as well as increasingly partisan, bitter and at times unhinged claims on television, radio and live streams to a degree that no one recalled seeing before.

“I’m not saying the politics was ever, you know, perfect,” Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia from 2008 to 2016, said in an interview, lamenting the seemingly bottomless depth of the problem.

“I think what’s changed is you go back 100 years and you’d have had to put a whole lot more effort into spreading lies,” he said. “Now, you can just push a button.”

FactCheck.org.

A lot of attention has focused on a stroke that Mr. Fetterman suffered in May, just as he clinched the Democratic nomination. The stroke left him with an auditory processing disorder, a condition that affects the brain’s ability to filter and interpret sounds, which Republicans have said makes him unfit for office. His speech has also become more halting, and he stumbles over his words, as he did multiple times in the debate last week against his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz, the television personality known as Dr. Oz.

Opponents used his verbal gaffes in misleading ways. A video montage by a Republican campaign operative, Greg Price, exaggerated the effects of the stroke, while a Twitter account impersonating BuzzFeed falsely claimed that Mr. Fetterman had apologized for urinating on a campaign staffer. Mr. Price did not respond to requests for comment.

Other false claims have, again, questioned the machines that count votes, while a recent flurry of posts on Telegram, the app created in Russia, have incorrectly accused the state’s top election official of not complying with legal rulings about mail-in ballots. ActiveFence, a cybersecurity company, said that these claims have spread across platforms, garnering tens of thousands of impressions.

Jill Greene, the state representative for Common Cause, the national good-government organization, said that the many unfounded and untruthful claims posed a challenge for voters.

pledged to remove or marginalize false posts ahead of the midterms.

A doctored post on Facebook, to cite one of scores of examples, showed Mr. Oz kneeling to kiss the star of Donald J. Trump along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (In the original, he was kissing his own star.)

being repeatedly told that the American election process is deeply corrupted.

In fact, Mr. Mastriano’s candidacy has from its inception been propelled by his role in disputing the 2020 presidential election lost by Mr. Trump.

county by county, but election experts say they do not reflect factors as benign as changes in addresses.

“They’re in search of solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist,” Kyle Miller, a Navy veteran and state representative for Protect Democracy, a national advocacy organization, said in an interview in Harrisburg. “They are basing this on faulty data and internet rumors.”

Some Republican lawmakers have leaned on false claims to call for changes to rules about mail-in ballots and other measures intended to make it easier for people to vote. Several counties have already reversed some of the decisions, including the number and location of drop boxes for ballots.

Mr. Miller, among others, warned that the flurry of false claims about balloting could be a trial run for challenging the results of the presidential election in 2024, in which Pennsylvania could again be a crucial swing state.

In Chester County, a largely white region that borders Delaware and Maryland that is roughly split between Republicans and Democrats, the effort to sow confusion came the old-fashioned way: in the mail.

Letters dated Sept. 12 began arriving in mailboxes across the county, warning people that their votes in the 2020 presidential election might not have counted. “Because you have a track record of consistently voting, we find it unusual that your record indicates that you did not vote,” the letter, which was unsigned, said.

The sender called itself “Data Insights,” based in the county seat of West Chester, though no known record of such a company exists, according to county officials. The letters did include copies of the recipients’ voting records. The letters urged recipients to write to the county commissioners or attend the commission’s meetings in the county seat of West Chester, in September and October. Dozens of recipients did.

The county administrator, Robert J. Kagel, tried to assure them that their votes were actually counted. He urged anyone concerned to contact the county’s voter services department.

Even so, at county meetings in September and October, speaker after speaker lined up to question the letter and the ballot process generally — and to air an array of grievances and conspiracy theories.

They included the discredited claims of the film “2000 Mules” that operatives have been stuffing boxes for mail-in ballots. One attendee warned that votes were being tabulated by the Communist Party of China or the World Economic Forum.

“I don’t know where my vote is,” another resident, Barbara Ellis of Berwyn, told the commissioners in October. “I don’t know if it was manipulated in the machines, in another country.”

As of Oct. 20, 59 people in Chester County had contacted officials with concerns raised in the letter, but in each case, it was determined that the voters’ ballots had been cast and counted, said Rebecca Brain, a county spokesman.

Who exactly sent the letters remains a mystery, which only fuels more conspiracy theories.

“It seems very official,” Charlotte Valyo, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party in the county, said of the letter. She described it as part of “an ongoing, constant campaign to undermine the confidence in our voting system.” The county’s Republican Party did not respond to a request for comment.

Disinformation may not be the only cause of the deepening partisan chasm in the state — or the nation — but it has undoubtedly worsened it. The danger, Ms. Valyo warned, was discouraging voting by sowing distrust in the ability of election officials to tally the votes.

“People might think, ‘Why bother, if they’re that messed up?’”

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Seoul Crowd Crush: As Nation Mourns, a Focus on How a Festive Night Turned Deadly

Condolences poured in from world leaders, diplomats and prominent South Koreans overseas in the aftermath of the deadly crowd surge in Seoul.

President Joe Biden expressed condolences to the families of victims and best wishes for a quick recovery to the injured.

“We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea,” he wrote in a statement. “The alliance between our two countries has never been more vibrant or more vital — and the ties between our people are stronger than ever.”

Britain’s new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, wrote on Twitter: “All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time.”

The Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, also weighed in on Twitter. “I am deeply shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of many precious lives, including young people with a promising future,” he wrote.

“The tragic events in Seoul come as a shock to all of us,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany wrote. “Our thoughts are with the numerous victims and their families. This is a sad day for South Korea. Germany stands by their side.”

President Emmanuel Macron of France extended condolences in both French and Korean. “France is with you,” he wrote on Twitter.

Xi Jinping, China’s leader, conveyed condolences to victims and their families to the South Korean president, a Chinese state broadcaster reported. He expressed hopes that the South Korean authorities would make every effort to treat and rehabilitate the Chinese victims of the accident, according to the report.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on its Telegram channel that President Vladimir V. Putin had sent condolences to South Korea’s president. His message read in part, “Please convey my sincere condolences and words of support to the families and friends of the victims and my wishes for an early recovery to those who were injured,” the ministry said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine wrote on Twitter, “We share your pain and sincerely wish a speedy recovery to all the victims.”

And Pope Francis tweeted asking for prayers for the victims.

Diplomats

The American flag was lowered to half-staff at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Sunday, in what Ambassador Philip Goldberg called a gesture of “sorrow and respect.”

“Please know my thoughts, and those of our team at U.S. Embassy Seoul, are with the Korean people and especially the loved ones of those who perished, as well as the many injured in this catastrophic incident,’” he wrote on Twitter.

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, wrote that he was deeply saddened. “What meant to be a celebration turned into a tragedy with so many young casualties,” he said in a tweet. “We are with the people of the Republic of Korea at this difficult moment.”

Catherine Raper, the Australian ambassador to South Korea, asked all Australians in Seoul to check in with their family and friends while the embassy was making “urgent enquiries” to find out whether any Australians were among the victims. She extended deepest condolences to all those affected by the accident.

Park Jin, Seoul’s foreign minister, wrote that the government was putting all its efforts toward supporting the bereaved and injured, including foreign citizens. “Your thoughts and support are of great comfort to the Korean people in this moment of heartbreaking grief,” he said on Twitter.

South Koreans Abroad

Son Heung-min, a South Korean soccer star who is a forward with the British club Tottenham Hotspur, expressed sorrow, too.

“All my thoughts are with you all back home in Korea. I am heartbroken to be reading this news,” he wrote on Instagram after winning a match on Saturday. “I want you to all know I am thinking of you and sending all of my strength from here.”

Claire Fu contributed reporting.

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TV Prepares for a Chaotic Midterm Night

Gearing up to report this year’s midterm election results, American television networks are facing an uncomfortable question: How many viewers will believe them?

Amid rampant distrust in the news media and a rash of candidates who have telegraphed that they may claim election fraud if they lose, news anchors and executives are seeking new ways to tackle the attacks on the democratic process that have infected politics since the last election night broadcast in 2020.

“For entrepreneurs of chaos, making untrue claims about the election system is a route to greater glory,” said John Dickerson, the chief political analyst at CBS News, who will co-anchor the network’s coverage on Nov. 8. “Elections and the American experiment exist basically on faith in the system, and if people don’t have any faith in the system, they may decide to take things into their own hands.”

CBS has been televising elections since 1948. But this is the first year that the network has felt obligated to install a dedicated “Democracy Desk” as a cornerstone of its live coverage. Seated a few feet from the co-anchors in the network’s Times Square studio, election law experts and correspondents will report on fraud allegations and threats of violence at the polls.

one-third of adults in a recent Gallup poll expressing confidence in it.

“I can’t control what politicians are going to say, if they choose to call an election result into question,” said David Chalian, CNN’s political director. “You’ve got to be clear, when it’s a partial picture, that nothing about that is untoward.”

Two years ago, TV networks prepared for pandemic-related ballot headaches and speculation that President Donald J. Trump might resist conceding defeat.

“blue wave” had fizzled and that Republicans would retain control of the House. It was Fox News again, working off a proprietary data model, that made the correct call that Democrats would take the chamber.

controversial Arizona call in 2020. Although Fox’s projection was eventually proved correct, it took several days for other news outlets to concur, and Mr. Trump turned his wrath on the network in retaliation. The network later fired a top executive, Chris Stirewalt, who was involved in the decision to announce the call so early; another executive involved in the decision, Bill Sammon, promptly retired.

“What we want to be, always, is right — and first is really nice — but right is what we want to be,” said Mr. Baier of Fox. “In the wake of 2020, we’re going to be looking at numbers very closely, and there may be times when we wait for more raw vote total than we have in the past.”

“It’ll be a lot smoother than that moment,” he added, referring to when he and his fellow co-anchors were visibly caught by surprise as their colleagues projected a victory for Mr. Biden in Arizona. Fox officials later ascribed the confusion to poor communication among producers.

“I think,” Mr. Baier said, “we all learned a lot from that experience.”

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Scarred by War, Ukraine’s Children Face Years of Trauma

KYIV, Ukraine — Using his small blue crutches, Daniil Avdieienko, 7, gestured toward two deep brown stains on the cement floor of the entryway to his apartment building.

The patch on the right, just inside the door, was his blood, he explained. Then he pointed at the other blood stain: “This is from my mother.’‘

Daniil and his parents were running to a basement shelter in central Chernihiv, a northern city where fighting raged in the early days of the war, when shrapnel struck him in the back. Eventually, he had to have 60 centimeters, or nearly two feet, of his intestines removed. Seven months later he is still recovering from his wounds, and will likely need several more surgeries, as will his parents, both of whom suffered serious leg injuries.

But while his physical injuries are on the mend, he is still grappling with the psychological trauma of the attack.

“Superhero School” to keep their education going and take part in weekly activities, like concerts and painting classes, intended to lift their spirits.

Many of the youngsters suffer from severe anxiety or PTSD, she said.

“If it’s a war trauma, it is very difficult to provide the sense of safety for that child,” she said. “Because the child understands that the war is not over.”

Despite their ordeal, many children push ahead with resolve, and even alacrity. Maryna Ponomariova, who is 6, has been working closely with psychologists, physical therapists and teachers since she came to Ohmadyt hospital this summer, weeks after a devastating May 2 attack on her home in the southern Kherson region.

when a missile plunged into the crowd standing outside.

Yuliia and her aunt were inside the station. A stranger shielded Kateryna with his body, likely saving her life even as he lost his own. The family found their mother’s body in the city morgue the next day.

Maryna Lialko had raised the girls alone after their father left the family, their grandmother, Nina Lialko, said.

“She was devoted to these two girls,” she said.

Kateryna was discharged this fall from Ohmadyt hospital, where she received psychiatric and physical therapy, and the girls are now in Kyiv living with their grandmother and aunt.

The aunt, Olha Lialko, said she has seen a shift in their personalities. Kateryna is increasingly turning inward; she speaks very little and struggles to maintain eye contact. Yuliia still can’t fully comprehend the loss.

“Katya is very closed; she keeps it all to herself,” Olha Lialko said. “Yuliia is missing mom a lot. She needs attention, she likes to cuddle.”

The family is trying to help the girls process their loss. And occasionally they see glimpses of the girls they knew before the war.

They dye their hair wild colors and play with makeup. They fight as only sisters can, and cling closely to each other for company.

But no one knows what will come next for them. Their life is on hold. They attend school online and have few friends in the new city. The family is unable to return home to Donetsk but unwilling to commit to staying in Kyiv.

“It will be very difficult for them to live without her,” their grandmother said. “This life has no sense at all.”

Oleksandra Mykolyshyn contributed reporting

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Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. Announces Completion of Exchange Offers Relating to its Preferred Stock

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. (NYSE American: IMH) (the “Company”) today announced the completion of its previously announced offers to each holder of the Company’s 9.375% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share (“Series B Preferred Stock”) and each holder of the Company’s 9.125% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Series C Preferred Stock,” and together with the Series B Preferred Stock, the “Preferred Stock”) to exchange all outstanding shares of Preferred Stock for certain stock and warrant consideration (the “Exchange Offers”).

In conjunction with the closing of the Exchange Offers, the Company will issue approximately (A) (i) 6,142,213 shares of Common Stock and (ii) 13,823,340 shares of the Company’s 8.25% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “New Preferred Stock”) in exchange for the shares of Series B Preferred Stock tendered in the Exchange Offer for the Series B Preferred Stock, and (B) (i) 1,188,106 shares of Common Stock, (ii) 950,471 shares of New Preferred Stock, and (iii) 1,425,695 Warrants to purchase the same number of shares of Common Stock in exchange for the shares of Series C Preferred Stock tendered in the Exchange Offer for the Series C Preferred Stock.

In addition, in connection with the petitions (the “Plaintiff Series B Award Motions”) for a court award of attorney’s fees, expenses or other monetary award to be deducted and paid from the Company’s payment of distributions or other payments to the holders of the Company’s Series B Preferred Stock in the matter Curtis J. Timm, et al. v Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. et al. (the “Maryland Action”), the Company will deposit, no later than November 2, 2022, approximately (i) 13,311,840 shares of New Preferred Stock and (ii) 4,437,280 shares of the Company’s Common Stock in the custody of a third party custodian or escrow agent (the “Escrow Shares”). The allocation of the Escrow Shares will be made by instruction from the Circuit Court of Baltimore City upon final disposition of all outstanding matters in the Maryland Action, including the Plaintiff Series B Award Motions.

D.F. King & Co., Inc. served as the Information Agent and Solicitation Agent for the Exchange Offers and the accompanying solicitation of consents from the holders of Preferred Stock, and American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC served as the Exchange Agent.

This announcement is for informational purposes only and shall not constitute an offer to purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell the shares of Preferred Stock, an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any shares of the Company’s Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, warrants to purchase Common Stock, or shares of the Company’s 8.25% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share, or a solicitation of the related consents. The Exchange Offers were made only through, and pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in, the Company’s Schedule TO, Prospectus/Consent Solicitation and related Letters of Transmittal and Consents.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements, some of which are based on various assumptions and events that are beyond our control, may be identified by reference to a future period or periods or by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “may,” “capable,” “will,” “intends,” “believe,” “expect,” “likely,” “potentially,” “appear,” “should,” “could,” “seem to,” “anticipate,” “expectations,” “plan,” “ensure,” “desire,” or similar terms or variations on those terms or the negative of those terms. The forward-looking statements are based on current management expectations. Actual results may differ materially as a result of several factors, including, but not limited to the following: acceptance of a plan for regaining compliance with the NYSE American’s listed company standards; impact on the U.S. economy and financial markets due to the outbreak and continued effect of the COVID-19 pandemic; our ability to successfully consummate the contemplated exchange offers for our outstanding preferred stock and receive the requisite consents for the proposed amendments to our charter documents to facilitate the redemption from holders of our outstanding preferred stock who do not participate in the exchange offers; any adverse impact or disruption to the Company’s operations; changes in general economic and financial conditions (including federal monetary policy, interest rate changes, and inflation); increase in interest rates, inflation, and margin compression; ability to successfully sell aggregated loans to third-party investors; successful development, marketing, sale and financing of new and existing financial products, including NonQM products; recruit and hire talent to rebuild our TPO NonQM origination team, and increase NonQM originations; volatility in the mortgage industry; performance of third-party sub-servicers; our ability to manage personnel expenses in relation to mortgage production levels; our ability to successfully use warehousing capacity and satisfy financial covenants; our ability to maintain compliance with the continued listing requirements of the NYSE American for our common stock; increased competition in the mortgage lending industry by larger or more efficient companies; issues and system risks related to our technology; ability to successfully create cost and product efficiencies through new technology including cyber risk and data security risk; more than expected increases in default rates or loss severities and mortgage related losses; ability to obtain additional financing through lending and repurchase facilities, debt or equity funding, strategic relationships or otherwise; the terms of any financing, whether debt or equity, that we do obtain and our expected use of proceeds from any financing; increase in loan repurchase requests and ability to adequately settle repurchase obligations; failure to create brand awareness; the outcome of any claims we are subject to, including any settlements of litigation or regulatory actions pending against us or other legal contingencies; and compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations.

For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see our latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q we file with the SEC and in particular the discussion of “Risk Factors” therein. This document speaks only as of its date and we do not undertake, and expressly disclaim any obligation, to release publicly the results of any revisions that may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements except as required by law.

About the Company

Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. (IMH or Impac) provides innovative mortgage lending and real estate solutions that address the challenges of today’s economic environment. Impac’s operations include mortgage lending, servicing, portfolio loss mitigation, real estate services, and the management of the securitized long-term mortgage portfolio, which includes the residual interests in securitizations.

For additional information, questions or comments, please call Justin Moisio, Chief Administrative Officer at (949) 475-3988 or email Justin.Moisio@ImpacMail.com.

Website: http://ir.impaccompanies.com or www.impaccompanies.com

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Elon Musk Seems to Answer to No One. Except for a Judge in Delaware.

Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick has become a very important person in the rambunctious life of Elon Musk.

The Delaware Chancery Court judge has given Mr. Musk until Friday to close his long-promised, $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter. If he doesn’t, Judge McCormick will preside over a trial in November that could end with Mr. Musk being forced to make good on the deal he made with Twitter in April.

The 43-year-old judge is also expected to preside over another case involving Mr. Musk in November. A Tesla shareholder accused him in a lawsuit of unjustly enriching himself with his compensation package while running the electric vehicle company, which is Mr. Musk’s main source of wealth. The package, which consisted entirely of a stock grant, is now worth around $50 billion based on Tesla’s share price.

Judge McCormick is also overseeing three other shareholder lawsuits against Mr. Musk, though it is not yet clear whether those will go to trial, too.

before it represented Mr. Musk. But, he said, “the deal will either close and then she will be a hero. Or not and Musk will look really bad.”

As a young girl, Judge McCormick played first base on the softball team and managed the high school football team. She has a long-held soft spot for the book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” about a Black man in small-town Alabama who was wrongfully accused of sexual assault.

unsolicited bid worth more than $40 billion for the social network, saying he wanted to make Twitter a private company and allow people to speak more freely on the service.

She then worked as a staff attorney with the Community Legal Aid Society, where she represented the needy and victims of domestic violence. She moved to a corporate law role at the firm Young Conaway Stargatt and Taylor in 2007, a mainstay in the Delaware legal circuit.

In 2018, she was nominated by John Carney, the governor of Delaware, to serve as vice chancellor on the state’s high court, the Delaware Chancery Court. In 2021, Gov. Carney nominated Ms. McCormick to become the first woman to lead the court.

More than 1.8 million businesses are incorporated in Delaware, including more than two thirds of Fortune 500 companies — and they all look to the court for guidance. When Twitter filed its lawsuit against Mr. Musk in July forcing him to close his acquisition, its case went to Delaware, where the company, like many others, is incorporated.

Judge McCormick, who has first dibs on any proceeding that comes before the court, chose herself of among a court of seven judges to oversee one of the most high profile corporate court battles in years.

At a hearing in September, as lawyers for Mr. Musk argued to delay the trial to take into account new claims from a whistle-blower, she poked at the billionaire’s decision to skip due diligence in his race to sign the deal in April. When Mr. Musk’s lawyer argued it would have been impossible to find out about the whistle-blower before the deal, she interjected, “We’ll never know, will we?” She added that “there was no due diligence.”

wrote in a ruling.

“She evidently was not putting up with any nonsense,” said Lawrence Hamermesh, a professor of law at Delaware Law School.

In October, after weeks of presiding over bruising back and forth arguments between the two sides, Judge McCormick granted Mr. Musk’s requests to put the trial on hold to give him more time to complete his financing for the acquisition. Judge McCormick granted him until Oct. 28 — a three-week delay.

“She had one eye on the clock,” said Brian Quinn, a professor at Boston College Law School, noting the two sides did not seem ready for a trial just two weeks away. “Another eye,” Mr. Quinn said, was “on potential appeals. She is looking forward saying, ‘Well, what if I ruled against Musk, and he appealed, and his appeal is that I pushed him — I rushed him toward the trial when he wanted to close the deal.’”

Judge McCormick is well-versed in trials involving deals with buyers that tried to walk away. As an associate at the law firm Young Conaway Stargatt and Taylor, she worked on cases involving deals that went awry when the stock market crashed in 2008. That included representing the chemical company Huntsman in 2008 when the private equity firm Apollo Global Management scuttled the deal it had struck to combine the chemical company with another it owned.

That deal, and others like it, paved the way for the kinds of contracts Twitter signed with Mr. Musk. Sellers learned how to prevent buyers from trying similar escape hatches. Companies increasingly structure deals with “specific performance” clauses allowing them to force a deal to close.

to follow through with its acquisition of a cake supplier after it argued that the pandemic had materially damaged the business by curbing demand for party cake.

Kohlberg contended it could not complete the deal because its debt financing had fallen apart. Judge McCormick did not buy that argument.

If Mr. Musk does not come through with Twitter’s money by Friday, that could ding his credibility in court, legal experts say. That could matter in November, when Judge McCormick is set to preside over a separate trial involving Mr. Musk and his compensation.

The case, filed in 2018, had originally been assigned to another judge on the Delaware Chancery Court, Joseph R. Slights III, before he retired in January. Judge McCormick picked up the case on Jan. 12, the same month Mr. Musk began to buy up shares of Twitter stock that ultimately led to his planned purchase of the company.

“It’s not ideal for him,” said Ann Lipton, a professor of corporate governance at Tulane Law School, of Mr. Musk’s multiple run-ins with Judge McCormick. “She’s uniquely low drama, which is the opposite of Musk. ”

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Iran will not remain indifferent if proven Russia using its drones in Ukraine – official

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DUBAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Iran will not remain indifferent if it is proven that its drones are being used by Russia in the Ukraine war, the Iranian foreign minister said on Monday, amid allegations the Islamic Republic has supplied drones to Moscow to attack Ukraine.

“If it is proven to us that Iranian drones are being used in the Ukraine war against people, we should not remain indifferent,” state media cited Hossein Amirabdollahian as saying.

However, Amirabdollahian said defence cooperation between Tehran and Moscow will continue.

Britain, France and Germany on Friday called for a United Nations probe of accusations Russia has used Iranian-origin drones to attack Ukraine, allegedly violating a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Citing diplomats and officials, Reuters reported last week that in addition to more drones, Iran had promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alex Richardson and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Tesla’s Musk eyes potential investment in Mexican border state -sources

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MEXICO CITY, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk is considering investing in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, which borders Texas, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

Musk recently held a meeting in the state with Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Garcia along with other local officials and Ken Salazar, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, one of the sources said.

Musk is looking in particular at Santa Catarina, a municipality on the outskirts of state capital Monterrey, one of Mexico’s biggest and wealthiest cities, the person added. The sources did not detail what Musk’s potential investment may entail.

A spokesperson for the Nuevo Leon government declined to comment. Neither Tesla, the U.S. embassy, nor a representative for Santa Catarina immediately responded to requests for comment.

Musk’s visit to Nuevo Leon was originally reported by Mexican media. Several outlets published photos of Musk apparently from the visit, including one in which he appears with Garcia’s wife, Mariana Rodriguez.

Garcia posted several of the media articles on his Instagram account, in one case tagging Rodriguez’s account and writing, “Look, look,” without further comment.

Tesla, based in Austin, Texas, has its own lane at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Nuevo Leon to facilitate trade for local suppliers, the state government said in August.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Dave Graham in Mexico City
Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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For His 3rd Term, Xi Jinping Surrounds Himself With Loyalists

Credit…Social Media, via Reuters

HONG KONG — Thousands of posters condemning China’s top leader have appeared on college campuses in New York, Barcelona, Stockholm, Tokyo and elsewhere over the past few days as Chinese students and dissidents spread the message of a lone protester in China.

The posters — paper pasted onto just about everything — have one common theme: Oust the “despotic traitor,” Xi Jinping.

Those words first appeared in Beijing on Oct. 13. As Mr. Xi, China’s top leader, was expected to coast to a third term during the Communist Party congress, someone whose identity has not been confirmed, managed to hang a banner on a busy bridge calling for Mr. Xi’s dismissal. On Sunday, that third term was confirmed.

The protest slogans on the banner also included “Elections, Not Dictatorship” and “Citizens, Not Flunkies.”

The appearance of such strong dissent before an important Communist Party meeting, in a heavily policed city, astonished the whole country. The protester was taken away by police, and online discussions were quickly censored.

Dissidents, however, then found ways to amplify the message overseas. The protest slogans on the Beijing bridge have popped up on bulletin boards, poles and bus stations at more than 200 colleges across at least 20 countries, as many international Chinese students said they were saluting the protester and fighting Mr. Xi’s autocracy.

“I used to be surrounded by a deep powerlessness over political resistance, but the Beijing protester inspired me, showing there are ways to fight,” said Xintong Zhang, 24, a Chinese student at the University of Toronto, who sobbed when seeing the protester’s banner on social media. She later put up dozens of “Dictator Out” posters around campus at dawn.

Compared with other autocracies such as Russia, Iran and Myanmar, China is regarded by many human rights organizations as even less hospitable to free speech and government protest. Under Mr. Xi, opposition and criticism is heavily suppressed with a mix of state security, online censorship and the threat of severe punishment. No independent media and civil society organizations remain 10 years into his rule. Freedom House, a U.S. pro-democracy group, has ranked China last in internet freedom for eight consecutive years.

Ms. Zhang said many Chinese — especially her peers, who started high school after Mr. Xi came to power — did not know how to fight authoritarianism whether at home or abroad.

“Now we have the Beijing protester, and I can look up to him,” she said. “I know I should speak out and how to do it.”

Some of the new activists are concerned that even outside China, there are risks that come with opposing the Chinese government.

A student at the University of Texas at Austin who posted anti-Xi posters on campus said that he was worried about being targeted and harassed by nationalist Chinese students. The student, who is surnamed Zhou, declined to be identified by his full name, citing the same reason.

Ms. Zhang said she worried about being harassed by other Chinese students, assuming the majority were nationalists. As a result, she wore a mask when putting up posters to avoid being identified.

She found most of her posters had been torn down and some had been left half hanging from bulletin boards. “I felt heartbroken but then relieved,” she said. “It’s okay if they tore down my posters as long as I keep posting until the party congress finishes.”

The overseas anti-Xi slogans gained traction after they were collected and shared by pro-democracy Instagram accounts run by anonymous volunteers, mostly Chinese citizens living abroad.

“A brave man should have an echo,” one of the groups, Citizens Daily CN, posted on Instagram.

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