Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission will vote next month on a plan that would block a big federal program from buying gear or services from companies that “pose a national security threat” to U.S. communications networks. FCC Chair Ajit Pai made the announcement Monday.

The backdrop: Pai didn’t say what companies or countries the measure will target. But his move comes days after he wrote congressional lawmakers about security concerns over "Huawei and other Chinese technology companies."

Be smart: Some U.S. security experts have raised concerns that Chinese-made devices and software might contain "back doors" or other risks. But the program at issue, the FCC's Universal Service Fund, provides subsidies for people who can’t afford digital access. So this national security move might also be a feint in the Trump administration's trade war.

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"I stood up for that": Pope Francis voices support for same-sex civil unions

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Photo: Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

2 hours ago - World

Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

The delegation lands at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

The White House is attempting to leverage momentum from Israel's normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE to get more Arab countries on board before the U.S. election.

Driving the news: President Trump wants Sudan's removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list to be accompanied by a pre-election announcement on Israel.

Poll: 92% of battleground state voters are "extremely motivated to vote"

Voters stand in line at the Metropolitan Multi-Services Center in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 13. Photo: Mark Felix for The Washington Post via Getty Images

91% of likely voters nationally say they are "extremely motivated to vote," including 92% in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a Change Research/CNBC Poll.

Why it matters: The 2020 election could see record-breaking levels of voter turnout. Voters last week cast ballots at nearly five times the rate they did at this point in the 2016 election, per the U.S. Elections Project. Over 39 million ballots have been cast in early voting states as of Wednesday.