Patrick Semansky / AP

Hope Hicks is expected to take over the duties of the White House communications director on an interim basis, per a source familiar with the arrangements.The big picture: A lot of people think she is the only one who can do the job, and it shouldn't be ruled out that Hicks, who didn't actively seek the job, could last in the position on a more permanent basis.The dynamics at play, per multiple sources inside the White House and close to the president:The new regime: Under White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, there won't be much tolerance for separate press fiefdoms. Under the old regime, Hope was wholly separate from the press shop, serving in a first-among-equals role with extraordinary access to the president.Trump wants someone he knows in the job: Trump trusts Hicks to speak on his behalf in a way he'll never trust another member of the comms staff, viewing her almost as another daughter. Bringing in an outsider like Mike Dubke was a disaster, as the president never trusted him. What she learned on the trail: Hicks understands that Trump is the communications director, as the president is uniquely media focused. Unlike most presidents, Trump is in charge of his own messaging. How the White House feels about her: People who really know Hicks inside the White House say she is chronically underestimated due to her age and past career experience, but she gets Trump in a way others don't due to the experience of the grueling campaign.

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19 mins ago - World

"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.

1 hour 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.