Data: PwC; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Media and telecom deals continue to increase under the Trump administration, with PwC's latest report showing that deal volumes reached their highest point in the past two years — 238 deals total in Q3 2017.

  • Seven $1 billion+ deals were announced last quarter, led by Discovery Communications Inc's announced acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive Inc for $11.8 billion.
  • Advertising & Marketing, as well as the Broadcasting and Telecommunications sub-sectors, reached two year highs in Q3.

What's next: Per Variety, Time Warner says it still expects the sale to AT&T to close by the end of 2017.

Zuck in luck: Dispelling rumors that CNN chief Jeff Zucker would be shown the door post-merger, John Stankey, the AT&T veteran who will oversee Time Warner's media businesses if the deal goes through, told Vanity Fair's Joe Pompeo via a statement that "Jeff Zucker is doing a terrific job."

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36 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.

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.