Nov 1, 2017

Axios PM

Good Wednesday afternoon, and welcome to November! You're invited to a joint event from Axios and NBC News: Join "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd and Axios CEO and founder Jim VandeHei in D.C. tomorrow for a conversation with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Sen. Maria Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. RSVP here.

1 big thing: What Russia bought

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released examples of Facebook ads paid for by Russian actors during this afternoon's hearing with Facebook, Google and Twitter. Ads were displayed in the hearing room to drive home their concern about foreign governments "weaponizing" social media content.

  • The details: According to the metadata attached to the ads, they targeted both Republicans and Democrats and were paid for in rubles. The ads were intended to stoke discord on divisive issues such as religion, racial issues and immigration.
  • Facebook's chief lawyer said Wednesday afternoon that the company had not found overlap between the targeting used by Russian trolls meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign.

Go deeper: More on the ads; Highlights from this morning's Senate hearing

2. What you missed
  1. NYC latest: Officials say suspect Sayfullo Saipov followed "to a 'T" instructions shared by ISIS. Update.
  2. Trump's tweets: The White House says he wasn't politicizing the attack when he criticized immigration policy and went after Chuck Schumer. Highlights.
  3. Men behaving badly: NPR's news chief and the U.K.'s defense minister are both out after harassment allegations. List.
  4. Crash course: When an accident is inevitable, where should a self-driving car steer? Theory.
  5. Extinction update: Steady human migration from Africa into Europe may have killed off the Neanderthals. Oops.
3. One win for humanity

Robots may now be able to beat human masters in Chess and Go, but in motorcycle racing, humans are still king. Yamaha pitted a robotic motorcycle named Motobot (photo above) against Italy's Valentino Rossi, the nine-time Grand Prix world champion. The robot topped 125 mph but was no match for Rossi.