Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Last year the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media LLC, asked the Department of Justice whether it should register as a foreign agent after including editorial suggestions from an adviser to Saudi Arabia and publishing a promotional magazine about Saudi Arabia in honor of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to the United States, the WSJ reports.

Why it matters: Last week Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, accused the National Enquirer of blackmailing him to end an investigation into the source of intimate texts that the Enquirer published. Bezos insinuated Saudi Arabia might be the source of the leak.

The details:

  • In publishing the pro-Saudi magazine, AMI was looking to curry favor with the Saudis for financial support to acquire Time magazine, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money, per the WSJ.
  • Elkan Abramowitz, AMI's attorney, claims the magazine was published “for journalistic reasons,” rather than to achieve Saudi financial backing.
  • The DOJ found the company was not a foreign agent, per a letter that doesn't name AMI or the National Enquirer by name.

Go deeper: Attorney for David Pecker denies National Enquirer blackmailed Bezos

Go deeper

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.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
52 mins ago - Health

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to plead guilty to 3 criminal charges

Members of P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) and Truth Pharm staged a rally and die-in last year outside New Yorks Southern District Federal Court in White Plains, where Purdue Pharmaceuticals' bankruptcy hearing was being held. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges Wednesday as part of a more than $8 billion settlement with the Justice Department, AP reports.

Why it matters: "The settlement is the highest-profile display yet of the federal government seeking to hold a major drugmaker responsible for an opioid addiction and overdose crisis linked to more than 470,000 deaths in the country since 2000," AP notes.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

GM dives full-throttle into electric

GMC Hummer EV. Photo courtesy of General Motors

What has LeBron James as a pitchman, some slightly awkward promotional phrasing ("watts to freedom"), and a six-figure starting price? The electric GMC Hummer.

Driving the news: General Motors unveiled the vehicle — a reborn version of the deceased mega-guzzler — with a highly produced rollout Tuesday night that included a World Series spot. The company also began taking reservations.