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China's state media is putting up a brave front as the country's trade war with the U.S. escalated sharply over the weekend.China Economyread more
The latest round of tariff announcements in the last few days means that by the end of the year, essentially all Chinese goods exported to the U.S. will be subject to duties.China Economyread more
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Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
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World leaders, environmental groups and celebrities have publicly decried the vast swaths of forest being destroyed by the fires.World Newsread more
Taylor Swift usually stays out of the political fray, but this year, with just a month to go until midterm elections, the pop superstar is getting involved in a big way.
Swift stunned the pop culture and political worlds Sunday night with a lengthy, impassioned Instagram post in which she endorsed Democrats Phil Bredesen and Rep. Jim Cooper in their Tennessee U.S. Senate and House races, respectively.
"In the past I've been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now," Swift wrote. She has 112 million followers on Instagram.
Cooper represents the state's 5th congressional district, and is considered to be in a safe seat. Bredesen, however, is trying to flip a red seat to blue. Democrats are defending more Senate seats than Republicans this fall, particularly in states President Donald Trump won in 2016. A win in Tennessee would go a long way in preventing the GOP from expanding its thin 51-49 margin in the Senate.
Swift, 28, has taken the heat in recent years for avoiding political controversies as pop music peers such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Pink and Kanye West have spoken out on issues or campaigned for politicians. Last year, Swift became one of the more famous faces of the #MeToo movement, when she successfully sued a Colorado disc jockey for groping her. She only sought $1 in damages because she wanted to send a message.
Swift's Instagram post Sunday keyed in on several hot-button social issues.
"I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG," she wrote. "I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent."
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!
She also aimed some strident criticism at GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is vying against Bredesen to fill retiring Republican Bob Corker's Senate seat.
"As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me," Swift wrote on Instagram. "She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values."
The Bredesen campaign responded to Swift's endorsement by pushing the former governor's strategy to appeal to voters across the political spectrum: "It's clear that Governor Bredesen's message of working together to get things done is resonating with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans throughout the state. As a U.S. Senator, he will represent Tennesseans of all stripes."
The pro-Trump Blackburn is locked in a tight race with Bredesen, a centrist Democrat and former two-term governor. Blackburn leads him by two percentage points, according to a Real Clear Politics polling average, after a CBS poll showed her up by eight points and a Fox News poll showed her up by five.
Swift's endorsement could be a boon for Bredesen, who had recently angered some Democrats by saying he would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court had he been in the Senate. Bredesen, however, has tried to walk an ideological tightrope since Tennessee traditionally votes for Republicans. Trump won the state by more than 20 points in 2016.
Swift concluded her post with a plea for people to register to vote by Tuesday, which is the last day to do so in Tennessee.
The Blackburn campaign did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.