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Senate control may come down to Nevada as count nears end
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Control of the U.S. Senate may come down to Nevada, where a slow ballot count entered its final act Saturday in the nail-biter contest between Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican challenger Adam Laxalt.
Saturday is the last day that mail ballots can arrive and be counted under the state’s new voting law. Election officials were hustling to get through a backlog of tens of thousands of ballots to determine the race’s winner, with the state’s largest county saying it hoped to be effectively done by the evening.
The Nevada race took on added importance after Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly was declared the winner of his reelection campaign in Arizona on Friday night, giving his party 49 seats in the chamber. Republicans also have 49.
If Cortez Masto wins, Democrats would maintain their control of the Senate given Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote. If Laxalt wins, the Georgia Senate runoff next month would determine which party has the single-vote Senate edge.
Cortez Masto was only a few hundred votes behind Laxalt, with most of the remaining uncounted ballots in heavily Democratic Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. Democrats were confident those ballots would vault their candidate into the lead.
Trump vs. DeSantis: A simmering rivalry bursts into view
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have been on a collision course from the start.
Eying the Florida governor as his most formidable foe within the Republican Party, the former president has sought to keep DeSantis in his place, often noting the role his endorsement played in lifting the relatively obscure congressman to the leader of one of America’s largest states.
DeSantis, for his part, has long praised Trump and mimicked his style, but has notably declined to put aside his own White House ambitions as the former president prepares to seek his old job again. In the clearest sign of tension, the two held dueling Florida rallies in the final days of this year’s midterm elections. At his event, Trump unveiled his new derisive nickname for DeSantis, calling him Ron DeSanctimonious.
The simmering rivalry between the Republican Party’s biggest stars enters a new, more volatile phase after the GOP’s underwhelming performance in what was supposed to be a blockbuster election year. DeSantis, who won a commanding reelection, is increasingly viewed as the party’s future, while Trump, whose preferred candidates lost races from Pennsylvania to Arizona, is widely blamed as a drag on the party.
That leaves Trump in perhaps his most vulnerable position since he sparked the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. As he moves forward with plans to announce a third presidential bid on Tuesday, Trump is turning to a playbook that has served him through decades of personal, financial and political turmoil: zeroing in on his enemies’ perceived weaknesses and hitting them with repeated attacks.
Mark Kelly: Time to let go of `conspiracies of the past’
PHOENIX (AP) — Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly urged Arizonans to let go of “conspiracies of the past” on Saturday, calling for unity a day after winning reelection to a crucial Senate seat.
Arizona was central to former President Donald Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 election and cast doubt on the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s victory. Kelly pressed to move past false claims of a fraudulent election that have shaped the state’s politics for the past two years.
Kelly defeated Republican Blake Masters, who along with most of the rest of the GOP slate was endorsed by Trump after pushing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
“After a long election, it can be tempting to remain focused on the things that divide us,” Kelly said in a victory speech at a Mexican restaurant in Phoenix. “But we’ve seen the consequences that come when leaders refuse to accept the truth and focus more on conspiracies of the past than solving the challenges that we face today.”
Kelly won after distancing himself from Biden and building an image as an independent lawmaker not beholden to his party. He cast himself in the mold of his predecessor, the late Republican John McCain, whose influence is still felt in Arizona politics four years after his death.
Two aircraft collide during Veterans Day air show in Dallas
DALLAS (AP) — Two historic military planes collided and crashed to the ground Saturday during an air show in Dallas, exploding into a ball of flames and sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky. It was unclear how many people were on board the aircraft or if anyone on the ground was hurt.
Leah Block, a spokesperson for Commemorative Air Force, which produced the Veterans Day weekend show and owned the crashed aircraft, told ABC News she believed there were five crew members on the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber and one aboard the P-63 Kingcobra fighter plane. The Houston-based aircraft were not giving rides to paying customers at the time, she said.
Emergency crews raced to the crash scene at the Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the city’s downtown. Live TV news footage from the scene showed people setting up orange cones around the crumpled wreckage of the bomber, which was in a grassy area.
Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide.
“I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the air show with a friend. “Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock.”
Ukrainian police, TV broadcasts return to long-occupied city
MYKOLAIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian police officers returned Saturday, along with TV and radio services, to the southern city of Kherson following the withdrawal of Russian troops, part of fast but cautious efforts to make the only regional capital captured by Russia livable after months of occupation. Yet one official still described the city as “a humanitarian catastrophe.”
People across Ukraine awoke from a night of jubilant celebrating after the Kremlin announced its troops had withdrawn to the other side of the Dnieper River from Kherson. The Ukrainian military said it was overseeing “stabilization measures” around the city to make sure it was safe.
The Russian retreat represented a significant setback for the Kremlin some six weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Kherson region and three other provinces in southern and eastern Ukraine in breach of international law and declared them Russian territory.
The national police chief of Ukraine, Ihor Klymenko, said Saturday on Facebook that about 200 officers were at work in the city, setting up checkpoints and documenting evidence of possible war crimes. Police teams also were working to identify and neutralize unexploded ordnance and one sapper was wounded Saturday while demining an administrative building, Klymenko said.
Ukraine’s communications watchdog said national TV and radio broadcasts had resumed and an adviser to Kherson’s mayor said humanitarian aid and supplies had begun to arrive from the neighboring Mykolaiv region.
Computer chip ban signals new era as Biden and Xi meet
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration’s move to block exports of advanced computer chips to China is signaling a new phase in relations between the globe’s two largest economies — one in which trade matters less than an increasingly heated competition to be the world’s leading technological and military power.
The aggressive move, announced last month, will help set the tone for President Joe Biden’s upcoming meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Asia. It’s evidence of Biden’s determination to “manage” the U.S. competition with China, whose officials were quick to condemn the export ban.
After more than two decades in which the focus was on expansion of trade and global growth, both countries are openly prioritizing their national interests as the world economy struggles with high inflation and the risk of recessions. The U.S. and China have each identified the development and production of computer chips as vital for economic growth and their own security interests.
“We’re going to do whatever it takes to protect Americans from the threat of China,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in an interview. “China is crystal clear. They will use this technology for surveillance. They will use this technology for cyber attacks. They will use this technology to, in any number of ways, harm us and our allies, or our ability to protect ourselves.”
Xi responded to the export ban in his statement at last month’s congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where he secured a third term as the country’s leader. He pledged that China would move more aggressively to become self-reliant in producing semiconductors and other technologies.
Twitter drama too much? Mastodon, others emerge as options
Twitter has been a bit of a mess since billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the helm, cutting the company’s workforce in half, upending the platform’s verification system, sparring with users over jokes and acknowledging that “ dumb things ” might happen as he reshapes one of the world’s most high-profile information ecosystems.
On Thursday, amid an exodus of senior executives responsible for data privacy, cybersecurity and complying with regulations, he warned the company’s remaining employees that Twitter might not survive if it can’t find a way to bring in at least half its revenue from subscriptions.
While it’s not clear if the drama is causing many users to leave — in fact, having a front-row seat to the chaos may prove entertaining to some — lesser-known sites Mastodon and even Tumblr are emerging as new (or renewed) alternatives. Here’s a look at some of them.
(Oh, and if you are leaving Twitter and want to preserve your tweet history, you can download it by going to your profile settings and clicking on “your account” then “download an archive of your data.”)
Iranian who inspired ‘The Terminal’ dies at Paris airport
PARIS (AP) — An Iranian man who lived for 18 years in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and whose saga loosely inspired the Steven Spielberg film “The Terminal” died Saturday in the airport that he long called home, officials said.
Mehran Karimi Nasseri died after a heart attack in the airport’s Terminal 2F around midday, according an official with the Paris airport authority. Police and a medical team treated him but were not able to save him, the official said. The official was not authorized to be publicly named.
Nasseri lived in the airport’s Terminal 1 from 1988 until 2006, first in legal limbo because he lacked residency papers and later by apparent choice.
Year in and year out, he slept on a red plastic bench, making friends with airport workers, showering in staff facilities, writing in his diary, reading magazines and surveying passing travelers.
Staff nicknamed him Lord Alfred, and he became a mini-celebrity among passengers.
Prosecutors push 15-year sentence for Theranos’ CEO Holmes
Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence disgraced Theranos CE0 Elizabeth Holmes to 15 years in prison, arguing she deserves a lengthy prison term because her massive scheme duped investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars by falsely convincing them her company had developed a revolutionary blood testing device.
Calling the case “one of the most substantial white collar offenses Silicon Valley or any other District has seen,” prosecutors vehemently rejected defense attorneys’ characterization that Holmes had been unfairly victimized, in part by media coverage.
Holmes is set to appear for sentencing on Nov. 18 in federal court in San Jose, California, nearly a year after she was convicted of three felony counts of wire fraud and one felony count of conspiracy to commit fraud. She faces up to 20 years in prison for each count.
“She repeatedly chose lies, hype and the prospect of billions of dollars over patient safety and fair dealing with investors,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Leach wrote in a 46-page brief filed Friday. “Elizabeth Holmes’ crimes were not failing, they were lying — lying in the most serious context, where everyone needed her to tell the truth.”
Holmes’ attorneys filed an 82-page document late Thursday calling for a lenient sentence of no more than 18 months, saying her reputation was permanently destroyed, turning her into a “caricature to be mocked and vilified.”
McMullin loss in Utah raises independent candidacy questions
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Democrats’ decision to back an independent rather than nominate a member of their own party to take on Republican Mike Lee transformed the state’s U.S. Senate race from foregone conclusion to closely watched slugfest.
Independent Evan McMullin, an anti-Trump former Republican best known for his longshot 2016 presidential bid, attracted millions in outside spending in his campaign against Lee. He forced the second-term Republican to engage with voters more than in prior elections and emphasize an independent streak and willingness to buck leaders of his own party.
Ultimately, though, it wasn’t even close. Lee is on his way to a double-digit win.
That’s spurring a debate: Did Democrats’ strategy create a blueprint to make Republicans campaign hard, compete for moderates and expend resources in future races? Or does the sizeable loss prove that Republicans’ vice grip is impenetrable in the short term, no matter the strategy?
The answers could contain lessons for both red and blue states unaccustomed to competitive elections.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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The numbers for a record-breaking $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot have been drawn following a delay and players were awaiting the announcement of a possible winner.
There was no time frame given for the drawing. No one has won the jackpot since Aug. 3. Get the latest here.
The promise of a red wave receding, Republicans slogged state by state in a determined fight to break the Democrats’ one-party hold on Washington.
A Florida-bound storm has strengthened into Hurricane Nicole after pounding the Bahamas and state officials ordered evacuations that included former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. Get the latest.
Two planes have collided and crashed at an air show in Dallas, Texas, the Federal Aviation Administration said Saturday.
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Most races likely to decide control of the House and Senate are still too close to call. Follow our continuous updates of the midterm elections here: Livestream video, latest data and all the results!
Former President Donald Trump is suing the House panel probing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to try to block a subpoena requiring him to testify.
Comedian Gallagher, best known for his watermelon-smashing comedy routine and many popular specials in the 1980s, died Friday.
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