ELECTION 2018-GOVERNOR-GEORGIA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Abrams campaign says it will fight on
ATLANTA (AP) — Stacey Abrams’ campaign says it will continue to fight to get all outstanding votes counted in the Georgia governor’s race and won’t accept former Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s declaration of victory.
At a news conference Thursday, Abrams’ campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said the campaign demands that the secretary of state’s office “release all the data, all the numbers, and they need to count every single vote.”
Her comments came shortly after Kemp announced he was stepping down as secretary of state and moving forward with the transition to become the state’s next governor. Kemp is a Republican. Abrams is a Democrat.
(This item has been edited to correct attribution of quote to Abrams’ campaign manager).
CALIFORNIA BAR SHOOTING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Calif. shooting survivor was at Vegas massacre
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — A survivor of the mass shooting at a Southern California bar was also at the Las Vegas music festival that ended in a massacre last year.
Dani Merrill says she’s upset that such bloodshed has now come to her hometown.
Merrill joined hundreds of people at a vigil Thursday night to mourn those killed at the Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks.
Merrill says she escaped when the shooting began by running out onto the bar’s loading dock.
Thousand Oaks acting Mayor Rob McCoy told the crowd the city is hurting but will heal.
CALIFORNIA BAR SHOOTING-GUNMAN
California bar shooter was Marine, had mental health review
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — The gunman who shot and killed 12 people at a country music bar in Southern California is a former military machine gunner who was interviewed by mental health specialists this year after a neighbor reported a disturbance.
Ian David Long served in the Marines for nearly five years, including a seven-month tour in Afghanistan. The 28-year-old left as a corporal in March 2013 and recently was living with his mother in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean says a neighbor reported loud noises coming from Long’s house in April and that deputies found a man “acting a little irrationally.” They called a mental health specialist who assessed Long but concluded he couldn’t be involuntarily committed for psychiatric observation.
Authorities haven’t identified a motive for the attack.
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Fire captain says wildfire destroys Calif. town
OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A fire official says the Northern California town of Paradise has been “pretty much” destroyed.
CalFire Capt. Scott McLean says a wind-whipped wildfire destroyed thousands of structures but he said they won’t have an exact count until they can get into the area.
The town of about 27,000 people 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco was evacuated. An Associated Press photographer found businesses and homes leveled or in flames, including a liquor store and gas station.
Protesters nationwide seek to protect Russia investigation
NEW YORK (AP) — Protesters nationwide have called for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Several hundred demonstrators gathered Thursday in New York’s Times Square and chanted slogans including “Hands off Mueller” and “Nobody’s above the law” before marching downtown.
In Chicago, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin joined several hundred protesters at Federal Plaza.
Crowds also turned out at the White House and in Greensboro, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Las Vegas and many other places.
Organizers say the naming of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is a “deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation.”
Trump asked for Jeff Sessions’ resignation and then replaced him with Whitaker, his chief of staff. Whitaker has criticized Mueller’s probe.
MICHELLE OBAMA BOOK
Michelle Obama rips Trump in new book
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Donald Trump in her new book, recalling how she reacted in shock the night she learned he would replace her husband in the Oval Office and tried to “block it all out.”
In her memoir “Becoming,” set to come out Tuesday, Michelle Obama denounces the president for bragging in 2005 about sexually assaulting women. She says his comments on the infamous “Hollywood Access” tape meant, “I can hurt you and get away with it.”
She also accuses Trump of using body language to “stalk” his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, during an election debate. She says Trump followed Clinton around the stage, stood too close and tried to diminish her presence.
The Associated Press purchased an early copy “Becoming.”
FDA plans strict limits on sale of flavored e-cigarettes
(Information from: The Wall Street Journal, http://www.wsj.com)
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is planning on requiring strict limits on the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes, including age verification controls for online sales, in an effort to curtail their use among children and teenagers.
FDA officials tell The Wall Street Journal on Thursday the actions are expected to be announced as early as next week. The move is an attempt to curb what many are saying is an epidemic of underage vaping.
Officials say the new policy will apply to flavored cartridge-style vaping products like Juul that have become popular among youths. No retail outlets will be allowed to carry them unless it restricts minors from entering the store or creates an off-limits area.
New York officials have also announced plans to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
ELECTION 2018-FLORIDA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Trump tweets, weighing in on Florida Senate race
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump is weighing in on Florida’s hotly contested Senate race, citing the possibility of election fraud.
Trump tweets: “Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!”
Republican Gov. Rick Scott held a 0.21 percentage point lead over Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson on Thursday afternoon.
As outgoing governor, Scott said at a news conference Thursday night that he was ordering the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate elections offices in the Democratic strongholds of Palm Beach and Broward counties.
Nelson’s campaign released a statement saying Scott’s action appears to be politically motivated and borne of desperation.
Protesters target home of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson
WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington police are investigating a protest outside the home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson as a possible hate crime.
According to a police report, a group of demonstrators gathered outside Carlson’s Northwest Washington home Wednesday night.
A video posted on social media but later removed shows people standing outside a darkened home chanting “Tucker Carlson we will fight/We know where you sleep at night.”
The report says officers arrived and found about 20 protesters and a commonly used anarchy symbol spray-painted on the driveway. There were no arrests but police confiscated several signs. It lists the incident as a “suspected hate crime” on the basis of “anti-political” bias.
The incident is the latest in a series of protests targeting Trump administration officials and allies.
ROCKEFELLER CHRISTMAS TREE
Rockefeller Christmas tree cut down at upstate NY home
WALLKILL, N.Y. (AP) — The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been cut down in upstate New York and is being readied for transport to Manhattan where it will be erected this weekend.
Rockefeller Center’s publicist says the 72-foot-tall (22-meter) Norway spruce was cut down Thursday morning at the home of Shirley Figueroa and Lissette Gutierrez in Wallkill.
That’s about 65 miles (104 kilometers) north of New York City.
The tree will be hoisted onto a 115-foot-long (35-meter) flatbed trailer for the trip to Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan.
It is set to be erected Saturday, and then be decorated with 50,000 LED lights and a Swarovski crystal star.
The tree will be lit in a televised ceremony Nov. 28 and remain on display until Jan 7.
Throngs of tourists visit the tree each year.
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