ELECTION 2018-VOTING PROBLEMS
US election systems more secure, but voting problems persist
ATLANTA (AP) — Tuesday’s midterm elections will mark the first nationwide voting since Russia targeted state election systems in the 2016 presidential race, with federal, state and local officials seeking to reassure the public their voting systems are secure.
Federal authorities say there have been no signs that Russia or any other foreign actor has tried to launch cyberattacks against voting systems in any state.
The Department of Homeland Security has been working over the last year to improve communication and intelligence-sharing with state and local election officials. It says systems are running smoothly so far.
The same can’t be said about early voting and the voter registration process in some states.
Voters casting ballots early have encountered faulty machines, inaccurate mailers and voter registration problems, among other concerns.
USOC moves to shut down USA Gymnastics after Nassar scandal
The U.S. Olympic Committee is moving to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status as the governing body for the sport at the Olympic level, meting out the nuclear option to an organization that has botched its own reorganization in the wake of a sex-abuse scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nassar.
In an open letter to the gymnastics community Monday, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said “you deserve better,” and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics are more than it is capable of overcoming as currently constructed.
The organization, even with a newly constructed board of directors, made repeated mistakes after the revelations Nassar molested Olympians while working as a volunteer.
They included the botched hiring of a program coordinator and an interim CEO to replace Kerry Perry, who lasted less than a year on the job after replacing Steve Penny.
NBC says it will stop airing Trump immigrant ad
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC says that “after further review,” it will stop airing President Donald Trump’s campaign advertisement that featured an immigrant convicted of murder.
The advertisement aired on “Sunday Night Football” and on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday.
CNN rejected the same ad, declaring it racist. That drew a public rebuke from the president’s son, Donald J. Trump Jr.
The advertisement includes footage of Luis Bracamontes, a twice-deported immigrant from Mexico sentenced to death in California for killing two police officers
NBC said Monday that in its further review, it recognizes the insensitive nature of the ad.
MIGRANT CARAVAN-THE LATEST
The Latest: Central America leaders want probe of caravans
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The presidents of Guatemala and Honduras are calling for an investigation to identify the organizers of a caravan of migrants who are nearing the Mexican capital on a journey they hope will take them to the United States.
The two countries have been under intense pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to clamp down on the caravans.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said Monday that “thousands” of his countrymen have returned to Honduras. Mexico’s Interior Ministry said over the weekend it has helped transport around 500 migrants who asked for assistance returning to their countries of origin.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales went further, calling for an investigation of people who “promote or participate” in the caravan, saying those people “should be judged based on international laws.”
Most of the migrants interviewed in recent days say they joined the march spontaneously in hopes of safety in numbers.
UNITED STATES-IRAN-THE LATEST
The Latest: Trump admits concern about Iran and oil prices
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he was concerned about rising oil prices as his administration reinstated sanctions on Iran Monday.
The Trump administration carved out waivers that allow eight allies and partners to continue importing oil from Iran at least for now.
He tells reporters at Andrews Air Force Base that these are the “toughest sanctions ever imposed” but “we want to go a little bit slower” to avoid causing global oil prices to spike.
“I could get the Iran oil down to zero immediately, but it would cause a shock to the market,” Trump says. “I don’t want to lift oil prices. And if you notice, oil prices are going down very substantially, despite the fact that already half of their capacity is gone.”
ELECTION 2018-TRUMP-THE LATEST
The Latest: Trump pauses speech as woman gets medical help
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he’s hoping a supporter will be fine after a medical incident at his final rally ahead of Tuesday’s midterm election.
Trump paused his stump speech for roughly five minutes after being alerted to a medical emergency in the crowd of thousands.
As emergency workers made their way to the woman, Trump said: “Take your time. Take your time. Relax.” After several minutes the audience broke into the hymn “Amazing Grace.”
Resuming his speech after the supporter was taken out of the arena, Trump said of the singing, “That was beautiful.”
He adds: “Hopefully she’ll be OK.”
Medical emergencies are common at presidential rallies, where security requires attendees to be in place for hours ahead of time.
LOTTERY JACKPOT-IOWA WINNER
Iowa winner claims huge Powerball jackpot
CLIVE, Iowa (AP) — A single mother from the small Iowa community of Redfield has claimed her share of a nearly $700 million Powerball prize.
Iowa Lottery officials confirmed Monday that Lerynne (lah-RINN) West was one of two winners of a $688 million jackpot drawn Oct. 27. She’ll share the prize with someone who bought the other winning ticket in New York City.
West opted for the cash option, which will pay her an immediate $198.1 million, minus taxes.
West said she dreamed of winning a jackpot, but “once you have won, you realize the responsibility and the impact you can make, and all the frivolity goes out the window.”
The 51-year-old worked for a health insurance organization, but says she retired last week.
West overcame odds of 292.2 million to one to win.
Amazon mum on reports it will split new headquarters
NEW YORK (AP) — Online leader Amazon Inc. has refused comment on reports that it plans to split its new headquarters between two locations.
The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported late Monday that the company would locate the new facilities in Queens in New York City and in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia.
A company spokesman said Tuesday that Amazon would not comment on “rumors and speculation.” An update from the company is expected soon.
The Wall Street Journal said the main reason for having the two facilities is to recruit enough tech workers. It also would relieve demand on housing, transportation and other issues.
The newspaper cited a person familiar with the matter.
It said the online retailer apparently plans to have 25,000 employees in both cities.
HIT AND RUN-SCOUTS KILLED-THE LATEST
The Latest: Girl Scout, mom killed in crash loved crafts
LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (AP) — The grandmother of one of three Girl Scouts killed in a Wisconsin hit-and-run crash says the child dreamed of being an animator and shared a love of crafts with her mom, who also died in the accident.
Judy Schneider says the deaths of her daughter and granddaughter Saturday morning in Lake Hallie are “still not real for any of us.”
Schneider’s daughter, 32-year-old Sara Jo Schneider, and granddaughter, 10-year-old Haylee Hickle, were killed along with 9-year-old Jayna Kelley and 10-year-old Autum Helgeson, both of Lake Hallie. Schneider and her daughter lived in the town of Lafayette.
Police say 21-year-old Colten Treu (TROO) had been inhaling chemical vapors before crashing his truck into the group as they picked up trash along a rural Wisconsin highway in Lake Hallie. Prosecutors are considering vehicular homicide charges and he is being held on $250,000 bond.
DEATH ROW INMATES-SUICIDE
2 California death row inmates found dead; suicide suspected
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two men on California’s death row for committing multiple murders have been found dead at San Quentin State Prison.
California prison officials said Monday they are investigating both deaths as suicides.
Officials say Andrew Urdiales was found unresponsive in his cell Friday during a security check and died Saturday. The 54-year-old was sentenced in October for five murders in California during the 1980s. He previously faced the death penalty for three murders in Illinois. That sentence was reduced to a life sentence in 2011 when Illinois outlawed capital punishment.
Authorities say they found 51-year-old Virendra Govin unresponsive in his cell Sunday. He was sentenced in 2004 for committing four murders then setting the victims’ home on fire.
The deaths come after one death row inmate murdered another in early October.
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