U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 4, 2016



1. Clinton’s lead over Trump narrows
Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump has narrowed to three percentage points as the Nov. 8 presidential election nears, down from nine points in mid-October and four points on Oct. 4, according to aNew York Times/CBS News Poll released Thursday. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, had the backing of 45 percent of likely voters in the national poll; GOP nominee Trump had 42 percent. Respondents largely agreed on one thing: Eight in 10 said the nasty campaign had left them more repulsed than enthusiastic. Polls also shifted in key battlegrounds, with Clinton pulling nearly even with Trump in Georgiawhile he regained an edge in Arizona.

Source: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal

2. FBI, facing questions of bias, looks into its own Twitter account
The FBI has launched an internal investigation into one of its own Twitter accounts, which was dormant for a year and suddenly started tweeting documents related to the presidential candidates days before the Nov. 8 election. The FBI Records Vault account first made positive mention of Republican candidate Donald Trump’s father, then posted documents regarding President Bill Clinton’s controversial pardon of Marc Rich, raising suspicion the account was being used to boost Trump and hurt his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. One source said anti-Clinton agents are behind leaks about what prosecutors have dismissed as flimsy allegations against Clinton in recent days. “The FBI is Trumpland,” the agent said.

Source: New York Daily News, The Guardian

3. Melania Trump makes rare appearance, calls for civility
Melania Trump made her first speech on Thursday since the plagiarism flap at the Republican convention, calling for “kindness” and “respect” in politics and promising to combat cyberbullying as first lady if her husband, Donald Trump, is elected president. Mrs. Trump, speaking in the potentially key swing state of Pennsylvania, also promised to be an advocate for women and children. Her speech was part of a last-minute appeal by the Trump campaign to women voters, who have increasingly backed Democrat Hillary Clinton after weeks of coverage of a 2005 recording in which Trump bragged about kissing and groping women without their consent.

Source: CBS News

4. 240 migrants drown off Libya
About 240 people have drowned off the coast of Libya over 48 hours this week, bringing the number of refugees killed trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year to at least 4,220, the United Nations’ migration agency said Thursday. Survivors told authorities that the latest victims died when rubber dinghies they were traveling in capsized in high seas. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said European nations could prevent further tragedies by volunteering to take in more refugees who feel they have to risk the voyage to escape violence or poverty in their home countries.

Source: Reuters, The Associated Press

5. South Korean president takes blame for scandal
South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday took sole blame for a scandal involving allegations that a personal friend used their relationship to extort money from businesses. Park apologized, promising to submit to questions and cooperate fully with prosecutors investigating her friend Choi Soon-sil. “I again deeply apologize for causing an immeasurable disappointment and worry,” Park said. “All this is my fault, caused by my negligence.” Park said she put too much faith in her friend, saying: “I feel a sense of shame and ask myself, ‘Is this the reason I became president?'”

Source: The Associated Press, The New York Times

6. U.K. government says it will challenge Brexit ruling
British cabinet ministers said Thursday that the government would challenge a High Court ruling requiring a parliamentary vote before officially starting negotiations for the U.K. to leave the European Union. Brexit Secretary David Davis said the government had “the biggest mandate in history” to get the process underway after 17.4 million voters backed exiting the E.U., and that waiting for lawmaker’ approval would disrupt the government’s plans to get the job done. The court will consider the appeal next month.

Source: BBC News

7. Iraqi troops oust ISIS from parts of Mosul
Iraqi forces have taken control of several districts in eastern Mosul, the military said Friday. Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Thursday said there could be “no retreat” for his forces as Iraqi soldiers and their allies pushed into the city, ISIS’ last major stronghold in Iraq. “This raging battle and total war, and the great jihad that the state of Islam is fighting today, only increases our firm belief, God willing, and our conviction that all this is a prelude to victory,” al-Baghdadi told supporters.

Source: CNN, Reuters

8. North Dakota Capitol locked down, 14 arrested for pipeline protest
North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers arrested 14 Dakota Access Pipeline protesters on Thursday at the state Capitol. The building’s doors were locked from the inside at about 4 p.m. after dozens of protesters rallied outside, singing, “We Will Not be Moved.” The people arrested were charged with disorderly conduct. The rally participants were making a show of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which hopes to prevent the pipeline from passing on the edge of its reservation due to concerns the project would taint the water supply and damage sacred sites.

Source: Argus Leader

9. Justice Department sends poll monitors to North Carolina
The Justice Department has informed four North Carolina counties that it is sending observers to monitor their polls on Election Day. The counties include Forsyth, Wake, Robeson, and Cumberland. The state has 15 electoral votes, and is considered a key battleground in the presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Election officials did not say why the observers were coming, but the North Carolina NAACP on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit accusing election boards in Cumberland, Moore, and Beaufort counties of illegally canceling the registrations of thousands of voters, most of them minorities.

Source: Slate, Fayetteville Observer

10. World Series finale most-watched baseball game in a quarter century
More than 40 million people watched Game 7 of the World Series, making the decisive cliffhanger the most-watched baseball game in 25 years. The 10-inning game, in which the Chicago Cubs ended a 108-year championship drought by beating the Cleveland Indians 8-7, capped a series that was already a ratings success. Game 5, in which the Cubs started their comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series, was watched by more people than that evening’s Sunday Night Football match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles — the first time a World Series game has topped SNF since 2013.

Source: Variety

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