U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 8, 2016

Alex Wong/Getty Images


1. Election Day arrives after candidates make final pitches
U.S. voters go to the polls on Tuesday, following a frenetic final day of campaigning by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in swing states on Monday. Brushing aside the FBI’s clearing of Clinton over her emails, Trump said the FBI’s handling of the issue proved the judicial system is “rigged” in Clinton’s favor, and urged voters to “deliver justice at the ballot box.” In Pennsylvania, Clinton accused her Republican rival of running a “negative, divisive, hateful” campaign, saying she was determined to unite the nation. “I’ve got to say, anger is not a plan, my friends,” she said.

Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times

2. Democrats and Republicans fight tight battle for Senate control
Democrats will make a bid to reclaim the majority in the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s elections, with control hinging on the results in a handful of tight races. Statistical models gave Republicans roughly even odds of hanging onto the majority they won two years ago, although bipartisan analysts gave Democrats a wafer-thin edge, partly thanks to the polarizing effect of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and the fact that Democrats, who need to pick up four or five seats for a majority, are defending just 10 seats while Republicans are defending 24. Republicans are expected to hold onto their majority in the House of Representatives.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch

3. Stocks surge, then simmer down as Election Day arrives
U.S. stocks surged by more than 2 percent on Monday — the eve of Tuesday’s presidential election — as investors reacted to the FBI’s announcement that it had found no grounds for filing charges against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over newly discovered emails linked to the server she used as secretary of state. The gains snapped a nine-day losing streak, Wall Street’s longest slide since December 1980. The market had priced in a victory for Clinton, who is seen as likely to stay the course on financial matters, and stocks started losing ground after the FBI announced it was looking at the new emails and Clinton’s polling lead over Republican rival Donald Trump narrowed. Global stocks edged up cautiously on Tuesday as voting started.

Source: USA Today, Reuters

4. New York steps up security ahead of election night
With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton holding their election night events within one mile of each other Tuesday in Manhattan, the New York Police Department has launched one of its largest security campaigns ever. The city will field more than 5,000 uniformed officers, “by far the largest election detail that the NYPD has ever had,” NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said. Intelligence reports warn of potential non-specific terror threats from the Islamic State and al Qaeda — counterterrorism teams, heavily armed officers, and “every canine member” of the explosive-detecting teams will be on the streets. The overall numbers are similar to those dispatched in the city for New Year’s Eve.

Source: Politico

5. Jury selection delayed in Charleston church massacre trial
A federal judge in South Carolina on Monday postponed jury selection in the trial of Dylann Roof, the white man accused of gunning down nine black members at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in June 2015. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel said a motion filed by Roof’s attorneys earlier in the morning required his “immediate attention,” and closing a hearing on the matter, over journalist’ objections, was “necessary to protect the attorney-client privilege and the defendant’s right to a fair and impartial jury and a fair trial.” Jury selection is scheduled to resume on Wednesday.

Source: USA Today, The Associated Press

6. New Hampshire hamlets cast first votes of 2016 election
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump split the vote in three New Hampshire hamlets that voted at midnight on Tuesday, casting the first ballots to be counted in the 2016 presidential election. Clinton came out ahead 4-2 in Dixville Notch, and 17-14 in Hart’s Location, while Trump led 16-4 in Millsfield and 32-25 overall. Libertarian Gary Johnson got three votes in Hart’s Location and another one in Dixville Notch, and Bernie Sanders got a total of three write-in votes. Dixville Notch has picked the winner in three out of the last four presidential races, and split in 2012, but the votes are seen as a novelty, not a bellwether.

Source: USA Today, Politico

7. Ohio man charged with trying to join ISIS in Libya
A 20-year-old Ohio man was arrested Monday at the Columbus airport as he allegedly tried to travel to Libya to fight for the Islamic State. The man, Aaron T. Daniels, was charged with attempting to provide material support for a foreign terrorist organization. Investigators had been watching him since February when he posted on social media about his alleged interest in violent jihad.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

8. Iraq investigates mass grave found in town liberated from ISIS
Iraqi investigators on Tuesday began examining a mass grave discovered a day earlier by troops advancing into turf that had been held by the Islamic State near the city of Mosul. The grave was found near an agricultural college in the town of Hamam al-Alil, about 19 miles from Mosul, which is Iraq’s second largest city and ISIS’ last major urban stronghold in the country. The first officials to see the grave said it probably held about 100 bodies, many of them decapitated.

Source: The Washington Post

9. Robert Durst pleads not guilty in California murder trial
Robert Durst, an heir to a New York real estate fortune who was the subject of the HBO documentary The Jinx, pleaded not guilty on Monday to the execution-style killing of his friend, writer Susan Berman, in 2000. Durst has said that, shortly before Berman was fatally shot in her home, she had told him that New York investigators wanted to talk to her about the disappearance of Durst’s wife years before. “I am not guilty,” said Durst, 73. “I did not kill Susan Berman.”

Source: Los Angeles Times

10. Jury orders Rolling Stone, writer to pay $3 million
A federal jury on Monday ordered Rolling Stone and writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely to pay $3 million in damages to a University of Virginia associate dean who said the magazine’s now-discredited article about a gang rape on campus damaged her reputation. The administrator, Nicole Eramo, said in her lawsuit that the article, published two years ago, sparked threats and destroyed her chances of working as a sexual assault prevention advocate. The Charlottesville, Virginia, jury decided on Friday that the magazine, its parent company Wenner Media, and Erdely, who wrote the article, were liable for defamation in what Eramo’s lawyer said was “a complete repudiation” of their “flawed journalism.”

Source: The New York Times, The Washington Post

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