U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 9, 2016



1. Donald Trump elected president in stunning upset over Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump was elected as the nation’s 45th president on Tuesday, beating Hillary Clinton in a clear rejection of the political establishment. Trump beat his Democratic rival not only in the key swing states of Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, but even in Pennsylvania, a state that had not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988. Clinton reportedly called Trump to concede and plans to address the nation on Wednesday. Trump, who pulled together what he called a “forgotten” coalition of blue-collar and working class voters fed up with the status quo, praised Clinton and called for unity after a bitter campaign. “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”

Source: The New York Times

2. GOP holds onto majorities in Senate and House
Republicans fought off a bid by Democrats to reclaim control of the Senate on Tuesday, holding onto a narrow majority as GOP incumbents beat strong challengers in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio. Indiana Rep. Todd Young (R) beat heavily favored former governor and senator Evan Bayh (D) in Indiana. The GOP was vulnerable, with more seats to defend, but in the end it lost only one seat — in Illinois, where Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk. Democrats also retained retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada, where Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto beat Rep. Joe Heck (R). Republicans also held onto control of the House.

Source: The Associated Press

3. Markets plunge after Trump upsets Clinton
U.S. stocks appeared headed for heavy losses at the start of trading on Wednesday after Donald Trump’s upset victory in the presidential election. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures plunged by as much as 750 points, or more than 4 percent, then regained some ground after Trump made a conciliatory victory speech. The Dow was down by 301 points, or 1.6 percent, shortly before the opening bell on Wednesday. The Mexican peso dropped by 7 percent against the U.S. dollar in a sign of market fears over Trump’s vow to renegotiate or end NAFTA, a free trade deal involving the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Markets, like polls, had been betting on a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was expected to stay the course on the economy.

Source: MarketWatch, The Washington Post

4. Voters approve marijuana initiatives in several states
Marijuana initiatives won big in Tuesday’s elections. Ballot initiatives on recreational marijuana won in at least three of the five states where they were on the ballot, with voters approving them in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada. A similar measure in Maine was leading early Wednesday, while another in Arizona was behind with two thirds of the votes counted. Voters in Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas approved medical marijuana initiatives. “This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.”

Source: The Washington Post

5. Investigators identify alleged coordinator of Paris, Brussels attacks
Investigators have identified a dual Belgian and Moroccan national, 32-year-old Oussama Ahmad Atar, as the suspected coordinator of terror attacks in Paris last year and in Brussels in March. Atar, also known as Abu Ahmad, is a distant cousin of Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui, brothers who blew themselves up at Brussels’ Zaventem airport and Maelbeek station, respectively. Authorities believe Atar to be the “highest ranking” Islamic State operative in the Brussels area, and say he played a role in radicalizing at least one of the el-Bakraoui brothers.

Source: CNN, BBC News

6. ISIS abducts hundreds near Mosul ahead of Iraqi forces’ advance
The Islamic State abducted 295 civilian former members of ‏Iraq’s security forces near Mosul, the United Nations human rights organization said Tuesday. The Islamist extremist group also has forced 1,500 families to retreat with its forces as they fled the city, its last urban stronghold in Iraq. Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said those being forcibly moved either are “intended to be used as human shields,” or will be killed.

Source: Reuters, CNN

7. Orlando plans memorial at Pulse nightclub
The city of Orlando, Florida, has reached an agreement to buy the Pulse nightclub and turn it into a memorial for the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history, which occurred during a Latin-themed dance party at the gay and lesbian club in June. The $2.25 million price is greater than the 4,400-square-foot building’s appraised value of $1.65 million. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said the city would not hurry to change anything. “There are lots of people that are making a visit to the site part of their trip, part of their experience of Orlando,” he said, “so I think 12 to 18 months of leaving it as-is would be appropriate.”

Source: Orlando Sentinel

8. Sheriff Joe Arpaio loses reelection bid
Joe Arpaio, whose hardline immigration views made him known as “America’s toughest sheriff,” lost his bid for reelection to a seventh term in Arizona on Tuesday. Maricopa County Hispanic voters, upset over his harsh rhetoric, traffic stops, and workplace raids, turned out in strength to defeat him. Arpaio had become a national symbol of the backlash over illegal immigration, earning him a spot on the stage at the Republican convention where Donald Trump was nominated for president in July. “The people Arpaio targeted decided to target him,” said Carlos Garcia, executive director of the advocacy group Puente. “He lost his power when undocumented people lost their fear.”

Source: Los Angeles Times, The New York Times

9. British royal family slams press over coverage of Prince Harry’s girlfriend
The British royal family issued a rare, harsh criticism of the press on Tuesday over the “racial overtones” of a barrage of coverage of Prince Harry’s girlfriend, American actress Meghan Markle. Markle, who has a white father and African-American mother, is best known for her role as Rachel Zane in the TV drama Suits. Prince Harry’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf, said Markle had been the subject of a “wave of abuse and harassment,” including a “smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”

Source: The Washington Post

10. Judge orders competency evaluation for Dylann Roof, delaying jury selection
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered a psychological evaluation to determine whether Dylann Roof, 22, is mentally fit to stand trial for the murder of nine black church members in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015. Roof, who is white, allegedly gunned down the victims at a midweek Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to start a race war. The competency evaluation has delayed jury selection in the death-penalty case from this week until Nov. 21.

Source: USA Today

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