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    The Latest on the summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Papua New Guinea (all times local): 5:05 p.m. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Papua New Guinea were unable to agree on a final communique. Trudeau told reporters Sunday that the chair of the meeting, Papua New Guinea, will issue a statement instead. He says there were differences on trade issues among several countries including China and the U.S., which have been engaged in a tit-for-tat tariff war this year. ___ 2:05 p.m. A meeting of world leaders in Papua New Guinea has highlighted divisions between global powers the U.S. and China and a growing competition for influence in the usually neglected South Pacific. The 21 nations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Port Moresby struggled to bridge differences on issues such as trade protectionism, making it likely their final statement Sunday will be an anodyne document. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and China's President Xi Jinping traded barbs in speeches on Saturday. Pence accused China of intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and unfair trading practices. In Port Moresby, the impact of China's aid and loans is highly visible but the U.S. and allies are countering with efforts to finance infrastructure in Papua New Guinea and other island states.
  • President Donald Trump said his administration will get a full report in the next two days about the death of a Saudi journalist, which has created a diplomatic conundrum for the president: How to admonish Riyadh for the killing yet maintain strong ties with a close ally in the Middle East. 'We'll be having a very full report over the next two days, probably Monday or Tuesday,' Trump said Saturday. That will include 'who did it,' he said. Reporters asked Trump about the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia's top diplomat has said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had 'absolutely' nothing to do with it. American intelligence agencies have concluded that the crown prince ordered the killing in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey, according to a U.S. official familiar with the assessment. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Others familiar with the case caution that while it's likely that the crown prince was involved in the death, there continue to be questions about what role he played. 'The United States government is determined to hold all those responsible for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable,' the State Department said in a statement. 'Recent reports indicating that the U.S. government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate. There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi.' The statement added: 'The U.S. government has taken decisive measures against the individuals responsible, including visa and sanctions actions. We will continue to explore additional measures to hold those accountable who planned, led and were connected to the murder. And, we will do that while maintaining the important strategic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.' Intelligence officials have been providing information to Trump about the death for weeks and he was briefed again by phone Saturday by CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he flew to California. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders provided no details of his call but said the president has confidence in the CIA. Before his call on Air Force One, Trump told reporters that when it came to the crown prince, 'as of this moment we were told that he did not play a role. We're going to have to find out what they have to say.' That echoed remarks by national security adviser John Bolton, who said earlier this week that people who have listened to an audio recording of the killing do not think it implicates the crown prince. Also before leaving on his trip, Trump said Saudi Arabia was 'a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development.' 'I have to take a lot of things into consideration' when deciding what measures to take against the kingdom, he said. Trump has called the killing a botched operation that was carried out very poorly and has said 'the cover-up was one of the worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups.' But he has resisted calls to cut off arms sales to the kingdom and has been reluctant to antagonize the Saudi rulers. Trump considers the Saudis vital allies in his Mideast agenda. But members of Congress are pushing Trump for a tougher response to the killing. The administration this past week penalized 17 Saudi officials for their alleged role in the killing, but American lawmakers have called on the administration to curtail arms sales to Saudi Arabia or take other harsher punitive measures. Vice President Mike Pence told reporters traveling with him Saturday for a summit of Pacific Rim nations in Papua, New Guinea, that the 'murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity. It was also an affront to a free and independent press, and the United States is determined to hold all of those accountable who are responsible for that murder.' Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, often criticized the royal family. Turkish and Saudi authorities say he was killed inside the consulate by a team from the kingdom after he went there to get marriage documents.
  • Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida's young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor's office, ended his hard-fought campaign Saturday as the state's first black nominee for the post. Gillum, whose refrain had been 'bring it home' as he recounted stories of growing up poor in the state, concluded his campaign with a Facebook video he recorded alongside his wife in a park. In his four-minute plus video, Gillum congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis and also vowed to remain politically active even though his term as mayor of the Florida capital of Tallahassee ends next week. Of his future plans, Gillum said: 'stay tuned.' Gillum, just 39 years old, earned national attention and financial backing from well-known liberal billionaires with his first bid for statewide office. He ran on a liberal platform that included expanding Medicaid and raising taxes to spend more on education even though both ideas would have been hard to pass through the GOP-controlled Legislature. His final act as a candidate was less confrontational than that of another prominent African-American candidate in this year's midterm elections: Stacy Abrams in neighboring Georgia ended her campaign for governor on Friday, ceding to a Republican with an unapologetically indignant tone establishing herself as a leading voting rights advocate. 'This has been the journey of our lives,' said Gillum, appearing in the video with his wife, R. Jai Gillum. 'Although nobody wanted to be governor more than me that this was not just about an election cycle. This was about creating the type of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up again in our government, in our state, and in our communities. We know that this fight continues.' Gillum's concession came hours before Florida's counties must turn in their official results at noon Sunday after tense days of recounting ballots in both the gubernatorial and a U.S. Senate contest — two nationally watched midterm elections that have keep the presidential swing state on edge since Election Day. Gillum's brief remarks came hours after President Donald Trump, who at one point in the campaign had sharply criticized Gillum, praised him for running a tough race. 'He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future - a force to reckon with!' said Trump in a Twitter post. Gillum had initially conceded to DeSantis on election night, but he retracted it as the razor-thin margin between the two candidates narrowed. But he still trailed DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes following a legally required machine recount. Counties are wrapping up a hand recount this weekend and must submit their official results by noon Sunday. Gillum's concession assures Florida Republicans will retain their grasp on the governor's office since Jeb Bush's term starting in 1999. DeSantis, 40, was considered an underdog before Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis in December, a month before DeSantis even entered the race. Trump campaigned to help push DeSantis to a primary victory in August and visited Florida two more times to help the Republican in the final days of the election. DeSantis's campaign did not respond to Gillum's remarks, pointing instead to a statement the former congressman put out two days ago. 'Campaigns are meant to be vigorously debated contests of ideas and competing visions for the future,' DeSantis said. 'The campaign for governor achieved this objective as evidenced by historic voter turnout from people of all parties across our state. But campaigns of ideas must give way to governing and bringing people together to secure Florida's future. With the campaign now over, that's where all of my focus will be.' DeSantis stumbled out of the gate after winning the Aug. 28 primary, telling Fox News that voters shouldn't 'monkey this up' by electing Gillum. Despite implications that DeSantis is racially insensitive — an idea he angrily disputed during a debate — he is poised to officially win the state that Trump carried in 2016. He has promised to keep intact many of the same policies on education and health care that have been in place by previous Republican governors. DeSantis ran as a political outsider despite serving three terms in Congress and running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 before dropping out of the race when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election. DeSantis is a former Navy officer who graduated from Yale University before getting his law degree at Harvard University. He gained name recognition during the primary with more than 100 appearances on Fox News, often to defend the president. DeSantis ran a largely negative campaign, calling Gillum a socialist and saying he oversaw one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden cities in the state. Trump joined in on the criticism, tweeting similar messages. The corruption allegation stemmed from a continuing FBI investigation into City Hall that Gillum has said he is not a target of and is cooperating with; the charge that Tallahassee had the state's highest crime rate was false. Gillum portrayed DeSantis as racially divisive, repeatedly pointing out his 'monkey this up' comment. 'I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist,' Gillum said previously. Gillum's announcement came as most Florida counties were winding down their hand recount in the state's contentious U.S. Senate race. The smattering of results publicly posted Saturday showed that Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was only gaining a few hundred votes in his bitter contest with outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican. State officials ordered a manual recount earlier in the week after a legally required machine recount showed that Scott led incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race. Nelson and Democrats filed several lawsuits following the close election, challenging everything from the state's signature mismatch law to deadlines for mail-in ballots. If the 76-year-old Nelson loses, it would likely spell an end to a lengthy political career that stretches back four decades. Nelson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. A win for Scott would mark his third victory since the multimillionaire businessman launched his political career in 2010. In each race, Scott has barely edged his Democratic opponent. State law requires a machine recount in races where the margin is 0.5 percentage points or less. Once that recount was complete, if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or less, a hand recount is ordered. Local canvassing boards only review ballots where a vote was not recorded by voting machines.
  • President Donald Trump acknowledged Californians suffering from twin tragedies, walking through the ashes of a mobile home and RV park in a small northern town all-but-destroyed by deadly wildfires and privately consoling people grieving after a mass shooting at a popular college bar outside Los Angeles. 'This has been a tough day when you look at all of the death from one place to the next,' Trump said Saturday before flying back to Washington. Trump's visits to areas of Northern and Southern California in the aftermath of unprecedented wildfires that have killed more than 70 people gave him what he sought in flying coast to coast and back in a single day — a grasp of the desolation in the heart of California's killer wildfires. 'We've never seen anything like this in California, we've never seen anything like this yet. It's like total devastation,' Trump said as he stood amid the ruins of Paradise, burned to the ground by a wildfire the president called 'this monster.' Before returning to Washington, Trump met briefly at an airport hangar with families and first responders touched by the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks more than a week ago, which left 12 dead in what Trump called 'a horrible, horrible event.' Reporters and photographers were not allowed to accompany the president to the session, which Trump later described as emotional. 'What can you say other than it's so sad to see. These are great people. Great families, torn apart,' he told reporters. 'We just hugged them and we kissed them — and everybody. And it was very warm.' He added: 'It was tragic and yet, in one way, it was a very beautiful moment.' Trump had made only one previous trip as president to California, a deeply Democratic and liberal state that he has blamed for a pair of overheated crises, illegal immigration and voter fraud. He also has been at odds with the state's Democratic-led government, but differences were generally put aside as Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom joined Trump in surveying the wildfire damage. 'We're going to have to work quickly,' Trump said near the crumpled foundations of Paradise homes and twisted steel of melted cars. 'Hopefully this is going to be the last of these because this was a really, really bad one.' In a nod to his belief — not shared by all forest scientists — that improved forest management practices will diminish future risks, Trump added: 'I think everybody's seen the light and I don't think we'll have this again to this extent.' With that bold and perhaps unlikely prediction, Trump evoked his initial tweeted reaction to the fire, the worst in the state's history, in which he seemed to blame local officials and threatened to take away federal funding. Hours later and hundreds of miles to the south, Trump found similar signs of devastation in the seaside conclave of Malibu, one of the areas of Southern California ravaged by wildfires that have killed at least three. Palm trees stood scorched and some homes were burned to the ground on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. At least 71 people have died across Northern California, and authorities are trying to locate more than 1,000 people, though not all are believed missing. More than 5,500 fire personnel were battling the blaze that covered 228 square miles (590 square kilometers) and was about 50 percent contained, officials said. When asked in Paradise if seeing the historic devastation, which stretched for miles and left neighborhoods destroyed and fields scorched, altered his opinion on climate change, Trump answered, 'No.' The president has long voiced skepticism about man's impact on the climate and has been reluctant to assign blame to a warming earth for the increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Wearing a camouflage 'USA' hat, Trump gazed solemnly at the devastation in Paradise. Several burned-out buses and cars were nearby. Trees were burned, their branches bare and twisted. Homes were totally gone; some foundations remained, as did a chimney and, in front of one house, a Mickey Mouse lawn ornament. The fire was reported to have moved through the area at 80 mph. 'It's going to work out well, but right now we want to take care of the people that are so badly hurt,' Trump said while visiting what remained of the Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park. He noted 'there are areas you can't even get to them yet' and the sheer number of people unaccounted for. 'I think people have to see this really to understand it,' Trump said. The president later toured an operation center, met with response commanders and praised the work of firefighters, law enforcement and representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Trump took a helicopter tour en route to Chico before he toured Paradise. A full cover of haze and the smell of smoke greeted the president upon his arrival at Beale Air Force Base near Sacramento. 'They're out there fighting and they're fighting like hell,' Trump said of the first responders. He pledged that Washington would do its part by coming to the Golden State's aid and urged the House's Republican leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, a Trump ally and frequent White House visitor, to 'come to the office' to help secure the needed funding. Trump long has struggled to convey empathy to victims of national disasters and tragedies. His first reaction to the fires came in a tweet last week that drew criticism as unnecessarily critical and tone-deaf given the devastation: 'There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests.' After the negative reaction to that response, Trump shifted gears, expressing words of encouragement to first responders and those of sympathy for hit victims. Nature and humans share blame for the wildfires, but fire scientists are divided as to whether forest management played a major role. Nature provides the dangerous winds that have whipped the fires, the state has been in a drought and human-caused climate change over the long haul is killing and drying the shrubs and trees that provide the fuel. When Trump was asked during an interview set to air on 'Fox News Sunday' whether climate change played a role in the number of serious fires, he said 'maybe it contributes a little bit. The big problem we have is management.' In Northern California, Trump continued to show skepticism about the impact of climate change on wildfires. His grasp of forests was shaky at times, at one point, invoking fire prevention efforts in Finland — it has a very different climate than California — as an example for the Golden State to follow. Asked if he thought climate change played a role in the fires, Brown responded: 'Yes. Yes. And we'll let science determine this over a longer period of time.' A reporter asked if climate change was discussed with the president, but Trump jumped in to say, 'We didn't discuss it.' A reporter then said, 'Well, you obviously disagree on this issue.' Trump answered, in part: 'Maybe not as different as people think. Is it happening? Things are changing. And I think most importantly we're doing things about. We're gonna make it better. We're going to make it a lot better. And it's gonna happen as quickly as it can possibly happen.' Brown and Newsom said they welcomed the president's visit, with Brown suggesting they set aside political differences since it 'now is a time to pull together for the people of California.' A fierce advocate of addressing climate change, the governor pointed to several causes and said they need to deal with them. 'If you really look at the facts, from a really open point of view, there are a lot of elements to be considered,' Brown said. 'The president came, he saw and I'm looking forward over the next months and beyond to really understand this threat of fire, the whole matter of drought and all the rest of it. It's not one thing, it's a lot of things and I think that if we just open our minds and look at things, we'll get more stuff done.' ___ Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire
  • Democrat Gil Cisneros captured a Republican-held U.S. House seat in Southern California on Saturday, capping a Democratic rout in which the party picked up six congressional seats in the state. In what had been the last undecided House contest in California, Cisneros beat Republican Young Kim for the state's 39th District seat. The Cisneros victory cements a stunning political realignment that will leave a vast stretch of the Los Angeles metropolitan area under Democratic control in the House. With Kim's defeat, four Republican-held House districts all or partly in Orange County, California, a one-time nationally known GOP stronghold southeast of Los Angeles, will have shifted in one election to the Democratic column. The change means that the county — Richard Nixon's birthplace and site of his presidential library — will only have Democrats representing its residents in Washington next year. Democrats also recently picked up the last Republican-held House seat anchored in Los Angeles County, when Democrat Katie Hill ousted Republican Rep. Steve Knight. With other gains — Republicans also lost a seat in the agricultural Central Valley — Democrats will hold a 45-8 edge in California U.S. House seats next year. The district was one of seven targeted by Democrats across California after Hillary Clinton carried them in the 2016 presidential election. Cisneros, 47, a $266 million lottery jackpot winner, had been locked in a close race with Kim in a district that has grown increasingly diverse. It's about equally divided between Republicans, Democrats and independents, as it is with Asians, Hispanics and whites. Kim, 55, a former state legislator, worked for years for retiring Republican Rep. Ed Royce, who is vacating the seat and had endorsed her. In a state where President Donald Trump is unpopular, Kim sought to create distance with the White House on trade and health care. Her immigrant background — and gender — made her stand out in a political party whose leaders in Washington are mostly older white men. 'I'm a different kind of candidate,' she had said. It wasn't enough. Democratic ads depicted her as a Trump underling, eager to carry out his agenda. Cisneros, a first-time candidate, described his interest in Congress as an extension of his time in the military — he said it was about public service. He runs a charitable foundation with his wife. On health care, he talked about his mother who went without insurance for 16 years. 'That should just not happen in this country,' he had said. While the election delivered mixed results around the U.S., it affirmed California's reputation as a Democratic fortress. Democrats are on track to hold every statewide office — again. The party holds a supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature — and a 3.7-million advantage in voter registration. There wasn't even a Republican on the ballot for U.S. Senate.
  • Former President Barack Obama practically brought the house down at Michelle Obama's book show in Washington. The former first lady is currently touring the country promoting her memoir, 'Becoming,' and participated in a conversation Saturday night moderated by her longtime friend and former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. When the conversation shifted toward Mrs. Obama's feelings about her husband, Jarrett announced a 'special guest' and Barack Obama came on stage carrying a bouquet of pink roses for his wife. The crowd at Capital One Arena leapt to its feet. Jarrett asked him what about Michelle Obama captured his heart when they met at a Chicago law firm where she was his mentor. Barack Obama said she was 'one of a kind,' strong and honest, and someone he knew he could always count on. He also said he knew that if she was the mother of his children their offspring would be 'extraordinary.
  • An acrimonious meeting of world leaders in Papua New Guinea failed to agree Sunday on a final communique, highlighting widening divisions between global powers China and the U.S. The 21 nations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Port Moresby struggled to bridge differences on the role of the World Trade Organization, which governs international trade, officials said. A statement was to be issued instead by the meeting's chair, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill. 'The entire world is worried' about tensions between China and the U.S., O'Neill told a mob of reporters that surrounded him after he confirmed there was no communique from leaders. It was the first time leaders had failed to agree on a declaration in 29 years of the Pacific Rim summits that involve countries representing 60 percent of the world economy. Draft versions of the communique seen by The Associated Press showed the U.S wanted strong language against unfair trade practices that it accuses China of. China, meanwhile, wanted a reaffirmation of opposition to protectionism and unilateralism that it says the U.S. is engaging in. The U.S. has imposed additional tariffs of $250 billion on Chinese goods this year and Beijing has retaliated with its own tariffs on American exports. 'I don't think it will come as a huge surprise that there are differing visions' on trade, said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 'Those prevented there from being a full consensus on the communique.' The two-day summit was punctuated by acrimony and also underlined a rising rivalry between China and the West for influence in the usually neglected South Pacific, where Beijing has been wooing impoverished island states with aid and loans. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping traded barbs in speeches on Saturday. Pence professed respect for Xi and China but also harshly criticized the world's No. 2 economy for intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and unfair trading practices. He accused China of luring developing nations into a debt trap through the loans it offers for infrastructure. The world, according to Xi's speech, is facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation as protectionism and unilateralism grows. He said the rules of global institutions set up after World War II such as the World Trade Organization should not be bent for selfish agendas. Pence told reporters that during the weekend he had two 'candid' conversations with Xi, who is expected to meet President Donald Trump at a Group of 20 summit at the end of this month in Argentina. 'There are differences today,' Pence said. 'They begin with trade practices, with tariffs and quotas, forced technology transfers, the theft of intellectual property. It goes beyond that to freedom of navigation in the seas, concerns about human rights.' The U.S. is interested in a better relationship 'but there has to be change' from China's side, Pence said he told Xi, who responded that dialogue is important. China's foreign ministry rejected the U.S. criticism that it was leading other developing nations into debt bondage. 'The assistance provided by China has been warmly welcomed by our partners in this region and beyond,' Wang Xiaolong, a foreign ministry official, told a news conference. 'No country either in this region or in other regions has fallen into a so called debt trap because of its cooperation with China. Give me one example,' he said. China is a relative newcomer to providing aid, and its loan-heavy, no-strings attached approach has unsettled Western nations that have been the mainstay donors to developing nations and often use aid to nudge nations towards reforms. In Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea's capital, the impact of China's aid and loans is highly visible. But the U.S. and allies are countering with efforts to finance infrastructure in Papua New Guinea and other island states. The U.S. has also said it will be involved in ally Australia's plan to develop a naval base with Papua New Guinea. On Sunday, the U.S., New Zealand, Japan and Australia said they'd work with Papua New Guinea's government to bring electricity to 70 percent of its people by 2030. Less than 20 percent have a reliable electricity supply. 'The commitment of the United States of America to this region of the world has never been stronger,' Pence said at a signing ceremony. A separate statement from his office said other countries are welcome to join the electrification initiative provided they support the U.S. vision of a free and open Pacific. China, meanwhile, has promised $4 billion of finance to build the the first national road network in Papua New Guinea, among the least urbanized countries in the world.
  • Democrat Gil Cisneros captured a Republican-held U.S. House seat in Southern California on Saturday, capping a Democratic rout in which the party picked up six congressional seats in the state. In what had been the last undecided House contest in California, Cisneros beat Republican Young Kim for the state's 39th District seat. The Cisneros victory cements a stunning political realignment that will leave a vast stretch of the Los Angeles metropolitan area under Democratic control in the House. With Kim's defeat, four Republican-held House districts all or partly in Orange County, California, a one-time nationally known GOP stronghold southeast of Los Angeles, will have shifted in one election to the Democratic column. The change means that the county — Richard Nixon's birthplace and site of his presidential library — will only have Democrats representing its residents in Washington next year. Democrats also recently picked up the last Republican-held House seat anchored in Los Angeles County, when Democrat Katie Hill ousted Republican Rep. Steve Knight. With other gains — Republicans also lost a seat in the agricultural Central Valley — Democrats will hold a 45-8 edge in California U.S. House seats next year. The district was one of seven targeted by Democrats across California after Hillary Clinton carried them in the 2016 presidential election. Cisneros, 47, a $266 million lottery jackpot winner, had been locked in a close race with Kim in a district that has grown increasingly diverse. It's about equally divided between Republicans, Democrats and independents, as it is with Asians, Hispanics and whites. Kim, 55, a former state legislator, worked for years for retiring Republican Rep. Ed Royce, who is vacating the seat and had endorsed her. In a state where President Donald Trump is unpopular, Kim sought to create distance with the White House on trade and health care. Her immigrant background — and gender — made her stand out in a political party whose leaders in Washington are mostly older white men. 'I'm a different kind of candidate,' she had said. It wasn't enough. Democratic ads depicted her as a Trump underling, eager to carry out his agenda. Cisneros, a first-time candidate, described his interest in Congress as an extension of his time in the military — he said it was about public service. He runs a charitable foundation with his wife. On health care, he talked about his mother who went without insurance for 16 years. 'That should just not happen in this country,' he had said. While the election delivered mixed results around the U.S., it affirmed California's reputation as a Democratic fortress. Democrats are on track to hold every statewide office — again. The party holds a supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature — and a 3.7-million advantage in voter registration. There wasn't even a Republican on the ballot for U.S. Senate.
  • The Latest on Florida's U.S. Senate and gubernatorial recounts (all times local): 7:10 p.m. The campaign of Republican Ron DeSantis says it has no immediate response to Democrat Andrew Gillum's concession in the Florida governor's race but referred back to a statement Thursday in which DeSantis declared the contest 'over.' The earlier statement said the machine recount from the governor's race was 'clear and unambiguous' just as it was on Election Night and that 'with the campaign now over,' DeSantis would be focusing to govern. In that statement, DeSantis also said he was humbled by the support he received and called it a 'great honor the people of Florida have shown me as I prepare to serve as your next governor.' Gillum posted a live video on Facebook on Saturday afternoon congratulating DeSantis. Gillum had conceded to DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed. The race went to a legally required recount, but after an initial machine recount, DeSantis still led Gillum by more than 30,000 votes. ___ 6 p.m. Democrat Andrew Gillum says in ending his bid for Florida governor that the race 'has been the journey of our lives' for the candidate and his wife R. Jai. Gillum posted a live video on Facebook on Saturday afternoon congratulating DeSantis. Gillum had conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed. The race went to a legally required recount, but after an initial machine recount DeSantis still led Gillum by more than 30,000 votes. In a statement from his campaign late Saturday, Gillum recalled how he had vowed earlier to 'fight until the last vote is counted.' He then adds that process has been gone its course and he wishes to congratulate DeSantis 'on becoming the governor of the great state of Florida.' Adds Gillum, 'This fight for Florida continues and I just wanted to thank you all for being along with us for at least this part of the journey, but the journey continues.' ___ 5:15 p.m. Democrat Andrew Gillum says he is ending his hard-fought race for Florida governor and has congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis. Gillum posted a live video on Facebook on Saturday afternoon in which he congratulated DeSantis. Gillum had conceded to DeSantis on election night, but retracted it after the margin between the two candidates narrowed. The race went to a legally required recount, but after an initial machine recount DeSantis still led Gillum by more than 30,000 votes. Gillum, who is Tallahassee's mayor, isn't saying what he plans to do next. 'Stay tuned,' he said in his brief remarks. Nonetheless, Gillum says he will remain politically active, adding 'the fight for Florida continues.' Gillum's announcement came hours after President Donald Trump said on Twitter that Gillum will be a 'strong Democrat warrior' and a 'force to reckon with.' There was no immediate response from DeSantis or his campaign. ___ 2:55 p.m. A South Florida elections official says that her office has misplaced more than 2,000 ballots. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel posted video Saturday of Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes saying that 2,040 ballots had been 'misfiled.' Snipes did insist that the ballots were still in the elections building. Snipes has already been under fire for the way her office has handled the election and recount. Counties across the state are in the middle of a hand recount for two statewide races including the race for U.S. Senate. State officials ordered a manual recount on Thursday after a machine recount showed that Republican Gov. Rick Scott led incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race. __ 11:50 a.m. Officials say most of Florida's counties have finished their hand recount in the state's contentious U.S. Senate races. State officials ordered a manual recount on Thursday after a machine recount showed that Republican Gov. Rick Scott led incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race. At least 44 out of 67 counties have finished their hand recount in the Senate race. Many counties were spending Saturday doing a hand recount in another statewide race. Counties have until noon on Sunday to report official results to the Department of State. Several counties have posted hand recount updates on their websites. The totals for Nelson and Scott have changed slightly, but not significantly.
  • Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida's young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor's office, ended his hard-fought campaign Saturday as the state's first black nominee for the post. Gillum, whose refrain had been 'bring it home' as he recounted stories of growing up poor in the state, concluded his campaign with a Facebook video he recorded alongside his wife in a park. In his four-minute plus video , Gillum congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis and also vowed to remain politically active even though his term as mayor of the Florida capital of Tallahassee ends next week. Of his future plans, Gillum said: 'stay tuned.' Gillum, just 39 years old, earned national attention and financial backing from well-known liberal billionaires with his first bid for statewide office. He ran on a liberal platform that included expanding Medicaid and raising taxes to spend more on education even though both ideas would have been hard to pass through the GOP-controlled Legislature. His final act as a candidate was less confrontational than that of another prominent African-American candidate in this year's midterm elections: Stacy Abrams in neighboring Georgia ended her campaign for governor on Friday, ceding to a Republican with an unapologetically indignant tone establishing herself as a leading voting rights advocate. 'This has been the journey of our lives,' said Gillum, appearing in the video with his wife, R. Jai Gillum. 'Although nobody wanted to be governor more than me that this was not just about an election cycle. This was about creating the type of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up again in our government, in our state, and in our communities. We know that this fight continues.' Gillum's concession came hours before Florida's counties must turn in their official results at noon Sunday after tense days of recounting ballots in both the gubernatorial and a U.S. Senate contest — two nationally watched midterm elections that have keep the presidential swing state on edge since Election Day. Gillum's brief remarks came hours after President Donald Trump, who at one point in the campaign had sharply criticized Gillum, praised him for running a tough race. 'He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future - a force to reckon with!' said Trump in a Twitter post. Gillum had initially conceded to DeSantis on election night, but he retracted it as the razor-thin margin between the two candidates narrowed. But he still trailed DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes following a legally required machine recount. Counties are wrapping up a hand recount this weekend and must submit their official results by noon Sunday. Gillum's concession assures Florida Republicans will retain their grasp on the governor's office since Jeb Bush's term starting in 1999. DeSantis, 40, was considered an underdog before Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis in December, a month before DeSantis even entered the race. Trump campaigned to help push DeSantis to a primary victory in August and visited Florida two more times to help the Republican in the final days of the election. DeSantis's campaign did not respond to Gillum's remarks, pointing instead to a statement the former congressman put out two days ago. 'Campaigns are meant to be vigorously debated contests of ideas and competing visions for the future,' DeSantis said. 'The campaign for governor achieved this objective as evidenced by historic voter turnout from people of all parties across our state. But campaigns of ideas must give way to governing and bringing people together to secure Florida's future. With the campaign now over, that's where all of my focus will be.' DeSantis stumbled out of the gate after winning the Aug. 28 primary, telling Fox News that voters shouldn't 'monkey this up' by electing Gillum. Despite implications that DeSantis is racially insensitive — an idea he angrily disputed during a debate — he is poised to officially win the state that Trump carried in 2016. He has promised to keep intact many of the same policies on education and health care that have been in place by previous Republican governors. DeSantis ran as a political outsider despite serving three terms in Congress and running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 before dropping out of the race when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election. DeSantis is a former Navy officer who graduated from Yale University before getting his law degree at Harvard University. He gained name recognition during the primary with more than 100 appearances on Fox News, often to defend the president. DeSantis ran a largely negative campaign, calling Gillum a socialist and saying he oversaw one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden cities in the state. Trump joined in on the criticism, tweeting similar messages. The corruption allegation stemmed from a continuing FBI investigation into City Hall that Gillum has said he is not a target of and is cooperating with; the charge that Tallahassee had the state's highest crime rate was false. Gillum portrayed DeSantis as racially divisive, repeatedly pointing out his 'monkey this up' comment. 'I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist,' Gillum said previously. Gillum's announcement came as most Florida counties were winding down their hand recount in the state's contentious U.S. Senate race. The smattering of results publicly posted Saturday showed that Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was only gaining a few hundred votes in his bitter contest with outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican. State officials ordered a manual recount earlier in the week after a legally required machine recount showed that Scott led incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race. Nelson and Democrats filed several lawsuits following the close election, challenging everything from the state's signature mismatch law to deadlines for mail-in ballots. If the 76-year-old Nelson loses, it would likely spell an end to a lengthy political career that stretches back four decades. Nelson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. A win for Scott would mark his third victory since the multimillionaire businessman launched his political career in 2010. In each race, Scott has barely edged his Democratic opponent. State law requires a machine recount in races where the margin is 0.5 percentage points or less. Once that recount was complete, if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or less, a hand recount is ordered. Local canvassing boards only review ballots where a vote was not recorded by voting machines.

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  • Over a week after being publicly ridiculed for losing her seat in Congress by President Donald Trump, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) on Friday night was on the verge of pulling off a stunning comeback in her re-election bid, as the continued counting of ballots in her Utah district finally pushed her into the lead by a slender 419 votes. “Hard to see how she relinquishes that now,” said Dave Wasserman, an elections expert who has been forecasting a possible comeback by Love for several days. Still being tabulated are thousands of provisional ballots in Utah and Salt Lake counties, which take time to verify, as Utah and a number of other states slowly push their way through the votes of the November mid-term elections. The jump into first place for Love came as a judge tossed out a lawsuit that she filed – which oddly would have stopped vote counting in Salt Lake County – a move that her opponent said ‘smacks of desperation.’ “Utah voters deserve better than this,” said Democrat Ben McAdams. With the Utah County numbers posting, Rep. Mia Love has taken a 419-vote lead over Ben McAdams. #utpol — #VoteGehrke (@RobertGehrke) November 16, 2018 But the McAdams lead over Love has slowly withered away in recent days, leaving Love favored by many to win re-election. A comeback victory would be filled with irony, especially after the mocking ridicule heaped upon Love and a number of other House Republicans by President Donald Trump, who said the day after the elections that Love and others were defeated because they refused to embrace him. “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” the President said, almost seeming to enjoy the outcome. “Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.” President Trump lists Republicans who didn't embrace him and lost. 'They did very poorly. I'm not sure that I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it.' 'Mia Love gave me no love and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.' pic.twitter.com/ZV7EKcWjLX — CSPAN (@cspan) November 7, 2018 Two weekends after the elections, a small number of races remained undecided – with some that could stretch until after Thanksgiving: FLORIDA SENATE – With a manual recount finishing up, and Florida’s 67 counties waiting through Saturday to deal with any other stray ballots, Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) seems headed for victory over Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). This will give the GOP a big victory, and a 2 seat margin in the U.S. Senate. From a statistical/electoral/historical perspective, Scott's defeat of Nelson is pretty much unmatched in recent political history. Beating a swing state opposition party senator without a hint of scandal in a midterm… It's quite impressive. — (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) November 17, 2018 CALIFORNIA 39 – This is the first of six (or maybe seven) undecided House races. After holding the lead for days, Republican Young Kim has now been swamped by late votes coming from both Orange and Los Angeles counties, and now trails Democrat Gil Cisneros by over 3,000 votes. This should complete what is a total GOP wipeout in Orange County, as Democrats would gain six GOP seats in the Golden State. Congressional districts in Orange County, Calif. in 2016 and in 2018 pic.twitter.com/TWRQ1pPzS4 — Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) November 16, 2018 CALIFORNIA 21 – This seat has already been called by the AP and other news organizations for the Republicans, but as the votes keep coming in, Rep. David Valadao’s lead keeps shrinking, and some wonder if he can hold on. This might be a long shot, but it bears watching. It’s hard to fathom that Democrats could gain a seventh seat in California. We've been watching CA-21 like a hawk for more than a week now, and the chance for Democrat T J Cox to catch up to Valadao has gone from remote but intriguingly possibile to plausible. We're moving this one to our uncalled races tab. https://t.co/FeGWU7SsoE — Daniel Donner (@donnermaps) November 17, 2018 UTAH 4 – As mentioned above, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) now has the lead. This would be a big save for Republicans, who have had very little to cheer about in the past 10 days since the elections. In fact, there has been an almost daily drumbeat of Democratic victories each night since then, as they edge closer to a possible pickup of almost 40 House seats, their largest gains since 1974 after Watergate. BREAKING: As expected, #UT04 GOP Rep. Mia Love (R) has pulled into the lead over Ben McAdams (D) by 419 votes. Hard to see how she relinquishes it now. https://t.co/nfsptUdHiN — Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 16, 2018 NEW YORK 22 – This seat can probably be called for the Democrats by the AP and other organizations, as absentee ballot counts on Friday went clearly for Democrat Anthony Brindisi, leaving Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) behind by over 3,000 votes in this northern New York district. This is not a spot where the GOP should have lost. @Redistrict Brindisi lead in NY22 has surged to more 3000 votes! I see no path to victory for Tenney. She's falling further behind as more ballots are counted, that's a losing combination, a larger deficit, and fewer votes left to count. https://t.co/ae1Ny8Osws — Kevin O'Connell (@Kevtoco) November 17, 2018 NEW YORK 27 – Indicted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) still leads by over 1,000 votes in this western New York district, with one big cache of absentee ballots and provisionals to count next Tuesday around Buffalo. Democrat Nate McMurray has been winning a majority of absentee ballots in recent days in counties where he lost the Election Day vote, making some wonder if he has a chance to win this race at the last minute next week. This is the equivalent of betting a horse that’s maybe 9-1. It might win. Nate McMurray continues to gain ground in counties that he lost to Rep. Chris Collins in. Biggest test will be Tuesday when the Erie County absentee and affidavit votes will be counted. https://t.co/f5nincKkZx — WGRZ (@WGRZ) November 16, 2018 GEORGIA 7 – While the race for Governor is over, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) has a 419 vote edge in this suburban Atlanta district, with all of the votes counted. Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux announced on Friday afternoon that she would ask for a recount. While a recount doesn’t usually switch the outcome, we have certainly seen in Florida and other states in recent days where there are tabulation errors uncovered – so you can’t say this is in the bag for the GOP – but they are favored. News: We will file for a recount of the 7th district race. With a margin of only 419 votes (0.14%), we want to make sure every vote was counted correctly & fairly. It is crucial that every eligible vote is counted & every voice is heard. #GA07 #GAPol — Carolyn Bourdeaux (@Carolyn4GA7) November 16, 2018 TEXAS 23 – Even though she’s behind by just under 1,000 votes, Cindy Ortiz Jones spent the week in Washington going through freshman orientation, but that may not work out for the Texas Democrat, as Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) seems like he’s in good position in this race, leading by 0.5 percent. Hurd’s people on Friday were declaring victory, but it wasn’t clear if Jones would press for any kind of vote review. Republicans are favored to hold on to this border district, but it was much closer than anyone had predicted. Bexar County has finished counting, leaving only six votes left to count (Kinney & Upton). @WillHurd has won by 928 votes, this race is over #TX23 — Connor Pfeiffer (@ConnorPfeiffer) November 16, 2018 Democrats right now have a net gain of 36 seats – they should win at least two of the undecided races left, and have an outside chance at others. Right now, the new Congress stands at 231 Democrats to 198 Republicans, with six seats undecided. One final note – this extended time of vote counting is totally normal. Reporters follow it every two years, but many partisans think there is something amiss.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says an active investigation is underway after their officers were involved in a shooting in the Paxon area on the Westside.  The Director of Investigations and Homeland Security with JSO, Ron Lendvay, says the shooting stemmed from a traffic violation at around 4:00 PM Friday.  'A field training officer and his recruit were working in the area of St. Clair and Detroit Street, when they observed a traffic violator. The violator was observed running a stop sign and increasing his speed. The officers activated their overhead emergency lights and noted that the passenger side kept opening and closing as the vehicle continued on,' explains Lendvay.  At some point, the officers say the vehicle stopped to let someone out of the passenger side on Melson Avenue. JSO says that person was seen by the officers with a pistol in his hand.  Officers stopped to chase that man and the field training officer was able to catch up to him. At some point during their interaction, police say the officer fired several shots at him.  The suspect was hit by the gunfire, taken into custody, and then to the hospital, where police say he underwent surgery. He's now described as being in critical condition, but currently stable at the hospital.  As this chase and shooting was occurring, Lendvay says the original driver abandoned the vehicle nearby and fled on foot as did another passenger. At this time, neither of those individuals have been found.  Lendvay says several officers involved in different portions of this incident were wearing body cameras. That video is still in the process of being collected and will be reviewed.  At this time, police say it's not clear if the suspect fired any shots or what exactly occurred during the interaction with the officer.  The sheriff's office plans to release further information on this shooting on Saturday. WATCH FULL BRIEFING FROM JACKSONVILLE SHERIFF’S OFFICE:
  • Gas prices are down across the country right now, which is good news if you plan on driving to visit friends or family for Thanksgiving. Depending on which way you are going, you might want to fill up before you leave, says Patrick DeHaan, Head of Gas and Petroleum Analysis at Gas Buddy.  'Generally, if you are heading out of the state, wait until you cross out of Florida to fill up,' he says.  But if you are heading south to places like Miami or the Florida Keys, you'll want to get your gas before you get too far south, because that's where the prices are the highest.  Although prices are down right now across Florida, states like Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama are generally going to be cheaper to top off your tank, DeHaan says.  GasBuddy.com is a website with a free app that directs you to the most affordable gas stations in your area. But DeHaan says as a general rule in the Southeast, the farther south you go the higher the gas prices get.  DeHaan says in Georgia into the Carolinas it can be anywhere from 10 to 15 cents cheaper per gallon than Florida. Gas Buddy can help you find the cheapest prices no matter where you go.
  • A Middleburg man has been found guilty of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of a crash involving injury, after an incident involving his ex-girlfriend. The State Attorney's Office says Larry Jamison now faces a maximum of 15 years in Florida State Prison, after they say surveillance video showed the entire incident.  According to investigators, Jamison drove his car into his ex-girlfriend as she was walking to church back in February. Investigators say just after hitting her, he got out of his car and yelled at her, and then drove off.  He was then later found by police in the church and acting as if the incident hadn't happened.   Jamison's sentencing hearing has been set for the week of December 3rd.
  • A former Alabama nurse accused of poisoning her private investigator husband had a preliminary hearing Thursday, at which time the shocking details of the crime were revealed for the first time. Marjorie Nicole “Nikki” Cappello, 32, of Huntsville, is charged with murder in the September death of her husband, New York native Jim Cappello Jr. AL.com reported that Jim Cappello, who was reported missing by his wife, was found dead at the couple’s south Huntsville home Sept. 22.  The registered nurse surrendered her license six days later, Alabama Board of Nursing records show.  Nikki Cappello, who jail records show is out on $100,000 bond, waived her right to appear at the preliminary hearing, but members of Jim Cappello’s family were in the courtroom as prosecutors and investigators laid out their case.  >> Read more trending news “Honestly, the family gets a lot of respect from me,” Assistant Madison County District Attorney Tim Douthit told WAFF 48 News. “I don't know if I would be able to sit there and listen to all of that and keep a straight face the way that they did. The evidence that came out today was pretty clear and horrendous.” Lead investigator Mike DeNoon testified Thursday that the investigation showed Jim Cappello, 37, had become suspicious that his wife was abusing narcotics. According to WAFF, he had begun gathering evidence against her, so he could file for divorce and obtain custody of their 4-year-old daughter, Ryleigh. According to his LinkedIn profile, Jim Cappello worked for Posey Investigations for several years before opening his own business, Cappello Investigative Agency, in 2012. DeNoon testified that Nikki Cappello reported her husband missing Sept. 21. The detective said that Jim Cappello’s co-workers had become concerned because he had not shown up for work. When they went to the couple’s home, however, Nikki Cappello would not let them inside, DeNoon said. Jim Cappello’s car was parked outside the house. According to WAFF, DeNoon testified that Nikki Cappello called a friend, Crystal Anderson, the following day and admitted she had killed her husband with insulin. Anderson told investigators that her friend asked her to come and help her get rid of the body. DeNoon said that Nikki Cappello put Anderson on hold for a few moments before returning to the line and telling her not to worry, that another friend was on the way to help her.  A concerned Anderson called police, WAFF reported. Police officials are trying to determine who the other friend was, the news station said.   A foul odor and a freshly dug grave Patrol officers were dispatched to the Cappello home, where one officer went to the front door and a second went around back, WAFF said. DeNoon testified that the officer at the front door smelled the odor of a dead body when Nikki Cappello answered the door. The officer around back found what appeared to be a freshly dug grave, DeNoon testified. The officers detained Nikki Cappello on the front porch and called detectives in.  WAFF reported that DeNoon, who was one of the investigators called to the scene, testified he also smelled the odor of human decomposition when he arrived. He said he asked a visibly nervous Nikki Cappello for permission to search her home. She gave permission for the investigators to search everywhere but the garage, the news station reported. DeNoon said Nikki Cappello was taken to the police station for questioning and he obtained a search warrant for the entire property. Jim Cappello’s body was found sprawled on a tarp on the garage floor, his feet on the floorboard of a car as though someone had tried to move him into the vehicle.  DeNoon told the court that the defendant acted as though nothing was wrong when she was told about the discovery, according to WAFF.  “You know I went inside. You know I found him, right?” DeNoon testified that he asked her.  “Yes, I knew he was there,” Nikki Cappello allegedly responded.  Though Jim Cappello’s final autopsy report is pending, the medical examiner told DeNoon the private detective was poisoned using insulin, WAFF reported.  DeNoon told the court that investigators went to the hospital where Nikki Cappello was a charge nurse and spoke to her co-workers, who said she often talked about her problems with her husband and said she would only be rid of him if he were dead, the news station said.  Hospital workers who looked through their medication supply found that some insulin was missing, WAFF reported. DeNoon said Nikki Cappello told him she’d accidentally brought a bottle of the diabetes drug home with her.  Jim Cappello apparently found the bottle and took a photo of it before texting the photo to a friend, WAFF said. At the time, he appeared not to know what the drug was.  Madison County District Judge Claude Hundley III ordered that the murder case go before a grand jury.  ‘Please make today like your last’ Jim Cappello’s obituary described him as an asset in multiple facets of his life, especially to the legal community. “He was an avid car enthusiast, passionate about helping people and providing for his family (was a) priority,” the obituary read. “Jim was a well-known proud father who cherished every smile and laugh from his baby girl.” Jim Cappello’s father and sister sat through Thursday’s testimony. Afterward, they told WAFF they felt it was important to be there, even though they had to come from out of state.  “It was pretty intense but I'm glad it’s going to move on,” Jim Cappello Sr. told the news station. 'We want to be part of the whole thing. He didn’t deserve this, but he deserves justice. He’s my son and I miss him.” The younger Jim Cappello’s sister, Jamie Weast, said she’s hopeful the family can get some closure through the legal process.  “He’s shining down on us right now. He’s with us every step of the way,” she said. “We’re doing everything that we're capable of every day to remember and honor him.” The family started a Facebook page, Legacy of James Cappello, for relatives and friends to share memories of him so Ryleigh, who is being cared for by the Cappello family, will remember her doting father. Many friends shared memories addressed directly to the little girl. “Your dad worked at McDonald’s during high school,” one man wrote. “Happy Meals included a Beany (sic) Baby doll. He used to complain about being surrounded by these furry toys. “Yet he fell in love with them when you came along. You were his hero. With or without fries.” Weast posted a text message her brother sent her on Mother’s Day, in which he said a friend’s mother had died and he was helping the friend out. He told her he was thinking of the people in his life and things happening to them. “So please make today like your last,” he wrote, according to Weast. “We don’t know. Enjoy it. And have everyone around you enjoy it. Love you so much. Can’t handle the thought of you not there.”  

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