(CNN)A person infected with measles attended a Portland Trail Blazers home game in Oregon last week amid an outbreak that has left at least 22 people ill this month in neighboring Washington state.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at the United Nations Saturday, urging all nations to support Venezuelans as they try to free themselves from President Nicholas Maduro’s “illegitimate mafia state.”
Pompeo’s address during a U.N. Security Council meeting on Venezuela came days after the U.S. threw its support behind National Assembly President Juan Guaidó who declared himself the nation’s acting president.
“We’re here to urge all nations to support the democratic aspirations of Venezuelan people as they try to free themselves from former President Maduro’s illegitimate mafia state,” Pompeo said.
He said the humanitarian situation in Venezuela demanded immediate action.
“Today nine out of ten citizens living in poverty. Millions lack access to drinking water and food,” Pompeo said. “Three out of four hospitals have been abandoned. Three millions Venezuelans have been forced to flee their homelands thereby flooding the region and threatening international peace and security.”
Pompeo also told the Council that now was the time for every nation to pick a side in Venezuela.
“No more delays, no more games,” he said. “Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”
Pompeo added that some countries have publicly taken former president Maduro’s side.
“China, Russia, Syria, and Iran are just four of them,” he said. “Just this morning, we tried to find a way for this Council to speak in one voice in support of the Venezuelan people and democratic ideals through a presidential statement of this Council.”
The U.S. received the minimum nine “yes” votes to hold Saturday’s meeting on the situation in Venezuela, with four countries voting “no” and two abstaining.
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia opposed the meeting, saying Venezuela does not represent a threat to international peace and security.
Instead, he said, the country is facing a U.S. effort “to attempt a coup d’etat in the country.”
Germany has joined France and Spain in saying it will recognize opposition leader Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela if President Nicolas Maduro’s government doesn’t hold new presidential elections.
A spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel tweeted Saturday that, “the people of Venezuela must be able to freely and securely decide about its future.”
The French president and Spain’s prime minister made a similar announcement.
Venezuela’s military dealt a blow to the Trump administration’s declaration of support for Guaidó by announcing it was sticking with embattled President Nicolás Maduro.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(CNN)A person infected with measles attended a Portland Trail Blazers home game in Oregon last week amid an outbreak that has left at least 19 people ill this month in neighboring Washington state.
Most patients with symptoms should call first
CONCORD, N.H. – For more than 40 years, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has been a crucial player in presidential politics.
Gardner, known nationally as one of the chief guardians of his state’s treasured status holding the nation’s first presidential primary, is also the longest-serving secretary of state in the country.
But thanks in part to his participation last year in President Trump’s now-disbanded voter fraud commission, Gardner is facing his most difficult re-election in decades – as he runs for a 22nd two-year term as New Hampshire’s top election official.
Republican state Rep. Al Baldasaro, who was a leading supporter and surrogate for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in the state, claimed widespread opposition to Gardner by Democratic state lawmakers “is payback” for the secretary of state’s service on the commission.
“They hate the idea that Trump is the president,” he said.
Gardner’s moment of truth comes Dec. 5.
That’s when re-elected and newly elected state senators and representatives are sworn in, and then immediately vote for secretary of state.
Most GOP lawmakers appear to be backing Gardner over challenger Colin Van Ostern.
“Republicans love Bill Gardner,” House GOP leader Dick Hinch proclaimed.
But the problem for Gardner is there are now a lot more Democrats in the legislature, after the party regained control of both chambers in the midterm elections.
Gardner was a Democratic state representative when he was first elected secretary of state in 1976. But his once-impeccable bipartisan reputation has taken a hit the past two years with Democrats. They are furious over his participation on the voter fraud commission and his support for two GOP-sponsored bills passed into law that tighten the state’s voter eligibility requirements, which many Democrats characterize as voter suppression measures.
Pushing back against Democratic criticism of his support for the two new voter laws, Gardner points to this month’s election, highlighting that “we had the highest turnout of any midterm.”
Regarding his service on the commission, Gardner acknowledges that some Democrats “may never forgive me.”
But he argued that “it was better that New Hampshire be represented than not” and he “was bringing the New Hampshire values and my values to that commission. And it’s better to be at the table than on the menu.”
New Hampshire House of Representatives Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff opposes Gardner’s re-election bid.
“It disappointed me that Bill Gardner took the stance that he did and served on the commission knowing what their intent was and what the outcome would be. I thought it showed poor judgment. Especially when New Hampshire had been vilified by the president in his saying that busloads of people were coming up here to vote and the secretary of state knew that was not true,” argued Shurtleff, who’s expected to be elected state House speaker next week.
In September of last year, Gardner faced loud calls from leading Granite State Democrats – from top Statehouse leaders to the entire all-Democratic congressional delegation – to quit the commission after the panel’s co-chair, Republican Kris Kobach, made unsubstantiated claims about the validity of the 2016 U.S. Senate election results in New Hampshire.
Days later, at a meeting of the commission that Gardner hosted in New Hampshire, he vigorously pushed back against Kobach’s claims that voter fraud may have contributed to Democratic challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan’s razor-thin victory over GOP incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte in the 2016 election.
But the damage done to Gardner’s reputation among Democrats apparently was lasting.
In a non-binding test vote earlier this month, the now-majority Democratic House caucus voted overwhelming to support Gardner’s challenger. The 39-year old Van Ostern, a former executive councilor and 2016 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, wasn’t even born when the now-70-year-old Gardner was first elected as secretary of state.
Since announcing his candidacy in March, Van Ostern’s been actively campaigning for the job. His political action committee raised over $ 200,000 in donations and spent the money to promote his proposals to reform and modernize the office, including holding over 200 forums around the state with legislative candidates.
“I think we need a more modern and accountable secretary of state’s office and we need to do a better job of protecting the rights of every voter, and every local official who helps make our elections work well,” Van Ostern said.
While he added that “it’s really important that this be a non-partisan office,” most Republicans view him as overly political and pro-Democrat.
Hinch called Van Ostern, a one-time Democratic strategist, “a proven partisan political operative.”
Republicans also argue that replacing Gardner with Van Ostern would jeopardize New Hampshire’s status as the first-in-the-nation primary state.
“This will be the only time that you ever hear me endorsing a Democrat,” said Steve Stepanek, a leading contender for New Hampshire GOP chair. “Bill Gardner is the guardian of the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary.”
Stepanek urged GOP lawmakers last week “to go out and support [Gardner] and get the Democrats to support him because I don’t think this is a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. This is a New Hampshire issue.”
Some Democrats who are supporting Gardner make the same argument.
Longtime Sen. Lou D’Allesandro spotlighted that Gardner has “protected the first-in-the-nation primary. He’s well-respected by his peers around the country.”
And former Democratic National Committee member Terry Shumaker teamed up with current Republican National Committee member Steve Duprey in a recent opinion piece to pitch another term for Gardner.
“We believe the key to his success has been that he was not a partisan Democrat or Republican with political ambitions, but a dedicated public servant who is fully trusted by both parties to do the right thing without concern for his own political future or that of any particular presidential candidate,” they wrote.
On Tuesday, Gardner highlighted his defense of the state’s presidential election role, telling lawmakers, “You can never depend on someone else to protect this primary.”
Most recently in the run-up to the 2012 primaries, Gardner threatened to move up New Hampshire’s date to December 2011, to prevent an effort by Nevada to move up their own nominating contest.
But Van Ostern dismissed the argument that only Gardner could keep the state’s primary status. He pointed to New Hampshire law that mandates the date of the contest be earlier than other state’s primaries and vowed to “fiercely and without compromise” uphold the law.
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was involved in a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 24 in Oakland, California, on Friday morning but escaped unscathed.
California Highway Police told KGO-TV that Curry was driving westbound on the Oakland side of the Caldecott Tunnel around 9 a.m. local time when he was hit twice.
A police spokesman said a car spun out, hitting Curry’s black Porsche before he was hit a second time when a car rear-ended him.
No injuries were reported.
CHP said the weather – it’s been raining in parts of California – likely played a role in the crash.
The 30-year-old is recovering from a groin injury and is not expected to play against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
The Golden State Warriors star has not publicly commented on the crash.
The woman known as the “stranded motorist” in an alleged GoFundMe scam has been suspended from her job with the state of New Jersey over fraud charges, NJ.com reported on Wednesday.
Kate McClure, 28, was placed on “suspension status” from her receptionist job, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Transportation said. It is unclear if she will continue to get paid.
State records show she began working for the state in 2014, earning a little over $ 43,000 per year, the paper reported.
“I told Kate this was inevitable once the charges had been made public by the prosecutor,” her lawyer, James Gerrow, told NJ.com. “Unfortunately, it is standard operating procedure for a governmental entity. Yet, it adds to the traumatizing impact this case has had on Kate.”
McClure and her former boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, 39, are charged with conspiracy and theft by deception for allegedly scamming around 14,000 GoFundMe donors out of more than $ 400,000.
Authorities allege that the couple conspired with homeless Marine veteran Johnny Bobbitt to concoct an allegedly false, feel-good story about Bobbitt giving McClure, a “stranded motorist,” his last $ 20 when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia last November.
McClure’s lawyer has said she was duped by D’Amico, while his lawyer has denied such claims.
“I was set up by Mr. D’Amico and Mr. Bobbitt,” McClure, who is reportedly no longer dating D’Amico, told The New York Post through her lawyer. “Mr. D’Amico knew that I was a very kind person and that I was a bit naive. … Mr. D’Amico took advantage of that.”
Bobbitt, 35, also faces the same conspiracy and theft by deception charges, which carry prison time of up to 5 to 10 years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Washington State football coach Mike Leach’s tweet of a fake video of former President Barack Obama cost the school more than $ 1 million in donations, a school official said last week.
Donors altered future estate gifts after Leach tweeted and then defended the fake video in June, university President Kirk Schulz said. A school spokesperson later confirmed that number was around $ 1.6 million, the Seattle Times reported.
“As the president mentioned, no one who had made a cash gift has asked for their money back,” said Phil Weiler, the school’s marketing and communications vice president. “We did have five donors let us know that they had altered plans for their future giving, however. These were primarily estate gifts that would have been paid out upon the donor’s death. These planned estate gifts totaled $ 1.6 million.”
The edited video featured a doctored track that made Obama appear to make statements he didn’t actually make in a 2014 speech.
Leach deleted the original tweet after being blasted online. He then tweeted out the complete text of Obama’s speech the following day.
“We put all of our head coaches and cabinet through social media training just to make sure people are aware that what they are doing often reflects on their job, not their private political views,” Schultz said. “At the end of the day, Coach Leach is like anyone else. He can elect to do some of those things as a private citizen.”
Leach led the Cougars to a 7-1 record this season. The team was ranked No. 7 in the latest AP Top 25 poll.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Georgia Gov.-elect Brian Kemp should not be treated as a “normal head of the state” because of allegations of voter suppression during this month’s election, a former ethics chief for the Obama administration said Sunday.
Norm Eisen, who also served as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014, was responding to allegations about Georgia’s gubernatorial race that were posted on Twitter by Ari Berman, a writer for liberal publications such as Mother Jones and the Nation.
Berman alleged that Kemp, in his role as Georgia’s secretary of state, had purged 1.5 million voters from registration logs, and that the state had placed 53,000 registrations on hold, closed more than 200 polling sites and made voters wait in lines for more than four hours.
Kemp, 55, who asked Georgia’s voters to unite behind him Saturday after the election results were certified, showing he defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams, a 44-year-old attorney, has defended himself against allegations that the election was tainted.
“Look, we have laws on the books that prevent elections from being stolen from anyone,” Kemp said, according to Atlanta’s FOX 5. Those laws “make sure we have secure, accessible, fair elections,” he added.
“Look, we have laws on the books that prevent elections from being stolen from anyone.”
Eisen wrote that if the same conditions Berman described for Georgia had existed in a country to which he was appointed an ambassador, he “would have publicly slammed them & called for economic sanctions.”
“I certainly would not have treated the ‘winning’ candidate as the normal head of the state, & we should not do so here,” Eisen wrote.
Eisen’s tweet linked to Berman’s article in Mother Jones, which accused Kemp of implementing hurdles to the election process while secretary of state.
During the campaign, Democrat Abrams repeatedly accused Kemp of voter suppression. Final tallies showed that Kemp won by about 55,000 votes, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Abrams acknowledged defeat Friday, 10 days after the election, but stopped short of calling it a concession. She vowed to continue fighting in court to prevent voter disenfranchisement, the Hill reported.
“I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified victor in the 2018 gubernatorial elections,” Abrams said. “But to watch an elected official — who claims to represent the people of this state, baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote — has been truly appalling.”
Abrams also told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that she intends to run for public office again in the future.
“I’m going to spend the next year as a private citizen but I do indeed intend to run for office again,” Abrams said, according to the Hill. “I’m not sure for what and I am not exactly certain when.”
“I need to take a nap,” she added. “But once I do, I’m planning to get back into the ring.”
The State Department on Saturday insisted that despite recent reports, the U.S. had not yet reached a determination regarding the death of writer and activist Jamal Khashoggi, and that there remain “numerous unanswered questions.”
The department’s statement came a day after The Wall Street Journal said the CIA had determined that Khashoggi’s death came at the directive of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). That story was first reported on by The Washington Post.
The Saudi government has denied the claim, according to The Associated Press.
“The United States government is determined to hold all those responsible for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable. Recent reports indicating that the U.S. government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in the Saturday statement. “There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts.”
Separately, a U.S. government official told Fox News that no final assessment or conclusion has been reached, nor has a “smoking gun” been found. Policymakers have been briefed on current intel, the official said.
The CIA’s reported conclusion came as a result of “an understanding of how Saudi Arabia works,” a U.S. official with knowledge of the situation told The Journal. Khashoggi’s death “would not and could not have happened” if MBS was not connected, an official told the outlet.
The CIA did not offer a comment on the story when contacted by Fox News on Friday.
Separately, a government official told Fox News on Friday that the Khashoggi assessment was not a public document and was not aware of plans to make it public. The official said the intelligence has been briefed at very senior levels.
Khashoggi was killed last month in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey. Saudi Arabia previously claimed that he was killed in a fight.
On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced it was sanctioning 17 Saudi government officials over Khashoggi’s death.
President Trump, while aboard Air Force One on Saturday, spoke on the phone with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
The president flew to California on Saturday to visit with those affected by the massive and lethal wildfires there. The inferno burning in the northern part of the state has killed at least 71 people. But before he left he spoke to reporters about the Khashoggi story, telling them 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.”
Also on Thursday, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir of Saudi Arabia insisted that the crown prince did not play a role in the Washington Post contributor’s death.
Fox News’ Rich Edson, Catherine Herridge, Adam Shaw and Matt Richardson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A state House election in Kentucky came down to the wire as one candidate was able to claim victory by just one vote.
However, Jim Glenn, the Democratic candidate running for Kentucky’s state House District 13, beat incumbent Republican Rep. DJ Johnson with the crucial single vote.
6,319 of those votes went to Glenn while Johnson received 6,318, The Washington Post reported.
“I won by one vote,” Glenn told The Washington Post. “But a win’s a win — whether it’s by one vote or 1,000.”
Johnson told The Associated Press he has not investigated to find out if any of his friends and family members did not vote.
“If someone came up and said that to me, I certainly wouldn’t hold them guilty,” he said. “I have fought that urge to second guess. I know I ran the best campaign I could.”
It was not immediately clear who cast the last vote but Glenn told The Associated Press that 25 people approached him to tell him that they were that person who put in the crucial vote.
Glenn previously represented the district from 2006 to 2017 but Johnson was able to take the seat from him for a year, The Washington Post reported.
The Kentucky State Board of Elections will meet next week to certify the results, but Johnson said he intended to ask for a recount. State law would require the majority-Republican House of Representatives to oversee that process by appointing a commission of between five and nine members.
Other elections that were close in the state included District 27, where Democrat Jeff Greer lost to Republican Nancy Tate by six votes. In District 96, Republican Jill York lost to Democrat Kathy Hinkle by five votes.
All of the House races were upheld on Thursday by county boards of elections, when a review of results from voting machines did not change the outcomes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.