NEW YORK NEWS
New York Republicans exceeded expectations in the midterm elections, especially considering the results around the country. While challenger Lee Zeldin fell to Governor Kathy Hochul by a margin of 6 points, every Congressional district in the state moved to the right of where they were in 2020. This resulted in a gain of 4 seats to the House of Representatives, as well as breaking the supermajority the Democrats have in the State Senate and making gains in the Assembly. Zeldin, in his concession, urged Hochul to pay attention to how close the results were from previous years. “Those controlling Albany should take note. New Yorkers of all walks of life are sick of the attacks on their wallets, their safety, their freedoms and the quality of their kids’ education and are hitting their breaking point, as proven by these results. As they take office in January, Governor Kathy Hochul and those controlling Albany must address the grave concerns voiced by the voters,” he said.
State Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs is under fire after the midterm elections, with many in the Democratic Party urging Kathy Hochul to fire him. A letter signed by a number of Democratic Committee members sounded the alarm on the election results. “Last week, voters across the US successfully combated a ‘red wave’ and instead flipped several state legislatures and gubernatorial seats to Democratic control and fought valiantly to maintain congressional seats,” read the letter signed by hundreds, including sitting members of the state Senate and Assembly. “Here in New York, however, the State Democratic Party — led by Cuomo appointee Jay Jacobs — failed to commit the time, energy, and resources necessary to maintain our deep-blue status,” the letter states. Over on Twitter, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed her dissatisfaction with leadership over the results. “NYS Dem party leadership,” she wrote, “which was gutted under Cuomo, stuffed with lobbyists, works to boost GOP, and failed to pass a basic state ballot measure to protect NY redistricting, must be accountable. I called for Jay Jacob’s resignation a year ago and I still hold that position.”
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will not be facing criminal charges for his alleged activities in Ukraine, which was a key part of the impeachment of President Donald Trump in 2020. The investigation, going back to 2019, initially claimed possible violations of foreign lobbying laws. “The Government writes to notify the Court that the grand jury investigation that led to the issuance of the above-referenced warrants has concluded, and that based on information currently available to the Government, criminal charges are not forthcoming,” prosecutors wrote. “It’s wonderful, long-expected news,” said Robert Costello, an attorney for Giuliani. “Unfortunately, Mayor Giuliani had to spend two and a half years to three years with this cloud over his head.” A spokesman for the US attorney’s office declined to comment.
Asign language interpreter is suing the Theatre Development Fund, claiming that he was fired for being white. Keith Wann, 53, was signing for The Lion King when he was told that a white person should not be signing for black characters. The decision to fire Wann was made on behalf of the show’s ASL director, Shelly Guy, who wrote in an email, “The majority of the characters in The Lion King are black actors and the content takes place in Africa. Keith Wann, though an amazing ASL performer, is not a black person and therefore should not be representing Lion King.”
The Lion King is in its 25th year on Broadway and was co-written by Elton John and Tim Rice, both of whom are white.
Catherine Cortez Masto won her re-election bid in Nevada against challenger Adam Laxalt, securing the 50th seat - and the Majority - in the United States Senate for the Democratic Party. With Vice President Kamala Harris being the tie-breaking vote, the Democrats only needed to reach 50 to maintain the majority. This result takes some eyes off of Georgia, where a runoff between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker is scheduled for December 6. Instead of deciding for control of the Senate, the runoff will determine if the Democrats can have some breathing room that they’ve been lacking due to Senators like Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) obstructing many of their legislative goals.
Republicans are projected to win the Majority in the House of Representatives, albeit by slimmer margins than they would have hoped. The flipped seats in Florida and New York will net the Republican Party approximately 220 seats (218 is needed for Majority). However, the lackluster showing for a Party that was projected to have 240 seats is causing a shakeup in leadership. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was planning on cruising to be the next Speaker of the House, but is now scrambling for support. Under House rules, the Speaker must receive the majority of votes, which means that even a few dissenting Republican votes can prevent McCarthy from taking up the Speaker role. “No one in this town has 218 votes for speaker of the House, so we’re going to have a debate and make sure that we set up the structure properly to then figure out how someone will get 218 votes,” Representative Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas and a member of the Freedom Caucus, said as he emerged from a nearly hourlong meeting in Mr. McCarthy’s Capitol office suite.
Democrat Katie Hobbs was elected Arizona governor on Monday, defeating Kari Lake, an ally of Donald Trump. Hobbs, who is Arizona’s secretary of state, rose to prominence as a staunch defender of the legitimacy of the last election and warned that her Republican rival, former television news anchor Lake, would be an agent of chaos. Hobbs’ victory adds further evidence that Trump is weighing down his allies in a crucial battleground state as the former president gears up for an announcement of a 2024 presidential run.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said he will give away the majority of his wealth during his lifetime, becoming the latest billionaire to pledge to donate much of his vast fortune. Bezos, whose “real-time” worth Forbes magazine estimates at roughly $124.1 billion, made the announcement in a joint CNN interview with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez. The billionaire didn’t specify how - or to whom - he will give away the money, but said the couple were building the “capacity” to do it. Prior to this announcement, Bezos awarded country music star Dolly Parton with $100 million to give to her favorite charities as part of his Bezos Courage and Civility Award. These actions occur on the heels of Amazon announcing that they are laying off 10,000 employees.
An airshow in Dallas ended tragically when two historic military planes collided and crashed to the ground, killing 6 people. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided just after 1 p.m. on Saturday during the Commemorative Air Force’s Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow. There were between 4,000-6,000 spectators at the show. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted, “The videos are heartbreaking. Please, say a prayer for the souls who took to the sky to entertain and educate our families today.”
Comedian Jay Leno is in a burn center after suffering a serious injury to his face. According to TMZ, who interviewed Leno in his hospital room, he was working on his 1907 White Steam Car in his famed garage fixing a clogged fuel line when a fuel leak caused gasoline to spray on his face and hands. Almost simultaneously a spark triggered an explosion, setting the comedian on fire. Quick thinking by his friend James saved Leno’s life, but the left side of his face was burned. He will be undergoing skin grafts as part of his recuperation, and has canceled any appearances for at least two weeks.
Aterrorist attack in the city of Ariel in the Shomron led to the death of three Israelis and three more injured. A Palestinian terrorist stabbed a security guard near the entrance to the Ariel Industrial Park. The terrorist then stabbed three people at and adjacent to a nearby gas station, before he fled in an apparently stolen vehicle. Shortly afterward, the terrorist crashed the vehicle into other cars on the Route 5 highway, before getting out and stabbing another person, according to medics. He then stole another vehicle and drove it against traffic, crashing into more cars, before he got out and was shot dead by soldiers and armed civilians. Bibi Netanyahu tweeted in response (in Hebrew), “Praying for the peace of those injured in the serious attack in Ariel and strengthening the security forces operating in the area.”
Israel confirms that the US is investigating the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an Israeli military operation in Jenin in May. In the weeks following Akleh’s death, there was much speculation over whether the bullet that killed her was fired from the Israeli or Palestinian side of the fighting. Autopsies done by the Palestinian Authority, that were not shared with Israel, were called inconclusive. In September, after an internal investigation, the IDF admitted that there was a “high possibility” that the bullet was fired from an Israeli gun. Defense Minister Benny Gantz, reacting to the opening of the investigation, said, “I have delivered a message to US representatives that we stand by [Israeli] soldiers, that we will not cooperate with an external investigation, and will not enable intervention to internal investigations.” He added that the investigation was a “mistake.”
Russian missiles crossed into Poland, killing at least two people, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official. Poland, which is a member nation of NATO, could use this to bring NATO into the war in Ukraine, which could lead to a massive escalation of hostilities with Russia. Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller did not immediately confirm the information from a senior U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation. But Mueller said top leaders were holding an emergency meeting due to a “crisis situation.”
Dr. Kieran Moore, the Chief Medical Officer in Ontario, Canada, is “strongly recommending” masking indoors. This announcement comes as some pediatric Ontario hospitals say they’ve been overwhelmed by an influx of sick patients in recent weeks. Moore said the “difficult and complex fall” that was predicted has materialized as the province grapples with what he described as “three major viral threats”: COVID-19, influenza, and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). “All three are actively circulating across Ontario in all of our communities and across the western hemisphere contributing to the pressures on our pediatric health-care system. As the risk to Ontarians increases, we must use all of the layers of protection that we have,” Moore said. A mandate has not been issued at this time, under the explanation that previous requirements were ineffective.
The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution calling for Russia to be held accountable for violating international law by invading Ukraine. This resolution includes a payment of reparations to Ukraine. The vote in the 193-member world body was 94-14, with 73 abstentions. It was the lowest level of support of the five Ukraine-related resolutions adopted by the General Assembly since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of its smaller neighbor. All attempts at resolutions against Russia in the Security Council were vetoed by Russia themselves, as they are a permanent member of the Council. Unlike the Security Council, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, but they do reflect world opinion and have demonstrated widespread opposition to Russia’s military action.
Iran has continued its persistent threats against former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and one of his former top aides, the Biden administration confirmed. The State Department notified Congress last week that both Pompeo and Brian Hook, who served as special representative for Iran during the Trump administration, were still both subject to a “serious and credible threat from a foreign power or agent of a foreign power” stemming from their work while in government.