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November 14, 2019

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has officially conceded the state's gubernatorial election.

Democrat Andy Beshear, Kentucky's attorney general, declared victory in last week's race while leading Bevin by about 5,000 votes, but Bevin didn't concede defeat and requested a recanvass. That recanvass began on Thursday, CNN reports.

In a news conference Thursday, Bevin said that it's now clear "the actual number is going to fluctuate somewhat, but not so significantly that it's going to change the outcome of this election."

"We're going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people, and what I want is to see the absolute best for Kentucky," he also said. "I'm not going to contest these numbers that have come in."

Bevin had been facing calls from Republicans in the state to concede, with Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Ky.) telling the Lexington Herald Leader it's the "best thing to do."

President Trump endorsed Bevin and held a rally in support of him the day before the election, telling supporters that if Bevin lost, this would send "a really bad message." Brendan Morrow

November 14, 2019

At least six people have been injured in a shooting at a high school in California, and the suspect is still on the loose.

A man in black clothing is suspected of opening fire at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office tweeted Thursday morning. The Associated Press reports at least six people were injured, and the nearby Henry Mayo Hospital said it had received two patients in critical condition with three more on the way.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff also tweeted a warning to avoid the area around Saugus High just before 8 a.m. local time, later tweeting that it and every school in the district were also on lockdown. Local news footage later showed students being evacuated from the school by police.

Around 8:30 a.m., it told people in the area to "lock doors and stay inside," and to call 911 if they spotted a suspect. As of 9 a.m. local time, it appeared the suspect still had not been caught. Kathryn Krawczyk

November 12, 2019

Mark Sanford is officially calling it quits.

The former congressman and South Carolina governor, who sought to challenge President Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020, announced Tuesday he's ending his campaign, Axios reports.

Sanford, who while in Congress said that Trump has "fanned the flames of intolerance," said in July he was considering a run against the president, announcing in September he'd be joining the race and saying, "As a Republican Party, we have lost our way." His campaign was, to put it mildly, a long shot effort; a formal kickoff event he held in October drew just a single person.

Upon announcing Tuesday he'd already be exiting the race, Sanford said Tuesday, per The Washington Post's Dave Weigel, "I don't think on the Republican side there's any appetite for a serious nuanced debate with impeachment in the air." Brendan Morrow

November 12, 2019

The families of Newtown, Connecticut shooting victims officially have a path to pursue justice.

The Sandy Hook families had previously sued Remington, the gun manufacturer that produced the weapon used in the 2012 shooting, prompting Remington to try to to get the case taken down. But the Supreme Court on Tuesday decided it wouldn't hear Remington's appeal of a ruling in favor of the families, letting the families proceed in their suit.

Earlier this year, Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled 4-3 against throwing out Sandy Hook victims' families' suit against Remington. Remington tried to appeal the decision to the highest federal court, saying a 2005 federal law meant it couldn't be sued when its weapons were used in a deadly shooting. But the Supreme Court decided against hearing it, giving no comment on its decision. "The families are grateful that the Supreme Court upheld precedent and denied Remington’s latest attempt to avoid accountability," Josh Koskoff, a lawyer for the families, told The Associated Press.

The Sandy Hook school shooting left 20 young children and six adults dead after a 20-year-old man with a Remington AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle opened fire. Families of the victims later sued Remington over the availability and marketing of the weapon, saying it was "targeted younger, at-risk males," per AP. Kathryn Krawczyk

November 7, 2019

A judge has ordered President Trump to pay $2 million over his alleged misuse of his charitable foundation.

New York's attorney general in June 2018 sued Trump, accusing him and three of his children of "persistently illegal conduct" at the nonprofit Donald J. Trump Foundation, which allegedly coordinated unlawfully with his 2016 presidential campaign and which the attorney general said was "little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality," The Washington Post reports.

At the time, New York's attorney general asked a state judge to dissolve the foundation, which the charity agreed to last year. Now, a judge has ordered Trump to pay $2 million to a group of nonprofit organizations in a settlement, CNN reports.

When the lawsuit was originally announced in 2018, Trump slammed the "sleazy New York Democrats" who brought it and promised, "I won't settle this case!" Brendan Morrow

November 6, 2019

One of the wives of slain ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been captured, as has his sister and brother-in-law, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.

Erdogan announced Wednesday the capture of Baghdadi's wife, The Associated Press reports, although he didn't provide more information or name the woman. AP notes Baghdadi was known to have four wives.

Erdogan also confirmed that Turkey has captured Baghdadi's sister and brother-in-law, as had previously been reported, per NBC News. In making this announcement, Erdogan got in a swipe at the United States for making a "big fuss" about Baghdadi's death.

"The United States said Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel," Erdogan said, Fox News reports. "They started a communication campaign about this. But I am announcing it here for the first time: We captured his wife and didn't make a fuss like them. Similarly, we also captured his sister and brother-in-law in Syria."

President Trump announced Baghdadi's death late last month, saying the former ISIS leader had killed himself and three of his children after detonating an explosive vest during a military operation. The U.S. says two of Baghdadi's wives were also killed in the operation, CNN reports.

Turkey is questioning Rasmiya Awad, Baghdadi's sister, CNN reports, and "Ankara hopes her capture will lead to a wealth of intelligence about the militant group." A Turkish intelligence official told CNN, "This kind of thing is an intelligence gold mine." Brendan Morrow

October 29, 2019

Another coal company is filing for bankruptcy, and this time, it's the largest private coal miner in the United States.

Murray Energy has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after recently failing to make payments to lenders, CNN reports. The company has formed a restructuring agreement with lenders and received $350 million in credit to continue operating, it said Tuesday.

This, The Wall Street Journal reports, marks the "eighth coal company to collapse into bankruptcy over the past year," with the Journal writing that the filing is a "stark example of coal's diminished role in the U.S. energy sector."

Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray is also stepping aside, being replaced as chief executive by former Chief Financial Officer Robert Moore, although Murray will stay on as chair. Murray is an ally of President Trump's who the Journal reports had been "relentless" in his lobbying of a federal bailout of the coal industry. Although Trump in a 2018 speech said that "coal is back," CNBC reports that last year, demand for coal reached its lowest level in four decades. Brendan Morrow

October 26, 2019

Maurice Robinson, a 25-year-old from Northern Ireland, was charged Saturday with the manslaughter of 39 people found inside a refrigerated trailer of the truck he was driving in England on Wednesday. Robinson has also been charged with people trafficking, immigration, and money laundering offenses, police said.

The deaths may be related to human trafficking, and while police have said they cannot confirm the victims' nationality at this time, several Vietnamese families have come forward with information that their relatives may be among the dead. Father Anthony Dang Huu Nam, a Catholic priest in the Vietnamese town of Yen Thahn, said he is working with family members of the victims, who told him they knew relatives who were making the journey to Britain at the time Robinson's truck would have been on the move. The family members said they have been unable to contact those relatives, and the Vietnamese ministry of foreign affairs said it has asked the Vietnamese embassy in London to collaborate with police in the hopes of identifying the victims.

In addition to Robinson, two men and one woman are being held in policy custody in relation to the deaths. Read more at The Guardian and BBC. Tim O'Donnell

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