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December 9, 2022 11:47 pm

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Why AP called Nevada governor for Joe Lombardo

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Joe Lombardo outpaced Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in the newly counted votes coming in from the state’s biggest counties.

The Associated Press determined that votes from Las Vegas’ Clark County and Reno’s Washoe County weren’t being won by Sisolak by large enough margins to make up the incumbent’s difference with Lombardo given the number of outstanding ballots.

That’s why AP called the race Friday for Lombardo.

The count of ballots in Nevada took several days partly due to a provision of a mail voting law passed in 2020 that requires counties to accept ballots postmarked by Election Day if they arrive up to four days later.

Elections authorities in Clark and Washoe counties, the state’s most heavily populated, warned up front that it would take days to process all the ballots again this year.

Lombardo, the sheriff of the county that includes Las Vegas, praised former President Donald Trump as “ the greatest president,” after declining to say he was “great” during his and Sisolak’s only debate.

The about-face came as Lombardo sought to secure the fervently pro-Trump base in what appeared to be a close contest with the Democratic incumbent.

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AP journalist Mike Catalini can be reached at https://twitter.com/mikecatalini.

AP journalist Meg Kinnard can be reached at https://twitter.com/megkinnardap.

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Check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections. Follow AP’s coverage of the 2022 midterm elections at: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections

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Biden to warn Xi North Korea“s path could prompt bigger U.S. military presence

2022-11-12T02:56:00Z

U.S. President Joe Biden discusses the 2022 U.S. midterm election results during a news conference in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 9, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

U.S. President Joe Biden will warn Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting on Monday that North Korea’s continued pursuit of weapons development will lead to an enhanced U.S. military presence in the region, the White House said.

The United States is concerned that North Korea plans to resume nuclear bomb testing for the first time since 2017 and believes China and Russia have the leverage to persuade it not to do so.

Biden and Xi are set to hold their first face-to-face meeting as national leaders on the sidelines of a summit of the G20 grouping of countries in the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden would tell Xi that North Korea represented a threat, not just to the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan, but to peace and stability across the entire region.

“If North Korea keeps going down this road, it will simply mean further enhanced American military and security presence in the region,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday, as Biden flew to Cambodia for regional meetings at the weekend.

“And so the People’s Republic of China has an interest in playing a constructive role in restraining North Korea’s worst tendencies,” Sullivan added, using the country’s official name.

“Whether they choose to do so or not, is, of course, up to them.”

U.S.-led international sanctions have failed to halt North Korea’s growing weapons programs. Its record-breaking regime of weapons tests this year have included intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to reach the U.S. mainland.

While China and Russia backed toughened United Nations sanctions after North Korea’s last nuclear test in 2017, in May they vetoed a U.S.-led push for more U.N. penalties over its renewed ballistic missile launches.

U.S. officials have accused both countries of enabling Pyongyang’s missile and bomb programs by failing to properly enforce U.N. Security Council sanctions.

Daniel Russel, the senior U.S. diplomat for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said recently that China could eventually become a restraining factor.

This could happen if Beijing should feel its own security directly threatened, not only by North Korea’s capabilities, but by the buildup of U.S. and allied forces to meet those, he told Reuters.

“One could imagine, and I’m not taking a lot of consolation from this … that at some point the ability of Kim to escalate will be impeded by China’s own national security interest,” he said.

“That’s cold comfort. And that’s not a strategy, but is there as a factor.”

The day before his meeting with Xi, Biden will hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol in Cambodia to discuss how to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program.

Sullivan said Biden planned to preview with them the topics he plans to discuss with Xi and will canvass the two leaders for issues they want him to raise.

U.S. ties with China have since sunk to their lowest level in decades and a senior administration official has said the meeting aims to limit deterioration of ties, but will be honest about U.S. concerns, such as Taiwan and human rights. read more

Sullivan also said Biden hoped his first face-to-face talks with Xi would lead to more such meetings.

Biden would seek a clarification of positions, he added.

“I think the president views this as not the end of the line, but rather the start of a series of engagements that will also include further leader-to-leader meetings down the road.”


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Biden in Cambodia as global leaders join Southeast Asian summit

2022-11-12T03:48:59Z

Southeast Asian heads of government were due to hold talks on Saturday with a number of visiting global leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, as the region tries to navigate the growing rivalry between China and Western powers.

Cambodia is hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) annual summit and a parallel East Asian Summit, with the regional bloc engaging with a host of leaders.

Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are among the leaders set to hold separate talks with the bloc on Saturday. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol met ASEAN leaders on Friday.

The U.S. president will focus on the Indo-Pacific region and talk about U.S. commitment to a rules-based international order in the South China Sea in his discussions, senior administration officials said earlier this week.

Some analysts played down expectations of any dramatic developments from Biden’s presence at the ASEAN meetings, but noted it provided more evidence of how the United States was getting back to “normal diplomacy”.

“President Trump didn’t attend a single East Asian Summit during four years in office,” said Greg Poling, head of the Southeast Asia programme at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.

One outcome of the trip would be the elevation of the U.S.-ASEAN partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership, he noted.

“That doesn’t mean anything concrete, but symbolically it puts the U.S. at the same level as China,” said Poling.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will also attend some meetings, while Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is also in Cambodia after signing a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with ASEAN, as Kyiv seeks to strengthen ties with the bloc.

Officials expect a number of summits in the region in the next seven days to be difficult, with discussions also expected to include the war in Ukraine, climate and regional tensions over the South China Sea. G20 leaders are meeting in Bali next week and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum will take place in Bangkok after that.

ASEAN leaders on Friday issued a “warning” to Myanmar to make measurable progress on a peace plan or risk being barred from the bloc’s meetings, as social and political chaos escalates in the country.

Related Galleries:

U.S. President Joe Biden is greeted upon his arrival at the Phnom Penh International Airport to attend the 2022 ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 12, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attend the 25th ASEAN plus Three (APT) Summit during the ASEAN summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia November 12, 2022. REUTERS/Cindy Liu
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Kelly“s win in Arizona leaves Democrats one seat shy of Senate control

2022-11-12T04:02:56Z

Arizona’s Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates on Friday provided an update on the upcoming hand count audit of ballots. Speaking about the vote tabulation process, Gates told reporters “We’re not doing anything wrong at all. And that someone from here would suggest that we are doing something wrong, that’s frustrating.”

Incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly defeated Republican Blake Masters on Friday to win a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, a contest that left Democrats one seat short in the battle for control of the chamber with two more races to be decided.

The win by Kelly, a former astronaut whose wife, Gabby Giffords, survived an assassination attempt when she was a U.S. lawmaker, meant Democrats had battled to a 49-49 tie in the race for the Senate.

“I’m humbled by the trust our state has placed in me to continue this work,” Kelly said on Twitter.

Control of the Senate – and the shape of President Joe Biden’s next two years in office – will now hinge on contests in Nevada and Georgia. Biden’s party avoided historical trends by limiting their losses in Tuesday’s midterm elections, shocking Republicans who had expected big gains.

Democrats needed one more seat for control, since Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the tie-breaking vote.

In Nevada, incumbent Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto had closed to within about 800 votes of the Republican state attorney general, Adam Laxalt. Georgia’s outcome is weeks away as Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock will face Republican Herschel Walker in a Dec. 6 runoff.

In the Nevada governor’s race, Republican Joe Lombardo defeated Democrat Steve Sisolak, Edison Research projected. Sisolak conceded the race.

“Whether you voted for me or Sheriff Lombardo, it is important that we now come together to continue moving the state forward,” Sisolak said in a statement posted on Twitter. “That is why I reached out to the sheriff to wish him success.”

Political analysts anticipate a rush of campaign funds into Georgia as Republicans and Democrats gear up for the final battle of the 2022 midterm elections.

In Arizona, law enforcement officials remained on high alert for potential protests, with barricades and security fencing erected around the Maricopa County elections department, where dozens of officials are working 18-hour days to verify outstanding ballots and tabulate votes.

Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Arizona governor, has criticized election officials in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, as “incompetent” and “despicable,” accusing them of deliberately delaying the vote counting.

Bill Gates, chairperson of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and a Republican, bristled at Lake’s comments. “Everybody needs to calm down a little bit and turn down the rhetoric. That’s the problem with what’s going on with our country right now,” he told reporters.

In the fight for control of the House of Representatives, Republicans were inching closer to becoming the majority and ending four years of rule by Democrats. That would give Republicans veto power over Democrat Biden’s legislative agenda and allow them to launch potentially damaging investigations into his administration.

Republicans had secured at least 211 of the 218 House seats they need for a majority, Edison Research projected late on Thursday, while Democrats had won 199. Many of the races where winners have not yet been determined are in Arizona, California and Washington state.

Despite the real possibility that they may lose the House, Democrats have still cheered their success in curbing their predicted losses after they galvanized voters angry over the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion.

The Republican House leader, Kevin McCarthy, has already announced his intention to run for speaker if Republicans take over, an outcome he has described as inevitable.

It is unclear whether a challenger to McCarthy will emerge, but some of the most conservative House Republicans have expressed doubts that he has enough votes yet to become speaker, the most powerful official in the House.

Meanwhile, Republican infighting in the Senate broke into the open on Friday as senators urged the postponement of a Wednesday leadership election so that they have time to discuss why the party did not fare better on Tuesday.

Mitch McConnell is hoping to continue as Republican leader, despite sniping from former President Donald Trump and other conservatives.

(Live election results from around the country are here)

UNCOUNTED BALLOTS

Officials overseeing vote counting in the Arizona and Nevada Senate races, where Democratic incumbents are trying to fend off Republican challengers, have said it could take until next week to tally some 520,000 uncounted mail-in ballots. Most of those were in Maricopa County, which encompasses Phoenix.

Their work is slowed by the need to match signatures on mail-in ballots to voter registration signatures after high numbers of such votes were dropped off on Election Day.

Some of Trump’s most high-profile endorsed candidates lost pivotal races on Tuesday, marring his status as Republican kingmaker and leading several Republicans to blame his divisive brand for the party’s disappointing performance.

The outcome may increase the chances that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who routed his Democratic challenger on Tuesday, opts to challenge Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination.

While Trump has not officially launched a third White House campaign, the former president has strongly suggested he will do so and is planning a “special announcement” at his Florida club on Tuesday.

Related Galleries:

U.S. Senator Mark Kelly and his wife Gabby Giffords take a selfie at a campaign event ahead of the November 8, 2022 U.S. midterm elections in Tucson, Arizona, U.S., November 6, 2022. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

A temporary security fence surrounds the grounds of the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center as vote counting continues in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., November 11, 2022. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to journalists before boarding Marine One ahead of an international trip, at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Ballots that will be recreated from overseas and military ballots are pictured during the 2022 U.S. midterm election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 10, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends a rally to support Republican candidates ahead of midterm elections, in Dayton, Ohio, U.S. November 7, 2022. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse/File Photo

A worker prepares to scan ballots cast during the 2022 U.S. midterm election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 10, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

A worker scans ballots cast during the 2022 U.S. midterm election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 10, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

A worker prepares to scan ballots cast during the 2022 U.S. midterm election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 10, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah Beier


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Trump-endorsed Sheriff Joe Lombardo defeats Nevada governor

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Republican Joe Lombardo, a career police officer and sheriff in Las Vegas who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has been elected governor in Nevada.

Lombardo defeated Steve Sisolak, regaining the governorship of the Silver State for the GOP and making Sisolak a one-term Democrat amid two decades of Republicans.

“It appears we will fall a percentage point or so short of winning,” Sisolak said in a statement conceding the race to Lombardo shortly after batch of vote results was reported in Clark County. “That is why I reached out to the sheriff to wish him success.”

The count of ballots in Nevada took several days partly due to a provision of a broad mail voting law passed by the state Legislature in 2020. It requires counties to accept ballots postmarked by Election Day if they arrive up to four days later.

Lombardo, 60, started as a police officer in Las Vegas in 1988 and served two terms as Clark County sheriff, the nonpartisan elected head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the largest police agency in the state.

He weathered campaign attacks on rising crime by acknowledging the increase during the last two years and blaming funding limits and mandates from a Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Lombardo sometimes distanced himself from Trump during the campaign, and never offered an endorsement of unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was marred by fraud. Lombardo said during his only campaign debate with Sisolak that any irregularities were not enough to change the outcome of the election.

Lombardo, who emerged for the general election from a crowded GOP primary field, derided a state public health insurance option that the Legislature passed and Sisolak signed, and said he looks at abortion through a “pro-life lens.”

But he acknowledged that state law approved by Nevada voters in 1990 allows abortions up to 24 weeks into pregnancy. “There’s nothing the governor can do,” he said, to change that law.

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Trump-backed Vegas sheriff tops Democrat for Nevada governor

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Republican Joe Lombardo, a career police officer-turned-elected sheriff in Las Vegas who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has been elected governor in Nevada.

“I’ve dedicated my life to protecting and serving our community, and now, I’m honored to have the opportunity to protect and serve our entire state as your next governor,” Lombardo said in a statement issued shortly after Democratic incumbent Steve Sisolak conceded the race.

“It appears we will fall a percentage point or so short of winning,” Sisolak said in comments following a batch of vote results reported in Clark County. “That is why I reached out to the sheriff to wish him success.”

Both Sisolak and Lombardo faced the national spotlight five years ago, following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. At least 58 people died and hundreds were injured by a gunman shooting assault-style rifles from windows of a high-rise hotel into an outdoor concert crowd in Las Vegas.

At the time, Sisolak was chairman of the powerful Clark County Commission, the elected body with jurisdiction over the Las Vegas Strip. Lombardo was the nonpartisan elected Clark County sheriff and head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the largest police agency in Nevada.

Sisolak went on to become Nevada’s 30th governor. Lombardo will be the 31st — making Sisolak a one-term Democrat amid two decades of Republicans. But Lombardo will contend with a Democratic-controlled state Legislature.

The governor’s race was close and ballot counting in Nevada stretched through several days partly because a broad mail voting law passed by the state Legislature in 2020 requires counties to accept ballots postmarked by Election Day if they arrive up to four days later.

Lombardo, 60, started as a police officer in Las Vegas in 1988 and served two terms as Clark County sheriff.

Trump’s endorsement helped him emerge from a crowded GOP field to win the June party primary. He weathered campaign attacks about his tenure as sheriff by acknowledging an increase in crime during the last two years but blaming funding limits and mandates from the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

“Our victory is a victory for all Nevadans who want our state to get back on track,” Lombardo said Friday, in echoes of campaign ads. He called his win a victory for small business owners, parents, students and law enforcers.

Sisolak acknowledged in his statement the criticism he received for closing businesses, schools and casinos in March 2020 during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and also pointed to “the stresses and strains of global inflation.”

“We made the tough decisions during COVID that helped save an estimated 30,000 Nevada lives,” the statement said, “even if those decisions sometimes had tough political ramifications.”

Lombardo, whose campaign photos occasionally showed him in police uniform, distanced himself from Trump at times during the campaign. He never offered an endorsement of unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was marred by fraud.

Lombardo said during his only campaign debate with Sisolak that any voting irregularities two years ago were not enough to change the outcome of the election.

Lombardo’s campaign and political committees supporting him received millions of dollars in support from wealthy Las Vegas-based hotel magnate and Las Vegas-area aerospace company owner Robert Bigelow.

At a campaign forum, Lombardo derided a state public health insurance option that the Legislature passed and Sisolak signed.

Lombardo said he looks at abortion through a “pro-life lens.” But he also said he would fight against a national abortion ban if Congress passed one and acknowledged that state law approved by Nevada voters in 1990 allows abortions up to 24 weeks into pregnancy.

Lombardo on Friday promised a victory speech Monday at the Las Vegas high school he attended and said he and his wife, Donna, “can’t wait to get to work for our state in Carson City.”

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Follow AP’s coverage of the elections at: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections

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mikenov on Twitter: My Opinion: The hypothesis of the Laser Weapon fired from the (British? US? Israeli? NATO?) ship, in the South to North direction, is the most satisfactory at this point. – The News And Times Information Network newsandtimes.net/my-opinion-hyp… pic.twitter.com/WA9J1pcByC

My Opinion: The hypothesis of the Laser Weapon fired from the (British? US? Israeli? NATO?) ship, in the South to North direction, is the most satisfactory at this point. – The News And Times Information Network newsandtimes.net/my-opinion-hyp… pic.twitter.com/WA9J1pcByC


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6455151 mikenov on Twitter

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Zelensky hails ‘historic day’ as Ukraine forces enter Kherson after Russian retreat

Ukraine says the southern city is returning to its control, after being occupied by Moscow’s forces shortly after start of invasionScreen-Shot-2022-11-11-at-16.15.25-e1668
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British FM summons Iran envoy over threats to journalists

‘We do not tolerate threats and intimidation from foreign nations towards individuals living in the UK,’ says James CleverlyAP22305351940771-e1668189307687-1024x640
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UN panel asks International Court of Justice to weigh in on Israeli ‘annexation’

By large majority, representatives vote for ICJ to issue ‘advisory opinion’; Israel says measure’s ‘only purpose is to demonize,’ blasts it for ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mountun-1024x640.jpg