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PA Race Neck-And-Neck, With Dem In Lead

Lamb clings to tiny lead with all precincts reporting. Politico: "The closely watched special election race for a congressional seat in western Pennsylvania is still too close to call — but Democrat Conor Lamb, leading by fewer than 700 votes, declared victory here early Wednesday. The slim margin is an ominous sign for Republicans heading into an increasingly hostile midterm environment. The latest vote count showed Lamb with a tiny lead over Republican Rick Saccone — with a possible recount looming. The two candidates are neck-and-neck in the vote count: Lamb leads Saccone, 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent, a margin of 641 votes, with all precincts reporting. The Associated Press said Tuesday night it would not declare a winner because the race was so close. Lamb was introduced as 'congressman-elect,' and he took the stage shortly before 1 a.m. after a late night of vote-counting. 'It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it,' he declared to cheering supporters. National Democrats joined Lamb in claiming victory, even as Republican groups protested it was premature. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján congratulated Lamb on defeating Saccone, adding, 'These results should terrify Republicans.'"

National Student Walkout To Protest Gun Violence

Students To Walk Out To Protest Gun Violence 1 Month After Parkland Shooting. NPR: "Seventeen-year-old Egzona Rexhepi and many of her classmates in Boise, Idaho will join students at schools and universities across the country as they walk out of their school Wednesday to protest gun violence. The demonstrations will last 17 minutes to honor the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. one month ago. There are more than 2,850 largely student-organized walkouts scheduled, according to EMPOWER, the group behind the national school walkout. National organizers, who are the youth branch of the women's march, are advocating stricter gun regulation including bans on assault weapons and expanded background checks."

Gun-Trained CA Teacher Accidentally Shoots, Injures Student

Gun-trained teacher accidentally discharges firearm in Calif. classroom, injuring student. WaPo: "A teacher who is also a reserve police officer trained in firearm use accidentally discharged a gun Tuesday at Seaside High School in Monterey County, Calif., during a class devoted to public safety. A male student was reported to have sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The weapon, which was not described, was pointed at the ceiling, according to a statement from the school, and debris fell from the ceiling."

Trump’s Choice for CIA Played Role in Torture Program

Gina Haspel, Trump’s Choice for C.I.A., Played Role in Torture Program. NYT: "Just over a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, the C.I.A. dispatched the veteran clandestine officer Gina Haspel to oversee a secret prison in Thailand. Shortly after, agency contractors in the frantic hunt for the conspirators waterboarded a Qaeda suspect three times and subjected him to brutal interrogation techniques. Ms. Haspel’s time running the prison, code-named Cat’s Eye, began her deep involvement in the agency’s counterterrorism operations and showed her willingness to take part in the agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, which shaped her career. She was a rising star until that dark chapter in C.I.A. history began to emerge publicly. But under President Trump, her fortunes changed, and on Tuesday, he announced that he intended to name her director of the C.I.A."

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Betsy DeVos Has Visited One ‘Underperforming’ School – A DC Charter. Jeff Bryant: "The school, which will be closed at the end of the school year due to poor academic performance, was the Excel Academy Public Charter School, an all-girls charter in Washington, D.C. First Lady Melania Trump and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan accompanied DeVos on the visit in 2016. Trump called the charter school 'an exceptional example.' The school was in trouble with the District’s charter school oversight board when DeVos and company visited. Less than nine months later, the board voted unanimously to close the school, with the board chair saying, 'The trend for student performance over the past several years has been negative, despite any benefits that may have occurred.' D.C. is chock full of charter schools, and DeVos, a big advocate for charters, could have cherry picked a better performing one. Obviously, she didn’t know about the school’s academic performance then, and doesn’t know about it now. I would also contend she doesn’t care."

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