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FL Governor's Race Heads To Recount

Gillum statement stokes intrigue as Florida vote margin tightens. NBC: "All eyes were on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum on Thursday, as vote margins in Florida's close contests for governor and Senate tightened. Gillum's campaign stoked intrigue by releasing a statement about 'counting every vote' — but not explicitly asking for a recount. On Tuesday night, Gillum conceded in his race against Republican Ron DeSantis and his team was clear Wednesday that it hadn't met the threshold to trigger an automatic recount. Gillum has 49.1 percent, or 4,023,124 votes, while DeSantis has 49.6 percent, or 4,066,059 votes, for a margin of just under 43,000, according to NBC News. The Gillum statement said that since the concession speech 'it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported. Our campaign, along with our attorney Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount.'"

Trump Wants To Block Asylum Seekers

White House moves to bar some migrants from obtaining asylum in the U.S. Time: "The Trump administration announced a new immigration rule Thursday that will block migrants from seeking asylum if they fail to cross the U.S. border at an official port of entry. The sweeping move is part of the administration’s ongoing effort to restrict migration. Drawing on national security powers, the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice issued a fast-track rule barring immigrants from seeking asylum if they first enter the U.S. illegally. Administration officials said the new rule is contingent on a proclamation from President Donald Trump determining which migrants will be affected by the new regulation. The proclamation is expected as soon as Friday. Administration officials described the new policy as necessary to combat what they see as rampant abuse of the existing system, noting that most migrants who request asylum under the current process are ultimately denied. The goal of the new policy, according to a document the administration posted Thursday, is to push migrants toward official ports of entry where they can be processed in a 'controlled, orderly, and lawful manner.' Immigrant rights advocates said the new rule amounts to a humanitarian crisis, as it will likely significantly reduce the number of people, fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, who are able to request asylum in the U.S."

Judge Blocks Keystone XL, Cites Climate Change

Judge tosses Trump’s Keystone XL approval over climate change. Politico: Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court for Montana ruled that the Trump administration almost completely ignored climate change in its analysis supporting the pipeline’s construction, a shift that unlawfully reversed the Obama administration’s 2015 decision rejecting the pipeline’s cross-border permit. 'The [State] Department did not merely make a policy shift in its stance on the United States’ role on climate change. It simultaneously ignored' a critical part of the Obama administration’s stance on climate change and foreign relations, Morris concluded. Such a change would require a 'reasoned explanation.' 'The Department instead simply discarded prior factual findings related to climate change to support its course reversal,' Morris added. Morris identified a litany of other flaws that he said will require fixing before the pipeline can move forward. The administration must incorporate new information about major oil spills that occurred between 2014 and 2017, including a significant incident involving the original Keystone pipeline, he wrote, and the Fish and Wildlife Service will need to update its analysis of impacts on wildlife in the wake of those major spills. The State Department failed to take a 'hard look' at the cumulative climate impacts of Keystone XL alongside the Alberta Clipper pipeline expansion, Morris said, and the analysis failed to review Keystone XL's impacts on "cultural resources" across more than 1,000 acres."

Voters Reject ICE-Loving Sheriffs

ICE-friendly sheriffs suffer major losses in midterm elections. ThinkProgress: "Voters across the country on Tuesday night issued a strong rebuke of Republican efforts to crack down on immigration and cooperate with federal immigration officials. In several key races, incumbent sheriffs who had previously been friendly toward Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were ousted and Republican candidates who had echoed President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric were quickly shown the door. A handful of ballot initiatives intended to protect immigrants also passed with resounding support. The victories were emblematic of a greater shift among the electorate, a backlash to Republicans’ overall racist, anti-immigrant midterm messaging. Though voters gave multiple reasons for backing Democratic House candidates, for instance — who managed to swing the balance of power leftward — some argued it was Republicans’ decision to come out hard against immigration that led their Democratic opponents to victory."

TX Elects 19 Black Women Judges

#BlackGirlMagic: Nineteen black judges elected in Texas. BBC: "History was made on Tuesday when 19 black female judges were elected to be county judges in Houston, Texas. It is the largest number of black women seen on any ballot ever in Harris County, and the group's victory is delighting many in the state and on social media. A photograph of the group, dubbed the Houston 19, taken in August when the women assembled as part of their 'Harris Black Girl Magic' campaign for office, trended on Reddit and Twitter. LaShawn A Williams posted the picture on Facebook, writing: 'Never did I imagine that the day I decided to run to be judge, I'd become a part of a club of phenomenal black women, sisters-in-law, gifted, brilliant, strong - everything I hope to be!' Their victory adds to the long lists of firsts across the nation, with the most diverse range of candidates ever elected to Congress, including 111 women."

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