National News

National News at a Glance

Posted November 1, 2018 9:36 p.m. EDT

What 2 More Years of a Republican-Led House Might Look Like

House Republicans, fighting to retain their majority and uncertain about who will lead them after Tuesday’s elections, have deferred the messy work of planning a legislative agenda until after the votes are tallied next week. And at the White House, postelection planning has revolved around imagining a world in which Democrats are in control. But if they maintain their grip, Republicans would claim a conservative mandate to cut taxes, chip away at the Affordable Care Act and shrink federal spending. Further down the list: giving President Donald Trump some bipartisan legislative accomplishments before his 2020 re-election campaign.

Democrats Puzzle Over Retaking Ohio

For two years, Democrats have had two goals in mind: figuring out Ohio, again, and flipping it. Few statewide results were more alarming to the party than Trump’s 8-point victory in the state, reinforcing concerns that what was once a consummate purple state had shaded solidly red. There are two surprises about the Democratic effort to dig out: Their nominee for governor, Richard Cordray, is a progressive former federal regulator and “Jeopardy” champion. And, they believe they can win in the state’s top races — for the governorship, in a Senate contest and perhaps in a House battleground or two.

Trump Ally Struggles in Florida as Racial Flare-ups Come to Fore

President Donald Trump delivered a warning in Florida on Wednesday: Don’t let Ron DeSantis lose the governor’s race. Not with Trump’s 2020 re-election plans potentially hinging on the country’s biggest presidential battleground state. DeSantis is slightly trailing Andrew Gillum, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, in most public polls. What has separated the two candidates most is how each has dealt with issues of race and identity. Gillum, who is African-American, has talked about both matters at length; DeSantis, who is white, has struggled to address questions about his past political associations with racists and xenophobes.

In South Texas, the First Signs of a Border Swathed in Military Might

As thousands of soldiers prepared to deploy to south Texas and other points along the border as part of President Donald Trump’s mobilization of active-duty troops, there are signs of a new hardening of the border involving multiple agencies. Officials have installed new chain-link gates and fencing on the Progreso International Bridge, allowing officials, when necessary, to completely shut the bridge to cars and pedestrians coming from Mexico. But the additional fencing, the military-style drills and the arrival of equipment and Army personnel represent a far more visible militarized border than has been seen in South Texas in recent years.

Trump Finds Support After the Pittsburgh Massacre, From the Israeli Government

When President Donald Trump arrived Tuesday at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh to pay his respects to the 11 victims of a mass shooting on Saturday, the only public official there to greet him was Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. Israel’s right-wing government has become Trump’s prime validator since the massacre in Pittsburgh — reflecting its loyalty to a president who has backed its interests but also deepening a rift with American Jews, many of whom hold Trump at least partly responsible for the rise in anti-Jewish vitriol over the last two years.

Military Apologizes for Booklet With Racially Offensive Language

The U.S. Central Command apologized Thursday for posting racially offensive language in an online welcome booklet for troops deploying to Saudi Arabia, and said it would review other documents posted on its website to ensure that the term — Negro — was deleted. A section of the booklet, titled “People and Population,” described the Saudi population as “mainly composed of descendants of indigenous tribes that have inhabited the peninsula since prehistoric times with some later mixture of Negro blood from slaves imported from Africa.” The 69-page booklet has since been taken off the internet. It was published in June.

Study of Cellphone Risks Finds Link, With a Few Caveats, to Cancer in Rats

For decades, health experts have struggled to determine whether cellphones can cause cancer. On Thursday, a federal agency released the final results of what experts call the world’s largest and most costly experiment to look into the question. The experiment, by the National Toxicology Program, found positive but relatively modest evidence that radio waves from some types of cellphones could raise the risk that male rats develop brain cancer. The study's author cautioned that the exposure levels and durations were far greater than what people typically encounter and thus cannot “be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience.”