National News

National News at a Glance

Posted November 19, 2018 10:00 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2018 10:06 p.m. EST

Broward County’s Embattled Elections Chief to Resign

Brenda Snipes, the elections supervisor of Broward County, Florida, turned in a letter of resignation Sunday, hours after the conclusion of a vote recount that exposed a series of failures in her office, including a poorly designed ballot that may have contributed to a weak showing by the defeated incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat. Snipes, an elected Democrat, will step down Jan. 4. Snipes becomes the first political figure to fall in the wake of the tumultuous recount, which revealed systemic flaws and areas vulnerable to human error in Florida’s election system, 18 years after the infamous presidential recount of 2000.

Police Officer Killed in Shooting at Chicago Hospital

As a frantic scene played out inside and outside Mercy Hospital, south of Chicago’s downtown, four people were shot and killed, Superintendent Eddie Johnson of the Chicago Police said. Among the dead, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, were a police officer, a doctor and a pharmacy technician. The gunman was also killed. Witnesses described a gunman shooting a person who was wearing green hospital scrubs in a parking lot outside the hospital, a witness said, and as the police ran up, the gunman continued shooting and ran inside the hospital. Inside the hospital, teams of police could be seen darting down hallways, searching room by room.

Democratic Senators Challenge Whitaker Appointment in Court

Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island asked a U.S. District Court judge Monday to issue an injunction barring Matthew Whitaker from exercising the powers of head of the Justice Department, arguing that President Donald Trump’s installation of Whitaker as acting attorney general violated the Constitution. The senators sit on the Judiciary Committee, which conducts confirmation hearings for attorney general nominees. They argued that an official who had not been Senate-confirmed could not run the Justice Department, even temporarily. Whitaker, whom the White House previously installed as Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff, is widely seen as a Trump loyalist.

In Mississippi, Issues of Race Complicate a Senate Election

A special election for the Senate in Mississippi has become a test of racial and partisan politics in the Deep South, as a Republican woman, Cindy Hyde-Smith, and an African-American Democrat, Mike Espy, compete for the last Senate seat still up for grabs in the 2018 midterm campaign. Hyde-Smith seemed to be on a glide path toward winning, but the election's trajectory was thrown into doubt last week when a video was circulated showing Hyde-Smith praising a supporter by telling him that if he invited her “to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” A private Republican poll last week found her lead over Espy had narrowed to just 5 percentage points.

Hurd Wins Re-election to Texas Congressional Seat

The Democratic challenger trying to unseat Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, conceded the race Monday, ending a nearly two-week dispute over the counting of provisional and other ballots. Hurd’s majority-Hispanic district has been a hard-fought battleground for Democrats and Republicans, and it has flipped five times between Republicans and Democrats since the early 1990s. Hurd and his opponent, Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, finished the election with one of the tightest vote margins in the state. Hurd had received 49.2 percent of the vote and Jones got 48.6 percent, with 1,150 votes separating the two candidates, according to state elections officials.

Former Ohio Judge Who Beat His Wife Is Arrested in Her Stabbing Death

A former Ohio judge who served nine months in prison for brutally beating his wife in 2014 in front of their children was arrested Saturday on suspicion of fatally stabbing her at her suburban Cleveland home, officials said. Police encountered Lance Mason on Saturday as he was driving away from her house and slammed into an officer’s patrol car, officials said. Mason, 51, a former high-ranking Democratic state lawmaker and a top county prosecutor, had not been formally charged as of Monday morning in the death of his wife, Aisha Fraser Mason. Mason was taken to the hospital Saturday, but his condition was not known and it was not clear whether he remained there Monday.

Watts Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing Wife and Daughters

When Christopher Watts, 33, pleaded on the news for his wife and two daughters to return to their home in Frederick, Colorado, he knew what the public did not: There would never be a reunion. On Monday, Watts was sentenced to five life sentences without the possibility of parole for killing his wife, Shanann, 34, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and his daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. Judge Marcelo A. Kopcow's sentence for Watts also included 48 years for the unlawful termination of Shanann Watts’ pregnancy and 36 years for the disposal of the victims’ bodies. Watts pleaded guilty this month, and in exchange prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty.