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Election officials cautiously went into the midterms this week bracing for the possibility of harassment and hostility at some polling places. Luckily, voting went smoothly across the US – even after two years that election-deniers bragged that they would flood the polls with observers to find fraud.
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Control of Congress remains undetermined as results continue to trickle in from Senate races in Arizona and Nevada. Georgia’s contest is also heading to a runoff on December 6 after neither Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock nor Republican challenger Herschel Walker surpassed the 50% threshold needed to win the race outright. In the House, it could be days until a full picture emerges as votes are still being counted in states like California, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. Although Republicans are inching toward a slim majority in the House, President Joe Biden called the midterm vote “a good day for democracy” and praised Democrats’ efforts to stave off resounding GOP wins. “While any seat lost is painful… Democrats had a strong night,” he said.
2. Tropical Storm Nicole
Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane just south of Vero Beach, Florida, early this morning, packing winds of 75 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. While it has weakened to a tropical storm, Nicole is expected to lash the state with heavy rain and storm surge for the next several hours. Nicole’s colossal path has already caused power outages for nearly 110,000 customers and has prompted the closures of many schools, colleges and universities as well as the cancellation of hundreds of flights and the shuttering of amusement parks. Additionally, some residents evacuated their homes after they were deemed unsafe and at risk of collapse due to the storm’s impact. You can track the storm’s path here.
Russia has ordered its troops to retreat from the key city of Kherson, the only regional capital it has captured since start of its war in Ukraine. This is a dramatic setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin, as Ukrainian forces approach the city from two directions. The withdrawal “demonstrates the courage, the determination, the commitment of Ukrainian armed forces and also the importance of the continued support” of the West, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg told CNN. This comes as a top US general said Russia has suffered more than 100,000 killed and wounded soldiers as a result of the invasion – and Ukraine is probably looking at similar numbers.
Ballot measures that will legalize marijuana are expected to pass in two states and fail in three others, CNN projects, as momentum has grown nationwide to push for lifting penalties once associated with cannabis. Voters in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota rejected measures that would have allowed certain amounts of cannabis possession and recreational consumption for people 21 and older. CNN projects Maryland and Missouri will approve measures to legalize recreational marijuana use. In Maryland specifically, individuals who were previously convicted of cannabis possession and intent to distribute will also be able to apply for record expungement. Recreational use of marijuana is currently legal in 19 states – along with Washington, DC.
5. Listeria outbreak
The CDC issued a warning Wednesday about a deadly listeria outbreak in six states that has been linked to contaminated deli meat and cheese. People at high risk of severe illness from listeria infection – such as pregnant people, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems – should not eat meat or cheese from any deli counter without first reheating it “steaming hot,” the CDC said in a statement. At least one death was reported in Maryland and 16 people have been infected, according to reports from six states. If you have recently purchased deli cheese or meat, the agency recommends a careful cleaning of your refrigerator – and any containers or surfaces the meat or cheese may have touched – with hot, soapy water.
Heat shield that could land humans on Mars is heading to space today
NASA said this inflatable heat shield will hitch a ride to space today in the hope that it could eventually assist with human travel to other planets.
Where you can pick up a classic Thanksgiving meal
If you don’t feel like basting a turkey for hours on end this year, check out these restaurant chains and supermarkets that are offering take-out options.
The lottery is preying on the poor, critics say
Many lotto players this week had fun dreaming about the microscopic chance of winning a $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot. Critics, however, are pointing to the flaws of a lottery system they say unfairly targets poor people.
Jennifer Aniston opens up about failed IVF and has ‘zero regrets’
“I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it,” Aniston said. Read about her difficult IVF journey that made her the person she is today.
Popular crypto entrepreneur loses 94% of his wealth in a single day
After Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange, FTX, collapsed this week, Bloomberg said he may find himself off of their billionaires list within days.
That’s how many female governors the US will have in 2023, setting a new record for the nation. While the number still represents a small fraction of the top executives across the 50 states, it beats the previous record of nine female governors serving concurrently in 2004, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
“Maybe this is a dumb decision, but we’ll see.”
– Elon Musk, backing his plan to offer blue check marks to Twitter users who agree to pay $8 a month – a strategy that has been marred by uncertainty and abrupt changes. During a Twitter Spaces session on Wednesday, Musk pleaded with advertisers to keep using his platform to “see how things evolve.” Twitter currently appears to be battling a wave of celebrity and corporate impersonators on its platform who have quickly gamed the company’s new paid verification system.
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Human iPhone sound effects
This a cappella group has mastered the art of singing iPhone ringtones and alert chimes! (Click here to view)