By John Whitesides (Reuters) - North Carolina's board of elections named political consultant Leslie McCrae Dowless as a person of interest on Friday amid a probe of possible absentee ballot fraud in a disputed U.S. congressional election. The board has refused to certify Republican Mark Harris as the winner of the Nov. 6 election for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives as it investigates possible fraud involving absentee ballots from two rural counties. In a statement, the board said it has assigned four investigators to the probe and issued subpoenas to the Red Dome Group, a consulting firm that Dowless performed work for, along with the Harris campaign committee and the campaign for a local Bladen County sheriff candidate. Residents in rural Bladen County have provided sworn affidavits that people came to their homes to collect absentee ballots they had not filled in. In North Carolina, it is illegal for a third party to turn in absentee ballots. Two women have told WSOC-TV in North Carolina that Dowless paid them to collect absentee ballots and deliver them to him. Dowless worked for the Red Dome Group, the station reported. Neither Dowless nor Red Dome has responded to requests for comment. Bladen and another rural community under review, Robeson County, saw high interest in absentee ballots this year with abnormally large numbers of ballots unreturned, according to an analysis by Michael Bitzer, a politics and history professor at Catawba College in North Carolina. If fraud is uncovered, the board could order a new election. Harris edged out Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes last month, but McCready on Thursday withdrew his concession. In a video posted on Twitter on Friday, Harris said he was unaware of any wrongdoing and that his campaign was cooperating with the investigation. “If this investigation finds proof of illegal activity on either side to such a level that it could have changed the outcome of the election, then I would wholeheartedly support a new election to ensure all voters have confidence in the results," he said. A week ago, Harris had urged the board to immediately certify him as the winner while it conducted the investigation, saying there were not enough ballots at question to change the outcome. Federal finance reports show Harris' campaign paid more than $525,000 to the Red Dome Group during the election cycle, and owed it a total of $53,442 for work performed between mid-October and late November, including $34,310 for reimbursements for "Bladen absentee" and "door to door" efforts. The elections board has said it would hold a hearing into the allegations on or before Dec. 21. North Carolina Republican Party leaders also have said they would support a public hearing and possibly a new election. Democrats in the U.S. House are calling for an investigation and could rule on the contest when they take control of the chamber next year. The elections board said after concerns surfaced in late October and early November about possible criminal absentee ballot activities, it mailed letters to about 2,000 Bladen County voters who had requested absentee ballots, explaining their rights and providing a hotline phone number. "The hotline received 10 calls in response to the mailing, and that evidence is being considered by investigators," the board said in its statement. The board said it also investigated issues with absentee ballots in Bladen County in 2016, and provided prosecutors with detailed reports documenting issues raised and additional information obtained through investigations. (Additional reporting by Grant Smith in New York; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Dan Grebler and Jonathan Oatis)
- The Independent
The right-leaning Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has warned that the loss of two Republican-held senate seats in Georgia – two races that will determine the power balance in Congress – will cost Donald Trump his legacy, as he continues to mount a specious legal battle to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. “If Republicans lose those seats, President Trump will be the main reason, and the main casualty will be his legacy,” the editorial board wrote on 3 December. The newspaper’s editorial board criticised the president’s baseless attempts to undermine election results and warned that his attacks on other members of the GOP who have condemned his remarks and spurious lawsuits are “causing a split in the party” benefitting Democrats.
- The Week
Florida attorney reportedly under investigation after telling Republicans to change 'your address for the next 2 months' for Georgia runoffs
A Florida attorney is reportedly under investigation after trying to register to vote in Georgia ahead of the January runoff election and encouraging other Republicans to change "your address for the next two months" so they can vote in the state as well, WSB-TV reports.Attorney Bill Price in a Facebook video that has since been deleted was reportedly seen speaking to members of the Bay County GOP in Florida last month, saying "we have to do whatever it takes" to "hold the Senate" and that he's "moving to Georgia" for the January runoff."And if that means changing your address for the next two months, so be it," Price says. "I'm doing that. I'm moving to Georgia and I'm gonna fight and I want you all to fight with me."Price reportedly says in the video he's "moving to my brother's house in Hiram, Georgia and I'm registering to vote." Then, he reportedly tells the Florida Republicans his brother's name and his address, and when a woman asks if they "can truly register at that address," he reportedly responds, "Sure."Georgia's office of Secretary of State told Fox News that "registering without the intention of permanent residency is a felony," as "only permanent residents are eligible to vote in Georgia." According to Fox, Price says in the video he will "move back to Florida on Jan. 6." Price told WSB-TV these were just "humorous comments" and that he "did not change my voter registration." But according to the report, he did register to vote using his brother's Georgia address the day after he made the remarks, and he's now under investigation. Price admitted to Fox News that he filled out the voter registration but claimed, "I wanted to see how easy it was to do it. I'm not actually moving to Georgia. I was joking." Read more at WSB-TV. > "If that means changing your address for the next two months,so be it.I'm doing that. I'm moving to Georgia."Our 6 investigation reveals deleted video-a FL attorney telling GOP members how to move to GA,vote in runoffs. It's illegal.There's more,& an investigation @wsbtv gapol pic.twitter.com/or2PgWQrT1> > -- Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) December 2, 2020More stories from theweek.com 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Trump reportedly derailed a GOP meeting about the Georgia Senate runoffs by praising QAnon California imposes regional stay-at-home order so hospital system doesn't become 'overwhelmed'
- The Telegraph
Former US president Bill Clinton did visit Jeffrey Epstein's infamous private island despite his claims to the contrary, his former associate has claimed. Doug Band, who worked for Mr Clinton for around two decades, claimed the former president flew on Epstein's jet dozens of times and visited the convicted sex offender's private Carribean island in January 2003. Although ignorant of Epstein's crimes at the time, Mr Band claimed in an interview with Vanity Fair that he attempted to keep his boss away from the financier after a 2002 trip to Africa. Mr Band told the magazine the trip had left him with a bad impression of Epstein and he advised Mr Clinton to end his relationship with the multimillionaire financier. The two men were friends in the 2000s, with Mr Clinton taking several trips on Epstein’s private jet, which has come to be known as the "Lolita express" after it was alleged that the financier used the jet to traffic underage girls between his various properties.
The United States could begin sharing sensitive intelligence with Honduras about inbound flights carrying drugs, U.S. officials told Reuters, even as the Central American country faces scrutiny from Washington over drug-related corruption. A proposed memorandum of understanding on intelligence sharing, which has not previously been reported, has yet to be finalized by the U.S. and Honduran governments.
- The Daily Beast
Earlier this week, Project Veritas released the first of what it promised would be many shocking revelations from CNN’s internal editorial meetings, which founder James O’Keefe appears to have infiltrated and recorded over the course of several weeks.First, the right-wing group tried to make hay out of the fact that one high-level CNN staffer considered Fox News host Tucker Carlson to be racist—while simultaneously misidentifying the staffer in question. Their latest bombshell? CNN President Jeff Zucker thinks Rudy Giuliani is “crazy.”According to Project Veritas’ website, O’Keefe believes it will be “virtually impossible for the American public to take CNN’s reporting seriously after listening to these tapes.” And yet, once again, nothing that Zucker has said should surprise anyone who has been paying attention to Giuliani, especially in the weeks since Trump lost the presidential election to Joe Biden.“There is a term for what Rudy Giuliani is suspected of being, which is ‘useful idiot,’” a voice identified as Zucker’s can be heard saying in a tape made just a couple of days after the man formerly known as “America’s mayor” started pushing material supposedly obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop.He goes on to call Giuliani’s efforts to undermine the election a “really important story,” adding, “It gets tied to the Hunter Biden email disinformation campaign. That’s the way we do this, because it’s all tied and part-and-parcel of one. I know Washington is working on putting that all together.”In a more recent call, when another staff member suggests that the “real craziness is the client,” referring to President Trump, “not the lawyers,” the voice ID’d as Zucker agrees before saying, “I think you raise a good point about not just pawning it off on the crazy legal team, but the client is the one who is directing the crazy legal team.”Other comments from Zucker that seem to have outraged Project Veritas concern the baseless allegations of pedophilia against Biden that circulated online, especially among QAnon Facebook groups, in the run-up to the election.“The president of the United States has just retweeted a post accusing Joe Biden of being a pedophile to his 86 million followers which is just beyond,” he says on another tape. “You know it also is just unacceptable that the president of the United States is trafficking in this and doing it.”Once again, an exposé intended to make Zucker and CNN look bad has only revealed that they are simply adhering to reality.Project Veritas’ CNN Sting Uncovers Explosive News That Tucker Carlson Is RacistRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- The Week
Freshly pardoned Michael Flynn shares message telling Trump to 'suspend the Constitution' to hold a new presidential election
Retired Gen. Michael Flynn is fresh off a presidential pardon and ready to get back into some trouble.President Trump pardoned his short-lived national security adviser last week, after Flynn had previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian ambassador. Flynn has since been sharing dubious allegations of voter fraud, and on Wednesday, boosted a message telling Trump to take some radical actions to stop it.In a full-page Washington Times ad from something called the We the People Convention, Ohio Tea Party leader Tom Zawistowski tries to draw a comparison between Lincoln trying to save the union in 1863 and Trump trying to claw back the 2020 election, using some disputed facts along the way. Zawistowski alleges a lot of similarities between the two times, from "Democrat/Socialist federal officials plotting to finish gutting the U.S. Constitution" to big tech "actively censoring free speech and promoting leftist propaganda." So to counter that, the We the People Convention suggests Trump "declare limited Martial Law to temporarily suspend the Constitution" in order to hold a presidential election re-vote overseen by the military.> Big pro-authoritarian energy in Trumpland today:> > The president's (recently pardoned) former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, shared a message encouraging President Trump to "temporarily suspend the Constitution," impose martial law and "silence the destructive media." pic.twitter.com/cQh0wl7oWw> > — Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 2, 2020Flynn shared the ad on Twitter on Wednesday, seemingly trying to encourage a bunch of Fox News hosts and QAnon supporters to share it. It's just one of many disputed facts and allegations about the election that are apparently flowing through the mind of the man who used to oversee America's national security.More stories from theweek.com 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Trump reportedly derailed a GOP meeting about the Georgia Senate runoffs by praising QAnon Florida attorney reportedly under investigation after telling Republicans to change 'your address for the next 2 months' for Georgia runoffs
- Associated Press
The leadership of a broad coalition of Western Hemisphere nations on Wednesday accused the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor of failing to take swift action on allegations that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government committed crimes against humanity. The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States said in a report that ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s failure to open a formal investigation into Venezuela is “stunning” and “inexplicable.” The leadership of the 35-member body said the slow pace of the ICC's review of Venezuela's situation has emboldened Maduro's government to commit more crimes believing that it can act with total impunity.
- NBC News
The Bond Fire started with flames at one home, before it reached nearby vegetation and spread out of control.
Man, 41, had no teeth and could barely speak after his mother locked him in their suburban apartment for 28 years, say reports
A 70-year-old Swedish woman has been arrested for imprisoning her son in her Stockholm flat. He was found by a relative covered in wounds and pus.
- The Week
The Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to hear a case from President Trump's legal team that seeks to challenge the state's presidential election results, The Washington Post reports.On Thursday, the court ruled that Trump's team should have taken up the matter with a lower court. The ruling is yet another blow to Trump's longshot effort to overturn his election loss in several states; he has claimed voter fraud led to President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but there is no evidence of widespread fraud.Trump lost to Biden in Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes. The campaign alleges that Wisconsin election officials improperly accepted thousands of ballots in two of the state's most Democratic counties. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Florida attorney reportedly under investigation after telling Republicans to change 'your address for the next 2 months' for Georgia runoffs 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Trump reportedly derailed a GOP meeting about the Georgia Senate runoffs by praising QAnon
- Associated Press
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday expressed his opposition to a bill approved by parliament the previous day to suspend U.N. inspections and boost uranium enrichment, saying it would be “harmful” to diplomatic efforts aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear deal and easing U.S. sanctions. The tug-of-war over the bill, which gained momentum after the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist last month, reflects the rivalry between Rouhani, a relative moderate, and hard-line lawmakers who dominate parliament and favor a more confrontational approach to the West. The bill would suspend U.N. inspections and require the government to resume enriching uranium to 20% if European nations fail to provide relief from crippling U.S. sanctions on the country's oil and banking sectors.
- USA TODAY
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a top official dealing with the pandemic.
- The Week
Trump gives 45-minute speech about voter fraud — which 1 analyst says he'd be making in court if it had any merit
President Trump has combined dozens of his favorite conspiracy theories about the 2020 election into one incredibly debunked Facebook video.In a 45-minute video posted Wednesday, Trump repeated debunked lie after lie about the 2020 election, including claims that Dominion voting machines were rigged; Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security had looked into claims about the machines changing ballots and found no evidence. Trump also falsely suggested mail-in ballots were somehow rigged against him, despite it being known before the election that mail-in ballots would tend to go for President-elect Joe Biden, and that there have been no instances of widespread fraud found since.Trump made several more false claims throughout the video, but because it was pre-recorded, there was no chance for the press to question him.> Making this speech full of blatantly false attempts to undermine the election in a Twitter video rather than at the White House means the president doesn't have to face questions about his comments from the press. He has almost entirely avoided questions since election night. https://t.co/iiHMyEDeLr> > -- Hunter Walker (@hunterw) December 2, 2020One question that might be asked is why Trump isn't heading to court with these seemingly serious claims, as the team leading his legal challenges in several states has yet to bring forward compelling evidence. Republican pollster and consultant Frank Luntz had an answer: It's because they don't have any "substance." > If the claims had substance, he would be presenting them in a courtroom - not a Facebook video. https://t.co/tgfTUm1Zg7> > -- Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) December 2, 2020More stories from theweek.com Florida attorney reportedly under investigation after telling Republicans to change 'your address for the next 2 months' for Georgia runoffs 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Trump reportedly derailed a GOP meeting about the Georgia Senate runoffs by praising QAnon
- Architectural Digest
From a private island to a tiny Vermont tree houseOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
The killing of a young Black man last month by a white man who complained that he was playing loud music has roiled Ashland, Oregon, forcing the liberal college town that is famous for its Shakespeare festival to take a hard look at race relations. The death of Aidan Ellison, 19, added another name to the list of Black men and women whose killings have sparked a nationwide reckoning with racism and fueled a surge in a Black Lives Matter movement. On Nov. 23, Robert Keegan fired a single shot into Ellison's chest after complaining about the music late at night in a motel parking lot.
Boris Johnson is set to unveil plans for world-leading emissions UK cuts - but are they enough?
In September, a senior Iranian commander made an unannounced visit to one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest sites in the southern Iraqi city of Kerbala. Hassan Pelarak, a top officer in the Revolutionary Guards' elite Quds Force, had recently been sanctioned by the U.S. for weapons smuggling. The vast, $600 million expansion at the Imam Hussein shrine, which is revered as the place of martyrdom of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, will swell the capacity of what is already the world's largest annual pilgrimage, dwarfing the Hajj to Saudi Arabia's Mecca.
- Yahoo News Video
A photo of Dr. Jacob Keeperman of Renown Regional Medical Center at its alternative care site in Reno, Nev. — the day before coronavirus patients began to arrive — is being misrepresented on social media to fuel the false narrative that the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax.
- The Independent
When first lady Melania Trump revealed the Christmas decorations for her last holiday season in the White House, one aspect that stood out was a room dedicated to the Kennedys. The Vermeil Room on the ground floor of the executive mansion features a collection of 1,600 display pieces of silver-gilt tableware, and this year holiday decorations were themed on president John F Kennedy and first lady Jackie.
- The Telegraph
A top Georgia elections official on Tuesday lashed out angrily at the rhetoric surrounding the election and the threats of violence that have resulted, specifically calling on President Donald Trump to rein in his supporters. Gabriel Sterling is a Republican who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system. During a routine news conference at the state Capitol to provide an update on the recount of the presidential race requested by Mr Trump, Mr Sterling admonished the president and Georgia’s two US senators, who are both locked in tight runoff races against Democrats and have called on GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign over claims that he mishandled the election. "Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language. Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions," Mr Sterling said, visibly angry. "This has to stop. We need you to step up, and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some." Mr Trump, though, didn’t take the upbraiding to heart, reiterating unproven claims of fraud relating to mail-in ballots in a tweet late on Tuesday that replied to an Atlanta TV journalist who tweeted about Mr Sterling’s denunciation. "Rigged Election," Mr Trump tweeted.