Election 2018: Here’s a look at Tuesday’s results in Washington state Sean Quinton Democrats gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives as results flowed in from across the country Tuesday night. When the nation’s eyes turned to the West Coast, Democrat Kim Schrier held a 6 percentage point lead over Republican Dino Rossi in Washington’s 8th Congressional District.Meanwhile, Republicans kept control of the U.S. Senate, as one of the highest profile races in the country went to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who held off Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in Texas.So what about that “wave” that everyone was talking about? It turns out, our nation couldn’t decide on one color, columnist Danny Westneat says. Two waves rolled across the nation on election night — a liberal blue wave in the suburbs and a conservative red wave in the rural areas. Here’s Westneat’s take.Here’s a quick look at how the night unfolded in Washington state. For a complete look at the numbers, visit our 2018 election results page.When the nation’s eyes turned to the West Coast, Democrat Kim Schrier held a 6 percentage point lead over Republican Dino Rossi in Washington’s 8th Congressional District. Here’s how the night unfolded.Share story
- 8th District: With about 196,000 votes counted, Democrat Kim Schrier opened up a lead over Republican Dino Rossi on Tuesday night. The race is still too close to call. Here’s the latest on Washington’s hard-fought and historically expensive 8th Congressional District race.
- 3rd and 5th districts: Republican members of Congress in Eastern and Southwest Washington led their Democratic challengers. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers defeated Democrat Lisa Brown and Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler led Democrat Carolyn Long, 52 percent to 48 percent.
- Carbon fee: Voters rejected Initiative 1631’s fees on greenhouse-gas polluters.
- Taxes on sodas and groceries: Initiative 1634 to block Washington cities from enacting new food and beverage taxes was striking a sweet note with voters. It lead by nearly 10 percentage points Tuesday night.
- Guns: Voters gave a resounding yes to Initiative 1639, which will impose some of the nation’s strictest gun regulations.
- Police use of force: Voters approved Initiative I-940, removing a barrier that had made it virtually impossible to bring criminal charges against police officers believed to have wrongfully used deadly force.
- Seattle education levy: Students from preschool to community college got a boost as voters approved the $600 million-plus levy.
- State Supreme Court: Incumbent Justice Steven González overcame a challenge from attorney Nathan Choi.
- King County Prosecutor: King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg won an easy re-election victory with about 72 percent of the vote.
With several races undecided, check back for updates at Seattletimes.com.
Kemp claims victory in Georgia, prompting threat of legal action from Abrams
The secretary of state’s website said Wednesday evening that all ballots had been counted, and that Kemp led Abrams with 1,973,098 votes to her 1,910,388. That gave Kemp 50.33 percent of the vote, just barely enough to avoid falling below the 50 percent threshold that would trigger an automatic runoff.Part of the challenge in verifying the result in Georgia is that Kemp has resisted calls to switch the state to voting machines that have a paper trail. Georgia is one of only five states in the country that uses electronic machines that do not provide an auditable paper trail. “Georgia’s voting systems are 16 years old, and the state can’t double check if its election results are accurate because it uses voting machines that don’t have a paper trail,” Axios reported in August.Kemp was the only state official to decline assistance from the Department of Homeland Security to secure its voting system, Politico reported in July.That leaves the integrity of the result in the hands of Kemp to an unusual degree. He has resisted calls to resign his position to avoid the very kind of conflict of interest that now leaves him in the position of candidate and referee over a tight election.“If this is not a breach of public trust and abuse of power … I don’t know what is,” Groh-Wargo said.Kemp has faced criticism for using the power of his office to investigate minority voter groups when they have electoral success, to remove more than 2 million voters from the rolls for inactivity, and for putting thousands of voters in limbofor minor discrepancies between their voter registrations and state or federal records.The Associated Press found in October that Kemp’s office had put more than 53,000 voter registrations in “pending” status because of their “exact match policy,” and that most of the registrations affected by this policy were for African-Americans.Kemp says he has purged the voter rolls to prevent voter fraud, despite the fact that numerous studies have concluded that organized and widespread voter fraud is not a problem
The James Comey of India Goes Rogue When Narendra Modi’s government sacked Alok Verma, it set off a potentially damaging chain of events. THE JAMES COMEY OF INDIA GOES ROGUE SOURCEALVARO HIDALGO TAPIA WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Low-profile law enforcement official Alok Verma could damage Narendra Modi’s re-election. The 2 am letter to Alok Verma was clear. The Indian government had sacked Verma, the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the country’s top investigative agency, which boasts many of the same powers as America’s FBI. Citing an ongoing spat between Verma and his second-in-command, Rakesh Asthana, the government in the wee hours of Oct. 24 asked both to stay at home while another agency probed corruption allegations the two had leveled against each other.If Prime Minister Narendra Modi thought his top cop would go quietly, he was wrong — and the fallout threatens a halo Modi has carefully built for himself as his re-election campaign steams ahead.First thing the next morning, 61-year-old Verma petitioned India’s Supreme Court to overturn his removal, alleging that the government’s decision “violated his fundamental rights and amounted to a blot on the CBI’s independence.” Just 20 days before his ouster, Verma had met lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former minister Arun Shourie, who shared documents that they claim point to corruption in a $9 billion deal under which French firm Dassault is to sell 36 Rafale fighter jets to India. Modi, they alleged, had changed the deal to insist that Dassault had to pick a specific Indian tycoon, Anil Ambani, as a partner.The government has denied the allegations, but the opposition Indian National Congress party and its leader, Rahul Gandhi, have made it a centerpiece of their campaign against Modi. For four decades as a police officer, Verma had preferred to avoid any public glare. Now, he is at the heart of a political slugfest over the squeaky-clean personal image Modi has carefully cultivated. In ways similar to former FBI chief James Comey, who has taken on President Donald Trump since he was fired, Verma could embarrass Modi five months before the world’s largest democratic exercise: India’s national elections.“The midnight operation and the unseemly hurry to remove him was because he had possibly just started the process of investigating the Rafale deal,” says Bhushan, the lawyer. “And that is what really alarmed the government.”EVEN OUT OF OFFICE, VERMA — AND WHAT SECRETS HE MIGHT SPILL — REPRESENTS A TICKING TIME BOMB FOR THE MODI GOVERNMENT. Like Comey, whom Trump initially tried to woo, Verma and the Modi government started off well. Ironically, it was the Congress party that had opposed Verma’s appointment in the first place in January 2017, arguing that he didn’t have any prior experience in the agency.And Trump’s insistence on personal loyalty from career government professionals is of a piece with what CBI veterans say has been the ever-growing politicization of the Indian agency. The CBI traces its roots to the 1941 founding of the Special Police Establishment, where officers quickly distinguished themselves in tackling corruption cases. Back then, the agency’s independent probes led to resignations of post-independence stalwarts, including finance minister T.T. Krishnamachari and finance secretary H.M. Patel, recalls Shantonu Sen, a former joint director of the CBI. But for two decades now, says Sen, the agency’s credibility has taken a beating as successive governments have encroached on its independence, demanding loyalty. And now, he says, “We have reached rock-bottom.” That extends to Verma’s interim replacement, former CBI Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao, a Modi favorite and champion of Hindu causes.Raised in a government neighborhood in New Delhi, Verma went to one of India’s premier colleges, St. Stephen’s, and then cleared the notoriously difficult civil services examination — hundreds of thousands sit for it each year — to join the Indian Police Service. In 2014, he was made head of New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, the largest prison complex in South Asia with more than 15,000 inmates. Two years later, he was appointed Delhi police commissioner, before his elevation to CBI director in 2017. Verma has been known to be shy and reserved and didn’t address the media on his first day as Delhi police commissioner, as is the tradition. His closest aides have been quoted in newspapers as saying that Verma is quite an emotional guy who fought for the promotion of some 20,000 constables in Delhi Police, but he can get acrimonious and it’s best to avoid his bad side.Rakesh Asthana, second-in-command at the Central Bureau of Investigation.SOURCE ARUN SHARMA/HINDUSTAN TIMES VIA GETTY Tensions between Verma and the Modi government began to rise after Asthana, a favorite of the prime minister from his time as Gujarat chief minister, was brought in as the agency’s No. 2 officer in October 2017. Asthana, 57, had worked with the agency before and also briefly had run the CBI as its interim chief. But Asthana and Verma’s differences stayed under wraps for months, emerging only in September when the CBI announced that it was investigating six cases against Asthana, who hit back, alleging nine cases of corruption by Verma. Apart from removing Verma and Asthana from office, the government has also transferred out 11 other CBI officers who were probing Asthana. The Supreme Court has ordered the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), another government agency, to probe both sets of allegations by Nov. 9.Verma is far from blameless, say many experts. Activist-journalist Vineet Narain, whose investigations led to one of India’s biggest corruption scandals in 1990, says the government was “right in sacking” both Verma and Asthana since neither has behaved as “officials should behave” in publicly accusing each other. With corruption allegations against both, the government has no option but to keep them away from office, Sen says. “That’s always been the CBI practice.”Prakash Singh, a veteran officer who had led many of India’s top security agencies, says the government’s removal of Verma falls in a “gray” zone. On the one hand, the law forbids the government from removing a CBI director during his term, and Verma retires in January 2019. On the other hand, the government technically hasn’t fired him, just sidelined him during the probe. “But once you have divested him of all power, that means you have removed him” from the post, argues Singh.Even out of office, Verma — and what secrets he might spill — represents a ticking time bomb for the Modi government. In campaign speeches, Congress leader Gandhi is telling his listeners that the Rafale deal, if investigated, would send Modi to jail. “It is just a matter of time. It is an open-and-shut case,” he said at an event in central India’s Indore city on Tuesday.Verma is holding out veiled threats too. “There are bound to be occasions when certain investigations into high functionaries do not take the direction that may be desirable to the government,” he said in his petition before the Supreme Court, effectively suggesting that the government is trying to muzzle him.Whatever the Supreme Court decides, to CBI veterans like Sen, this spat represents the eruption of a crisis that has long been in the making, as the agency’s autonomy and the caliber of its officers have declined. “Now,” Sen says, “the pus has come out.”
The Latest: Polish leaders to hold Independence Day march•A worker cleans a statue depicting late Polish President Lech Kaczynski after it was installed at a central square in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday Nov. 7, 2018. Kaczynski, who was killed in a 2010 plane crash in Russia, was the twin brother of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the current ruling party, Law and Justice. The statue will be official unveiled on Saturday as part of the centennial observances marking 100 years of Polish independence. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Latest on independence commemorations planned in Poland (all times local):6:15 p.m.A Polish official says the president and the prime minister are organizing a march at which all Poles can join together Sunday to mark the centennial of Polish Independence.The announcement of the state event comes after the Warsaw city mayor earlier in the day banned a march by radical nationalists that has marred Poland’s international reputation in the past and proven deeply divisive at home.Blazej Spychalski, a spokesman for President Andrzej Duda, said the president and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki decided to hold the march after consulting with war veterans.He invited all Poles to march with the national flags Sunday to show that „we are one white-and-red team,” a reference to the national colors.Poland became independent on Nov. 11, 1918, at the end of World War I._2:25 p.m.The mayor of Warsaw is banning a march that radical Polish nationalists had planned for Sunday to coincide with Poland’s Independence Day.Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz said Wednesday her decision is meant to end the „aggressive nationalism” that has been a feature of far-right events for the past decade on the November 11 national holiday.A similar move was taken in the western Polish city of Wroclaw on Tuesday.The bans come amid signals that radical far-right groups planned to travel to Poland for the day and as police have staged mass walk-outs that raised security concerns.This year, Poland is celebrating the centenary of its independence, gained in 1918 at the end of World War I._12:35 p.m.A monument to the late President Lech Kaczynski has been installed in a central Warsaw square ahead of its unveiling as part of celebrations marking Poland’s 100 years of independence.Kaczynski, who was killed in a 2010 plane crash in Russia, was the twin brother of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the current ruling party, Law and Justice.Plans for the statue have been a point of political contention, with the city authorities — in the hands of the political opposition — opposed to the statue, and the provincial authorities in favor.The bronze statue will be unveiled Saturday evening ahead of centennial commemorations on Sunday. Poland regained its independence at the end of World War I after more than a century of rule by foreign powers.
Boeing to warn 737 MAX operators of a potential instrument failure that could cause the jet to nose-dive Dominic Gates Following the fatal crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia last week, Boeing was preparing Tuesday evening to warn all airlines operating its new 737 MAX of the potential for an instrument failure that could result in the plane entering a dangerous dive, according to a person briefed on the bulletin’s details.The safety warning comes in what’s called a service bulletin that goes out to all operators of the airplane and includes instructions on exactly what pilots should do if the condition arises.[RELATED: FAA follows Boeing’s 737 safety alert with an emergency directive] It’s normal for the Federal Aviation Administration to follow such a warning with an “airworthiness directive” that makes it mandatory, and this is anticipated in the coming days.Lion Air Crash coverageThe Lion Air crash in Indonesia has prompted Boeing to issue a safety warning to all airlines operating the 737 MAX, instructing pilots in what to do if a specific sensor failure arises.Share story
Investigators looking into the cause of the Lion Air crash, which killed all 189 passengers and crew, have identified a potential failure of a sensor that tells the pilot and the flight control computer the airplane’s “angle of attack,” which is the angle between the wing of the plane and the flow of air it is moving through.A plane will have a high angle of attack when climbing. Too high an angle would cause a stall.The concern caused by the flight pattern and initial investigation of the Indonesian crash is that the sensor may potentially feed false information about this angle to the flight computer, which in turn triggers other errors.In particular, with the sensor falsely indicating that the nose is too high, when it isn’t, it causes an automatic system response that “trims” the horizontal tail of the plane to begin putting the plane’s nose down.At the same time, it causes an indicator of the minimum speed to tell the pilot that the plane is near a stall, which also causes the pilot’s control column to shake as a warning. And the airspeed indicators on both sides of the flight deck disagree.The pilots can use extra force to correct the nose down trim, but the failure condition repeats itself, so that the nose-down push begins again 10 seconds after correcting.“If the nose is trimmed down on an aircraft, it becomes difficult for the crew to hold it,” said the person briefed on Boeing’s bulletin. “The nose is turning itself down and they are having to fight it. It takes a lot of effort to keep it from diving. Especially if you have a crew that’s confused and doesn’t know what’s going on.”This description fits exactly the flight pattern of the Lion Air jet that crashed.For 12 minutes before it crashed, the altitude swung up and down as if the pilots were fighting to maintain height, bringing the plane up, then having it swing down again repeatedly.Boeing statement on service bulletin On its website late Tuesday, Boeing issued this statement:”Boeing is providing support and technical assistance to the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee and other government authorities responsible for the investigation into Lion Air flight 610.The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has indicated that Lion Air flight 610 experienced erroneous input from one of its AOA (Angle of Attack) sensors.Whenever appropriate, Boeing, as part of its usual processes, issues bulletins or makes recommendations regarding the operation of its aircraft.On November 6, 2018, Boeing issued an Operations Manual Bulletin (OMB) directing operators to existing flight crew procedures to address circumstances where there is erroneous input from an AOA sensor.The investigation into Lion Air flight 610 is ongoing and Boeing continues to cooperate fully and provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of government authorities investigating the accident.”[RELATED: Boeing 737 crashed in Indonesia after key sensor replaced] Pilots are typically trained on how to handle a “runaway trim” situation, said the person briefed on the Boeing bulletin, but that’s with everything else working as it should. In this case, the control-column shaking, the stall warning and the air-speed-indicator disagreement all combine to create confusion and keep the pilots very busy.Boeing instructs pilots in the bulletin that if this failure arises, “initially, higher control forces may be needed to overcome any nose-down stabilizer trim.” The instructions go on to say that after the initial stabilization, the automatic trim system on the horizontal tail should be switched off and any trim performed manually.Pilots can turn off the automatic trim system with a cutoff switch operated by the thumb on the central control stand between the two pilots.“This is all coming from the Indonesian crash,” said the person briefed on the Boeing bulletin. “I’m not aware of any other operator having this problem.”More than 200 MAXs are in service around the world. Boeing builds the 737 in Renton, and expects 40 to 45 percent of those built this year to be MAXs, the rest being the previous model.News of the service bulletin was first reported Tuesday evening by Bloomberg News. A Boeing spokesman declined to comment.Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter: @dominicgates.