AP Top News at 11:51 p.m. EST

November 07, 2017 - 12:00 am

Democrats sweep Virginia, New Jersey governor's races

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Voters in Virginia and New Jersey gave Democratic gubernatorial candidates large victories Tuesday and sent a clear message of rebuke to Republican President Donald Trump. In Virginia's hard-fought contest, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. In New Jersey, front-running Democrat Phil Murphy trounced Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to succeed unpopular GOP Gov. Chris Christie. The victors said Tuesday's electoral results had far-reaching repercussions in a sharply divided country. "Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we do not condone hatred and bigotry," Northam said. "The days of division are over. We will move forward," Murphy said in his own victory speech, invoking Trump by name as he looked headed to a double digit win.

A look at the winners and losers of the top US races

Voters on Tuesday headed to the polls to elect two governors, some big-city mayors and one member of Congress in an election dominated by local and state races. A rundown of the top races around the country: TWO GOVERNORS Voters in two states picked replacements for their term-limited governors — Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia and Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey — in contests seen as an early referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump. In swing state Virginia, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. In New Jersey, front-running Democrat Phil Murphy overcame Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday: 1. DEMS CAPTURE TWO GOVERNORSHIPS Democratic candidates in Virginia and New Jersey who sought to tap into anti-Trump sentiment win contests to become their states' next governors. 2. TRUMP'S SURPRISE TRIP TO DMZ THWARTED BY FOG A helicopter flight by the president to the heavily fortified Korean demilitarized zone is blocked by bad weather. 3. WHICH CHANCES TO AVERT BLOODSHED WERE MISSED The gunman who massacred more than two dozen people at a small-town Texas church had amassed a record that should have given law enforcement several opportunities to stop him from having guns.

Trump warns North Korea: Do not 'try us'

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Donald Trump delivered a sharp warning to North Korea Wednesday, telling the rogue nation: "Do not underestimate us. And do not try us." In a speech delivered hours after he aborted a visit to the heavily fortified Korean demilitarized zone due to bad weather, Trump said he had a message for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger," Trump told an audience of South Korean lawmakers, calling on all nations to join forces "to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea." "The world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens with nuclear devastation," he said.

Maine OKs Medicaid expansion in first-of-its-kind referendum

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Residents in this rural state besieged by a heroin epidemic and an aging population voted Tuesday to deliver a rebuke to Republican Gov. Paul LePage and join 31 other states that have expanded Medicaid under former President Barack Obama's health care law. The referendum represents the first time since the law took effect that the question of expansion had been put in front of U.S. voters. Some 11 million people in the country have gotten coverage through the expansion of Medicaid, a health insurance program for low income people. LePage vetoed five different attempts by the state Legislature to expand the program.

Transgender woman wins Virginia House seat, makes history

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A transgender candidate defeated an incumbent Virginia lawmaker Tuesday who sponsored a bill that would have restricted which bathrooms she could use. Democrat Danica Roem, a former journalist, is set to make history as the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature in the United States. She unseated Republican Del. Bob Marshall, one of the state's longest serving and most socially conservative lawmakers. The race was one of the year's most high profile, drawing international attention and big money to the northern Virginia House of Delegates district outside the nation's capital. "It's historic.

Texas church gunman once escaped from mental health center

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — The gunman who carried out the massacre at a small-town Texas church briefly escaped from a mental health center in New Mexico in 2012 and got in trouble for bringing guns onto a military base and threatening his superiors there, police reports indicate. Devin Patrick Kelley was also named as a suspect in a 2013 sexual assault in his Texas hometown of New Braunfels, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the scene of the church attack. The records that emerged Tuesday add up to at least three missed opportunities that might have offered law enforcement a way to stop Kelley from having access to guns long before he slaughtered much of the congregation in the middle of a Sunday service.

Schiff to AP: Trump a graver threat than Russian meddling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House's top Democrat investigating Russia's election meddling on Tuesday declared that in many ways President Donald Trump is "far more grave a threat" to American democracy than the Kremlin. Rep. Adam Schiff cited a litany of actions by Trump, from appointing Cabinet officers with "direct conflicts of interest" and goals of dismantling their agencies to limiting Muslim immigration and discrediting federal judges. As for the president's own possible jeopardy, Schiff said Trump is trying to disparage the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller and the congressional panels that are investigating possible coordination between his campaign and Russia in the election that put him in the White House.

Documents: Top political donors used offshore tax loopholes

Some of the nation's biggest political donors, including some who spent $60 million supporting Republican Donald Trump last year, are among those who took advantage of offshore tax loopholes, according to leaked corporate documents made public Tuesday. The documents also name a top donor and former cabinet secretary for Democratic former President Barack Obama, and raise questions about whether the donor complied with ethics rules aimed at insulating officials' personal holdings and policy they oversee. The findings come as Trump's former senior White House strategist Steve Bannon has condemned "corporatists and globalist elites" in his crusade to topple Senate Republican leadership by promoting challengers to virtually all incumbent Republicans seeking re-election next year.

Former star pitcher Halladay killed in Florida plane crash

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Roy Halladay had a passion for flying airplanes that nearly matched his love of baseball. Halladay worked tirelessly to become a dominant pitcher, winning a Cy Young Award in each league and tossing a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter in the same year for the Philadelphia Phillies. When he couldn't pitch at a high level anymore, Halladay walked away from the game and immersed himself in another craft. The son of a corporate pilot, Halladay quickly got his license to fly — despite his wife's misgivings. The eight-time All-Star fulfilled his dream when he purchased his own plane last month.

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