Republicans have spent years warning us that voter fraud is rampant. Despite no evidence that this is the case — election fraud in the United States is in fact rare —President Trump has warned us repeatedly about hordes of Mexicans and other illegals attacking this pillar of our Democracy, the GOP has put legislation into place in states across the country to make it harder to vote, arguing that it's necessary to protect the sanctity of elections. They take voter fraud seriously, they say. It's become one of their core issues. So, we would expect that faced with a rare case of potentially serious and pervasive electoral fraud, they would jump on it — insist on an investigation, figure out exactly what happened, punish wrongdoers and close whatever holes in the system led to the abuses. So, here's their chance. Allegations of flagrant absentee ballot fraud in a North Carolina district have thrown the Election Day results of one of the nation's last unresolved midterm congressional races into question. Unofficial ballot totals showed Republican Mark Harris ahead of Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in the 9th Congressional District. But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week in view of "claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities" involving mail-in ballots in the district. What's going on in NC?
Ministers from Opec the oil cartel that controls roughly a third of global production, and its allies including Russia and Kazakhstan, will meet in Vienna this week to decide how to respond to the 30 percent plunge in oil prices to around $60 a barrel over the past two months. What are the projection for the US and international implications as US production is booming? Will the latest Senate briefing on the Kashoggi murder have an impact? But for Saudi Arabia, which remains the world's top oil exporter and the cartel's de facto leader, that decision has been complicated by the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. — Senators emerged from a closed-door briefing with the CIA director on Tuesday and accused the Saudi crown prince of complicity in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Qatar has announced that it is withdrawing from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Jan. 1 after nearly 60 years of membership. This is jarring news to energy markets but understandable at two levels: operational and political.
Two police departments in the New England region of the United States canceled their annual visit to Israeli police forces and engagement in training, amid pressure from organizations affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The Vermont State Police and the Northampton Police Department in Massachusetts both canceled their planned trip to Israel for a training program just days before it was supposed to start. What does this signal about the pressure from the BDS movement? Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, announced in a press release today that Vermont State Police Director Colonel Birmingham canceled the trip in response to a petition created against it.
Bob Phillips — Executive Director for Common Cause. Common Cause North Carolina is a Raleigh-based nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy.
Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression, who also writes at jackrasmus.com.
Wafic Faour — Works with Vermonters for Justice in Palestine works to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for human rights and to end the illegal, immoral, and brutal Israeli occupation through education, advocacy, and action.
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