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May 20, 2014
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The first step in confronting a bully is to make sure you have the right one. A Santa Rosa, California, mother is learning this the hard way, a sheriff's official said Monday.

Sheriff's deputies said that on Friday, Delia Garcia-Bratcher grabbed a 12-year-old boy by the throat to warn him against bullying her daughter. She had asked her son, who also attends Olivet Elementary Charter School, which student had been bothering his sister, The Associated Press reports. One problem, authorities say, is that there is no evidence linking the boy to bullying, and investigators are looking into whether there is another student who harassed the girl.

The other problem is that, according to kids who witnessed the encounter (no other adults were present) and red marks photographed on the boy's neck, Garcia-Bratcher grabbed somebody's child by the neck. She was arrested Saturday on suspicion of inflicting injury on a child, and was later released on $30,000 bail. Through her lawyer, Ben Adams, she said she never touched the boy. "She does not deny confronting the boy and telling him to 'knock it off,' but she absolutely denies touching him," Adams told The Associated Press. Catherine Garcia

7:15 p.m. ET
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On Wednesday, the Justice Department sent officials in North Carolina a letter warning them that a new law requiring people who are transgender to use bathrooms that correspond with the gender they were born with violates federal civil rights law.

The letter, sent by the head of the department's civil rights division, states the law also violates Title IX, and the state could lose billions in federal education funding, The Charlotte Observer reports. Gov. Pat McCrory (R) called the letter "Washington overreach like we've never seen in our lifetime," but opponents like Democratic Rep. Chris Sgro said the letter confirms the bill "is deeply discriminatory, violates civil rights law, and needs to be repealed as soon as possible."

State officials have until Monday to respond "by confirming that the state will not comply with or implement" the law. Catherine Garcia

6:40 p.m. ET
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George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush will not weigh in on the 2016 election, people close to the former presidents told The Texas Tribune Wednesday.

The elder Bush has endorsed every Republican nominee in the last five election cycles, including political rival Bob Dole in 1996, and supported his son Jeb Bush before he dropped out of the race in February. His spokesman, Jim McGrath, said Bush 41 does not plan on endorsing presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, and "at age 91, President Bush is retired from politics. He came out of retirement to do a few things for Jeb, but those were the exceptions that proved the rule."

Bush 43's personal aide, Freddy Ford, told the Tribune he "does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign." Neither have said anything publicly against Trump, although George W. Bush got in a veiled jab while campaigning for his brother, telling an audience that "the strongest person in the world usually isn't the loudest one in the room." Catherine Garcia

5:35 p.m. ET
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Update 5:35 p.m.: John Kasich formally announced his exit from the 2016 race Wednesday, telling a roomful of supporters and press that he was suspending his campaign. He thanked his family, volunteers, and supporters for being part of "something bigger" than themselves, and told stories of some of the most meaningful interactions he'd had with voters on the campaign trail. He did not mention Donald Trump, an endorsement, or the general election at all, simply thanking the people of Ohio for "the greatest professional experience of my lifetime." He closed his speech on a hopeful note: "As I suspend my campaign today, I have faith ... the Lord will show me the way forward and fulfill the purpose of my life."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will announce at a Wednesday evening press conference in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, that he is suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, The Associated Press reports. Kasich was initially scheduled to do a press conference at the Dulles airport in Virginia, but announced Wednesday morning that he would not be leaving Ohio after all. If the governor does drop out, that would leave Donald Trump as the only remaining Republican presidential candidate. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) dropped out of the race Tuesday night after Trump's win in Indiana all but ensured the mogul would win the nomination. Becca Stanek

3:47 p.m. ET

It looks as though before Wednesday's end, America will know its final 2016 face-off: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. Yes, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is technically still in the GOP race, but he is widely expected to drop his bid Wednesday in a 5 p.m. EDT speech, and while Bernie Sanders is remaining defiant following his surprise win in the Democratic Indiana primary, his odds still aren't great to defeat Clinton. The math dictates we're all but guaranteed a Trump-Clinton face-off — and needless to say, Hillary Clinton is ready for the challenge.

Team Clinton wasted no time capitalizing on all the #NeverTrump vitriol that's been launched at the mogul from within his own party, releasing an ad Wednesday that is a brutal compilation of sound bites from GOP leaders:

By the time this is all over, America might need some therapy, too. Kimberly Alters

3:25 p.m. ET

President Obama vouched for the safety of filtered Flint water Wednesday by symbolically drinking a glass that had been properly treated for consumption. "If you're using a filter ... then Flint water at this point is drinkable," Obama said.

The president landed in Flint, Michigan on Wednesday for his first visit to the city since the water became contaminated with dangerously high levels of lead after Flint's government, under a state-appointed emergency manager, switched water sources to save money.

Obama will also meet with officials, community leaders, 8-year-old "Little Miss Flint," and Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who has been criticized for his handling of the crisis. "It's just breathtaking [Obama] would be here to stop off and see about little old Flint," one resident told The Detroit Free Press. "I just wanted to be here and be a part of it." Jeva Lange

1:57 p.m. ET
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Sen. Bernie Sanders' chances at winning the Democratic presidential nomination are slimmer than ever, according to The Washington Post's math. Despite the Vermont senator's surprising win in the Indiana primary Tuesday, Sanders still lags far behind Hillary Clinton with only 1,400 delegates to the frontrunner's 2,202.

To make up the ever-growing gap — and to stop Clinton, who is just 181 delegates away from tying down the requisite 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination — The Washington Post says Sanders would need to do all of the below:

  • Snag 65 percent of the remaining delegates in the Democratic primary.
  • Hold onto the 39 superdelegates he currently has.
  • Win over the remaining 160 undecided superdelegates.
  • Convince 161 of the superdelegates currently pledged to Clinton to switch allegiances.

Suffice it to say, the odds aren't looking so good. Read the full rundown on Sanders' chances, along with Sanders' chief strategist's take on it all, over at The Washington Post. Becca Stanek

1:34 p.m. ET
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Even if Donald Trump were to improve by a margin of five points in every single state, he would still lose a general election against Hillary Clinton, The New York Times reports. If the votes were cast today, as polling stands right now, Clinton would win all the same states as President Obama did in 2012 plus North Carolina.

But if Trump were to improve his margin by five points, Clinton would lose Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida — and still beat Trump with 285 electoral college votes to 253. Only by improving his polling margin by 10 points in each state — and thereby also winning Colorado, Virginia, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire — would Trump manage to clinch the presidency.

Coming back from a 10 point defect is extremely hard, but not impossible: The Times reports that in 1980, Jimmy Carter was ahead of Ronald Reagan in many polls by 10 points at this same time of year.

See for yourself what the different electoral college maps would look like over at The New York Times. Jeva Lange

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