Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 7, 2022

Republicans and Democrats make final pitches ahead of midterms, Zelensky warns Russia is preparing "mass attacks" against Ukrainian infrastructure, and more


Parties make final campaign pushes ahead of midterms

Republicans and Democrats made final campaign pitches over the weekend ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections, with Republicans poised to take control of the House and possibly the Senate. President Biden, campaigning Sunday in New York for Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), warned that a GOP victory could weaken democracy. Former President Donald Trump, speaking in Florida, blamed Biden for violent crime, inflation, and other problems, and hinted at another run for the White House. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, both former presidential hopefuls, campaigned in New Hampshire on Sunday for Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), whose tightening race against GOP challenger Don Bolduc is one of several that could decide control of the Senate.


Zelensky says Russia preparing 'mass attacks' on Ukraine power grid

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Sunday that Russia was preparing "mass attacks" across Ukraine targeting infrastructure, especially the power grid. Russia has focused on drone and missile strikes against power stations and other key facilities as a Ukrainian counteroffensive has driven Russian forces out of some occupied areas. Russia has damaged or destroyed 40 percent of Ukraine's power grid, forcing rolling blackouts. Russian and Ukrainian officials said the Black Sea port city of Kherson lost power when a high-voltage power line was destroyed. Both sides are preparing for a major fight for control of Kherson, which Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said could be "the decisive battle in the war in Ukraine."


GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel says Republicans will accept election results

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Sunday that her party's candidates would accept Tuesday's midterm election results, after letting "the process play out" with recounts and canvassing to confirm contested counts. Some Republicans, including Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, have stopped short of committing to accepting the results, as many members of the party push former President Donald Trump's unfounded claim that fraud cost him the 2020 presidential election. When asked about Johnson's position on CNN's State of the Union, McDaniel said: "Well, I would say the same to Stacey Abrams, right. Or Hillary Clinton, who's already saying, in 2024, we are going to rig the election. That's not helpful."


Report: Russian misinformation targeting U.S. midterms

Russia's secretive Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, which interfered in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, is using social media posts to stir up anger, this time aiming to chip away at support for the Biden administration's military aid to Ukraine, The New York Times reported Sunday. "The posts mostly denigrated President Biden and other prominent Democrats, sometimes obscenely," the Times reported. They also depicted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky negatively, in line with Russian propaganda. "It's clear they are trying to get them to cut off aid and money to Ukraine," said Alex Plitsas, an Army veteran and former Pentagon information operations official now working for the business technology company Providence Consulting Group.


U.N. kicks off COP27 climate summit in Egypt

The United Nations launched its annual climate meeting on Sunday. Delegates from nearly 200 countries kicked off the COP27 summit in Egypt with an agreement to discuss compensation for poor nations that have contributed little to the pollution accelerating climate change, but are suffering increasing damage as temperatures and sea levels rise. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, noting that a U.N. report released Sunday said the last eight years have been the hottest on record, said "our planet is sending a distress signal." COP27 gets fully underway Monday with a two-day World Leaders' Summit where heads of state will speak about what they hope to get out of the meeting. After the leaders depart, conference delegates will start their negotiations.


Election officials face threats in key Arizona county

Election workers in Arizona's hotly contested Maricopa County received at least 140 threats and other hostile communications as the midterm election campaign intensified in late summer, Reuters reported Sunday, citing 1,600 pages of documents the news agency obtained through a public-records request. The threatening messages to the county election office between July 11 and Aug. 22 included such menacing lines as, "You will all be executed," and, "Wire around their limbs and tied & dragged by a car." Many of the threats cited former President Donald Trump's unfounded claims about various forms of fraud, including fake ballots and tampering with voting machines. Other jurisdictions around the country also experienced similar threats.


Tanzanian plane crashes, killing at least 19

A small passenger jet crashed into Lake Victoria in Tanzania on Sunday, killing at least 19 people. Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the flight, which was chartered by Tanzanian carrier Precision Air, had been carrying 43 people when it crashed into the lake, which is Africa's largest body of water. Precision Air said 26 people were taken to a hospital for treatment. The plane took off from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city, and was attempting to land at the lakeside Bukoba Airport when it experienced unspecified problems and bad weather, and came down in the water. "It was raining and the plane plunged into the water," Kagera province police commander William Mwampaghale said.


North Korean military says missile tests were simulated strikes against U.S., South Korea

North Korea's military said Monday that its unprecedented recent flurry of missile tests were practice for strikes on South Korea and the United States. The simulated attacks came as South Korea and the U.S. conducted six days of joint air drills that ended Saturday. North Korea's military said the exercises were an "open provocation aimed at intentionally escalating the tension" and "a dangerous war drill of very high aggressive nature." The North last week fired dozens of missiles, including one suspected intercontinental ballistic missile, and sent warplanes over the sea in protest of what it said were enemy drills to practice an invasion. Senior diplomats from the U.S., Japan, and South Korea discussed the "reckless" North Korean tests by phone over the weekend.


Meta expected to announce major layoffs

Facebook-parent Meta Platforms is preparing broad layoffs as soon as Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. The move would mark the first time the company has ever made large-scale layoffs. It would be the latest in a series of cutbacks at major technology companies that experienced rapid pandemic-era growth. Meta had more than 87,000 employees at the end of September, so even though it won't lay off as large a share of its workers as Twitter, which affected roughly half the social media company's employees in recent days, Meta's layoffs could be the biggest yet this year for a major tech company in terms of jobs lost.


Lokedi, Chebet win New York City Marathon

Sharon Lokedi and Evans Chebet of Kenya won the 51st New York City Marathon on Sunday. Lokedi, who only started running competitively in 2015, pushed out of a four-person group leading the women's race to take the crown in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 23 seconds, just seven seconds ahead of runner-up Chemtai Salpeter of Israel. "I'm out of words," Lokedi said on ESPN after winning in her first appearance in the storied race. "I'm just happy I won." Chebet, also making his debut start in the race, was part of a pack that ran more than 90 seconds behind Daniel Do Nascimento of Brazil, who led through the halfway point before falling to the ground with a medical issue, clearing the way for Chebet to take the lead. Chebet is the first man since 2011 to win the marathons in New York and Boston in the same year.


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