Texas Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia won their congressional elections on Tuesday, becoming the first Latina women elected to Congress. Escobar, a former El Paso County judge, will fill the seat vacated by Democrat Beto O'Rourke, and Garcia, a state senator, will represent a Houston-area district being vacated by Rep. Gene Green (D). Escobar and Garcia will also become among the first women to whom Texas has given full terms in Congress in more than 20 years, The Texas Tribune says. Peter Weber
Texas is sending its first 2 Latina women to CongressNovember 6, 2018
Juul will no longer sell most e-cigarette flavors in stores4:20 p.m.
Melania Trump calls for the White House's deputy national security adviser to be fired4:06 p.m.
Why did New York offer Amazon 3 times the tax breaks Virginia did?3:31 p.m.
Game of Thrones' Pedro Pascal is starring in the new live-action Star Wars show2:54 p.m.
Monica Lewinsky says Bill Clinton 'should want to apologize' to her2:21 p.m.
Reported hate crimes just saw their biggest spike since 9/112:06 p.m.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already leading protests against Nancy Pelosi1:12 p.m.
Juul announced on Tuesday that it will temporarily halt the sale of its flavored nicotine pods in all retail stores and will discontinue its social media promotions.
The e-cigarette company has conceded to mounting pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, as it completes the process of regulating the sales of e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations, reports The New York Times. The hope is to curb the rise of teen vaping.
As of Tuesday morning, Juul has stopped accepting retail orders for its mango, fruit, creme, and cucumber flavored pods to over 90,000 retail stores. CNBC reports that customers are still able to buy all Juul flavors on its website, while the four tobacco and menthol-flavored pods remain in stores.
In a statement posted on the San Francisco-based company's website, CEO Kevin Burns addressed the purpose of this change. "By deterring social media promotion of the Juul system by exiting our accounts, we can better prevent teens and non-smokers from ever becoming interested in the device," he said.
The FDA is still set to release its proposal later this week, outlining strict requirements for age verification of online sales and restricting sales of cartridge-based flavored e-cigarettes to shops. “Our intent was never to have youth use Juul," said Burns. "But intent is not enough. The numbers are what matter and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarettes is a problem.” Amari Pollard
First lady Melania Trump on Tuesday called for a member of the Trump administration to be fired, and it looks like she may soon get her wish.
On Tuesday, the first lady's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement that Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel "no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House." NBC News reported earlier in the day that President Trump was likely to fire Ricardel following a "series of run-ins" with the office of the first lady. For instance, reports Bloomberg, Ricardel threatened to withhold National Security Council resources unless she or someone else from the NSC could travel with the first lady on her recent trip to Africa.
That's not all, though. Melania Trump's staff has told the president they believe Ricardel is responsible for leaking negative stories about her to the press, The Wall Street Journal reports, adding that Ricardel has feuded with Defense Secretary James Mattis as well. President Trump had reportedly already told his wife he would have Ricardel removed from office, the Journal reports. Her firing appeared to be imminent, especially because The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey writes that Ricardel is "among the most despised aides in the West Wing, if not the most." Ricardel was hired in May, and CNN reports she's one of National Security Adviser John Bolton's "key allies in the administration."
The statement from the first lady was particularly surprising considering, as CNN's Kate Bennett points out, Ricardel had joined the president at his Diwali ceremony right before its release. Not long after, the Journal reported that Ricardel had been fired and was escorted from the building, although a White House official denied this report, telling CNBC she is "still at her desk." When asked if she would still be there tomorrow, the official said, "We'll see." Brendan Morrow
Amazon wants to evenly divide its second headquarters between New York City and the Washington D.C. area. But the two cities aren't exactly splitting the very large bill.
In the company's Tuesday announcement revealing that its HQ2 will land in New York's Long Island City and northern Virginia's Crystal City, Amazon disclosed that New York would deliver $1.525 billion in "performance-based tax incentives" for its job-creating investment. Virginia, meanwhile, would deliver just $573 million — a third of New York's deal, Axios' Felix Salmon pointed out.
Earlier reports of Amazon's imminent expansion stoked fears of what could happen to one of New York's more affordable neighborhoods. But New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wasn't worried, saying at a Tuesday press conference that the "synergy" created by putting HQ2 next to one of America's "biggest public housing developments" would be "extraordinary." De Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) both deflected questions about whether Amazon's investment would fix the city's broken subway system at the conference, instead suggesting ferries would make it plenty easy to get to the riverside Long Island City.
Meanwhile, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson released a statement pondering "why a company as rich as Amazon would need nearly $2 billion in public money," especially since New York is struggling to fund public needs.
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) November 13, 2018
If you've previously found Star Wars' lack of Pedro Pascal disturbing, Disney is about to remedy that.
The Game of Thrones and Narcos actor is in negotiations to lead the upcoming live-action Star Wars show The Mandalorian, Variety reports. He'll apparently be playing the titular Mandalorian, a lone gunfighter whose adventures in the far reaches of the galaxy are central to the series. An image of that main character was already released last month, but he had a helmet on and his face wasn't visible. At the time, Pascal was rumored to be involved. No other members of the cast have been announced yet, though, and Lucasfilm has not yet officially confirmed Pascal's casting.
The Mandalorian is one of two live-action Star Wars shows currently in development, both for Disney's upcoming Netflix competitor, streaming service Disney+. The other is an untitled series about Cassian Andor from Rogue One, which will star Pascal's Narcos co-star Diego Luna reprising his role from that 2016 movie. While the Cassian show is set prior to the events of the original Star Wars, The Mandalorian takes place a few years after the events of 1983's Return of the Jedi but long before 2015's The Force Awakens. It's currently in production and looks likely to debut in late 2019, when Disney+ officially launches. Brendan Morrow
Former President Bill Clinton doesn't think he owes Monica Lewinsky an apology, but Lewinsky says he would be a better man if he offered one.
Lewinsky penned an essay in Vanity Fair this week ahead of the premiere of The Clinton Affair, a new A&E documentary premiering Nov. 18 for which she gave 20 hours worth of detailed interviews. In the essay, Lewinsky references the fact that Bill Clinton has never apologized to her privately; he said earlier this year he doesn't owe her an apology. Lewinsky writes that she is "disappointed for him" because "he would be a better man" if he apologized to her. "What feels more important to me than whether I am owed or deserving of a personal apology is my belief that Bill Clinton should want to apologize," she says.
Lewinsky also says that if she were to run into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in person, she would tell her "how very sorry I am." Clinton last month argued that her husband's affair with Lewinsky was not an abuse of power because Lewinsky was "an adult." Lewinsky was a 22-year-old White House intern at the time of the affair, and she has since said that Clinton abused his power over her.
The former president's actions have come under increased scrutiny in light of the #MeToo movement, and Lewinsky in her essay criticizes the fact that he was able to avoid tough questions about his behavior for so long. "If you want to know what power looks like, watch a man safely, even smugly, do interviews for decades, without ever worrying whether he will be asked the questions he doesn't want to answer," she writes. Read more at Vanity Fair.
The number of hate crimes reported to the FBI jumped by 17 percent in 2017 — their biggest spike since 9/11.
Reported hate crimes have generally fallen since the FBI recorded an all-time high of 9,730 incidents in 2001, CBS News notes. But FBI data released Tuesday shows a recorded 7,175 crimes in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016 and marking a third straight year of growth.
The majority of reported hate crimes — 59.6 percent — targeted a victim's race, ethnicity, or ancestry, the FBI notes. About 2,000 of the reported crimes targeted black Americans. Another 20.6 percent were categorized as religiously motivated, and 15.8 percent targeted a victim's sexual orientation.
In a Tuesday statement, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said he was "particularly troubled by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes." Crimes against Jewish people went up 37 percent last year, making them the most common religiously motivated hate crimes last year, per The Washington Post. There were 938 reported anti-Semitic crimes in 2017.
These numbers increased in part due to an increase in the number of local police departments that report hate crimes to the FBI, the Post notes. Still, many local police departments still don't share statistics with the bureau.
To combat this continued uptick, the FBI also launched a hate crimes website with resources for reporting a crime. It lists news and descriptions of hate crimes, and features a "safe exit" button that redirects away from the site. Kathryn Krawczyk
Incoming congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made her first visit to Capitol Hill this week for congressional orientation. And after meeting some fellow new recruits, she visited a Democratic veteran for an impromptu protest.
On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez joined protesters who gathered at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office to push for congressional action on climate change. The newly-elected New York Democrat had spent Monday evening rallying for "green jobs for all," and it soon became clear she was behind the protest as well.
Incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins sit-in in Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's office calling for efforts to combat climate change: "We don't have a choice." https://t.co/gLuznc0WMb pic.twitter.com/BfPQKyifIZ
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 13, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez defeated longtime Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a June primary and became the youngest woman elected to the House last week. But unlike some other congressional newcomers, she hasn't explicitly said whether she'll support Pelosi's bid for House Speaker. And given how the Sunrise Movement, the organization behind Tuesday's protest, had some less-than-kind tweets for Pelosi during its sit-in, it seems that Ocasio-Cortez is not on the minority leader's side.
But in what seemed like an attempt to distance herself from anti-Pelosi rhetoric, Ocasio-Cortez later tweeted that activists at the office "asked [her] to join them" in protesting Pelosi. Ocasio-Cortez then tweeted that she'd reached an agreement with Pelosi and seemed pleased with the result — though the Sunrise Movement said Pelosi's statement didn't go far enough. Kathryn Krawczyk
I have spoken with @NancyPelosi about how our commitments to climate change should take shape in the 116th Congress.
Her office has responded quickly, and she has recommended the reinstatement of the Select Committee on Climate Change. pic.twitter.com/LHI6koUto6
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 13, 2018