Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 12, 2022

Mark Kelly wins Arizona, Democrats inch toward Senate control, Biden says U.S. will work to expand Southeast Asian coalition, and more


Mark Kelly wins Arizona, Democrats inch toward Senate control

Sen Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) has defeated his Republican challenger, Blake Masters, CNN and The Associated Press projected Friday, putting Democrats within a single seat of retaining Senate control. With 85 percent of precincts reporting, Kelly had carried 51.8 percent of the vote to Masters' 46.1 percent, and was ahead by more than 120,000 votes. For Kelly, a retired astronaut and U.S. Navy captain, the win means he has been elected to his first full term in office, after winning Arizona's special election in 2020. The win is a key strategic victory for the Democratic Party, who now look to the upcoming runoff in Georgia as the critical race to maintain their slim majority. 


Biden says U.S. will work to expand Southeast Asian coalition

President Biden said Saturday that the U.S. would collaborate with a coalition of Southeast Asian nations, reportedly telling leaders in the region that "we're going to build a better future that we all want to see." Biden, who has notably worked to strengthen ties with the United States among these nations, has participated in three summits as president with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In a statement from Cambodia, where Biden is participating in an international trip, he said, "I look forward to continuing our work together with ASEAN and with each one of you to deepen peace and prosperity throughout the region."


Joe Lombardo narrowly ousts incumbent Steve Sisolak in Nevada gubernatorial race

GOP candidate Joe Lombardo has narrowly won the Nevada governor's race, beating incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, The Associated Press and The Washington Post projected Saturday. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Lombardo had carried 49.2 percent of the vote to Sisolak's 46.9 percent, and was ahead by more than 22,000 votes. Lombardo, a former police officer and elected sheriff in Las Vegas, was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and his victory marks a rare win in a midterm election that was largely viewed as a failure for the former president. It was reported that Sisolak called Lombardo on Saturday morning to concede the race. 


Donald Trump sues Jan. 6 Committee to block subpoena

Former President Donald Trump filed a federal lawsuit on Friday to try and void a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6. In the suit, Trump argued that the committee's subpoena was invalid. The committee, which has blamed the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Trump, is seeking personal testimony and documents from the former president related to the events of that day. The lawsuit is notably the first formal action Trump has taken against the subpoena, and his lawyers argued that the former president had "absolute testimonial immunity" from the committee. 


At least $1 billion in funds vanish from crypto exchange, report says

At least $1 billion in customer funds have disappeared from crypto exchange FTX, according to a report from Reuters. The incident marks another black mark on the collapsed exchange, which filed for bankruptcy on Friday after one of the most high-profile crypto disintegrations ever. Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters that FTX's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, had secretly transferred $10 billion from FTX to his privately held trading company. While the details remain unclear, it is known that a significant portion of those funds have now disappeared, with sources saying anywhere from $1 to $2 billion had vanished. 


China clamps down on restrictions as COVID cases spike

Chinese officials continued clamping down on harsh COVID-19 restrictions, as one metropolitan district of Guangzhou was placed in a full stay-at-home order Saturday as cases continued to rise. The district, which has a population of approximately 1.8 million people, ordered citizens to undergo rigorous virus testing. The city of Guangzhou itself, which has a total population of 13 million people, saw 3,775 new infections on Saturday, according to the National Health Commission. This was a massive increase from Friday's totals, which saw 3,030 new cases — though many of them were notably asymptomatic. 


U.K. and France to agree on deal stopping illegal migrants at English Channel

The United Kingdom and France have reportedly agreed to a deal to stop migrants from making the dangerous trek across the English Channel, British newspaper The Telegraph reported Saturday. The agreement between the two European powers is slated to increase the 200 French officers and volunteers who patrol the beaches along the Channel, and they will aim to stop a "much higher" percentage of migrants from attempting to cross to the other side. British foreign minister James Cleverly and his French counterpart, Catherine Colonna, said in a statement they were "urgency of tackling all forms of illegal migration," and British officials reportedly said the deal had been completed. 


Ukraine celebrates victory in city of Kherson as Russians flee

Ukrainian forces on Friday re-entered the liberated city of Kherson for the first time since the beginning of the Russian invasion, marking a turning point in the war as Russian soldiers retreated to the city's eastern outskirts. While the residents of the city are still without basic necessities, including power, water, and supplies, the mood in Kherson was described by CNN as "euphoric," as the citizens of the freed metropolis welcomed their heroes back onto their streets. People were seen gathering in Kherson's central square after months in which dissidents were reportedly taken away and tortured by the Russians. 


Disney reportedly plans mass layoffs, targeted hiring freeze

The Walt Disney Company is reportedly planning to cut jobs across the board and initiate a hiring freeze, according to a memo sent Friday from Disney CEO Bob Chapek. The reported moves come just days after the entertainment conglomerate released its quarterly earnings, which showed shockingly low results and saw Disney's share price hit a 52-week low. In the memo, Chapek told employees, "As we work through this evaluation process, we will look at every avenue of operations and labor to find savings, and we do anticipate some staff reductions as part of this review." It is unclear how many employees the company is planning to lay off. 


Alec Baldwin files counter lawsuit related to ‘Rust’ shooting

Actor Alec Baldwin filed a lawsuit Friday against a slate of crew members associated with the film Rust. The lawsuit accuses the film's armorer and first assistant director, among others, of knowingly handing Baldwin a loaded firearm that discharged and killed the film's cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin filed the lawsuit as a cross-complaint against his own lawsuit, which was filed by the film's script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, who is suing Baldwin for his alleged role in Hutchins' death. Baldwin's lawyers wrote that the film's armorer was mostly to blame for the shooting, writing in the filing, "This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun."


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