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Elizabeth Warren releases DNA analysis backing Native American ancestry claims

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has released an analysis of her DNA showing that she has Native American ancestry.

An analysis of Warren's DNA sample showed she had a Native American ancestor in her family dating back six to 10 generations, according to WFXTThe release of the analysis comes after President Donald Trump has mocked her repeatedly for her claim that she has Native American blood, and repeatedly questioned her ancestry.

>> Read more trending news 

A Stanford professor, Carlos D. Bustamante, who was awarded a MacArthur genius grant for his work tracking population migration via DNA, performed the analysis of the DNA. His report says the majority of Warren's ancestry is European, but there is strong evidence to suggest that she has a Native American ancestor.

Warren's office also released a video to YouTube, "Elizabeth Warren's family story," which directly addresses the attacks on her heritage by the President and includes interviews with her family. A "Fact Squad" website with links to the DNA report and supporting documents was also launched.

>> Watch the video here

Last month, Warren spoke about her future during a town hall in western Massachusetts on Sept. 30. She said she'll take a "hard look at running for president" after the November elections.

Warren, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, is running for re-election in November against GOP state Rep. Geoff Diehl, who was co-chairman of Trump's 2016 Massachusetts campaign.

She has been at the center of speculation that she might take on Trump in 2020.

'SNL': Alec Baldwin's Trump returns as 'Saturday Night Live' spoofs Kanye West meeting

You knew the writers at "Saturday Night Live" weren't going to let this one go.

Days after rapper Kanye West's White House visit with President Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin returned to the comedy show for the first time this season in a spoof of Thursday's headline-making meeting.

>> Watch the full sketch here

"I flew here using the power of this hat!" cast member Chris Redd, playing a rambling West, proclaimed, pointing to his "Make America Great Again" cap.

>> Kanye West talks MAGA hat, mental health, Air Force One, more in Trump meeting at White House

"This guy might be cuckoo," Baldwin, as Trump, said to himself in a voice-over. "I've been in a room with Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un, and they made a lot more sense than him."

Redd's West, echoing some of Trump's real-life comments, called himself a "stable genius" with a "high IQ" and "the best words."

"Oh, my God, he's black me!" Baldwin's Trump realized in an internal monologue.

>> Read more trending news 

Meanwhile, Kenan Thompson, playing NFL icon Jim Brown, mused to himself: "I played football with a leather helmet, and my brain is still working better than his."

The sketch ended with Baldwin's Trump declaring: "I love you, Kanye. We've a lot more in common than people know. We're both geniuses, we're both married to beautiful women, and we've both definitely been recorded saying the N-word." 

Read more here.

53,000 Georgia voter registrations on hold amid high-profile governor's race

Tens of thousands of Georgia voter applications are on hold in the weeks leading up to a contentious, high-profile midterm election.

>> Watch the news report here

An Associated Press investigation released this week uncovered 53,000 voter registration applications on hold in the Secretary of State’s Office.

The SOS cites discrepancies in the applications versus driver’s license records, and a violation of the “exact match” law. It’s legislation that was passed in 2017.

Essentially, a missing hyphen in a name or the addition of a middle initial in one record and not another could lead to a voter ending up in pending status. The office says those voters can still head to polls on Election Day and resolve their status.

>> What to do if you are turned away from voting

Georgia’s secretary of state is Republican Brian Kemp. His gubernatorial opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, has called for Kemp to resign from his position overseeing the elections.

On Thursday morning, Kemp sent a tweet accusing her of “manufactured outrage” tied to a registration project she supports.

In a statement, Kemp said the registrations account for less than 1 percent of the 5.6 million voters who have registered since 2014, and voters can indeed cast their ballots Election Day.

“Not a single voter whose status is pending for failure to verify will get rejected this election cycle,” Kemp said in the statement. “The 26-month period affords any pending applicant plenty of time to participate in a federal election – when expected turnout is highest – so the applicant has the best opportunity to provide the necessary information and move to active status.”

>> 2018 Midterm: House races you should be watching

Abrams’ campaign boiled the issue down to voter suppression, noting that 70 percent of voters on the pending list are minorities. In part of a statement issued by Abigail Collazo, the Abrams for Governor director of strategic communications, said:

“As he has done for years, Brian Kemp is maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters – the majority of them people of color. This isn’t incompetence. It’s malpractice.”

Abdul Rasheed Salaam said the SOS office has an address on file for him that does not match his current address. He said he moved years ago, re-registered, voted in 2016 under his current address, and found a discrepancy Tuesday when he checked his voting status.

>> 2018 Midterm: Senate races you should be watching

He has concerns about the exact match law.

“I’m in a position now where I don’t know if I come here on Election Day to vote that I’ll be able to vote,” he told WSB-TV investigative reporter Nicole Carr.

Catherine Hynes, an Atlanta resident, told Carr that she would be uneasy with either candidate overseeing elections.

“You know, it’s such a divisive time right now,” Hynes said. “I think anything we can do to help each other trust one another is where we need to go.”

Several civil rights organizations are now suing Kemp. The lawsuit, filed in federal court Thursday, asks a judge to overturn the “exact match” law, saying it has a disproportionate impact on African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans who want to become registered voters.

>> Read more trending news 

“It imposes unnecessary and discriminatory burdens on the voter registration process,” according to the lawsuit, filed by the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights Under Law, which is representing several civil rights organizations in the legal action.

The plaintiffs include the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, Asian Americans for Advancing Justice, the NAACP of Georgia, the New Georgia Project, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and ProGeorgia.

Pennsylvania GOP candidate vows to 'stomp' foe's face 'with golf spikes'

The Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania promised Gov. Tom Wolf in a video that he was “going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes,” CNN reported Saturday.

>> Read more trending news 

In a Facebook video that has since been removed, Scott Wagner is shown jabbing his finger at the camera and addressing Wolf.

."Somewhere yesterday, your people said that I raised a ... white flag," CNN reported Wagner as saying. “Well, Gov. Wolf, let me tell you, between now and November 6, you better put a catcher's mask on your face," he adds. "Because I'm going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes because I'm going to win this for the state of Pennsylvania."

Wolf, a Democrat seeking a second term, leads Wagner in at least five polls.

Andrew Romeo, Wagner’s campaign manager, said in a statement that the candidate's comments “were not to be taken literally," CNN reported.

FBI foils man’s plot to blow himself up on National Mall on Election Day

A New York state man was arrested by federal agents Tuesday, accused of plotting to blow himself up on the National Mall on Election Day. 

Paul M. Rosenfeld, 56, of Tappan, is charged with unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive, according to the FBI. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. 

A search of Rosenfeld’s home following his arrest turned up a 200-pound bomb that had to be removed by bomb technicians, authorities said. Agents also found a fusing system and empty canisters that once held black powder. 

“As alleged, Paul M. Rosenfeld concocted a twisted plan to draw attention to his political ideology by killing himself on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. -- risking harm to many others in the process,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a news release. “Rosenfeld’s alleged plan for an Election Day detonation cut against our democratic principles. Thanks to outstanding coordination between local and federal law enforcement, Rosenfeld’s alleged plot was thwarted, and he is now in federal custody.”

Assistant FBI Director-In-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. credited “the quick action of a concerned citizen and the diligent work of a host of … law enforcement partners and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force” with thwarting Rosenfeld’s plans.

“I’d like to extend particular thanks to our partners with the Orangetown Police Department, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, the Rockland County District Attorney, the New York State Police, the New York City Police Department and the Stony Point Police Department for their respective roles in bring this investigation to a safe conclusion,” Sweeney said

>> Read more trending news

The criminal complaint against Rosenfeld accuses him of sending letters and text messages to an unnamed person in Pennsylvania in August and September, in which he said he planned to build a bomb he would detonate on Nov. 6 in Washington, D.C. NBC News reported that the person Rosenfeld contacted was a reporter. 

Rosenfeld said he wanted the bomb to draw attention to his political belief in sortition, the complaint said. 

According to the Sortition Foundation, sortition is the use of a random selection of people to fill political positions or make up assemblies. The practice has its roots in ancient Greece. 

“An assembly that uses sortition would be composed of people just like you and me: it would be a representative random sample of people, making decisions in an informed, fair and deliberative setting,” the foundation’s website said

The reporter contacted law enforcement authorities and reported what Rosenfeld told him, NBC News said

Read the entire federal criminal complaint against Paul Rosenfeld below. 

The subsequent probe into Rosenfeld’s actions led agents to conduct a traffic stop on Rosenfeld Tuesday, at which time he agreed to an interview with investigators. In that interview, Rosenfeld admitted that he’d ordered a large amount of black powder over the internet and transported the explosive substance from New Jersey to his home in New York, the criminal complaint said. 

He admitted using about 8 pounds of the black powder to build the Election Day bomb and said he “installed certain components in the explosive device to ensure that he was killed in the blast,” the court document said. 

Agents found the bomb intended for the National Mall in the basement of Rosenfeld’s Tappan home. 

“The explosive device is a plywood box that contained what appeared to the agents, based on their training and experience, to be black powder,” the complaint said. 

FBI experts X-rayed the device and determined that engaging the bomb’s firing switch would generate the necessary electrical charge to ignite the black powder inside the box, the document said. 

Rosenfeld said he’d built smaller bombs in the past and conducted test detonations to ensure that the bigger bomb would explode as planned, investigators said. 

Rosenfeld’s family has expressed relief that the alleged plot was uncovered in time, according to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News

“We’re grateful to the FBI for managing to find out about this so no one is harmed,” Rosenfeld’s father, Peter Rosenfeld, told the newspaper

Melania Trump claims she is ‘most bullied person’ in world

First lady Melania Trump claimed in an interview with ABC News that aired Thursday that she was “the most bullied person in the world.”

>> Read more trending news 

Trump’s comments were part of an interview with ABC News reporter Tom Llamas that touched on several topics. The first lady made her comments during her tour in Africa, where she was promoting her “Be Best” program, an initiative that raises awareness about online bullying, ABC News reported.

"I could say I'm the most bullied person on the world," Trump told Llamas, explaining why she wanted to take a stand against cyberbullying, particularly on social media.

"You're really the most bullied person in the world?" Llamas pressed.

"One of them, if you really see what people saying about me," Trump said.

Hurricane Michael: Trump likely to visit Florida, Georgia next week to survey storm damage

President Donald Trump is likely to visit storm-ravaged areas of Florida and Georgia hit by Hurricane Michael early next week, White House officials told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday.

>> Hurricane Michael: Latest updates

The president spoke with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey during the flight to receive updates on the storm, which barreled into Florida on Wednesday and pounded parts of south and middle Georgia with rain and wind.

>> On Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Florida here.

>> On Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Georgia here.

The White House said Trump “offered any federal resources necessary and continues to receive regular updates.”

>> Read more trending news 

Read more here.

Hurricane Michael: Mike Pence cancels Atlanta trip as storm pounds Georgia

Vice President Mike Pence canceled his Thursday visit to Georgia to host a high-dollar GOP fundraiser as Hurricane Michael roared through the state. 

>> Hurricane Michael: Live updates

It was the second time the Republican was forced to scrap a visit to Georgia to boost Brian Kemp’s run for governor due to a major storm. He canceled a September visit because Hurricane Florence was barreling toward the Southeast.

>> On Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Georgia here.

He was set to visit Delta’s TechOps maintenance facility before heading to the Grand Hyatt Buckhead for the Georgia GOP’s Victory Dinner. Democrats planned to greet him with a large rally outside the hotel featuring supporters of Democrat Stacey Abrams.

>> On Get the latest live updates on Hurricane Michael in Florida here.

He was likely to face a cascade of criticism if he went through the trip, similar to the pushback President Donald Trump faced for traveling to a political rally for a Pennsylvania lawmaker shortly after the hurricane made landfall. 

>> Read more trending news 

Trump said the decision to go was a “quandary” but that he did not want to disappoint the crowd expecting him. 

“I hear they have thousands of people lined up, so we are in a little bit of a quagmire," he said.

Texas police confiscate yard sign depicting GOP elephant with trunk up girl’s skirt

The crudely-painted sign depicts a red, white and blue GOP elephant with his trunk up the skirt of a scared little girl and the word “Help!” coming from her mouth. In pink paint are the words, “Your vote matters.”

To Marion Stanford, the sign symbolized the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct in his past, and the backlash the Republican Party faces in the wake of the scandal. 

To critics in the small town of Hamilton, it depicted pornography. Stanford told the Dallas Morning News that complaints to the police department resulted in the sign being confiscated Oct. 2. 

“Here we have a political party that is using women,” Stanford told the Morning News. “I thought the sign represented what is going on now and we can’t just stand quiet. I wanted to tell people we could stop it with voting.”

Related story: Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as a Supreme Court justice

One of Stanford’s biggest critics was Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who posted photos of the sign, along with other political signs in Stanford’s yard, on his Facebook page

“This is in Hamilton, Texas, and is supposed to be Judge Kavanaugh’s young daughter,” Miller wrote about the sign. “Notice my opponent’s sign in the background. The Democrat sleaze knows NO bounds!”

Miller faces Democrat Kim Olson in the race for agriculture commissioner. 

Stanford said the sign does not depict any specific person. 

“That was not Judge Kavanaugh’s daughter,” she told the Morning News. “The cartoon was made last year by Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes, a Pulitzer Prize winner.”

Telnaes drew the cartoon in December after President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee endorsed Roy Moore, who was accused by multiple women of sexually assaulting them when they were minors, to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Moore lost the race to Democrat Doug Jones. 

Several people who saw Miller’s post reacted negatively to Stanford’s sign, calling it pornography and her a pedophile. She told the newspaper that she was harassed by phone and on her Facebook page, which is now private. 

Stanford told The Washington Post that there was nothing pornographic about her statement. 

“I know what the symbolism was,” she told the Post. “I know what my motivations were.”

Some people called for her arrest. One man questioned the lack of an arrest on the Hamilton Police Department’s Facebook page

“From news reports, someone in town put up some child porn posting it on the street, and while the police seized the sign, they are not charging anyone for the child pornography,” the man wrote. “This most abominable of crimes is apparently ignored in Hamilton by police even when they know it's happening.”

Another commenter described the department as “Nazi-like” and said its officers don’t believe in free speech. 

“The U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of free speech, especially political speech, means nothing to these goobers in a uniform,” the man wrote

>> Read more trending news

A Hamilton police officer did show up at her home, Stanford told the Post

“It is pornography and you can’t display it,” Stanford said the officer told her. He gave her three options: take the sign down, refuse to remove it and get arrested or let him confiscate the sign. 

She said she let him confiscate it. 

Hamilton City Manager Pete Kampfer disputed Stanford’s version of what happened. 

“It’s political season, and a citizen here placed a yard sign that featured a political animal taking an inappropriate position with a young child,” Kampfer told the Morning News. “A police member visited the owner’s home, and the owner asked the officer to take the sign.”

Stanford shared with the newspaper private Facebook messages between her and Miller. In them, she questioned whether she was really conversing with Miller and threatened to sue him because of the harassment she said his post about her sign stirred up. 

“This is Sid,” he responded. “Bring it.”

A Miller campaign spokesman reiterated Miller’s position that the girl in the image -- which Stanford described as a “generic ladies room icon” -- was meant to represent Kavanaugh’s daughter. 

“It was vulgar and disgusting and had no place in someone’s yard,” Todd Smith told the Morning News

Miller’s political opponent also decried the image. 

“Anyone who continues to share such an image that makes light of sexual assault is out of line and out of touch,” Olson said in a statement

'Beers 4 Brett': College Republicans chapter celebrates Kavanaugh at bar, threatens lawsuit

Lawyers for the University of Washington College Republicans group threatened Shultzy’s Bar and Grill in Seattle with a lawsuit Saturday if the bar denied the group service or the ability to host an event celebrating Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. 

>> Watch the news report here

Officials with the bar initially requested the group not hold its event there, prompting the legal threat.

KIRO-TV’s Deedee Sun looked into the issue and spoke with a constitutional expert who said the bar did nothing wrong.

A group of about 15 UW College Republicans ended up meeting at Shultzy’s to celebrate Kavanaugh’s confirmation with a “Beers 4 Brett” event. 

>> ‘SNL’ imagines Republican senators celebrating Kavanaugh vote in ‘GOP locker room’

“We're happy this is all over. We wanted to grab a beer – you know, kind of a little joke. We all know Brett Kavanaugh likes a beer,” said Chevy Swanson, the UW College Republicans president.

But before the gathering, officials with the bar commented on the Facebook event page, saying:

"Shultzy's is a sports-themed bar & grill that welcomes everyone. We do not promote or endorse any one religious or political viewpoint. As such, due to the political nature of your planned event, we request that you find another venue to celebrate."

Swanson said the club had no goals of causing any problems.

“So it's very disheartening just to see something like this would get shut down or be asked to shut down for not any good reason,” Swanson said.

>> Jamie Dupree: As Kavanaugh joins Court, Trump, GOP try to seize election momentum

Members of the club said the group Freedom X, which provides them legal representation, stepped in.

“He (the attorney) said in Seattle, that's illegal because political opinion, political ideology is a protected class like any other,” Swanson said. 

The situation continued to play out on social media.

Officials with Freedom X cited the Seattle ordinance and threatened to take the bar to court, saying in part, "If denied service, Freedom X will sue to vindicate our clients' right."

KIRO consulted a constitutional law expert, Jeffery Needle, who said the bar did nothing wrong.

>> PHOTOS: Kavanaugh protests across the country

“They're free to request all they like. If the group says, 'Too bad, you're required to admit us,’ and the bar says, ‘Oh no, you cannot come in,’ then at least potentially this group could have a claim,” Needle said.

But he said hypothetically, if the bar denied all political events – be it Democrat, Republican or a "Save the Whales" event – then the bar would be in the clear.

“Then they're not treating one ideology different from any other ideology, and they're not violating the statute,” Needle said.

While UW College Republicans are celebrating, others around UW are not.

“Mostly some sadness paired with some anger, but I think what’s most frustrating to me is in the last two years, these kinds of decisions are totally expected, as sad as it is, and I know that within a month I’ll be more angry and sad about something else,” said Chelsea Barroero, who was passing Shultzy’s on Saturday.

>> Read more trending news 

Regarding the bar’s request for the UW College Republicans to not host their celebratory event there, even though the request was nonpartisan, Barroero said, “Go you, I would go have a beer there.”

Almost everywhere outside Seattle, businesses can deny service based on political beliefs.

“The First Amendment does not apply to private action. This would be a purely private bar exercising their own judgment on who they want to serve on the basis of political ideology, and they could do that under national law,” Needle said.

Shultzy’s officials didn’t want to comment on the situation.

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