Voting Concerns Following Michael, Border Security Update, Journalist Murder Revelations, and More

Voting Concerns Following Michael, Border Security Update, Journalist Murder Revelations, and More
  • ​Following Hurricane Michael, which killed 16 people in Florida alone, residents are left wondering whether they will be able to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, according to The New York Times. The hardest-hit counties are home to more than 200,000 registered voters, and early voting is slated to begin on October 27. Officials say voting is a top priority, despite ongoing electricity and cellphone outages that make it difficult to communicate with voters. Additionally, many designated polling places have been destroyed or turned into shelters, and some counties have changed policies to allow people to vote by mail, request absentee ballots, or vote at a handful of polling super centers. Meanwhile, local officials have been arresting about 10 looters every night for a week. 

  • A recent Supreme Court ruling forced the termination of some 9,000 deportation cases this summer after the court decided paperwork failing to designate a time and place for a court hearing did not constitute a legal notice. In a Reuters review of data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, it found that the tossed deportation cases was the highest per month, ever. However, a later Board of Immigration Appeals ruling decided that such documents without specific court hearing information were valid as long as the immigrant received a subsequent notice with the details. The flip-flopped rulings will be reviewed by an appeals court. And the Washington Post reports that border agents arrested 16,658 family members in September—that’s the highest total yet seen. The number represents an 80 percent increase since July. 

  • Following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Saudi Arabia, in which he and U.S. President Trump appeared to accept at face value the country’s denial of involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey leaked information about audio recordings proving otherwise. The leaks describe a quick, brutal murder, in which Khashoggi was killed, beheaded, and dismembered, the killers leaving within two hours, the New York Times reports. There is growing evidence that senior Saudi officials ordered the killing, despite their denials. It is unclear whether Turkey’s audio evidence has been shared with U.S. intelligence agencies. Meanwhile, the Washington Post has published Khashoggi’s last filed column. 

  • In other news, IBM made a splash by integrating AI with cybersecurity—and saying the tactic will create more jobs. A senior U.S. Treasury Secretary official was arrested for leaking suspicious bank records involving Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and more to a journalist. A new study finds that obesity in America may become a national security threat because almost a third of young people are disqualified from military service due to their weight. Officials say there has been a spike in attempted hackings of the U.S. election database, but none have been successful. And one of the officials who implemented the Safety Act following 9/11 reflects on how that will play out in courts following last year’s Las Vegas massacre. ​