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Few Voting Issues Reported With California Recall Election

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Few Voting Issues Reported With California Recall Election


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians voted to keep Gov. Gavin Newsom in office on Tuesday, ending a statewide recall election that saw some Republicans again float unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Days before the polls closed, the campaign of one of the leading Republican candidates promoted a website urging people to sign a petition that declared Newsom had already won because of voter fraud. That language was lifted from a petition circulated to help former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn last year’s presidential election results.

By Tuesday afternoon, that language was removed from the website, leaving only a form for people to report “irregularities, interference, or intimidation while voting.” A spokeswoman for Larry Elder said the website is operated by a third party and that “websites update their language all the time.”



There were few reported problems with voting in California on Tuesday.

Elder did not revive any such claims Tuesday night, quickly conceding the race and urging booing supporters to “be gracious in defeat.”

The claims of fraud — both from Elder and former President Donald Trump — prompted a rebuke from Newsom in an election night victory speech.

“Democracy is not a football. You don’t throw it around,” Newsom said. “It’s more like a, I don’t know, an antique vase. You can drop it and smash it into a million different pieces. And that’s what we’re capable of doing if we don’t stand up to meet the moment and push back.”

There were few reported problems with voting on Tuesday. A polling center in Tulare County was closed because of a wildfire, with voters redirected to nearby alternatives. And a poll worker at a West Hollywood voting site was removed for wearing a pro-Trump shirt, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office.

In the Woodland Hills neighborhood last weekend, some people who showed up said they were told they had already voted, which the registrar’s office said was caused by settings on some computers used to check in voters. The office said those affected were allowed to cast provisional ballots, which act as placeholders until voter eligibility is determined. Similarly, a Newsmax reporter tweeted Tuesday that he was told he had already voted at an Orange County polling place. The county registrar said he couldn’t comment on this case, but anecdotally this situation happens “but in small numbers” and often there is an explanation. He, too, was allowed to cast a provisional ballot.

Some Republicans worried the fraud claims from some party leaders could suppress turnout. Harmeet Dhillon, an attorney and the national committeewoman of the Republican National Committee for California, said she made a video with her husband showing them casting ballots by mail and urging everyone to do the same.

But Dhillon also said she could not say whether California’s election would be secure, saying she and a team of attorneys monitoring voting have witnessed dozens of problems.

“There will be a lot of questions and potentially litigation after this election about this sloppy-at-best treatment of people’s ballots and their right to vote,” Dhillon said.

The GOP’s predicament was similar to that in last year’s presidential election, when many in the party feared that Trump’s claims about widespread fraud from expanded mail-in voting would backfire by persuading Republicans to stay home.

In California, the GOP needed all the help it could get.

Democrats make up 46.5% of all registered voters, while Republicans make up just 24%. Independent voters are roughly equivalent to Republicans, but tend to vote Democratic. Republicans have not won a statewide office since 2006, when Arnold Schwarzenegger won reelection as governor.

Associated Press writer Michael R. Blood in Los Angeles and Nicholas Riccardi in Denver contributed to this report.

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Body Found During Search For ‘Van Life’ Blogger Gabby Petito

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Body Found During Search For ‘Van Life’ Blogger Gabby Petito

An unidentified body has been found during the search for 22-year-old lifestyle blogger Gabby Petito, who recently disappeared while on a road trip in a van with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.

News of a body’s discovery near Grand Teton National Park, which was the last place Petito was seen, was first reported by Fox News on Sunday, citing a local coroner. The Teton County coroner also confirmed to BuzzFeed News that a body was found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The Teton County coroner did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for confirmation.

Petito was near the end of a “van life” cross-country road trip with Laundrie when she went missing. Her 23-year-old fiancé raised speculation about his involvement in Petito’s disappearance when he returned to his parents’ home in Florida on Sept. 1 without her.

Police said Laundrie was not willing to talk with investigators about Petito’s disappearance. He has since vanished himself, with the FBI launching an investigation into his whereabouts on Friday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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A Texas Doctor Says He Defied The Abortion Law, Risking Lawsuits

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A Texas Doctor Says He Defied The Abortion Law, Risking Lawsuits


Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11, 2021 in Austin.

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images


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Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11, 2021 in Austin.

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

Texas outlawed abortions past the six-week mark in a law that went into effect on Sept. 1. Dr. Alan Braid, a Texas physician, says he performed one anyway just a few days later.

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post on Saturday, Braid, who’s been practicing for more than 40 years, explained his decision as a matter of “duty of care.” The new law, known as S.B. 8, not only makes performing an abortion after about six weeks illegal, but makes it so that anyone who aids anyone else in getting one — by performing the procedure or even by giving them a ride to the clinic where they have the procedure done — runs the risk of being sued for at least $10,000.

Braid says he performed an abortion anyway on Sept. 6, on a patient who was still in her first trimester but further along than six weeks. That patient, he wrote, “has a fundamental right to receive this care.”

“I have daughters, granddaughters and nieces. I believe abortion is an essential part of health care,” his piece concluded. “I have spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients. I can’t just sit back and watch us return to 1972,” which was before the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

The Supreme Court let the Texas law stand earlier this month while leaving the door open for future legal challenges.

Braid could be sued under the new law

In accordance with the new law, any citizen could now sue Braid for performing the abortion and, if they win, could walk away with a minimum of $10,000. In Texas, the law allows private citizens to sue without having any connection to the abortion in question. A website set up by the anti-abortion-rights group Texas Right to Life also makes it easy to anonymously report those suspected of violating the ban.

If he does get sued, the abortion-rights advocacy group Center for Reproductive Rights pledged to defend him. The group is already representing Braid’s clinics in a separate lawsuit.

“Dr. Braid has courageously stood up against this blatantly unconstitutional law,” Center for Reproductive Rights president and CEO Nancy Northup said in a statement. “We stand ready to defend him against the vigilante lawsuits that S.B. 8 threatens to unleash against those providing or supporting access to constitutionally protected abortion care.”

Texas Right to Life did not immediately respond to an email from NPR, but in statements to news outlets said it was “looking into this claim but we are dubious that this is just a legal stunt.”

Clinics that Braid owns are co-plaintiffs along with other abortion providers, physicians, clergy members, and others in an ongoing lawsuit to block S.B. 8. The Justice Department has also sued the state of Texas over the ban, while abortion-rights supporters have flooded a Texas Right to Life website with false reports.

Abortion providers have been fearing the worst

Even before the law went into effect, many physicians were worried. Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, a Texas-based OB/GYN and abortion provider, described the bill as being “100% about putting fear in physicians and putting fear in abortion funds and intimidating us.”

“This law threatens my livelihood,” she told All Things Considered. “It threatens my ability to care for my family. It threatens my career simply for doing what I was trained to do right here in Texas.”

Abortion providers in Texas are now turning patients away and directing them to obtain services in different states, something Braid said he has also had to do.

Historically, it isn’t uncommon for abortion providers to be subject to harassment and violence. Harassment against abortion providers saw a spike in 2019, according to the National Abortion Federation. The FBI reported last year that violent threats against abortion providers had risen partly because of a “recent rise in state legislative activities related to abortion services and access.”



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Female Government Workers In Kabul Told To Stay Home In Latest Taliban Rule

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Female Government Workers In Kabul Told To Stay Home In Latest Taliban Rule


Women march to demand their rights under the Taliban rule during a demonstration near the former Women’s Affairs Ministry building in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday. The interim mayor of Afghanistan’s capital said that many female city employees have been ordered to stay home by the country’s new Taliban rulers.

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Women march to demand their rights under the Taliban rule during a demonstration near the former Women’s Affairs Ministry building in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday. The interim mayor of Afghanistan’s capital said that many female city employees have been ordered to stay home by the country’s new Taliban rulers.

AP

The Taliban-appointed mayor of Kabul is telling most of the city government’s female employees to stay home.

In a new ruling passed down by the Taliban, Kabul interim mayor Hamdullah Namony said that women working for the city’s government are to stay home pending a further decision, according to The Associated Press.

The only exception to the new rule applies to women whose jobs cannot be replaced by men, including those working in the city’s design and engineering departments and women’s public toilet attendants, he said.

Speaking in a news conference Sunday, Namony said that before the Taliban takeover in August, just under a third of the city’s 3,000 employees were women. He didn’t give an exact number on just how many employees across Kabul will now be forced to stay home.

“There are some areas that men can’t do it, we have to ask our female staff to fulfill their duties, there is no alternative for it,” Namony said, according to the AP.

A Taliban spokesperson last month told women across the country to stay at home for their own safety in what he called a temporary measure. The Taliban haven’t gone into full detail laying out the specific guidance on how long this new rule will be in place and whether or not women will ever be able to return to work.

However, in light of staffing shortages in the health care, the Taliban on Aug. 28 announced they would allow all 2,000 female public health care workers to return to work.

The former Women’s Affairs Ministry building in Kabul, pictured on Saturday. The Taliban have replaced the office with a ministry for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice.”

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The former Women’s Affairs Ministry building in Kabul, pictured on Saturday. The Taliban have replaced the office with a ministry for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice.”

Bernat Armangue/AP

The new Taliban government’s latest move is just one of several in the last few days stripping back the rights of girls and women.

On Friday, Taliban officials told middle and high school-aged boys to return to the classroom but made no mention of girls.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen next,” said Pashtana Durrani, founder and executive director of LEARN, a nonprofit focused on women’s education in Afghanistan, in an interview on Weekend Edition.

Durrani said that while Taliban rulers haven’t announced a ban, they haven’t addressed the question of where girls in grades 7-12 will go in the meantime if they aren’t receiving their education.

“Where should they go? What should they be doing? … They could’ve been learning,” Durrani said.

Female college students, too, are also facing restrictions from the Taliban, as they were told that their classes would now take place in “gender-segregated settings” in addition to women abiding by a “strict Islamic dress code,” The Associated Press reported.

Also on Friday, the Taliban closed the Women’s Affairs Ministry and set up a ministry for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice” in its place, resulting in over a dozen women protesting Sunday outside the building.

Mahbouba Seraj, the head of the Afghan Women’s Network, told The Associated Press she was surprised by the new orders restricting women and girls passed down by the Taliban, saying it’s becoming “really troublesome.”

“Is this the stage where the girls are going to be forgotten?” Seraj said. “I know they don’t believe in giving explanations, but explanations are very important.”



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