Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, November 8. Ready for news?
Here are highlights from yesterday’s elections — there were many strong victories by Democrats.
— In Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam won with almost 54% of the vote, soundly defeating Republican candidate Ed Gillespie to be the governor for the next four years. This race had both previous President Obama and current President Trump involved with Obama appearing at a rally and Trump tweeting support.
— In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Republican Kim Guadagno. The state had a well-known Republican governor, Chris Christie, for the past 8 years but now a Democrat will take over.
— In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) defeated Republican Nicole Malliotakis to serve another four-year term.
— In Utah, Republican John Curtis (the current Mayor of Provo) defeated Democrat Kathryn Allen to win the empty congressional seat left behind by former Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
— Back to Virginia — there is now the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state legislature, Democrat Danica Roem. She defeated Republican Rep. Robert Marshall, who introduced a transgender bathroom bill in January. He had his legislative seat for 13 consecutive terms.
—Virginia also had 14 seats in their General Assembly flipped from Republicans to Democrats.
— In Maine, voters supported a expansion of Medicaid to cover an additional 70,000 low-income residents, showing that Obamacare ideas are popular in the state.
— Democrats took control of the Washington State Senate and replaced Republican Mayors for Manchester, NH, St. Petersburg, FL, and Fayetteville, NC.
— In Charlotte, NC — Democrat Vi Lyles will be the first black female mayor.
— In Seattle, Democrat Jenny Durkan won the Mayor race, making her the city’s first openly lesbian Mayor (and first woman Mayor since 1920)
— In Minneapolis, Andrea Jenkins is the first transgender person to be on their city council. She is also the first transgender woman of color elected to public office in a major U.S. city.
— In Hoboken Ravi Bhalla won the race to be Mayor, making him the first Sikh mayor in New Jersey.
— Update on Deaf man Neil McDevitt running for mayor of North Wales, Pennsylvania — he said his race is very close and he is down by only 7 votes. He is waiting for the official results, and it could take until Monday.
— So, one year after Republican Donald Trump won the White House, there is now a wave of Democrats who hav won various elections. The conservative website Drudge Report had the headline, “Dems Born Again.”
— But President Trump remained positive, tweeting today a group picture of himself and top aides on Air Force One saying, “congratulations to all the ‘DEPLORABLES’ and millions of people who gave them a massive Electoral College landslide victory” — to mark the one-year anniversary of his election win.
We will see how Democrats will maintain this momentum heading into next year’s midterm elections and on how Republicans can maintain their edge as they’ve won often in recent elections.
President Trump has been traveling in Asia since last Friday. He has stopped in Japan, South Korea, and is now in China.
Trump and his wife, Melania toured the famous “Forbidden City” in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan. They visited other places and had a formal dinner. The two countries announced $9 billion in various business deals.
Before the China trip, Trump was in South Korea and gave a speech to their National Assembly. He warned North Korea about their nuclear program, telling them to not underestimate or try Trump and his team because they were different from previous U.S. administrations.
Trump also said North Korea was a “hell” with terrible conditions for people who live there.
He also said it was possible that the two countries could get along, but only if North Korea completely gives up their nuclear weapons.
In response, North Korea said the U.S. must oust the “lunatic old man” from power and stop the hostile policy towards them in order to avoid “doom.”
Before South Korea, Trump was in Japan, where he urged Prime Minister Abe to buy more U.S. military weapons for missile defense since North Korea was firing missiles over Japan. Abe seems to be open to it.
Up next for Trump is a visit to Vietnam and then to the Philippines.
Yesterday former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died when his new, personal plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, in waters off St. Petersburg, Florida. He was 40 and alone in the plane.
Flying the airplane seemed to be Roy’s favorite hobby and he often posted on social media videos and pictures of him flying the plane, an Icon A5. This plane can land on both land and water and costs just under $400,000.
TMZ released a brief video of the plane flying high and then close to the water — this was just before he crashed. People in the area said the plane was flying “aggressively.”
The crash has sent shockwaves through baseball fans because Roy was a very talented player, winning the Cy Young award twice and was a 8-time All Star. He played for the MLB for 16 years, mostly with the Toronto Blue Jays and then with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Very sad. This is the third Icon A5 plane that has crashed this year, and Roy is the third person to die by this airplane.
Last weekend there was another major leak of financial documents of millions and billions of dollars that were invested into off-shore accounts with the purpose of avoiding tax — it is called the “Paradise Papers.”
Numerous famous political, business, and entertainment people have their names associated with the Paradise Papers, which has brought them scrutiny on if they avoided paying taxes in their home country.
Among the people named:
— Queen Elizabeth II, her estate invested more than $12 million offshore.
— Current Trump Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross — he has business investments in companies that are tied with several top Russian business leaders.
— Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, the papers show that he and his business partner got funding from a Russian billionaire to start up a company.
— Race car driver Lewis Hamilton, he imported his private jet worth $16.5 million offshore, avoiding tax on it.
— U2 singer Bono invested in an offshore company that bought shares in a shopping company in Lithuania.
— An adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — Stephen Bronfam — appears to have moved millions of dollars offshore to avoid taxes.
— Lord Ashcroft, a big donor for British Conservative Party, had $450 million offshore.
— Tech company Apple — it appears they have moved cash offshore.
— Twitter and Facebook appears to have got millions of dollars in investments from people connected to the Russian government.
— Several U.S. universities have billions of dollars in endowment funds offshore
This practice isn’t illegal as there are loopholes in U.S. law and other countries’ laws that allows people to avoid paying taxes. But it brings more scrutiny to people, especially if they are political leaders and make decisions on tax policy.
Sen. Bernie Sanders said this shows that there is a rapid movement of money in the global economy going into the hands of a few billionaires, who become richer and richer by hiding their money.
There is still a lot of documents to go through and there is an ongoing effort by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to analyze the data. They also led the release of a previous, similar trove of leaked financial data — the Panama Papers.
Three quick news briefs:
— The Trump administration will put travel restrictions to Cuba, rolling back Obama’s “deal” with Cuba. Starting tomorrow, U.S. tourists can’t travel to Cuba unless they are a part of an organization or an university. Americans and American businesses also can’t do business with a list of Cuban organizations that have ties with Cuban military, intelligence, or security services.
— Three UCLA basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball (brother of LA Lakers player Lonzo Ball), were arrested in China, accused of stealing from a Louis Vuitton store. They have been released on bail but are required to stay at a hotel until the legal process is over. The UCLA team was there to play against Georgia Tech. We’ll see what happens.
— A former TV news anchor in Massachusetts, Heather Unruh, said actor Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted her son last year at a club in Nantucket when he was 18 years old and under the influence. She said the family knew about it but didn’t tell the police because of embarrassment and fear, but have now filed a police report, starting an investigation.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!