News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
After Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida Panhandle on its way north, officials in the state were left with the macabre task of figuring out the storm’s death toll — a question that could take some time to answer.
In Bay County, Fla., where Michael made landfall last week as a powerful Category 4 storm, the sheriff said Tuesday that 12 hurricane-related deaths had been confirmed there. That pushes the total deaths linked to the storm to at least 28 across four states, with other deaths in Florida under investigation and officials still exploring some of the most ravaged areas.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said the toll, while tragic, remains lower than what many had expected based on the sheer devastation the hurricane left behind. Some had anticipated a higher death toll in Mexico Beach, Fla., because nearly 300 people had told authorities they weren’t planning to evacuate the tiny seaside town, which was obliterated by Michael’s storm surge and 155 mph winds as it made landfall.Washington Post
Most of the 245 children in custody have parents who were removed from the United States — 175 children, according to the latest government tally.
Of those, only 18 children are currently in the pipeline to reunite with their parents in their countries of origin, according to court documents. Deported parents of 125 kids in custody have said they don’t want their children to be returned to the countries of origin. And there are 32 children in government custody for whom the American Civil Liberties Union has not yet provided notice of whether parents want to reunify or decline reunification, officials said.
An additional approximately 70 children who remain in custody include 27 whose parents are in the US but have chosen not to be reunified with their children, as well as 26 whose parents have been deemed unfit to be reunified. That tally also includes 13 children the US government is working to discharge who have parents in the US. The government says three other children can’t be reunited with parents who are in the US at this time because there are red flags for safety or a parent is in criminal detention.CNN
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro said he will likely run for president in 2020, joining the growing number of prospective Democrats vying to be their party’s nominee.
“I’m likely to do it,” Castro told Rolling Stone in an article published Tuesday. “I’ll make a final decision after November, but I’m inclined to do it.”
Castro, who also served as San Antonio mayor, throughout the midterm elections has campaigned for a number of candidates in battleground states across the nation, including in Nevada, Florida and Arizona.Politico
Most recently, Castro was in Iowa this past weekend stumping for Democrat J.D. Scholten, who is going up against Rep. Steve King in the state’s 4th Congressional District.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Saudi Arabia to highlight U.S. concern over the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, the disappeared journalist whose name Pompeo has not yet uttered in public since arriving in the kingdom.
Pompeo’s talks with three officials, including the king and crown prince, were “direct and frank” about the need to investigate what happened to Khashoggi, said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.
But the cameras that recorded the officials’ small talk ahead of the private meetings captured smiles and pleasantries, giving no hint that relations between the two countries are in crisis over Khashoggi’s disappearance.
“We are strong and old allies,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Pompeo before reporters were ushered out. “We face our challenges together — the past, the day of, tomorrow.”
Pompeo replied with enthusiasm, “Absolutely.”Washington Post
The survey, released on Monday by the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics in partnership with The Salt Lake Tribune, shows each candidate with the support of 46 percent of registered voters, while 8 percent remain undecided.
Love led McAdams by 6 points, 45 percent to 39 percent, in the last Tribune-Hinckley poll in June, with 16 percent of voters polling undecided or favoring other candidates.The Hill
Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged Tuesday what every reader of President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed already knows: Trump’s not happy with his top lawman.
At a Justice Department news conference to announce a crackdown on a Mexican drug cartel, Sessions was asked about the president’s comment in a recent “60 Minutes” interview that he was “very disappointed” with the attorney general.
“The president speaks his mind. He says what’s on his mind at the time,” Sessions said. “He’s been frustrated about my recusal and other matters, but we have been so pleased and honored to be given the responsibility to execute his agenda at the Department of Justice. Part of that is just this kind of case.”
Trump was infuriated by Sessions’ decision in March 2017 to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian influence on the Trump campaign. The president has repeatedly said Sessions should have informed him before the nomination that he would recuse himself.
Sessions rarely discusses the criticism in public, even though Trump doesn’t hold back on the subject on his Twitter feed or when asked by reporters.
Pressed on Tuesday about whether the president ever pressured him to resign, Sessions never answered directly.
“Uh, I think…,” the attorney general said awkwardly, before looking to another journalist for a question.Politico
A spokeswoman for Sen. Susan Collins says the envelope a letter writer said contained deadly ricin was addressed to the senator’s husband.
Collins’ husband, Thomas Daffron, told WCSH-TV and WLBZ-TV that he saw the letter while walking the dog. He says he saw the word “ricin” and then returned the letter to the envelope, sealed it in a plastic bag and dialed 911.
A hazardous materials team responded Monday, and the FBI said preliminary tests indicated there was no threat to the public.AP