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California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. (Dylan Stewart / HS Insider)

The morning after the Nov. 6 congressional midterm election in California, state, county and media websites reported that 100% of precincts had turned in their results.

It was highly misleading: The final tally, released Friday, showed that a staggering 5.2 million of the 12.1 million ballots cast — 43% — remained uncounted that morning. Most of the outstanding votes were from mail ballots.

The website charts listing results from “100 percent” of the precincts feed public mistrust in the counting despite California’s stringent protections of ballot integrity, said Mindy Romero, the director of USC’s California Civic Engagement Project, a nonpartisan research center in Sacramento.

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Job growth slowed significantly in November but still was solid, indicating the economy remains in good shape but not expanding so quickly that it will lead to sharply higher interest rates.

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  • White House
Heather Nauert at a briefing at the State Department on Aug. 9, 2017.
Heather Nauert at a briefing at the State Department on Aug. 9, 2017. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

President Trump is expected to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Two administration officials confirmed Trump's plans. A Republican congressional aide said the president was expected to announce his decision by tweet on Friday morning. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly before Trump's announcement.

Trump has previously said Nauert was under serious consideration to replace Nikki Haley, who announced in October that she would step down at the end of this year.

The Senate, in a party-line vote Thursday, confirmed White House aide Kathy Kraninger to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and experts predicted a continuation of the industry-friendly shift it has taken since President Trump installed an acting director last year.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), shown at the Capitol on Tuesday, says President Trump's border wall is a waste of money.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), shown at the Capitol on Tuesday, says President Trump's border wall is a waste of money. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Congress passed a two-week stopgap spending bill that will delay the chance of a partial government shutdown until Dec. 22 as lawmakers and President Donald Trump negotiate over his demands to pay for a wall on the southern border.

The House and Senate passed the measure Thursday without dissent, and Trump has indicated he'll sign the bill before the current shutdown deadline of midnight Friday. Negotiations were delayed by memorial services this week for former President George H.W. Bush.

The temporary measure gives Democrats and Republicans more time to find a resolution to their biggest hurdle: funding a wall on the U.S. Mexico border wall.

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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires. (Associated Press)

A bipartisan group of senators filed a resolution Wednesday condemning Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, directly challenging President Trump to do the same.

"This resolution -- without equivocation -- definitively states that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia was complicit in the murder of Mr. [Jamal] Khashoggi and has been a wrecking ball to the region jeopardizing our national security interests on multiple fronts," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a statement accompanying the release of the resolution. "It will be up to Saudi Arabia as to how to deal with this matter. But it is up to the United States to firmly stand for who we are and what we believe."

The resolution put forward by Graham and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who are expected to lead the Judiciary Committee together next year, comes just one day after CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed leading senators about the details of the agency's assessment that Mohammed ordered and monitored the killing and dismemberment of Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Senators emerged from that closed-door briefing furious not only with Saudi Arabia, but Trump as well for dismissing the heft of the CIA's findings.

The Honor Guard carries the casket of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush following his funeral on Dec. 5 in Washington, DC.
The Honor Guard carries the casket of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush following his funeral on Dec. 5 in Washington, DC. (Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images)

The U.S. Postal Service will suspend regular mail delivery Wednesday, which President Trump has declared a national day of mourning in honor of former President George H.W. Bush.

All retail postal outlets will be closed, and package delivery will be limited.

In Los Angeles, all nonessential county departments, offices and libraries will be closed for the day, L.A. County officials said. The Los Angeles County Library said no overdue fines will be assessed for books, and due dates will be moved forward one week. 

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health offices also are closed Wednesday. The Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department, clinics and hospitals will continue to operate, the county said. The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health clinics are being operated with reduced staffing, and the department asked patients to confirm or reschedule any appointments. 

All county courts and the disaster recovery centers for the Woolsey fire in Malibu and Agoura Hills will remain open. 

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Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks during an interview in Boston on Dec. 15, 2014.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks during an interview in Boston on Dec. 15, 2014. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

Former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts will soon announce he won't launch a 2020 presidential campaign, according to three sources familiar with his plans. They did not say why he decided against a run. 

A formal announcement was delayed as the country observed a day of mourning for President George H.W. Bush, one source said. News of Patrick's plans was first reported by Politico. 

Patrick, 62, served two terms as governor, from 2007 to 2015, was assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Clinton administration and since leaving the governor's office has been a managing director for Bain Capital. Patrick traveled the country in support of Democratic candidates in the recent midterm elections.