Friday morning news: November 2, 2018

President, vice president and top Democrats rally voters ahead of Tuesday election » President Trump is on the campaign trail again today, a final push for Republican candidates ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.

TRUMP: Under Republican leadership, America is booming, America is thriving, and America is winning because we are finally putting America first!

The president heard there campaigning in Florida earlier this week, where Democrats have maintained a small but steady lead in the race for governor and a key U.S. Senate seat.  

President Trump will rally Republicans in Indiana today, where Republican challenger Mike Braun is hoping to unseat Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly. Polls there are very tight. And he’ll be joined in Indianapolis by Vice President Mike Pence, who stumped in Georgia on Thursday.

PENCE: 4.2 million new jobs created since Election Day, and unemployment’s at a 50-year low.  

GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp is clinging to a slight edge in the polls over Democrat Stacey Abrams in Georgia. President Trump will visit the state on Sunday.

But Democrats are also bringing out the big guns. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey campaigned for Abrams on Thursday.

WINFREY: She cares about Medicaid expansion. She cares about keeping families together. 

And former President Barack Obama is in Georgia today. He’ll also campaign for Democrats in Illinois and Indiana over the weekend.

Meantime, his former vice president, Joe Biden, stumped for Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri on Thursday.

BIDEN: She understands she represents everybody. Claire answers every question of any Missourian because, because that’s who she is.

Overall, odds appear to favor Republicans maintaining a slight edge in the Senate while Democrats are in a strong position to reclaim control of the House and make significant gains at the state level.

President Trump: 15,000 troops could deploy to border » President Trump says he may send up to 15,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent a caravan of Central American migrants from crossing into the country. That could more than double the number of troops the Pentagon planned to send. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports:

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: As the president left the White House for a campaign rally this week, he told reporters—quote—“We’ll go up to anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 military personnel on top of Border Patrol, ICE, and everybody else at the border.”

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced this week that more than 5,000 troops would head to the border. The first first wave of that deployment has already arrived at a staging ground in Texas.   

The president’s latest announcement seemed to catch the Pentagon by surprise. Some Defense Department officials said they had no plans for a 15,000-strong deployment.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Flight recorder found from Indonesia jet crash » Indonesian navy divers on Thursday found the flight data recorder from the commercial airliner that crashed in the Java Sea Monday. That will provide information about air speed and flight pattern before the crash, among other things.  

The country’s Transportation Ministry said divers are still searching for the cockpit voice recorder and other missing parts.

The Lion Air Boeing 737 went down 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta. The crash killed all 189 people on board. Only one victim has been identified so far.

Google employees stage walkout over handling of misconduct accusations » Hundreds of Google employees around the world staged a walkout Thursday over perceived mishandling of sexual misconduct accusations. WORLD Radio’s Paul Butler has that story.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: The “Walkout for Real Change” comes a week after The New York Times reported on sexual misconduct accusations against Andy Rubin, the original developer behind Google’s Android software.

The Times said Google gave Rubin a $90 million severance package in 2014 despite finding the accusations credible. Rubin has denied them. The report also included accusations against other executives, including Richard DeVaul, who resigned without severance on Tuesday.

Google sent an email to all employees last week assuring them that the company had taken stronger action since Rubin left. The company said it has fired 48 employees without severance for sexual harassment including 13 senior managers.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Paul Butler.

New accusations against Weinstein » Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is facing new sexual misconduct allegations.

Court documents filed Wednesday in a class action lawsuit against Weinstein accuse him of sexually harassing a teenage girl. The latest woman to come forward said when she was 16 years old, Weinstein lured her to his New York apartment, supposedly to discuss her acting career. She said instead, he demanded sex and told her she would never work as an actress unless she gave in. The girl, identified only as “Jane Doe,” said he continued to harass her for years.

Weinstein also faces separate criminal charges of rape and assault. He has denied any wrongdoing.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) President Donald Trump talks to reporters on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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