Vox Sentences: A tentative step toward peace in Yemen

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What we know about the ongoing voter fraud allegations in North Carolina; Yemen’s warring sides meet in Sweden for a first round of peace talks.


The NC-9 voter fraud rumor is all but confirmed

 Sean Rayford/Getty Images
  • In North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District, where voter fraud allegations have been circulating for weeks, a district attorney said that more than 1,000 absentee ballots from a single county, likely cast by Democratic voters, may have been destroyed. [Fox News / Louis Casiano]
  • What’s more, the Washington Post came out with a story Thursday that alleges the Republican Party in the state had early warnings of ballot irregularities dating back as far back as the 2018 primary. [Washington Post / Amy Gardner and Beth Reinhard]
  • The allegations that surfaced in late November are two-pronged: First, voters came forward saying that they either received unasked-for absentee ballots or that a young woman visited them and claimed she was responsible for collecting absentee ballots. Second, political scientists noticed that a high number of mail-in absentee ballots were requested but then not returned to be counted. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • Since then, two women have told the media that Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., a county electioneer, paid them money to collect absentee ballots and has allegedly been involved in election tampering “for years.” [The Hill / Justin Wise]
  • In response to the rumors, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party told CNN that he’s open to holding new elections if the voter fraud allegations are confirmed. [CNN / Eric Bradner]
  • In Washington, Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat who serves on the House Oversight Committee, said the committee should investigate the issue as well. [NBC News / Leigh Ann Caldwell and Rich Gardella]
  • Mark Harris, the Republican representative-elect from the Ninth District, tweeted last week that he supports a probe, though there is “absolutely no evidence” the ballots in question are enough to affect the election outcome. Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes. [Twitter / Mark Harris]
  • NC-9, though called for the GOP, remains the last House district to resolve election meddling or recount issues. As it stands, Democrats have had a net gain of 40 seats in the lower chamber of Congress. [Twitter / Harry Enten]

Yemen’s warring sides enter peace talks

  • Peace negotiations between Yemen’s warring sides began Thursday, when both Islamic Houthi rebels and President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s administration — strongly backed by Saudi Arabia — agreed to release at least 5,000 detained prisoners on the first of likely many future trust-building talks. [NYT / Declan Walsh]
  • The meeting in Sweden, mediated by a United Nations representative, is the first time the opposing groups have considered peace in more than two years. The UN seeks to reopen the Sanaa airport and secure a truce in Hodeidah, Yemen’s main port, which is currently under Saudi occupation and blocks many essential resources from entering. [Reuters / Aziz El Yaakoubi]
  • The civil war has been catastrophic for the Arab world’s poorest nation. Not only has it been declared the world’s worst humanitarian crisis due to the ongoing famine — threatening half the nation’s population — but it’s also taking place during a terrible cholera outbreak. The UN estimates that a child under 5 dies in Yemen every 10 minutes. [NPR / Camila Domonoske]
  • So far, some 6,660 civilians have been killed and 10,560 more have been injured in the fighting. 75 percent of Yemen’s population is in dire need of humanitarian support. [BBC]

Miscellaneous

  • The Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. Vice leads the movie nominations with six nods; The Assassination of Gianni Versace heads up the TV side with four. [Hollywood Reporter]
  • Chanel announced it will no longer use exotic skins or furs in its fashion collections, a move the brand said it made because it’s become increasingly difficult to find materials that match its ethical standards. [Glossy / Danny Parisi]
  • ”Living Coral” is the Pantone Color Institute’s Color of the Year for 2019, which you can find in sea reefs, sunsets, and numerous international destinations when out sightseeing. [Twitter Moments]
  • The Metropolitan Ballet Wichita’s performance of The Nutcracker on Sunday had a twist ending; in addition to the regular conclusion to the story, the actor portraying the Nutcracker Prince proposed to his girlfriend of three years onstage. She said yes. [Wichita Eagle / Matt Riedl]

Verbatim

“I have decided to fill in for [Justin Timberlake] on his remaining dates. It’s what we do in our incredibly small circle of people with extraordinary voices. Feel better. I got you until you do.” [Actor Jonah Hill jokes that he’ll stand in for Timberlake’s remaining tour dates after the singer postponed them, citing bruised vocal chords / E! News]


Watch this: How smooth jazz took over the ’90s

You should give smooth jazz a chance. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell]


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