What to Know
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States is open to talks with North Korea without preconditions
- Officials in a few states have started warning families that funding for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program is about to run out
- Kimberly Jones, who posted a viral video of her bullied son, is now responding to charges of racism following controversial images
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Democrat Doug Jones Apparent Upset Winner in Alabama Senate Race
Democrat Doug Jones was the apparent winner of Alabama's special Senate election, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Trump, who urgently endorsed GOP rebel Roy Moore despite a litany of sexual misconduct allegations. It appeared to be the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter-century in Alabama, one of the reddest of red states, and proved anew that party loyalty is anything but sure in the age of Trump. The apparent Republican loss was a major embarrassment for the president and a fresh wound for the nation's already divided GOP. From the White House, Trump graciously tweeted his congratulations to Jones "on a hard-fought victory" — but added pointedly that "the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!" He followed up by tweeting that he was right that Moore would not be able to win the election, and that "Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!" Jones is set to take over the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The term expires in January of 2021.
Days of Toil Bring Hard-Won Gains Over Huge California Fire
Firefighters finally eked out progress on the titanic task of cutting fire lines around one of the biggest blazes in California history. As the fire straddling Santa Barbara and Ventura counties entered its 10th day, crews had carved containment lines around one-quarter of it. But the wildfire still raged, threatening thousands of homes and stranding tens of thousands of evacuees. The so-called Thomas fire, one of several burning around the state, has burned over 900 structures, at least 700 of them homes. And it has stretched across nearly 370 square miles of territory, making it the fifth largest in state history.
U.S. Open to North Korea Talks "Without Precondition," Tillerson Says
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States is open to talks with North Korea without preconditions, saying it is unrealistic for the country to give up its nuclear weapons program before discussions can begin. "It's not realistic to say we're only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program, they have too much invested in it," Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council think tank, NBC News reported. Tillerson said President Donald Trump "is very realistic about that as well." "We've said from the diplomatic side, we're ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk and we're ready to have the first meeting without precondition," Tillerson said.
Letters Warn Families They May Lose CHIP Children’s Health Insurance
Officials in several states have started warning families that funding for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program is about to run out. The joint state-federal health plan designed to help uninsured children from low-income households was not renewed by Congress, and, as NBC News reports, for many families that may mean an end to their children’s health coverage. “I would say most families, their children will go without insurance,” said Linda Nablo, chief deputy director at Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services. A resolution passed by Congress last week keeps the federal government open for business until Dec. 22 and included a patch for CHIP, but that was just to move money from states that have not yet run out of cash to states whose CHIP programs were about to go broke.
Mother of Bullied Child Speaks Out Amid Confederate Flag Controversy
Kimberly Jones, who posted a viral video of her bullied son Keaton that drew the attention of celebrities across the nation, is now responding to charges of racism following controversial images involving the Confederate flag that surfaced in the wake of her family's new celebrity status. Over the weekend, Jones shared a video of her son Keaton Jones tearfully describing the bullying he experiences at school. The video went viral and attracted the attention of several celebrities. It also led a man to create a GoFundMe campaign and help fund the 11-year-old child's future. The campaign has raised nearly $57,000 dollars, but has been put on pause amid controversy. Jones has been criticized for the donations and received backlash for social media posts that include pictures of the Jones family with a Confederate flag. In a separate interview with Good Morning America, the mother revealed the pictures weren't intended to be racist.