Saturday, November 5

US Warns of Election-Related Terror Threats as Trump, Clinton Focus on Battlegrounds

With just three days of campaigning left before Americans head to the polls to elect the next president, federal authorities are warning officials in New York, Texas and Virginia about unspecified threats from al-Qaida around Election Day.

Authorities sent notices to local and state officials to alert them to the new information. In New York, police said they are still assessing the threat, which reportedly lacked specifics, but are expanding the police force assigned to protect the city's annual marathon road race on Sunday, which attracts tens of thousands of runners and spectators. Virginia and Texas governors said they are monitoring the situation.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are focusing their attention on a handful of battleground states where most pollsters believe the race will be decided.Both candidates campaign Saturday in Florida, where the latest polls show the race essentially tied. A Trump event was scheduled for Saturday in New Jersey with Governor Chris Christie, but was cancelled after two of the governor's top aides were found guilty Friday on all counts for their roles in the the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal.
Clinton will also host a concert with Katy Perry Saturday in Philadelphia. The Democratic candidate will be back in the City of Brotherly Love on Monday for a rally featuring what some might consider the perfect trifecta for a presidential rally - U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton.
On Friday, Clinton appeared on stage in Ohio at Cleveland's Wolstein Center with hiphop music star Jay Z and his glamorous wife Beyonce. The candidate told the boisterous crowd "We have unfinished work to do, more barriers to break, and with your help, a glass ceiling to crack once and for all."Beyonce said she wants her daughter "to grow up seeing a woman lead this country and know her possibilities are limitless."
Jay Z said Trump's "conversation is divisive" and that is why "He cannot be our president."
Earlier Friday, at a rally in Hershey Pennsylvania, Trump poked fun at his opponent, telling the crowd, "And by the way, I didn't have to bring J Lo or Jay Z. I'm here all by myself."Trump said Clinton is so bogged down in legal problems that her election would plunge the United States into a constitutional crisis. Democrat Clinton said her Republican opponent, if elected, would create dangerous uncertainty worldwide instead of the hopeful future she plans for the country.
President Barack Obama stepped into the political battle Friday with a full-throated defense of Clinton and a sharp denunciation of Trump. Never before have so many conservative Republicans denounced the nominee of their own party, Obama said, "And it's because Donald Trump is uniquely unqualified to be president. He is temperamentally unsuited to be commander-in-chief."Less than 100 hours before Election Day, opinion polls indicate a small and narrowing gap between the two candidates. Clinton still holds a slight edge over Trump nationally, due to her appeal among women and nonwhite voters, but her edge has shrunk since last month, making the election outcome less predictable.
In a detailed analysis of the two candidates' current ranking in the battleground states, whose electoral votes could tip the balance when all Americans' ballots are counted late Tuesday, The Washington Post concluded: "The electoral map is definitely moving in Donald Trump's direction."
Political analysts attribute part of that shift to the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practices during her time as secretary of state.
Clinton faces no formal charges of wrongdoing arising from the email controversy. Most of those messages were stored on a private computer server that she controlled, instead of on U.S. State Department computers, and her campaign has repeatedly rebutted Trump's contention that she acted illegally.
Meanwhile, the State Department released over 1,200 pages of additional Clinton emails Friday, under terms of a prior agreement with the Justice Department. They included mostly administrative correspondence and duplicates of previously released material, but also some messages from 2010, when the State Department and the Obama administration were hit by the stunning and embarrassing disclosure of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables by the WikiLeaks group.
A series of heavily edited emails - blacked-out in places where U.S. officials wanted to keep details and identifications anonymous - discussed how Clinton should approach world leaders in the wake of the WikiLeaks disclosures, as well as how hard she should go after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.Clinton's top aide, Huma Abedin, wrote in December 2010 that an ally had suggested Clinton formulate a response similar to: "We view this not as a 'clever game' of wiki leaks but rather as a 'criminal act' against the United States of America. He [Assange] might think this is a clever game today but when he is prosecuted and if convicted he will move from being a clever cyber thief to a convicted criminal - and will find out that's a whole different kind of game."