Democrats will control the Virginia House and Senate for the first time in more than two decades.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)
1. Election results
It was not a good night for Republicans. Democrats are celebrating in one of the reddest states after Andy Beshear declared victory over incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in Kentucky, who said he’d not concede. In Virginia, Democrats won majorities in both the House and Senate, giving the party full control of the state government and solidifying what was once a swing state into a stronghold for the party. Things were more optimistic for Republicans in Mississippi, where they held on to the governor’s office, beating back a veteran Democrat’s bid for another potential election-night stunner.
2. Mexico massacre
A suspect has been arrested after nine Americans — all family members — were killed in a highway ambush on the Mexican side of the border with the United States. Mexican authorities believe the suspect is part of a newly formed cartel, and he was arrested with two hostages who were bound and gagged. Criminal groups attacked the family members Monday while they were driving near the US-Mexico border, killing three women, four small children and two infants — all dual citizens of the US and Mexico — in their vehicles. Eight children survived the attack, seven of whom were flown to Arizona hospitals after a 13-year-old walked about six hours to get help, his family said.
3. Impeachment inquiry
In a stunning twist, a top US diplomat revised his testimony to confirm the existence of a quid pro quo. Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the EU, now says that he did, in fact, tell a top aide to the Ukrainian President that US security aid was linked to investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and the 2016 election. His new testimony, released yesterday, adds to Democrats’ evidence that President Trump connected the freezing of security aid to Ukraine to investigations into Biden as well as the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s servers during the 2016 election. That information cuts to the heart of their impeachment case against Trump. Listen to more explosive details here.
4. UK election
A misleading video shared by British PM Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party highlights the challenges voters face as they try to distinguish fact from fiction in the lead-up to the United Kingdom’s December election. In the video posted on Facebook and Twitter, a spokesperson from the rival Labour Party appears unable to explain his party’s Brexit policy. But in reality, Labour’s Brexit spokesperson Keir Starmer answered the question immediately in the live interview, a BBC journalist pointed out. The answer’s content isn’t in dispute as much as the use of disinformation as a political weapon, which also is a top concern in the United States.
5. Cell phone merger
The acquisition of Sprint by T-Mobile got official approval from US federal officials, a major win as the two companies seek to complete a $26 billion merger amid resistance from consumer advocacy groups. The merger could prove transformative for a US wireless industry facing cutthroat competition in recent years over everything from prices to customer contracts. As the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers, T-Mobile and Sprint have led the charge in ending early termination fees and reintroducing unlimited data plans. As the two companies combine, the future of the marketplace is uncertain.
Not bad for someone who can’t drive
A 14-year-old from Pennsylvania came up with a solution for driving blind spots — and won a $25,000 prize for it.
Keanu ‘no longer single’ Reeves?
Keanu Reeves stepped out holding hands with artist Alexandra Grant — and the internet swooned and cheered him on.
Good night, kids
In an effort to stop video game addiction, China has announced an overnight curfew on online gaming for those under 18.
Don’t refer to actress Emma Watson as single. She prefers “self-partnered,” thank you very much.
Bye bye, real fur
Queen Elizabeth II has ditched real fur in her outfits and opts for fake. Her message: Fur is out of fashion, her senior dresser says.
“I forgive you for your anger and hatred towards me. I pray to God that he forgives you for your anger and hatred towards me.”
Convicted murderer Charles Rhines to his victim’s family before he was executed in South Dakota
The number of scientists from all over the world who’ve issued a grim warning of the “untold suffering” climate change will bring if humanity doesn’t change its ways.
Oh, the mystery …
David Hale, a high-ranking official in the State Department, is expected to testify before House impeachment investigators today. It’s unclear whether he’ll show up — several witnesses haven’t.
It’s gonna be a long week with all the impeachment drama and election hangover. Time for a hump day break with fun dance stories that’ll make you move. (Click to view.)