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A team searching a Mississippi courthouse basement for evidence about the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till has found the unserved warrant charging a white woman in his 1955 kidnapping, and relatives of the victim want authorities to finally arrest her nearly 70 years later.

A warrant for the arrest of Carolyn Bryant Donham — identified as “Mrs. Roy Bryant” on the document — was discovered last week by searchers inside a file folder that had been placed in a box, Leflore County Circuit Clerk Elmus Stockstill told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Documents are kept inside boxes by decade, he said, but there was nothing else to indicate where the warrant, dated Aug. 29, 1955, might have been.

“They narrowed it down between the ’50s and ’60s and got lucky,” said Stockstill, who certified the warrant as genuine.

The search group included members of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation and two Till relatives: cousin Deborah Watts, head of the foundation; and her daughter, Teri Watts. Relatives want authorities to use the warrant to arrest Donham, who at the time of the slaying was married to one of two white men tried and acquitted just weeks after Till was abducted from a relative’s home, tortured, killed and dumped into a river.

“Serve it and charge her,” Teri Watts told the AP in an interview.

Keith Beauchamp, whose documentary film The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till preceded a renewed Justice Department probe that ended without charges in 2007, was also part of the search. He said there’s enough new evidence to prosecute Donham.

Donham set off the case in August 1955 by accusing the 14-year-old Till of making improper advances at a family store in Money, Mississippi. A cousin of Till who was there has said Till whistled at the woman, an act that flew in the face of Mississippi’s racist social codes of the era.

Evidence indicates a woman, possibly Donham, identified Till to the men who later killed him. The arrest warrant against Donham was publicized at the time, but the Leflore County sheriff told reporters he did not want to “bother” the woman since she had two young children to care for.

Now in her 80s and most recently living in North Carolina, Donham has not commented publicly on calls for her prosecution. But Teri Watts said the Till family believes the warrant accusing Donham of kidnapping amounts to new evidence.

“This is what the state of Mississippi needs to go ahead,” she said.

District Attorney Dewayne Richardson, whose office would prosecute a case, declined comment on the warrant but cited a December report about the Till case from the Justice Department, which said no prosecution was possible.

Contacted by the AP on Wednesday, Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks said: “This is the first time I’ve known about a warrant.”

Banks, who was 7 years old when Till was killed, said “nothing was said about a warrant” when a former district attorney investigated the case five or six years ago.

“I will see if I can get a copy of the warrant and get with the DA and get their opinion on it,” Banks said. If the warrant can still be served, Banks said, he would have to talk to law enforcement officers in the state where Donham resides.

Arrest warrants can “go stale” due to the passage of time and changing circumstances, and one from 1955 almost certainly wouldn’t pass muster before a court, even if a sheriff agreed to serve it, said Ronald J. Rychlak, a law professor at the University of Mississippi.

But combined with any new evidence, the original arrest warrant “absolutely” could be an important stepping stone toward establishing probable cause for a new prosecution, he said.

“If you went in front of a judge you could say, ‘Once upon a time a judge determined there was probable cause, and much more information is available today,’” Rychlak said.

Till, who was from Chicago, was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he entered the store where Donham, then 21, was working on Aug. 24, 1955. A Till relative who was there, Wheeler Parker, told AP that Till whistled at the woman. Donham testified in court that Till also grabbed her and made a lewd comment.

Two nights later, Donham’s then-husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, showed up armed at the rural Leflore County home of Till’s great-uncle, Mose Wright, looking for the youth. Till’s brutalized body, weighted down by a fan, was pulled from a river days later in another county. His mother’s decision to open the casket so mourners in Chicago could see what had happened helped galvanize the building civil rights movement of the time.

Bryant and Milam were acquitted of murder but later admitted the killing in a magazine interview. While both men were named in the same warrant that accused Donham of kidnapping, authorities did not pursue the case following their acquittal.

Wright testified during the murder trial that a person with a voice “lighter” than a man’s identified Till from inside a pickup truck and the abductors took him away. Other evidence in FBI files indicates that earlier that same night, Donham told her husband at least two other Black men were not the right person.

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Instagram is blocking posts that mention abortion from public view, in some cases requiring its users to confirm their age before letting them view posts that offer up information about the procedure. 

Over the last day, several Instagram accounts run by abortion rights advocacy groups have found their posts or stories hidden with a warning that described the posts as “sensitive content.” Instagram said it was working to fix the problem Tuesday, describing it as a bug. 

In one example, Instagram covered a post on a page with more than 25,000 followers that shared text reading: “Abortion in America How You Can Help.” The post went on to encourage followers to donate money to abortion organizations and to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strip constitutional protections for abortion. 

The post was covered with a warning from Instagram, reading “This photo may contain graphic or violent content.” 

Instagram’s latest snafu follows an Associated Press report that Facebook and Instagram were deleting posts that offered to mail abortion pills to women living in states that now ban abortion procedures. The tech platforms said they were deleting the posts because they violated policies against selling or gifting certain products, including pharmaceuticals, drugs and firearms. 

Yet, the AP’s review found that similar posts offering to mail a gun or marijuana were not removed by Facebook. The company did not respond to questions about the discrepancy. 

Berlin photographer Zoe Noble runs the Instagram page whose post referencing abortion was blocked for viewing. The page, which celebrates women who decide not to have children, has been live for over a year. Monday was the first time a post mentioning abortion was restricted by Instagram, although Noble has mentioned it many times before. 

“I was really confused because we’ve never had this happen before, and we’ve talked about abortion before,” Noble said. “I was really shocked that the word abortion seemed to be flagged.” 

The platform offers no way for users to dispute the restriction. 

The AP identified nearly a dozen other posts that mentioned the word “abortion” and were subsequently covered up by Instagram. All of the posts were informational in nature, and none of the posts featured photos of abortions. An Instagram post by an AP reporter that asked people if they were experiencing the problem was also covered by the company on Tuesday and required users to enter their age in order to view it. 

The AP inquired about the problem on Tuesday morning. Hours later, Instagram’s communication department acknowledged the problem on Twitter, describing it as a glitch. A spokesman for Instagram-owner Meta Platforms Inc. said in an email that the company does not place age restrictions around its abortion content. 

“We’re hearing that people around the world are seeing our ‘sensitivity screens,’ on many different types of content when they shouldn’t be. We’re looking into this bug and working on a fix now,” the company tweeted. 

Tech companies like Meta can hide details about how posts or keywords have been promoted or hidden from view, said Brooke Erin Duffy, a professor at Cornell University who studies social media. 

“This can all take place behind the scenes, and it can be attributed to a glitch,” Duffy said. “We don’t know what happened. That’s what’s chilling about this.

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In the chaotic minutes after dozens of migrants were found dead inside a semitrailer sweltering under the Texas sun, the driver tried to slip away by pretending to be one of the survivors, a Mexican immigration official said Wednesday. 

The driver and three other men remained in custody as the investigation continued into the tragedy that killed 53 people — the nation’s deadliest smuggling episode on the U.S.-Mexico border. Federal prosecutors said two of the suspects, including the driver, face charges that carry a potential sentence of life in prison or the death penalty if convicted. 

Two more people died Wednesday as the death toll slowly climbed since the discovery of 46 bodies Monday at the scene near auto salvage yards on the edge of San Antonio. 

The truck had been packed with 67 people. Among the dead were 27 people from Mexico, 14 from Honduras, seven from Guatemala and two from El Salvador, said Francisco Garduno, chief of Mexico’s National Immigration Institute. 

Officials had potential identifications on 37 of the victims as of Wednesday, pending verification with authorities in other countries, according to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office. Forty of the victims were male, it said. 

Hard to identify

Identifying the dead has been challenging because some were found without identification documents and in one case a stolen ID.  Remote villages, where some of the migrants came from in Mexico and Central America, have no phone service to reach family members, and fingerprint data have to be shared and matched by the governments involved. 

Javier Flores Lopez’s family was waiting to find out whether he was on the truck. He had returned home to see his wife and three small children in southern Mexico and was going back to Ohio where his father and a brother live and where he worked in construction. He is now among the missing and his cousin Jose Luis Vasquez Guzman is hospitalized in San Antonio, the family said. 

The tragedy occurred at a time when huge numbers of migrants have been coming to the U.S., many of them taking perilous risks to cross swift rivers and canals and scorching desert landscapes. Migrants were stopped nearly 240,000 times in May, up by one-third from a year ago. 

While it’s not clear when or where the migrants boarded the truck bound for San Antonio, Department of Homeland Security investigators believe it was on U.S. soil, near or in Laredo, Texas, U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar told The Associated Press. 

The truck went through a Border Patrol checkpoint northeast of Laredo on Interstate 35 on Monday, Cuellar and Mexican officials confirmed. It was registered in Alamo, Texas, but had fake plates and logos, Garduno said. 

Officials in Mexico also released a surveillance photo showing the driver smiling at the checkpoint during the more than two-hour trip to San Antonio. 

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Wednesday that state troopers would set up additional truck checkpoints on highways, but he did not say how many. In April, Abbott gridlocked the 1,200-mile Texas border for a week by requiring every truck entering the state to undergo additional inspections as part of his ongoing fight with the Biden administration over immigration policy. 

Authorities were looking into whether the truck had mechanical problems when it was left next to a railroad track. The driver was apprehended after trying to disguise himself as one of the migrants, Garduno said. 

Driver from suburban Houston

Federal prosecutors identified the driver as Homero Zamorano Jr., 45, who was charged with smuggling resulting in death. Zamorano lives in suburban Houston and is originally from the Texas border city of Brownsville, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Antonio. 

He faces the most serious charges along with Christian Martinez, 28, who is accused of conspiracy and allegedly communicated with Zamorano about transporting the migrants. 

Martinez was arrested in East Texas and will be transported to San Antonio. Zamorano was scheduled to have his first court appearance Thursday. It was not immediately known if either suspect had an attorney. 

Some of the more than a dozen people transported to hospitals were found suffering from brain damage and internal bleeding, according to Ruben Minutti, the Mexico consul general in San Antonio. 

Migrants typically pay $8,000 to $10,000 to be taken across the border, loaded into a semitrailer and driven to San Antonio, where they transfer to smaller vehicles for their final destinations across the United States, said Craig Larrabee, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio. 

The death count from Monday’s tragedy in San Antonio was the highest ever from a smuggling attempt in the U.S., he said. Ten people died in 2017 after being trapped inside a truck parked at a San Antonio Walmart. In 2003, the bodies of 19 migrants were found in a truck southeast of the city.

Temperatures in San Antonio on Monday approached 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), and those taken to the hospital were hot to the touch and dehydrated, authorities said.

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Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, died Wednesday at a hospital in Huntington, West Virginia. He was 98.

The Marine Corps veteran received the nation’s highest military award for valor for his actions in the Battle of Iwo Jima. The battle took the lives of 7,000 Marines and was one of the bloodiest of the war.

“Today, America lost not just a valiant Marine and a Medal of Honor recipient, but an important link to our nation’s fight against tyranny in the Second World War,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said. “I hope every American will pause to reflect on his service and that of an entire generation that sacrificed so much to defend the cause of freedom and democracy.”

On February 23, 1945, Williams, then a 21-year-old Marine corporal and flamethrower operator, single-handedly destroyed multiple Japanese pillboxes and other gun emplacements at great danger to himself.

According to his citation, on one occasion, he “daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants, and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon.”

His actions came on the same day as the iconic flag raising at Mount Suribachi, an image captured by an Associated Press reporter that has become a symbol of American military resilience during the war.

Williams was the last of the 473 American service members who received a Medal of Honor in World War II. 

His death was announced by the Woody Williams Foundation, a nonprofit organization that serves Gold Star military families. The cause was not immediately available.

The National Medal of Honor Museum tweeted Wednesday that “Woody exemplified a life of service through his bravery during the Battle of Iwo Jima, as an advocate for veterans & through the Woody Williams Foundation serving Gold Star Families.”

 

Williams grew up on a West Virginia dairy farm and joined the Marines when he was 19.

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An international task force created in March to put pressure on Russia to end its war in Ukraine has blocked more than $30 billion worth of funds and property owned by Russian oligarchs, the group announced on Wednesday. 

In addition to seizing yachts and luxury homes, the task force, known as Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs (REPO), has frozen about $300 billion worth of Russian Central Bank assets, REPO members said in a joint statement. Ukraine is seeking the frozen funds for its reconstruction.

“REPO’s work is not yet complete,” the statement said. “In the coming months, REPO members will continue to track Russian-sanctioned assets and prevent sanctioned Russians from undermining the measures that REPO members have jointly imposed.”

The U.S.-led task force was created on March 17 with the purpose of confiscating the assets of Russian individuals and entities that have been sanctioned in connection with Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. In addition to the United States, its members include Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Commission.

Since the start of the invasion, the U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on hundreds of entities and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the latest move on Tuesday, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against 70 Russian entities, many deemed critical to Russia’s defense capabilities, and 29 Russian individuals. 

As part of the U.S. pressure campaign on Russia, the U.S. Justice Department launched Task Force KleptoCapture in March. Working with foreign partners, the task force has seized assets owned by Russian oligarchs worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

In April, Spanish authorities, at the request of the Justice Department, seized a super yacht owned by Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg. 

In May, Fijian authorities seized a $300 million yacht owned by another sanctioned oligarch, Suleiman Kerimov. The 106-meter luxury Amadea arrived in San Diego Bay on Monday, the Justice Department said.

Ukrainian officials say they want to take possession of the frozen Russian assets, including hundreds of billions of dollars in Russian Central Bank reserves, to fund reconstruction in Ukraine.  

Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the cost of rebuilding his country’s economy and infrastructure could run up to $600 billion.

Several European countries have backed Ukraine’s call, while the Justice Department has asked Congress for authority to transfer some of the proceeds of oligarch assets to Ukraine.  

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WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday widened the power of states over Native American tribes and undercut its own 2020 ruling that had expanded Native American tribal authority in Oklahoma, handing a victory to Republican officials in that state.

The court ruled 5-4 in favor of Oklahoma over the state’s attempt to prosecute Victor Castro-Huerta, a non-Native American convicted of child neglect in a crime committed against a Native American child – his 5-year-old stepdaughter – on the Cherokee Nation reservation.

The change of course only two years after the previous ruling in a case called McGirt v. Oklahoma was made possible by conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the court by Republican former President Donald Trump to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, as he did in 2020, joined with the court’s liberal bloc in favor of Native American interests, but its expanded conservative majority meant that this time he was in the minority.

A state court threw out Castro-Huerta’s conviction, saying the Supreme Court’s ruling in the McGirt case deprived state authorities of jurisdiction in his case and gave responsibility to federal courts.

As a result of the McGirt ruling, about 3,600 cases every year in Oklahoma were set to fall under federal instead of state jurisdiction.

In the McGirt decision, the Supreme Court recognized about half of Oklahoma – much of the eastern part of the state – as Native American reservation land beyond the jurisdiction of state authorities. That ruling, criticized by Governor Kevin Stitt and other Republicans, meant that many crimes on the land in question involving Native Americans would need to be prosecuted in tribal or federal courts.

The state already prosecutes crimes committed in the affected land in which no Native Americans are involved. Tribal courts handle crimes committed by and against Native Americans.

Tribes had welcomed the McGirt ruling as a recognition of their sovereignty. The Supreme Court in January rejected Oklahoma’s request to outright overturn it.

Castro-Huerta was convicted in state court of neglecting his stepdaughter, who has cerebral palsy and is legally blind, and sentenced to 35 years in prison. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals last year threw out that conviction because of the 2020 precedent. Castro-Huerta by then was already indicted for the same underlying offense by federal authorities, transferred to federal custody and pleaded guilty to child neglect.

He has not yet been sentenced.

There are 574 federally recognized tribes in total, although some states have very little tribal land. The population of Native Americans and Alaska Natives combined in the United States is 3.7 million, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.

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A rare Republican who supports abortion rights found success in Colorado in the first primary elections held since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, while New York’s first female governor positioned herself to become a major voice in the post-Roe landscape.

In Illinois, Democrats helped boost a Republican gubernatorial candidate loyal to former President Donald Trump in the hopes that he would be the easier candidate to beat in November. And in at least two states, election deniers were defeated, even as pro-Trump lightning rods elsewhere won.

Takeaways from the latest round of primary elections:

Abortion on the ballot

The abortion debate consumed the nation this week, but there was no race where it mattered more than Colorado’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, where businessman Joe O’Dea became one of the only abortion-rights-supporting Republican in the nation to win a statewide primary this year.

O’Dea beat back a stiff challenge from state Rep. Ron Hanks, a Trump loyalist who opposed abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother.

O’Dea will face Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in November, and if he wins, he would become just the third Senate Republican — and the only male — to support abortion rights.

He said he backs a ban on late-term abortions and government funding of abortions but that the decision to terminate a pregnancy in the initial months is “between a person and their God.”

Democrats had spent at least $2.5 million on ads designed to boost O’Dea’s opponent by promoting, among other things, that he was “too conservative” for backing a complete abortion ban.

Democrats hoped that the Roe decision would give them an advantage in several swing states, including Colorado. But, at least for now, O’Dea’s victory would seem to complicate the Democrats’ plans.

A win for Trump or for the democrats?

In the final weeks of a campaign, Trump once again attached himself to a Republican who was leading the race. This time, it was farmer Darren Bailey in Illinois, who easily cruised to the GOP nomination in the governor’s race.

But while Trump can add Bailey to his endorsement record, Democrats are betting that his victory may be short-lived.

Bailey now goes on to face Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker in the November general election, which is just what Pritzker and his allies wanted. Pritzker, the billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, and the Democratic Governors Association spent heavily on advertising to help Bailey win the GOP nomination. Among other things, the ads reminded the state’s Democratic-leaning electorate that he is “100% pro-life.”

It’s a risky gamble. While Bailey may look like an easier opponent in the general election, it’s feasible that he could ride a red wave — if it materializes — to the Illinois governor’s mansion. Pritzker’s predecessor in office was a Republican.

Bailey showed off political acumen by besting the early Republican front-runner Richard Irvin, the mayor of Illinois’ second-largest city, Aurora. Irvin lost despite being the beneficiary of a staggering $50 million investment from billionaire Ken Griffin. Irvin, who is Black, refused to say whether he voted for Trump and largely avoided talking about abortion, delivering the kind of moderate message that could have cut across ideological lines in a general election.

Instead, Republicans nominated Bailey, a Trump loyalist who reads from Bible verses in campaign videos and proudly touts his anti-abortion policies in a state Trump lost by 17 percentage points in 2020.

Hochul’s opportunity

The scandals of the men around her did not derail New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, who overcame primary challengers on the right and left to win her first election test as the state’s chief executive.

Now, Hochul, New York’s first female governor, is positioned to emerge as a leading voice in the Democratic Party as it navigates the post-Roe landscape.

The low-profile Hochul stepped into one of the nation’s most prominent governorships last fall after Andrew Cuomo resigned in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal. She had promised to restore New Yorkers’ faith in their government, only for her handpicked lieutenant governor to be arrested this spring in a federal corruption probe.

Hochul was either “consistently shamefully out of the loop, or shamefully enabling through her inaction,” charged one of her primary challengers, New York City’s elected public advocate, Jumaane Williams.

The attack ultimately didn’t land in the primary. But don’t expect such criticism to disappear as the race for New York governor enters its next phase.

Rep. Lee Zeldin emerged from a crowded Republican field to earn the GOP nomination for governor. He defeated Andrew Giuliani, the son of New York City’s former mayor Rudy Giuliani, among others.

And while Hochul has a serious reelection test ahead, look for her to step into the national spotlight as the abortion debate rages.

The Democratic governor said in recent days that New York would be a “safe harbor” for those seeking abortions.

Election deniers go down

They celebrated their allegiance to Trump’s baseless conspiracy theories on the campaign trail. But on Tuesday night, a handful of these so-called election deniers had nothing to cheer about.

In Colorado, Republican voters did not reward secretary of state candidate Tina Peters for championing Trump’s lies about election fraud. She was bested by Pam Anderson, a former county clerk who previously led the state clerks’ association and defends the state’s mail-in elections system.

Some officials in both parties worried that Peters would win the primary. That’s even after Peters, the Mesa County clerk, was indicted for a security breach spurred by conspiracy theories related to the 2020 presidential election. The state GOP had called on her to suspend her campaign.

Now, Anderson, not Peters, will take on incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who’s led the national fight against 2020 election deniers.

Elsewhere in Colorado, Senate candidate Hanks had also promoted lies about the last presidential election. In addition to being an outspoken opponent of abortion rights, he had attended the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

And in Mississippi, Trump loyalist Michael Cassidy lost a runoff election to incumbent Rep. Michael Guest, who had voted to create an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack. Cassidy said in campaign speeches that Guest had done nothing to stop “the persecution of Jan. 6 political prisoners.”

Lighting rods win

Two Republicans familiar with controversy tested for the first time whether Republican voters deemed them too extreme to go back to Congress. They both prevailed.

First-term Rep. Mary Miller, who campaigned alongside Trump over the weekend, defeated five-term Rep. Rodney Davis, who was considered more moderate. The primary victory all but ensures Miller will return to Congress for another term given the heavy Republican advantage in her 15th Congressional District, which is the most Republican district in the state.

Miller won just days after describing the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade as a victory for white life.'' A spokesperson later said she had intended to say the decision was a victory for aright to life.”

Miller is no stranger to provocative statements. Soon after joining the House, Miller quoted Adolf Hitler, saying he was right to say that “whoever has the youth has the future.”

And in Colorado, Trump loyalist Lauren Boebert defeated a moderate state representative who had run a primary campaign focused on Boebert’s extremism. It didn’t work.

Boebert’s controversial moves are many. She vowed to carry a handgun on the House floor. She faced calls for her censure last year after being caught on video making Islamophobic comments about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar. And she heckled President Joe Biden in his first State of the Union address.

But after winning her primary, she is almost certain to return to Congress for another two years. Her GOP-leaning 3rd Congressional District in western Colorado became even more Republican after redistricting.

A Roe shift in Nebraska?

Nebraska’s low-profile special election to fill the remainder of former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s term was not supposed to be close. Republicans have held the district for nearly 60 years.

Yet Republican Mike Flood defeated Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks by only 4 percentage points on Tuesday.

The specific cause of the margin wasn’t immediately unclear, although there was evidence of higher turnout in one Democratic-leaning county that could be related to the Roe decision.

Heading into election day, Flood appeared to have a strong edge in the district, which includes Lincoln, parts of suburban Omaha and dozens of smaller, more conservative towns. The district has nearly 68,000 more Republicans than Democrats and hasn’t elected a Democrat to the House since 1964.

What happened? Lancaster County, home to the state capital and the University of Nebraska, offers some clues.

In 2020, Fortenberry won the district by nearly 22 percentage points, but he lost Lancaster County by less than 1 percentage point. In Tuesday’s special election, the Republican Flood lost Lancaster County by more than 13 percentage points.

In the end, the swing wasn’t enough to move a heavily-Republican district, but Democrats could look to the results for hope that the Roe decision will be a significant motivator for the Democratic base.

Incidentally, Fortenberry was sentenced to two years of probation on Tuesday for lying to the FBI. Flood and Pansing Brooks are expected to face off again in the November general election.

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Known as America’s “Last Frontier,” Alaska conjures up thoughts of polar bears, subzero temperatures and expansive areas of little-explored terrain around the Arctic Circle.

Alaska’s often harsh environment makes year-round living difficult at best, with some areas accessible only by boat or aircraft.

The state is more than double the size of Texas with a population about the size of Washington, D.C.

Yet despite the geographic and environmental challenges, the U.S. military has staked its claim there since the 1860s, when the U.S. bought the territory from Russia and nearly a century before Alaska became a U.S. state.

In the last decade, the military has redoubled its efforts in the far north, investing billions of dollars upgrading air and missile defenses while completely revamping the foundational structure of its Army forces.

At Eielson Air Force Base, near the Arctic Circle, the Air Force just added 54 of the nation’s new F-35 stealth fighter jets. The jets, perched at the top of the world, are prepared to respond to conflicts anywhere in the northern hemisphere.

The base operates year-round, even in skin-burning minus 50-degree weather, when airmen can withstand the frigidity for only minutes at a time.

In warmer weather, the base hosts multiple Red Flag Alaska exercises: war games for thousands of American troops to train in combat-like situations with allies from around the globe.

At Clear Space Force Station, about 160 kilometers southwest of Eielson, the U.S. Space Force, Alaska Air National Guard and members of the Missile Defense Agency monitor threats in space, including North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

In December, the Clear station team received a new tool in their missile-tracking arsenal, the Long Range Discrimination Radar, or LRDR, which officials say is the most sophisticated ground-based radar on the globe, capable of seeing farther than other ground-based radars while simultaneously differentiating among multiple small objects.

At Fort Greely, an Army garrison about 120 km south of Eielson, a team of soldiers protects 40 ICBM-killing weapons known as Ground Based Interceptors in silos deep underground. The U.S. recently added 20 silos there, which will house new and improved anti-ICBM weapons known as Next Generation Interceptors around 2028.

At the Army’s Fort Wainwright, near the Arctic Circle, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near in the state’s largest city, Anchorage, soldiers this month were assigned a new identity, transforming from a hodgepodge structure under the U.S. Army Alaska flag to the newly resurrected 11th Airborne Division. The “Arctic Angels,” as they’re called, vow to “regain” American dominance in the Arctic.

VOA visited each of these military locations to get a first-hand look at the new upgrades in action, hidden in plain sight deep within the remote Alaskan wilderness.

 

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