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The lawyer for a one-time Trump supporter caught up in a Jan. 6 conspiracy theory is demanding that Fox News and Tucker Carlson apologize for the many “falsehoods” he says they have spread about his client. The actions taken on behalf of Raymond Epps specifically reference the current $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox by a voting machine company that claims the network spread lies about it related to the 2020 presidential election. The demand indicates that people caught up in conspiracy theories are fighting back legally. The lawyer, Michael Teter, says he's putting Fox on notice for potential litigation. Fox had no immediate comment.
South Carolina's embattled top accountant will resign next month after a $3.5 billion accounting error in the year-end financial report he oversaw. A copy of the resignation letter from Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom indicates he'll leave the post on April 30. The letter was dated Thursday and obtained by The Associated Press. Revelation of the blunder last month brought mounting scrutiny to Eckstrom, who has held the job for 20 years. House lawmakers called for an impeachment inquiry. The Senate panel investigating the error issued a damning report last week that suggested Eckstrom resign or face removal “for willful neglect of duty.”
The Arizona Supreme Court has declined to hear most of Republican Kari Lake’s appeal in a challenge of her defeat in the governor’s race, but revived a claim that was dismissed by a trial court. The state’s highest court said a lower-court had erroneously dismissed Lake’s claim challenging the application of signature verification procedures on early ballots in Maricopa County. The court sent the claim back to a trial court to consider. Lake, who lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs by just over 17,000 votes, was among the most vocal 2022 Republican candidates promoting former President Donald Trump’s election lies, which she made the centerpiece of her campaign.
Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is inching ever closer to a presidential bid in 2024, scheduling his latest swing through early-voting states before returning to home afterward to give a “political update” to donors. According to an invitation sent to donors this week, Scott will hold a “Faith in America Summit" in Charleston on April 14. A person familiar with his plans said he will hold events in Iowa and New Hampshire earlier the same week. Last month, Scott kicked off a “listening tour” that included stops in South Carolina and Iowa, and he appeared last weekend at a conservative forum in South Carolina.
Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou will visit China next week in what a spokesman called a bid to ease tensions between the self-ruled island and the mainland. Ma presided over a period of warm ties with Beijing, but left office under a cloud after a trade deal with the mainland failed to win approval amid the island’s largest protests since the 1990s. Although the former president is visiting in a private capacity, his stature as a former leader gives the trip political overtones. Ma’s proposed visit comes as China’s People Liberation Army sends fighter jets towards Taiwan on a near daily basis, and as official communications between the two governments have broken off.
A parody photo appearing on protest signs and online in France shows President Emmanuel Macron sitting on piles of garbage. The image references the trash going uncollected with sanitation workers on strike, but also what many French people think about their 45-year-old leader. Macron hoped his push to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 would cement his legacy as the president who transformed France’s economy for the 21st century. Instead, he finds his leadership contested, both in parliament and on the streets of major cities. His decision to force a pension reform bill through without a vote could hamper his government’s ability to pass legislation for the remaining four years of his term.
The two candidates for Chicago mayor have very different ideas about the future of the heavily Democratic city. Brandon Johnson is a progressive county commissioner who last month advanced to an April 4 runoff thanks to heavy support from the teachers union. The 46-year-old former teacher and union member is endorsed by progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Paul Vallas finished first out of nine candidates in the February vote. The 69-year-old is a more moderate Democrat endorsed by the Chicago police union who focused strongly on reducing crime. He's backed by prominent members of the business community. The increasingly bitter contest is another example of broader tension within the Democratic Party.
As the U.S. barrels toward the next presidential election, the election conspiracy movement that mushroomed after the last one shows no signs of slowing down. Millions of Americans have been convinced that any election in which their preferred candidate loses has been somehow rigged against them, a belief that has fed efforts among conservatives to ditch voting machines and to halt or delay certification of election results. The deep distrust about elections is fueled by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and by allies who have been traveling the country holding community forums.
The first Republican presidential primaries are nearly a year away and the candidate field is unsettled. But already, a shadow contest of another sort is underway with several Republicans openly jockeying to position themselves as potential running mates to Donald Trump, the early front-runner for the nomination. The mere mention of a running mate this early in the process is a departure from the traditional timeline of presidential primaries. Candidates typically spend the opening months of a campaign introducing themselves to voters and sharing their visions for the country. But Trump needs no introduction and is eager to project an air of inevitability around his campaign.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking a third consecutive term in office as Turkey's president in elections in May, marks 20 years in office on Tuesday. The Turkish leader began his career as a reformist who expanded rights and freedoms, allowing his majority-Muslim country to start European Union membership negotiations. He then reversed course, cracking down on dissent, stifling the media and passing measures that gradually weakened democratic checks and balances. The presidential and parliamentary elections set for May 14, which will be held amid economic turmoil, high inflation and just three months after a devastating earthquake, could be Erdogan's most challenging yet.