It’s Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. Thanks for choosing to start here.
1. Recounts begin in Florida
A statewide recount is underway in Florida as the gubernatorial and Senate races each see candidates separated by razor-thin margins.
In the Senate race, Republican Gov. Rick Scott was leading incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by 12,562 votes, a 0.15 percent margin. Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis was ahead of Democrat Andrew Gillum in the governor’s race by 33,684 votes, a 0.41 percent margin. State law mandates a machine recount when races are within 0.5 percentage points.
Results of the recount are due on Thursday, but lawsuits filed by both of the Senate candidates could draw out the bitter fight. ABC News’ Victor Oquendo breaks down what’s happening.
2. No evidence of voter fraud in Florida, despite claims by Trump and Scott
President Donald Trump tweeted over the weekend that people are “Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida!” and Scott accused Nelson of “trying to commit fraud.”
Neither Trump nor Scott offered evidence to back up their claims. Florida officials said they’re not investigating any cases of voter fraud.
The accusations triggered protests outside the elections office of Broward County, which was criticized by Republicans for its vote counting and reports that rejected provisional ballots had been mixed with valid ballots.
“One of the fundamentals of a democracy is free and fair elections,” ABC News Deputy Political Director MaryAlice Parks tells us, “and in order for those to exist, citizens have to feel confidence in the process.”
3. More deaths from California wildfires
The death toll keeps rising as massive wildfires rage in Northern and Southern California. Authorities said at least 31 people have been killed as of Sunday night.
“There are 196,000 acres burned, thousands of homes and dozens of lives lost,” said Scott Jalbert, chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Firefighters are exhausted and their ranks are stretched thin as they continue fighting three enormous fires.
The largest of the infernos has swallowed more than 100,000 acres in Northern California’s Butte County. The Camp Fire has now tied a record as the deadliest fire in California, and in ravaging nearly 7,000 structures, it’s the most destructive.
“A number of the people who died in these fires were trying to flee them,” ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman tells us from Malibu. Because the winds were so strong “literally people couldn’t get out of the way fast enough.”
4. Macron condemns nationalism as ‘betrayal of patriotism’
During a solemn ceremony in Paris commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron condemned nationalism in a rebuke to Trump, who’s openly declared himself a “nationalist.”
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism — nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” said Macron, as Trump sat a few feet away.
The relationship between the two leaders was under pressure throughout the trip, according to ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran: “The bromance, if it’s not over, it’s cooled. That’s for sure.”
‘We could subpoena the final report. We could subpoena Mueller …’: The incoming House Judiciary Committee chair tells ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos there are options should the Trump administration try to restrict the contents of Robert Mueller’s final report.
‘I take subpoenas very seriously’: Democrats in the House plan to investigate the president’s role in hundreds of thousands of dollars being paid to women with whom he’s denied having affairs.
‘You’re a weird little dude, Jeff’: “Saturday Night Live” says goodbye to Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.
‘You may be surprised to hear that he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie’: Pete Davidson of “SNL” apologizes to Lt. Cmdr. Dan Crenshaw during “Weekend Update” for cracking a joke about the former Navy SEAL’s eye patch.
‘It is time to let women in’: After being banned for nearly 40 years, women are allowed to attend a soccer match in Tehran.
From our partners at FiveThirtyEight:
Cities evacuated as wildfires engulf California: Three massive blazes are forcing thousands of Californians to flee from their homes. “Nightline” takes a look at why these fires are becoming more common — and more deadly.
Veterans team up with former athletes to build more than just physical strength: The “MVP” program is helping veterans and former athletes remember that their uniforms don’t define them.
Today in history:
Nov. 12, 1980 — NASA’s space probe Voyager I approaches Saturn.
The must-see photo:
Roger Bloxberg, right, and his wife, Anne, hug as they watch a wildfire on a hill top near their home in West Hills, California. (photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
For more great photos from around the world click HERE.
What’s hot on social:
A “firenado” is seen swirling as a wildfire rages in Northern California.
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