For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Nov 05 2016
by Karly Matthews

Weekly Political Round-Up: Early Voting, FBI Investigations and Lil Wayne

By Karly Matthews - Nov 05 2016

With Tuesday marking one week until Election Day, Americans seem ready to end this cycle. According to The New York Times, most people have already made up their minds and are simply waiting to check a name on the ballot. Outside of Election 2016 coverage, Lil Wayne made controversial comments, President Obama celebrated his final White House Halloween and two Iowan police officers were killed in an ambush attack.

1. The FBI reopens Clinton email case due to new information.

Over the weekend, FBI director James Comey leaked information that the case regarding Hillary Clinton's emails would be reopened just over a week before the election. New information surfaced about the case when investigators looked into the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, and Weiner's estranged wife and a Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, has been pulled into the case as she "often handled classified data on [the] computer she shared" with her husband.

2. Conservative presidential candidate Evan McMullin shows a surge in the polls.

Evan McMullin, a conservative running for president as an Independent, now has a chance to win Utah in the general election. According to FiveThirtyEight, this would be the first time a third party candidate has won a state since 1968. Each poll tells a different story at this point, some showing McMullin as a true contender and others giving the state to Republican Donald Trump.

3. In Iowa, two police officers were killed during an ambush-style attack.

Early Wednesday, police officers in Urbandale and Des Moines responded to gunfire, finding one Urbandale officer dead according to the Des Moines Register. Later, a Des Moines officer was also killed by gunfire. Scott Michael Greene, "desperate for money," was arrested on Thursday in connection to the officers' death and remains in custody. According to CNN, Greene previously interacted with police when they had to remove him from a football game because he was waving a Confederate flag.

4. Alicia Machado joins Clinton on the campaign trail.

Machado joined Clinton in Florida this week, further explaining her experience with GOP nominee Donald Trump. The focus of Clinton's Floridian campaign was a strong anti-Trump message, Clinton saying, "It's not okay to insult people." According to ABC, Machado said Trump was "cruel" as she talked about her time as Miss Universe.

5. In-office Republicans reveal their votes in the general election.

During early voting, Ohio Governor John Kasich cast his ballot for John McCain instead of Republican nominee Donald Trump. He joined a multitude of Republicans, such as the Bush family, who refuse to support the party's nominee. On the other hand, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan reluctantly admitted to casting his vote for Donald Trump during a Fox Business segment.

6. Lil Wayne refused to acknowledge the Black Lives Matter movement.

In an interview with ABC, rapper Lil Wayne said the BLM movement has "nothing to do with him" and that he's "not a politician." Citing that he was "young, black and rich," Lil Wayne claimed that he had never really felt any discrimination. According to USA Today, this is not the first time the rapper has made comments about a lack of discrimination in his life. Since the interview, Lil Wayne has apologized for these comments.

7. Melania Trump speaks for the first time since the RNC.

With a speech about quelling cyberbullying in America, Melania Trump took the stage in Pennsylvania with Karen Pence. Trump also discussed her husband's relationship with the middle class within her stage time. This was one of the only times Mrs. Trump took the spotlight during the campaign, citing her first responsibility as her son Baron. Yet, the speech - like that of the RNC - was met with criticism as reporters dug up a Marla Maples, Trump's ex-wife, quote that was included in the speech.

8. Early voting has begun and has started to shape the election.

According to CNN, three million early votes have been cast, and the battleground states are just that: battlegrounds. While Democrats are currently carrying North Carolina and Nevada, Republicans are favored in Florida and Ohio. 38 states allow for early voting - which is not the same as casting an absentee ballot - and both candidates are encouraging voters to get out sooner rather than later. The Washington Post predicts that the Latino vote will especially give Clinton an edge as voting continues.

9. Variety opts for a last minute endorsement.

Variety, a trade publication focused on show-business, endorsed Hillary Clinton this week. In its 111-year history, the publication has never endorsed a political candidate until now because most trade publications stay out of mainstream politics. In an editorial, the publication said, "We believe that Clinton is not only the best candidate for the job, but the only candidate." Clinton adds this publication to a long list that endorsed her.

10. President Obama celebrates his final Halloween on the White House Lawn.

This Halloween, the Obamas hosted local children and children of military families for trick-or-treating. Notable costumes included Prince, whom Obama serenaded with "Purple Rain," dinosaurs, pirates and a lame duck, poking fun at Obama's ending term. The Obamas danced to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and handed out candy on the Lawn.

The next weekly round-up that Fresh U will publish will be post-Election Day 2016, and American will officially know who #45 is. Remember to perform your civic duty on November 8 and obsessively watch the news until we all get closure on this insane election cycle.

Lead Image Credit: Daniel Morrison via Flickr Creative Commons

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Karly Matthews - Temple University

Karly Matthews is a political science and journalism major with a Spanish minor at Temple University. In high school, she was editor-in-chief of her school's online newspaper, a member of the yearbook staff, a Spanish Club officer and a dancer for 12 years. In her free time, Karly drinks too much coffee and follows politics with an obsessive passion. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karlymatthews_!

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