TIME 2014 Election

Republican Wave Floods States

Republicans hold a record number of seats in state legislature as a result of 2014 election

To say it was a good night for Republicans on the state level would be an understatement. Republicans now control 23 state governments outright and are on track to hold more state seats than they have since the late 1920s, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

After Tuesday, the GOP has the upper hand in 69 of the 99 country’s legislative chambers. In Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and West Virginia at least one chamber flipped from Democratic to Republican majorities. Results have yet to come down in Colorado, where Gov. John Hickenlooper was barely able to stave off a Republican challenge to his reelection. In many states Republicans are not simply the majority, they’ve secured a veto-proof supermajority, including in Florida and Missouri.

“Voters overwhelmingly voted for a new, open, innovative future for their families by electing state level Republicans in record numbers across the nation, including in traditionally blue states,” said Matt Walter, the president of the Republican State Leadership Committee in a statement. Walters said Republicans were successful largely thanks to their recruitment of a diverse set of candidates, including the youngest lawmaker in the U.S.

The payoffs for the GOP victories the state-level could be substantial. In states where the Republicans have single-party control they have shown willingness to advance aggressive party agendas: think North Carolina during the 2013 session. Come 2020, when state lawmakers will again be tasked with redrawing electoral maps, party control will be crucial.

Democrats haven’t lost hope.“Republicans had a great night,” director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) Michael Sargeant says. “But our operations were able to make sure we limited the damage in some places. ”

Democrats raised a reported $17 million and made about 2 million voter contacts this cycle. Sargeant says that work resulted in Democrats holding on to majorities in key states including the Maine House, the Iowa Senate, and the Kentucky House, which he says will ensure Republican agendas don’t sail through in those states.

“Those victories along with some others were critical to make sure they’re still balances,” Sargeant says.

TIME White House

Emergency Ebola Funding ‘Critical’ To Stopping Disease, Obama Official Says

“This is an emergency,”

Senior White House officials on Thursday scaled up the rhetoric of their effort to secure emergency funding to fight the Ebola virus in the U.S. and abroad.

“The most important goal here is speed,” said Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shaun Donovan in an on-the-record call with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “It is critical that we fund this quickly and on a scale that is appropriate to the epidemic,” Donovan said.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama sent a request to Congress for $6.18 billion in emergency Ebola preparedness funding. The request includes $4.64 billion that will be used to address immediate needs and $1.54 billion to be set aside as contingency funds. The money is a steep jump from the $88 million request the President issued in September.

“My foremost priority is to protect the health and safety of Americans, and this request supports all necessary steps to fortify our domestic health system and prevent any outbreaks at home,” reads a formal letter Obama sent House Speaker John Boehner.

Donovan and Burwell said Thursday they hope Congress will approve Obama’s request as quickly as it did a similar emergency request in 2009, which the White House made to fight the H1N1 influenza outbreak.

Boehner’s office has said the Appropriations Committee will review the request.

Secretary Burwell said that while the federal response has been effective so far, the government must remain vigilant in order to keep the disease from spreading.

“While we may see additional cases in U.S., we’re confident we can stop the spread,” Burwell said Thursday. Only one person in the U.S. is currently undergoing treatment for Ebola. Burwell said some people in Texas who are being monitored after potential exposure to Ebola, are nearing the end of the 21-day incubation period after which they will no longer be in danger of contracting or transmitting the disease.



TIME animals

This Baby Otter Learning How to Swim Is the Cutest Thing You’ll See Today

Oh, my heart

You may not have known how much you needed this video of a baby otter swimming, but the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago sure did.

The Chicago-based aquarium has welcomed this little fellow to their facilities and now you can welcome the pup into your heart. You can thank us later.

Pup 681, the name the otter was given, was discovered orphaned on a California beach in late September weighing a mere 1 kg. After some much-needed rehabilitation, the Shedd accepted a California aquarium’s invitation to take care of the pup full time.

“It truly takes a village to rehabilitate a young sea otter. Our animal care team is teaching the pup how to be an otter,” said Tim Binder, vice president of Animal Collections for Shedd in a press release. And, apparently, teaching the world what it means to love.

(H/t Mashable)

Read next: Charlie the Beagle Will Trade You His Toy for Your Breakfast

TIME Crime

Frat Activities on Hold at Emory University After Rape Allegation

A female student reported being assaulted at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on Halloween

All fraternity social activity has been suspended at Atlanta’s Emory University in response to an alleged rape at a campus fraternity house on Halloween.

In a letter to members of the Emory community, Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair said the school’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) will not host social events until “a comprehensive plan is developed to ensure the safety of our community members.”

According to the college’s student newspaper The Emory Wheel, the IFC took the school’s latest rape allegation as an opportunity to try to address the root problem of sexual violence. In a statement, the IFC said there was “much more work to do” when it comes to addressing assault.

“This pause will give our community time to reevaluate how we address the intolerable issues of sexual violence, substance abuse, and discrimination on our campus,” the statement reads, according to the Emory Wheel. “These recent events are incongruent with our fraternal and communal values.”

A female student reported being assaulted at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on Halloween. The fraternity responded to the allegations in a statement saying they were “investigating” the rape claims.

“Any form of assault or sexual misconduct is unacceptable, and we will not tolerate actions that violate our values,” the statement reads. “In addition, Sigma Alpha Epsilon will not hesitate to take corrective actions or impose sanctions on any member or chapter that fails to adhere to our expectations.”

In a statement to TIME, Nair praised the IFC, which he said “demonstrated their genuine concern and care for the community by holding themselves accountable, and working with administration to develop a strategy to solve this public health issue.”

“Sexual violence is not tolerated on our campus,” the statement reads. “We have strong systems in place that provide a safe space for students to report and get the support they need. In addition, we are working to expand the current best practices available to address prevention – to stop sexual assault before it happens.”

Emory is one of 55 schools that the Department of Education began investigating for their approach to sexual assault complaints last spring, as the Federal government has taken a leading role in efforts to confront the widespread problem of sexual violence on U.S. campuses. A reported one-in-five women will become victims of an attempted or completed assault while in college.


TIME celebrities

Sophia Loren Tells Story Behind Hollywood’s Most Epic Side-Eye

Jayne Mansfield tries to steal the show in a very low cut dress at a party thrown by 20th Century-Fox for Sophia Loren on April 12, 1957 in Los Angeles.
Moviestore Collection/Re/REX USA Jayne Mansfield tries to steal the show in a very low cut dress at a party thrown by 20th Century-Fox for Sophia Loren on April 12, 1957 in Los Angeles.

"I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate"

Let’s go back to the infamous moment decades ago when Jayne Mansfield, in all of her womanly glory, sat next to then-rising Italian star Sophia Loren. The now 80-year-old Loren recently said she was afraid something was about to blow. That something was Mansfield’s low-cut dress.

Though the image has widely been accepted as photographic proof that shade has no start date, Loren says in recent interview with Entertainment Weekly that the look on her face is fear. Pure, unadulterated fear.

“Listen. Look at the picture,” Loren told EW. “Where are my eyes? I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate. In my face you can see the fear. I’m so frightened that everything in her dress is going to blow—BOOM!—and spill all over the table.”

Read more at Entertainment Weekly.

TIME apps

Soon You Will Be Able to Undo Your Accidental Left Swipe on Tinder

App Tinder
Franziska Kraufmann—picture-alliance/dpa/AP Tinder App

It could be love at second swipe

Remember the pain you felt deep in your chest when you unconsciously left-swiped that would-be bae-of-your-dreams away while feverishly perusing Tinder? Remember how you hoped and prayed that somehow that special Tinderoni would reappear, all in vain?

Well, apparently you weren’t alone. A back-button is the “most requested feature” among Tinder users, according to co-founder Sean Rad, in a recent interview published by Tech Crunch on Tuesday (the same day Rad announced he would step down as CEO of the company but stay on as president and board member).

Soon the folks at Tinder will unveil a paid version of the dating app that will allow users to “undo” left swipes, TechCrunch reports. With the new version—called “Tinder Plus”—users can also search for matches outside of their region. Tinder Plus will be available soon for select users in the UK, Brazil and Germany.

So, that feeling of deep loneliness you felt when you missed out on The One may soon be nothing more than a distant memory. Of course, there’s still no guarantee your almost-missed-match won’t turn out like this.


TIME Military

FLOTUS and the Penguins of Madagascar Team Up for Veterans Day

Michelle Obama honors returning military veterans with some help from the funny birds

First Lady Michelle Obama has enlisted the help of the plotting Madagascar penguins to spread a positive message about our nation’s veterans, just in time for Veterans Day Nov 11. In a six-minute video, the penguins take a light-hearted approach to a heavy topic: the misconceptions many Americans hold about veterans returning from duty.

As a part of the GotYour6 campaign, an initiative focused on empowering veterans and shifting public perceptions of veterans through media, the penguins are joining a number of actors and organizations in sharing stories about the positive impact veterans have on their communities when they come home.

TIME Comics

Bill Watterson Drew a New Comic, and It’s Really Funny

C.H. Pete Copeland—The Plain Dealer/AP Bill Watterson, creator of the syndicated cartoon strip "Calvin & Hobbes" is shown in this Feb. 24, 1986 file photo at his home in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

The 15-panel comic was created by Watterson for France's 2015 Angoulême International Comics Festival

Bill Watterson, the reclusive cartoonist behind Calvin and Hobbes, has created a new comic. But don’t go looking for it in your local newspaper.

Watterson’s latest strip was created in celebration of France’s 2015 Angoulême International Comics Festival. In 2014, Watterson received the Grand Prix award at the festival, its highest honor, for his esteemed comic about an imaginative little boy named Calvin and his wise stuffed tiger Hobbes. Since retiring the cartoon in 1995, Watterson rarely illustrates strips. One exception is a poster he drew for the recent comic strip documentary, Stripped.

In an interview, Watterson said he drew his latest comic without text in order to break any language barriers. “Telling a story only in pictures is one of the great strengths — and greatest pleasures — offered by comics,” Watterson said.

TIME 2014 Election

President Obama Faces the Press After GOP Midterm Victory

The President will speak about the midterm election results, which saw Republicans gain control of the Senate and maintain control of the House of Representatives, at a press conference set to begin at 2:50pm ET. Watch live here

President Obama will address the press for the first time following big Republican wins in the 2014 Midterm election. The Democrats lost control of Congress, despite having spent their campaigns working to distance themselves from both the President and his policies. In the end, Republicans were able to gain control of the Senate and maintain control of the House of Representatives.

TIME 2014 Election

Sen. Mitch McConnell Holds Press Briefing

New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hosting a press conference at 2pm ET. Watch coverage live here

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was able to stave off a tough challenge to maintain his seat in the Senate. Thanks to a wave of Republican victories across the country, McConnell is also now the the Senate’s new Majority Leader. McConnell will hold a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, about an hour before President Obama does the same. In an interview with TIME, McConnell said as leader he hopes to work with President Obama and Democrats in the Senate.

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