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Northam increases lead in Virginia gubernatorial race

Former President Barack Obama, right, gestures during a rally with Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: AP/Steve Helber

Democratic candidate Ralph Northam secured his lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia gubernatorial race, officially earning 50% approval to his opponent's 43%, according to a poll released today by the Wason Center for Public Policy.

Democrats were sweating earlier this week when polls showed Northam leading by just 4% and a previous poll showed him leading, though there were many undecided voters. A loss for Northam could trigger a similar Bernie vs. Hillary split we saw during the 2016 election, as Northam beat Bernie Sanders-backed primary challenger Tom Perriello.

Battle lines: While Gillespie leads among white voters, the poll finds Northam leads among young and old, women and men, and African-American voters.

Down-ballot races are led by Dems, too, though the races are tightening. The Dem candidates for the state AG and lieutenant governor races lead by 5% and 3%, respectively.

Steve LeVine 6 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

Khorri Atkinson 2 mins ago
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Brother of Florida shooter arrested for trespassing at Stoneman Douglas High

Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in the Florida schol school massacre. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett, Pool / Getty Images

Zachary Cruz, the brother of Nikolas Cruz who confessed to carrying out last month's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was arrested Monday after authorities say he trespassed on the site where the shooting took place, per the Miami Herald.

Situational awareness: The arrest comes just over a month after his brother shot and killed 14 students and 3 staff members to which prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.