Axios Mar 14
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Pennsylvania special election is down to the wire

Conor Lamb (C), The Democratic candidate at a rally last week. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Tuesday's special election in Pennsylvania's 18th district is too close to call with both candidates within one percentage point of each other. Democrat Conor Lamb is looking to beat out Republican Rick Saccone in a district President Trump carried by 20 points in 2016.

Where it stands:

  • Lamb (D): 49.8%
  • Saccone (R): 49.6%
    • 99% of precincts are currently reporting

What we're waiting for: Some absentee ballots are not expected to be counted until the morning and leaves open the possibility for the victory to sway to either candidate. With the votes differing within a few hundred ballots, there will likely be a recount.

About the race:

  • Tim Murphy, the Republican who held the seat for 15 years, resigned in October after it emerged he had urged a woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion.
  • Millions of dollars have been poured into the race, with Republican groups outspending Democrats by a big margin.
  • President Trump has privately bashed Saccone as a "weak" candidate, but would be hoping to avoid the critical headlines a Lamb win would spark. Trump spent his weekend in PA campaigning on Saccone's behalf.
  • Democrats, meanwhile, are desperate for an upset victory.

We will continue to update the results as they come in.

Zachary Basu 58 mins ago
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John Bolton super PAC hired Cambridge Analytica in 2014

John Bolton
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

A super PAC led by incoming White House national security adviser John Bolton hired Cambridge Analytica in 2014 for “behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging,” reports the New York Times. Bolton's PAC was reportedly aware at the time that the models it received were derived from harvested Facebook data, according to former Cambridge employee and whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

Why it matters: Per the Times, "Mr. Bolton’s experience with the company appears to have provided a model for how it sold itself to future political campaigns, including Mr. Trump’s." Trump, Bolton and Cambridge Analytica also share a common patron in the billionaire Mercer family, which has yet to comment on the data scandal.

Zachary Basu 2 hours ago
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At least three killed in hostage crisis in southwest France

French gendarmes block an access to Trebes, where a man took hostages at a supermarket on March 23, 2018. Photo by ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images.

A gunman killed at least three people in a supermarket in Trebes, France on Friday, before being fatally shot by police, reports BBC News.

What they're saying: The suspect, who reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, took several hostages and was involved in a police standoff for about three hours. Witnesses say he was heavily armed and was demanding the release of Salah Abdeslam, the only living suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people.