Sep 21, 2018

Blue wave alert: Texas Senate race now a toss-up

Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rouke. Photo: Ivan Pierre Aguirre/Getty Images

Political analyst Charlie Cook today changed his race rating for the Texas Senate race to toss-up from "lean Republican." He also moved the race rating in West Virginia in favor of Democrats and the Montana race in favor of Republicans.

Why it matters: Republican Ted Cruz facing a serious challenge from Democrat Beto O'Rourke in Texas is yet another sign of the momentum building for a "blue wave" in November. Cruz and O’Rourke will face off in Dallas tonight for the first of three scheduled debates.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,251 people and infected almost 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 53 mins ago - Health

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Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.