Midterm election glossary: The terms you need to know to understand American politics

Midterm election glossary: The terms you need to know to understand American politicsWith the 2018 midterm elections just over two weeks away, the casual reader may be coming across some strange terms in the American political lexicon. For anyone confused by reports on the battle between Democrats and Republicans to control Congress, The Independent has compiled a handy list of some common terms. Battleground State: A state is considered a battleground state if its electorate is split relatively evenly between Republicans and Democrats, making state-wide races especially competitive and hard to predict.



Long queues as Afghan voters defy election day attacks, delays

Long queues as Afghan voters defy election day attacks, delaysA suicide bomber killed 15 people in Kabul, the most serious of a series of smaller-scale attacks that caused dozens of casualties across the country but did not deter voters who endured long queues to cast their ballot. "Today the people gave an unanswerable response to the enemies of Afghanistan," government spokesman Haroon Chakansuri told reporters. Voting should have been over by the time the suicide bomber struck a polling station in the north of Kabul, killing 10 civilians and five police, but polling stations were kept open longer than normal to cope with large numbers of people who had been unable to cast ballots.



Israel reopens people, goods crossings to Gaza after lull

Israel reopens people, goods crossings to Gaza after lullIsrael ordered the country's goods and people border crossings with Gaza to be opened on Sunday, just four days after shuttering them following a Palestinian rocket attack that sparked retaliatory air strikes. The move followed efforts to prevent an escalation in violence that has raised fears of a new war between Israel and the Palestinian territory's Islamist rulers Hamas. "The decision comes after a decrease in the violent events in Gaza over the weekend and efforts Hamas made to restrain" demonstrators, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman's office said in a statement.



This fifth grader's baked potato costume is better than whatever you've planned for Halloween

This fifth grader's baked potato costume is better than whatever you've planned for HalloweenThis is One Good Thing , a weekly column where we tell you about one of the few nice things that happened this week. Halloween is fast approaching and while you may think your planned costume's impressive, there's a very good chance it won't top this fifth grader who dressed as a baked potato. Reddit user seal2781, a 24-year-old named Celia, recently shared a throwback Halloween picture from 2004 — the year she followed her heart and dressed as a baked potato wrapped in foil with a li'l pat of butter on top. Precious! Delicious! All around wholesome! The costume is one of the closest things we've seen to absolute Halloween perfection, and the kind of ensemble we should all strive to put together this time of year. If you're having doubts about how great it is, we're not exaggerating. See for yourself... SEE ALSO: This Kevin from 'The Office' Halloween costume for babies needs to exist IRL Celia told Mashable via Reddit that she fashioned the wearable baked potato for her elementary school Halloween costume contest. The costume won first prize and for that, she received a whole $5!  "The day before the contest I decided I wanted to be a baked potato," she wrote. "I'm not really sure why — I just thought it would be funny." She says her dad Ron helped make the costume out of cardboard boxes. "We covered the boxes in wide plastic wrap to hold it all together, and then covered it in foil and added the fluff and brown paper 'skin.' The pad of butter was just a small pizza box covered in yellow cellophane paper." The baked potato has everything you'd want from a good costume. The homemade aspect shows off your resourceful side, it'll give people a good laugh, and you'll also stand out from a crowd of store bought superheroes, princesses, and more. Though it does have one downfall... "The main thing I remember about the costume was how hot it was. I really felt like a baked potato wearing it," Celia said. But still, an overall success. Celia's family has been cranking out next-level costumes for years, she explained, recalling her brother's most memorable ensemble: a massive five-foot tall baseball bat. Stunning. Image: seal2781/reddit Want more clever culture writing beamed directly to your inbox? Sign up here for the twice-weekly Click Click Click newsletter. It's fun – we promise. WATCH: Nightmares Fear Factory continues to serve us amazing haunted-house reaction photos



U.S. Mega Millions lottery hits record $1.6 billion after no winners on Friday

U.S. Mega Millions lottery hits record $1.6 billion after no winners on FridayThe next Mega Millions draw will be on Tuesday, after no one hit all of the numbers of 15, 23, 53, 65, 70 and the Mega Ball 7 during Friday night's draw. "Mega Millions has already entered historic territory, but it's truly astounding to think that now the jackpot has reached an all-time world record," Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions Group, said in a statement. The Mega Millions is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association, along with several other lottery games including one called Powerball.



New treatment offers up to ten months extra life for women with deadly breast cancer

New treatment offers up to ten months extra life for women with deadly breast cancerA new treatment could offer up to ten months extra life for women with one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, following a successful British trial. Using a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy, the body’s own immune system can be tuned to attack triple-negative breast cancer, scientists found. The research, carried out by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, also showed that the combined treatment reduced the risk of death or the cancer progressing by up to 40 per cent. Professor Peter Schmid, a professor of cancer medicine at QMUL and the author of the trial, described the results as a “massive step forward”. “Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive form of breast cancer; we have been desperately looking for better treatment options,” he said. “It is particularly tragic that those affected are often young, with many themselves having young families.” Triple-negative breast cancer is one of the most deadly forms of the disease and nearly one quarter of patients diagnosed will not survive for more than five years. The standard treatment for it is chemotherapy, which most patients quickly develop resistance to. If the disease spreads to other parts of the body, survival is typically only 12 to 15 months. But with the new treatment, researchers say that survival could be extended by up to ten months. Prof Schmid, who is clinical director of the Breast Cancer Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, explained that he new treatment will “significantly extend lives compared to the standard treatment of chemotherapy alone.” “We are changing how triple-negative breast cancer is treated in proving for the first time that immune therapy has a substantial survival benefit,” he said. “In a combined treatment approach, we are using chemotherapy to tear away the tumour’s ‘immune-protective cloak’ to expose it as well as enabling people’s own immune system to get at it.” About | Breast cancer The new treatment combines the standard weekly chemotherapy with the immunotherapy medication atezolizumab which once every two weeks. The combination works by chemotherapy “roughening up” the surface of the cancer, which enables the immune system to better recognise and therefore fight the cancer as a foreign object. Following the results of this trial, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the new treatment is now under review by health authorities who will decide whether to offer it on the NHS. Patients at St Bartholomew’s Hospital with triple-negative breast cancer are offered immunotherapy as part of ongoing trials. Triple negative breast cancer is more common in women under 40 and black women, according to Macmillan Cancer Support. It is one of the rarer forms of breast cancer, with around 15 per cent of breast cancers classified as triple negative.  



Trump will lead rally for Cruz, keeping hatchet buried

Trump will lead rally for Cruz, keeping hatchet buriedThe president’s visit is also likely to invoke memories of the bitter 2016 primary fight between Cruz and Trump, one of the ugliest campaigns in recent memory.



Saudis say 'don't know where' Khashoggi's body is

Saudis say 'don't know where' Khashoggi's body isSpeaking in an interview on Fox News, Jubeir said the Saudi leadership initially believed Khashoggi had left its diplomatic mission in Istanbul, where he was last seen on October 2. "The individuals who did this, did this outside the scope of their authority.



2 men charged in Georgia officer's shooting death

2 men charged in Georgia officer's shooting deathSNELLVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Two teen-aged suspects have been charged, including one man who remains on the loose, in connection with the fatal shooting of a George police officer who was killed while responding to a suspicious vehicle parked near a middle school, authorities said Sunday.



Selma Blair Reveals She Has Multiple Sclerosis

Selma Blair Reveals She Has Multiple SclerosisActress Selma Blair revealed to her Instagram followers Saturday that she has



Martin Brudnizki's Debuts Dreamy Light Fixtures for Urban Electric Co.

Martin Brudnizki's Debuts Dreamy Light Fixtures for Urban Electric Co.



The Two Things Air Force F-22 Raptors Can't Defeat

The Two Things Air Force F-22 Raptors Can't DefeatThe weather and the fact that Washington does not have enough of them.



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