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Leftist opposition candidate Xiomara Castro is holding a commanding lead as Hondurans appear poised to remove the conservative National Party after 12 years of continuous rule. Castro declared herself the winner despite orders from the National Electoral Council to political parties to await official results. “We win! We win!” Castro, Honduras’ former first lady who is making her third presidential run, told cheering Liberty and Re-foundation party supporters when only a fraction of the ballots had been tallied Sunday night. “Today the people have obtained justice. We have reversed authoritarianism.” The National Party also quickly declared victory for its candidate, Tegucigalpa Mayor Nasry Asfura, but the early returns were not promising.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci is blasting Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting that Fauci be investigated for statements he made about COVID-19. Fauci is the government’s top infectious diseases expert as well as President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser. He says the GOP criticism is an attack on science. Cruz and some other Republicans have accused Fauci of lying to Congress when he denied that the National Institutes of Health funded a type of virus research at a lab in Wuhan, China. Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul say an October letter from NIH to Congress contradicts Fauci. But no clear evidence or scientific consensus exists that the research in question was funded by NIH.

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FILE - former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, looks on as President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House, Sept. 27, 2020, in Washington. Christie has been on a PR blitz promoting his new book, “Republican Rescue." It offers a simple prescription for his party: Stop talking about 2020, focus on the future or keep losing elections. His rebuke of former President Donald Trump’s election lies is a message that’s finding traction on cable news airwaves as he stakes out a unique lane for a possible second presidential run. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been on a PR blitz promoting his new book. In “Republican Rescue," Christie says Republicans should stop talking about 2020 and focus on the future or risk losing elections. Christie's rebuke of former President Donald Trump’s election lies is a message that’s finding traction on cable television as he stakes out his own lane for a possible second presidential run in 2024. He's painting himself as a Trump loyalist who largely agrees with the former president’s policies but is fully aware of Trump’s flaws and is willing to call him out on them.

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FILE - Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, arrives for a news conference at the White House in Washington, with President Donald Trump on Sept. 27, 2020. Christie has been on a PR blitz promoting his new book, “Republican Rescue." It offers a simple prescription for his party: Stop talking about 2020, focus on the future or keep losing elections. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

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FILE - Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting at The Venetian hotel-casino Nov. 6, 2021, in Las Vegas. Christie has been on a PR blitz promoting his new book, “Republican Rescue." It offers a simple prescription for his party: Stop talking about 2020, focus on the future or keep losing elections. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

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FILE - Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waves to the crowd following his speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting at The Venetian hotel-casino Nov. 6, 2021, in Las Vegas. Christie has been on a PR blitz promoting his new book, “Republican Rescue." It offers a simple prescription for his party: Stop talking about 2020, focus on the future or keep losing elections. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

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Demands by Democrats to fix the nation’s broken immigration system were wielded as a cudgel against Republicans during the 2020 campaign. Elect us, went the argument, and we’ll stop the cruel treatment of migrants at the border, and put in place lasting and humane policies that work. Action on the issue has been hard to find a year into Joe Biden's presidency, and there is growing consternation privately among some in the party that the Biden administration can’t find the right balance on immigration.  

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Minnesota's Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar is calling on House leaders to take “appropriate action" against Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert for using anti-Muslim language in describing a recent encounter with Omar. Boebert said Friday she has reached out to Omar and apologized “to anyone I offended in the Muslim community" with the remarks. According to a video clip posted by a Twitter account called PatriotTakes, Boebert made the remarks at a meeting with constituents this holiday break, using the term ‘jihad squad’ to refer to Omar. She also said Omar wasn't “wearing a backpack," an allusion to suicide bombers. Omar says such inflammatory remarks endanger the lives of Muslim Americans. 

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The Republican field of candidates aiming to capture Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat is churning. Out is Sean Parnell, the candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Parnell's exit is reshuffling the race. Getting in might be a couple guys who are relative unknowns to many party figures. First, there's Mehmet Oz, the cardiac surgeon and host of TV’s “Dr. Oz Show." He's a longtime New Jersey resident. The other is David McCormick, a Connecticut resident who runs one of the world’s largest hedge funds, but grew up in Pennsylvania. The campaign could determine Senate control in next year’s election.