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National News

    Chilly temperatures along with the umbrella grab a jacket or sweatshirt. In fact, there will not be much change in temperature all day long on Monday with fog and rain likely.  No widespread flooding is expected, but creeks and streams will be on the rise over the course of the week. A “relative” pause in the rain is possible Tuesday night into first thing Wednesday but the weather looks unsettled until Friday. At least the reward appears to be that a dry weekend will follow. 3-day rainfall amounts expected to average 3-4 inches with isolated higher totals possible.  High temperatures in the 40s and 50s through the week with lows in the 30s and 40s. Highs on the weekend in the 50s with lows in the 30s.  THURSDAY SURFACE WEATHER CHART MORE SHOWERS: FRIDAY SURFACE WEATHER CHART DRYING OUT: FLOOD RISK ZONES MONDAY/MONDAY NIGHT: FLOOD RISK ZONES WEDNESDAY/WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 24-HOUR RAINFALL ESTIMATE MONDAY: 24-HOUR RAINFALL AVERAGE ESTIMATE TUESDAY: WEDNESDAY RAINFALL ESTIMATE AVERAGE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB. 
  • Stacey Abrams’ campaign is racing to track down all remaining provisional ballots and any other uncounted votes to force a runoff against Brian Kemp, but any chance she has is narrowing as more counties report their final ballots and certify their votes. In another tight election, Carolyn Bourdeaux is scrambling to close a roughly 900 vote gap between her and U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall as officials in Gwinnett County weigh a trove of absentee and provisional ballots that have yet to be tallied. Both efforts may hinge on several legal challenges readied over the weekend that could affect how thousands of ballots are counted. The wrangling over votes reached a fever pitch on Monday as Democrats took the airwaves, to voters’ homes and to the legal system to wring out every outstanding vote and preserve Abrams’ quest to be the nation’s first black female governor and Bourdeaux’s bid to flip a one-time GOP stronghold. Worried the claims could undermine the legitimacy of his election if he wins, Kemp’s spokesman on Monday repeated his call for Abrams to concede and blasted “frivolous” lawsuits filed by her campaign seeking to give counties more leeway to count provisional and absentee ballots. The fight has further polarized an already divided Georgia electorate, as leading Republicans declared Kemp the “governor-elect” and influential Democrats echoed Abrams’ demand to wait until all votes are counted. The climax could come as soon as Tuesday, the deadline for counties to certify their results and send them to the secretary of state’s office. At least 94 of Georgia’s 159 counties have already done so, and 124 counties have already reported provisional ballot totals. Cobb County was the first county in metro Atlanta to certify its results Monday, approving 1,432 outstanding ballots, most of them provisional. The county’s elections board also rejected 829 ballots, often because they were cast by people who weren’t registered to vote in Cobb. But litigation filed by Abrams’ campaign could force counties to revisit some ballots and give the Democrat a slightly wider window to a potential runoff. The lawsuit seeks to delay the deadline until Wednesday and require counties to count absentee ballots rejected for missing information and other inaccuracies. It also would require that counties accept provisional ballots that were rejected because the voters live in a different county. A separate filing by Bourdeaux’s campaign seeks to delay Gwinnett County from certifying its election results in order to count a cache of nearly 1,000 absentee ballots that had been previously rejected. That echoes other lawsuits targeting Gwinnett’s disproportionately high reporting of signature-related absentee ballot rejections. Meanwhile, Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden instructed all county election officials Monday not to reject mailied absentee ballots just because they lack a voter’s date of birth. Crittenden said those ballots can be counted if the voter’s identity can be verified by their signature or other means. Her instructions could have the broadest impact on Gwinnett County, where election officials rejected 1,587 absentee ballots — the largest number in the state. Gwinnett is scheduled to certify its election results Tuesday. But the math of vote counting is not in the Democrats’ favor. Kemp now leads Abrams by about 58,000 votes, but she needs to net a smaller number — roughly 21,000 votes — to force a Dec. 4 runoff against the Republican. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate gets a majority of the vote. Abrams will try to reinforce the message that the race isn’t over yet with a new TV ad set to run in the metro Atlanta market this week. Her campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, said the ad will detail how the “fight for the most basic fairness persists.” While many rural counties have already certified their votes, most of the more densely-populated metro Atlanta counties that overwhelmingly tilted toward Abrams have yet to do so. Cobb County elections officials met Monday, while officials in several other counties will convene Tuesday. No major media outlet has declared a winner in the race, and with a margin this tight several organizations said they would reassess after counties certify later this week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not call election contests. ‘Their votes should count’ Abrams’ campaign is zeroing in on provisional ballots cast by voters whose information often could not be immediately verified at polling places to gain ground on Kemp. State records indicate roughly 21,000 of those ballots were cast statewide, but Abrams’ campaign said its own review shows about 5,000 more. The deadline for voters to settle issues with provisional ballots was Friday. While some of those ballots have already been rejected, her campaign hopes to chase enough down to tighten the margin. She also wants more absentee ballots counted. Election officials across Georgia rejected a total of 5,147 mailed absentee ballots, mostly because they had incorrect birthdate information or other inaccuracies, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of absentee ballot data.  Democrats across the state were blasted with texts seeking details of any voting problems, and Abrams sent repeated fundraising pleas insisting the race isn’t over. And the party held phone banks across the state, dispatching staff to the homes of some who they couldn’t reach. Carol O’Regan, who lives in Avondale Estates in DeKalb County, took the entire week of the election off from work so that she could help the Abrams’ campaign wherever she was be needed. That meant calling Georgia voters who records indicate cast provisional ballots. “It’s not just about Stacey winning,” O’Regan said. “We told people their vote counted, and their votes should count.” O’Regan worked out of the Decatur field office, dialing number after number. No one was picking up. So, she left voicemails, reading from a script provided by the Georgia Democratic Party and leaving behind the number to the voter protection hotline. “We understand you had to cast a provisional ballot in the election, and we want to help you clear it up today by 5 p.m.,” she told one caller after another on Friday. In her first public comments since the night of the election, Abrams had much the same message. In a Sunday video posted on Facebook, she invoked the story of a Republican state House incumbent who succeeded in forcing a new election after some voters cast ballots in the wrong race. “I’d love to win; I want to win,” she said in the video. “But that’s not the point. The point is the system has to work. The point is we have to have confidence in that system.” Kemp, meanwhile, busied himself by readying for a transition to power that’s been blessed by outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal. He recently tapped two close allies to serve as his chief of staff and chair of his transition effort. And his campaign repeated some of the bruising rhetoric it used throughout the election to denigrate her legal effort. His spokesman Ryan Mahoney said the results, combined with the small cache of outstanding votes left, show it’s mathematically impossible for Abrams to win. “Stacey Abrams and her radical backers have moved from desperation to delusion,” he said. “Stacey Abrams lost and her concession is long overdue.” Staff writers Tamar Hallerman and Tyler Estep contributed to this report.
  • The wedding band has been in his family for more than a hundred years. So, when he noticed it was no longer on his finger at Saturday's Georgia football game, Stuart Howell said his heart dropped.
  • Congratulations to Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña, Jr. on winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award! Acuña finished 2018 with 26 home runs, a .293 batting average and 64 runs batted in. Ronnie ROY. Your 2018 NL Rookie of the Year: @ronaldacunajr24. pic.twitter.com/7b6UX7EIR9 — MLB (@MLB) November 12, 2018 The 20-year-old beat out Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler. Acuña is the first Braves player to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award award since Craig Kimbrel in 2011. Before that, Rafael Furcal won in 2000. 
  • A woman who owns land near where a deadly wildfire started in Northern California said Monday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. sought access to her property just before the blaze started because the utility's power lines were causing sparks. It's still not clear what caused the massive fire that started Thursday, killing at least 29 people and destroying the Sierra Nevada foothill town of Paradise. PG&E has said it experienced a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of the massive fire, minutes before the blaze broke out. The fire started on 64 acres of land in Pulga, California, owned by Betsy Ann Cowley. Cowley told The Associated Press she received an email from the utility on Wednesday telling her that crews needed to come to her property to work on the high-power lines because 'they were having problems with sparks.' PG&E declined to discuss the email when contacted by AP. Two days before the fire started, PG&E told customers in nine counties, including Butte County, that it might shut off their power Nov. 8 because of extreme fire danger. The fire started about 6:30 a.m. that morning. Later that day, PG&E said it had decided against a power cut because weather conditions did not warrant one.
  • The deadly wildfires whipping through California have killed more than 30 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. Officials are calling the fires the worst in state history. >> Read more trending news  Celebrities, such as Miley Cyrus, Martin Sheen, Gerard Butler and others, are not immune to the flames and have lost homes and property alongside average citizens.  One couple in particular, well-known car enthusiasts and collectors Gary and Diane Cerveny, reportedly lost an irreplaceable collection of classic and rare vehicles worth millions, according to Autoweek. Hotrod.com described the couple as “the best kind of car collectors” and called their collection “eclectic.”  There was a Ferrari Dino, a ’65 Pontiac GTO gasser, a ’66 Dodge Dart, a Marty Robbins NASCAR, a ’66 Dodge Charger, a ’71 Plymouth Barracuda, a ’97 Dodge Viper, a Studebaker kart hauler and perhaps the rarest car in the collection, the one-of-a-kind 1948 Norman Timbs Special. >> Related: Photos: California wildfires kill dozens, destroy entire town The dramatic streamliner was created in the 1940s by mechanical engineer Norman Timbs, according to Conceptcarz.com. The elegant, swooping custom car took over three years to build, then eventually disappeared. It was rediscovered in the desert in 2002 and restored. >> Related: Actor Martin Sheen flees Malibu wildfire; says little chance home survived The Cervenys kept their collection at a shop in Malibu, which has been ravaged by the wildfires.  
  • Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden told county election officials Monday to count absentee ballots even if they lack a voter’s date of birth, as long as the voter’s identity can be verified. Crittenden issued the instructions for county election officials as they face a Tuesday deadline to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election. [READ: Abrams sues for more time; Kemp's campaign says math is clear] Republican Brian Kemp holds the lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams in the race to become Georgia’s governor. Abrams would need to gain more than 20,000 votes to force the race into a runoff. Crittenden’s instructions could affect vote counting in Gwinnett County, where election officials rejected 1,587 mailed absentee ballots. Gwinnett has the largest number of potential uncounted absentee ballots for Abrams in the state. Many of Gwinnett’s rejections were because absentee ballots contained incorrect birthdate information or insufficient information on the return envelope. [READ: Bourdeaux files motion to delay election certification in 7th District race] Crittenden sent the letter after the State Election Board voted unanimously Sunday night to issue guidance for how local election officials should proceed with their counts. Her letter is meant to reinforce state laws and provide clarification to county election officials, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Rules about vote counting haven’t changed. “What is required is the signature of the voter and any additional information needed for the county election official to verify the identity of the voter,” Crittenden wrote. “Therefore, an election official does not violate [state law] when they accept an absentee ballot despite the omission of a day and month of birth ... if the election official can verify the identity of the voter.” [RUNOFF: Everything you need to know about Secretary of State race] Gwinnett County accounted for 31 percent of all Georgia’s rejected absentee ballots, often because of discrepancies with birth dates, addresses, signatures and insufficient information. Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said she wasn’t surprised at the scrutiny Gwinnett has received because of “the role that both parties saw it playing in their success.” She defended the way the elections office has conducted its business. [READ: Kemp campaign calls Abrams' refusal to concede 'a disgrace to democracy'] “They always focus a lot on figuring out how to deal with the issues that arise,” Nash said last week, “and I have every expectation that they will do that this time around too.”  Gwinnett Elections Board Chairman Stephen Day, a Democrat, has also defended county staff. “There are definitely different political points of view [on the elections board], but we do agree that our staff has acted in the way that the law stated they should act,” Day said following Friday’s closed-door elections board meeting. “We do understand that there are different interpretations of that.”
  • No it wasn't a blue wave. But a week after the voting, Democrats are riding higher than they thought on Election Night. As vote counting presses on in several states, the Democrats have steadily chalked up victories across the country, firming up their grip on the U.S. House of Representatives and statehouses. The slow roll of wins has given the party plenty to celebrate. President Donald Trump was quick to claim victory for his party on Election Night. But the Democrats, who hit political rock bottom just two years ago, have now picked up at least 32 seats in the House — and lead in four more — in addition to flipping 7 governorships and 8 state legislative chambers. They are on track to lose perhaps two seats in the Senate in a year both parties predicted more. In fact, the overall results in the first nationwide election of the Trump presidency represent the Democratic Party's best midterm performance since Watergate. 'Over the last week we've moved from relief at winning the House to rejoicing at a genuine wave of diverse, progressive and inspiring Democrats winning office,' said Ben Wikler, Washington director of the liberal group MoveOn. The blue shift alters the trajectory of Trump's next two years in the White House, breaking up the Republican monopoly in Washington. It also gives Democrats stronger footing in key states ahead of the next presidential race and in the re-drawing of congressional districts — a complicated process that has been dominated by the GOP, which has drawn favorable boundaries for their candidates. Trump and his allies discounted the Democratic victories on Monday, pointing to GOP successes in Republican-leaning states. 'Thanks to the grassroots support for @realDonaldTrump and our party's ground game, we were able to #DefyHistory and make gains in the Senate!' Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel tweeted, citing Senate wins in Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota and Tennessee, among others. Indeed, just once in the past three decades had a sitting president added Senate seats in his first midterm election. But lost in McDaniel's assessment was the difficult 2018 Senate landscape for Democrats, who were defending 10 seats in states Trump carried just two years ago. Says Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez: 'I believe in facts. And the fact of the matter is, the Democratic Party had a historic night at the ballot box — and we are not resting,' Perez said in an interview, 'Our goal was to compete everywhere, to expand and re-shape the electorate everywhere — and that's exactly what we've done.' The Democrats found success by attracting support from women, minorities and college-educated voters. Overall, 50 percent of white college-educated voters and 56 percent of women backed Democrats nationwide, according to AP VoteCast, a wide-ranging survey of the electorate. Democrats featured historic diversity on the ballot. Their winning class includes Massachusetts' first African-American female member of Congress, Ayanna Presley, and Michigan's Rashida Talib and Ilhan Omar, the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, along with Kansas' Sharice Davids, the first lesbian Native American. They also won by running candidates with military backgrounds who openly embraced gun ownership, such as Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb and Maine's Jared Golden, who is poised to win his contest because of the state's ranked-choice voting system. The Democrats needed to gain 23 seats to seize the House majority. Once all the votes are counted, which could take weeks in some cases as absentees and provisional ballots are tallied, they could win close to 40. Democrats have not lost a single House incumbent so far. Yet they defeated Republican targets such as Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Carlos Curbelo of Florida and Dana Rohrabacher of California. They could win as many as 19 House races in districts carried by Trump two years ago, according to House Democrats' campaign arm. Ten House races remained too close for the AP to call as of Monday evening. Far more of the Senate landscape was decided early, although contests in Arizona, Florida and Mississippi remain outstanding. While there were notable statehouse Democratic losses in Iowa and Ohio, the party flipped governorships in seven states: Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Kansas, New Mexico and Maine. Republicans now control 25 governorships nationwide compared to 23 for Democrats. High-profile contests in Florida and Georgia remain outstanding, although Republicans hold narrow leads in both states. Overshadowed perhaps by the higher-profile statewide elections, Democratic gains in state legislatures could prove deeply consequential. Overall, they flipped state legislative chambers in eight states this midterm season, including Washington state's Senate in 2017. The others include the state Senates in Maine, Colorado, New York, New Hampshire and Connecticut in addition to the state Houses of Representatives in New Hampshire and Minnesota. With hundreds of races still too close to call, Democrats have gained at least 370 state legislative seats nationwide, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. The pickups include surprises in West Virginia, where Democrats knocked off the GOP majority leader-designate in the House and the majority leader in the Senate. 'We have elected a new generation of inspiring leaders and we know that a new era of democratic dominance is on the horizon,' said the committee's executive director Jessica Post. Still, Republicans will control the majority of state legislative chambers, governorships, the U.S. Senate and the White House. And even before the new Democrats take office, attention has begun to shift toward 2020. Many Democrats have yet to shake off the stinging losses of 2016. Publicly and privately, Democrats are lining up for the chance to take down Trump in two years. 'This is step one of a two-step process to right the ship,' Guy Cecil, chairman of the pro-Democrat super PAC Priorities USA, said of the midterms. 'Democrats have every reason to be optimistic.
  • An associate of longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone said Monday that he expects to face charges in the special counsel's Russia investigation. Conservative conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi said on his YouTube show that negotiations fell apart with special counsel Robert Mueller's team and he expects in the coming days to be charged with making false statements. 'I'm going to be indicted,' Corsi said on his show. 'That's what we were told. Everyone should know that, and I'm anticipating it.' The Associated Press couldn't immediately confirm Corsi's claims that charges against him are forthcoming. Corsi's attorney, David Gray, declined to comment Monday evening. A spokesman for the special counsel's office also declined to comment. Corsi is one of several Stone associates who have been questioned by investigators as Mueller probes Stone's connections with WikiLeaks. American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian agents were the source of hacked material released by WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, including emails belonging to former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. And Mueller's office is trying to determine whether Stone and other associates of President Donald Trump had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks' plans. Corsi, the former Washington bureau chief of the conspiracy theory outlet InfoWars, said Monday that he had no recollection of ever meeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. 'To the best of my recollection, what I knew in advance about what Julian Assange was going to do in terms of having the Podesta emails, I figured out,' he said. Corsi said Monday that he has been cooperating with the Mueller investigation since receiving a subpoena in late August. He said he gave investigators two computers, a cell phone and access to his email accounts and tweets. But he said talks with investigators recently had 'blown up.' 'I fully anticipate that in the next few days, I will be indicted by Mueller,' he said, as he made a pitch for donations to his legal defense fund. Stone, who has also said he expects to be indicted, has denied being a conduit for WikiLeaks, which published thousands of emails stolen from Podesta in the weeks before the election. In a telephone interview with the AP last month, Stone said: 'I had no advanced notice of the source or content or the exact timing of the release of the WikiLeaks disclosures.

News

  • The wedding band has been in his family for more than a hundred years. So, when he noticed it was no longer on his finger at Saturday's Georgia football game, Stuart Howell said his heart dropped.
  • Congratulations to Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña, Jr. on winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award! Acuña finished 2018 with 26 home runs, a .293 batting average and 64 runs batted in. Ronnie ROY. Your 2018 NL Rookie of the Year: @ronaldacunajr24. pic.twitter.com/7b6UX7EIR9 — MLB (@MLB) November 12, 2018 The 20-year-old beat out Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler. Acuña is the first Braves player to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award award since Craig Kimbrel in 2011. Before that, Rafael Furcal won in 2000. 
  • A woman who owns land near where a deadly wildfire started in Northern California said Monday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. sought access to her property just before the blaze started because the utility's power lines were causing sparks. It's still not clear what caused the massive fire that started Thursday, killing at least 29 people and destroying the Sierra Nevada foothill town of Paradise. PG&E has said it experienced a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of the massive fire, minutes before the blaze broke out. The fire started on 64 acres of land in Pulga, California, owned by Betsy Ann Cowley. Cowley told The Associated Press she received an email from the utility on Wednesday telling her that crews needed to come to her property to work on the high-power lines because 'they were having problems with sparks.' PG&E declined to discuss the email when contacted by AP. Two days before the fire started, PG&E told customers in nine counties, including Butte County, that it might shut off their power Nov. 8 because of extreme fire danger. The fire started about 6:30 a.m. that morning. Later that day, PG&E said it had decided against a power cut because weather conditions did not warrant one.
  • The deadly wildfires whipping through California have killed more than 30 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. Officials are calling the fires the worst in state history. >> Read more trending news  Celebrities, such as Miley Cyrus, Martin Sheen, Gerard Butler and others, are not immune to the flames and have lost homes and property alongside average citizens.  One couple in particular, well-known car enthusiasts and collectors Gary and Diane Cerveny, reportedly lost an irreplaceable collection of classic and rare vehicles worth millions, according to Autoweek. Hotrod.com described the couple as “the best kind of car collectors” and called their collection “eclectic.”  There was a Ferrari Dino, a ’65 Pontiac GTO gasser, a ’66 Dodge Dart, a Marty Robbins NASCAR, a ’66 Dodge Charger, a ’71 Plymouth Barracuda, a ’97 Dodge Viper, a Studebaker kart hauler and perhaps the rarest car in the collection, the one-of-a-kind 1948 Norman Timbs Special. >> Related: Photos: California wildfires kill dozens, destroy entire town The dramatic streamliner was created in the 1940s by mechanical engineer Norman Timbs, according to Conceptcarz.com. The elegant, swooping custom car took over three years to build, then eventually disappeared. It was rediscovered in the desert in 2002 and restored. >> Related: Actor Martin Sheen flees Malibu wildfire; says little chance home survived The Cervenys kept their collection at a shop in Malibu, which has been ravaged by the wildfires.  
  • Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden told county election officials Monday to count absentee ballots even if they lack a voter’s date of birth, as long as the voter’s identity can be verified. Crittenden issued the instructions for county election officials as they face a Tuesday deadline to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election. [READ: Abrams sues for more time; Kemp's campaign says math is clear] Republican Brian Kemp holds the lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams in the race to become Georgia’s governor. Abrams would need to gain more than 20,000 votes to force the race into a runoff. Crittenden’s instructions could affect vote counting in Gwinnett County, where election officials rejected 1,587 mailed absentee ballots. Gwinnett has the largest number of potential uncounted absentee ballots for Abrams in the state. Many of Gwinnett’s rejections were because absentee ballots contained incorrect birthdate information or insufficient information on the return envelope. [READ: Bourdeaux files motion to delay election certification in 7th District race] Crittenden sent the letter after the State Election Board voted unanimously Sunday night to issue guidance for how local election officials should proceed with their counts. Her letter is meant to reinforce state laws and provide clarification to county election officials, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Rules about vote counting haven’t changed. “What is required is the signature of the voter and any additional information needed for the county election official to verify the identity of the voter,” Crittenden wrote. “Therefore, an election official does not violate [state law] when they accept an absentee ballot despite the omission of a day and month of birth ... if the election official can verify the identity of the voter.” [RUNOFF: Everything you need to know about Secretary of State race] Gwinnett County accounted for 31 percent of all Georgia’s rejected absentee ballots, often because of discrepancies with birth dates, addresses, signatures and insufficient information. Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said she wasn’t surprised at the scrutiny Gwinnett has received because of “the role that both parties saw it playing in their success.” She defended the way the elections office has conducted its business. [READ: Kemp campaign calls Abrams' refusal to concede 'a disgrace to democracy'] “They always focus a lot on figuring out how to deal with the issues that arise,” Nash said last week, “and I have every expectation that they will do that this time around too.”  Gwinnett Elections Board Chairman Stephen Day, a Democrat, has also defended county staff. “There are definitely different political points of view [on the elections board], but we do agree that our staff has acted in the way that the law stated they should act,” Day said following Friday’s closed-door elections board meeting. “We do understand that there are different interpretations of that.”