Darkness returns to San Juan — A main power line that serves the northern half of Puerto Rico failed Thursday, knocking out electricity to seven cities that had only recently regained service and dealing a major setback to the island’s desperate efforts to regain normality. The island was generating just 18 percent of its electrical capacity. The disruption also meant that many people no longer had running water, because pumping stations are powered by electricity. In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Puerto Rican government said workers had made progress toward repairs and equipment was being put in place to restore the service.
Voter fraud panel sued again — A Democratic member of the White House commission on election integrity filed a federal lawsuit against the panel Thursday, saying that its claim of bipartisan cooperation “has been a facade” and that he had been denied information about its work. Matthew Dunlap, the Maine secretary of state, stated in the lawsuit that he had been unable to get any information on the commission’s activities since its last meeting in September. His request for copies of all correspondence among the commission’s members since its formation in May was referred to legal counsel, the lawsuit stated.
Pace of ACA sign-ups — More than 600,000 people signed up last week for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, significantly beating the pace of prior years as consumers defied President Donald Trump’s assertion that the marketplace was collapsing. In a report on the first four days of open enrollment, the Trump administration said Thursday, 601,462 people had selected health plans in the federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov. Of that number, 137,322 consumers, or 23 percent, were new to the marketplace and did not have coverage this year.
Boy dies after eating grilled cheese — A 3-year-old boy died last week after having a severe allergic reaction at his Manhattan preschool, his family said. Elijah Silvera was allergic to dairy and had been given a grilled cheese sandwich. The city Health Department said it closed the school Wednesday for inadequate supervision of a child. A GoFundMe page set up this week up by a family friend said that on Nov. 3, Elijah “was given a grilled cheese sandwich by an adult at the pre-K, despite them knowing and having documented that he has a severe allergy to dairy.
U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan — Nearly three months after President Donald Trump announced his new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, the United States and its international allies are still trying to come up with the troops required. The relatively few troops in Afghanistan are charged with training the Afghan military. With the militants at their strongest level since the start of the war, the issue of troop levels has renewed importance. Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., commanding officer of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, said that troops were “at the lowest level of capability that we’ve ever had in the past 16 years.”
Tweet mocking Mugabe — A young American woman living in Zimbabwe will be tried on charges of attempting to overthrow the government of Zimbabwe with a tweet mocking President Robert Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state. The arrest of Martha O’Donovan, 25, has raised fears the Zimbabwean government is stepping up efforts to control social media before elections in 2018. Mugabe, who will be 94 next year, is running for re-election. O’Donovan was arrested Friday at her home and charged with subverting the government and undermining the authority of — or insulting — the president. She faces up to 20 years in prison.