Gary Johnson mounting third-party bid for New Mexico Senate seat

WASHINGTON — Former Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson has qualified to run for Senate in New Mexico, according to the secretary of state’s candidate list.

Johnson, who served two terms as New Mexico governor as a Republican, will make a formal announcement on his bid soon, his campaign manager told The Associated Press.

In the 2016 presidential election, he garnered 3 percent of the national popular vote but 9.3 percent in his home state.

Democrat Hillary Clinton won New Mexico with 48 percent of the vote, finishing 8 points ahead of President Donald Trump.

Rumors circulated in July that Johnson might run on the Libertarian line after that party’s nominee, New Mexico Public Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, said he would drop out of the race.

Johnson’s entry adds an unexpected dimension to Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich’s bid for a second term.

Heinrich won his first term in 2012 by 6 points over former GOP Rep. Heather A. Wilson, who is now the Air Force secretary.

The GOP nominee this November is Albuquerque construction contractor and political outsider Mick Rich.

—CQ-Roll Call

Florida man fatally beat girl, 3, says she painted over a photo of him, police say

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — In a death Miami Beach police called “senseless” and the county’s top prosecutor termed “horrific,” a man is accused of delivering a beating that killed his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter.

Dennys Llopiz, 27, was booked into Miami-Dade’s jail Monday on a charge of first-degree murder, records show.

The investigation started Friday when a 911 call was made from Llopiz’s residence indicating a child was unresponsive, according to a Miami Beach police arrest report.

The toddler was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where she died.

According to the arrest report, Llopiz initially told police that the child was in the shower alone, because she soiled herself, and he found her “slouched against the wall of the shower, not breathing.”

He later said she fell on some rocks while fishing with her mother a day earlier, but the girl’s mother told police the two had not gone fishing.

An autopsy conducted Saturday concluded that the child’s cause of death was “blunt-force trauma,” the report said.

Among the injuries described were deep tissue injuries from her head to her legs, ruptured liver and lungs, and three broken ribs.

News accounts identified the child as Skylar Hartley.

There was no obvious motive for what happened to Skylar. However, according to the arrest report, when detectives searched Llopiz’s cellphone they found several text messages to the child’s mother “in reference to (him) being upset with the victim over her painting on a photograph of him.”

During a court hearing Tuesday, Llopiz was ordered to remain in jail without bond.

— Sun Sentinel

Judge denies request to move trial of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman

NEW YORK — The notorious Mexican drug lord known as “El Chapo” will face trial in Brooklyn.

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request from Joaquin Guzman’s lawyer to move the high-profile proceedings to Manhattan.

Defense attorney Angel Eduardo Balazero urged the judge to transfer the case to avoid the hassle of transporting Guzman from his Manhattan jail cell to Brooklyn every day under heavy security.

But Judge Brian Cogan said he decided that a venue change wasn’t necessary after consulting with the U.S. Marshals Service.

“I think the concerns you addressed, which are valid concerns, are going to be alleviated,” Cogan said. “I’ve spoken to the marshals. I’m confident they’ll be entirely alleviated.”

Guzman, 61, has pleaded not guilty to a 17-count indictment charging him with operating a vast criminal enterprise replete with murder conspiracies, drug trafficking and money laundering.

Prosecutors are seeking life in prison and a $14 billion forfeiture in drug proceeds and illicit profits from the drug trafficking kingpin who was extradited to the U.S. in Jan. 2017.

Renowned for twice escaping from Mexican prisons, Guzman is being held in high-security wing inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

Whenever he goes to court, the Brooklyn Bridge is closed for his cavalcade of police cruisers, armored cars and ambulances, creating a highly conspicuous traffic nightmare.

The trial, set to begin in November, is expected to last four months.

— New York Daily News

White House falsely says Trump beat Obama on black employment

WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Sarah Sanders falsely claimed that President Donald Trump has created three times as many jobs for black workers as his predecessor Barack Obama did during his entire time in office.

Sanders asserted at a White House press briefing Tuesday that Trump had tripled Obama’s eight-year job creation record in just 18 months, quoting numbers that are not even close to accurate.

“This president since he took office, in the year and a half that he’s been here has created 700,000 new jobs for African-Americans,” Sanders told reporters Tuesday. “That’s 700,000 African-Americans that are working now that weren’t working when this president took place. When President Obama left, after eight years in office, he had only created 195,000 jobs for African-Americans.”

The claim isn’t true, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the U.S. economy has added about 700,000 jobs held by black workers since Trump took office, it added about 3 million while Obama was in office, according to BLS data.

There were 15.5 million black workers with jobs when Obama took office in January 2009, as the country struggled to emerge from one of the worst economic recessions in decades. By the time Obama left office, 18.4 million black people had jobs. Trump inherited an economy on the upswing, and the rate of job growth has not changed significantly during his administration.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request to explain the data she cited. Her statement invoking Obama came in response to a question about whether Trump had ever used a racial slur to describe black Americans.

The Trump administration has been beset by accusations of racism in recent weeks, after former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman said she had heard a tape of Trump using the N-word. Manigault Newman, who is the highest ranking black person to have served in the Trump West Wing, released a book Tuesday titled “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.”

Sanders said Manigault Newman has no credibility and called her claims outrageous.

— Bloomberg News