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Sunday January 19th, 2020 11:10AM

The Latest: Moscow hopes US election will ease tensions

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Election Day (all times local):

10:25 a.m.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he hopes the outcome of the U.S. midterm election will ease domestic tensions in the United States and enable Washington to focus on global issues.

Speaking to reporters in Madrid on Tuesday, Lavrov lamented that Russian-American ties have become "hostage to internal political squabbles in America."

Lavrov said he is hopeful that the election will help stabilize domestic politics in the U.S. "so that Washington could concentrate on some positive steps on the international arena."

Lavrov also reiterated Moscow's position that it is not meddling in U.S. elections.

He said, "All the accusations that we will be meddling in today's elections turned out to be empty statements."

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9 a.m.

Severe weather in several Southern states could affect voter turnout on Election Day.

A line of storms moved through the Deep South overnight and early Tuesday morning, knocking down trees and power lines from Louisiana to South Carolina. There were no serious injuries but an estimated 11,000 residents were left without electricity.

A separate storm front in central Tennessee overnight killed one person, injured two others and also left thousands without power.

The National Weather Service warned of a possibility of high winds, severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes Tuesday around Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Dry weather was forecast for the West and Southwest, but significant snow accumulations were expected across the northern Rockies.

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1 a.m.

A turbulent election season that has tested President Donald Trump's slash-and-burn political style against the strength of the Democratic resistance comes to a close as Americans cast ballots in the first national election of the Trump era.

As voters head to the polls Tuesday, nothing is certain.

Anxious Republicans have privately expressed confidence in their narrow Senate majority but fear the House is slipping away.

Democrats' very relevance in the Trump era depends on winning at least one chamber of Congress. They remain laser-focused on health care as they predict a nationwide "awakening" that will break up the GOP's monopoly in Washington and state governments.

The first polls close at 6 p.m. EST.

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For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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