SIX DOWN, SIX TO GO
On the sixth debate of the year, the candidates gave to thee...no better clue on who's the nominee.
So, another Democratic debate last night?
Right – the sixth out of 12. Seven people qualified this time – the smallest stage yet. It's based on polls and donor requirements. Sorry to the people who didn't make it: Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Former HUD Sec Julián Castro, and more.
Must be tough missing the last debate before 2020 kicks off.
The face time helps. Because now's the time for candidates to start differentiating themselves. Here's how they did that last night:
Former VP Joe Biden…talked up his experience with former President Obama and other world leaders. He said he and his family had been attacked by Republicans. And that his record spoke for itself on Afghanistan.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)…the one owning his pitch for Medicare for All. He noted that the average worker isn't seeing wage growth. And pointed out that while this debate was happening, 500,000 Americans were sleeping on the streets.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)…focused on people she met on the trail and how she wants to root out corruption. She said billionaires should not pick the next president. Also, she takes selfies. And said she'd be the youngest woman ever inaugurated.
South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg…is inviting independents and Republicans "to our side." And as the only non-millionaire on the stage, he said he would not turn away supporters who wants to help defeat President Trump.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)…wants to be progressive, but make it practical. Case in point: the House just passed a new version of Trump's trade deal with Canada and Mexico – and Klobuchar is all for it. She wants to build on the Affordable Care Act. And has taken on Brett Kavanaugh. Oh, and she thinks James Madison was tall enough.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang…pointed out that economic growth doesn't take into account mental health. He hopes to inspire other immigrant families. And wants to outcompete China on tech and give everyone $1,000...plus a copy of his book.
Billionaire activist and donor Tom Steyer...was laser-focused on climate change. He made it clear he'd partner with China – the world's biggest greenhouse gas producer – to tackle the issue, despite what's happening in Hong Kong.
Wait...what about impeachment?
Don't worry, we wouldn't forget the third impeachment of a US president in history. And neither did the candidates. They mostly agreed it was the right move. Klobuchar and Steyer said the American people deserve clarity at the Senate trial. Yang said we all need to stop being obsessed with it. And Buttigieg said it's up to voters in 2020 to decide what happens next.
Any other big moments last night?
There was a serious discussion about the diversity of the candidates on stage...or lack thereof. They also discussed violence against the transgender community. How to support Americans with disabilities. And key differences on fundraising as well as approaches to nuclear energy.
There's only one debate left before the Iowa caucuses on Feb 3, when Americans cast their first votes for their 2020 pick. It's a big deal as most Dem candidates who have won Iowa since 1976 have gone on to become the nominee. So enjoy the holiday break, candidates, because it only gets more intense from here
What's saying 'let the banning begin'...
Facebook. Yesterday, the company said it won't allow misinformation about the 2020 census on its platforms. The census, which happens every 10 years, is there to get a headcount on who's living in the US. And it's been drumming up attention since the Trump admin wanted to add a question on US citizenship. It's since given up on that. But critics are still worried that undocumented immigrants and their family members could be scared off from answering the census. Now, Facebook's saying it won't allow posts or ads that discourage people from filling it out, or that share false info on how to participate.
...Oh and speaking of bans, Instagram announced earlier this week that it's blocking branded content promoting vaping, tobacco products, and weapons.
Skimm More: We explain more about the vaping crisis – including how it got started – here.
This mafia bust. Yesterday, Italian police arrested more than 300 people tied to one of the world's most powerful criminal orgs – the 'Ndrangheta. Known for its violence, the group controls much of Europe's cocaine trade. Authorities said they arrested politicians, lawyers, accountants, and other officials in the crackdown – which was carried out across Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Bulgaria. Those arrested face a number of charges including murder, extortion, and money laundering.
La storia: This is being called one of the largest mafia busts in Italy's history. Apparently, the last time something like this happened was in the '80s – when a sweep led to a trial against more than 450 members of the Cosa Nostra.
This study. Earlier this week, a study found that almost half of people in the US will be considered obese by 2030, with one in four Americans experiencing severe obesity. The consequences could be deadly, since it's associated with a higher risk of health issues like diabetes and heart disease. The study doesn't share a miracle solution, but previous studies have found that things like limiting sugary drinks and exercise could help.