Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination last night, a quick exit after topping the Iowa caucuses and placing second in the New Hampshire primaries. The upstart campaign, the first major effort by an openly gay candidate, failed to gain traction in more diverse states. The decision follows Saturday's South Carolina primary, which saw Joe Biden capture his first win of the primary race, grabbing nearly 50% of the vote and more than doubling up second-place finisher Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (20%). Billionaire Tom Steyer - who also dropped out - finished third (11%), ahead of Buttigieg (8%), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (7%), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) (3%). Minorities comprise 60% of the state's Democratic electorate and only Biden, Sanders, and Steyer broke double digits with nonwhite voters.
The win provides Biden's campaign a much-needed boost and acts as a springboard into tomorrow's critical Super Tuesday elections, when 14 states and communities will be casting ballots.
First American Coronavirus Deaths
A state of emergency was declared in Washington state after two Seattle patients died from COVID-19, marking the first deaths from the new coronavirus in the US. Like other cases that have emerged across the country in recent days, at least one of the patients had not traveled overseas recently or come in contact with others known to be infected. Officials say community spread of the disease - when people fall ill despite no known risk factors - makes tracing and containing the virus' spread nearly impossible, and implies a high number of unconfirmed cases. The bug's rapid spread has been exacerbated by flawed test kits developed by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control that returned a high number of false positives. On the other side of the country, New York saw its first confirmed case in a woman who had recently returned from Iran.
How likely are you to die after contracting the virus? It depends on how old you are.
Taliban Peace Deal
The US struck a peace deal with the Taliban over the weekend, setting the stage for a possible end to more than 18 years of war in Afghanistan. The US could withdraw all of its nearly 13,000 troops over 14 months under the agreement that the Taliban would stop harboring terrorist groups in the country. Negotiators navigated complex dynamics to reach the deal. The US doesn't recognize the Taliban's self-proclaimed Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan - though the group is not designated as a terrorist organization - instead backing President Ashraf Ghani's government. However the Taliban, who control or contest almost 70% of the country (see map), would not engage with the Ghani administration, who was left out of current talks. The agreement requires the Taliban to begin peace talks with the government, who has already balked over a prisoner exchange requirement.
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In the Know
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Actresses stage walkout of French Oscars after director Roman Polanski wins Best Director award (More) | Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof wins top prize at Berlin Film Festival (More)
> Major League Soccer’s 25th season kicked off this past weekend; see preview for all 26 teams (More)
> World famous Louvre museum in Paris closes over coronavirus fears (More) | Cherry blossom festivals in Japan also canceled due to coronavirus (More)
Science & Technology
> In the most detailed study to date, researchers show how calorie-restricted diets prevent negative aspects of aging at the level of a single cell (More)
> Renowned physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson dies at age 96 (More) | Among other accomplishments, Dyson demonstrated that the quantum phenomenon known as the Pauli exclusion principle keeps solid matter from falling apart (More)
> Study finds dogs' noses have the ability to detect radiative heat; the previously unknown sense is similar to infrared vision and has been observed in just a handful of species (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets end week down double-digits (S&P 500 -11.5%, Dow -12.4%, Nasdaq -10.5%), the largest percentage drop since 2008 financial crisis, on continued coronavirus fears (More)
> Sources say activist investor Elliott Management has amassed a position in social media giant Twitter and plans to push for changes including removal of CEO and founder Jack Dorsey (More)
> Harley-Davidson CEO steps down after 26 years at the helm, as company continues to experience revenue struggles (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Israelis head to the polls for the third national election in less than a year; race is widely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose party failed to form a governing coalition after previous two elections (More)
>Breaking: Disgruntled employee injuries one, takes 30 hostage in Philippine mall; SWAT police team seen entering the building as of this morning (More)
> Report says China compels Uighurs to work in factories that supply global brands, including Nike and Apple; at least 80,000 of the Muslim minority are said to have been transferred to conditions resembling forced labor (More)
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Historybook: African slave trade abolished in US (1807); Children’s author Dr. Seuss born (1904); Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Jones born (1919); Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev born (1931); Wilt Chamberlain sets all-time NBA record with 100 points in a single game (1962).
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