May 24, 2019

Pressure grows for a Democratic climate debate

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Photos: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto and Scott Olson via Getty Images

We know 2020 Democrats are debating how to tackle climate change — but now there's growing pressure to have them do it on the actual debate stage.

Driving the news: 3 Democratic senators on Thursday wrote to NBC, host of the first primary debate in late June, urging them to devote a "significant" amount of time to climate.

  • "There are many ways to address the climate crisis, and voters want to know what policies each candidate supports," Sens. Brian Schatz, Sheldon Whitehouse and Martin Heinrich wrote.
  • The letter cites polls showing high primary voter interest.

Our thought bubble: NBC did not provide comment. And I don't really expect the network to say, "Sure, no problem, we'll let 3 senators dictate how we run our debate."

  • Yes, but: I think NBC is likely to include questions on the topic. And I bet we will see more than just glancing discussion in other debates too, a turnaround from past elections when it was largely absent.

The intrigue: 2020 hopeful Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is pushing the Democratic National Committee to set up a debate focused solely on climate. Sen. Elizabeth Warren backs the idea of a climate debate too, but the DNC has not endorsed it.

Go deeper: Climate change is a massive issue for Democrats in 2020

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U.S. and Taliban sign peace deal

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) sign a peace agreement during a ceremony in Qatar. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

The United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar on Saturday after over a year of off-and-on negotiations, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The signing of the deal officially begins the process of ending the United States' longest war, which has spanned nearly two decades. The agreement sets a timetable for the U.S. to pull its remaining 13,000 troops out of Afghanistan, per the Times, but is contingent on the Taliban's completion of commitments, including breaking ties with international terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda.

Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 hours ago - Health