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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on "The View" last year. Photo: Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images

Out of the gate, Democratic women are swarming the 2020 presidential race — outnumbering and outmaneuvering men with early announcements.

What's happening: Sen. Elizabeth Warren started the trend, followed by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. In coming days, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will continue the trend. Sen. Kamala Harris of California will soon after cement the trend.

  • Both are hiring staff and have launch strategies.
  • And by the way, we hear Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota may speed up her plans because of all the coming action.

Why it matters: This could be the month that Democrats truly become the party of women: Speaker Pelosi runs the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rules social media and women are shaping the early days of the presidential race.

  • Three of the top four Democrats with the top engagements on Twitter (retweets and likes) from Dec. 11 to Jan. 11 were AOC, Harris and Pelosi. (See the data.)

As Democrats game out what type of candidate will be the most effective Trump slayer, a female challenger would paint a clear, stark contrast.

  • Last year's midterms rewarded women with clear, competent, confident and fearless visions for the future. They talked about a way forward that was more functional than what they had been witnessing as private citizens.
  • As women abandon the Republican Party and President Trump continues to rely on his base of voters, that leaves a swath of female voters up for grabs. 
  • Being a woman doesn’t automatically make you electable. But in the Trump era, progressives are likely to reward women who dare to be outspoken.

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Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.

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