Stories by Rashaan Ayesh

An issue-by-issue recap of the Democrats' fifth 2020 debate

2020 Democratic candidate on the debate stage in Atlanta
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg continue to lead the Democratic field, as the top 10 candidates take the stage on Wednesday night in Atlanta for their fifth debate — against the backdrop of the public impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

The big picture: The candidates touched on voting rights, abortion, legalizing marijuana health care, wealth tax, the current impeachment inquiries, foreign policy, climate change, child care and other issues.

106 killed in Iran protests, human rights group says

Iranians gather around a charred police station while they protest
Iranians gather around a charred police station while they protest the increase in oil prices in Isfahan, Iran. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

At least 106 people have been killed in Iran since protests over increased oil prices began last week, according to human rights group Amnesty International, which says the true death toll could be far higher.

The big picture: Iran was much quicker to use violent measures this time than during previous protests. The Iranian government also shut down the internet to prevent social media from further mobilizing protesters, per CNN.

Taliban releases 2 Westerners in prisoner swap

American University in Kabul, Afghanistan
American University campus in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

The Taliban on Tuesday released an Australian and American they held for three years, as part of an exchange for three senior insurgent leaders, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The release of American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks comes two months after peace talks between the Taliban and U.S. failed. The officials who brokered the deal hope it will restart the talks, per the Times. The Taliban has said "they will stand by the terms negotiated" with American peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, the Times writes.