Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California neared 40 million people but had the slowest recorded growth rate in its history last year, the AP reports.

The big picture: The country's most populous state was hit by a slowdown in immigration and a sharp decline of births.

  • 40 million people is a milestone for a state that began as a frontier outpost and now boasts the world's fifth largest economy.
  • Despite the slowdown, California remains by far the country's most populous state. Texas at No. 2 is still shy of 30 million people.

What's next: State officials expect California to continue to grow, predicting the state's population could top 50 million by 2055. By 2051, officials project the state will join Japan and other European countries by having more deaths than births.

Go deeper: A look at the scale of California's economy

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Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Commission on Presidential Debates wants changes

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The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday that it plans to implement changes to rules for the remaining debates, after Tuesday night's head-to-head between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was practically incoherent for most of the night.

What they are saying: "Last night's debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the CPD said in a statement.

Trump says he doesn't know who Proud Boys are after telling them to "stand by"

President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn't know who the Proud Boys are, after saying at the presidential debate last night that the far-right group should "stand back and stand by" in response to a question asking him to condemn white supremacists.

Why it matters: The comments set off outrage and calls for clarification from a number of Republican senators. After being asked several times on Wednesday whether he will condemn white supremacy, Trump responded, "I have always denounced any form — any form of any of that, you have to denounce. But I also — Joe Biden has to say something about antifa."