Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren is launching an exploratory committee for president as she gears up for a 2020 presidential election bid, she announced in a new video on Monday.

Why it matters: Warren is the first prominent Democratic contender to launch this process.

Between the lines: Warren came under fire in the last couple of months after releasing a DNA test showing she is between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American. Per the Associated Press, Warren said in an email to supporters that she'd make a more formal announcement at the beginning of the new year.

One more thing: The Federal Exchange Commission, which Warren will file paperwork with to establish the committee, is closed due to the government shutdown.

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Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
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Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

6 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.

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