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South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg quoted scripture during the second Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday to attack Republican senators for blocking a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15.

"This is so much bigger than a trade fight. This is about a moment when the economy is changing before our eyes. There are people in economy who go through more jobs in a week than my parents went through in the lifetime. It's why I've proposed we allow gig workers to unionize, because a gig is a job and a worker is a worker. We have to respond to these changes and, in addition to confronting tech, in addition to supporting workers by doubling unionization as I propose to do — some of this is low tech, too. Like the minimum wage is just too low. And so-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when scripture says, 'Whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.'"

Why it matters: Buttigieg, who would be the first openly gay president in U.S. history if elected, has spoken openly about his Christian faith throughout the campaign. He has repeatedly attacked Republicans — including Vice President and fellow Indiana native Mike Pence — for what he has describes as "moral hypocrisy," arguing that religion is not "a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party" and that Democrats are fully capable of winning back evangelical voters.

Go deeper

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dominion files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani

Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani on Monday seeking $1.3 billion in damages for his "demonstrably false” allegations about the company's voting machines.

Why it matters: Giuliani led former President Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the election and spread the baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion's voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Joe Biden.