Jan 11, 2019

U.S. military has begun Syria withdrawal process

Armored vehicles of Turkish and U.S. troops in northern Syria. Photo: Turkish Armed Forces/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. military has begun the process for withdrawing its 2,000 troops in Syria, Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, told the AP.

Details: A defense official told the AP that no troops have been withdrawn yet, but equipment is being pulled out. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which covers the Syrian war from the ground, says a convoy of armored vehicles left a northeastern town in Syria on Thursday night.

The big picture: Trump's tweet announcing that he would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria was met with widespread backlash from congressional Republicans and Democrats as well as defense experts. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned shortly after, and Turkey has threatened to attack the Kurds. Trump has since agreed to withdraw at a slower pace, instead of in 30 days.

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Concern over coronavirus spread: Italy, South Korea and Iran report more cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran jumped on Sunday as infections in mainland China continued to grow, the latest figures show.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures amid rising case numbers, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

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Joe Biden places second in Nevada caucuses, ahead of Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden a Nevada Caucus watch party in Las Vegas on Saturday. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden secured second place in the Nevada Democratic caucuses with former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg third, according to NBC News projections Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a boost for Biden, who's widely tipped to be endorsed by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday, ahead of this week's South Carolina primary.

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