Women's match in Charlotte. Photo: Peter Zay / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

“Call it payback, call it a revolution, call it the Pink Wave, inspired by marchers in their magenta hats, and the activism that followed. There is an unprecedented surge of first-time female candidates, overwhelmingly Democratic, running for offices big and small, from the U.S. Senate and state legislatures to local school boards," TIME's Charlotte Alter writes:

  • "At least 79 women are exploring runs for governor in 2018, potentially doubling a record for female candidates set in 1994."
  • "The number of Democratic women likely challenging incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives is up nearly 350% from 41 women in 2016."
  • "Roughly 900 women contacted Emily’s List, which recruits and trains pro-choice Democratic women, about running for office from 2015 to 2016; since President Trump’s election, more than 26,000 women have reached out about launching a campaign."
  • "Experienced female political operatives are striking out on their own, creating new organizations independent from the party apparatus to raise money, marshal volunteers and assist candidates with everything from fundraising to figuring out how to balance child care with campaigns.”

Why it matters: "[P]rogressive women described undergoing a metamorphosis. In 2016, they were ordinary voters. In 2017, they became activists, spurred by the bitter defeat of the first major female presidential candidate."

  • "Now, in 2018, these doctors and mothers and teachers and executives are jumping into the arena and bringing new energy to a Democratic Party sorely in need of fresh faces.”
  • Democratic pollster Celinda Lake: “Women candidates help energize women voters. And in close races, you win with women voters.”

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Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

The death toll from Tuesday's explosion in Beirut, Lebanon has now surpassed 130, including at least one U.S. citizen, amid a search for answers as to why a huge store of ammonium nitrate was left unsecured near the city's port for nearly seven years.

What we know: The government says around 5,000 people are injured. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said current indications are that the massive explosion was accidental, despite President Trump's puzzling claim on Tuesday evening that it appeared to be a bomb attack.