The leading 2020 Democrats’ climate change plans, explained

When it comes to fighting climate change, the Democratic candidates agree: It’s critical that the United States rejoin the Paris Agreement. That position is a policy floor in the Democratic presidential primary.  Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, announced in November 2019 the country’s withdrawal process from the agreement. Since then, Democrats say they want to rejoin nearly 200 countries trying to keep global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. All six candidates headed to the debate stage on Jan. 14 also want to implement some form of a Green New Deal, which was conceived as … >>More

Iran’s man in Iraq: Soleimani’s deadly fight against the US

At a campaign rally in Milwaukee, President Donald Trump touted the American airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. He said Soleimani was the “No. 1 terrorist.” “He’s killed hundreds of thousands of people and thousands of Americans,” Trump said Jan. 14. He tied Soleimani to roadside bombs, not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan as well. “He was a designated terrorist by President Obama, who didn’t do anything about it,” Trump said. “As usual. They don’t do anything. They designate and they don’t do anything about. He should have been killed 20 years ago.” That changed, he said, “on … >>More

How Iran and the United States came to the brink

Iran has retaliated for the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq Jan. 2.  Iranian officials said they launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq where American soldiers are stationed. The Pentagon has yet to release casualty and damage reports. The Iranian missile attack came five days after Soleimani’s death as he was being driven away from the airport outside Baghdad. Rarely have the United States and Iran engaged in such direct military action. The two nations have been at odds since the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew a government installed … >>More

After Iran’s strike on two air bases housing US troops, false photos and videos spread online

Soon after news broke of Iran’s missile strike on two military bases housing U.S. forces in Iraq, false photos and videos claiming to show the attack started to spread on social media. The speculation started on Twitter, where users shared old photos of unrelated airstrikes as if they had just happened. Then some of the misinformation jumped to Facebook, where users and pages published more out-of-context images and videos. Some videos also got traction on Instagram, where popular accounts got tens of thousands of views. The photos and videos were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news … >>More

Fact-checking the seventh Democratic presidential debate in Iowa

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, ideologically aligned on the left, split sharply at the seventh Democratic presidential primary debate in Des Moines over a CNN story that claimed Sanders told Warren privately that he didn’t think a woman could win the White House in 2020. Sanders denied that such words would ever cross his lips. He cited video from 30 years ago where he argued that a woman could be president. That said, the next question to Warren was, “What did you think when Sen. Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?”  “I disagreed,” Warren said. “Bernie … >>More

The fight between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders over Social Security, explained

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and his campaign have attacked former Vice President Joe Biden over his record on Social Security stretching back to the 1980s. Biden counter-attacked at an Iowa campaign event, accusing the Sanders campaign of publishing a “doctored” video of him. The video wasn’t altered, but it didn’t tell the full story about Biden’s comments in 2018 related to former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan and Social Security. Biden and Sanders released dueling digital ads about Social Security about two weeks before the Iowa caucus. Sanders tweeted that Biden “fought for decades to cut Social Security,” while Biden … >>More

Why many Democrats have supported the USMCA deal

Democrats on the debate stage in Iowa said President Donald Trump’s renegotiated trade deal with Mexico and Canada is marginally better than the agreement it’s set to replace. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which the House approved in December, is likely to hit the Senate floor soon. Trump originally signed the deal in 2018 to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, and it was expected to take effect at the start of this year. During the Jan. 14 debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was asked why he plans to vote against the trade deal despite having said it would make … >>More

Trump, top officials send mixed messages on Soleimani, Iran

President Donald Trump and his team of national security officials have offered shifting explanations for the airstrike that killed top Iranian military leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani.  Like most Americans left wondering who to believe, we don’t have access to the intelligence that drove the decision to take Soleimani out. But we reviewed public statements and found that Trump’s team has been inconsistent in describing what the intelligence agencies knew. Over and over, Trump and his advisers have contradicted themselves and each other on the “imminent threat” posed by Soleimani and the need for preemptive action against him. The disconnect was … >>More

Fact-checking Donald Trump’s speech after Iran missile strikes on US troops

President Donald Trump said U.S. troops in Iraq had not been harmed by Iranian missile strikes launched in retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that killed one of Iran’s top military leaders, Gen. Qassem Soleimani. “Our great American forces are prepared for anything,” Trump said in a White House address Jan. 8. “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.” He also made a number of statements about Soleimani and U.S. relations with Iran. Here’s a roundup of key claims, fact-checked and with additional context. Iran … >>More

Fact-checking Andrew Yang in Muscatine, Iowa

  MUSCATINE, Iowa — Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang promoted his ideas for rebuilding the American economy in a Jan. 23 town hall here at Muscatine Community College, including his proposal to give Americans $1,000 a month in “universal basic income.” With less than two weeks to go before the Iowa caucus, Yang spoke to about 60 people in the college’s student center, with the 45-minute event split almost equally between a stump speech and a question-and-answer session. Yang, a former tech executive, peppered his points about automation and job losses with quirky stories such as the one about a … >>More