Twelve candidates took to the stage for the fourth round of Democratic presidential debate in Westerville, Ohio, Tuesday to spar over healthcare, foreign policy, impeachment, gun violence and economic inequality. CNN and New York Times moderators failed to ask a single question about the climate crisis or immigration. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren — who is now leading some national polls — repeatedly came under attack from her rivals. This is Warren on President Trump’s withdrawal of troops from northern Syria and Turkey’s ongoing deadly air and ground assault in the region.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “So, look, I think that we ought to get out of the Middle East. I don’t think we should have troops in the Middle East. But we have to do it the right way, the smart way. What this president has done is that he has sucked up to dictators, he has made impulsive decisions that often his own team doesn’t understand, he has cut and run on our allies, and he has enriched himself at the expense of the United States of America. In Syria, he has created a bigger-than-ever humanitarian crisis. He has helped ISIS get another foothold, a new lease on life.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden faced questioning about his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine and claimed he and his son “did nothing wrong,” amid ongoing impeachment proceedings against President Trump. And Bernie Sanders called for a Green New Deal, Medicare for All and defended his plan to tax the rich.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “When you have a half a million Americans sleeping out on the street today, when you have 87 people — 87 million people uninsured or underinsured, when you have hundreds of thousands of kids who cannot afford to go to college and millions struggling with the oppressive burden of student debt, and then you also have three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society, that is a moral and economic outrage.”
Minnesota Congressmember Ilhan Omar announced Tuesday that she is endorsing Sanders in his bid for the presidency. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib are also expected to announce their support for the Vermont senator. We’ll spend the hour on the presidential debate after headlines.
Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are heading to Turkey today as the Turkish offensive into Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria continues. The ground offensive began after President Trump withdrew U.S. troops stationed in the area, clearing the way for the assault, after speaking to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the telephone. Now Pence and Pompeo are hoping to meet with Erdogan to persuade him to stop the military campaign. This morning, Erdogan vowed he would not declare a ceasefire and that he would probably not meet with Pence and Pompeo. He’s headed to Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming days. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports a second reporter has died covering the conflict. Syrian Kurdish reporter Mohammed Hussein Rasho died from injuries sustained in a Turkish airstrike on a civilian convoy, which also killed another journalist, Syrian Kurdish reporter Saad Ahmed. Humanitarian aid organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, say they are being forced to suspend their operations in northern Syria amid the ongoing fighting, which has already forced more than 100,000 people to flee the area, including Heevin Mohammed.
Heevin Mohammed: “We are coming here, but our families and relatives have not come yet, and their conditions are very bad. Some of them are sick, and some others are elderly people. We call upon President Assad to open the crossing border so that the patients can come.”
The U.S. Justice Department filed fraud and money-laundering charges against Turkey’s second-largest state-owned bank, accusing Halkbank of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions. The indictment comes after the U.S. also announced sanctions against Turkey over its offensive in Syria.
In news from the ongoing impeachment inquiry, the senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy, George Kent, told House committee lawmakers Tuesday he was sidelined from his job by the “three amigos” — U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. These three worked with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on the effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The Washington Post reports acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told White House staff members that it was legal to block nearly $400 million in funds to Ukraine. In a July phone call, President Trump mentioned the U.S. funding to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and then asked for “a favor.” Meanwhile, a federal grand jury in New York has subpoenaed former Texas Congressmember Pete Sessions for records and information about his interactions with Giuliani and his two associates who were arrested at the Dulles airport trying to board a one-way flight to Vienna and were charged with campaign finance violations.
Eighteen leaders from human rights and faith organizations were arrested in a civil disobedience action protesting the Trump administration’s efforts to gut the refugee resettlement program. Last month, the administration proposed accepting only 18,000 refugees over the next year. That’s down from the 110,000-person limit set by President Obama during his final year in office. Tuesday’s arrests on Capitol Hill came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was meeting privately with congressmembers to discuss Trump’s plan to cap the number of refugees admitted into the country at the lowest level since the program began four decades ago.
In Pennsylvania, a British family has been held in immigration detention at the Berks Family Residential Center after they say they mistakenly drove across the U.S.-Canada border during a vacation to Vancouver. Eileen Connors and her family, including her 3-month-old son, were then taken into U.S. custody and transferred into detention, where they are waiting to be deported. In a sworn statement, Connors describes the conditions inside Berks as “frigid” and “filthy” and said, “We will be traumatized for the rest of our lives by what the United States government has done to us. … We have been treated like criminals here, stripped of our rights, and lied to.” Click here to see our full coverage of the Berks detention center.
Human rights organizations are condemning the Egyptian government for the detention and torture of journalist and human rights activist Esraa Abdel Fattah. Egyptian security forces abducted her from her car at night on October 12. She says she was then beaten and strangled by officers. She is one of at least 3,000 people who have been arrested since rare protests against Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi late last month.
In Lebanon, over 100 wildfires have swept across the country since Monday, burning forested areas and killing at least one person. Officials say the flames are fueled by a heat wave. Lebanon called for international help from neighboring countries to fight the fires, which officials are calling the worst fires to hit the country in decades.
In Mexico, the Senate is slated to vote on legislation to legalize marijuana in the coming days. The bill’s passage would mark a major shift away from the U.S.-backed drug war in Mexico, which has killed tens of thousands of people since it began in 2006. This is Senator Ricardo Monreal, a member of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s MORENA party.
Sen. Ricardo Monreal: “Eliminating prohibition in the country is good. I think the possibility of regulating consumption, the cultivation, commercialization is a good thing. Also, heading toward industrial use is also good. I think that Mexico is prepared to take on such a position on such a trajectory. There are voices like that of the president, who has said there should be a national consultation, which is under consideration, which is pending and which is under discussion.”
In Canada, a member of the Mohawk community in Kanehsatà:ke in southwestern Quebec has gone on a hunger strike amid an escalating land struggle between the First Nations tribe and real estate developers. The residents are asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to implement a short-term moratorium on all development in their territory. Trudeau has promised reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations. He’s facing the possibility of being unseated in Canada’s federal elections next week. This is Ellen Gabriel.
Ellen Gabriel: “Because the government has been ignoring us for many generations, but in particular with this government that promised that we would be the most important relationship in Canada, and it wasn’t, so a hunger strike to provide some light to this complex issue, that the people in Kanehsatà:ke, the Kanien’kehá:ka Mohawk people, have been fighting for many, many generations.”
Kanehsatà:ke is the site of the so-called Oka Crisis in 1990, when Mohawks had a 78-day standoff with Canadian Armed Forces, stopping the development of a golf course and condominiums on one of their burial grounds.
In California, two fuel storage tanks exploded at a NuStar Energy facility in Crockett, outside San Francisco, Tuesday. The fire burned for nearly eight hours and shut down part of Interstate 80. NuStar says it’s investigating whether Monday’s 4.5 magnitude earthquake nearby could have contributed to the explosion at the facility.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes took aim at his own network in the closing minutes of his show “All In with Chris Hayes” Monday, praising Ronan Farrow’s new book, “Catch and Kill,” which accuses NBC of burying Farrow’s reporting on alleged serial rapist Harvey Weinstein. His book also accuses NBC executives of knowing about multiple sexual misconduct allegations against now-fired NBC host Matt Lauer, who is accused of raping fellow NBC producer Brooke Nevils in 2014 while the two covered the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This is Chris Hayes.
Chris Hayes: “My own news organization is embroiled in a very public controversy over its conduct. As you’ve probably seen, in his new book, 'Catch and Kill,' my former colleague Ronan Farrow contends that NBC News slow-walked, and then ultimately killed, his reporting on Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and assault, because it was intimidated by Weinstein and didn’t want to cross him. Most distressingly, Farrow suggests NBC News was worried about the allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Matt Lauer coming out as a result of reporting on Weinstein and desperately wanted to avoid that. … One thing, though, is indisputable. Ronan Farrow walked out of NBC News after working on the Weinstein story and, within two months, published an incredible article at The New Yorker that not only won a Pulitzer, but helped trigger a massive social and cultural reckoning that continues to this day. It is the kind of journalism that you want to do as a journalist.”
Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo campaign, is launching a new effort to mobilize 2020 voters. The new campaign’s hashtag is #MeTooVoter, aiming to pressure candidates to speak about sexual violence and harassment on the campaign trail. On Tuesday, Burke said, “You can’t have 12 million people respond to a hashtag in this country and they not be constituents, taxpayers, and voters. We need these candidates to see us as a power base. So many people engage with survivors from a place of pity.”