Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has won the New Hampshire primary a week after he won the popular vote in Iowa. With 87% of precincts reporting, Sanders has 25.7% of the vote, narrowly beating former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is at 24.4%. Senator Amy Klobuchar placed third with nearly 20% of the vote. Both Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden received under 10% of the vote, after seeing their support plummet in recent weeks and months.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang has dropped out of presidential race. The political newcomer made the announcement as New Hampshire’s primary results rolled in, where he got 2.8% of votes. Yang is the son of Taiwanese immigrants and one of only a few Asian Americans to mount a serious presidential run throughout U.S. history. He built his campaign primarily around his signature policy proposal, universal basic income. On Tuesday night, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet also dropped out of the presidential race after receiving only 905 votes in New Hampshire. We’ll have more on the New Hampshire primary after headlines.
In a highly unusual move, four federal prosecutors overseeing the criminal case against Trump’s longtime friend and former campaign adviser Roger Stone have withdrawn from the case — and one resigned from his job entirely — after senior Justice Department officials demanded Stone receive a shorter prison sentence. A senior Justice Department official told CNN the four prosecutors all appeared to withdraw in protest of the intervention by top Justice Department officials, which came after President Trump went on a late-night Twitter rampage, attacking federal prosecutors and saying the initial recommended sentence of between seven and nine years was a “miscarriage of justice,” even though this sentence range was based on federal sentencing guidelines. Only hours after Trump’s tweets, a senior Justice Department official said the department was “shocked” by the sentence recommendations and would review it. Last November, Stone was convicted of seven counts, including lying to Congress and tampering with a witness to prevent investigators from obtaining evidence on how the 2016 Trump campaign tried to benefit from stolen Democratic Party emails. Stone could have faced up to 50 years in prison.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas forcefully rejected President Trump’s Middle East plan during a speech to the U.N. Security Council Tuesday.
President Mahmoud Abbas: “This plan will not bring peace or stability to the region, and therefore we will not accept this plan. We will confront its application on the ground. This is a summary of the project that was presented to us. This is the state that they will give us. It’s like a Swiss cheese, really. Who among you will accept a similar state and similar conditions?”
President Mahmoud Abbas’s U.N. speech comes as Israeli troops violently cracked down on Palestinian protests against Trump’s Middle East plan, under which Israel would gain sovereignty over large areas of the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem would be under total Israeli control, and all Jewish settlers in the occupied territory would be allowed to remain in their homes. Israeli troops killed four Palestinians last week in the crackdown against the protests.
In Afghanistan, President Trump has conditionally approved a peace deal with the Taliban — potentially marking the beginning of the end of the longest war in U.S. history. Under the deal, the United States would gradually begin to withdraw U.S. troops if the Taliban reduce violence during a so-called test period later this month. The deal would also trigger negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan officials. The potential peace deal comes as a first-of-its-kind report from the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction reveals that thousands of people have been killed or wounded during the reconstruction process. The majority of the victims were Afghan civilians.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has returned to Venezuela, where protesters waited for him outside the airport Tuesday screaming “Dirty traitor!” and “Get out!” Guaidó was returning from a trip to the United States, where he attended President Trump’s State of the Union address. Guaidó also traveled to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, during a political tour aimed at ousting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Doctors Without Borders says more than two-thirds of migrants fleeing Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador left their home countries after a family member was murdered, disappeared or kidnapped. The new study shows more than 40% of those interviewed said they fled after a family member was violently killed.
In more immigration news, The Wall Street Journal reports Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, have spent over $1.2 million to access cellphone location data to track and arrest undocumented immigrants. The Homeland Security Department reportedly began purchasing cellphone location data in 2017 from a Virginia-based company called Venntel. The data is drawn from cellphone apps, like games and weather apps, that ask the user’s permission to access their location.
Sudan’s longtime leader Omar al-Bashir will be handed over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to face charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is accused of leading the Sudanese government’s scorched-earth campaign in Darfur, where up to 300,000 people were killed and more than 2.5 million people were forced from their homes. Bashir was forced from power last April amid massive anti-government protests in Sudan.
A Manhattan federal judge has approved T-Mobile’s plan to take over Sprint in a merger that would further consolidate the telecommunications industry by combining the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers. The ruling in favor of the merger came after attorneys general from 13 states and the District of Columbia tried to block it by arguing the consolidation would decrease competition in the industry and lead to higher cellphone bills.
In Louisiana, a fire erupted at an ExxonMobil refinery in Baton Rouge Tuesday night, sending plumes of black smoke into the air and turning the night sky orange. No injuries have been reported so far. ExxonMobil says it is monitoring air quality in and around the fire.
Hundreds of graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have gone on an open-ended strike to protest the unaffordable costs of living on their low teaching salaries. The strikers are demanding a cost-of-living adjustment of $1,412 per month, which student educators say is necessary to avoid living on the brink of homelessness as they teach classes and provide essential work to keep the university running. A 2018 study comparing housing costs with household incomes found Santa Cruz was the least affordable place to live in the United States.