The biggest voting day of the Democratic presidential primary campaign has ended in a two-person race between former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. On Super Tuesday, Biden swept the South and Midwest, winning Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas, propelled by a huge majority of African-American votes in Southern states. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders won his home state of Vermont and scored victories in the West, winning Colorado and Utah. And according to the Associated Press, Sanders won the grand prize of the night, California, with significant Latinx support. Biden’s strong showing came after the Democratic Party establishment consolidated around the former vice president, with Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropping out in recent days and throwing their support behind Biden. This is Joe Biden speaking in Los Angeles last night.
Joe Biden: “I’m here to report we are very much alive! And make no mistake about it: This campaign will send Donald Trump packing. This campaign is taking off! Join us!”
Senator Bernie Sanders’s biggest win came in California, where Latinx voters account for nearly 40% of the population. He spoke last night from his home state of Vermont.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “We have two major goals in front of us, and they are directly related. First, we must beat a president who apparently has never read the Constitution of the United States, a president who thinks we should be an autocracy, not a democracy. But second of all, we need a movement and are developing a movement of black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian-American, gay and straight, of people who are making it clear every day they will not tolerate the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality we are experiencing.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren finished in third place in her home state of Massachusetts. Billionaire and former Republican New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg said he planned to reassess his candidacy, after he spent more than a half-billion dollars to score just one victory — in American Samoa, where he won five delegates. Tulsi Gabbard picked up one delegate in American Samoa.
Republican Jeff Sessions will face a runoff election in Alabama on March 31 in his bid to reclaim the Senate seat he vacated to become President Trump’s attorney general, before Trump fired him in 2018. Sessions will face off against former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville for the right to take on Democratic Senator Doug Jones in November.
In Texas, incumbent Democratic Congressmember Henry Cuellar appears to have narrowly defeated Democratic Socialist Jessica Cisneros to hold on to Texas’s 28th Congressional District along the U.S.-Mexico border. Cisneros, who was endorsed by the AFL-CIO and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, is a supporter of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. Cuellar is pro-gun, anti-choice, and has backed private prisons, drone surveillance and increased border security.
In California, San Diego Councilwoman Georgette Gómez is one of two candidates who will square off in November for the 53rd Congressional District. Gómez is a progressive Democrat backed by Senator Bernie Sanders and New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, vying to become the first queer Latina elected to Congress. She’ll square off in November against Sara Jacobs, a former aide to Hillary Clinton and granddaughter of billionaire Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs. Jacobs’s campaign is being heavily supported by a super PAC set up by her grandparents.
In Syria, Turkey’s military shot down a Syrian fighter jet over southern Idlib on Tuesday. It was the third such downing of a Syrian warplane in recent days. Elsewhere, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad retook control of Saraqeb, a strategic city at the crossroads of two major highways in northwest Syria. Human rights groups say Syria’s Russian-backed offensive in Idlib province has killed at least 300 civilians, while internally displacing nearly 1 million residents, who’ve been forced into squalid camps near the Turkish border. This week, a U.N. investigation found Russia is directly responsible for war crimes in Idlib, after the Russian Air Force targeted civilian areas for indiscriminate bombings, including hospitals.
Amnesty international reports Iranian security forces shot and killed at least 23 children during a crackdown on anti-government protests in November. Among those struck and killed by live ammunition was a girl who may have been as young as 8 years old. Security forces killed as many as 1,500 unarmed demonstrators and bystanders during the November protests, which were sparked by a sharp increase in gas prices. The rising fuel costs came amid devastating sanctions imposed by the U.S. after President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.
Back in the United States, powerful tornadoes ripped through Tennessee early Tuesday morning, killing at least 24 people in the Nashville area. Governor William Lee toured the devastation.
Gov. William Lee: “I spent the day touring and visiting with victims and walking through neighborhoods, and the devastation is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking. It’s incredible. Our prayers are greatly needed for families out there who are dealing with a sudden tragic event that has occurred in our state.”
The deadly storms came as voters prepared to take to the polls for the state’s primary. Over a dozen polling stations were damaged before voting began.
Wells Fargo has ruled out investing in oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, making it the third major U.S. bank to withdraw support for fossil fuel projects in the ecologically delicate region. The Sierra Club on Tuesday hailed Wells Fargo’s pledge but warned the shift does not make improvements to the bank’s other oil and gas financing policies. This comes as the Trump administration is pushing forward with plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.
A top Democratic lawmaker is demanding answers from a secretive artificial intelligence company over its sale of facial recognition technology to repressive governments including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey sent a letter to Clearview AI on Tuesday demanding information about the company’s database of billions of images scraped from Facebook and other social media sites. Senator Markey wrote, “The use of sophisticated facial recognition technology is concerning even in a democracy with strong civil liberties, but its export to certain foreign countries could enable mass surveillance and repression of minorities.” In recent days, students at three dozen U.S. universities held protests against administrators’ plans to use facial recognition on their campuses.
CNN reports that Trump’s new personnel chief is distributing questionnaires to potential political appointees to verify their loyalty to the president. As part of the Trump “litmus test,” candidates must explain what part of Trump’s campaign “most appealed” to them. The campaign to identify and purge anti-Trump staffers is being led by 29-year-old John McEntee, whom Trump recently appointed head of the Presidential Personnel Office. Before he was rehired this year, McEntee was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly because he was under federal investigation for financial crimes.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill Tuesday outlawing so-called conversion therapy — a pseudoscientific practice that seeks to coerce LGBTQ youth into renouncing their sexual orientation. When the new law takes effect in July, Virginia will become the first Southern state — and the 20th in the U.S. — to ban the practice, which has been rejected by mental health professionals for decades. A study last year by the suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project found LGBTQ youth who had undergone conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as those who did not.
Author and reporter Ronan Farrow has slammed his publisher Hachette after it announced it would publish Woody Allen’s forthcoming memoir. Farrow said the decision “shows a lack of ethics and compassion for victims of sexual abuse,” and announced he was cutting ties with the publisher. In 2017, Ronan Farrow published a piece in The New Yorker detailing abuse by recently convicted rapist and former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The article is widely considered to be a watershed moment in the #MeToo movement. Last year, Hachette published Farrow’s book “Catch and Kill,” which details the challenges he faced investigating Weinstein and other powerful media figures accused of sexual assault. Ronan Farrow is also the brother of Dylan Farrow, who has accused Woody Allen of sexually abusing her as a child when he was her adoptive father. Allen has denied those allegations.
In Mexico, feminists are calling for a national strike on March 9, one day after International Women’s Day, to protest skyrocketing gender-based violence in the country. Calls for a national strike are being led by the Mexican feminist group Witches of the Sea. The strike has been referred to as “A Day Without Us” — calling on women to not go to work or school, to stay out of the streets and to avoid participating in the economy in any way for 24 hours. This is a member of Witches of the Sea, Arussi Unda.
Arussi Unda: “I believe that women in Mexico are tired of the different types of violence that are committed against us in all spaces. It is not only a femicide crisis, but also the day-to-day — in homes, in schools, on the street, on the job. It seems that there is no place that is safe for us.”
Plans for the national strike gained momentum after the brutal murders in February of 25-year-old Ingrid Escamilla, who was killed and mutilated by her partner, and 7-year-old Fátima, who was kidnapped and later found dead wrapped in a plastic bag. In Mexico, at least 10 women are killed every day.