August 21, 2019

ABC News and Univision are partnering to host the next Democratic primary debate, and they released details on Wednesday night about what viewers can expect.

The debate will be held at Texas Southern University in Houston, moderated by chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, World News Tonight anchor David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis, and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. One debate will definitely take place on Sept. 12, and a second will be held on Sept. 13 if enough candidates qualify. Participants will have 1 minute and 15 seconds to answer direct questions, and 45 seconds for rebuttals.

Under Democratic National Committee rules, if 10 or fewer candidates meet the requirements to participate, the debate will only take place on one night, but if there are more than 10 candidates, the debate will spill over into a second night. If this happens, on Aug. 29 ABC News will randomly assign candidates to a night. To qualify, candidates must receive at least 2 percent support in at least four specific polls, plus contributions from at least 130,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 400 unique donors from 20 states.

ABC News said that so far, 10 candidates have qualified for the debate: former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Catherine Garcia

11:30 a.m.

NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose story was brought to life in the film Hidden Figures, has died at 101.

NASA confirmed Johnson's death on Monday morning, with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine remembering her as "an American hero" whose "pioneering legacy will never be forgotten."

"At NASA we will never forget her courage and leadership and the milestones we could not have reached without her," Bridenstine also said.

While working at NASA's Flight Research Division, Johnson calculated trajectories that made the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing possible, not to mention the flights of Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, The New York Times reports. She was the Flight Research Division's first woman to receive credit as the author of a research report, NASA says.

The 2016 movie Hidden Figures, in which Johnson was played by Taraji P. Henson, helped shed light on her story. Former President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, saying at the time, "In her 33 years at NASA, Katherine was a pioneer who broke the barriers of race and gender, showing generations of young people that everyone can excell in math and science and reach for the stars." The Week Staff

11:11 a.m.

The Bloomberg campaign seems a little exasperated with Democratic presidential primary competitor Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has directed a bevy of criticism at their candidate, billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Over the weekend, Warren was asked whether she considered the Democratic frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) a risky candidate — a term which she has used to describe Bloomberg. Warren didn't directly respond to the question about Sanders, instead reiterating her feelings about Bloomberg, who she said has a history of hiding his taxes, harassing women, and supporting racist policies, before launching into an argument about why she's the least risky candidate.

The clip set off Bloomberg's senior adviser Tim O'Brien, who accused Warren of "smearing" Bloomberg and ignoring his track record when it comes to advocating for women's rights, while "running interference" for Sanders, who he thinks deserves more scrutiny over some writing he produced about women in the past. Tim O'Donnell

10:17 a.m.

Coronavirus fears have led to a stock plunge.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 979 points, or 3.4 percent, lower at Monday's opening, putting it on pace for its biggest one-day point drop in three years, per CNBC. The record currently belongs to a 1,175-point decline in February 2018. At the moment, the drop is the third-highest in that timeframe, and the Dow has erased its gains for the year, per Bloomberg.

The other major indexes, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, fell 3.2 percent and 4 percent, respectively, and several major industries, especially those that rely heavily on Chinese consumers, have also taken hits as a result of the virus' global spread, which now has countries like Italy, Iran, and South Korea undertaking significant measures to contain it. Tim O'Donnell

9:49 a.m.

Billionaire Tom Steyer is facing some criticism over his spending in South Carolina, a state where his Democratic presidential campaign is making some legitimate headway.

Some people have even accused him of trying to buy votes from the state's African-American voters, which Steyer and many others have adamantly denied, The New York Times reports. One thing that's been particularly scrutinized is the Steyer campaign's rental agreement with a company owned by Jennifer Clyburn Reed, the daughter of Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking African American in Congress whose endorsement is considered key in South Carolina. Since October, the Steyer campaign has paid more than $40,000 to the company to rent one of its properties as its state headquarters in Columbia, South Carolina. A California-based bank founded by Steyer, meanwhile, has loaned $1 million to a Columbia-based bank that has one of Clyburn's sons-in-laws on its board.

The campaign has brushed off the accusations of trying to procure political favor from the Clyburn family, arguing Steyer is simply committed to hiring local organizers and investing in local businesses to get his grassroots operations running. "The question isn't why Tom is doing this," Steyer spokesman Benjamin Gerdes said in a statement. "The real question is why isn't every other candidate doing it?"

The politically-active Reed called the accusations of vote-buying "disturbing" and seemed a bit annoyed that people think she merely serves as a surrogate for her father. "I'm an adult," she told the Times. "There is no connection. My father has his business and I have mine. We do not vote the same way."

Besides, it's probably all a moot point — both Reed and Clyburn seem likely to back former Vice President Joe Biden. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

9:43 a.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is rolling out his free universal child care plan.

The Vermont senator and 2020 Democratic frontrunner on Monday said that as president, he will "guarantee every child in America free full-day, full-week, high-quality child care from infancy through age three, regardless of income" and also guarantee "every child access to a full-day, full-week pre-kindergarten education regardless of income, starting at age 3."

The Sanders campaign said that under his plan, child care will be provided at least 10 hours a day and "at times to serve parents who work non-traditional hours." The program, according to the proposal, will cost the federal government $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, paid for by Sanders' tax on the "extreme wealth" of the top 0.1 percent of households. The government will set "quality standards" under the plan.

"Our current child care and early education system in the United States is an international embarrassment," the Sanders campaign said.

Bloomberg notes that Sanders' plan joins the $700 billion plan from fellow presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), which details a proposal to provide free child care for low-income families and charge others based on their ability to pay.

Sanders previously spoke about his universal child care plan in an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, brushing off a question from Anderson Cooper suggesting it's not "clear" how his proposed programs will be funded.

"It is clear how it's going to be paid for," Sanders said. "...It's taxes on billionaires." Brendan Morrow

8:47 a.m.

The Democratic presidential candidates spread out across the country, with several rivals questioning the electability of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a bid to slow his momentum after his decisive win in the Nevada caucuses. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said in Virginia that the progressive Sanders would alienate moderate voters Democrats need to beat President Trump in November, The New York Times reports.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who placed a distant second in Nevada as Sanders claimed victory in his third straight state, told CBS News' Face the Nation, "The Russians don't want me to be the nominee," adding, "they like Bernie." Sanders said polls showed he could beat Trump, and he blamed the "corporate media" for fueling suggestions he couldn't. Harold Maass

8:21 a.m.

If there's one position you don't want to be in as a TV showrunner, it's getting publicly blasted as "dangerous" by the Auschwitz Memorial.

But that's the situation facing Amazon's Hunters, which revolves around hunting Nazis in the 1970s to prevent the rise of a Fourth Reich, a few days after it made its streaming debut. Auschwitz Memorial on Sunday took issue with one particular scene in the series, which depicts a game of human chess being played with concentration camp prisoners.

Auschwitz Memorial noted this scene to be historically inaccurate and argued it "welcomes future deniers," also calling it "disrespectful and dangerous." The memorial argued the show could have come up with a "non-existing camp and Nazi atrocities perpetrated there" but that "if you however use a real place, respect it's history and suffering of its victims."

Hunters creator David Weil, whose grandmother was an Auschwitz prisoner, is now responding to the criticism in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter, noting the series is "not documentary" and explaining that he wanted to avoid taking from any "real person's specific life or experience."

Weil also said of the chess scene, "why did I feel the need to create a fictional event when there were so many real horrors that existed? After all, it is true that Nazis perpetrated widespread and extreme acts of sadism and torture — and even incidents of cruel 'games' — against their victims. I simply did not want to depict those specific, real acts of trauma."

Hunters hasn't proven to be any less controversial among critics, with the Reporter's Daniel Fienberg calling the depiction of "fictional atrocities" to be a "strange choice," while Vox's Aja Romano writes that the series overall "might be far more effective at titillating and arousing Nazi sympathizers than it is at speaking to the Jewish community." Brendan Morrow

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