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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg says he will keep up his effort to appeal to black voters, whose support will be vital to winning his party's nomination. The former mayor said during Tuesday night's debate in Des Moines, Iowa, that "the black voters who know me best are supporting me," referencing local leaders in his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg has built up support in some of the early states but has struggled in South Carolina, where black voters comprise the majority of the Democratic primary electorate.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats have released a trove of documents they obtained from a close associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, including a handwritten note that mentions asking Ukraine's president to investigate “the Biden case.” The documents were obtained as part of the impeachment investigation, and show Lev Parnas communicating with Giuliani and another attorney about the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Parnas received messages from a man who appeared to be describing detailed surveillance of Yovanovitch while she was in Ukraine. The documents released Tuesday add new context to Democrats’ charges that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and other Democrats as Trump withheld military aid.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — President Donald Trump rallied supporters Tuesday night by defending his decision to kill a top Iranian general. At the same time, the Democrats vying to replace him used their final debate before primary voting begins to argue that doing so made the country less safe. Trump fired up thousands in the battleground state of Wisconsin while the Democratic candidates squared off in Iowa ahead of that state's Feb. 3 caucuses. One of the hopefuls, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, said he feared that Trump's actions in Iran could lead the United States into a foreign policy quagmire of the highest level.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn has filed court papers to withdraw his guilty plea. He says federal prosecutors acted in “bad faith" and breached their deal with him. The request comes one week after the Justice Department changed its position on Flynn's punishment by recommending he serve up to six months in prison for lying to the FBI during its investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Prosecutors had earlier said Flynn was entitled to avoid prison time because of his extensive cooperation.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Fire alarms have been sounding in high-rise buildings across downtown Sydney and Melbourne as dense smoke from distant wildfires confuse electronic sensors. Modern government office blocks in the Australian capital Canberra have been closed because the air inside is too dangerous to breathe. It’s an unprecedented dilemma for Australians that has raised fears for the long-term health consequences if prolonged exposure to choking smoke becomes the new summer norm. Similar concerns over smoke are emerging in other regions of the globe being impacted by more fires tied to climate change, including the Western U.S. Experts predict increases in heart and lung diseases as well as some cancers if climate change makes prolonged exposure to wildfire smoke an annual phenomenon.

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