MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — With urgency rising in their nomination fight, Democratic presidential front-runners Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg beat back a barrage of attacks during a Friday night debate in New Hampshire. The Democrats’ top presidential contenders clashed repeatedly over experience and ability to beat President Donald Trump. The debate tested the strength of a new front-runner, former Midwestern Mayor Buttigieg, and struggling former Vice President Joe Biden as well as Vermont Sen. Sanders. Biden raised questions about Sanders’ status as a democratic socialist and warned Democratic voters that Trump and his allies would use the socialism label in congressional elections as well as the presidential voting.
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Billionaire Michael Bloomberg didn’t qualify for the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire -- but it didn’t always feel that way. The candidates on stage Friday night were asked several times about the former mayor of New York City. Elizabeth Warren responded, “I don’t think anyone ought to be able to buy their way into the nomination or to be president of the United States.” She also said candidates shouldn’t “suck up to billionaires to do it.” That was a swipe at Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, who have relied on large donors to finance their campaigns.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is exacting swift punishment against those who crossed him during his impeachment hearings. On Friday he ousted two government officials who had delivered damaging testimony. The president took retribution just two days after his acquittal by the Senate. First came news that Trump had ousted Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, the decorated soldier and national security aide who played a central role in the Democrats' impeachment case. He was escorted out of the White House complex Friday. Next came word that Gordon Sondland, Trump's ambassador to the European Union, also was out.
UNDATED (AP) — Former national security adviser John Bolton's team is accusing the White House of trying to suppress his unpublished book. This is after word surfaced that the National Security Council had sent him a letter expressing concerns that the manuscript contains classified information. The White House has been scrutinizing Bolton's book, which is due out next month, for classified materials as part of a standard pre-publication review process. Bolton adviser Sarah Tinsley issued a statement Friday acknowledging that a letter from the NSC had been sent to Bolton's lawyer. She said Bolton was reviewing the letter and would respond. She said Bolton continues to believe “that the manuscript contains no legitimately classified material."
BEIJING (AP) — The number of confirmed cases of the new virus has risen again in China while fatalities increased to 722, as the ruling Communist Party faces anger and recriminations from the public over the death of a doctor who was threatened by police after trying to sound the alarm about the disease over a month ago. The government announced that another 3,399 people had been diagnosed over the last 24 hours, reversing two days of declines, and raising the total accumulated number of cases on the mainland to 34,546. Cruise ship passengers faced more woe as Japan reported three more cases for a total of 64 on one quarantined vessel. Another has been turned away. Hong Kong began enforcing a 14-day quarantine for arrivals from mainland China.