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Vox Sentences: Humberto trails Dorian

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Read what Vox staffers took away from the third Democratic debate Thursday night; another hurricane threatens the Bahamas.

Biden and Warren face off onstage for the first time

AFP/Getty Images
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren finally faced each other in a Democratic debate, walking away with the most speaking time Thursday night — but nonetheless not bringing up their long-standing feud over bankruptcy. [Vox / Li Zhou and Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Matt Yglesias writes that, despite a shaky performance, Biden remains the clear frontrunner in clutching the nomination, with none of the other candidates making a convincing attempt to take him down. [Vox / Matt Yglesias]
  • The only candidate who made an effort to halt the former vice president was Julián Castro, who surfaced a growing narrative around Biden’s age when the latter slipped up in his response on health care — once again the leading topic on the debate stage — and when he provided a rambling answer that started on education and ended on Venezuela. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • On to the issues themselves. Thursday was a big night for education policy, as several Democrats proposed raising teachers’ salaries and rushed to defend public education in their reform plans. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
  • Immigration, which President Trump has capitalized on fears of in the runup to the primaries, also received a fair amount of attention, though the issue was largely upstaged by Biden’s inability to answer for Obama’s immigration record. [Vox / Nicole Narea]
  • Despite abortion rights being a key matter for Democratic voters in 2020, the moderators didn’t ask a single question on reproductive health to the candidates. [Vox / Anna North]
  • P.R. Lockhart writes that the debate included an early discussion of racism “that seemed poised to be substantive but didn’t fully pan out,” saying the candidates are overall getting better at talking about race issues, but are struggling to show it onstage. [Vox / P.R. Lockhart]
  • In brief, here are the best and most substantive answers of the night. [Vox / Emily Stewart]
  • While the top Democrats were fighting it out on the debate stage in Texas, Trump gave a speech to a House Republican retreat in Baltimore, talking about fake middle-class tax cuts. [Vox / Aaron Rupar]
  • The night had a share of lighter moments, too, including Andrew Yang presenting a giveaway live on television, promising to hand out $1,000 a month for one year to 10 randomly selected families — as part of a pilot program for his universal basic income proposal — which has, of course, taken the internet by storm. [Vox / Sean Collins]

The Bahamas brace for a second hit

  • Some 10 days after Hurricane Dorian swept the Bahamas in a deadly brush with the archipelago, the islands are again under tropical storm warning as of Friday afternoon, with a cyclone traveling 140 miles southeast of Great Abaco. [Washington Post / Matthew Cappucci and Andrew Freedman]
  • Potential Hurricane Humberto may make landing as soon as Saturday night, and may even pose a threat to Florida and other parts of the southern US. [Orlando Sentinel / Joe Mario Pedersen and Richard Tribou]
  • The news comes just as Bahamians are recovering from Dorian. The death toll has risen to more than 50, while 2,500 people remain unaccounted for. [BBC]


  • Google announced Thursday it has adjusted its algorithms to promote original reporting in search results, an update driven by increasing pressure to elevate quality news ahead of the 2020 election. [Axios / Sara Fischer]
  • A new Saturday Night Live cast member is facing backlash after clips from a comedy podcast he co-hosted found him making a series of homophobic and racist remarks over the years. [Vulture / Megh Wright]
  • Missing Thrones? A Deadline report finds HBO is close to ordering a pilot from A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin and Colony co-creator Ryan Condal, set 300 years before the events in Game of Thrones and focusing on House Targaryen. [Deadline / Nellie Andreeva]
  • Gucci is going carbon neutral in what appears to be an increasing trend by the fashion industry to address its role in the climate crisis. [Guardian / Scarlett Conlon]


“We haven’t told him anything but ‘don’t vape, don’t vape.’” [After proposing a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, President Trump responds to reporters on a question regarding his 13-year-old son Barron’s vaping habits / USA Today]

Listen to this: ABCDebate

After Vox’s Tara Golshan reviews the third Democratic debate, Matthew Yglesias explains how Joe Biden wins even when he loses. [Art19 | Spotify | Apple Podcasts]

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