Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had their first debate since the race narrowed down to just the two of them, and also the last one before voters head to the polls in the New Hampshire primaries next Tuesday. The debate got testy at times, with Clinton and Sanders going after each other on issues such as Wall Street reform and national security. Once again, the folks at the Google News Lab put together some interesting charts that examine the debate reaction. Here are some of the best.
Here's real-time Google search traffic for each candidate during the debate:
Seen another way:
Here's an interactive map that shows the highest search numbers per candidate by county, but also the top issues searched in New Hampshire:
It's also interesting to see what questions about each of the two candidates people in New Hampshire are searching. Here are the questions for Clinton:
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigning in Iowa on Jan. 26.
Finally, the 2016 presidential contest starts today, and each candidate hopes to motivate as many voters as possible to caucus in one of Iowa's 1,774 precincts. It can be a challenge to get a large turnout in good weather, but forecasters are expecting potentially heavy snowfall across the state. Winter storm warnings are in effect in many counties, and Iowans in the northwest are under a blizzard warning until 4 a.m. Wednesday. Forecasters predict that heavy snows won't start accumulating until 9 p.m. local time, and caucuses begin at 7 p.m. So there's no telling if the weather or these predictions will influence turnout. If you're concerned about snow in the Hawkeye State tonight, here's how you can monitor the conditions.
Below is a live looping weather map from the National Weather Service. The weather has been clear for most of the day but, in the mid-afternoon, some precipitation began to move into the state from the southwest.
Here's a live shot from the Iowa State University's Memorial Union, located in Ames, which is almost the geographical center of the state (have fun controlling the camera):
This is another live shot from the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, about an hour and 45 minutes due east of Des Moines:
From the northeast part of the state, this is the view from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa (click the play button):
Afghan laborers works at a brick factory in the Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, on January 27, 2016. A new report suggests economic and infrastructure development are incredibly difficult due to a worsening security situation in Afghanistan.
Things are going from bad to worse in Afghanistan, according to a new report filed by the US government's top watchdog for Afghan reconstruction spending.
"In this reporting period, Afghanistan proved even more dangerous than it was a year ago," writes John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), in a quarterly report released Friday morning. Sopko says recent "vicious and repeated attacks" in Kabul have shaken the confidence in the national government, and that American and British forces have had to step in several times to back up Afghan security and police forces, even though the local forces were given that primary responsibility a year ago.
"The lack of security has made it almost impossible for many U.S. and even some Afghan officials to get out and manage and inspect US-funded reconstruction projects," he says. The inability to adequately inspect and manage reconstruction efforts has led to extreme waste, including one case where the Afghan government found that millions of dollars had disappeared as Afghanistan paid for "nonexistent 'ghost' schools, 'ghost' teachers, and 'ghost' students."
These details and others are part of the congressionally mandated quarterly report, whichreviews spending in Afghanistan from October 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. (See the full report below.) Sopko and his team are tasked with accounting for the hundreds of billions of dollars in reconstruction projects organized by the United States since the 2001 invasion. He says their oversight has saved "over $2 billion" in taxpayer funds that otherwise would have been lost to fraud or inefficiency.
In this reporting period alone, Sopko says his office has issued 11 audits, inspections, and other reports. It secured a settlement agreement with two contractors accused in a bid-rigging scheme valued at $1.45 million, saved more than $100,000 in spending, and initiated fines, forfeitures, and restitution amounting to $110,000. These might be seen as small victories in a world where billions of dollars have been spent. SIGAR also points to its work that led to two US Army sergeants separately pleading guilty to conspiracy to receive and accept illegal bribes (one was sentenced to one year in jail, the other to two years). In another case, a US Army captain pled guilty to solicitation and receiving $50,000 for helping an Afghan trucking company earn contracts.
SIGAR also closed 14 investigations, most due to a lack of investigative merit or unfounded allegations. But it launched 17 new investigations for issues including procurement and contract fraud, corruption, theft, and money laundering, bringing the total number of ongoing investigations to 309, according to the report.
The report comes just days after the Washington Post reported that top US military commanders "are now quietly talking about an American commitment that could keep thousands of troops in the country for decades." Citing current and former Pentagon officials, the Post paints a picture that reflects much of what SIGAR has been reporting for some time: The civic and physical infrastructure of Afghanistan is not close to being self-sufficient. "There is a broad recognition in the Pentagon that building an effective Afghan army and police force will take a generation's commitment," the Post reported, "including billions of dollars a year in outside funding and constant support from thousands of foreign advisers on the ground."
Congress also charged SIGAR with the task of assisting the Pentagon inspector general's review of allegations of child sex abuse by Afghan security forces. That investigation was spurred by allegations, brought to light in September by the New York Times, that US soldiers were told to "look the other way" as their Afghan counterparts assaulted children brought to joint bases.
Neil Gordon, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight who has followed the work of SIGAR for some time, hadn't yet read SIGAR's new report late Thursday, but he said the deteriorating security situation almost ensured that things over there would continue to deteriorate.
"SIGAR has been warning for several years that the decreasing U.S. troop presence would worsen the security situation and undercut oversight and management of reconstruction projects," Gordon says. "So I would expect that waste and corruption in Afghanistan are getting steadily worse."
The FBI released footage Thursday night of an Oregon State Police trooper shooting LaVoy Finicum, one of the leaders of an armed militia that on earlier in January, took over and occupied several buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife refuge in rural Oregon.
The 26-minute video, shot from an FBI airplane, shows the events that took place on January 26 when Ammon Bundy, one of the militia leaders, was arrested with several other militia members when they were traveling to a meeting in a town north of the refuge (we've cued it to just before the confrontation). The FBI and the Oregon State Police had set up a roadblock in order to intercept the two vehicles carrying the militia members.
Greg Bretzing, an FBI special agent, told reporters Thursday night that the Jeep carrying Bundy stopped and the occupants exited and were arrested without incident. Finicum, driving a white truck, initially stopped, and one man exited the back of the truck. But Finicum then sped away. As his vehicle approached a road block, the video shows the truck veering off the left side of the road.
"He nearly hit an FBI agent," Bretzing said, according to the Guardian, before stalling in the snow next to the road. Finicum can be seen exiting with his hands up. He walked around next to the truck briefly before his hands appeared to lower to his sides. "Finicum reaches his right hand toward a pocket on the left inside portion of his jacket," Brentzing told reporters. "He did have a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun in that pocket. At this time OSP troopers shot Finicum. It was a reckless action that resulted in consequences."
Brentzing added that the FBI decided to release the video to counter "inaccurate" and "inflammatory" accusations that the FBI had shot Finicum while his hands were up. "We feel it is necessary to show the whole thing unedited in the interest of transparency," he said.
Finicum, a 55-year-old rancher from Arizona, told MSNBC on January 5 that he was a peaceful person, but if the FBI or any authority pointed a gun at him, he'd point one back. Sitting in a rocking chair under a blanket, with a rifle across his lap and a tarp across his back, he said, "Don't point a gun at me. You don't point a gun at someone unless you're going to shoot them."
The reporter asked if he believed it was better to be dead "than in a cell."
Panic broke out at a sprawling naval medical center in San Diego Tuesday morning as police responded to reports of gunfire at the campus, and the possible threat of an active shooter. Occupants were asked by the hospital complex to evacuate, or shelter in place, while roads were closed and schools placed on lock-down.
But as events unfolded across the morning at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, it remained unclear what actually happened at the campus, and whether or not it constituted an "active shooter" situation. There have been no reports of deaths or injuries.
Capt. Curt Jones, the commanding officer of Naval Base San Diego, told reporters Tuesday morning that the initial report of thee gunshots came from one witness just prior to 8 a.m., local time. Jones added that "as of right now we have found absolutely nothing that would substantiate" a report of an active shooter. A law enforcement official also told NBC that an initial sweep of Building 26 found that no forensic signs any shots had been fired. Jones said sweeps of that building and others were ongoing to ensure that there were no casualties.
"This is a case where we are pursuing the information we have to its logical conclusion," Capt. Jones said.
Nevertheless, the police reaction was swift and strong, among multiple different law enforcement agencies, after the medical center posted this message to Facebook, warning occupants to "run, hide or fight":
The San Diego Police Department confirmed that shots were fired at the facility, according to NBC Bay Area, but other details were not immediately available. The station is also reporting that two California Highway Patrol officers were seen entering the facility through an emergency room entrance at about 8:30 a.m. local time, and "by 8:45 a.m., a SWAT truck was seen storming the facility."
The Naval Medical Center San Diego is located on a sprawling campus with a hospital and other medical facilities, just east of the city’s airport, and northeast of downtown San Diego. The center has more than 6,500 military, civilian, contractor, and volunteer personnel, according to NBC San Diego.
Three San Diego Unified schools were temporarily placed on lockdown, the school district’s Twitter feed reported shortly after 9 a.m. local time. A short time later the lockdown was lifted, but students and staff continued to shelter in place. Classes resumed just before 10 a.m. local time.
We will be updating this breaking news post with more reporting as it becomes available.