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January 1, It’s Biden Blowout in South Carolina



This Day in History | 1931

The baby of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh is kidnapped and later found dead. The case and subsequent trial of Bruno Hauptmann gained national attention. 

Good morning Middle Americans. 

Not only did Joe Biden win South Carolina, he won decisively. And for the moment he’s blunted Bernie Sanders momentum as the 2020 contest heads into the critical contests of Super Tuesday. Also Billionaire Tom Steyer has decided to take his money elsewhere. He’s dropped out. 

The US and Taliban have signed a peace deal, 19 years after the US first arrived in Afghanistan with the aim of defeating them, finding Osama Bin Laden and restoring peace and stability to the country. Only one of those objectives was achieved. 

The mainland U.S. has seen its first death from the cronavirus. Cases have now climbed over 70. And there’s not sign of the disease slowing down. 

We also have a report about LA County Sheriff deputy showing pictures of Kobe Bryant’s crash to people at a bar. And Oprah Winfrey took a nasty fall during her tour. We have the video. 

Read all about it

– Fraser Dixon 

Biden Wins South Carolina, Aims for Super Tuesday Momentum

(AP) – Joe Biden scored a thundering victory Saturday in South Carolina’s Democratic primary on the strength of African American support, a decisive win that could force moderate rivals out of the race and blunt the rise of progressive leader Bernie Sanders.

Biden’s win came at a perilous moment in his 2020 bid as he needed an emphatic rebound after underwhelming performances this month in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. The race now pivots to the 14 states from Maine to California that vote on Tuesday in what effect will be a national primary.

“We are very much alive,” Biden declared at an exuberant post-election rally. “For all of you who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind — this is your campaign.”

Read more here

Related: Billionarie Tom Steyer drops out of 2020 race

US and Taliban Sign Historic Agreement

(CNN) – After a week-long “reduction in violence,” the US and Taliban signed a historic agreement Saturday which sets into motion the potential of a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and could pave the way to ending America’s longest-fought war.

The agreement was signed in Doha, Qatar, by US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad — the chief US negotiator in the talks with the Taliban — and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar — the Taliban’s chief negotiator. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo witnessed the signing.

The “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” outlines a series of commitments from the US and the Taliban related to troop levels, counterterrorism, and the intra-Afghan dialogue aimed at bringing about “a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.”

“This is a hopeful moment, but it’s only the beginning,” Pompeo said at a news conference in the Qatari capital Saturday. “There’s a great deal of hard work ahead on the diplomatic front.”

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Washington State Man Becomes First U.S. Death From Coronavirus

(NBC News) – Health officials in Washington state said on Saturday a coronavirus patient has died, marking the first death in the U.S. from COVID-19, the illness associated with the virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s responding to “the first possible outbreak” of the respiratory illness in a long-term care center in Washington. The death was not associated with that facility.

Health officials in Washington said 27 patients and 25 staff members at the center have symptoms associated with COVID-19.

The Life Care Center of Kirkland said in a statement that new patients and visitors were being turned away, and patients and staff “with symptoms or who were potentially exposed are quarantined.”

The person who died was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, and there was no evidence he contracted the virus through travel, health officials said. They suspect domestic “community spread” of the disease, a new phase for the United States that began this week on the West Coast.

Find out more here

L.A. County Deputies Shared Graphic Photos of Kobe Bryant Crash Scene, Sources Say

(LA Times) – Members of an oversight group expressed concern Friday after The Times reported that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies shared graphic photos of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others.

The Times spoke with two public safety sources with knowledge of the events. One of the sources said that the sharing of photos of the crash scene and the victims’ remains was the topic of a discussion among first responders two days after the crash.The source said he saw one of the photos on the phone of another official, in a setting that had nothing to do with the investigation of the crash. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter.

Patti Giggans, chair of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, told The Times on Friday that the alleged behavior is “completely unprofessional” and “very regrettable.”

“Hopefully we’ll hear more, what was going on and how they found out,” she said. “At this point, we have to trust that the sheriff is going to get to the bottom of it.”

Read more here

Oprah Takes a Tumble Onstage During ‘2020 Vision’ Tour

(Page Six) – Oprah Winfrey is currently on her 2020 Vision speaking tour, stopping by the Forum arena in Los Angeles Saturday to discuss wellness and living a balanced life. Unfortunately for the media mogul, she quite literally lost her own balance while onstage, slipping and taking a pretty hard fall in front of hundreds of attendees.

Footage obtained by The Los Angeles Times shows the television icon taking a few steps to her right before tumbling in front of her shocked audience. After gathering herself on the floor, she called out “wrong shoes!” into the microphone, letting fans know exactly what caused the unexpected crash.

Fans of Winfrey immediately took to social media, with many in attendance saying she took the fall like a champ and actually walked around barefoot onstage for a bit before switching to more sensible footwear.

See the video here

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