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Absent a live audience—who typically voice displeasure if debates devolve too far into fighting—the hostility began within the first 10 minutes, with little in the way of concrete policy discussion. See some of the more contentious exchanges here.
Wallace was widely criticized for failing to rein in the candidates, pivoting too quickly, and inconsistent follow up. It remains to be seen whether the performance affects the polls.
Referred to as a "hot mess," the event appeared to reflect the rancor that has gripped the country for much of the past year. Feel free to rewatch the full debate here, and see a fact check here.
Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) face off next Wednesday, followed by two final presidential debates Oct. 15 and 22. There are 34 days until the Nov. 3 election—see poll averages from battleground states.
Wine Country Burns
At least 70,000 people have been evacuated (w/photos) and more than 100 structures destroyed as an explosive wildfire continues its spread through California's Napa and Sonoma counties. The Glass Fire broke out early Sunday morning east of Calistoga, California, tripling in size as three fires merged together to create the blaze. So far at least 46,000 acres have been consumed with the fire at near 0% containment. Burning through the heart of California's wine country, Napa’s famed Castello di Amorosa has suffered significant damage and dozens more wineries are in the evacuation zones.
Farther north, at least three people have died as the Zogg Fire—also at 0% containment as of this morning—has consumed more than 50,000 acres. Cooler, less windy weather conditions aided firefighters yesterday, though the blaze continued to burn through dry vegetation. The wildfire season is already the worst in California history, with almost 4 million acres burned—at least 30 fires across the state are currently active (see map).
Kuwait Leader Dies The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, passed away yesterday at the age of 91. Sheikh Sabah, who suffered a severe stroke last year, had led the country since 2006. His 83-year-old half brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, is expected to take over.
A key US ally in the Middle East, the oil-rich—but relatively tiny—Kuwait is squeezed between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and sits directly across the Persian Gulf from Iran (see map). Often referred to as a "giant of diplomacy," the sheikh served as foreign minister during the Gulf War in 1990, sparked when Saddam Hussein invaded and annexed Kuwait, prompting a US-led military intervention.
Sheikh Sabah was born in 1929—before oil had been discovered—and was the latest in a ruling family dynasty stretching back three centuries. See a timeline of the country here.
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