It’s Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. Let’s start here.
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1. Dems on defense
Democratic presidential candidates faced off in another debate in Detroit on Wednesday, repeating many of the same moderate-versus-progressive policy squabbles from Tuesday night — but now with front-runner Joe Biden as a frequent target.
Biden may have benefited from the layering of attacks this time around, according to ABC News Deputy Political Director MaryAlice Parks, who tells “Start Here” the former vice president was able to punch back this time.
“Several of the Democrats onstage made a point of attacking Joe Biden’s record, but I’m not sure that the pile-on buried him,” she says. “He had a much better night than he did in Miami.”
And although Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., had a breakout moment in the first debate by confronting Biden on his record on race, she was put on defense last night as candidates questioned her own record on criminal justice as a prosecutor and her health care plan, which prompted attacks from both sides.
2. Making the cut
The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.
The rate, which affects credit cards, mortgages and auto loans, was cut by a quarter percentage point. The Fed cited slowing global growth and trade tensions in making the decision, but it didn’t signal more cuts would be coming.
“It’s not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said, adding, “I didn’t say it’s just one or anything like that.”
….As usual, Powell let us down, but at least he is ending quantitative tightening, which shouldn’t have started in the first place – no inflation. We are winning anyway, but I am certainly not getting much help from the Federal Reserve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2019
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 333.75 points as investors hoped for a clearer indication of whether the Fed would cut rates again.
3. Bin Laden’s son believed dead
Hamza bin Laden, son of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, is believed to be dead, according to two U.S. officials.
It’s unclear when or where Hamza, thought to be about 30 years old, died, but a U.S. military source told ABC News that U.S. intelligence played a role in the operation that killed him.
Hamza vowed revenge against the United States after his father was killed in the 2011 raid on his hideout in Abbotabad, Pakistan. Papers found in that SEAL raid indicated that Osama bin Laden was grooming his son for a prominent role in al-Qaida.
Al-Qaida was using Hamza to attract younger recruits as the terror group faces an “existential crisis” with the rise of ISIS, according to ABC News Foreign Correspondent James Longman.
4. Stories of child brides
Many young girls across America dream of the day they get married, but for hundreds of thousands of them, their weddings are a far cry from happily ever after.
New Jersey and Delaware banned child marriage last year, but in several states, there is no minimum age.
ABC News’ Jasmine Brown has been covering stories of the nation’s child brides for “Nightline” over the past year.
“We’ve been on the ground talking to these young women, who were in many instances forced into a marriage very much too young,” Brown tells us. “In many cases, what winds up happening is that a young girl is impregnated by an older man. The way the laws are on the books is that you can skirt statutory rape charges by marrying someone.”
“Start Here,” ABC News’ flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.
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From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
The Dodgers are baseball’s most versatile team: It’s how they can roll out a different defensive configuration practically every game, and still have one of the top defenses in baseball.
Doff your cap:
For three days, a few hours each day, Patrick Hoagland handed his resume out to strangers at busy intersections in Phoenix. He also held a sign that read: “Please take a resume. Laid-off. Looking for a job.”
The 30-year-old father said he had been out of work for a month after being laid off from a metal-recycling company.
“I definitely had fear,” Hoagland told “Good Morning America.” “My wife and I, we don’t make a whole lot of money individually. Once I lost my job, everything was put on her.”
His creativity and commitment paid off. Hoagland said job offers poured in by the hundreds after one passerby took a picture of his resume and shared it on social media. He eventually landed at a company called Flatline Concrete as a concrete grinder.
“I can’t say thank you enough to everybody,” Hoagland said. “I had a lot of people who sent messages that weren’t necessarily job offers but were well-wishes [saying], ‘Good luck in your search.’ It was nice to see that.”