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The second round of Democratic debates starts now; anti-government protests have been rattling the Russian government.


Your guide to the week’s debates

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  • The second round of debates has begun. Here’s how to watch and what to expect. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Like the ones in June, the debate will be split across two days — Tuesday and Wednesday night — and begin at 8 pm ET on both nights. The events are in Detroit, Michigan and will be televised by CNN. [CBS News / Grace Segers]
  • Most of the people from the last debate will be onstage tonight (the only change being Rep. Eric Swalwell’s dropout and Gov. Steve Bullock’s addition), meaning that both nights will be equally crowded. [Reuters / John Whitesides]
  • Today’s candidates: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, author Marianne Williamson, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Tomorrow’s candidates: Former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, business leader Andrew Yang, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • The key matchup for tonight will be between Sanders and Warren, two progressive candidates with many similarities. Both have hinted that their interactions will be tame, but many will closely watch how they highlight their differences. [NYT / Shane Goldmacher, Alicia Parlapiano and Adriana Ramic]
  • The main event on Wednesday will be the interactions between Biden and Harris; Harris previously had a breakthrough moment during the last debate after confronting Biden about his busing record, and Biden will likely want a redo. Booker and Biden have also been publicly clashing on criminal justice issues. [NPR / Scott Detrow and Asma Khalid]
  • This is the last mega-debate with 20 people since the DNC will be raising the bar to qualify for the September debates. That means many candidates will be looking for their breakthrough moment during the debate to garner more momentum around their campaign. [The Hill / Julia Manchester and Max Greenwood]
  • It won’t be easy keeping up with all of the candidates’ policies when there are 10 people on stage at a time. Use Vox’s policy guide to figure out where everyone stands. [Vox]

Russia cracks down on protesters

  • Russia has been rattled by a string of anti-government protests and is trying to suppress opposition through major crackdowns. [Politico EU/ Mark Bennets]
  • The most recent rallies on Saturday addressed the lack of fairness in an upcoming city council election in Moscow. Opposition candidates were taken off the ballot for falsifying signatures on petitions to run, according to authorities — a claim that the candidates deny. [Vox / Gabriela Resto-Montero]
  • The demonstrations led to more than 1,000 people being arrested and dozens of people being beaten. State investigators are now saying that they will open a criminal probe into the organization and participation of mass disorder, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years. [Radio Free Europe]
  • The criminal investigation is likely meant to scare off protestors. The charges are serious, considering that the protests were mostly peaceful, with a few exceptions of injured officers. [BBC / Sarah Rainsford]
  • The steady string of protests point to the fact that frustration is rising among the opposition, and they’re gaining more support from the mass as President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating drops amidst economic hardship. [NYT / Ivan Nechepurenko]
  • The government is ready to show that they’re willing to take extreme measures if needed: last week, they detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny for 30 days after calling for Saturday’s rally. [Bloomberg / Leonid Bershidsky]
  • The regime isn’t falling. But it seems that the government can no longer expect unquestioned authority as it used to. [Slate / Joshua Keating]

Miscellaneous

  • Some residents in Mongolia’s capital have been burning raw coal to stay warm, causing massive pollution. The city has banned coal in response, but it remains to be seen if the people will comply. [NPR / Emily Kwong]
  • Rich parents in Illinois are giving up custody of their children to a friend or relative to win need-based financial aid. They technically aren’t breaking any laws because of a legal loophole. [ProPublica / Jodi S. Cohen and Melissa Sanchez]
  • Pastor Joshua Harris wrote a best-selling book on traditional relationships based on his faith. He is now no longer Christian nor married. [Fox News / Caleb Parke]
  • Young Polish talents have been leaving the country at a rapid speed ever since it joined the European Union. In an attempt to stop the brain drain, Poland is hoping it can make young people stay by scrapping their income tax. [CNN / Ivana Kottasová]
  • As the youngest senator in Congress, Sen. Josh Hawley is a digital native — and skeptic. He introduced a bill Tuesday that would curb social media addiction by banning features like infinite scrolling and video autoplays. [The Washington Post / Katie Mettler]

Verbatim

“The authorities are panicking, because they don’t know how to get out of the political crisis that they themselves have created. They are trying to intimidate people, but this isn’t working.” [Lyubov Sobol, an opposition politician, on the Russian government’s response to the recent protests]


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