POLITICS: Today is a big big day in US politics. Cough, the Iowa caucus, cough. We’ll remind you: the Republican nominee for prez is Trump. But the Dem nominee….is TBD. Enter: the primaries. Every presidential election cycle, the political party without a nominee holds an election to figure out the lucky guy or gal. Like a normal election, each state votes, with a candidate winning based on the electoral college. Now, all eyes are on Iowa - the first state to vote in the 2020 primaries - to see which candidate takes the early lead. Breath, bated. Meanwhile, the other day, the Senate said ‘nay’ and voted 51-49 for no witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial. Lawmakers are set to vote on whether to acquit him this Wednesday.
WORLD: The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak keeps getting worse and worse. At least 362 people have now died from the virus, with around 17,300 people infected around the world. That means more people have now died from the Wuhan coronavirus than from the SARS epidemic in 2002/2003. Not a typo. And recently, the first death outside of China was reported in the Philippines. Now, the US is starting to place new rules around travel from China - which China’s gov says is an “overreaction.” Speaking of which, the Trump team is officially expanding its travel ban to include six new countries. Includes Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, the most populous country on the continent, and a major US trading partner. Cue backlash.
VIOLENCE: All eyes are on these monarch butterfly activists in Mexico. Reminder: monarch butterflies hibernate in Mexican woods - but illegal logging has threatened their environment. There are some butterfly sanctuaries across Mexico, and activists - like Homero Gómez and Raúl Hernández - fight against illegal logging to protect the monarch butterflies. But over the past couple of weeks, both of these activists have been gone missing before being found dead, with signs of beatings. Authorities are investigating, but there’s speculation the deaths could have been carried out by criminal gangs. Stay tuned. In other news, UNICEF estimates that around 300,000 people in Syria have been displaced since December as the civil war intensifies.