5 things to know for August 1: Dem debate, rate cut, Canada killings, New Zealand

Posted at 4:04 AM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 06:27:14-04

Are you ready for National Trick or Treat Day? It could happen, if the folks behind that petition to move Halloween have their way.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Democratic debate

Night 2 of Round 2 of the Democratic debates could have been dubbed “Beat Up on Biden Night.” Joe Biden spent most of the night fending off wave after wave of attacks from his rivals. Kamala Harris hit him on health care. Cory Booker slammed him over the 1994 crime bill. Julian Castro roughed him up on immigration policy. And Kirsten Gillibrand twisted his words to falsely say he once opposed women working outside the home. Biden, in a steadier performance than in the last debate, deflected it all with head shakes and humor. Meantime, Tulsi Gabbard did herself a lot of good, it seems, with a breakout performance that made her Google’s most-searched candidate.

Here are five takeaways from the debate, a rundown of who won and who lost, a look at who talked the most, a fact check and links so you can watch the complete debate, if you missed it. The next round of debates will be next month in Houston on ABC. Yes, once again there will be two nights, but there could be fewer participants because candidates face higher fundraising and polling criteria to qualify.

2. Federal Reserve

Usually when the Fed cuts interest rates, almost everybody is happy. But it seemed like nobody was happy yesterday when the Fed trimmed interest rates by a quarter-percentage point, the first such cut in a decade. The Dow immediately plummeted, ending the day down 335 points (about 1.2%). President Trump (breaking with the tradition in which presidents wall off the central bank from politics) tweeted that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell had “let us down.” Wall Street and the President are ticked off that the rate cut seems to be a one-off. Powell said the Fed wasn’t starting a cycle of aggressive rate cuts. The central bank is hoping a rate cut will be the necessary injection to keep the US economy healthy, especially because it has limited ammunition to respond to a downturn with historically low interest rates.

3. Canada manhunt

Canadian police are scaling back their search for two teens accused of killing three people last month in British Columbia. The suspects, Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are believed to be hiding in a remote part of northern Manitoba. Police used helicopters, drones and even military resources to try to find the teens, who are suspected of killing a university botanist and a road-tripping young couple. There have been no recent confirmed sightings of the two young men. Although police are reducing their search efforts, some officers will stay in the town of Gillam to continue the investigation.

4. Stormy Daniels arrest

Five police officers in Columbus, Ohio, involved in Stormy Daniels’ arrest last year at a strip club are being disciplined. The city’s police chief said, without going into specifics, that the officers had violated department rules. The officers face a range of punishments, from a reprimand to being fired. Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump (which he denies), was charged with three misdemeanor counts of illegally touching a patron. The charges were later dropped. She has since filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against members of the police department, accusing them of being avowed supporters of Trump and conspiring against her.

5. New Zealand protests

Family separations aren’t just an issue on the US-Mexico border. They’re an issue in New Zealand, as well. So much so that hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets of Auckland yesterday to protest a policy known as “uplifting,” under which the government orders infants to be taken into state care. Some say Pacific Island and Maori babies are disproportionately affected by “uplifts” due to institutional racism. Last year, judges ordered 281 babies to be taken into care, and 71% were of Pacific Island or Maori heritage. New Zealand has one of the worst rates of child abuse in the developed world. The children’s ministry gets more than 150,000 reports of concern relating to the country’s 1.1 million children each year, UNICEF says.


RIP, Harold

Harold Prince won more Tonys than anybody, and he should have. He directed iconic musicals like “West Side Story.” The producer and director died at 91.

Don’t put a ring on it?

A woman who celebrated her 107th birthday shared her secret for long life. Spoiler alert: It involves staying single.

Prepare for takeoff

What’s the last thing you expect to find when you open up an overhead bin on an airplane? A flight attendant.

The day the music died

You can forget about going to that music festival this month that was planned to celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. Woodstock 50 has been officially canceled.

Kindness of strangers

He thought he’d lost his late wife’s ring forever, but social media helped him get it back.



That’s how much people are supposed to get as a settlement after Equifax’s disastrous 2017 data breach. But the Federal Trade Commission says people will probably get “nowhere near” that amount of money. That’s because so many people have filed claims that there may not be enough cash to go around from a $31 million fund dedicated to payouts.


“I’m not gonna change what I do or how I enjoy myself.”

George Cook, who survived Sunday’s mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival that left three people dead. He also survived the mass shooting at the Las Vegas country music festival in 2017, in which 58 people died.



Cat out of water

This kitty wants to be a fish. It’s not working out so well. (Click to view.)