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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and fomrer US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley listen to a question as they participate in the Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

REUTERS/Mike Segar

Debate club vs. the rockstar in Iowa

To kick off the final debate before the first GOP primary, Chris Christie bowed out of the race – and he wasn’t exactly graceful. The former New Jersey governor was caught mocking his remaining Republican rivals, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, who took to the CNN stage last night.

The debate kicked off with the only question that matters if either candidate is going to be seen as a viable candidate after the Iowa primary: Why should Iowa voters see either of them as a better alternative to the front-runner, Trump? In response, DeSantis threw punches at Haley, while Haley cited her credentials, directed viewers to a website that fact-checks DeSantis, and cast herself as more electable than the former president.

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Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott speak during the FOX Business Republican presidential primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

USA Today Network via Reuters

Sound and fury, signifying nothing — the second GOP debate without Trump

“Every time I hear you, I think I get a little bit dumber.”

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Refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh region ride in a truck upon their arrival at the border village of Kornidzor, Armenia, September 27, 2023.

REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

Hard Numbers: Armenians flee Nagorno-Karabakh, GOP debate falls flat, Evergrande stock drops, tragedy strikes Iraqi wedding, Commander strikes again

50,000: A torrent of at least 50,000 ethnic Armenians have fled Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijani forces occupied the hotly contested enclave last week. The refugees constitute approximately one-third of the pre-war Armenian population. Among those fleeing was Russian-Armenian billionaire Ruben Vardanyan, who Azerbaijan’s border guard service said Wednesday it had arrested.

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Perp walks, plane crashes, and debating the future

On any other day, we might start our GZERO North newsletter with the housing crisis afflicting the US and Canada and what, if anything, the federal governments should do about it (they have to act, and mewling an excuse about this not being federal jurisdiction is the political equivalent of “the dog ate my homework!”).

Or maybe you’re thinking, hey GZERO, what about this ugly dispute between Canada and the big tech giants like Meta, which has already led to the banning of Canadian news on Facebook and will likely lead to a digital services tax of 3% by January. Won’t the Biden folks, in an election year, pump out some retaliatory tariffs to send a signal to other countries that says: “Don’t follow those northern syrup-suckers and Thelma-and-Louise it off the digital trade cliff! Read our lips: No Digital Tax!” So, is this the start of a nasty little US-Canada trade war?

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No-show Trump wins first GOP debate
No-show Trump wins first GOP debate | US Politics In: 60 | GZERO Media

No-show Trump wins first GOP debate

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics.

Who were the big winners and the big losers from this week's Republican debate?

Three clear winners were probably Vivek Ramaswamy, who's done pretty well in making a name for himself as a first time politician, and came across as likable and energetic, full of some fresh ideas that are probably going to appeal to a lot of Republican voters who were otherwise thinking about supporting President Trump. Two is Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador and governor of South Carolina, who had herself a pretty good night scoring some points against Ramaswamy on foreign policy, and coming across as competent and credible. And of course, the third winner is Donald Trump, who didn't show up but kind of dominated the proceedings anyway and continues to be the front-runner even after the debate.

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Trump skips debate
Trump skips debate | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Trump skips debate

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC, shares his perspective on US politics.

Is it really a Republican debate without President Trump?

Eight candidates are going to show up in Milwaukee this week in order to debate on stage for the right to be the Republican nominee for President, and all of them are going to be living in the shadow of the one candidate who won't show up: Donald J. Trump, former President of the United States, who's been indicted four times for various criminal charges across multiple jurisdictions in Georgia, New York, Washington, and Florida.

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Trump's new rival, Vivek Ramaswamy
Trump's new rival, Vivek Ramaswamy | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Trump's new rival, Vivek Ramaswamy

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and a happy Monday to you. Want to turn to US domestic politics for this week's Quick Take in part because there's been a surge in the GOP among the candidates. We've had Trump way out in front, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the major challenger pretty much for the last several months until this last week, with an outsider Vivek Ramaswamy in a couple of polls showing up as number two. Certainly enjoying a surge. So thought it was worth taking a little bit of a look at him.

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Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Windham, NH.

REUTERS/Reba Saldanha

Hard Numbers: Trump’s bond, Saudis target Ethiopian migrants, missing in Maui, Ecuadorians’ pro-Amazon vote

200,000: Former President Donald Trump's bond in Georgia has been set at $200,000 ahead of a Friday deadline to turn himself in. As part of his release conditions, Trump, who is reportedly set to surrender for processing on Thursday, is banned from using social media to intimidate witnesses.

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