The morning after: The Democratic candidates for president faced off for the first time last night in Las Vegas. As my colleagues noted: “Hillary Clinton delivered a typically strong performance, much as expected; Bernie Sanders played to type, railing against corporations and inequality. Martin O’Malley kept to his strategy of hitting Clinton. And Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee remained, for the most part, marginal to what was going on.”
An Afghan rethink? President Obama is reconsidering withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan in the face of recent gains made by the Taliban, The New York Times is reporting, citing senior officials. The Taliban now has spread through more of the country than at any point since 2001, when the group was ousted from power after the U.S.-led invasion. Update: More here
A near miss: U.S. and Russian warplanes came within miles of each other in Syria, prompting talks on air safety involving officials from both countries. The incident occurred on Saturday and the two pilots had visual contact with each other. Russia’s expanded military role in Syria—airstrikes and missile launches—on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has become another source of tension between Moscow and Washington.
Lamar Odom in hospital: The former NBA and reality-TV star was found unresponsive in a Nevada brothel. Odom was part of the Los Angeles Lakers team that won the NBA Championship in 2009 and 2010. Update: More here