Terror in Kabul. At least 20 people were killed and an additional 29 injured by a suicide bomber who attacked the headquarters of the National Civil Order Police in Afghanistan’s capital. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. (BBC)
The Amtrak Derailment. The NTSB ruled out some potential causes of Amtrak train 188’s wreck that killed eight and injured hundreds last year, in the second of three reports it will issue on the incident. The engineer said his memory of the incident is “very vague,” according to the documents. (Ashley Halsey, Michael Laris, and Lori Aratani; The Washington Post)
Tomorrow in One Paragraph: Some of the presidential candidates will take a breather after Iowa, while others proceed full steam ahead into New Hampshire. Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie all have events scheduled in the Granite State, along with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Ted Cruz will make his way to South Carolina.
Follow stories throughout the day with our new Politics & Policy page. And keep on top of the campaign with our 2016 Distilled election dashboard.
“If Trump does win Iowa, the fear—of the other candidates, of the Republican establishment that sees him as a potential destroyer of the party—is that he will then become impossible to stop. Trump’s campaign may appear to be a wing-and-a-prayer affair, but it is actually quite calculated, with a strategy and an infrastructure whose depth might surprise the casual observer who thinks of him as a mere bloviator.” The Atlantic’s Molly Ball on how Donald Trump has come so close to victory in Iowa.
‘A Security Election.’ As the threat of terror puts defense at the forefront of the 2016 race, Democratic leaders are scrambling to strengthen the party’s message on national security. (Lauren French, Politico)
Hillary’s Shifting Defenses. The Democratic frontrunner continues to assure her supporters not to worry about the email controversy that has haunted her campaign, but her defenses are evolving as the allegations become more serious. (Shannen W. Coffin, National Review)
Kids on the Candidates. The Washington Post captured the reactions of 6-, 7-, and 8-year-old children when presented with videos of presidential hopefuls. Take a guess on who this quote is referencing: “He looks like a tomato.”
ICYMI. Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. The New York Times highlights some previously unpublished images from its archive in this gallery, which will be updated daily.
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