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GOP campaigns planning to seize debate control from Republican National Committee: report

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Representatives from at least nine GOP presidential campaigns will meet on Sunday to discuss taking control of their remaining debates from the Republican National Committee, Politico reported.

The push for the meeting is being led by campaign advisors for both front-runners Ben Carson and Donald Trump, as well as for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who have been limited thus far to the “undercard” debates for candidates polling below 10th place.

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“I think the families need to get together here, because these debates as structured by the RNC are not helping the party,” said Carson’s campaign manager Barry Bennett, in an interview with the conservative Washington Examiner. “There’s not enough time to talk about your plans, there’s no presentation. It’s just a slugfest. All we do is change moderators. And the trendline is horrific. So I think there needs to be wholesale change here.”

Carson confirmed earlier in the day that he had asked staff members to contact other campaigns to explore changes to the debate format following heavy criticism against CNBC, which moderated Wednesday’s debate. Campaign advisors for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) are also expected to attend Sunday’s meeting.

Graham’s campaign manager, Christian Ferry, said the purpose behind the meeting was to see what format worked best for the candidates as a group.

“I think the campaigns have a number of concerns and they have a right to talk about that amongst themselves,” Ferry said.

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Pope Francis struck with unknown illness one day after expressing solidarity with coronavirus sufferers

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Just one day after expressing solidarity and support for coronavirus sufferers, Pope Francis has come down with a virus himself, forcing him to cancel a planned mass in Rome, the New York Post reports.

The unknown illness struck the Pope while the coronavirus spreads across Italy. According to CNN, Italian authorities have cordoned off areas where more than 50,000 people live in an attempt to prevent further outbreaks. Around 400 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy, and 12 have died.

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2020 Election

‘Rich people have profited enough’: New poll shows two-thirds of Americans support wealth tax to combat inequality

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Support for a wealth tax to combat persistent inequality in the U.S. is growing, according to a new poll released Wednesday by TheHill/HarrisX which found that just over two-thirds of Americans favor a tax on the wealthiest households.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents—including majorities of Democrats and Independents—said there should be a wealth tax on billionaires, as Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have proposed.

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Jay-Z files second civil lawsuit against Mississippi prison for ‘barbaric’ treatment of inmates

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Alleging "barbaric" conditions, rapper and record executive Jay-Z has filed a lawsuit against the Mississippi Department of Corrections on behalf of 152 inmates, The Guardian reports.

The lawsuit states that Parchman prison is responsible for "abhorrent conditions, abuse and constant violence, inadequate health care and mental health care, and overuse of isolation," adding that "the people confined at Parchman live a miserable and hopeless existence confronted daily by imminent risk of substantial harm in violation of their rights under the US Constitution."

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