5 things to know for September 13: 2020 Dems, Census case, boat fire, Bahamas, Russia

Hurricane season has peaked and there are three disturbances across the Atlantic. One of which is threatening the Bahamas and Florida, and will likely be the next named storm.

Posted: Sep 13, 2019 7:40 AM
Updated: Sep 13, 2019 7:40 AM

Let's all wish a happy birthday to Lawrence Brooks. He's believed to be the oldest living American to have served in World War II. And he just turned 110.

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. Campaign 2020

The main draw for the third Democratic presidential debate was supposed to be the first on-stage showdown between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. There were some fireworks there, but the main action seemed to come from the younger (and lower-polling) candidates, like Julián Castro, Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg and Cory Booker. They took on their higher-polling elders -- Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders -- with mixed results. Castro delivered the sharpest attack of the night, a jab about Biden's memory (and thus, his age) that made the audience gasp and some of the other candidates step in and chastise him.

The fight over health care took over a big chunk of the debate, with Biden saying the "Medicare for All" plans that many of the candidates support would just be too expensive. The emotional subject of guns came up, too, with O'Rourke forcefully answering, "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," to a question about taking people's guns away. When it was all over, though, the debate didn't seem to change the trajectory of this race all that much, reports CNN's Maeve Reston. Click here to find out who won and who lost, see the night's must-see moments, learn seven takeaways, get a fact check on all those claims and find out who talked the most.

2. Census question

Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote against the Trump administration's attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. But he only did it after changing his position behind the scenes, sources told CNN in this exclusive report. Roberts was all set to join the Supreme Court's four conservative justices and rule for the administration. But he changed his mind -- and his vote -- because he believed the administration's rationale for adding the citizenship question was contrived. Roberts' action in the case proves he's getting less predictable as he becomes the de facto swing vote on the divided court, says CNN legal analyst & Supreme Court biographer Joan Biskupic.

3. California boat fire

The charred wreckage of the Conception dive boat was lifted off the ocean floor yesterday. The boat sank on Labor Day off the California coast after a fire that killed 34 people. The boat was put on a barge and taken to an undisclosed location. A preliminary report on the tragedy from the National Transportation Safety Board said the Conception didn't have a crew member working as a roving overnight watch, like it was supposed to. Commercial boat operators have also been asked, via a Coast Guard safety bulletin, to limit unsupervised cell phone charging. An NTSB official has said investigators have been looking at the Conception's engineering and wiring and know "there was a lot of gear on board with the cameras and the crew, cameras, phones, extra batteries."

4. Weather

There's a new threat to the Bahamas brewing in the Atlantic. It's a storm system that's churning a little more than 230 miles away. Meteorologists think it'll turn into a tropical storm over the weekend and could threaten the northern islands of the Bahamas that were just hit hard by Hurricane Dorian. Tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued in the Bahamas and parts of Florida's east coast. The storm could bring wind and rain to the Bahamas today before hitting Florida tomorrow. The Atlantic hurricane season is at its statistical peak, a period when weather conditions favor storms forming quickly. Click here to track the storm system.

5. Russia

Russia's ruling party suffered big losses in Moscow's municipal elections. Now, members of the country's opposition say the ruling party is retaliating via nationwide raids. The regional offices of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as well as the homes of dozens of staff and supporters, were raided, Navalny's team said yesterday. There were reportedly more than 200 searches in 41 Russian cities, causing some to compare the raids to the mass arrests during the height of Soviet repression. Navalny had called for a "smart voting" strategy during the Moscow elections, and it seemed to work. United Russia, the ruling party that supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, lost almost a third of its seats.

THIS JUST IN ...

Trade war

China says it will exempt certain US agricultural products from tariffs and allow "relevant enterprises" to buy certain amounts of agricultural products, including soybeans and pork, from the US. That's something the Trump administration had been pushing for and is seen as a good sign in the trade negotiations.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Lord God, let us live, I beg You, I want to live! I've experienced so little of life. I don't want to die."

An entry from the diary of Renia Spiegel, a Jewish teenager from Poland who was killed by the Nazis in 1942. Her diary, hidden away in a New York bank vault for almost 70 years, will be published this month. It's already drawing comparisons to the diary of Anne Frank.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Talk about an incentive

Green pastures, olive groves and $27,000. That's what you'd get if you move to the Italian region of Molise. Where are our suitcases?

Fresh, funny faces

Three new members join the "Saturday Night Live" cast for its 45th season, including the only Asian-American series regular.

'Girlfriends,' reunite

Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White and Jill Marie Jones will share the small screen once again in an upcoming episode of ABC's "black-ish."

Welcome to the Class of 2032

He was bullied for his homemade University of Tennessee T-shirt. Now, he's got a scholarship and some serious Volunteer bragging rights.

TOTAL RECALL

Quiz time

An artist transformed what into a forest, as part of an art installation meant to draw attention to the climate crisis and deforestation?

A. A soccer stadium

B. A school

C. A city plaza

D. A library

Play "Total Recall," CNN's weekly news quiz, to see if your answer is correct.

HAPPENING LATER

College admissions scandal

Actress Felicity Huffman is due to be sentenced today in the college admissions cheating scam. She pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges and says she feels "utter shame" for her role in the scandal. Prosecutors want her to spend a month in prison and pay a hefty fine.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$400 million

That's how much Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is demanding in a defamation lawsuit against CBS. Fairfax said the network defamed him when it aired interviews of two women who accused him of sexual assault. CBS said it stands by its reporting.

AND FINALLY

Surf's up

Let's catch some waves with Sri Lanka's first all-female surf club. (Click to view.)

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