With seven qualifiers in Thursday night's Fox News primetime debate — and a noticeably absent Donald Trump — analysts are divided on who the real "winner" of the night was. Generally, most agree that Sen. Ted Cruz had an awkward night after he grew snappy with the moderators for tough questions while Jeb Bush showed some badly overdue liveliness. Here is a look at what some experts had to say:
"Cruz had a fantastic ethanol answer, but he didn't shine tonight like he did last time. Bush was better. Rand Paul did extremely well." — Charles C. W. Cooke, writer for National Review
"Rand Paul was my surprise best of the night. He was crisp, sharp and to the point." — Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush
"Jeb Bush is like a Shakespeare protagonist wandering through a Charlie Sheen sitcom." — Glenn Thrush, chief political correspondent of Politico
"I think Rubio probably won tonight’s debate. Unintended consequence of Trump skipping the debate?" — Matt Lewis, senior contributor to The Daily Caller
"While Trump was across town being carried live by every other network, and while he, not the other GOP candidates, dominated social media, the rest of the Republican field desperately and hopelessly failed to catch up to him." — Brad Woodhouse, president of the liberal research group Correct the Record [The New York Times]
In our coverage of the debate, Peter Weber wrote that, "Donald Trump probably won Thursday night's Republican debate in Des Moines, Iowa, by simply not showing up.That's partly a testament to Fox News, which brought in a new trick — confronting candidates with video of them contradicting their current positions — to the debate, putting Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) in a tough spot. Trump would almost certainly have been subject to the same treatment, and it probably wouldn't have been pretty."
Bernie Sanders is pushing for the ouster of two high-ranking Democrats who support his rival, Hillary Clinton, but his party isn't sympathetic to his cause.
Former Rep. Barney Frank and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy co-chair the Democratic National Convention rules and platform committees, respectively, placing them in key positions to frustrate Sanders' plan to reshape his party — perhaps by getting rid of the superdelegate system — even if he does not win the nomination.
Sanders alleged the two cannot perform their duties in an unbiased fashion, but the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee dismissed his complaint Saturday, the Connecticut Post reports. Frank, however, has promised to recuse himself from any committee matters that could affect the party's choice of presidential nominee. Bonnie Kristian
Around 700 migrants from Libya may be dead after the three small boats they were using to cross the Mediterranean capsized on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the United Nations' refugee agency reported Sunday.
The largest boat was carrying some 670 migrants and did not have an engine. So far, only about 100 of its passengers have been rescued, while 15 bodies have been found.
All three boats were attempting to cross from North Africa to the southern shores of Italy. Libya has remained in chaos since the NATO-assisted overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, a power vacuum which permitted the Islamic State terrorist organization to set up shop in the seaside city of Sirte. Bonnie Kristian
A federal judge ordered the release of internal Trump University documents as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's company, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Donald Trump's attorneys had argued that the documents, including "playbooks" for salespeople, revealed trade secrets.
Judge Gonzalo Curiel issued the ruling hours after Trump disparaged his Latino heritage and called him a biased "hater" at a San Diego rally. In the order, Curiel said Trump "has placed placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue."
With 7 in 10 Americans reporting they are "frustrated" with the 2016 presidential election, this year could be the Libertarian Party's big chance — and America's largest third party is holding its national convention in Orlando, Florida, this weekend.
On the agenda: picking a presidential nominee from among three contenders. Though the contest is considered close, greatest name recognition belongs to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian nominee in 2012, when he picked up more than 1 million votes. Johnson recently polled at 10 percent nationally against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and he would need 15 percent support to make it into the general election debates.
Martin Short and Maya Rudolph stopped by The Tonight Show on Friday, so naturally host Jimmy Fallon had to find something totally outlandish for them to do together. The gang spoofed '80s cop shows with The Windy City Blue, a gag that gets progressively sillier — and windier — with each new bit. Hold onto your hat and watch below. Julie Kliegman
The World Health Organization dismissed a call Saturday to move or cancel the Rio Summer Olympics due to the spread of the Zika virus. The U.N. agency was responding to a Friday open letter from 150 health experts urging them to delay or relocate the event "in the name of public health," citing the mosquito-borne virus' link to birth defects.
"Based on the current assessment of the Zika virus circulating in almost 60 countries globally and 39 in the Americas, there is no public health justification for postponing or cancelling the games," the group's statement read.
The Zika virus is thought to have originated in Brazil. Julie Kliegman
Yellen noted that "growth looks to be picking up from the various data that we monitor," referencing rising oil prices and a weaker, stabilizing dollar as the rationale for her decision, which corresponds with recent remarks from other Fed policymakers.
She argued that a gradual increase from the near-zero rate the central bank has maintained since the 2008 financial crisis "would be appropriate" to push inflation toward the Fed's 2 percent goal. Bonnie Kristian