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March 19, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) 2020 Democratic presidential campaign team announced 15 new hires today, including 10 women.

Among the slew of hirings is Briahna Joy Gray, a former attorney and the senior politics editor at The Intercept, who will join the staff as Sanders' national press secretary.

The campaign says that now every single one of its teams "has women, and predominantly women of color, in leadership positions," per Refinery29. Indeed, women make up around 70 percent of the national leadership team.

The campaign, HuffPost reported, was surely determined to address concerns leftover from the Vermont senator's 2016 presidential run, when the staff was criticized for including few women and people of color. That campaign staff was also plagued by allegations of sexual harassment, which several female staffers said were ignored.

Sanders also hired journalist Dave Sirota, who used to serve as Sanders' press secretary in the House of Representatives, as a speechwriter and senior adviser. Sirota, whom The Atlantic has called Sanders' "Twitter attack dog" because of his reputation for "savaging" Democratic opponents, had reportedly been working for the senator in an unofficial capacity for several months, despite Sanders' remarks that suggested he wanted his campaign to remain free of antagonism. Read more on Sirota's hiring at The Atlantic. Tim O'Donnell

6:06 p.m.

Rev. Franklin Graham is blasting 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg again in a string of anti-gay tweets.

The pro-Trump preacher said Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana should be "repentant" for being gay instead of being "praised or politicized," he wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. Buttigieg, who is openly gay and Christian, recently said Democrats and Republicans could agree that "God does not have a political party."

"God doesn't have a political party," Graham affirmed. "But God does have commandments, laws & standards," wrote Graham on Twitter. "Mayor Buttigieg says he's a gay Christian. As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized. The Bible says marriage is between a man & a woman—not two men, not two women."

Earlier this week, Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association condemned anti-LGBT hecklers at the 2020 candidate's Iowa rallies, but also berated the candidate with Leviticus scriptures, which calls same-sex relationships an "abomination," reports the New York Daily News.

Graham's campaign against the 2020 hopeful comes as his church tries to demote the "success of the gay agenda." Buttigieg's campaign has not responded to Graham's outburst. Tatyana Bellamy-Walker

5:44 p.m.

A little over a month after New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank for records tied to funding for several Trump Organization projects, the bank has started to hand over the documents, CNN reports.

The documents are reportedly related to loans made to President Trump and his company, including ones for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.; the Trump National Doral Miami; the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago; and the unsuccessful effort to buy the NFL's Buffalo Bills. James issued the subpoenas after Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen publicly testified against the president before Congress in February, saying Trump inflated his assets to secure loans from Deutsche Bank.

Despite reported apprehension by many high-ranking officials at the bank, Trump's businesses have reportedly borrowed $300 million from Deutsche Bank to finance the projects listed above.

A spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the situation, CNN reports. Tim O'Donnell

5:30 p.m.

Oh, the wonders of Silicon Valley.

Facebook said on Wednesday that it expects to face a fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly violating a 2011 privacy consent decree. The New York Times reports that the total would be a record penalty for a technology company by the agency. But at the end of the day, it doesn't seem like the social media company will lose much sleep over the amount.

Facebook disclosed the fine in its quarterly financial results, estimating that it would take a one-time charge of $3 billion to $5 billion from the FTC. But even when accounting for the hit, CNBC reports Facebook still exceeded revenue expectations — the company took in $15.08 billion for the quarter and met its target for daily active user growth.

As much criticism as CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the company have faced recently for playing fast and loose with user data, the ultimate insignificance is a sobering reminder of just how much of a giant Facebook really is. Tim O'Donnell

5:29 p.m.

Scientists have found a creature so strange that "perplexing" is literally part of its name.

The new species Callichimaera perplexa, literally translated to "perplexing beautiful chimaera," is a pretty good description of what this new find is. The aquatic creature is an ancient crab, thought to have lived about 95 million years ago, but its unusual bodily makeup reminded the researchers who discovered it of a chimaera, the Greek mythological creature known for being a mash-up of various different animals.

A team of scientists, led by palaeontologist Javier Luque, made their discovery in Colombia by finding new fossils that have revealed a whole new branch on the evolutionary tree. Callichimaera perplexa has been described as "the strangest crab that has ever lived," but the importance of these findings goes beyond the creature's bizarre looks, the Independent explained.

The fossils were so well-preserved that the scientists were able to see an incredible level of detail, including "paddle-like legs and large eyes." This hints that these ancient crabs lived their lives swimming instead of crawling, and likely developed the ability to hunt for prey at night. Overall, the discovery is making everyone reconsider "what makes a crab a crab," said Luque.

The research, published on Wednesday in Science Advances, offers a look at the fossil specimens that were found, as well as a 3-D model that scientists were able to reconstruct from what they gathered. Learn more at the Independent. Shivani Ishwar

5:25 p.m.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has one big fundraising feat to claim.

Her haul is far from the biggest among Democrats after the first fundraising cycle of the 2020 election — that honor goes to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with $20,724,537 raised, the Center for Responsive Politics notes. But there's one thing Gillibrand has going for her that no other candidate does: More than half of her donors are women.

It's important to note that only donations over $200 are totaled in the Center for Responsive Politics' demographic breakdown. Still, it puts her at a stark contrast to Sanders, who only saw one-third of his individual donations come from women. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) came the closest to matching Gillibrand's record, with 49.3 percent of her donations coming from women.

Most of the Democratic men running in 2020 had gender donation records nearly as disproportionate as Sanders'. But President Trump approached equality, with records showing that 45.4 percent of his donors have been women. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:50 p.m.

It all started with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

During his CNN Town Hall on Tuesday, the top tier 2020 contender made it very clear that he believes every convicted felon should be able to vote from prison — the Boston Marathon bomber included. No other Democrat has come out with support quite as strong as Sanders', though in subsequent town halls and statements, they've started to drift to his side.

After Sanders stole the show at his CNN town hall, it was Sen. Kamala Harris' (D-Calif.) turn. She took a lighter approach, saying she "think[s] we should have that conversation," but later clarified that she "think[s] that people who commit murder, people who are terrorists, should be deprived of their rights." Pete Buttigieg, the rising star mayor of South Bend, Indiana, delivered a resounding "no" on voting from prison, though said that "when you have served your sentence," getting to vote again is "part of being restored to society."

It took a few days, but former Texas congressmember Beto O'Rourke tentatively said he'd back voting rights for "nonviolent offenders" in a statement Wednesday. Still, he strongly hinted he didn't feel the same when it came to "violent criminals." Both Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) have publicly touted their commitment to restoring voting rights for convicted felons, but haven't touched on whether that applies to criminals still in prison.

Republicans have quickly and roundly torn Sanders' stance apart, but even left-leaning CNN commentators Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon seemed a little stunned by it. That could be why so far, no other Democrat has gone so far as to match Sanders' very strong feelings. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:42 p.m.

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment for ADHD that isn't a drug. Instead, it's a medical device, known as Monarch eTNS, that works by stimulating the nervous system with an electric current.

Nervous stimulation at different parts of the body has been proven effective in treating conditions like depression and epilepsy, CBS New York explained. The device administers a mild "electrical shock" — in ADHD cases, to the nerves in the forehead — which is thought to help calm the part of the brain that causes the hyperactivity typical of people with ADHD.

This treatment is groundbreaking because ADHD treatment is tricky. While several drugs have proven effective, they often come with side effects. On the other hand, going without treatment can often lead to further mental health complications, such as "depression, chemical dependency, trouble learning in school, and trouble with the law," said Jeffrey Borenstein, the CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

So non-drug treatments like this one are a major step in reducing the side effects and complications in people with ADHD. While it's still not entirely clear why electrical stimulation helps with hyperactivity, double-blind studies have found significant success, which is why the FDA approved the Monarch eTNS for treatment.

Further studies will need to be conducted to answer questions of how long the effects last, whether the Monarch eTNS can entirely replace ADHD drugs, and whether this will work with people of different ages. But for now, the device is available by prescription for about $1,000. Read more at CBS New York. Shivani Ishwar

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