FIREWORKS AT LAST NIGHT'S DEMOCRATIC DEBATE "In their first head-to-head debate, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made it clear that any lingering pleasantries from a happier time earlier in the campaign are vanishing quickly." The two traded barbs over what it meant to be a progressive as well as Wall Street influence. Critics are divided on who "won," but Sanders ran away with it according to Google search results. You can read the transcript of the showdown here and watch the highlights. [Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein, HuffPost]
POPE FRANCIS TO MEET WITH RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH LEADER It's the first ever meeting between the two leaders of the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity. [Reuters]
CLASSIFIED INFORMATION FOUND IN PERSONAL EMAILS OF PAST SECRETARIES OF STATE "The State Department has discovered a dozen emails containing classified information that were sent to the personal email accounts of Colin L. Powell and close aides of Condoleezza Rice during their tenures as secretaries of state for President George W. Bush." [NYT]
UNDERSTANDING THE ISIS POSITION IN LIBYA As the U.S. weighs military intervention in the country. [Nick Robins-Early, HuffPost]
PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM TAX FRAUD No one wants to be cheated out of their refund. [WSJ | Paywall]
TRACKING ISLAMOPHOBIA IN THE U.S. "A comprehensive list of discriminatory acts against American Muslims might be impossible, but The Huffington Post will document this deplorable wave of hate for all of 2016 using news reports and firsthand accounts.The breadth and severity of Islamophobia in America can no longer go unnoticed. Enough is enough." [Christopher Mathias and Rowaida Abdelaziz, HuffPost]
JOHN GREEN: LIVING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS The celebrated author gets real about taking each day as it comes with mental illness. [Motto]
FORGET KEVIN BACON We're a lot closer than six degrees of separation, according to Facebook. [HuffPost]
'THE TIPPING POINT' Behind the push to "end tipping as we know it." [Buzzfeed]
BMX LEGEND DEAD AT 41 "Dave Mirra, a legendary BMX rider and one of the most successful athletes in extreme sports, died Thursday in Greenville, North Carolina." [HuffPost]
GEORGE CLOONEY SAYS HIS PROPOSAL TO AMAL WAS TERRIBLE George, let's be clear: we would have thought it was wonderful. [HuffPost]
DENMARK'S WAR ON CORPORATE GREED "Many of the country's corporate titans are controlled by nonprofit foundations and charities, which either own majority stakes or dominate shareholder voting through more powerful classes of shares." [HuffPost]
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BEFORE YOU GO
~ We can't stop listening to this Disney a cappella medley.
~ The voice of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck has died. Joe Alaskey was 63.
~ What happens to polling accuracy when people don't answer the phone?
~ "The Magic Tree House" books of your youth (or of your kids' childhood) have been optioned for a movie.
~ Think you've been to the Empire State Building? You missed out on this secret balcony view.
~ This chef lost 100 pounds eating pizza every day. Sign us up.
~ The Guardian examines why these parents would murder their adopted child.
~ And the "So That Happened" crew takes a hard look at last night's debate and what it means for the soul of the Democratic party.
Send tips/quips/quotes/stories/photos/events/scoops to Lauren Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter @LaurenWeberHP. And like what you're reading? Sign up here to get The Morning Email delivered to you.