US ambassador recalled after dispute with Zambian government over gay rights and corruption

Washington (CNN)In an extraordinary move, the State Department is pulling the US ambassador to Zambia after the president there objected to his harsh criticism of the government’s record on corruption and gay rights. “The current government of Zambia wants foreign diplomats to be compliant, with open pocketbooks and closed mouths,” Foote wrote, noting that the US provides “$500 million in annual American, debt-free support to the Zambian people.” A State Department spokesperson said in a statement the department was “dismayed by the Zambian government’s statement that Ambassador Foote’s position ‘is no longer tenable,’ which we consider to be the equivalent of a declaration that the Ambassador is Persona Non Grata… The United States firmly opposes abuses against LGBTI persons.” Zambian …

Inside Cory Booker’s underdog campaign to win Iowa

Sioux City, Iowa (CNN)Sen. Cory Booker was fielding the usual voter questions in northwestern Iowa on Friday, capping off a day of schlepping across 200 miles of fertile caucus land, when a man asked him “The Question.” Those candidates — along with former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and businessman Tom Steyer — shared a stage that week in Los Angeles, the site of the sixth Democratic primary debate. For the first time, however, Booker wasn’t among them. Instead, having failed to meet the polling threshold to qualify, he touched down in Iowa on Thursday for the first of five days of campaign stops, four of which would be spent crisscrossing the state by bus. If Booker couldn’t …

Why Democrats are debating over a wine cave

Los Angeles (CNN)The term “wine cave” was thrown around repeatedly Thursday night at the Democratic presidential debate during an exchange over how Pete Buttigieg is funding his campaign. “So the mayor just recently had a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said on Thursday. She later said, “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States.” After a long back-and-forth between Warren and Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said, “I did not come here to listen to this argument. I came here to make a case for progress. And I have never even been to a wine cave.” Entrepreneur Andrew …

Twitter is bringing back Election Labels to identify 2020 US election candidates

With just less than a year until U.S. Election Day, Twitter is bringing back its Election Labels, which provide information about political candidates — including which office they’re running for and their state and district number. The labels will also have a small ballot box icon to accompany this information. The feature was first launched during the 2018 U.S. midterms, where the labels were seen 100 million times per day by Twitter users in the week before Election Day. In addition, 13% of U.S. election-related conversations on Twitter included a tweet with an Election Label, the company says. Now the labels are making a return ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections. The labels will appear on accounts of candidates who …