The Morning Dispatch: A Bad Deal With the Taliban

Happy Monday! We hope you enjoyed your quadrennial Leap Day. Official stand-up comedian of The Morning Dispatch John Mulaney (he doesn’t pay us to say that, we just think he’s great) became the first person to host Saturday Night Live on a Leap Year Saturday over the weekend, and his opening monologue was faaaaantastic.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Joe Biden won a decisive victory in South Carolina on Saturday, defeating second-place finisher Bernie Sanders by nearly 30 percentage points. The Palmetto State contest drove both Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer out of the race, with both ending their candidacies just days before Super Tuesday.

  • President Trump announced his intention to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe as director of national intelligence, replacing acting DNI Richard Grenell. Trump floated Ratcliffe for the position last year, but withdrew his intention to nominate him following bipartisan pushback.

  • The Trump administration instituted additional travel restrictions and advisories on Iran, Italy, and South Korea as it looks to contain the spread of COVID-19. American officials have confirmed 74 cases of the coronavirus (including firsts in New York, Chicago, and Rhode Island) and two deaths (both in Washington state) stemming from the pathogen.

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