SC, NV in Spotlight As Campaigns Take an Uglier Turn

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Lots of political news today.

The eyes of the nation turning to Nevada and South Carolina which will see the next voting.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have their first debate since the dramatic results of New Hampshire. PBS hosts a debate tonight at 9pm Eastern. The duo will be debating in Milwaukee. Sanders beat Clinton by some 22 points in New Hampshire after Clinton’s narrow win in Iowa. There are reports Clinton will shake up her campaign team, and change course after the drubbing by Sanders. Sanders has reported a fundraising flood since New Hampshire. Interestingly there’s big drama over the allocation of delegates in the race so far.. cue up 2007/2008.

Some good news for Hillary Clinton today as the Congressional Black Caucus will endorse her at 11am.

African American voters will be keys to the Clinton strategy in the South especially South Carolina.

The Democrats hold their next voting on February 20th in a Nevada caucus. Pollsters say it’s pretty near impossible to poll for that race.

1100EST -- Members of the CBC formally announce their endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the Dem nomination. DNC HQ, Washington, DC. LIVE via LiveU

2100EST -- Hillary Clinton & Sen Sanders participate in a PBS Debate sanctioned by the DNC. Univ of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI. PBS OFF-AIR

On the Republican side, the campaign is taking a much tougher turn in South Carolina. The gloves are coming off. Attacks are ramping up, and negative ads and flyers are showing up everywhere. Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina dropped out of the race yesterday after poor showings in NH.

South Carolina holds its GOP primary on February 20th. The Democrats there on the 27th.

1000EST -- OH Gov John Kasich holds a town hall meeting. Applewood House of Pancakes, Pawleys Island, SC. LIVE via LiveU

1300EST -- Sen Rubio holds a town hall meeting. Crown Reef Beach Resort, Myrtle Beach, SC. LIVE via LiveU

1315EST -- Fmr FL Gov Jeb Bush holds a meet & greet. Venus Restaurant, Florence, SC. LIVE via LiveU

It is likely to be an ugly start to the day on Wall Street with the Dow poised to open lower by more than 300 points. Global stocks are selling off again today. We get weekly jobs numbers. Fed chief Janet Yellen will be testifying before the Senate today about the global economy. Yesterday in front of a House committee she said she would consider lowering interest rates again if the economy deteriorates. She also warned the continued corrections in stocks could lead to an economic slowdown.

1000EST -- Senate Banking Cmte holds hearing on "The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress". Fed Reserve Chair Yellen presents the report. LIVE

Oil is below $27 a barrel falling for the sixth day in a row.

The FBI has surrounded a wildlife refuge in Oregon where four armed occupiers have been holed up for a month. They’ve said they will surrender, but the FBI appears to be moving in. Anti-government activists took over the compound in early January. One person was already killed in the standoff when several members of the group were stopped and arrested by police. Dan Springer.

The death toll in Taiwan from that earthquake last weekend has risen to 59 with 76 still missing.

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Munich trying to salvage talks on Syria as the conflict appears to be intensifying. More than a quarter million people have died and it started a refugee crisis that is overwhelming Europe’s borders. A new report says 11.5% of the nation’s population has been killed or wounded.

The North Korea crisis heating up. The dictatorship is calling the closure of a joint manufacturing zone by South Korea an act of war. The isolated country also executed a top military general. North Korea could test a nuclear device any time in the next few weeks.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter set to hold a news conference from Brussels at 12:50pm ET today on the coalition fighting ISIS and the expected endorsement by the 28 nation coalition fighting ISIS to step up the battle.

1250EST -- Carter gives news conference.

Several other hearings to keep an eye on today:

1000EST -- House Foreign Affairs Cmte holds hearing on "Iran Nuclear Deal Oversight: Implementation and its Consequences". US Lead Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation Stephen Mull and Treasury Dept Office of Foreign Assets Control Acting Dir John Smith testify. LIVE

1000EST -- Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcmte holds hearing on "Emerging Health Threats and the Zika Supplemental Request". CDC Dir Dr Thomas Frieden and Natl Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases dir Dr Anthony Fauci testify. LIVE

1000EST -- Senate Finance Cmte holds hearing on "'The President's FY2017 Budget". HHS Secy Burwell testifies. LIVE

1300EST -- House Oversight & Govt Reform Cmte holds hearing on "IRS: Reviewing its Legal Obligations, Document Preservation, and Data Security"

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