Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Four Takeaways From the Second GOP Debate
The second showdown between the top contenders in the Republican presidential race Wednesday night set a different tone than the first one — in part because of the presence of Carly Fiorina. But front-runner Donald Trump remained center stage in the three-hour debate at the Reagan Presidential Library, with most of his opponents taking shots at him and his legitimacy amid his climb in the polls. Read more in POLITICS.
2. Hawaii, California on Tsunami Alert After Chile Quake
A huge 8.3-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of north Chile triggered a tsunami alert early Thursday. The U.S. Coast Guard said people should prepare for "strong currents and surf throughout the main Hawaii Islands." Read more in NEWS.
3. Will the Federal Reserve Raise Interest Rates?
A sampling of economists by Reuters found that more than half believe the Fed will hold out a bit longer on its first interest rate rise in nearly a decade. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to hold a briefing at 2 p.m. ET Thursday following the board's meeting. Read more in BUSINESS.
4. GM to Pay $500M for Faulty Ignition Switches
The Justice Department has reached a settlement with General Motors over the issue of faulty ignition switches that led to over 100 deaths and hundreds of injuries, according to sources. The feds are expected to announce the settlement Thursday. Read more in BUSINESS.
5. Muslim Student Cuffed Over Clock Invited to White House
Texas high school student Ahmed Mohamed gained notoriety after he was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school and teachers believed it could be a bomb. But on Wednesday, the budding engineer got some high-profile recognition from the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg and President Barack Obama, who invited him to the White House's upcoming Astronomy Night. Read more in NEWS.
6. Third Body Found in Aftermath of California Wildfire
A third person has been found dead in the aftermath of a pair of destructive wildfires in California, officials said Wednesday. One of the blazes, the so-called Butte Fire, has burned more than 200 homes and covered more than 71,000 acres as one of the most destructive in state history. Read more in NEWS.
7. Matt Damon Apologizes for Comments About Diversity
The actor has become the poster child for Hollywood's lack of diversity after a tense exchange on HBO's "Project Greenlight" with the African-American filmmaker Effie Brown. On Wednesday, Damon apologized for his comments, saying in a statement that he was "sorry that they offended some people." Read more in POP CULTURE.
For generations, villagers in Barrow, Alaska, have lived off the land, but warming waters threaten to send their way of life into extinction.