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Supreme Court OKs strict asylum rule, Boris Johnson denies lying to the queen & an epic Bumblebee party: The Morning Rundown

The Democratic frontrunners will meet tonight for their first faceoff in the third debate.
Image: A U.S. Border Patrol agent speaks with families, mostly from Central America, who had crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico and presented themselves to agents
A U.S. Border Patrol agent speaks with families, mostly from Central America, who had crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico and presented themselves to agents on Tuesday in Los Ebanos, Texas.John Moore / Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

In a win for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court has allowed enforcement of the strictest asylum rule yet. The top 2020 Democrats will faceoff tonight in their third debate. And a Bumblebee birthday party charms a 4-year-old cancer patient — and a community.

Here's what we're watching today.

U.S. can bar migrants' asylum while legal fight continues, Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court late Wednesday gave the Trump administration permission to enforce its toughest restriction yet on asylum seekers at the southern border, even though a lawsuit to stop the new policy is still working its way through the lower courts.

The government can now refuse to consider a request for asylum from anyone who failed to apply for it in another country after leaving home but before coming here.

The order means, for instance, that migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador cannot seek asylum in the U.S. if they didn't first ask for it in Mexico. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, saying the court acted too quickly and should allow the case to work its way through the normal judicial process.

Meantime, the U.S. will not grant temporary protected status to people from the Bahamas displaced by Hurricane Dorian, an administration official told NBC News.

At least 16 states reject settlement deal with OxyContin maker

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid OxyContin has reached a tentative multi-billion-dollar settlement with at least 27 states and territories.

But at least 16 other states told NBC News they have not agreed to the deal with the pharmaceutical company and the Sackler family, which owns the firm.

"We believe they created a mess and must help to clear it up," North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who opposes the agreement, said in a statement.

"Different states have different views, as is to be expected. But every Attorney General agrees that Purdue, the Sacklers, and other drug companies need to pay to treat those struggling with addiction."

Democrats prep for debate that will see 2020 frontrunners share a stage for first time

The top 10 Democratic candidates for president will take the debate stage in Houston tonight for their third faceoff.

It will be the first time that frontrunners former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren share the stage.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang shot some hoops to loosen up ahead of the big night. Here's how Biden and the rest of the pack have been preparing.

In particular, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke have a lot on the line as they try to recapture the excitement of the early days of their respective campaigns.

Meanwhile, the billionaire activist Tom Steyer did not make the cut for tonight's showdown, but he did share his views on impeachment with NBC News' THINK column.

Tonight's debate will feature only the highest-polling Democratic presidential candidates. It will be the first time former Biden, Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders share the stage. Getty Images

Trump administration plans to ban sale of flavored e-cigarettes

The Trump administration said Wednesday it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored electronic cigarettes amid a vaping crisis.

"A lot of people think vaping is wonderful, is great ... It's really not," Trump told reporters following an Oval Office meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Ned Sharpless, the FDA's acting commissioner.

Doctors, major health groups and concerned parents reacted with shock and gratitude to the Trump administration's surprise announcement.

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THINK about it

"It is my job to find the light in the darkness. And then to show it to you guys on screen," Lee Daniels tells MSNBC's Ari Melber.

The producer and director of "Precious," "The Butler" and TV's "Empire," opens up about Hollywood, race and addiction in a candid discussion for "Mavericks with Ari Melber," a series of interviews with artists, musicians and cultural icons.

Science + Tech = MACH

Scientists say they’ve discovered one of the largest flying animals to have ever lived — a huge, fearsome reptile that ruled the skies more than 70 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.

Millions of years ago, this "frozen dragon" flying reptile as big as a fighter jet soared over Earth. David Maas / Queen Mary University of London

One fun thing

For his fourth birthday, Whitaker Weinburger wanted a yellow toy truck that looked like his favorite Transformers character, Bumblebee.

But what the birthday boy got when he walked out his front door Wednesday morning was so much more.

Dozens of real-life yellow cars and trucks were gathered in front of Whitaker’s house, with many more lining his one-mile path to preschool.

All of it, part of an epic birthday surprise organized by his parents to celebrate his first birthday since being diagnosed cancer-free.

“He's healthy and strong and happy, and we're just really excited that he can celebrate and be around all the people,” said his mom, Erin Weinburger.

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Thanks, Petra