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5 things to know for August 31: Protests, coronavirus, election 2020, Belarus, TikTok

Hurricane Laura has passed, but hundreds of thousands remain in the dark in Louisiana after the storm ravaged the power grid.

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Protests

Another weekend of protests turned deadly after a man was shot and killed Saturday night during a clash in Portland. Local authorities haven’t released a lot of details about the death, but there were reportedly outbreaks of violence between protesters and pro-Trump counterprotesters. In response to the weekend’s events, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she’ll authorize other agencies to help the Portland Police Bureau crack down on demonstrations. Meanwhile, President Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin this week, where unrest has continued after last weekend’s police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black father. The state’s Democratic Governor Tony Evers wrote Trump a letter urging him to reconsider, but as of now, the trip is still on.

2. Coronavirus 

More than 25 million people have been infected with coronavirus worldwide, and overall cases in the US are inching toward 6 million. As the world scrambles to produce a vaccine to stem the carnage, Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, is urging Americans to “do the right thing” until then by wearing masks and social distancing. Also, the road to a vaccine is getting murkier: FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn told the Financial Times the agency could consider emergency use authorization for a Covid-19 vaccine before Phase 3 trials are complete. This has worried some doctors, who fear a vaccine may be rushed for political reasons. Some US experts are even calling for an independent commission, separate from FDA, to review vaccines in light of increasing mistrust of government agencies. Oh, and when a vaccine does come, people will most likely need two doses, which could present its own set of problems. (edited)

3. Election 2020 

This week could be a defining moment in the presidential race as President Trump and Joe Biden address the racial unrest plaguing the country. Biden will speak in Pittsburgh today on the dangers of “Trump’s America,” while Trump will head to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has informed members of Congress that the intelligence chief will no longer brief them in person on election security issues. The move has increased concerns that the administration is trying to undermine election integrity. However, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said it is possible the House could subpoena intelligence officials to testify on election interference as a way to counteract the new restriction.

4. Belarus

Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on Sunday, weeks after the country’s disputed presidential election on August 9. The demonstrations came a day after 19 Belarusian journalists had their accreditation to work for the BBC and other foreign media outlets removed by the authorities. Two Associated Press reporters were deported from the country on the same day, a move the outlet called a “blatant attack on press freedom.” President Alexander Lukashenko, however, is is getting plenty of support from elsewhere: Russian President Vladimir Putin passed on “warm wishes” to the embattled leader, and promised the two would meet soon.

5. TikTok

China is throwing a wrench into the potential sale of TikTok to an American entity. The country just revised rules that govern the sale of certain kinds of technology to foreign buyers. The change means ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of the popular video-sharing app, would need to get government approval before handing TikTok over to a foreign buyer, say, from the United States. Remember, TikTok’s future in the US is in jeopardy after the Trump Administration demanded a ban on its business in the US, citing security concerns. (And yes, this back-and-forth is yet another expression of the ever-escalating tensions between the two powers.) Microsoft, Walmart and other big companies have already expressed an interest, but the clock is ticking to make a deal.


Here are the highlights from last night’s VMAs

Chadwick Boseman tributes and Lady Gaga’s statement-making masks won the night.

This is why Disney is making people pay $30 to watch “Mulan”

It’s kind of like a VIP package … accessed from your couch.

Japanese company successfully tests a manned flying car for the first time

Finally, we’re one step closer to the cool future we were promised.

Yellowstone warns visitors not to get mixed up in elk mating season

You do not want that smoke, friends.

An animal that roamed with the dinosaurs went into a hibernation-like state to survive

Quarantine goals.



That’s how many missing children authorities located during a two-week effort to rescue endangered minors. The operation resulted in the rescue of 26 children and safe location of 13 others. Some of the children were thought to be victims of child sex trafficking and abuse, or missing because of parental kidnapping or custodial interference.


“Let’s step up. No more being quiet, no more being afraid to talk the topics, no more ‘I’m a little bit uncomfortable, I might lose my job over this because I’ve taken a stand here or there.’ Screw it. We can’t do that anymore.”

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who called on his fellow white coaches to fight for social justice and open themselves up to Black perspectives.


Check your local forecast here>>>


The world’s most spectacular festivals 

Let’s not forget what it feels like to be together in celebration — eating laughing, making art and hey, maybe even enjoying some fireworks. (Click here to view.)



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