Friday morning news – August 21, 2020


Biden formally accepts Democratic nomination for president » After four nights of video speeches, musical performances and virtual celebrations, it was finally Joe Biden’s moment last night on the final day of the Democratic National Convention.

BIDEN: I’m a proud Democrat, and I’ll be proud to carry the banner of our party into the general election. So it’s with great honor and humility I accept this nomination for president of the United States of America. 

Biden accepting the nomination from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

The former vice president vowed to lead the country out of crisis and unite the nation.  

BIDEN: The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long; too much anger, too much fear, too much division. Here and now, I give you my word, if you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. 

The nomination is a mantle Biden has sought for three decades and through three White House bids. He first ran for president in 1988 and tried again in 2008.

There was no crowd inside the building last night to cheer on their candidate, but outside the Chase Center, it was a different story. 

AUDIO: [Sound from DNC]

A carefully planned reception awaited the Bidens and running mate Kamala Harris outside. 

As music played from loudspeakers, the parking lot was packed with socially distanced vehicles. Supporters cheered as they honked their horns and flashed their lights.

Many sat atop their vehicles waving flags and banners in a celebration capped off with a fireworks display. 

AUDIO: [Sound of fireworks] 

President Trump will be renominated during the virtual Republican National Convention next week.

Jobless claims climb back over 1 million » The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims climbed back over the 1 million mark last week after two weeks of declines. 

1.1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. That was an increase of 135,000 over the week before. 

Bannon, three others indicted in alleged border wall scheme » Former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he siphoned money from a fundraising campaign for a southern border wall. 

Prosecutors accused Bannon and three others of diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the We Build the Wall campaign to their own pockets. 

The other men named in the indictment are Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea. 

President Trump reacted Thursday calling the news surprising. 

TRUMP: I was not involved in the project. I have no idea who was, but I can tell you I didn’t know the people—three people that were talked about were people that I did not know. I don’t think I ever met them. I don’t think that should be a privately financed wall. It’s too complex. It’s too big. 

The men raised more than $25 million through the crowdfunded campaign by promising donors 100 percent of funds would go toward privately constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Former FBI lawyer pleads guilty to lying in Russia probe » Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith this week admitted to falsifying a document to make it easier for the FBI to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. 

He is the first government official to face charges in the Justice Department’s review of the Russia probe. 

Clinesmight admitted to doctoring an email when the FBI applied to the FISA court for four warrants in 2017. 

Clinesmith could face prison time following his guilty plea. His sentencing hearing is slated for December 10th. 

Russian opposition leader in coma after apparent poisoning » Russia opposition leader Alexei Navalny is fighting for his life after he was likely poisoned. That according to doctors treating Navalny, who is now in a coma. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: A spokeswoman for Navalny said he was flying from Siberia back to Moscow when he began to feel unwell and lost consciousness. 

She said poison may have been mixed into his tea earlier in the morning, but she did not say who she believed may have poisoned him. 

Navalny’s lawyer Vyacheslav Gimadi said the opposition leader has made powerful enemies—challenging the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin, among others. He also launched the Foundation for Fighting Corruption, which routinely investigates government officials. 

Gimadi asked Russia’s Investigative Committee to open a criminal probe.

Last year, Navalny was hospitalized in another case of suspected poisoning while he served a prison sentence.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Hong Kong government slams US decision to suspend treaties » The Hong Kong government on Thursday condemned the U.S. decision to suspend treaties with the territory. 

The Trump administration announced this week that it’s pulling the plug on extradition and tax treaties. That announcement came less than two months after Beijing seized greater control over what had been a semi-autonomous region. 

President Trump told reporters…

TRUMP: We really gave them tremendous incentive and subsidy in order that they be successful for freedom. But now that the freedom obviously seems to have been taken away, we will keep all of the incentives that we have given them, which is billions and billions of dollars. 

Canada, Australia, and Britain have also suspended similar agreements. 

But in a statement the Hong Kong government said it—quote—“strongly objects to and deplores the U.S.’ action” and said the United States is using Hong Kong as a pawn in its growing rift with Beijing.  

Appeals court gives reprieve to Uber, Lyft in California » An appeals court has allowed ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft to continue treating their drivers as independent contractors in California.

The last-minute stay pauses a lower-court ruling that was scheduled to take effect at midnight. It would have forced Uber and Lyft to treat all their drivers as employees. The companies said it would be impossible to make that shift overnight and it would have been too costly at a time when the pandemic is already pounding revenues. 

Lyft and Uber both said they would have had no choice but to halt service in the state if the order had taken effect.

California is a critical market for both companies. Before the pandemic, the state accounted for 9 percent of Uber’s worldwide rides 21 percent of Lyft’s rides.


(AP Photo/Evgeny Feldman, File) In this file photo taken on Thursday, March 30, 2017, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, right, shows a V-sign for the media in court in Moscow, Russia. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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