The World and Everything in It — August 19, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

The Democratic National Convention kicked off this week. We’ll have the latest on that.

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.

Also World Tour.

Plus the Americans with Disabilities Act is 30 years old. Today we meet a young lady who benefits from the A-D-A every single day.

And WORLD founder Joel Belz on journalism for children.

REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, August 19th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.

KENT COVINGTON, HOST: Democrats officially nominate Joe Biden for president » Joe Biden is now officially the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. Delegates cast their votes remotely last night and then celebrated with a musical tribute and a virtual round of applause. 

BIDEN: Well thank you very, very much. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all. It means the world to me and my family, and I’ll see you on Thursday. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Biden will deliver his acceptance speech tomorrow night, virtually, of course.

But once again, much of the focus throughout day two of the convention was not on Joe Biden, but rather on his opponent. Democrats looking to make the election a clear referendum on President Trump, once again took aim at the sitting president. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer… 

SCHUMER: America, Donald Trump has quit on you. 

And former President Bill Clinton portrayed Trump as incompetent and out of touch. 

CLINTON: If you want a president who defines the job as spending hours a day watching tv and zapping people on social media, he’s your man. 

But would-be first lady Jill Biden ended the evening on a more hopeful note, describing her husband as an honest, caring and optimistic leader.  

J.BIDEN: He and Kamala will work as hard as you do every day to make this nation better. 

Tonight’s speakers include Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former President Barack Obama, and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

Postmaster general suspends cost cutting measures at USPS » Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Tuesday that he will “suspend” cost cutting measures at the post office until after the November election. 

Critics warned that the moves were causing widespread delays and could disrupt voting in the election. And 20 states announced they would sue to stop the changes. 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the cutbacks “failed to follow the required process laid out by law.” 

SHAPIRO: Any plan that has a nationwide impact on mail service and standards must be submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission for evaluation, review, and opinion. 

DeJoy said he’s reversing course for now to—quote—“avoid even the appearance of impact on election mail.”

He is slated to appear Friday before the Senate to testify on mail delivery delays and service changes.

S&P closes at record high » AUDIO: [SOUND OF CLOSING BELL]

A record day on Wall Street Tuesday, erasing the last of the historic losses unleashed by the pandemic as the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high. WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports. 

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The S&P edged up by 8 points on Tuesday, eclipsing its previous record closing high of 3,386. That was set back in February before the pandemic.

The index, which is the benchmark for many stock funds at the heart of 401(k) plans, is now up nearly 5 percent for the year.

The sprint back to an all-time high also means the nearly 34 percent plunge for the S&P 500 from February 19 through March 23 was the quickest bear market on record. It lasted barely more than a month.

Aid from the federal government helped launch the rally, which built higher on signs of budding growth in the economy. More recently, corporate profits that weren’t as bad as expected have helped boost stock prices.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg. 

Senate panel finds Russia interfered in 2016 » The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released its fifth and final report on Russia’s effort to influence the 2016 election. The bipartisan investigation lasted three years. 

The almost 1,000-page report describes Russia’s wide-ranging interference in the last presidential election. And it notes that Trump campaign associates sometimes exploited the interference to the candidate’s benefit. The committee zeroed in on information sharing between former campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian intelligence officer. 

But the Acting Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Marco Rubio, said the report should have made it more clear … that while Russia did meddle in the election, “then-candidate [Donald] Trump was not complicit.” 

RUBIO: We found absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia to meddle in our elections. 

Rubio added that Russia is still meddling in U.S. elections and that China and Iran are also interfering.

Trump signs posthumous pardon for Susan B. Anthony » President Trump on Tuesday signed a posthumous pardon for Susan B. Anthony. The women’s suffrage leader was arrested for voting in 1872 in violation of laws permitting only men to vote.

TRUMP: She got a pardon for a lot of other women and she didn’t put her name on the list so she was never pardoned, we’re—for voting, that’s right. She was guilty for voting. And we’re going to be signing a full and complete pardon. 

Trump held a White House event on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which ensured women the right to vote. 

He also signed a proclamation declaring August 2020 as National Suffrage Month.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Democrats make changes to their party platform.

Plus, Joel Belz on WORLD history and our newest production.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Wednesday the 19th of August, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: a virtual campaign stop.

As you’ve just heard, Democrats are meeting this week for their annual convention. It’s mostly virtual for the first time in history. A few of the speakers are on site in Milwaukee, but most are joining by video.

None of the delegates are on-site either. But that hasn’t stopped them from taking care of party business. Top of that list is making Joe Biden’s nomination official. But they also have a few more mundane tasks, like approving changes to the party platform.

REICHARD: Much of that platform remains the same as it was four years ago. But there are some notable, albeit subtle, changes.

Well it’s Washington Wednesday, and joining us now to talk about what’s happening in Milwaukee is Jamie Dean. She’s WORLD’s national editor and chief political correspondent. Good morning, Jamie!

JAMIE DEAN, REPORTER: Good morning, Mary.

REICHARD: Jamie, this is the first nominating convention you’ve missed in quite a while, isn’t it?

DEAN: It is. I’ve been to every Democratic and Republican national convention since 2008. So it feels a little strange to watch all of this unfolding from afar.

REICHARD: Political conventions have changed a lot over the years—do you think this year’s virtual experiment will bring more permanent changes in the years to come?

DEAN: I think it’s unlikely that either party is going to decide to conduct its business completely remotely once the pandemic has passed. I think we’ll still see in-person conventions.

The question might be: On what scale? These events are massive undertakings, and they’re very expensive: In 2016, the estimated cost for the Democratic National Convention was about $127 million—and that’s for a roughly four-day event.

So I think it will be worth watching to see whether the parties decide they can have robust conventions that create energy among at least some of their supporters, without quite as much expense. But they might be so excited to get back together in four years, that they go right back to these lavish get-togethers. So, we’ll just have to wait and see.

REICHARD: Speaking of changes, the Democratic Party has released a draft of the party’s platform, and it sounds like it had some notable changes tucked inside.

DEAN: There are some notable changes. The platform process itself was quite different this year because of the pandemic: The platform committee approved new language last month, and then the delegates voted on the platform remotely. So it’s likely the draft language will be the final language by the end of this week.

REICHARD: What were some of the most notable changes?

DEAN: Well, it’s an 80-page document that covers all sorts of things, but I was particularly interested in the section on civil rights.

In 2016, the platform language said, quote, “Democrats will always fight discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.” End quote.

The platform language this year is nearly identical, but with one very notable omission: religion. Democrats have dropped religion as one of the categories considered worthy of protection, when it comes to civil rights and discrimination.

That’s a significant change. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically mentions religion as one of the categories that must be considered when protecting Americans from discrimination.

So it’s quite notable to see Democrats quietly remove that from their platform.

REICHARD: Does the platform mention anything else about religion?

DEAN: Well, it talks about faith in a couple of places, and there are some interesting changes on that front too. And I think those changes relate to the altered language on civil rights.

There’s a section of the platform about faith and service. In 2016, that section had broad, generally positive language about how faith enriches communities. It said, quote, “We believe in lifting up and valuing the good work of people of faith and religious organizations and finding ways to support that work where possible.” End quote.

This year, that section has a very different feel. For example, it recognizes the contributions of faith communities, but it also talks about, quote, “the paramount importance of maintaining the separation between church and state enshrined in our Constitution.” End quote.

And then it goes on to specifically target certain religious protections. It says, quote, “We will reject the Trump Administration’s use of broad religious exemptions to allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies, and others to discriminate.” End quote.

It doesn’t get into specifics, but one could assume that language is talking about things like conscience protections when it comes to medical workers and abortion or Christian adoption agencies and gay adoption.

So this section becomes more about what Democrats are against when it comes to certain facets of religious practice than what they are for. And it does seem like a pretty clear shot across the bow for religious Americans who find those kinds of protections important.

REICHARD: What effect do you think this could have on Joe Biden’s campaign for the presidency?

DEAN: That might depend on how much attention these changes get. The Biden campaign has hired staffers to reach out to religious voters, including a staffer who’s reaching out to evangelicals. So it will be interesting to see how they respond to questions about what should happen when religious Americans have sincerely-held beliefs that conflict with evolving government mandates. What is the place for religious freedom in those situations?

RECIHARD: So it’s worth pointing out that the Democratic platform isn’t a Biden campaign document.

DEAN: That’s right, Biden doesn’t have to adopt any of the positions outlined in the party’s platform. But many of the positions do track with what Biden has advocated so far, and nominees do tend to generally agree with their parties’ formal statements.

RECIHARD: What about Republicans? Should we expect any changes to their platform this year?

DEAN: No, we shouldn’t. Because of the pandemic, and all the changes to how delegates are voting this year, Republicans have decided simply to adopt their 2016 platform again. So no changes there.

REICHARD: How much do you think the conventions will matter to the decision-making process of the average American voter?

DEAN: The conventions probably won’t play a major role in swaying large chunks of voters one way or the other. Voters will probably start paying more attention in general to the elections now that we’re less than three months away.

I think the next big event that could make a significant difference will be the presidential debates. The first debate is scheduled for September 29th. And given the lack of traditional campaigning during the pandemic this year, I expect the debates will draw a substantial number of Americans interested in seeing the two candidates go head-to-head in these more unscripted moments. So we have a lot of road left ahead.

REICHARD:  Jamie Dean is WORLD’s national editor. Thanks so much, Jamie. 

DEAN: You’re welcome.

MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: WORLD Tour, with Africa correspondent Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Mozambique ISIS attack—We start today here in Africa.


Islamic fighters occupied a key port in Mozambique last week. The town on the eastern coast of Africa fell to extremist fighters after repeated attacks.

A local armed-conflict analyst says it’s the largest group of insurgents she’s ever seen in the area. But she doesn’t think the group can hold the port town for long.

AUDIO: But that is not their goal. Their goal has been achieved: it’s been a massive victory for ISCAP—Islamic State Central African Province – propaganda, and the insurgents have shown what they are capable of.

The port is a major traffic hub and houses a massive natural gas facility. Natural gas is one of Africa’s biggest investment projects.

Mauritius oil tanker splits in two—Next, we head further east, just off the African coast.


The oil tanker stranded near Mauritius split in two on Saturday. The fractured ship ran aground at the end of July. Pounding waves began to crack it apart, sending oil spilling into the Indian Ocean. Crews worked around the clock to pump oil out of the ship and keep it from polluting the turquoise waters, but more than 1,000 tons of oil still escaped.

Now that the ship has split, a salvage team plans to pull the front half out to sea, to avoid further damaging the Mauritian coastline. The back half of the ship is still stuck on the reef.

Belarus election protests—Next, we go to Europe.


Hundreds of factory workers in Belarus confronted president Alexander Lukashenko on Monday as he tried to give a speech. The country held elections on August 9th, and Lukashenko claims to have won 80 percent of the vote.

But protesters accuse him of rigging the election. More than 100,000 people marched through the capital on Sunday, demanding he step down.

Lukashenko has held power for 26 years. And so far, he’s resisted calls for fresh elections. During a recent speech, he told protesters, “Until you kill me, there will be no elections.”

Haitian missionary killed—Next, we go to the Caribbean.

A Presbyterian missionary to Haiti was shot and killed in his car earlier this month. Unidentified attackers on a motorcycle shot pastor and church planter Jean Paul after he stopped at a bank in Haiti’s capital. He died on the way to the hospital.

The attackers’ motive remains unclear. Muggers in Haiti often target people leaving banks. But Paul also faced opposition from local voodoo priests.

Paul began his work in Haiti in 2002. He founded an orphanage, a medical clinic, a Bible college, and a network of churches.

Thailand protests target monarchy—And finally, we end today in Asia.


A pro-democracy protest in Thailand drew more than 10,000 people on Sunday. It was the largest political demonstration the nation has seen in years.

Student-led groups have held near-daily protests over the past month, denouncing the monarchy and its military-based administration. Many are using Western pop culture references to build their campaign. At Sunday’s rally, student leaders stood on the stage and held up a salute popularized by the Hunger Games book series. They also called the king, “He Who Must Not Be Named,” a reference to the villain in Harry Potter. And they read a 10-point manifesto challenging the king’s power and wealth.

That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.

NICK EICHER: Not sure what to call this chocolate manna?

MARY REICHARD: Mmm, I’m listening.

EICHER: Yeah, a car owner in Switzerland recently noticed his car dusted with a layer of brownish powder. Another person noticed the stuff falling from the sky, the color of chocolate. 

Of course, this is not a biblical provision. It was a ventilation malfunction at a nearby factory. A chocolate factory.

AUDIO: You found Wonka’s last golden ticket!

Well, not exactly. Not Willy Wonka’s factory. The Lindt chocolate factory. L-I-N-D-T—a Swiss corporation.

Anyway, the malfunction sent bits of crushed cocoa beans into the air. The wind picked it up and sprinkled it all over the town, up in the north of Switzerland.

REICHARD: Let it snow, let it snow!

EICHER: It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: Today is Wednesday, August 19th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we thank you for that! Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Living with disabilities. 

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. It guarantees they have the opportunity to participate in the mainstream of American life, whether in the classroom or a national park.

EICHER: Senior correspondent Kim Henderson takes us to meet a young woman who benefits from that piece of legislation nearly every day. Here’s her story.

KIM HENDERSON, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: President George H. W. Bush was the center of attention in the Rose Garden on July 26, 1990.

BUSH: I now lift my pen to sign this Americans with Disabilities Act and say, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down. God bless you all.” [Applause]

Almost three years later, Lauren Compere was born. You could say Lauren and the ADA have sort of grown up together. She’s a quadriplegic, and she needs help with everything.

COMPERE: If you want your hair tucked behind your ear, if you want a sip of coffee, if you want a page turned in a book, if you want your shirt readjusted… 

Each day, two shifts of personal assistants care for Lauren. Even so, she’s managed to graduate from college, intern at Joni and Friends, and help found a non-profit that provides housing for people with disabilities. She water skis and has a new engagement ring on her finger. 

LAUREN: When you find yourself in a relationship or engaged or married, it really shines a light on all the difficulties of disabilities, on abandonment issues. I’ve had probably over 40 caregivers in and out of my life since I was about 5 years old. I’m used to them coming in and me trying to get to know them but me knowing their time here is limited. While there’s joy, you all of a sudden realize the need that you have for Christ, and that you can’t do it on your own.

Lauren is 27 years old. She’s vibrant and fun, right down to her strappy sandals and powder blue pedicure.  And she’s grown up in a household that’s loving and happy, but it’s also real and raw. Mom Lisa puts brownie bites into Lauren’s mouth while her dad, Richard, adjusts a special water straw. They say Lauren’s condition is unusual because it’s not the result of an injury. 

LISA: I guess at 3 months is really when we started kind of questioning things and really pursuing some sort of diagnosis. When she got routine shots, she didn’t cry. She didn’t flinch, she didn’t blink. In utero, she didn’t move very much. So I think it is something that happened early on.

The Comperes made an appointment with a pediatric neurologist, where they learned Lauren was catastrophically disabled. What the doctor said next really got the young couple’s attention.

RICHARD: He said, “But she’s going to be okay because she has good parents.”  And so it was almost like a challenge. She will be okay if she has good parents.


Lauren’s parents made sure she grew up in a house with wide halls, swinging doors, and a roll-in shower. She points to the shower as an example of how dependent she is. 


Every morning, one of her personal assistants puts her in a Hoyer lift and places her under the stream of water. 

LAUREN: They get soaking wet themselves as well half the time. And they get me out and we continue the two-and-a-half to three-hour process, depending on how much I have to get ready for the day. 

That’s a lengthy “getting ready” process. But everything takes longer when disabilities are involved. Lauren says that was a problem on church youth group outings. 

LAUREN: I can remember multiple occasions where we were left. We looked up and were like “where did everyone go?” Everyone else’s speed is so much faster, and nobody thinks about that. 

Lauren’s dad, Richard, is an attorney. But back in 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, he didn’t pay much attention to it. 

RICHARD: Inaccessibility has a whole new meaning to me now. A 3- or 4-inch little curb for someone in a wheelchair is the same as a 10-foot steel wall. 

Now he’s an ADA advocate. While Lauren was in elementary school, Richard pressed for her to have personal care on site. 

RICHARD: Because of the ADA, I was able to get the lawyer for the Department of Education to call the school to say, “Yes, you will provide that service to Lauren.”

Then when Lauren was in high school, he made sure she had an equal shot at the beauty pageant. 

RICHARD: So I went to the school and said, “Lauren wants to participate. Will that be a problem?”

Officials told him they’d be glad to accommodate. But later Richard learned the program would include contestants climbing various stairways built just for the pageant. Her father said no, and the school had to redo everything. 

RICHARD: There were 53 ladies. Guess what? They chose nine beauties. And Lauren was one of the nine. [Richard cries, Lauren says, “Awww”] I mean, you don’t want to be a jerk. But if you’re going to accommodate, you’ve got to accommodate. If Lauren had been relegated to spinning around in the shadows—no way, no way.

Lauren says her high school pageant is an example of the kind of obstacle the ADA can’t fix.  

LAUREN: The ADA impacts brick and mortar. It allows people with disabilities to get jobs. It allows them to have access into buildings, and it allows them to go to school. 

And while all that is important, she acknowledges elevators and curb cuts aren’t really the heart of the matter. 

LAUREN: As long as the people inside have an attitude of “I want to connect with you. I want to see past the 500 pounds of black metal, and I want to get to know the person that’s inside that chair,” then I’ll go into any building. Pick me up and carry me. I don’t care. It’s not about the brick and mortar physical access. It’s about the attitude that’s inside.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson in Madison, Mississippi.

NICK EICHER: Today is Wednesday, August 19th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Here’s our founder Joel Belz with a little WORLD history.

JOEL BELZ, FOUNDER: WORLD readers and listeners are typically sur­prised when I tell them that the idea for our magazine was born out of a ministry to children. It’s a story worth re-telling.

It was the mid-1980s. They were mostly buoyant years for theologically and politically conservative Christians. The Christian school movement was growing, and homeschooling was beginning to take off. Conservatives were claiming leadership roles in Southern Baptist circles, and the fledgling Presbyterian Church in America was gaining ground.

In that climate a group of us launched a new publication for children designed to help them look at current events from a God-centered perspective. 

We started with It’s God’s World for middle-school children in 1981. We added Exploring God’s World and Sharing God’s World in 1983. Then came God’s Big World for kindergartners and God’s World Today for junior highers. Combined, the five magazines gained a weekly paid circulation of over a quarter of a million children—­most of it in bulk subscriptions from Christian schools.

We were busy people. We had as a model the popular Weekly Reader, which for a generation had wormed its way into the reading habits of some 6 million children. But Weekly Reader’s journalistic and editorial slant was blatantly humanistic. Christian kids needed something better—but it was a challenging assign­ment. 

Most challenging, however, was the oft-repeated question from our young subscrib­ers’ parents: “When are you going to start an edition for us adults?”

That wasn’t our initial plan. Our hands were already full. But if the assignment was daunting, it was also compelling. So I was glad when our board agreed to spend $20,000 to hire the Gallup organization to see whether a Christian news maga­zine had a chance. 

“Go for it!” the Gallup people said.

And we did. We soon discovered unexpected ways God’s providence would use our experience with the children’s publications to equip us for producing WORLD. Personnel, printing connections, mailing lists, marketing—all these and many more were easier because of our prior experience. In a real sense, WORLD was the child of the children’s magazines.

It brought new meaning to what my father once said: “Speak the truth thoughtfully to a 12-year-old, and you’ll be surprised how many adults are listening in.”

We’re still seeking to do that, all these years later—and the children’s division isn’t through creating off­spring! As you’ve heard here on this podcast, WORLD Watch is our brand-new, daily 10-minute news video, designed for teens. WORLD Watch works well in school classrooms, but it’s also a good fit in homeschool settings.

WORLD Watch’s creators had all kinds of in-house help from our children’s division, God’s World News, providing resources, experience, and expertise. And they’re diligent to maintain our 40-year commitment to anchor all their journalistic savvy in God’s Word, refuting the humanism that so much shapes today’s culture. 

WORLD Watch kicked off its daily schedule on August 10. You’ll want to take a look at

I’m Joel Belz.

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Tensions between China and the United States are escalating. We’ll find out how the tit-for-tat could have long-term implications.

And, we’ll tell you about efforts to test different kinds of COVID masks to find out how effective they really are.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. 

I hope you’ll have a great rest of the day. We’ll talk to you tomorrow!

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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