Thursday morning news – August 27, 2020

Pence accepts renomination for VP » Vice President Mike Pence accepted his renomination on day three of the Republican National Convention last night. 

PENCE: I humbly accept your nomination to run and serve as Vice President of the United States. 

The vice president addressed a small socially distanced crowd at the historic battlements of Baltimore’s Ft. McHenry, making a forceful case for President Trump’s reelection. 

Pence defended and touted the president’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and his trade and foreign policy decisions. He also highlighted the military operations that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi while throwing an elbow in Joe Biden’s direction. 

PENCE: History records that Joe Biden even opposed the operation that took down Osama bin Laden. 

And in light of national unrest and police protests, Pence said the Trump White House rejects a false choice between supporting police and standing with minority communities. He said the White House does and will continue to do both and he declared once more that Trump is the president of law and order. 

But in the end Pence said this is the question voters must ask themselves on November 3rd… 

PENCE: Who do you trust to rebuild this economy? A career politician who presided over the slowest recovery since the Great Depression? Or a proven leader who created the greatest economy in the world? The choice is clear. To bring America all the way back, we need four more years of President Donald Trump. 

Also among the speakers Wednesday night were Senators Marsha Blackburn and Joni Ernst, as well as South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

Tonight, Rev. Franklin Graham, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and first daughter Ivanka Trump will speak before President Trump formally accepts his renomination.

Laura slams Gulf Coast as Category 4 hurricane » AUDIO: [Sound of storm]

Hurricane Laura slammed the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas early this morning as a Category 4 hurricane. It packed sustained winds of about 150 miles per hour. 

And Laura pushed ocean water miles inland. As the storm roared ashore, the National Hurricane Center’s Michael Brennan said storm surge in low lying areas appeared to be historic and catastrophic. 

BRENNAN: Somewhere in that area could see inundation of 15 to 20 feet above ground level. So that’s really just not survivable to be in that type of area. So hopefully everybody in those areas that are prone to storm surge are out of there by now. 

Laura made landfall in southwestern Louisiana near Lake Charles at 1 a.m. Central Time—ripping apart buildings and uprooting trees. 

Hundreds of thousands remain without power this morning as officials launch rescue operations in coastal areas, looking for anyone who might have ignored evacuation warnings. 

As Laura pushes north, forecasters say Louisiana residents could see hurricane force winds today as far inland as Shreveport—some 500 miles north of Gulf waters.

U.S. citizenship agency drops plan to furlough 70 percent of workers » U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has canceled a plan to furlough more than 13,000 employees—averting a catastrophe for the agency that oversees the nation’s immigration system. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Immigration officials said Tuesday that “unprecedented spending cuts” and a revenue increase allowed the agency to drop the furloughs—at least though next month when the fiscal year ends. 

But the agency’s deputy director for policy, Joseph Edlow, said averting the furloughs—quote—“comes at a severe operational cost.”  

He said wait times will increase “across the board, with no guarantee we can avoid future furloughs.” And he added that for operations to return to normal, Congress will have to step in.

The agency had warned that without $1.2 billion in emergency funding, it would have been forced to furlough roughly 70 percent of its workforce starting Sunday.

The agency’s budget comes mostly from application fees and a two-month shutdown during the pandemic cut its revenue in half. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Police arrest teenage suspect in fatal shooting in Kenosha, Wis. » Police arrested a white teenager Wednesday in the fatal shooting of two people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

Officers arrested 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide. 

A young man matching his description was caught on cellphone video Tuesday night opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.

Unrest in the city began on Sunday after police officers shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake multiple times. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency and deployed more National Guard troops to the city’s streets.

Blake’s lawyers say he is conscious but partially paralyzed as the bullets severed his spinal cord. 

And the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks made a statement Wednesday on the shooting—but not with words. 

AUDIO: The Milwaukee Bucks did not come out for warmups before tonight’s tipoff that was supposed to be just moments for now. 

Audio courtesy of NBA tv. The Bucks never took the floor, boycotting game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic in protest of the Blake shooting.

Shortly thereafter, several teams in other leagues, including the WNBA, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer also cancelled games in solidarity.

Flooding kills at least 100 people in Afghanistan » Heavy flooding has killed at least 100 people and injured many others in Afghanistan. WORLD’s Anna Johansen has more. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: Officials said Wednesday that heavy seasonal rains drenched northern and eastern Afghanistan.

Annual downpours, compounded by mudslides, often threaten remote areas of the country, where infrastructure is poor. Hundreds of people die every summer due to flooding.

The state minister for disaster management said in the northern province of Parwan, floodwaters inundated the city of Charikar and partially destroyed a hospital. 

Flooding destroyed more than 2,000 homes in Parwan and displaced more than a thousand people. 

Officials warn that the number of casualties may rise as rescue teams search the rubble of collapsed buildings. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen.

(NOAA via AP) This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, at 4:50 p.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, shows Hurricane Laura over the Gulf of Mexico.

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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