Tuesday morning news – August 18, 2020

Democrats kick off virtual national convention » Democrats kicked off their national convention last night with a first of its kind made-for-tv production. Amid the pandemic, there was no cheering crowd and none of the usual pageantry.  

Actress Eva Longoria Bastón hosted the evening’s events from what resembled a network evening news set. 

BASTON: Tonight we stand together united by the values we cherish. 

Joe Biden led a virtual panel discussion on social justice. And several prominent Democrats followed, speaking remotely by video—each taking aim at President Trump. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo accused the Trump administration of mismanaging the COVID-19 crisis. 

CUOMO: The failed federal government that watched New York get ambushed get ambushed by their negligence and watched New York suffer… 

Senator Bernie Sanders appealed to his base of passionate supporters, and said the president is—quote—“leading us down the path of authoritarianism.”

SANDERS: Many of the ideas we fought for that just a few years ago were considered radical are now mainstream. If Donald Trump is reelected, all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy. 

And former first lady Michelle Obama urged Democratic voters to turn out in force in November. 

M.OBAMA: A presidential election can reveal who we are too, and four years ago, too many people chose to believe that their votes didn’t matter. 

Other featured speakers last night included Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and family members of George Floyd.

Among the featured speakers planned for tonight, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and former President Bill Clinton.

Pelosi recalls House to vote on legislation to halt USPS changes » House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling lawmakers back from summer recess to vote on legislation that would stop cutbacks at the U.S. Postal Service.

Many Democrats believe newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has intentionally slowed service to prevent efficient mail-in balloting. DeJoy said he’s making changes to stop the post office from hemorrhaging money and make it sustainable. 

President Trump on Monday insisted that he wants to speed up the mail, not slow it down and that DeJoy is doing the job he was hired to do. 

TRUMP: We’ll take care of the post office. We want to make sure that the post office runs properly. And it hasn’t run properly for many years, probably 50 years it has run very badly. 

Changes include stopping overtime pay, removing some mail collection boxes, and reorganizing the executive team. Pelosi wants to pass a bill to halt those changes past Election Day. 

House leaders have called Postal Service officials to appear at an Oversight Committee hearing next week. 

Iowa storm killed 3, damaged more than 8,000 homes » Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says an unusual storm that slammed the state last week damaged or destroyed more than 8,000 homes and 13 million acres of corn.  

At least three people died during a weather event known as a derecho. It packed winds of more than 100 miles per hour. Tens of thousands were still without power on Monday. 

Reynolds said she has filed an expedited presidential disaster declaration seeking nearly $4 billion for rebuilding efforts from the federal government. 

Federal government moves closer to opening ANWR to drilling » The Trump administration on Monday took another step to opening Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—or ANWR—to drilling for oil and gas. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed the Record of Decision to determine where oil and gas leasing will take place in ANWR’s coastal plain.

Republicans have attempted to open the area to drilling for decades. President Bill Clinton vetoed a GOP bill to allow drilling in 1995, and Democrats blocked a similar plan 10 years later.

But Congress approved leasing in the refuge in a 2017 tax bill. And in 2018, the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management concluded drilling could be conducted within the coastal plain area without harming wildlife.

Alaska’s Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy called the decision “a definitive step in the right direction to developing this area’s energy potential.” 

But environmentalists vowed to fight the decision. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Report: intel indicates Iran offered bounties for attacks on U.S. troops » U.S. intelligence officials reportedly believe Iran paid bounties to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan for targeting U.S. and coalition troops. That according to a report by CNN on Monday. 

The intel community reportedly linked six attacks to Iranian bounties, including a December attack on Bagram Air Base when attackers killed two people and wounded 70 others. 

Less than a month later, the United States launched the mission that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

NBA playoffs tip off in Orlando » The NBA playoffs tipped off last night from the league’s so-called coronavirus bubble in Orlando. ESPN had the call…

AUDIO: Driving, Mitchell, finishing!

Utah’s Donovan Mitchell with the bucket there in route to a 57-point performance. But it wasn’t enough. The Denver Nuggets beat the Jazz 135 to 125. 

There were no fans in attendance. Like Major League Baseball, the NBA is piping in fake crowd noise for its games. 

Also on Monday, the Toronto Raptors downed the Brooklyn Nets 134 to 110. The Boston Celtics edged out the Philadelphia 76’s 109 to 101 and the LA Clippers clipped the Dallas Mavericks 118 to 110.

(Democratic National Convention via AP) In this image from video, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden leads a conversation on racial justice with Art Acevedo, Jamira Burley, Gwen Carr, Derrick Johnson and Lori Lightfoot during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. 

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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