Wednesday morning news – August 19, 2020

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.

(Democratic National Convention via AP) In this image from video, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden smiles after the roll call vote during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 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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