Wednesday morning news – August 26, 2020

First lady’s Rose Garden speech caps day two of GOP convention » First lady Melania Trump addressed a small crowd in the White House Rose Garden last night on day two of the Republican National Convention. Her message…

MELANIA: I’m here because we need my husband as commander in chief for four more years. 

The first lady painted a hopeful portrait of a second Trump term and described her husband as a dedicated, honest, and passionate leader. 

MELANIA: From the day that I met him, he has only wanted to make this country the best it can be. 

She touched on themes including racial unity and told those impacted by the ongoing pandemic, “you’re not alone.”  She vowed that President Trump “will not stop fighting until there is an effective treatment or vaccine available to everyone.”

Also on Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the convention by video from Jerusalem—touting the president’s trade and foreign policy. 

He credited Trump’s policies for, among other things, defeating the ISIS caliphate and upending China’s unfair trade practices. 

POMPEO: The president too moved the US Embassy to this very city of God, Jerusalem, the rightful capital of the Jewish homeland. And just two weeks ago, the president brokered a historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. 

Among the other featured speakers last night were two of President Trump’s adult children, Tiffany Trump and Eric Trump. 

Tonight’s speakers include Senators Joni Ernst and Marsha Blackburn as well as Vice President Mike Pence.

Hurricane Laura bears down on Gulf Coast » Officials have ordered more than half a million people to evacuate along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana as Hurricane Laura takes aim at the Gulf Coast. 

Hurricane Marco weakened to a tropical storm before hitting the region on Monday. But Laura shows no signs of slowing down. Right now, forecasters expect Laura to strike the coast as a Category 3 storm late tonight or very early tomorrow. 

And Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned residents…

ABBOTT: We need to be prepared for the possibility that it could increase to a Category 4 hurricane.

A Category 3 packs winds in excess of 110 miles per hour. A Category 4—130 miles per hour. 

Governor Abbott said southeast Texas, including Houston, is in the danger zone. Southwestern Louisiana is also within Laura’s cone of uncertainty. 

Storm surge is another major threat. The storm is expected to push ocean water onto land along nearly 500 miles of coast from Texas to Mississippi.

Firefighters getting upper hand against Calif. Wildfires » Firefighters in California are cautiously optimistic about their progress in beating back a spate of wildfires. Cal Fire operations chief Mark Brunton…

BRUNTON: The weather is really cooperating with us. We’re steadily getting a trickle of resources in. As soon as we’re getting those resources, we’re putting them to work, putting them into our plan to achieve our strategy and tactics for this incident. 

A warning about dry lightning and strong winds was lifted for the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday morning. That was a huge relief to firefighters in the area and in California’s wine country.

Officials say they’re also making progress against a fire in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties with the help of calmer weather. 

Liberty confirms Falwell’s exit » Liberty University has confirmed that Jerry Falwell Jr. has in fact stepped down. WORLD’s Leigh Jones has that story.  

LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: The school’s Board of Trustees said Tuesday it had accepted the resignation of Jerry Falwell Jr. as the school’s president, chancellor, and board member. 

In reports this week, Falwell and longtime acquaintance, Giancarlo Granda, each told their sides of a story involving an extra-marital affair Granda had with Falwell’s wife, Becki.

Falwell accused Granda of blackmail, while Granda said Falwell knew about and participated in the affair. Each man denied the other’s accusations. 

The university said Falwell sent the resignation letter through his attorney Monday night. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones. 

Family says Blake left paralyzed from police shooting » The family of a black man seriously injured in a police shooting held a press conference on Tuesday. 

Jacob Blake Sr. said the shooting left his son, Jacob Blake Jr., paralyzed from the waist down.

BLAKE: They shot my son seven times. Seven times.

Police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have said little about what happened, other than that they were responding to a domestic dispute on Sunday. 

There was reportedly a skirmish between 29-year-old Jacob Blake Jr and police. Blake then walked around his car, ignoring police commands, opened the driver’s side door, and appeared to reach inside. That’s when an officer fired seven times, striking Blake in the back. 

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating.

Meantime, Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, said violent protests and looting only divide the country further. 

JACKSON: It doesn’t reflect my son or my family. 

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called for calm, while also saying he would double the National Guard presence in Kenosha from 125 to 250. That after crowds destroyed dozens of buildings and set more than 30 fires on Monday night.

Kremlin brushes off calls for Navalny poisoning investigation » World leaders are calling for an investigation into the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. But the Kremlins says it sees no need. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Navalny is currently in a coma in a Berlin hospital. And doctors there say evidence suggests he was likely poisoned. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a full Russian investigation. And officials from the United States, France, and Norway echoed that sentiment on Tuesday. 

But the Russian government says there are no grounds for a criminal investigation. Russian doctors and pro-Kremlin media reported there was no indication Navalny was poisoned. 

Navalny is an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin. His lawyer and doctor said the 44-year-old was also poisoned in July of 2019 by an “unknown chemical agent.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) First lady Melania Trump speaks to the 2020 Republican National Convention from the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Washington. 

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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