Good morning. It's Friday, Aug. 21, and we're covering the final night of the Democratic National Convention, a settlement in the Flint water crisis, and charges against Steve Bannon. Have feedback? Let us know at email@example.com.
More than a year and a half of campaigning officially wrapped up last night as former Vice President Joe Biden formally accepted the Democratic presidential nomination. It comes during Biden's third run to be the party's candidate—he dropped out early in the 1988 race, and lost the 2008 primary to Barack Obama, eventually becoming Obama's running mate. Watch Biden's acceptance speech here.
President Trump—who will be featured on all four days of the Republican convention next week—capped a week of swing state tours with a speech near Biden's birthplace of Scranton, Pennsylvania. A finalized schedule for the GOP convention has not been announced, but you can find details as they are updated here.
Day, Nov. 3, is 74 days away. You can use this portal to register to vote in your state (and check registration deadlines and mail-in voting procedures). Find polls and poll averages here, including a look at averages in battleground states. The first of three presidential debates will be held Sept. 29 in Cleveland.
Back in Washington, DC, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify before the Senate today over a now-paused organizational overhaul that some feared would impact delivery of mail-in ballots. The House is expected to vote on $25B in additional funding for USPS tomorrow.
The state of Michigan will pay nearly $600M to the city of Flint for a yearslong public health crisis in which the city's water supply was contaminated with lead, according to details released yesterday. Residents and businesses will be eligible for awards from a victim compensation fund, 80% of which will go toward affected minors, with a dedicated special education fund for children experiencing long-term mental and physical health effects.
The crisis began in 2014
when state officials switched the city's water source from Lake Huron (treated in Detroit) to the Flint River (treated in Flint) in a cost-cutting measure. Officials, however, failed to add anticorrosion chemicals to the new treatment, causing lead and other contaminants to leach from aging pipes into the water supply. A known toxin, young people are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning, which can cause irreversible damage to brain development. A study found a 58% increase in fetal deaths following the water switch.
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon was arrested yesterday on federal fraud and money laundering charges. Prosecutors allege Bannon and three others diverted funds from donations made to the nonprofit advocacy group "We Build the Wall" for personal use. The group—focused on financing privately built sections of a wall along the US-Mexico border—is said to have created sham invoices and accounts to launder a portion of almost $25M in nonprofit funds (see release). In Bannon's case, prosecutors allege at least $1M was funneled to a separate nonprofit in an attempt to conceal that it was ultimately being put toward personal use. Brian Kolfage, the organization's founder and president, reportedly paid for personal home renovations, among other items. The group's GoFundMe page was deleted Wednesday.
The maximum sentence for each charge is 20 years. Read the indictment here.
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IN THE KNOW
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
>Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich to face off this Sunday, Aug. 23 (3pm ET, CBS Sports) in the UEFA Champions League Final, Europe’s biggest club soccer match (More) | Read the 1440 guide to European soccer (More)
>Chi Chi DeVayne, "Rupaul's Drag Race" star, dies at 34 following hospitalization from pneumonia(More)
>Minnesota Timberwolves win NBA Draft lottery with the Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Hornets getting the second and third picks; see full results of lottery for Oct. 16 draft (More) | Kansas City Chiefs ban fans from wearing Native American headdresses and face paint (More)
Science & Technology
>Pediatric study finds children infected with COVID-19 carry a viral load comparable to adults with severe infections; suggests children might play a bigger role in transmission than previously thought (More)
>Unique sponge-like bone structure of dinosaur bones was capable of supporting significantly larger weights than that of mammals
and birds; feature was key to the large size of many dinosaur species (More)
>Hyperdetailed X-ray imaging provides insight on the lives of mummified Egyptian animals (More) | See video of 3D reconstruction here (Watch)
>Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) becomes the second US senator to test positive for COVID-19 (More) | US reports 5.58 million total cases; see the rolling average here (More) | ... and the average for daily deaths, now at 174,283 (More)
>Federal judge upholds decision requiring President Trump's tax returns be provided to New York prosecutors; decision likely to be appealed, returns wouldn't be provided before the election (More)
>California officials say firefighting
resources are taxed to the limit fighting lightning-sparked wildfires that have burned more than 500 square miles surrounding the Bay Area (More)
Apple's Fortnite Ban, Explained
Recode | Sara Morrison. A look at both sides of the debate around Apple's (and Google's) staggering dominance in the app distribution market. (Read)
It's OK to Not Be OK
Washington Post | Allyson Chiu. Experts say it's time to abandon toxic positivity—the overriding urge to "look on the bright side," even when things are a disaster. (Read, $$)
Notes From a Flat Earth Conference
Blog | Will Patrick. How a 2018 flat earth conference shook a photojournalist—and prepared him for a world awash in coronavirus conspiracy theories. (Read)
An Oral History of 'Steamed Hams'
MEL | Brian VanHooker. Take a trip down memory lane with a behind-the-scenes look at a short from "The Simpsons" that gained a cult following unto itself. (Read)
Historybook:Nat Turner leads slave rebellion (1831); Mona Lisa stolen from Louvre, is recovered two years later (1911); Basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain born (1936); Hawaii becomes 50th US state (1959); HBD Usain Bolt (1986).
"Everything is habit-forming, so make sure what you do is what you want to be doing."
- Wilt Chamberlain
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