5 things to know for August 26: RNC, coronavirus, police violence, North Korea, polio

The 2020 census response deadline is a little over a month away, but a political coalition is asking a federal judge for more time to ensure an accurate count.

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1. Republican National Convention

Melania Trump addressed the RNC on its second night, striking an empathetic tone that some of President Trump’s other champions have struggled to summon. The first lady acknowledged the threat of the coronavirus and the sacrifices it has required. However, other appearances at the event weren’t so well-received. House Democrats have opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s prerecorded remarks from Jerusalem, which criticized China and called Covid-19 the “China virus.” Not only is it highly unusual for secretaries of state to tread into partisan politics, but critics say his convention presence violates the Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees from engaging in partisan politics while on duty. During last night’s events, President Trump also issued a pardon to convention speaker Jon Ponder and held a naturalization ceremony for five people.

2. Coronavirus 

Coronavirus cases in the US are on the decline, but experts say the new reality may be “rolling hot spots,” where parts of the country are affected by outbreaks while others trend down. Schools are turning into hot spots as well: The University of Alabama reported more than 500 Covid-19 cases less than a week after classes started. At Ohio State, more than 220 students were suspended for violating pandemic precautions before the school year even began. Here’s another worrying statistic: More than 70,000 new Covid-19 cases in children have been reported across the US since early August, marking a 21% increase in just two weeks. On the international front, India has reported more than 1.5 million new cases in August alone, and Jamaican Olympic great Usain Bolt is the latest big name to have contracted the virus.

3. Police violence

Protests roiled in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for a third night after Sunday’s police shooting of Jacob Blake. Two people died in a shooting overnight, and the sheriff’s office reportedly is trying to figure out whether it stemmed from an altercation between demonstrators and armed men who were protecting businesses. Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency hours before the unrest. A Blake family attorney says police have still not given a reason for why they shot Blake, a Black father. Blake is hospitalized and paralyzed from the waist down. Meanwhile, in Louisville, Kentucky, at least 68 people were arrested as protesters demanded answers in the March police shooting death of Breonna Taylor. A criminal investigation has been opened into her death, but activists fear time is running out for anything to come of it.

4. North Korea 

What’s the status of Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister? Officials in Seoul say the North Korean leader’s younger sibling is effectively running one of the most important political bodies in the country — the Organization and Guidance Department of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party. If that’s true, it would cement her as the country’s second-most powerful figure and a possible successor to her brother, whose health has been in question for quite some time. It would also lend credence to the idea that Kim is delegating more and more responsibilities to trusted advisers. However, a South Korean government minister said such claims are exaggerated.

5. Polio 

And now some good news: Polio is officially eradicated from Africa. The virus, which gravely affects children, was once common there and has no treatment or cure. Governments and nonprofits have been working since 1996 to try to purge the virus from the continent, and almost 9 billion vaccines have been delivered during that time. Scientists and health experts have waited years to make sure the virus is truly gone, though it will inevitably resurface at much smaller scales among some populations. US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called it “a historic day for global health,” and the World Health Organization called it a “great day” for the world.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Lionel Messi says he wants to leave Barcelona 

Where will one of the greatest soccer/football players in the world go next?

Starbucks is launching its pumpkin spice beverages earlier than ever 

A pumpkin spice latte while it’s 85 degrees outside? Don’t mind if we do. 

Harpoon Brewery and Dunkin’ are teaming up to make doughnut-infused beer 

You can taste the Boston from here.

Teen movie staple ‘Bring It On’ is 20 years old 

So much has changed, and yet, the sociopolitical dramas of high school have not.

Roomba’s parent company says the household robots just got a lot smarter with a ‘genius update’

Is …. is that a threat?

TODAY’S NUMBER

20,000

That’s how many Covid-19 cases researchers say may be connected to a single “superspreading event.” A biotech conference attended by 200 people in late February is now well known as a source of coronavirus spread very early in the pandemic. The spread began with about 90 cases among conference attendees and their direct contacts.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“You do not need a ballot to clean out your sink spout. A handful of potash and some boiling water is quicker and cheaper.”

A helpful hint from a pamphlet published the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage and one of the many ridiculous (and depressing) arguments from the early 1900s against women’s suffrage. Today is National Women’s Equality Day, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment, enshrining a woman’s right to vote.

TODAY’S WEATHER

A hurricane approaches the US Gulf Coast

Hurricane Laura is expected to continue strengthening until it makes landfall tonight or tomorrow morning near Texas and Louisiana. Laura has already killed nine people the Caribbean as a tropical storm.

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Hey, that’s not a hummingbird

This little robotic bird “spy” was able to capture a stunning spectacle of monarch butterflies. (Click here to view.)