AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT - InfoNews

Vernon News and Business Directory

Current Conditions

14.0°C

AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

August 27, 2020 - 8:04 PM

Trump, on huge White House stage, decrying Biden, radicals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a moment fraught with national crises, President Donald Trump accepted his party's renomination on a massive White House South Lawn stage Thursday night, breaking with tradition by using the executive mansion as a political backdrop and defying pandemic guidelines to address a tightly packed, largely maskless crowd.

As troubles churned outside the gates, Trump painted an optimistic vision of America’s future, including an eventual triumph over the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 175,000 people, left millions unemployed and rewritten the rules of society. But that brighter horizon can only be secured, Trump asserted, if he defeats Joe Biden, against whom he unleashed blistering attacks meant to erase the Democrat’s lead in the polls.

“We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years," Trump said. “At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies or two agendas."

Presenting himself as the last barrier protecting an American way of life under siege from radical forces, Trump declared the Democratic agenda as "the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee.”

As his speech brought the scaled-back Republican National Convention to a close, Trump risked inflaming a divided nation reeling from a series of calamities, including the pandemic, a major hurricane that slammed into the Gulf Coast and nights of racial unrest and violence after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by a white Wisconsin police officer.

___

The Latest: Trump opens RNC speech by referencing hurricane

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is opening his speech accepting the Republican nomination by mentioning Hurricane Laura, which recently lashed the Gulf Coast, killing at least half a dozen people.

Trump said Thursday during his speech to close out the Republican National Convention that his thoughts are with the “wonderful people who have just come through the wrath of Hurricane Laura.”

Laura came ashore early Thursday as a Category 4 hurricane and caused widespread damage around Lake Charles, an industrial and casino city of 80,000 people.

The storm left entire neighbourhoods in ruins and almost 900,000 homes and businesses without power. Laura is the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. this year. But there was relief that it was not the annihilating menace forecasters had feared. A full damage assessment is likely to take days.

Trump said Thursday he would visit the area this weekend.

___

Republican convention takeaways: What virus? Fear motivates

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump demanded a show for the final night of the Republican National Convention, a spectacle never before seen, an American president using the White House as the official backdrop for such overtly political activity. The federal guidelines about keeping distance, avoiding crowds and wearing masks to fight the spread of the coronavirus were emphatically ignored.

Here are some key takeaways from the last night of the convention:

THE TRUMP SHOW MUST GO ON

Parents and children have been laid to rest without their loved ones in attendance, schools have gone to online-only learning and weddings have been indefinitely postponed to halt the spread of the coronavirus. For fear of infection, many haven’t seen their families in months.

But about 1,500 people gathered Thursday night on the South Lawn of the White House so Trump could accept his party’s nomination for re-election in front of a roaring crowd.

___

AP FACT CHECK: BLM takes a distorted hit at GOP convention

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican National Convention's final night heard Black Lives Matter falsely accused of co-co-ordinating violent protests, and President Donald Trump's record distorted on multiple fronts.

A look at some of the rhetoric before Trump addressed the convention proceedings Thursday:

RUDY GIULIANI, Trump's personal attorney and former New York mayor: “Black Lives Matter and antifa sprang into action and, in a flash, they hijacked the peaceful protest into vicious, brutal riots.”

THE FACTS: That’s a hollow claim.

There’s no evidence that Black Lives Matter or antifa, or any political group for that matter, is infiltrating racial injustice protests with violence.

___

A 2nd day of NBA playoff games halted over racial injustice

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — An unprecedented NBA walkout over racial injustice postponed a second day of the playoffs Thursday, although players pledged to finish the post-season even as they wrestled with their emotions about wanting to bring change in their communities.

For now, the basketball courts in the NBA's virus-free bubble at Disney World remained empty. And other athletes across the sports world also said they weren't ready to resume playing.

They are still angry and emotional after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. NBA players considered not playing again the rest of the post-season and going home to their communities, although they decided Thursday they wanted to continue, according to a person with knowledge of the details. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.

“We obviously agree that whether we play or not, we still have to do our best to make change and we still have to do our part in the community,” Orlando guard Michael Carter-Williams said in a video interview with a Magic public relations official.

“It’s obviously not easy, given everything that’s going on. But I think that if we can go out there and do our best and also have a list of things that we want to accomplish, everything gets completed.”

___

Laura thrashes Louisiana, nearby states face tornado threats

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S., Laura barrelled across Louisiana on Thursday, shearing off roofs and killing at least six people while carving a destructive path hundreds of miles inland.

A full assessment of the damage wrought by the Category 4 system was likely to take days, and the threat of additional damage loomed as new tornado warnings were issued after dark in Arkansas and Mississippi even as the storm weakened into a depression.

But despite a trail of demolished buildings, entire neighbourhoods left in ruins and almost 900,000 homes and businesses without power, a sense of relief prevailed that Laura was not the annihilating menace forecasters had feared.

“It is clear that we did not sustain and suffer the absolute, catastrophic damage that we thought was likely," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “But we have sustained a tremendous amount of damage."

He called Laura the most powerful hurricane to strike Louisiana, meaning it surpassed even Katrina, which was a Category 3 storm when it hit in 2005. The storm toppled trees and damaged structures as far north as central Arkansas.

___

Ill. teen charged in Kenosha shooting that killed 2, hurt 1

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors on Thursday charged a 17-year-old from Illinois in the fatal shooting of two protesters and the wounding of a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Kyle Rittenhouse faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of first-degree reckless homicide, one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment. He would face a mandatory life sentence if convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, the most serious crime in Wisconsin.

The shootings late Tuesday — largely caught on cellphone video and posted online — and the shooting by police Sunday of Blake, a 29-year-old Black father of six who was left paralyzed from the waist down, made Kenosha the latest focal point in the fight against racial injustice that has gripped the country since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

The two men killed were Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, and Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, about 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of the city.

A third man was injured. Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, of West Allis, about 30 miles (48 kilometres) northwest of Kenosha is recovering after surgery, said Bethany Crevensten, another activist. She said Grosskreutz was volunteering as a medic when he was shot and called him “a hero.”

___

As virus rages, US economy struggles to sustain a recovery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home sales are booming. Stocks are setting record highs. Industrial production is clambering out of the ditch it fell into early this year.

And yet the U.S. economy is nowhere close to regaining the health it achieved, with low unemployment, free-spending consumers and booming travel, before the coronavirus paralyzed the country in March. Not while the viral outbreak still rages and Congress remains deadlocked over providing more relief to tens of millions of people thrown out of work and to state and local governments whose revenue has withered.

Every week, roughly 1 million new Americans are applying for unemployment benefits — a depth of job insecurity not seen in any single week during the depths of the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

Economists say that as many businesses have reopened and consumers have begun shopping and spending more, the picture is beginning to brighten, if only fitfully. Most say the economy is growing again. Yet scars are sure to remain from the catastrophic April-June quarter, when, according to the government, the economy collapsed at a 31.7% annual rate — by far the worst quarterly contraction since such record-keeping began in 1947.

Some industries, notably those involving travel and hotels and restaurants, could struggle for years. And while the number of confirmed viral infections has been declining, the threat of a major resurgence remains, especially as students increasingly return to schools and colleges. The consumers whose spending drives the bulk of the economy and the economists who analyze it are decidedly downbeat about the prospects for a return to prosperity.

___

AP PHOTOS: Aerial images show stark destruction from Laura

From the air, the destruction of Hurricane Laura is especially stark. Photographs from The Associated Press show entire neighbourhoods surrounded by green-brown floodwater. A glassy high-rise stands with most of its windows missing. An airport hangar is shredded into ribbons of metal.

After days of gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico, Laura grew into one of the most powerful storms ever to strike the U.S., a Category 4 monster with 150 mph winds that surpassed even Katrina, which hit Louisiana almost exactly 15 years ago.

Laura pounded the Gulf Coast with wind and rain, unleashed a fearsome wall of seawater and killed at least four people. The system sheared off roofs and left whole neighbourhoods in ruins. Most of the homes that remained intact still had missing shingles, shattered windows and yards strewn with debris.

The hurricane maintained strength for hours after making landfall and carved a destructive path hundreds of miles inland.

___

Neighbours with hoses target fires as crews urge them to stop

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — With California firefighters strapped for resources, residents have organized to put out flames themselves in a large swath of land burning south of San Francisco, defending their homes despite orders to evacuate and pleas by officials to get out of danger.

They are going in despite California’s firefighting agency repeatedly warning people that it’s not safe and actually illegal to go into evacuated areas, and they can hinder official efforts to stop the flames. The former head of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the effort near a cluster of wildfires around the city of Santa Cruz is larger and more organized than he recalls in previous blazes.

“People are frustrated with the lack of resources available. People are always going to try to sneak back in, but it sounds like this is growing to a new level,” said Ken Pimlott, who retired as director of the Cal Fire in 2018. “I haven’t seen people re-engage to this scale, particularly with the level of organization.”

The group of wildfires near Santa Cruz has burned 125 square miles (324 square kilometres) and destroyed more than 500 buildings. While those fires are 20% contained, firefighters have been pushed to the breaking point since lightning ignited more than 500 blazes in one night last week, most of them in the central and northern parts of the state.

In Boulder Creek, a community at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains near a state park filled with towering redwoods, some people call the group of residents fighting the flames the “Boulder Creek Boys.” They say the group, which includes former volunteer firefighters, have been protecting homes and extinguishing blazes behind fire lines for over a week, at times using nothing but dirt and garden hoses.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile