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Another weekend of protests turned deadly after a man was shot and killed Saturday night during a clash in Portland. Local authorities haven’t released a lot of details about the death, but there were reportedly outbreaks of violence between protesters and pro-Trump counterprotesters. In response to the weekend’s events, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she’ll authorize other agencies to help the Portland Police Bureau crack down on demonstrations. Meanwhile, President Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin this week, where unrest has continued after last weekend’s police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black father. The state’s Democratic Governor Tony Evers wrote Trump a letter urging him to reconsider, but as of now, the trip is still on.
More than 25 million people have been infected with coronavirus worldwide, and overall cases in the US are inching toward 6 million. As the world scrambles to produce a vaccine to stem the carnage, Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, is urging Americans to “do the right thing” until then by wearing masks and social distancing. Also, the road to a vaccine is getting murkier: FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn told the Financial Times the agency could consider emergency use authorization for a Covid-19 vaccine before Phase 3 trials are complete. This has worried some doctors, who fear a vaccine may be rushed for political reasons. Some US experts are even calling for an independent commission, separate from FDA, to review vaccines in light of increasing mistrust of government agencies. Oh, and when a vaccine does come, people will most likely need two doses, which could present its own set of problems. (edited)
3. Election 2020
This week could be a defining moment in the presidential race as President Trump and Joe Biden address the racial unrest plaguing the country. Biden will speak in Pittsburgh today on the dangers of “Trump’s America,” while Trump will head to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has informed members of Congress that the intelligence chief will no longer brief them in person on election security issues. The move has increased concerns that the administration is trying to undermine election integrity. However, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said it is possible the House could subpoena intelligence officials to testify on election interference as a way to counteract the new restriction.
Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on Sunday, weeks after the country’s disputed presidential election on August 9. The demonstrations came a day after 19 Belarusian journalists had their accreditation to work for the BBC and other foreign media outlets removed by the authorities. Two Associated Press reporters were deported from the country on the same day, a move the outlet called a “blatant attack on press freedom.” President Alexander Lukashenko, however, is is getting plenty of support from elsewhere: Russian President Vladimir Putin passed on “warm wishes” to the embattled leader, and promised the two would meet soon.