Biden shoots down Pelosis idea of dodging debates with Trump

US President Donald Trump speaks on the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Centre on 24 August 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Kamala Harris gave a pre-rebuttal ahead of Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention speech on Thursday, saying people were rightfully angry and exhausted after the shooting of Jacob. Trump, meanwhile, declined to comment on the shooting when asked by reporters, but is expected to address the police shooting in his prime time speech.

Trump will formally accept the Republican nomination for president on Thursday night after the women of the White House made their pitch this week in an effort to appeal to the ”suburban housewives” demographic that the campaign is reportedly struggling with in the polls.

Elsewhere, Joe Biden dismissed Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion not to debate the president, saying he was looking forward to confronting Trump on the stage in September and October.

Second Trump DHS official turns on president in new attack ad

A second former member of Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security has turned on the president, branding him “racist” and endorsing Joe Biden.

Elizabeth Neumann, who served in the department until April of this year, indicated the rise of white supremacy and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic as her reasons for turning on the president.

In a new attack ad, published by Republic Voters Against Trump on Wednesday, Ms Neumann describes her former role as assistant secretary for counterterrorism, saying she examined emerging threats from domestic terrorists.

“Over the period of 2017 to 2018 we started to see that rise of the white supremacist agenda,” she said, describing the groups as a “growing threat”.

Hurricane Laura causes ‘extremely dangerous’ chlorine leak at Louisiana chemical plant

The Independent’s Louise Boyle reports:

Residents are being warned to shelter in place and close doors and windows due to a toxic and “extremely dangerous” chemical leak in Louisiana after Hurricane Laura slammed into the Gulf Coast on Thursday.

State police were responding to a chlorine leak at a company that makes chemicals along Interstate 10 just west of Lake Charles, which was hard-hit when the category-4 storm made landfall.

The leak is at the BioLab chemical manufacturing facility in Westlake. Residents in the area are being told to close their doors and windows, turn off their air conditioning and stay inside.

The chemical spill has reportedly flowed over the I-10, the cross-country highway connecting the southern states from Florida to California

Mike Pence’s appearance at Wisconsin college cancelled amidst Jacob Blake protests

Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance at a college in Wisconsin has been cancelled in light of ongoing unrest in the nearby city Kenosha following the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Wisconsin Lutheran College announced in a statement on Thursday that “further review with careful consideration of the escalating events in Kenosha,” has led the private college to “present a different speaker”.

The vice president was scheduled to deliver the commencement speech at the ceremony on Saturday.

Kenosha, which is about 40 miles away from the private college, has faced three nights of violence and damage that followed peaceful protests over the shooting of Mr Blake.

Sneak peek at Trump’s ‘law and order’ message tonight

We have a rare preview of Donald Trump’s message on law and order in his speech tonight, in which he says:

“The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end.”

Oh wait, that’s from 2016. This is awkward…

“Beginning on January 20th, 2017, safety will be restored. The most basic duty of government is to protect the lives of its citizens,” he says.

Lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse launch “Fight Back Foundation” fundraising effort

Lawyers who say they are representing Kyle Rittenhouse released a statement on Twitter saying they would not go quietly into the night as they demand justice for Mr Rittenhouse.

L. Lin Wood said the “Fight Back Foundation” legal team, led by law firm Pierce Bainbridge, had connected with Mr Rittenhouse’s family.

Mr Wood said lawyers would release a statement on Friday, when Mr Rittenhouse is due in court.

 BREAKING: Trump to announce $750m deal for 150 million rapid-result coronavirus tests in RNC speech

The White House has announced a new $750 million purchase of 150 million rapid-result Covid-19 tests “to be distributed across the country” as states continue to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the White House said it planned to scale final production of the low-cost rapid tests “to an unprecedented 50 million tests” each month.

“Today, the Trump administration is pleased to announce the purchase and production of 150 million rapid tests to be distributed across the country,” the statement read. “This is a major development that will help save more lives by further protecting America’s most vulnerable and allow our country to remain open, get Americans back to work, and get kids back to school.

The Trump administration partnered with Abbott Laboratories in the production of the 150 million raid tests, which infectious disease experts have described as a crucial step in getting control of local outbreaks and assisting in contact tracing procedures.

Trump: NBA has become like ‘a political organization’

President Donald Trump said Thursday that the NBA has become like “a political organization,” criticizing the league the day after player protests led to the postponement of playoff games.

The Milwaukee Bucks kicked off the boycott Wednesday by refusing to leave their locker room for the game against the Orlando Magic. The players are demanding that lawmakers act to address police brutality and racial injustice. The NBA announced Thursday’s scheduled playoffs were postponed, but the league hoped to resume play Friday or Saturday.

“They’ve become like a political organization, and that’s not a good thing,” Trump told reporters Thursday, noting that the league’s ratings are down from previous seasons. “I don’t think that’s a good thing for sports or for the country.”

Senior White House aides earlier had suggested that the protests were not constructive and were hypocritical considering the league’s relative silence about human rights violations in China, where U.S. pro basketball has a large audience.

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