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Trump’s vision of American greatness at center of convention
Source:  Boston Herald
Sunday, 23 August 2020 19:28

WASHINGTON — Republicans will aim to recast the story of Donald Trump’s presidency as they hold their national convention, featuring speakers drawn from everyday life as well as cable news and the White House while drawing a stark contrast with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Trump is looking to shift his campaign away from being a referendum on a presidency ravaged by a pandemic and economic collapse and toward a choice between vastly different visions of America’s future.

Reshaping the national conversation around the race has taken on greater urgency for Trump, who trails in public and private surveys as the coronavirus continues to ravage the nation’s economy and his re-election chances.

The four-day event is said to be themed “Honoring the Great American Story.”

The convention will feature prominently a number of well-known Trump supporters, including members of the Trump family, but also those whom the GOP say are members of the “silent majority” of Americans who have been aided by Trump’s policies. Some have been “silenced” by a “cancel culture” pushed by Democrats, the campaign officials said.

Trump himself was expected to appear each night in the key 10 p.m. Eastern hour, planners said.

Plans for the GOP event have rapidly come together over the last six weeks, since it became apparent to the party that Trump could not hold an in-person convention at his backup site of Jacksonville, Fla. Trump was forced to move most of the convention out of Charlotte, N.C., the original host city, because of restrictive state coronavirus precautions.

Republicans — and Trump himself — closely watched last week’s Democratic convention for cues on what worked and what didn’t in the virtual format, hoping that will provide an advantage in putting together their week of events.

One major difference, Republicans said, will be the emphasis on live rather than taped events — and holding events with crowds to the greatest extent practicable.

Trump repeatedly criticized Democrats’ reliance on pretaped videos, rather than live addresses, saying Tuesday, “Live, by the way, is always much more exciting.”


Republicans to feed viewers plenty of Trump during convention week
Source:  Boston Herald
Sunday, 23 August 2020 19:24

This week’s GOP convention will be historic — not just because of coronavirus but because organizers plan to pummel viewers with wall to wall coverage of the one and only star of the show — Donald Trump.

The incumbent president is slated to speak every night of the four-day affair, giving him an unprecedented chance to make his case for re-election with voters.

It should be no surprise that Republicans will saturate the airwaves with Trump — he’s governed that way all along and even held a rare Sunday press conference on convention eve.

But it’s risky for the GOP to showcase only Trump — who has low approval ratings and is now trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the national polls.

For Americans who’ve had their fill of the TV-loving president, the convention could be a turn off.

There are speakers besides Trump every night, with former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley leading off the show Monday night along with RNC chair Ronna McDaniel.

Also slated to appear Monday are Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who infamously pointed their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters.

This is obviously not anything like the Democratic convention, which deliberately tried to showcase men and women of color as well as progressives like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and even Republicans who have deserted their party and Trump to support Biden.

Democrats are also planning counter-programming during the RNC, with events planned every day to denounce Trump and his policies.

First Lady Melania Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are the featured speakers at the RNC on Tuesday night, along with an anti-abortion activist and a woman whose son was killed by an illegal immigrant. Trump’s son, Eric and daughter Tiffany will also be speaking on Tuesday. Daughter Ivanka has a special speaking slot on Thursday before her father.

Wednesday is devoted to nominating Vice President Mike Pence in the same role he played four years ago, and Thursday is the final night when Trump gives his acceptance speech from the lawn of the White House. Another risky move by Republicans is giving former New York City mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani a speaking role on Thursday night.

The RNC will be centered in North Carolina but will also feature virtual appearances by speakers, giving it less of an impact than a full arena full of cheering supporters.

Another huge difference in the Republican convention will be how it’s covered by the mainstream media, which gave Democrats overwhelmingly positive spin — and that’s putting it mildly. Don’t expect the same glowing coverage during the RNC from the media, which is openly hostile to Trump and Republicans.


Thunderstorms Pass Through Massachusetts Leaving Damage, Power Outages
Source:  CBS Boston
Sunday, 23 August 2020 19:24

BOSTON (CBS) — Several severe thunderstorms rolled through Massachusetts Sunday evening, causing damage and prompting warnings from the National Weather Service. Power outages peaked at just over 30,000 around 6:30 p.m.

Worcester experienced wind gusts up to 62 miles per hour while Boston reached 40 miles per hour.

In Wakefield, a tree fell on a home, temporarily trapping a couple.

A lightning strikes in the distance from Marblehead (Photo Via: Marisa Forziati)

A bolt of lightning was caught on camera from Marblehead in the evening.

Police in Lawrence closed Farnham Street and Andover Street after a telephone pole snapped in half.

Concord police and firefighters responded to College Road where a tree came down on wires.

The Westwood Fire Department asked residents to say off the roads entirely as several streets were flooded and multiple people were rescued from flooded cars. They also said trees and power lines were down throughout the town.


Officials: Person hospitalized after water rescue in Shrewsbury
Source:  WHDH-TV - Home
Sunday, 23 August 2020 19:18

A person was taken to the hospital after being pulled from the water in a Shrewsbury lake Sunday, officials said.

The operator of a local pontoon boat pulled the person from Lake Quinsigamond and brought them to shore, fire officials said.

The victim was treated at the scene and taken to UMass Medical Center. No information on their condition was immediately available.


6 injured after tent collapse at religious event in NH
Source:  WHDH-TV - Home
Sunday, 23 August 2020 19:13

Six people were injured after a tent collapsed at a religious retreat in New Hampshire Sunday, officials said.

Organizers of The Last Reformation event in New Ipswich told firefighters most attendees had left when the tent collapsed, but firefighters said the tent fell on dozens of people, sending four to the hospital. One person suffered a broken arm.

Organizers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Town officials had criticized the event earlier, saying attendees were not distancing or wearing masks.


Officials: Multiple Black Lives Matter signs stolen in Lynnfield
Source:  WHDH-TV - Home
Sunday, 23 August 2020 19:08

Multiple Lynnfield residents have reported Black Lives Matter signs being stolen.

One person allegedly stealing a sign was caught on camera. On Sunday, residents gathered to support the BLM movement and say they would not be deterred by the thefts.

“I’m feeling angry, but also feeling nice that people are here showing their support,” said Andrea Markarian.


Coronavirus curfew bust: Massachusetts State Police arrest ‘suspicious’ man out after curfew
Source:  Boston Herald
Sunday, 23 August 2020 19:08

A “suspicious” man outside late at night after the coronavirus mandatory curfew in Brockton was arrested and charged in connection with having a loaded gun, according to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office.

Jair Barros, 34, of Brockton, will be arraigned Monday on various gun charges and a violation of the city’s coronavirus restrictions.

Brockton, a coronavirus “higher risk” community, has implemented a curfew between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. in the hopes of slowing the spread of the virus.

At around 12:21 a.m. Sunday, members of the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit who are helping enforce the city’s mandatory curfew saw a person outside a parked vehicle at 535 Westgate Drive.

Troopers approached the man and asked him if he was an essential worker or responding to an emergency, according to police.

The maskless man said he was not and “acted suspicious,” police said. As a result, troopers conducted a search, and found a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol and black nylon holster in the vehicle’s center console.

The gun was loaded with a high-capacity magazine and ammunition, police said. At that point, troopers placed Barros under arrest.


Trump announces plasma treatment authorized for COVID-19
Source:  Boston Herald
Sunday, 23 August 2020 18:59

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced Sunday the emergency authorization of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients, a move he called “a breakthrough,” and one of his top health officials described as “promising,” with the potential to improve survival in as many as 35% of patients.

Trump announced the authorization — which makes it easier for some patients to obtain the treatment — on the eve of the Republican National Convention.

“Today’s action will dramatically expand access to this treatment,� he said.

The blood plasma, taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and rich in antibodies, may provide benefits to those battling with the disease. But the evidence so far has not been conclusive about when to administer it and what dose is needed. While those treatment protocols are still being developed, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said scientists have found the treatment is safe and shows “promising efficacy,” enough to warrant the emergency use authorization.

Earlier this month, Mayo Clinic researchers reported a strong hint that blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors helps other infected patients recover. But it wasn’t considered proof.

More than 70,000 patients in the U.S. have been given convalescent plasma, a century-old approach to fend off flu and measles before vaccines. It’s a go-to tactic when new diseases come along, and history suggests it works against some, but not all, infections.

The Mayo Clinic reported preliminary data from 35,000 coronavirus patients treated with plasma, and said there were fewer deaths among people given plasma within three days of diagnosis, and also among those given plasma containing the highest levels of virus-fighting antibodies.

The results of that study combined with several others suggest the plasma treatment may provide a 35% “improvement in survival�  said Hahn.

Those results were found for patients who were within three days of admission to a hospital and were not on a respirator, and were given “high-titer” convalescent plasma containing higher concentrations of antibodies. They were then compared to similar patients who were given lower-titer plasma. The findings suggest deaths were 35% lower in the high-titer group.

“A 35% improvement in survival is a pretty substantial clinical benefit,� said Hahn, citing his experience as a cancer doctor.

In a letter describing the emergency authorization, the chief scientist for the FDA, Denise Hinton, noted: “COVID-19 convalescent plasma should not be considered a new standard of care for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Additional data will be forthcoming from other analyses and ongoing, well-controlled clinical trials in the coming months.”

The push on Sunday came a day after Trump tweeted sharp criticism on the process to treat the virus, which has killed more than 175,000 Americans and imperiled his re-election chances. The White House has sunk vast resources into an expedited process to develop a vaccine, and Trump aides have been banking on it being an “October surprise” that could help the president make up ground in the polls.

“The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!”

Hahn, said Trump did not speak to him about the timing of the announcement, which comes just before a pivotal week for the president’s re-election chances. Hahn said “this has been in the works for several weeks” and came after a data validation for which the agency had been waiting.


Worcester boater helps rescue woman from Lake Quinsigamond during storm
Source:  News - telegram.com
Sunday, 23 August 2020 18:48

SHREWSBURY - While thunderstorms brought wind, rain, hail and intense lightning to the region Sunday night, Ariane DaSilva of Worcester was in her boat on Lake Quinsigamond, waiting near the boat ramp with other boaters to get her craft out of the water.She said she saw two men and a woman in the water farther offshore near a boat, and she figured they were playing in the water. But then she heard one of the men screaming in Portuguese that the woman they were with was drowning. [...]

Two teachers turned their students' desks into little Jeeps to make social distancing less scary
Source:  News South Of Boston
Sunday, 23 August 2020 18:41

Two first-grade teachers in Florida decided to transform their students' desks into little Jeeps — many students said they're eager to test drive them.


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