First Thing: Kellyanne Conway to leave Trump’s White House | US news

Kellyanne Conway is one of Trump’s most long-standing advisers, and has regularly made media appearances on behalf of the administration. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

Good morning.

Long-standing White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has announced she will leave the Trump administration at the end of August to focus on her family.

Famed for describing the administration’s use of “alternative facts”, Conway was Trump’s campaign manager during the 2016 election before becoming senior counsellor to the president. Her husband, a vocal critic of Trump, has also announced he will step back from his role at the Lincoln Project.

Far-right Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer won a congressional primary in Florida last week. Photograph: Allen Eyestone/AP

Far-right Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer won a congressional primary in Florida last week. Photograph: Allen Eyestone/AP

As Conway steps back from Republican politics, questions have been raised about those entering, with a wave of extreme rightwing candidates running for office. This week, Trump congratulated Laura Loomer, a conspiracy theorist and Islamophobe who has been banned from social media for hate speech, while a report showed that 67 current or former rightwing congressional candidates have embraced QAnon, a complex conspiracy theory that has been flagged as a potential domestic terrorism threat by the FBI.

  • Former FBI director James Comey has said Steve Bannon is “in a world of trouble”, after the former Trump campaign manager was arrested last week on fraud charges relating to a campaign to build a border wall with Mexico.

Trump announced the emergency authorization of plasma treatment for coronavirus

Trump announced that a new treatment for Covid-19, which uses blood plasma donated by people who have recovered from the disease, has received an emergency use authorization from US regulators. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Trump announced that a new treatment for Covid-19, which uses blood plasma donated by people who have recovered from the disease, has received an emergency use authorisation from US regulators. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

The president has announced he is authorising the use of plasma treatment, which has been used to treat flu and measles, for Covid-19 patients, after blaming the ‘deep state or whoever’ for slow progress on treatment for the virus. Despite the fact that more than 64,000 coronavirus patients in the US have already been given convalescent plasma, there is no solid evidence it is effective against Covid-19.

The development came after the US coronavirus death toll passed 175,000 this weekend, with about 5,700,000 cases. California has the highest number of cases and deaths of any state, with 663,669 cases and 12,134 deaths, followed by Texas, Florida and Illinois.

  • The Chinese government has been administering a coronavirus vaccine candidate to groups of key workers since July, a senior health official has said, under a law that allows limited use of the unapproved vaccines during serious public health events.

California firefighters facing unprecedented strain as wildfires continue to grow

Chula Vista firefighter Rudy Diaz monitors the LNU Lightning Complex Fire as it engulfs brush in Lake County, California, on Sunday. Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters

Chula Vista firefighter Rudy Diaz monitors the LNU Lightning Complex Fire as it engulfs brush in Lake County, California, on Sunday. Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters

Officials in California have warned that firefighters’ capacity has been stretched to levels “not seen in recent history”, as they prepared on Sunday for thunderstorms and high winds that threatened to stoke existing fires and spark new ones.

The National Weather Service issued a “red flag” for Monday afternoon, meaning extreme conditions could results in “dangerous and unpredictable fire behavior”. The fires, which have so far destroyed almost 1,000 homes and structures, have forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate and claimed six lives.

  • Residents in coastal areas of Louisiana and Cuba were evacuated on Sunday ahead of dangerous weather conditions expected this week. Hurricane Marco is forecast to hit Louisiana on Monday, followed by Tropical Storm Laura, which killed three people in the Dominican Republic, on Thursday.
  • Senate Democrats are set to release a plan arguing that serious climate action must include removing the influence of the fossil fuel industry on US government, with one chapter laying out how “giant fossil fuel corporations have spent billions … during a decades-long campaign to attack climate science and obstruct climate action”.

In other news…

Protesters gather near the site of a police shooting on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Photograph: WDJT-TV/AP

Protesters gather near the site of a police shooting on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Photograph: WDJT-TV/AP

  • Kenosha County, Wisconsin, declared a state of emergency curfew on Sunday night following protests after a video appeared to show police shooting a black man seven times in the back, leaving him in a serious condition in hospital.
  • The Christchurch attacker who murdered 51 people at two mosques in a massacre live-steamed on Facebook had planned to burn down both places of worship, a court in New Zealand has heard, as his sentencing begins.
  • The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, told a journalist he would like to “smash your face in”, after being questioned over reports of payments made to his wife’s bank account by a former police officer who has allegedly been linked to Rio’s underworld.
  • Justin Townes Earle, US songwriter and son of Steve Earle, has died aged 38. The acclaimed musician, best known for his song Harlem River Blues, released eight albums and had been honoured twice at the American music awards.

Great reads

In the past week, posters expressing pride for Kamala Harris have appeared across the village of Painganadu, Mumbai, India, where her grandfather was born. Photograph: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

In the past week, posters expressing pride for Kamala Harris have appeared across the village of Painganadu, Mumbai, India, where her grandfather was born. Photograph: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

How Kamala Harris’s use of Tamil in her acceptance speech boosted her fanbase in India

Kamala Harris, the first candidate of Indian descent to be on a US presidential ticket, made waves when she used the Tamil term of endearment meaning “auntie” in her vice-presidential nomination acceptance speech last week. Hannah Ellis-Petersen looks at Harris’s relationship with India and the impact of her words on south Asian households in the US and beyond.

Christopher Nolan: How the director won family friendly films

By ensuring every one of his films since 2002’s Insomnia hits the PG-13/12A rating, Nolan has positioned himself as the king of the family-friendly action film, writes Luke Holland.

Opinion

Trump’s most enduring legacy will be that of destroying the Republican party, argues Sidney Blumenthal, former aide to Bill Clinton. Blumenthal looks back on the evolution of the Republican party from the Lincoln, to Reagan, to Trump, and the current president’s relationship with his predecessors.

“Since he first rode down the escalator at Trump Tower in 2015, to declare his candidacy against Mexican “rapists”, there has always been a new escalator downward.”

Last Thing

John Oliver angered residents and officials in Danbury, Connecticut, after an expletive-filled rant about the area. Photograph: Greg Allen/Invision/AP

John Oliver angered residents and officials in
Danbury, Connecticut, after an expletive-filled rant about the area. Photograph: Greg Allen/Invision/AP

The city of Danbury, Connecticut will name a sewage plant after John Oliver in retaliation against the comedian’s recent rant about the city on his HBO show. “We are going to rename it the John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant,” the city’s Republican mayor, Mark Boughton, announced on his Facebook page. “Why? Because it’s full of crap just like you, John.”

 

Originally published: 2020-08-24 04:40:40

Source link – www.theguardian.com

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