The Wider World

A tradition of speeches broken

JOE BIDEN won’t make his acceptance speech from the Democratic convention in Milwaukee (Flickr/Gage Skidmore).

The tradition of presidential candidates accepting their nominations from crowded convention centers and speaking to noisy audiences of supporters is another victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, announced on Wednesday he would not address his party’s mostly virtual convention in Milwaukee and would likely make his speech from a location in his home state of Delaware on Aug. 20.

President Donald Trump indicated he would probably make his speech from one of several locations, including possibly, the White House. The GOP will formally nominate Trump for a second term at a closed-door event in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Presidential nominating conventions have been a staple since the 1830s, and the nominated candidate first began making an acceptance speech at the convention in 1932, when Franklin Roosevelt began that precedent. Since then, the televised speech has been treated as a prime opportunity to kick off his – or her – campaign before a huge adoring crowd.

Marijuana may harm your heart

People have been smoking marijuana for centuries, enjoying its intoxicating effects but also touting its health benefits, including mitigating pain and nausea. Now, the American Heart Association is warning that heavy use of cannabis could lead to an increased risk of heart attack, heart failure and related health problems.

Some chemicals in “pot” may have side effects on people’s cardiovascular systems. A key chemical, THC, may activate a person’s sympathetic nervous system, causing an increase in the beating of a heart, or causing it to beat irregularly, boosting blood pressure or the constriction of blood vessels.

In the news: Did fertilizer cause explosion?

  • Negligence is suspected in the explosion Tuesday in Beirut that killed 135 people and injured 5,000. The blast damaged large areas of the city’s port. Highly explosive fertilizer – ammonium nitrate – was being stored in a warehouse.
  • Facebook deleted a post from President Donald Trump that stated that children are “virtually immune” to the coronavirus. The deletion was made under the social media’s policy against posts that “spread misinformation.”
  • Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona sheriff seeking to regain the post he lost in 2016, was trailing his Republican rival Jerry Sheridan by 541 votes as votes were counted Wednesday. The winner of that primary will face Democratic incumbent Paul Penzone, who ousted Arpaio four years ago.
  • An estimated 4 million people were without electrical power in the Northeast as Tropical Storm Isaias moved along the Atlantic coast on its way to Canada. It made landfall in North Carolina on Monday as a hurricane and was downgraded as it moved north.
  • The first presidential debate of the 2020 campaign will be held on Sept. 29 at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. The Donald Trump campaign is seeking to have the debate schedule moved to earlier dates, because so many voters will be casting their ballots by mail. Three states – North Carolina, Georgia and Florida – will begin voting in September.

Sports: The Dodgers win, Angels, Lakers lose

  • Thunder 105, Lakers 86. One game after clinching the top spot in the Western Conference, the Lakers (51-16) was thumped by Oklahoma City. They fell behind by eight points in the first quarter and never recovered. LeBron James scored 19 to lead L.A., and Dion Waiters scored 14 off the bench for the team. All five Thunder starters scored in double figures.
  • Dodgers 7, Padres 6. Joc Pederson hit two home runs and batted in five runs to lead L.A. to the win and improve its record to 9-4 and second place in the NL West. Chris Taylor had two hits. The win went to starter Ross Stripling (3-0), who worked 5.2 innings, giving up six hits and four earned runs. He struck out seven batters.
  • Mariners 7, Angels 6. In a duel of heavy hitters, Kyle Seager hit a three-run home run to push the M’s past the Angels. The Halos (now 4-8 and in fourth place in the AL West) got two home runs from Mike Trout and other four-baggers from Max Stassi and David Fletcher. The pitching staff did less well, as seven hurlers yielded 12 hits.


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