Good morning, NBC News readers.
Former vice president and six-term U.S. Senator Joe Biden drew a sharp contrast with himself and President Donald Trump as he accepted his party’s nomination for president on the final night of the Democratic National Convention.
Here’s what we’re watching this Friday morning.
Biden promises a ‘path of hope and light’ as he accepts presidential nomination
Five decades after he first entered national politics, Joe Biden accepted his party’s nomination for president Thursday evening.
Just months after he was politically left for dead, Biden told America to get back on its feet.
“The current president has cloaked America in darkness for far too long. Too much anger, too much fear, too much division,” he said. “We can and will overcome this season of darkness.” (Read his full speech).
Biden excoriated Trump’s record and said the country was facing four simultaneous crises: the coronavirus pandemic, the ensuing recession, renewed demands for racial justice, and climate change.
But his overall message was one of optimism and unity. “While I’ll be a Democratic candidate, I’ll be an American president,” he said.
Steve Bannon charged with fraud in ‘Build the Wall’ effort
Steve Bannon, Trump’s former adviser, was charged on Thursday with defrauding donors to a private fundraising campaign to help build a wall along the southern border.
Bannon, and three other defendants “orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors,” according to prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.
The defendants’ online crowdfunding campaign “We Build The Wall” raised more than $25 million, with promises that they would not “not take a penny in salary,” according to the indictment.
But in fact, prosecutors said, the defendants took hundreds of thousands of donated dollars and used them for personal expenses.
Bannon pleaded not guilty during his initial court appearance on Thursday.
Trump’s former 2016 campaign chairman was aboard a 150-foot yacht in Long Island Sound, off the coast of Connecticut, when he was arrested earlier in the day.
Who owns the yacht? A Chinese billionaire named Guo Wengui who is allegedly involved in a separate federal inquiry involving a company both men are linked to.
So how many of Trump’s former associates have faced criminal charges? CNBC has compiled a list.
Meantime, Bannon’s arrest should alarm Trump and his cronies, former U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade writes in an opinion piece.
Firefighters stretched thin as flames rage across California, killing at least five
Officials and firefighters in California say they are stretched thin battling hundreds of wildfires, many of which exploded across the state in recent days.
The problem has intensified as tens of thousands of structures remain threatened and evacuation orders and warnings issued from rural Lake County north of San Francisco to the Santa Cruz mountains on the south. The blazes have been blamed for at least five deaths.
Tim Edwards, president of the CalFire firefighters union, said 2020 was beginning to resemble 2017, when the state saw some of its most destructive fires.
“We are in the same situation but with 10 times as many fires,” he said.
Their businesses survived the pandemic. Then came Postal Service delays.
Beth Nolan’s shipping costs have doubled over the past six weeks.
Her company has spent so much to make up for the U.S. Postal Service’s delays that she said she had to recently lay off an employee, while another worker turned the wall of her kitchen into a giant calendar filled with notes about mail routes and the status of packages.
She is just one of many business owners across the country who say they were hit hard by the Postal Service’s shipping delays.
While U.S. Postmaster General DeJoy is expected to testify to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee today about the postal service charges ahead of the election, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin role in his appointment is coming under scrutiny.
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THINK about it
DeJoy’s USPS meddling isn’t over — why are Senate Republicans covering for him? Kurt Bardella, former House Oversight Committee spokesperson, asks in an opinion piece.
One fun thing
Among the many biographical details revealed about Biden on Thursday night: His penchant for Irish poets.
Biden quoted Seamus Heaney’s “Doubletake” from “The Cure at Troy” as he concluded his speech. He said:
“The Irish poet Seamus Heaney once wrote:
‘History says don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.’ This is our moment to make hope and history rhyme.”
And we learned that he shared a book of W.B. Yeats poetry with a young teen to help him overcome his stutter.
The campaign still has a way to go, we’ll see if Ireland’s other two Nobel laureates for literature get a mention…
Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown. Hope you have a restful weekend.
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