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August 14, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Biden is poised to unveil his vision for the modern-day Democratic Party in the first presidential nominating convention of the coronavirus era next week. The all-virtual affair will test the former vice president’s ability to overcome unprecedented logistical challenges in an urgent mission to energize his sprawling coalition. The Democratic National Convention formally begins Monday, but there will be no physical gathering place, no cheering audience, no balloons. The program will consist of a series of online video addresses — half of which will be prerecorded— that play out for two hours each night until Biden formally accepts the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to vandalizing a synagogue last year as part of a neo-Nazi plot. U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin says 22-year-old Yousef Barasneh of Oak Creek pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal civil rights charge. According to court documents, Barasneh was part of a neo-Nazi, white supremacist group known as “The Base.” Authorities say Barasneh took part in online group chats with other Base members in which they agreed to threaten and intimidate African Americans and Jewish Americans. Prosecutors say on Sept. 21, Barasneh went to a Racine, Wisconsin, synagogue and spray-painted anti-Semitic words and phrases as well as a swastika and the symbol for “The Base” on the building.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee’s former police chief, who was demoted to captain in part for using tear gas against protesters demonstrating over George Floyd’s death, has chosen to retire instead of staying with the department. The city’s Fire and Police Commission voted unanimously last week to demote Chief Alfonso Morales. Commissioners criticized how Morales handled multiple incidents involving Black people, including the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown. Speaking Wednesday on WTMJ-AM, Morales said he’s retiring because if he returned as a captain it would be at a reduced salary and would negatively impact his pension payments. Morales also defended his record as chief. His attorney says he and Morales are exploring a range of legal action, including filing a claim for damages.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Assembly’s chief clerk has released records that show a legislative aide accused  Rep. Staush Gruszynski of trying to coax her into having sex with him last year. The Associated Press and three Wisconsin media outlets filed a lawsuit in March to obtain the records. Assembly Chief Clerk Pat Fuller released them Wednesday, a day after Gruszynski lost a Democratic primary. The documents include a complaint from a legislative staffer in which she accuses Gruszynski of drunkenly propositioning her at a Madison bar in October. Gruszynski told Assembly human resources officials that was drinking heavily that night and didn’t remember talking to the staffer.

National News

August 14, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is making clear why he opposes extra money for the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service. He acknowledged Thursday he’s starving the Postal Service of funding to make it harder to process an expected surge in ballots he worries could cost him reelection. Meanwhile, his campaign is suing two Iowa counties that are making it easier to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican president said on Fox Business Network that among the sticking points on a new virus relief package are Democrats’ demand for billions of dollars to assist states in protecting the election and helping postal workers process mail-in ballots. Democratic rival Joe Biden likens Trump’s actions to sabotage.


WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden’s campaign is getting a burst of momentum. Kamala Harris is already bringing energy, dollars and more. Harris is rapidly embracing her new role. In the first two days after her historic selection as the first Black woman on a major national ticket, she’s fired off the campaign’s sharpest criticism of President Donald Trump’s shortcomings. She’s also vouched vigorously for Biden on race and his character. And the enthusiasm surrounding her candidacy has brought in a record $36 million, including contributions from 150,000 new donors. The campaign hopes it’s just the beginning.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dodger Stadium will serve as a vote center for the presidential election in November, making the Dodgers the first Major League Baseball team to make their venue available for voting. Any registered voter in Los Angeles County can visit the stadium over a five-day period. Parking will be free. Further details will be announced later. The team said all public health guidelines will be followed regarding social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Cohen’s memoir about President Donald Trump will be released Sept. 8 by Skyhorse Publishing, which confirmed the news Thursday to The Associated Press. The book is called “Disloyal: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.” Cohen is completing the last two years of a three-year prison sentence at home after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress. He was released from prison in May amid coronavirus fears, only to be returned in July after saying he planned to publish “Disloyal.” The U.S. government later dropped its effort to silence Cohen.