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Wildfires everywhere

Ashley Shaffer
Published 6:17 PM EDT Aug 19, 2020

Thousands are fleeing hundreds of wildfires. Kamala Harris is making her DNC debut. And you may want to check your onions. 

It’s Ashley with the news to know.

But first, are the kids all right? There is a vital conversation about kids and the pandemic we aren’t having. COVID-19 is taking a toll on babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. 

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The second-largest fire in Colorado history 

Firefighters in Colorado are battling four major wildfires – including the Pine Gulch Fire, which has grown into the second largest in the state’s history. As of Wednesday, the fire had spread across more than 195 square miles, equivalent to about nine Manhattan Islands. Farther west, smoke blankets San Francisco as nearly 40 wildfires blaze across California amid a blistering heat wave. Thousands were ordered to evacuate in areas surrounding the Bay Area on Wednesday. Authorities scrambled to warn residents as a fire encroached on Vacaville, a city between San Francisco and Sacramento. Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered a statewide state of emergency Tuesday, saying the blazes were “exacerbated by the effects of the historic West Coast heat wave and sustained high winds.” 

A sign warning people about COVID-19 is surrounded by flames from the Hennessey fire near Napa, Calif., on Aug. 18.
JOSH EDELSON, AFP via Getty Images

Operation Legend: 1,000 arrests, including 90 murder suspects

Attorney General William Barr says authorities have made more than 1,000 arrests, including suspects in 90 homicides, as part of Operation Legend, a national crackdown on violent crime in nine U.S. cities. The Trump administration launched the enforcement effort more than a month ago. Even as violent crime has surged in several U.S. cities, local leaders have expressed concern over the deployment of federal officers after high-profile clashes between authorities and protesters in Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. Barr maintained that the additional officers only assist in combating violence and will not take part in crowd-control duties.

What everyone’s talking about

It’s Kamala’s time to shine 

The force of women in the Democratic Party will be on full display Wednesday when vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris delivers her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. Harris, the first Black woman and Asian American person to be on a major party’s ticket for vice president, will try to persuade Americans that she is the best choice for Joe Biden’s running mate and that their ticket is the best choice for America. Later, former President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address. 

Let’s recap Day 2 of the DNC: Biden officially became the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party on Tuesday. But what arguably stole the show was a pile of fried seafood. Rhode Island’s Democratic Party chair, flanked by a masked chef, touted the “calamari comeback state” during the roll call of state delegates. Some on social media declared calamari the “unexpected star of the DNC.” 

State Rep. Joseph McNamara of Rhode Island, accompanied by a chef bearing scene-stealing seafood, casts nominating votes during the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 18.
Democratic National Convention

Reason #458 to never falsify documents

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty Wednesday to falsifying an email used to support the surveillance of President Donald Trump’s former campaign aide Carter Page – part of the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Clinesmith is accused of altering an email in 2017 that investigators relied on to justify an application to wiretap Page, according to court records. The altered email indicated that Page was “not a source” for the Central Intelligence Agency. The original email from the CIA indicated otherwise. During a court appearance Wednesday, Clinesmith admitted that he altered the email but said he believed at the time that the information he added was accurate.

Real quick 

Put down that onion 

Don’t cry: Cases are growing in a salmonella outbreak linked to onions. The outbreak has spread to 47 states, resulting in 116 hospitalizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The initial recall involved onions distributed to all 50 states under brand names such as Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Kroger, Food Lion and Onions 52. The recall list widened to ready-to-eat products, cheese dips and more at Walmart, Fred Meyer and a slew of other stores. Those with salmonella illness often develop less-than-comfortable symptoms anywhere from six hours to six days after exposure, the CDC says. 

Thomson International of Bakersfield, Calif., recalled red, yellow, white and sweet yellow onions shipped from May 1 to the present out of concern they could be contaminated with salmonella.
Food and Drug Administration

A break from the news

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