Monday Sunrise Briefing: Portland death magnifies US divisions

AP Photo/Paula Bronstein
Supporters of President Donald Trump attend a rally and car parade Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, from Clackamas to Portland, Ore. Shortly after the 600-car parade passed through downtown, a rally supporter was killed.

A man wearing a Patriot Prayer hat was fatally shot Saturday evening after a 600-car pro-Trump parade passed through downtown Portland, Oregon. Witnesses described several violent clashes between the Black Lives Matters activists and the Trump rally goers during the day. Patriot Prayer is a far-right group that says it seeks to combat “corruption, big government and tyranny, using God for strength and the power of love,” according to its Facebook page. Portland has been the scene of regular violent confrontations between far-right and far-left protesters since George Floyd’s death in May. For President Trump, the violence underscores his “law and order” re-election campaign theme. Democrats accuse Mr. Trump of trying to stoke violence instead of seeking to reduce tensions.

In Kenosha, Wisconsin, about 1,000 demonstrators marched to the courthouse and held a peaceful rally Saturday. The messages focused on denouncing police violence, getting out the vote, and supporting Wisconsin legislation leading to police reforms. State lawmakers return Monday to hold a special session to consider several bills, including a ban on police chokeholds, a ban on no-knock warrants, and more transparency in tracking officers with multiple complaints.

2. People power roundup. Globally, it was also a weekend of protests. In Mauritius, tens of thousands of people protested Saturday over the slow government response to an oil spill and the discovery of dozens of dead dolphins. In Berlin, about 300 people were arrested after far-right protesters tried to storm the parliament building following a protest against the country’s pandemic restrictions. And in Belarus, for the third Sunday, an estimated 100,000 people marched in Minsk, seeking the ouster of President Alexander Lukashenko. On Saturday, the government cracked down on the media, deporting at least four Russian journalists, including two from The Associated Press, and revoked the accreditation of many Belarusian journalists working for foreign new agencies.

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, August 31, 2020, sunrise briefing.

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you may have been tandem cycling, baking a pie, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

3. Post-Laura resilience. Cleanup and recovering efforts gathered pace this weekend in parts of Louisiana and Texas hit by Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm. Hurricane Katrina was a Category 3 storm when it hit 15 years ago on Saturday.“This thing cut a path of destruction from south Louisiana to north Louisiana, about 400 miles,” Republican Sen. John Kennedy told Fox News Sunday. “It’s probably affected one million to two million people.” President Trump, FEMA, and Homeland Security officials toured the region Saturday, offering federal help in rebuilding. But officials in southwestern Louisiana are telling returning residents it could be weeks before water and power return. Some residents this weekend were grilling roasts, burgers, and chicken before the food goes bad. Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted: “The last couple of days have been hard, and the road to recovery won’t be easy. But we will recover. Our strength will show through, as it always does.”


REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Fans give the "Wakanda Forever" salute as they attend a vigil for late actor Chadwick Boseman in Los Angeles, California, August 29, 2020.

Look Ahead

Monday, Aug. 31

Bridge to peace? An El Al flight took off from Israel for the United Arab Emirates with Jared Kushner on board, marking the first direct commercial passenger flight between the two nations after a recent U.S.-brokered deal.

Tuesday, Sept. 1

Presidential spotlight. President Donald Trump plans to visit  Kenosha, Wisconsin, to meet with law enforcement officers and survey some of the damage from recent riots. 

Economic recovery.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is scheduled to testify at a House hearing about what worked, and what didn’t, in the economic stimulus legislation.

Exercising democracy. Massachusetts holds state primary elections.  This is the first statewide election that has included a vote-by-mail option for all voters. Hotly contested:  Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, is hoping to unseat Sen. Edward Markey.

"Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman's Ruthless Quest for Global Power," by Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck, is out in bookstores. 

Wednesday, Sept. 2

A new symbol. Earlier this summer,  Mississippi lawmakers voted to change the state flag, which bore a Confederate emblem. The new flag design is expected to go to the legislature and governor for approval.

Thursday, Sept. 3.

More democracy. Jamaicans vote in the country's general election to select their 63 members of Parliament. 

Blockbusters return. Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated sci-fi film “Tenet” debuts in U.S. theaters. It opened first in 40 overseas markets on Aug. 26. 

Saturday, Sept. 5

Grace and strength on the track. The Kentucky Derby is scheduled to be held without spectators after being postponed in May due to the coronavirus.

Generosity Watch

Courtesy of The City Mission
Tyler and Melanie Tapajna, of Parma, Ohio, serve women and children at a women's shelter the food they'd ordered for their wedding reception, Aug. 15, 2020 in Cleveland.

The pandemic has prompted many couples to alter wedding plans, often shrinking the size of their ceremonies. That happened to Tyler and Melanie Tapajna, of Parma, Ohio, too. But they also responded by expanding their generosity.

The couple originally planned a wedding with 150 guests. Instead they held a small backyard wedding, and donated the food for the reception to Laura’s Home, a women’s shelter run by The City Mission in Cleveland. 

But they didn’t just donate their reception feast, they showed up in their wedding finery to serve it, too. Dressed in tuxedo and gown they handed out  fried chicken, green beans, salad, and mac and cheese to a total of 135 women and children, reported CNN.

Afterward, Melanie Tapajna posed on Facebook: “Covid may have cancelled our original plans, but God gave us so much more today.”

Hidden gem 

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

Alphonso Davies: Canada’s humble, joyful soccer phenom

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about alternatives to nursing homes, which have often failed to serve seniors well. 

Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. America the fearful: What follows summer of unrest?
  2. Police taught a simple rule: ‘You don’t shoot a perp in his back’
  3. Pay tuition in a pandemic? Private schools woo families to stay afloat.
  4. We’re not dead yet’: Big Basin redwoods scorched, but not lost.
  5. The day the sports world’s bubbles burst


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