10 things you need to know today: August 30, 2020

One person was shot and killed in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday evening. The shooting occurred amid dueling protests — a large caravan of President Trump supporters and Black Lives Matters demonstrators clashed in the city — although it’s unclear if the incident was directly linked to the fighting. The Portland Police Bureau said officers responded quickly to the victim after getting word of gunshots shortly before 9 p.m., but the man, who police said was shot in the chest, did not survive. The police have not released any information about a possible shooter, but The Associated Press reports the victim appeared to be a white man wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group that has a history of fighting with protesters. Images and video purportedly depicting the shooting have been posted online, and homicide detectives are looking for more evidence. [The New York Times, The Associated Press]

Global coronavirus cases have surpassed 25 million, data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows. There have been more than 843,000 fatalities. The United States has the highest number of infections and deaths, and California became the first state to pass 700,000 cases, although its infection rate is declining sharply. India — the world’s second most populous nation — now has the fastest-growing epidemic and on Sunday registered 78,761 new cases, a single day record for the country that pushed its overall tally to 3.5 million infections. The increase can at least in part be contributed to a surge in testing. More than 76 percent of India’s COVID-19 patients have recovered, and its fatality count has been far lower than the U.S. and Brazil, but deaths are still mounting. [The Associated Press, The New York Times]

President Trump on Saturday visited parts of Louisiana and Texas that were hardest hit by Hurricane Laura, which killed at least 14 people and caused as much as $12 billion in damage this week. Air Force One landed in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the president toured neighborhoods affected by the storm and spoke with first responders, local leaders, and officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other Department of Homeland Security agencies. Trump said he knew Louisiana would have “no problem” rebuilding and the federal government will “supply what we have to supply.” He then departed for Orange, Texas, which also felt the wrath of the storm, though Trump began a round table discussion with White House officials, members of Congress, and local public officials by noting the destruction wasn’t as bad as in Louisiana. [NPR]

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence informed the House and Senate intelligence committees that it will no longer conduct in-person briefing sessions regarding election security issues, letters the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe sent to lawmakers this week show. The letters reportedly indicate leaks from Congress are the reason behind the switch. Instead of verbal briefings, the ODNI will provide the congressional panels with written updates on the matter, a senior Trump administration official told CNN. In a joint statement House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called it a “shocking abdication” of the ODNI’s responsibilities, and “a betrayal of the public’s right to know how foreign powers are trying to subvert our democracy.” Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) criticized the alleged leakers, but urged Ratcliffe to continue fully briefing Congress. [Politico, CNN]

Pro-democracy activists, including a health care workers union, in Hong Kong on Sunday called for a boycott of the city’s universal coronavirus testing plan. The opposition is primarily concerned by the fact that medical staff from mainland China are supposed to assist with carrying out the plan at a time when many Hong Kong residents believe Beijing is stripping away their freedoms, especially after the passing of a controversial national security law and the postponement of September’s legislative elections. The union, the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, said universal testing was not an efficient use of resources, arguing focused testing is the better play for Hong Kong at this point during the pandemic. The union’s leader Winnie Yu said it’s “clear to see the government has one and only goal,” which is “to use the pandemic to achieve their own political aims.” [Reuters]

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, is set to resume in-person campaigning in the next few days for the first sustained period since the coronavirus pandemic struck, The Washington Post reports. Fresh off the Democratic National Convention, Biden is reportedly set to leave the Mid-Atlantic region where he’s been based during the pandemic and strike out across the country. Michigan appears to be central to the campaign’s plans — per the Post, Biden is planning a visit to Macomb County, a suburban Detroit jurisdiction that helped swing the state toward President Trump in 2016. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), on Friday called Michigan “the main event in this fight.” Biden still holds a lead over Trump, but a Morning Consult survey released Saturday saw the margin shrink from a 10-point lead to a 6-point advantage. [The Washington Post, The Week]

United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa said two Russian aircraft intercepted a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber over the Black Sea on Friday in an “unsafe, unprofessional” manner. The Russian planes reportedly crossed within 100 feet of the bomber’s nose multiple times and restricted the American aircraft’s ability to maneuver, causing turbulence. Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigan said the planes were in international airspace so “we expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent accidents,” but “actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions.” The incident took place on the same day that U.S. B-52s flew over 30 NATO countries to demonstrate solidarity between alliance members. [CNN, The Hill]

Descendants from Jewish refugees expelled from Austria under Nazi rule can apply for Austrian citizenship under a new law that goes into effect Tuesday. About 120,000 Jews living in Austria fled persecution after Nazi Germany annexed its neighbor in 1938 with many going to the United States and the United Kingdom. Many of the refugees became naturalized citizens in their new countries, but post-war Austria banned dual citizenship, meaning those who left were considered foreigners in their homeland. Eventually, in 1993, former refugees were able to reclaim their Austrian citizenship, but descendants were left out, preventing the country from restoring its pre-war Jewish community, which numbered 200,000. Hannah Lessing, secretary general of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, applauded the law, but said “it can never truly make amends for the Holocaust.” [The Observer]

Clifford Robinson, an 18-year NBA veteran, has died, the University of Connecticut men’s basketball program confirmed Saturday. He was 53. The cause of death was not immediately known, but Robinson had dealt with health issues in recent years, suffering a stroke in 2017 and having a tumor removed from his jaw in 2018. Robinson starred at UConn and helped bring them to prominence in the days before they became a basketball powerhouse. The Huskies won the National Invitation Tournament in 1988 with Robinson. UConn retired Robinson’s jersey in 2007. In the NBA, Robinson spent time with the Portland Trail Blazers (who drafted him in 1989), Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and the then-New Jersey Nets. Robinson won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1993 and was an All Star in 1994. [ESPN, Fox News]

The NBA playoffs returned Saturday after players went on strike this week in an effort to initiate change following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The Milwaukee Bucks, who represent Blake’s home state of Wisconsin and were the first team that refused to take the court, defeated the Orlando Magic to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they’ll take on the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Lakers, one of two teams that initially voted to not continue the season, clinched their series against the Portland Trail Blazers behind dominant performances from their stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers await the winner of the series between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder. Houston took a 3-2 lead after routing the Thunder on Saturday. The postseason will continue with another 3-game slate Sunday. [ESPN]

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