One day later: 135 dead and 200,000 homeless

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Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY
·5 min read
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Beirut is searching for survivors of a devastating explosion. Coronavirus is keeping Joe Biden out of the DNC – physically. And brace yourselves, because we’ve got more hurricanes on the way.

It's Ashley with Wednesday's news to know.

But first, liquid gold: Whiskey starting at $12,000? This bottle survived an infamous shipwreck 80 years ago. The kicker: You can't even drink it. 🥃

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Beirut explosion: At least 135 dead and 200,000 homeless

Blood stained the asphalt and streets teemed with rescuers Wednesday after a massive explosion that shook the Lebanese capital with the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, killing at least 135 people and wounding more than 4,000. Although President Donald Trump said the blast looked like "an attack," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said it was likely "an accident." Lebanese officials have indicated it may have been due to thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate stored there and is putting an unspecified number of Beirut port officials under house arrest pending an investigation. To fully grasp the extent of the devastating explosion, you really have to see it for yourself. Because a large fire billowing from Beirut's port came before the blast, many people in Lebanon's capital city caught the horrific explosion on video. 👇

A drone photograph on Aug. 5, 2020, shows the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut. A massive explosion rocked the city on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky.
A drone photograph on Aug. 5, 2020, shows the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut. A massive explosion rocked the city on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky.

Joe Biden’s not heading to Milwaukee

Whatever was left of an in-person Democratic National Convention evaporated Wednesday as organizers announced Joe Biden won't be traveling to Milwaukee to give his presidential acceptance speech – and neither will any of the other speakers. Biden’s announcement comes just under two weeks from the DNC, where he was expected to accept the Democratic nomination for president in person. Instead, Biden will accept the party's presidential nomination from his home in Delaware because of coronavirus concerns. Meanwhile, we still have heard nothing about his choice for vice president. But Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Karen Bass, Susan Rice and Stacey Abrams have all been floated as possible running mates.

  • Over 100 Black women leaders slammed comments made of Black women being considered to be Biden's running mate.

What everyone’s talking about

Primary results are still trickling in

The first primaries of the month took place Tuesday in Michigan, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri and Washington. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Progressive Cori Bush defeated incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay in Missouri. Bush, a nurse and Black Lives Matter activist, has been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and is backed by Justice Democrats.

  • Rep. Roger Marshall won the GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas. Marshall's main competitor was former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach.

  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s primary results are still unclear in Michigan. She’s facing off (again) with Brenda Jones, the Detroit City Council president. Tlaib has been considered one of the most vulnerable members of the "Squad" – a group of progressive congresswomen elected in 2018 for reelection.

Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Cori Bush gives her victory speech at her campaign office on August 4, 2020, in St. Louis. Bush, an activist backed by the progressive group Justice Democrats, defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-M., in Tuesday's primary election to become the first black woman elected to represent the state of Missouri in Congress.
Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Cori Bush gives her victory speech at her campaign office on August 4, 2020, in St. Louis. Bush, an activist backed by the progressive group Justice Democrats, defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-M., in Tuesday's primary election to become the first black woman elected to represent the state of Missouri in Congress.

8 dead, millions without power after Isaias

At least eight people were killed this week as Tropical Storm Isaias – which toggled between hurricane and tropical storm strength – spawned tornadoes, dumped rain and made landfall as a hurricane on the East Coast. Millions of people across several states are still without power Wednesday after power outages hit about 3.7 million customers late Tuesday.

Want to help? Disaster relief operations are responding across the region impacted by Isaias – from helping evacuees to opening shelters to house victims. Here's where you can donate to the Red Cross and Salvation Army hurricane relief efforts.

Boats are stacked on top of each other in the Southport Marina Aug. 4, 2020, in Southport N.C., after Hurricane Isaias came ashore overnight in Brunswick County as a category 1 hurricane.
Boats are stacked on top of each other in the Southport Marina Aug. 4, 2020, in Southport N.C., after Hurricane Isaias came ashore overnight in Brunswick County as a category 1 hurricane.

Real quick

10 more hurricanes are likely this season

The wrath of Hurricanes Hanna and Isaias are just an appetizer for what’s to come, top forecasters said Wednesday, with 10 more hurricanes likely to follow. In what meteorologists are calling an “extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season,” they predict a total of 24 named storms in 2020. Of those, researchers expect 12 to become hurricanes (including the two that have already formed, Hanna and Isaias). More bad news: Five of the hurricanes are forecast to reach major hurricane strength – Category 3, 4 or 5 – with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. The team also said there's a 74% chance that a major hurricane will hit somewhere along the U.S. coastline this year.

A break from the news

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Beirut explosion, Joe Biden, DNC, Isaias, Trump, Sally Yates: Wednesday's news