Need2Know: Beirut Blast, Isaias' Aftermath & Mulan Goes Streaming

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A drone picture shows the scene of an explosion at the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the city's port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. More than 70 people were killed and 3,000 injured, with bodies buried in the rubble, officials said. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
August 5, 2020
Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, August 5, 2020:
BEIRUT BLAST
THE LATEST: Two massive explosions in quick succession rocked Beirut, killing at least 100 and wounding thousands in a country already dealing with a coronavirus outbreak, a collapsing economy and political crisis. Officials say the blasts happened at a warehouse holding 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive material used in fertilizer and bombs, which had been seized from a cargo ship in 2014 and had been stored at the port ever since. BBC
THE VIDEOS: Videos posted to social media showed a large fireball, followed by a much larger explosion and shock wave that ripped through the city, blowing out windows and overturning cars for miles. Videos taken in the aftermath showed the economically critical Port of Beirut, where the blast took place, essentially leveled and the popular downtown waterfront neighborhood all but destroyed. WATCH
ISAIAS' AFTERMATH: More than 3.5 million people in the U.S. are without power this morning after Tropical Storm Isaias left a wide swath of damage across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. One million of those outages are in New Jersey, where a 109 mph wind gust was recorded off the coast of Long Beach Island. At least six people were killed across several states. The storm is now a post-tropical cyclone spinning out over Canada. OUTAGE MAP
COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: Some possible progress in the negotiations over a new economic rescue package: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he would consider extending the $600 weekly unemployment benefits if it helped seal a deal by the end of the week. In NYC, the top health official resigned, citing the mayor’s handling of the pandemic, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular has been cancelled. The global death toll is approaching 700,000. NY TIMES
PRIMARY RESULTS: The votes are still being counted in primaries held in Kansas, Missouri, Washington, Michigan and Arizona. A couple early takeaways: Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief after Kris Kobach lost his Senate bid to Rep. Roger Marshall, an establishment member of the GOP. Had Kobach won, the thinking was that Democrats could have flipped the seat. In Missouri, a nurse and BLM activist named Cori Bush beat the incumbent William Lacy Clay, the latest progressive candidate to oust a centrist Democrat in the House. USA TODAY
MAIL-IN VOTING: President Trump reversed his opposition to mail-in voting, at least for his home state of Florida. The president encouraged Floridians to vote by mail, but did not extend the support to other states that are considering or implementing vote-by-mail procedures for the election. The USPS, meanwhile, is under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans, with Democrats accusing the White House of sabotaging the Post Office ahead of November and Republicans noting issues with mail-in votes being disqualified in New York’s recent primary. THE HILL
TICK TOCK FOR TIKTOK: Apple says it has no interest in pursuing TikTok after a report suggested the iPhone maker was in talks to acquire the social media platform from China’s ByteDance. President Trump has given Microsoft until Sept. 15 to close a deal for TikTok’s U.S. assets, but is saying any sale would have to include a “substantial amount of money” coming into the U.S. Treasury. The government typically doesn’t demand so-called “key money” as part of a deal between two private companies because doing so would be illegal. THE VERGE
SPORTS TV RATINGS: TV ratings for baseball and basketball, which started out huge when the leagues returned, have come back down to Earth. NBA ratings last weekend were “pretty ordinary,” according to one analyst. MLB’s Opening Day game was seen by four million viewers, but more recent games are averaging well below one million on ESPN. SI
MULAN ON TV: Disney is throwing in the towel on its tentpole movie event of the summer. Mulan, which has been delayed numerous times, will now premiere on Disney+ on Sept. 4 for $30 (that’s on top of the cost of a Disney+ subscription). The decision to pull the plug on a theatrical release is yet another blow to movie theaters’ hopes they’d be reopening soon. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, the only other major summer release that hasn’t been cancelled, is still supposed to hit select U.S. theaters Labor Day weekend. VARIETY
VMA'S ARE A GO: The MTV Video Music Awards will go forward as scheduled on Aug. 30 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, though it’s unclear how much of the show will actually be there. BTS, Doja Cat and J Balvin will perform. Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga lead the nominations with nine a piece. BILLBOARD
LEFTOVERS: SENDING OUT AN S.O.S.: Three men were rescued from a tiny island in Micronesia after a U.S.-Australian search team in a helicopter spotted a giant ‘S.O.S.’ they had written in the sand. The marooned men had been on the Pacific island for three days when they were found and are said to be in good condition. SEE IT
Listen to the N2K Podcast! Looking for more context and analysis on the big stories of the day? Check out our podcast! Hosts Jill and Carlo break down the headlines, every weekday morning Listen on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!
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