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LIVE: Ex-US presidents to speak on Day 2 of Democratic convention | USA News



  • US Democrats are opening the second night of their convention with voices from across the party’s politic divide. Moderates Sally Yates and progressive star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will make their appearances.
  • Response to the first night was positive from many Democratic loyalists, but some criticised its lack of policy proposals and time given to prominent Republicans supporting Biden.
  • Two former US presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, will speak tonight. Carter, an elderly one-term president, is widely respected. Clinton is remembered fondly by many, though his association with convicted paedophile Jeffery Epstein has caused some controversy, though no allegations of impropriety have been levelled against Clinton.
  • Jill Biden, wife of presumptive nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden, will deliver the final speech and talk about their family’s struggles.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, August 18 

22:02 GMT – Jill Biden to get personal about family’s struggles

Jill Biden will offer a personal glimpse into her family’s struggles and vouch for her husband’s ability to lead the nation through adversity during her opening remarks at the Democratic National Convention.

“There are times when I couldn’t imagine how he did it – how he put one foot in front of the other and kept going. But I’ve always understood why he did it. … He does it for you,” she’ll say in her speech, according to advance remarks.

During their decades in public life, Jill and Joe Biden have faced considerable personal loss. Shortly after getting elected as a senator in 1972, Biden’s first wife and infant daughter were killed in a crash, leaving him to raise his two sons alone.

Biden married Jill about four years later, but the two faced tragedy together when Biden’s son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.

Both speak openly on the campaign trail about the challenges they’ve experienced, and Jill Biden will speak about what it takes to “make a broken family whole”.

“The same way you make a nation whole. With love and understanding – and with small acts of compassion.”

21:44 GMT – Stock market surges to record high in boon for Trump

The S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high on Tuesday, completing its recovery from the stock market crash after the onset of the coronavirus crisis, which has killed more than 170,000 in the US, in February.

The index ended at 3,389.78 points, above the previous record close of 3,386.15 on February 19.

The record confirms, according to a widely accepted definition, that Wall Street’s most closely followed index entered a bull market after hitting its pandemic low on March 23.

The news should be welcome for Trump, who is trailing Biden in most national polls but has campaigned on the strength of the economy prior to the coronavirus crisis.

21:20 GMT – Embattled postmaster general pauses controversial changes to mail delivery 

US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday suspended all mail service changes until after the November election after an outcry by Democrats about concerns the changes were an attempt to bolster President Donald Trump’s chances in the November polls.

“To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” DeJoy, a Trump ally and consistent donor to the Republican Party, said in a statement.

A US Postal Service (USPS) office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [Rachel Wisniewski/Reuters]

The reversal follows complaints that the cuts could slow the handling of mail-in ballots, which could account for as many as half of all votes cast in November’s election as the coronavirus pandemic raises fears of crowds.

 20:50 GMT – Trump responds to Obama’s criticism 

Trump, the object of much ire during the first night of the Democratic National Convention, responded to the stinging attack from former First Lady Michelle Obama delivered on the first night. 

Obama said Trump was “in over his head … it is what it is” in an apparent reference to Trump’s own comments on the US death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Somebody please explain to Michelle Obama that Donald J Trump would not be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren’t for the job done by your husband, Barack Obama,” the president tweeted on Tuesday, calling Biden an “afterthought”.

“Biden was merely an afterthought”, Trump, a frequent and continued critic of the Obama administration, said. 

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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