Democratic National Convention, Trump, NBA

It’s Monday again, readers.

This week: the Democratic National Convention begins. Coming off the heels of Vice President Joe Biden’s historic vice presidential pick, it’s expected to be a week of (albeit virtual) pomp and circumstance.

But before we get to what you need to know this week, here’s what you missed this weekend:

  • Mandatory evacuations are still in place as a Southern California wildfire spread to more than 18,000 acres over the weekend in rural Los Angeles County. The Lake Fire, blazing about 65 miles north of Los Angeles near Lake Hughes and amid a dangerous heat wave that has caused rolling blackouts in some parts of the state, has burned 18,361 acres, or 28.7 square miles, as of 7 p.m. PDT Sunday.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the House to return into session later this week to vote on a bill that would prevent changes the Trump administration has made to the Postal Service, alterations Democrats say will cause a slowing of the flow of mail and potentially jeopardize the November election.

  • President Donald Trump’s younger brother Robert died Saturday of an undisclosed illness. He was 71.

  • Fights broke out in multiple states Saturday in clashes involving a variety of groups, including the far-right Proud Boys, counter-protesters supporting Black Lives Matter and police officers in riot gear.

It’s Elinor, and here’s more news you need to know to kick off your Monday.

The Democratic National Convention is here

The Democratic National Convention begins Monday, and unlike previous years where thousands of Democrats descended on a city, the four-day convention will be conducted by video from satellite locations across the country. For presumptive nominee Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, the DNC is still the biggest opportunity they will have before Election Day to introduce themselves, bash the other side, and outline a governing agenda. Democrats are using Monday to show support from opposite ends of the political spectrum with speeches from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a 2016 Republican candidate for president who has been critical of Trump. Monday’s theme, “We the People,” will focus on “Americans rising up to take our country back” with former first lady Michelle Obama scheduled as the keynote speaker. DNC speeches are set to be broadcast from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Trump hits the campaign trail to counter Joe Biden and Democrats

As Joe Biden and the Democrats convene virtually this week, President Donald Trump plans to get in some words edgewise. Trump is scheduled to visit Mankato, Minnesota, and Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on Monday, part of a week-long tour of four states that could go a long way toward deciding the 2020 presidential election between him and Biden. As speakers critique the Trump administration during the Democratic National Convention, the president plans to be in battleground states drawing contrasts with Biden on issues such as “law and order,” health care, immigration, China and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The series of events will include a visit to the city where Biden was born — Scranton, Pennsylvania — and a stop in Yuma, Arizona, where immigration will be a major topic.

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NBA playoffs: Buckle up for a wild, wacky first round

What promises to be a wild NBA postseason gets underway Monday inside the league’s Disney World bubble in Florida. After two weeks of seeding games got everyone back up to speed following a four-month layoff, the first round of the playoffs opens with four games throughout the day, starting with the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz. Nothing about these playoffs will be normal, though. With no in-person fans or home-court advantage, the championship race could be as wide open as it’s ever been. Even Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has admitted struggling to get used to the situation. Will that lead to more upsets? NBA fans can’t wait to find out over the next two months.

Breonna Taylor family attorneys renew calls for charges, and more on race in America

Los Angeles school district launches COVID-19 testing program

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the country’s second-largest school district, is launching a massive COVID-19 testing and tracing program on Monday for all staff, students and their families “to help prepare for an eventual return to school campuses,” officials announced Sunday. “The goal is to get students back to school as soon as possible while protecting the health and safety of all in the school community,” Superintendent Austin Buetner wrote in an opinion article in the Los Angeles Times. The announcement comes two days before students begin the school year virtually.

Saliva-based COVID-19 test wins FDA approval and more coronavirus news

Iowans grapple with aftermath of derecho

Thousands of Iowa residents are still coping with the aftermath of the ferocious derecho storm that roared across the Midwest last week. Iowa homes, cornfields, utility companies and government agencies have losses estimated at nearly $4 billion from the unusual storm, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Sunday as she announced she’s filing an expedited presidential major disaster declaration with the federal government seeking that much money to rebuild and repair. The derecho, with hurricane-force winds that reached nearly 100 mph in parts of Iowa, swept across Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan before losing steam. More than a half million people were without electricity in the immediate aftermath of the storm, and utility companies reported about 83,000 people remained without power as of Sunday night.

More news you missed

In better news: There’s a new show generating buzz 🎥

“Lovecraft Country” is a perfect TV series for 2020. The new 10-episode HBO series, which premiered Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT, is based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff and is set in 1950s Jim Crow America. Created by Misha Green (“Underground”) and produced by Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams, the series is relevant to any time in American history because it so profoundly portrays and then dissects racism. According to USA TODAY’s Kelly Lawler, the series is also a rip-roaring genre adventure full of terrifying monsters and creepy mysteries.

And the show’s already taken the internet by storm: it quickly trended No. 1 on Twitter on Sunday, and searches for the horror pulp fiction hit skyrocketed on Google. Many took to Twitter to laud the show’s recreation of the photography of Gordon Parks, who was prominent in U.S. documentary photojournalism in the 1940s through 1970s, focusing on civil rights and Black Americans. Others tweeted about the absolutely superb acting from stars Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, Courtney B. Vance and Michael K. Williams.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Monday’s Daily Briefing: Democratic National Convention, Trump, NBA