Week In The News: Beirut Explosion, Stimulus Struggles, Progressive Primary Wins

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Smoke rises from the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (Bilal Hussein/AP Photo)
Smoke rises from the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (Bilal Hussein/AP Photo)

Congress tussles over a stimulus package with a deadline looming. A massive, deadly explosion in Beirut. It’s all in our week in review.


Seung Min Kim, White House reporter for the Washington Post, covering Capitol Hill. (@seungminkim)

Margaret Talev, politics and White House editor at Axios. (@margarettalev)

Kat Stafford, national race and ethnicity reporter for the Associated Press. (@kat_stafford)

From The Reading List

Washington Post: "Congress flails as coronavirus ravages the nation and the economy stalls" — "Coronavirus cases are surging, the fragile economic recovery has stalled, and millions of jobless Americans just lost emergency unemployment benefits. In response, Congress is doing what it does best: nothing at all."

Associated Press: "'If not now, when?': Black women seize political spotlight" — "The little girl ran up to her, wide-eyed and giddy."

New York Times: "Progressive Victories Signal Staying Power for the Movement" — "When Bernie Sanders lost to Joseph R. Biden Jr., the left mourned what could have been, worried that it had faltered at a once-in-a-generation crossroads for the Democratic Party."

Associated Press: "Joe Biden launches new national ad aimed at Black Americans" — "Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign has launched a new national ad focused on Black Americans, urging them to stand up to President Donald Trump the way their ancestors stood up to 'violent racists of a generation ago.'"

Reuters: "Fact check: Video does not show a drone bombing Beirut" — "Social media users have shared a video of a drone alongside suggestions that the aircraft delivered a bomb over Beirut, resulting in an explosion that has killed least 135 people."

BBC: "Beirut explosion: Anti-government protests break out in city" — "Protesters clashed with Lebanese security forces at anti-government demonstrations in Beirut on Thursday."

CNN: "See what bomb expert thinks caused Beirut explosion" — "An ex-British Army explosive expert says the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, shows the tell-tale signs of an ammonium nitrate explosion."

Associated Press: "Trump bans dealings with Chinese owners of TikTok, WeChat" — "President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered a sweeping but unspecified ban on dealings with the Chinese owners of consumer apps TikTok and WeChat, although it remains unclear if he has the legal authority to actually ban the apps from the U.S."

Axios: "Axios-Ipsos poll: Fear of voting" — "Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index."

Politico: "Yates says Obama, Biden didn’t influence Flynn investigation" — "Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told lawmakers Wednesday that neither President Barack Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden attempted to influence the FBI’s investigation of incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn during a January 2017 Oval Office meeting with top national security officials."

The Guardian: "Alarm at Trump's unsubstantiated claim that Beirut blast was an 'attack'" — "Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that the massive explosion in Beirut was a bomb attack has revived fears of the president’s potential to foment international crises."

NPR: "New York Attorney General Moves To Dissolve The NRA After Fraud Investigation" — "The attorney general of New York took action Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association following an 18-month investigation that found evidence the powerful gun rights group is 'fraught with fraud and abuse.'"

TIME: "Beirut Was Already Suffering. Then Came a Deadly Explosion" — "The electricity was out at Fatima Al Mahmoud’s Beirut home even before a colossal explosion ripped through the Lebanese capital late on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 135 people, and wounding a further 5,000."

Washington Post: "Biden won’t travel to Milwaukee to accept Democratic nomination amid coronavirus concerns" — "Former vice president Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to accept the Democratic presidential nomination due to coronavirus concerns, convention organizers confirmed Wednesday."

This program aired on August 7, 2020.


Headshot of Grace Tatter

Grace Tatter Producer, WBUR Podcasts
Grace Tatter is a producer for WBUR Podcasts.


Headshot of Anthony Brooks

Anthony Brooks Senior Political Reporter
Anthony Brooks is WBUR's senior political reporter.



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