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Kamala Harris makes history, Obama unleashes scathing Trump attack and a Russian opposition leader allegedly poisoned

Lightning-sparked wildfires swept across Northern California on Wednesday, forcing evacuation orders for thousands.
Sen. Kamala Harris said President Donald Trump's "failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods" during the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.
Sen. Kamala Harris said President Donald Trump's "failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods" during the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday. DNC

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Political history was made on the third night of the Democratic National Convention and a major Russian opposition leader is fighting for his life after he was allegedly poisoned.

Here's what we're watching this Thursday morning.

Harris accepts historic VP nomination; Obama says Trump 'hasn't grown into the job because he can't'

Sen. Kamala Harris of California officially became the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee Wednesday night, becoming the first Black woman and Asian American on a major party's presidential ticket.

On the third night of the Democratic National Convention, the California senator reintroduced herself to the country, speaking at length about her family and backstory, particularly the role her mother played in her life before she died of cancer.

She also was also aggressive in her criticism of President Donald Trump, saying his "failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods."

The former prosecutor made the case that the country was "at an inflection point," and ready for a change of leadership.

Former President Barack Obama broke with tradition by offering his harshest criticism of his successor to date.

"I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously, that he might come to feel the weight of the office," Obama said.

"But he never did. He's shown no interest in putting in the work, no interest in finding common ground, no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends," he said. (Watch his full speech or read it).

Trump didn't care for the attack and lashed out with an all-caps tweetstorm during Obama's speech.

But the overall message from the Democratic Party luminaries who spoke on Wednesday night was a plea for Americans to turn out and vote.

"This can't be another woulda coulda shoulda election," said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The party's 2016 presidential nominee urged people to "vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are."

  • Catch up: Read 4 key takeaways from Night 3 of the DNC and analysis of some of the key moments.
  • Watch: NBC News at 10 p.m. ET for a special report during the last night of the convention. MSNBC and NBC will also feature live coverage.

Russian opposition leader fighting for his life in ICU after alleged poisoning

Fierce Kremlin critic and opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in a coma after he was allegedly poisoned Thursday morning, his spokesperson said.

The 44-year-old foe of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is said to be unconscious and on a ventilator in an intensive care unit after falling ill while on a flight, which made an emergency landing.

His spokesperson Kira Yarmysh did not say who she believed may have poisoned Navalny, but that police had been called to the hospital.

"Doctors are really dealing with saving his life right now," a hospital official said about Navalny's condition on Thursday.

We apologize, this video has expired.

Trump says of QAnon conspiracy movement: 'These are people who love our country'

President Donald Trump declined Wednesday to disavow the QAnon movement, saying that the followers of the extreme conspiracy theory oppose violent protests and that "I've heard these are people who love our country."

When asked by an NBC News reporter whether he supported the idea promoted by QAnon that he is secretly trying to save the world from a satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals, Trump said: "I haven't heard that. But is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?"

While QAnon has been a fringe movement for years, researchers and experts say it has emerged in recent months as a sort of centralized hub for utterly false conspiracy theories.

Facebook on Wednesday banned about 900 pages and groups and 1,500 ads tied to the group.

Listen to the latest episode of our "Into America" podcast. Host Trymaine Lee digs into the rise of QAnon and why we should all be paying attention to it with Ben Collins, a reporter for NBC News who covers disinformation, extremism and the internet.

Cleared by doctors, but not by the public: After COVID-19, survivors face stigma

In the three months since Dashauna Ballard of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, recovered from the coronavirus, she has learned to not mention that she was ever sick.

"People act like you did something to catch it, or you did something wrong, and that’s why you got it," Ballard, an academic accommodations specialist for university students, said. "I feel like I have a scarlet letter on my chest."

In a time when they need it the most, many survivors of the coronavirus are finding that their support system wants nothing to do with them. Having recovered from the illness, they now face a new challenge: stigma from family, friends and co-workers.

Here are some other coronavirus developments:

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THINK about it

Kamala Harris' DNC speech was historic. Now let's stop obsessing over women's "baggage," Ashton Pittman writes in an opinion piece.


The best digital thermometers for at-home use, according to a medical expert.

Quote of the day

"Seventeen years of service are over. My conscience is clear. Police are with the people."

Yegor Yemelyanov was a police officer in Belarus for 17 years. He says the brutality of Alexander Lukashenko's crackdown on protests after the recent election made him quit.

One science thing

A "dent" in the Earth's magnetic field has left scientists puzzled.

While scientists have known about a weak spot in Earth’s magnetic field for several decades, new research suggests that the South Atlantic Anomaly is growing.

Earth's magnetic field is generated by the constant motion of liquid metal in the planet's iron-rich outer core.NASA

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Thanks, Petra Cahill