Good morning, NBC News readers.
After several searing attacks, the RNC took on a softer approach on Night 2. Police protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, turned deadly and Hurricane Laura is gaining strength as it heads for the Gulf Coast.
Here's what we're watching this Wednesday morning.
Trump uses White House perch during unprecedented RNC reelection pitch
After several Republican speakers attacked former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democrats, bemoaned the cultural battles and derided "cancel culture," first lady Melania Trump offered a rare unifying message to conclude the second night of the Republican National Convention.
"My deepest sympathies go out to everyone who has lost a loved one, and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering," she said in the most direct acknowledgment of the toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken.
The first lady also took time to address the racial unrest across the country, saying "we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future while still learning from our past."
But, the use of the Rose Garden as a venue for her speech was just one of several moments where President Donald Trump's campaign trampled norms against using the power of the White House for campaign politics.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also under fire for delivering his precedent-busting address to the convention from Jerusalem — violating his own department's legal guidance and potentially federal law.
House Democrats have already launched an investigation into Pompeo's apparent intermingling of diplomacy and partisan politics.
And that's not all, Trump even conducted a naturalization ceremony and granted a presidential pardon from the White House as part of Tuesday night's convention — blurring the lines between the presidency and the campaign.
- Check out key takeaways from Night 2 of the RNC.
- Fact check: "Biden has pledged to defund the police," the president's son Eric Trump said in his speech. Not true. Check out out our fact-checking on some of the RNC speakers' claims.
- Catch up: Read analysis of the night's big moments.
- Tune into NBC News, MSNBC and NBCNews.com for special coverage of Day 3 of the convention.
2 dead, 1 injured after Wisconsin protests over police shooting erupt for third night
Two people were killed and one was injured as shots rang out during the third night of protests in Kenosha, Wisc., according to the city's police department.
The protests were sparked after a video shared on social media showed Jacob Blake, 29, being shot at close range police on Sunday.
Blake was shot seven times by an officer and he is now paralyzed from the waist down, family attorney Patrick Salvi said Tuesday. Doctors don't know if the condition is permanent.
"They shot my son seven times, seven times, like he didn't matter," his father, also named Jacob Black, told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "But my son matters, he's a human being and he matters."
Hurricane Laura grows stronger as it barrels toward Gulf Coast
Hurricane Laura strengthened to a Category 2 storm early Wednesday as it approached the U.S. Gulf Coast, with forecasters warning it is expected to get stronger still and be a "major hurricane" by the time it makes landfall.
The storm, which became a hurricane Tuesday morning, was "rapidly intensifying" at 2 a.m. Wednesday and had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
It was forecast to approach the upper Texas and southwestern Louisiana coasts Wednesday evening.
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- "Disaster inside a disaster": California wildfires and COVID-19 form twin crises.
- NBA superstar LeBron James said the Jacob Blake shooting shows why Black people are "terrified" of the police.
- A gay mayor says he is confronting a "homophobic" sex scandal ahead of primary.
THINK about it
Donald Trump Jr. and other Republicans suggested what Americans had to fear right now was socialism, and not the authoritarianism of this administration, criminal justice reporter Tana Ganeva writes in an opinion piece.
As the pandemic persists, many mornings feel like "Groundhog Day." Here are tips on how to revamp your routine with a healthy boost — just in time for fall.
Perhaps more protein smoothies are part of the healthy new you? Here are the best blenders, according to trainers.
Quote of the day
"We've had a four-fer, with COVID, a heat wave, wildfires and the threat of roving power outages."
— Janet Upton, a spokeswoman for Napa County and a former deputy director of Cal Fire, said about the multiple crises in California this summer.
A memorial lives on
Locals and visitors regularly gather at the spot throughout the day to remember Floyd and mediate on America's past and the ongoing struggle for racial equality.
"There’s a spirit that's here," Clifford Dodd, a Black vendor who was born and raised in nearby St. Paul, told NBC News.
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