August 26, 2020

This is VOA news. Via remote, I'm Marissa Melton.

The second night of the Republican National Convention gets under way this hour, with first lady Melania Trump delivering the keynote address this evening and remarks anticipated from presidential offspring Eric Trump and Tiffany Trump as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to make appearances each night of the four-day convention, culminating in an acceptance speech from the White House on Thursday.

A Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives Joaquin Castro has opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding a controversial decision to speak in support of U.S. President Donald Trump tonight during the Republican National Convention.

Castro sent a letter to the nation's [highest rank...] second highest ranking diplomat, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, on Tuesday. The letter said, quote, [it is] "It is highly unusual, and likely unprecedented, for a sitting Secretary of State to speak at a partisan convention for either of the political parties. It appears [this may o] that it may also be illegal." That's the end of the quote.

The letter asks Biegun if he plans to investigate a possible violation of the Hatch Act. That's a law that prevents government employees from engaging in political speech while on duty.

Pompeo, who's traveling overseas, is set to deliver a speech taped during his stay in Jerusalem, in which he urges U.S. voters to support President Trump. Traditionally, the nation's top diplomat refrains from voicing an opinion on the presidential race.

Pompeo's office even sent out the usual State Department memo reminding diplomats overseas to avoid taking sides and run up to the election.

Pompeo's staff says he delivered his remarks in a personal capacity and used no State Department funds in doing so.

Critics maintain he should not be speaking out during the convention at all and certainly not while traveling overseas on government business.

This is VOA news.

The father of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot Sunday by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, said his son is paralyzed from the waist down.

Blake's father told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper Tuesday his son has, quote, "eight holes" in his body from his confrontation with police. He said doctors do not know if the paralysis will be permanent.

The shooting was captured on cellphone video and led to two nights of unrest in the southeastern Wisconsin city located between Milwaukee and Chicago.

Police used tear gas Monday to subdue protesters as they marched in front of City Hall. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called the National Guard Monday to help keep the peace.

Protesters led by Black Lives Matter activists plan to march again Tuesday.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn on Tuesday apologized for overstating the life-saving benefits of treating COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma.

Scientists and medical experts have been pushing back against the claims about the treatment since President Donald Trump's announcement on Sunday that the FDA had decided to issue emergency authorization for convalescent plasma. Convalescent plasma is taken from patients who've recovered from the coronavirus. It contains COVID-19 antibodies that are believed to be help with patients still in the throes of the infection.

President Trump hailed the decision as a historic breakthrough although the treatment's value has not been established. The announcement on the eve of his Republican National Convention raised suspicions that it was politically motivated to offset critics of the president's handling of [the] the pandemic.

The U.S. government said [it's] it's "deeply concerned" about medical [tesks] tests that indicate poisoning in the case of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who remains in an induced coma in Germany following a medical evacuation from Russia.

In a statement, Secretary of State Pompeo said, "If the reports prove accurate, the United States supports the EU's call for a comprehensive investigation and stands ready to assist in that effort." He was referencing the European Union's call for a probe into the incident.

The Russian government has dismissed accusations that it was involved in an attack on Navalny, who is being treated in Germany's Charité hospital after becoming sick Thursday night while on a flight to Moscow from Siberia.

Allies of Navalny contend the Kremlin is responsible for his illness.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday called those assertions "empty noise." He said there is no evidence to warrant an investigation into Navalny's illness.

And the president of the U.N. Security Council said Tuesday there is no consensus for restoring international sanctions on Iran despite a U.S. demand that they be re-imposed.

Via remote, I'm Marissa Melton. You're listening to VOA news.