☀ August 21: Deadly wildfires grow, Postmaster testifies, Lori Loughlin sentencing

[Your Morning]

HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 20: A firefighting aircraft drops retardant ahead of the LNU Lightning Complex fire on August 20, 2020 in Healdsburg, California. The LNU Lightning Complex fire is spread over 5 counties and has burned over 130,000 acres. The out-of-control wildfire has destroyed at least 50 homes and is zero percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Good morning! It’s Friday, August 21, 2020. Here’s a look at your news across the nation:

1️⃣🔥 Dozens of wildfires raging throughout Northern California have now claimed at least five lives. The fires have destroyed 175 structures, including homes, and are threatening 50,000 more. Why it matters: More than two dozen major fires are scorching California and taxing the state’s firefighting capacity, sparked by an unprecedented lightning siege that dropped nearly 11,000 strikes over several days.

2️⃣🗳 Former Vice President Joe Biden has accepted the Democratic presidential nomination. President Donald Trump is expected to accept the Republican nomination next week on the south lawn of the White House. Why it matters: There are only 74 days until the general election.

A stage is under construction on the South Lawn of the White House on August 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Next Thursday, President Donald Trump is expected to accept his party’s nomination for president and speak to the Republican National Committee convention from the South Lawn of the White House. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

3️⃣📫 Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is set to testify this morning about disruptions in mail delivery. A Senate committee will look into changes in postal operations being made just as millions of Americans will be relying on mail-in ballots for the November election. Why it matters: Earlier in the week, DeJoy announced he was going to halt recent operational changes to mail delivery to “avoid even the appearance of impact on election mail.”

4️⃣⚖ “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will be sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to participating in a college admissions cheating scheme. It’s been more than a year since Loughlin and Giannulli were charged with paying half a million dollars in bribes to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California. Loughlin’s plea deal with prosecutors calls for her to spend two months behind bars, while Giannulli’s calls for him to serve five months. Why it matters: Unlike most plea agreements, in which the judge remains free to decide the defendant’s sentence, Loughlin and Giannulli’s proposed prison terms are binding if the judge accepts the deals.

📱 [Trending] across the nation

🌽💔 Residents of South Dakota’s largest city are mourning an urban cornstalk that briefly became a lighthearted beacon of hope during the coronavirus pandemic.

The stalk had been growing up through a crack in the concrete at the intersection of 57th Street and Minnesota Avenue on Sioux Falls’ south side.

Dubbed the 57th Street Corn, complete with its own Twitter account during its brief life span, the plant was a symbol of resiliency and hope as the pandemic continued, Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

Residents reported Wednesday morning that someone had ripped out the lone stalk, prompting an outcry on social media. Someone attached a sign to a traffic post where the stalk grew that reads “CORN RIP.”

📅 What to watch for today

🔴 The Postmaster General will testify in a U.S. Senate hearing on Friday at 9 a.m. (ET). Much of the hearing will be virtual due to the pandemic.

🔴 The sentencing of the Golden State Killer is scheduled for Friday morning. He’s expected to be sentenced to life in prison, after taking a plea deal, which spared him the death penalty. Throughout the week, victims have been confronting the serial killer and rapist in court with victim impact statements.

💻📲 We’ll bring you 🔴 LIVE news updates throughout the day on the NewsNation Now app and NewsNationNow.com.

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