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Good morning. The postmaster general agreed to testify before Congress. The Trump administration finalized a plan to allow drilling in an Alaskan refuge. And the Democratic convention began with appeals to both the left and the right.
The first White House picketers were suffragists. Through a world war and a flu pandemic, they held up signs with slogans like, “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?”
“They wanted to be the first thing the president saw every morning and the last thing he saw at night,” said Veronica Chambers, the lead editor on a Times project commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
A century ago today, the United States ratified the 19th Amendment, enshrining a woman’s right to vote in the Constitution. But the decades-long struggle didn’t end there. For years after 1920, many women, including Native Americans and Chinese immigrants, were not able to vote. And for many others, especially African-Americans, casting a ballot was extremely difficult.
“Many historians talk about the suffrage movement continuing at least until 1965,” when the Voting Rights Act passed, Veronica said. “The timeline of how long women in the U.S. have had political power and independence is not as long as we tend to think it is.”
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy agreed to testify to Congress next week about cost-cutting measures at the Postal Service, changes that have fueled fears that the Trump administration is trying to depress voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.
The House is expected to vote this week on a bill that would reverse DeJoy’s cuts and provide an additional $25 billion to support mail voting. But the crisis of confidence has some state officials looking for alternatives. Some want to expand in-person polling places and ballot drop-off locations, which President Trump has, without evidence, called fraudulent.
For more: DeJoy received over $1 million in income last year from a company that does business with the Postal Service, according to financial documents reviewed by The Times.
2. D.N.C. kicks off with pitches to left and right
Democrats opened their presidential nominating convention last night with a virtual program that spanned the ideological gamut, featuring speeches from the left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders and two former Republican governors. Watch the highlights here.
The final address of the night came from the former first lady Michelle Obama, who delivered a withering critique of Trump. “Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can: Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country,” she said. “He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment.”
From Times Opinion: Our writers ranked the night’s best and worst moments.
Today’s lineup: Speakers include Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, former President Bill Clinton and Jill Biden. The Times will have live coverage starting at 9 p.m. Eastern.
3. Trump opens Alaskan refuge to drilling
The Trump administration finalized plans yesterday to open up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development. The decision ends six decades of protections for the refuge, the largest remaining stretch of wilderness in the United States.
Though any oil production would still be at least a decade in the future, the administration said it hoped to sell leases on the land by the end of the year. Environmentalists and Alaska Native groups are expected to file lawsuits to try to block the sales.
4. Belarus protests weaken a strongman’s grip
Aleksandr Lukashenko has ruled Belarus for 26 years, backed by a brutal and loyal security apparatus. But as protests rage against the rigged election this month that kept him in power, the man known as “Europe’s last dictator” is looking surprisingly weak, The Times’s Ivan Nechepurenko and Andrew Higgins write.
Even former bastions of support are wavering, outraged by police violence against protesters. On a visit to a tractor factory yesterday, Lukashenko was shouted down by chants of “Go away! Go away!”
A closer look: The Times’s visual investigations team reviewed hundreds of videos to get a firsthand look at the violence against protesters in Belarus, and the revolt it has sparked.
5. U.N.C. goes online after outbreaks
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill became the first big university to move in-person classes online after new coronavirus outbreaks. Just one week into the semester, 177 students had tested positive, and hundreds of others were in quarantine because of possible exposure.
U.N.C. officials identified four clusters of infections in student housing facilities, including one at the Sigma Nu fraternity. And The Times has linked at least 251 cases of the virus to fraternities and sororities on campuses across the country.
Here’s what else is happening
Part of Death Valley reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday. If verified by climate scientists, it would be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on earth.
A federal judge blocked a Trump administration rule to erase protections for transgender patients against discrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies.
Two men were charged with murdering Jam Master Jay, the D.J. for the pioneering rap group Run DMC who was fatally shot inside his Queens studio in 2002.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” parted ways with three of its producers, after former employees described a toxic workplace and said they had experienced “racism, fear and intimidation.”
Lives Lived: Some people thought Marvin Creamer was crazy. Sail round the world without anything to guide you but the sun and the moon and the stars? But that’s what he did, becoming the first recorded person to circumnavigate the world without navigational instruments. He died at 104.
IDEA OF THE DAY: Three paths for Never Trump
The Democratic National Convention featured an unlikely speaker last night: John Kasich, the Republican former governor of Ohio. Kasich — like the other Republican speakers on Monday who endorsed Joe Biden — represents a small faction of moderate conservatives Biden hopes to win over.
But there’s a debate among some “Never Trump” Republicans over how far to go in supporting Democrats and opposing Trump. Here are three ways they’re thinking about their choice this November.
Burn it all down. Republicans who enabled Trump should go down with him, says the Lincoln Project, a Never Trump super PAC running ads against vulnerable G.O.P. senators. Losing control of the Senate would be “a fitting end to their sycophantic and irresponsible tenure in the Trump era,” The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin has written.
Split the ticket. Repudiating Trump doesn’t require voting against the entire party, argues The Dispatch’s David French. Mike Murphy, a longtime G.O.P. strategist, thinks a slim Republican Senate majority could compel compromise with a President Biden.
Reject the choice. Some Never Trumpers cite policy differences as a reason not to vote for Biden. “If the polls are to be believed, conscientious objectors like me won’t be decisive,” writes The Daily Beast’s Matt Lewis, who breaks with Democrats on abortion.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT, KEANU
A choose-your-own-adventure food
Chaat is hard to define but easy to crave. It refers to a category of Indian snacks that can be made from virtually anything, with a “combination of contrasting textures and sweet, salty, tangy and spicy flavors,” writes Priya Krishna.
For a quick, no-cook dinner, follow the chef Maneet Chauhan’s recipe for a chaat party — a choose-your-own-adventure spread that allows eaters to build a dish suited to their tastes.
A book ripped from the headlines
“Summer,” the final novel in the author Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet, carries on the previous entries’ convention of addressing the day’s news, from Brexit to wildfires in Australia. This installment includes the coronavirus pandemic seeping into its protagonists’ lives.
The book, Dwight Garner writes in a review, “is a prose poem in praise of memory, forgiveness, getting the joke and seizing the moment.”
Friends, onscreen and off
Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter first played friends in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” the 1989 time-traveling slacker comedy. Three decades later, they remain friends in real life, dude, and will reunite onscreen for a long-awaited third entry to the franchise. “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” which will be released this month, follows the dopey duo’s muddle through middle age, and sees their daughters take up the best friend mantle.
“There’s very little constancy in this business,” Winter said in an interview with The Times. “You come together on a set, you’re like, ‘We’re like a family!’ And then it’s, ‘OK, bye.’ You never, ever see them again.” But with Reeves, Winter said, “I think of him as my brother.”
Escape to the enchanting Italian village of Panicale, which looks straight out of a fairy tale.
The late-night comedy hosts watched the start of this week’s virtual Democratic convention.
Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: World Cup organizer (four letters).
Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.
P.S. “Finish the Fight,” an original play that brings to life the biographies of lesser-known activists, premieres at 7 Eastern tonight. The virtual performance is free; R.S.V.P. here.
David Leonhardt, this newsletter’s usual writer, is on break until Monday.
You can see today’s print front page here.
Today’s episode of “The Daily” is about last week’s deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally posted on https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/briefing/postal-service-michelle-obama-belarus-your-tuesday-briefing.html