Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, August 26, 2020:


LAST NIGHT: First Lady Melania Trump delivered a primetime speech in which she praised her husband’s “total honesty” and expressed sympathy for the victims of the coronavirus -- one of the rare speakers to address the pandemic head on. In a speech aimed at appealing to women, the first lady struck an empathetic tone on both the pandemic and race relations, two areas on which Trump is rated poorly among female voters. HIGHLIGHTS

TONIGHT: Vice President Pence will give the keynote from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, the site that inspired The Star-Spangled Banner. Other speakers include Second Lady Karen Pence, Lara Trump and Kellyanne Conway. CBS NEWS


Hurricane Laura is now a Cat 2 and still rapidly strengthening over the Gulf of Mexico as it approaches a U.S. landfall late tonight or early tomorrow. The latest track has the storm coming ashore along the Texas-Louisiana border with winds as high as 120 mph and a 12-foot storm surge. Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in effect for the upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts. Conditions along the coast will deteriorate today; mandatory evacuations are in place in some communities. Houston residents are being told to shelter in place. ADVISORIES, SATELLITE, CONE


New clusters of cases at colleges and universities are raising questions about whether schools that reopened may need to shut down as classes begin: 530 confirmed positives at Alabama, 160 at Mizzou, 43 at USC. Meanwhile, researchers are pointing to a conference held by the biotech company Biogen in February that they believe may have led to 20,000 cases in the Boston area, and potentially thousands more across the U.S. That would make the conference among the largest “superspreader” events in the world. FIERCEPHARMA


Three people were shot, two fatally, in the third night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The sheriff says armed militia groups have been roaming the streets, clashing with Black Lives Matter protesters. Images on social media show heavily armed white men wearing body armor patrolling downtown, where rioters destroyed businesses the previous night. Jacob Blake, the Black man shot by police in an incident that sparked the unrest, is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down. His parents have called for calm. JOURNAL SENTINEL


The airline industry has seen an uptick in travel over the past few weeks, but it is not out of the woods yet by a long shot. American Airlines is planning to cut up to 19,000 jobs in October, following announcements of impending cuts from United and Delta. The majority of those cuts would be to frontline positions like pilots and flight attendants. October is when federal aid that kept carriers from laying off workers is set to expire. American says the only way it can stave off the cuts is if the government extends the payroll support program. REUTERS


Lovers of novelty fast food and drink options, listen up: Starbucks has brought back the Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier than ever after Dunkin' launched its first-ever PSL earlier this month. Meanwhile, McDonald’s is adding spicy chicken nuggets to the menu on Sept. 16, the first new McNugget variety since the item debuted in 1983. The Golden Arches will also have a Chips Ahoy McFlurry available for a limited time. EATER


Lionel Messi, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, may soon have a new team. Messi has reportedly told Barcelona that he wants to leave, though the club says it’s too late to let him out of his contract this year. This past season was the first since 2007-08 that Messi didn’t win a trophy, and Barcelona was humiliated in the Champions League semis last week by Bayern Munich. Manchester City is among the clubs looking to see if they could sign Messi. ESPN

SPOTTED...Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes, and Millie Bobby Brown as Holmes’ brilliant younger sister in the first trailer for Enola Holmes, coming to Netflix next month: WATCH


The cast of The West Wing is reuniting for the first time in 20 years, with Aaron Sorkin penning new material. HBO Max will air the one-off special this fall, which will serve to promote voter participation ahead of the election. VARIETY


The Russian nuclear agency has declassified a documentary-style video showing the most powerful nuclear explosion in history: the 1961 Tsar Bomba test conducted by the Soviets in the Arctic. That hydrogen bomb, built and detonated a year before the Cuban Missile Crisis, was 50 megatons, making it 3,333 times as powerful as the bomb that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima. The video, which helpfully includes English subtitles, shows the impact and resulting mushroom cloud: WATCH

Listen to the N2K Podcast! Looking for more context and analysis on the big stories of the day? Check out our podcast! Hosts Jill and Carlo break down the headlines, every weekday morning Listen on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!

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