August 3, 2020

President Trump addressed the TikTok sale saga again Monday, and his most recent comments seemingly lend credence to speculation that his previous threat to ban the popular social media app was a negotiation tactic to force its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to fully divest its U.S. operations. To be clear, Trump doubled down on the threat, but this time he affirmed he would be okay with Microsoft buying the app and set a deadline for a potential sale, whereas he previously suggested a ban was imminent.

"I don't mind whether it's Microsoft or someone else, a big company, a secure company, a very American company buys it," Trump said. "It'll close down on Sept. 15 unless Microsoft or somebody else is able to buy it and work out a deal, an appropriate deal, so the Treasury of the United States gets a lot of money."

Microsoft has confirmed it's working on a deal, but still has some negotiating to do. The Trump administration has scrutinized TikTok lately because of concerns that ByteDance is harboring American users' data and could potentially hand it over to the Chinese government down the line amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. Read more at Bloomberg. Tim O'Donnell

10:08 p.m.

Who watches the Watchmen? Emmy voters, clearly.

HBO's Watchmen on Sunday took home the award for Outstanding Limited Series at the Emmys, beating out shows including Mrs. America and Little Fires Everywhere. The superhero series, which is adapted from the graphic novel, was one of the most critically acclaimed shows of 2019, and it received the most nominations of any series at this year's Emmys with 26.

In an acceptance speech for Outstanding Limited Series, Watchmen creator Damon Lindelof dedicated the award to the victims of the Tulsa race massacre, which was depicted in the series. Watchmen star Regina King had earlier in the night won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen II took the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Emmy. The show also won a writing prize.

Watchmen examines systemic racism in the United States and was widely seen as having taken on even greater relevance in light of the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd. King touched upon that idea as she accepted her Emmy, saying, "Gotta vote. I would be remiss not to mention that being a part of a show as prescient as Watchmen." Brendan Morrow

9:42 p.m.

The Bobcat fire in Los Angeles County has grown to nearly 100,000 acres, and continues to threaten the historical Mt. Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains.

This is one of the largest fires ever recorded in the county; the biggest blaze, 2009's Station fire, burned 160,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest. The Bobcat fire is only 15 percent contained, and is moving through communities in the Antelope Valley, the Los Angeles Times reports. There are more than 1,600 firefighters on the scene, with some coming from as far away as New York.

"We're still in the thick of a good firefight," Andrew Mitchell, public information officer with the U.S. Forest Service, said on Sunday. There were some flare-ups around Mt. Wilson Observatory overnight, but crews were able to stamp them out. Forecasters expect lower temperatures and calmer winds over the next few nights, and Mitchell said he thinks "the next couple days we'll start to really get a handle on this fire because the conditions will be right and we'll be able to really start backing it with all our assets."

There are 27 major wildfires now burning in California, the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Sunday. Since mid-August, blazes in the state have killed 26 people and destroyed more than 6,100 structures. Catherine Garcia

9:21 p.m.

Emmy voters sure do love Regina King. And who can blame them?

King on Sunday won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her performance as Angela Abar in HBO's Watchmen. This was her fourth Emmy victory, after having previously won acting prizes twice for American Crime and once for Seven Seconds.

King accepted her Emmy remotely during the virtual show while wearing a Breonna Taylor shirt, and she ended her speech by urging Americans to vote, adding, "Rest in power, RBG."

This comes after King in 2019 won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk. And speaking of the Academy Awards, she's already generating some Oscar buzz ahead of 2021's ceremony, not for acting but this time for directing. King made her directorial debut with One Night in Miami, which is earning rave reviews and is widely seen as placing her in contention for a Best Director nomination. If she indeed scores a nomination, she'll be the first Black woman ever nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, and if she wins, she'll be only the second woman ever to do so after Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. Just five women have ever been nominated for Best Director in Oscars history. Brendan Morrow

9:08 p.m.

Schitt's Creek is going out on top.

The show just pulled off a sweep at the Emmys, winning every single comedy award during Sunday's broadcast, including Outstanding Comedy Series.

Schitt's Creek's four main stars — Eugene Levy, Dan Levy, Catherine O'Hara, and Annie Murphy — were all awarded Emmys for their performances. This makes Schitt's Creek the first comedy in history to win all four comedy actor Emmys. The show also won Emmys for writing and directing.

The series' domination was especially notable after it went without any Emmy love throughout the majority of its six-season run. It wasn't until 2019 when the show finally earned its first nominations for its penultimate season, and before 2020, it had never won a single Emmy.

But the show picked up serious momentum as its final episodes debuted earlier this year and after new viewers caught up on past seasons on Netflix, similar to the streaming boost series like Breaking Bad received late in their run. The result is that, according to Gold Derby, Schitt's Creek is now just the third show ever to win the main comedy series Emmy for the first time in its final season, with the previous two being Barney Miller and Fleabag. Hey, better late than never, right? Brendan Morrow

8:34 p.m.

Schitt's Creek is off to a strong start at the Emmys.

The acclaimed comedy kicked off Sunday's Emmys with back-to-back wins for its two stars, Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy, who won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, respectively. Both stars were together in Ontario, Canada, where the show's cast gathered at an event "adhering to Ontario’s COVID-19 guidelines," according to the series' Twitter account.

This was the first Emmy for both O'Hara and Levy since the 1980s, when they picked up writing Emmys for their work on SCTV Network. Neither performer had been nominated for their work on Schitt's Creek until last year.

Levy also co-created the show with his son, Dan Levy, who was also with the cast and crew in Ontario and won his own Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Brendan Morrow

8:20 p.m.

Jimmy Kimmel is kicking off a highly unusual Emmys with a highly unusual opening monologue.

Kimmel hosted Sunday's virtual Emmys from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. But seeing as the show was taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he had no audience, with all of the nominees joining him remotely from various locations.

At least, that's what was revealed after a few minutes — Kimmel first opened the show with a typical awards show monologue for what he called the "Pandemmys" in front of what appeared to be a packed crowd, but was actually old Emmys footage. Soon enough, after Kimmel ran through jokes about the nominees and how "the world may be terrible, but TV has never been better," the fake audience footage was nixed as Kimmel admitted there was actually no one in the crowd other than some cardboard cutouts of celebrities.

"I'm up here all alone," Kimmel said. "...Of course we don't have an audience. This isn't a MAGA rally. It's the Emmys." Brendan Morrow

8:14 p.m.

Standing in front of the Brooklyn high school once attended by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Sunday night vowed to fight against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said he will push to have the Senate vote on President Trump's nominee to replace Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

McConnell blocked former President Barack Obama from being able to select a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016, claiming it was too soon before the November election. By calling for a quick vote now, when the presidential election is just 44 days away, McConnell is displaying "blatant, nasty hypocrisy," Schumer said. He urged voters to call their senators and tell them "not to listen to Mitch McConnell, not to be afraid of Mitch McConnell."

Ocasio-Cortez said it is "extraordinarily important that we understand the stakes of this vacancy. Our reproductive rights are on the line, our labor rights are on the line, our right to health care is on the line, labor and union protections are on the line, our climate is on the line." A Trump appointment puts "all of our rights, the rights that so many people died for ... at risk," she continued.

People need to "mobilize on an unprecedented scale to ensure that this vacancy is reserved for the next president," Ocasio-Cortez said. She encouraged Americans to call their senators and lawmakers to "use every procedural tool available to us to ensure we buy ourselves the time necessary." Everyone must be "more courageous," she added, and let McConnell know "that he is playing with fire. We need to make sure that this vacancy is protected, that our election continues, and that the American people have their say." Catherine Garcia

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