Democrats show unity on first night of virtual convention

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In a unmistakable show of unity against a president they said threatened the nation’s democracy, liberals, progressives, moderates and even some Republicans came together for the opening night of the Democratic national convention on Monday, a virtual affair that culminated with an urgent plea from former first lady Michelle Obama to vote for Joe Biden “like our lives depend on it”.

Related: A pandemic DNC: telethon, commercial, and awkward family Zoom call in one

In her keynote address at a convention that had been truncated and conducted almost entirely online as a result of the public health crisis, Obama delivered a searing indictment of her husband’s successor. Confronting Donald Trump directly, she accused him of mishandling the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 170,000 American lives and of failing to respond to the nationwide cries for racial justice.

The suffering felt across

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virtual Democratic convention kicks off with emphasis on unity

<span>Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP</span>
Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

The Democratic national convention begins on Monday with a star-studded lineup and heavy emphasis on unity aimed at presenting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the US’s best hope for healing a deeply divided nation reckoning with the parallel crises of a global pandemic and racial injustice.

Related: From Oakland to the White House? The rise of Kamala Harris

The party’s four-day presidential nominating convention has been entirely reshaped by the public health crisis. Originally planned for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in mid-July, it has been forced into a compacted, virtual affair, renamed the “Convention Across America.”

The event, which usually draws thousands of the party faithful to a single city for days of celebrating, deal-making and politicking, will now take place from remote locations across the US. There will be no roaring crowd, bespoke thunder sticks or oversized balloons.

Biden is scheduled to formally accept the Democratic presidential

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