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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. That ends our Democratic National Convention coverage for day one

    So the first day of the Democratic National Convention in the US ends with the former First Lady Michelle Obama launching a scathing attack on Donald Trump, accusing him of not being up to the job of president.

    It was a far from usual convention - taking place online, with at times the feel of a TV special rather than the traditional balloons-and-confetti jamboree.

    So what happens next?

    On Tuesday evening the roll call to formally vote for Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee will take place. It'll be a 30-minute event with some live and prerecorded segments from across the country, according to insiders.

    The theme of the night is "leadership matters", and the main speakers include will include Joe Biden's wife Dr Jill Biden, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former US President Bill Clinton.

    You can follow updates to the story here.

    Tonight's live coverage was brought to you by Holly Honderich, Ritu Prasad and Matthew Davis. Thanks for tuning in!

  2. Michelle Obama's speech captures Twitter

    For many observers, Michelle Obama's searing keynote address dominated the first night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. But of course impressions of the former first lady's speech are divided - largely along political lines.

    On Twitter, several political commentators and journalists applauded Obama for her high-impact lines - "It is what it is" and her command of the political arena, despite never running for political office herself.

    But some conservatives, like commentator Ben Shapiro, rejected Obama's claim that she "hates politics", with some calling out alleged hypocrisy by the former first lady.

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  3. Trump campaign reacts

    President Trump has been retweeting conservative criticisms of a number of tonight's speakers. His main target so far has been New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who blasted Trump's pandemic response - but the Republicans who jumped ship to join the Democrats have also been under fire.

    "Cuomo, just like his brother Fredo, has not got a very good memory!" Trump tweeted, reprising a reference to a character from the Godfather series which has already riled the governor. He has also shared posts criticising Cuomo's Covid-19 response as well as clips of him praising Trump's help.

    His campaign also attacked Congresswoman Susan Molinari for "lobbying for Russia" - she had led a US lobby firm that had a contract with Russia regarding energy policy - and hit out at former Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich, who gave a key speech in praise of Biden.

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  4. Michelle Obama lands night's emotional punch

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    Michelle Obama may hate politics, but she’s a natural at it.

    A lot of politicians spoke at the camera during the “virtual” Democratic convention on Monday night. The only one who landed an emotional punch, however, was Michelle Obama.

    She benefited, of course, from higher production values. While some of the appearances had the look of a bad Zoom meeting or a television infomercial, Obama was given a close focus and two camera angles.

    But it was more than technical know-how that made her speech resonate. That came in her bittersweet acknowledgement that her “when they go low, we go high” line from 2016 may now seem a lot different for Democrats, who feel that “low” proved to be a winning strategy.

    “Going high is the only thing that works, because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanising others, we just become part of the ugly noise that’s drowning out everything else,” she said. “We degrade ourselves.”

    Then, she pivoted.

    “Going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty,” she said. Going high means telling the “cold hard truth”.

    And the truth, she said, is that Donald Trump “simply cannot be who we need him to be for us”.

    “It is what it is,” she said, employing the same words the president recently used about the coronavirus death toll - a jab that was a subtle as it was devastating.

    She drew a contrast between Trump, who she says lacks empathy, and Joe Biden, who – after a lifetime of loss, including the death of a wife, an infant daughter and adult son – knows “the anguish of sitting at the table with an empty chair”.

    She reassured Americans who liked her husband’s presidency and miss it, that Biden would bring those days back. She warned, however, that it would require hard work. Victory couldn’t be taken for granted, she said, the way some may have done in 2016.

    “This is who we still are: compassionate, resilient, decent people whose fortunes are bound up with one another,” she said in conclusion. “And it is well past time for our leaders to once again reflect our truth.”

  5. 'We have got to reassert our place in American history'

    Michelle Obama wraps up her speech by saying Americans are still "compassionate, resilient, decent people".

    "So, it is up to us to add our voices and our votes to the course of history, echoing heroes like John Lewis who said, 'When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something.'"

    She says that's the truest form of empathy - to not just feel, but do.

    "And if we want to keep the possibility of progress alive in our time, if we want to be able to look our children in the eye after this election, we have got to reassert our place in American history.

    "And we have got to do everything we can to elect my friend, Joe Biden, as the next president of the United States."

    With that, she says goodnight.

  6. 'Vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it'

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    "If you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election," says Michelle Obama.

    "If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it."

    She says Biden knows what it takes to lead, and he will tell the truth and trust science. "And he will govern as someone who’s lived a life that the rest of us can recognise."

    Obama adds: "Joe is not perfect...but there is no perfect candidate, no perfect president."

    "His ability to learn and grow - we find in that the kind of humility and maturity that so many of us yearn for right now."

  7. Michelle Obama urges voters to turn out in November

    The former first lady turns to voter turnout in the 2016 election - telling tonight's listeners that those "choices sent someone to the oval office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3m votes".

    "To the many people who chose to believe their votes didn't matter...in one of the states that determined the outcome, the winning margin averaged out to just two votes per precinct," she says.

    "We've got to show up."

  8. 'What happens when we stop requiring empathy?'

    Michelle Obama says right now, children across the country "are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another".

    "They're looking around wondering if we've been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value," she says.

    "They see people shouting in grocery stores unwilling to wear a mask to keep us all safe. they see people calling the police on folks minding their own business just because of the colour of their skin.

    "They see an entitlement that says only certain people belong here. That greed is good and winning is everything."

  9. BreakingMichelle Obama: We must chip away injustice

    Michelle Obama

    Michelle Obama's begins her prerecorded speech by acknowledging that many people may not want to watch a political convention right now - and she understands.

    She talks about those who came before us who sacrificed and struggled and moved forward.

    But "who we choose as our president in this election will determine whether or not we honour that struggle and chip away at that injustice" the former US First Lady says..

  10. 'The future of democracy is at stake'

    Video content

    Video caption: Sanders: 'Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs.'

    More from Bernie Sanders' powerful appeal.

    "Together we must build a nation that is more equitable, more compassionate and more inclusive," Sanders says.

    Sanders says Biden will make it easier for workers to join unions, have family leave policies, and make child care affordable.

    "He will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and fight the threat of climate change by transitioning us to 100% clean electricity over the next 15 years," Sanders says.

    Now on to healthcare, that divisive issue among Democrats.

    "While Joe and I disagree on the best path to get universal coverage he has a plan that will greatly expand healthcare and cut the costs of prescription drugs. Further, he will lower the eligibility age of medicare from 65 down to 60."

    Sanders also says Biden will help with criminal justice reforms, like ending private prisons.

    "My friends I say to you, for everyone who supported other candidates...the future of our democracy is at stake."

  11. How one Bernie supporter sees Biden now

    Chris Badillo

    First-time voter Chris Badillo lives in Florida, and identifies as a Democratic socialist and progressive. He hopes the 2020 vote will be a turning point for the US.

    “Joe Biden was not my number one choice in the primary. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter. I think Joe Biden's policies and the way he has been campaigning is not a representation of where we need to move the party, or what young democrats and progressive Democrats actually want our party to represent: A party of the working class that actually proposes policies that will bring substantive reform.

    […] “I think this election in particular - no matter how much I talk about Joe Biden's policies and the way I don't think he's representative of the Democratic Party - more than anything, it's a referendum on Trump. I live in the southern part of Florida with a huge Hispanic community. We used to have the Homestead Detention Center that was in my congressional district.

    “Just because we didn't get the candidate that we wanted in the primary doesn't mean we can sit out for four more years of the way we've been going now. […] We need to accept the reality and then move forward with grassroots activism that's going to change that reality to the country that we want.”

  12. BreakingBernie Sanders: We need unprecedented response

    Bernie Sanders

    Senator Bernie Sanders is up, live from Burlington, Vermont. "This election is the most important in the modern history of this country," he says.

    "In response to the unprecedented set of crises we face, we need an unprecedented response - a movement, like never before, of people who are prepared to stand up and fight for democracy and decency — and against greed, oligarchy and authoritarianism."

  13. 'Why Biden has to walk a fine line'

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    Four years ago at their national convention, Democrats – from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton to Joe Biden – made an appeal for the support of moderate Republicans who may find Donald Trump distasteful. That November, Republicans voted for Trump in larger numbers than they did their 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney.

    This time around, the Democrats relied on an actual Republican – former Ohio Governor and 2016 presidential candidate John Kasich - to make that pitch.

    “These are not normal times,” Kasich said of his appearance, in what will perhaps be the truest statement made this week.

    He also offered some words of reassurance for fellow Republicans who may be nervous about following his lead and supporting a Democrat - that Biden won’t “turn sharp left and leave them behind”. He said Biden was “reasonable, faithful and respectful” and “no one pushes Joe around”.

    A sharp left turn may be just what many of the Democratic faithful are yearning for, however – particularly those who voted for another of the evening’s speaker, Bernie Sanders.

    For them, Kasich’s words may be a painful reminder of what might have been – and a hint of the fine line Biden will have to walk in the days ahead.

    In a nation of 330 million people, both parties usually try to cast wide nets in order to win elections. Democrats, at least this year, are hoping their party is big enough for both Kasich and Sanders.

    Kasich
    Image caption: John Kasich: "These are not normal times"
  14. Post office row overshadows election

    post box

    Next topic on the Democratic table: the post office. But why is the US Postal Service making headlines?

    A slowing down in mail delivery times has raised concerns about how this trusted institution will handle an influx of mail-in ballots for November's election, as more voters avoid casting ballots in-person due to Covid-19.

    It's up to states to determine how they arrange postal voting and there are mounting fears that some are not ready.

    Democrats fear that the Trump administration could be trying to sabotage the election; Republicans and Trump counter that the new measures are needed to address the agency's multi-million dollar budget shortfall.

    Read the full story here.

  15. Still to come: The key speeches

    We're just into the second half of tonight's programme - kicked off with the four Republicans who have backed Joe Biden instead of Donald Trump.

    All the major US networks have opted in to the event now and we're expecting the highest-profile speeches of the night, Senator Bernie Sanders and former First Lady Michelle Obama, in the next 45 minutes.

    We're now hearing from former Republican Governor of Ohio John Kasich.

  16. 'We have seen in this crisis the truth' - New York governor

    Cuomo

    Now we've got a (prerecorded) address from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has become a familiar face during the Covid-19 crisis.

    "Covid is the symptom, not the illness," he says, adding that the virus is a metaphor for America's longstanding troubles.

    Cuomo says a virus attacks when the body is weak, likening that to the US' weaknesses with racism, white supremacy, police brutality. He says Trump made the divisions that already existed worse.

    "We have seen in this crisis the truth- that government matters, and leadership matters," Cuomo says, calling the Trump government "dysfunctional and incompetent".

    In contrast, he calls Biden "America-tough, tough in the best way".

    "Joe Biden can restore the soul of America and that's exactly what our country needs today."

  17. 'A very packaged convention'

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    At political conventions in the before times, there were always a few moments when pre-recorded videos played on the big screens in front of the audience. Usually they bought time for organisers or served as a transition between speakers. Sometimes they gave notable people who couldn’t attend in person a moment of face time. For the audience, it was frequently an opportunity to chat with neighbours or head to the restrooms.

    This year’s Democratic convention, however, is an entire week of those kind of prepackaged video moments. Such is politics in the age of coronavirus.

    This year’s “virtual” Democratic convention opened with a reading of the preamble of the US Constitution set to a fanfare of trumpets by Aaron Copeland, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the national anthem. Actress Eva Longoria hosted a conversation with some “real” Americans, and the family of George Floyd led a moment of silence in his memory.

    The political heavy-hitters – Republican former Governor John Kasich, Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders and former First Lady Michelle Obama – will take the stage later in the evening. Perhaps they will make it seem more like a traditional convention, even without the cheering crowds. But for the moment, the prepackaged convention comes across as very, well, packaged.

  18. An early appearance from Joe Biden

    Biden speaks with leaders

    A surprise, early live appearance from the convention star, Joe Biden himself, as he leads a discussion with lawmakers and officials from across the country about racial injustice.

    Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, calls for addressing economic inequalities and "uplifting quality of life" to help end systemic racism.

    Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tells Biden there must be federal action to end excessive use of force issues. He says even police officers have been shocked over the death of George Floyd and that he hopes the US can enact national standards for policing.

    We also hear from Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner - who was killed in 2014 in a police chokehold. She says "we can't let things settle down...otherwise the uprisings aren't going to mean a lot". She asks Biden to make sure there are national and state laws about policing because that has been "the age old problem".

    Biden wraps up the discussion by saying: "I think people are ready, we just gotta keep pushing."

    Biden
  19. Dissent in Trump Country

    Tara McKelvey

    BBC News, Pennsylvania

    A home in York County, Pennsylvania

    The Democratic National Convention is in full swing, and some people in conservative parts of the country are wondering what the Democrats might offer.

    The ratio of Trump to Biden yard signs in York County, Pennsylvania, is eight to one, at least by my count. But not everyone is a Trump fan.

    “Yeah, he might’ve done a couple good things for us. But look at this coronavirus,” says Betty Whitmer, a longtime resident. “He said: ‘Open things up.’ Kids were in school. Now they’re back out because they got the coronavirus.”

    Even with all the Trump signs around, she says she does not support him because of the way he’s handled the virus, saying: “People are dying.”

  20. A moment of silence for George Floyd

    As the conversation now turns towards racial justice, we first hear from a former Trump voter, who says he's voting for Biden this time around because it's time to truly put "all Americans first".

    Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser is up next. She references the controversial incident where Trump had officers disperse peaceful protesters so he could walk to a nearby historic church.

    "If he did this to DC, he would do it to your city or your town," Bowser says.

    "That's when I said enough. Enough for every black and brown American who has experienced injustice, enough for every American who believes in justice."

    Bowser says she wants her two-year-old daughter to grow up in an America "where she's not afraid to walk to the store...where the president doesn't fan the flames of racism and looks out for all of us".

    Boswer also introduces members of George Floyd's family. Floyd's brother, Philonise, leads the nation in a moment of silence.

    "For the names we do not know, the faces we will never see ... please join me in a moment of silence to honour George and the many other souls we lost to hate and injustice. and when this moment ends let's make sure we never stop saying their names."

    During the moment of silence, we see viewers from across America, bowing their heads in their living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms.