Trump visits areas damaged by Hurricane Laura, NBA resumes playoffs, MTV VMA Awards: 5 things to know this weekend – USA TODAY

Trump to visit areas battered by Hurricane Laura

President Donald Trump says he plans to visit areas heavily damaged by Hurricane Laura this weekend. As one of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the United States, Laura was blamed for at least 14 deaths as it roared across Louisiana and parts of Texas after going ashore early Thursday. While Louisiana was spared the forecast of “unsurvivable” storm surge as it barreled ashore, entire neighborhoods in some areas were left in ruins and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were without power as authorities began to survey the area. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called Laura the most powerful hurricane to strike Louisiana, stronger than even Katrina, which was a Category 3 storm when it hit in 2005. Restoration of basic services could take weeks or months, and full rebuilding could take years.

NBA, players association resume playoffs, outline social justice initiatives

The NBA will resume its postseason Saturday after holding a series of meetings this week with the league’s owners and players union on how to further address systemic racism through various team and league-wide initiatives. The NBA said they agreed to the postseason restart with the understanding that the league together with the players will work to enact the following commitments: establishing a social justice coalition to address a broad range of issues, converting arenas into in-person voting locations, and using advertising spots to increase civic engagement in elections. The postseason will resume with three games: Mavericks vs. Clippers, Jazz vs. Nuggets and Celtics vs. Raptors. 

First college football game of COVID-19 era to kick off

More than five months after the coronavirus pandemic shut down all sports, there will be college football on Saturday night. Central Arkansas and Austin Peay will play the only game of opening weekend (9 p.m. ET, ESPN). The matchup of these lesser-known teams is expected to draw an audience starving for football content. The teams will play at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama, with limited attendance and social distancing rules in place. The programs are ready to face scrutiny for playing while other teams are not, said Central Arkansas athletics director Brad Teague. “We’re ready to face those questions and talk about our safety protocols, Teague said.

MTV VMA Awards to happen — live 

This year’s MTV Video Music Awards, among the first to happen live since the coronavirus put a halt on large gatherings, will take place Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. Actress and singer Keke Palmer will host.  Chloe x Halle, Jack Harlow, Tate McRae, Lewis Capaldi and Machine Gun Kelly are among the artists performing in a 90-minute pre-show, airing on MTV.  For the awards, Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga are tied for the most nominations, each scoring nine nods  There are seven artists nominated for the coveted artist of the year award: The Weeknd, DaBaby, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Megan Thee Stallion and Post Malone.

Shock, grief after death of ‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman

Hollywood remains in mourning Saturday after the shocking death of actor Chadwick Boseman. The star, who made a global impact bringing “Black Panther” to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe along with playing Black icons Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall on the silver screen, died of cancer on Friday.Boseman was born in Anderson, South Carolina, and graduated from Howard University in 2000. He was just stepping into the prime of his career after headlining the blockbuster “Black Panther,” a global hit which was the first superhero movie ever nominated by the Academy Awards for best picture. Boseman was 43. 

Contributing: The Associated Press 

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