Convention Diary: Rain may wash out venue worry


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The Independent US

Was it a good idea for Barack Obama's big speech to be staged at an outdoor NFL stadium in downtown Charlotte? Thunderstorms drenched the city on Monday and were scheduled to continue through the week, leaving a venue-change in the cards. Such a move would get organisers out of another quandary: how to fill 70,000-odd seats when the convention boasts less than 20,000 attendees.

Charlotte's hotel facilities bug delegates

Also a problem: accommodating the masses in a relatively-small city with only a handful of major hotels. Compounding the misery of delegates – some of whom are staying in rock-bottom dives – are reports of bedbugs. The website reports infestations in at least nine local hostelries.

Security is no joke for Jon and John

Striding down pavements outside the Convention Centre yesterday: comedian Jon Stewart and his British factotum, John Oliver. Each man was trailed by a beefy bodyguard, much like Will McAvoy in Aaron Sorkin's new TV series The Newsroom. Life, meet art!