Self-avowed white supremacists encircle counterprotestors at Thomas Jefferson's statue at the University of Virginia on August 11, 2017. Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Charlottesville, Virginia will hold an annual day "recognizing the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans" instead of celebrating Thomas Jefferson's birthday, according to a decision made this week by the city council, the AP reports.

Between the lines: Jefferson's statue on the University of Virginia campus became a symbol of racial discrimination for protestors during the fatal 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

Flashback: Demonstrators on the first day of the Charlottesville rallies converged around a statue of Thomas Jefferson — who founded the University of Virginia — and fought with counter-protestors organized around the base of the statue. Some attendees "made monkey noises at the black counterprotesters" and chanted "white lives matter," the Washington Post reports.

  • A month after the rally, protestors covered Jefferson's statue in black and displayed signs reading "Black Lives Matter" and "TJ is a racist and rapist," according to the BBC.
  • Cities around the country have been confronted with demands to take down Confederate monuments and symbols in the aftermath of Charlottesville. Jefferson was not alive during the Civil War — therefore not a Confederate — but he was a slaveowner.

Go deeper: Confederate statues removed since the last "Unite the Right" rally

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How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

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