August 2, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
On August 2, 1990, thirty years ago, Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait, following oil pricing and production disputes between the two nations. However, the invasion was met with condemnation from members of the United Nations Security Council (UN). A coalition of 35 countries, including the US, UK, and Saudi Arabia, proceeded to deploy troops in preparation for a full invasion to liberate Kuwait. Codenamed Operation Desert Shield (for the buildup of troops in Saudi Arabia) and Operation Desert Storm (for the combat phase), these operations successfully liberated Kuwait in a decisive victory six months after the invasion on February 28, 1991. Resolution 687 was then passed by the UN, which lifted the prior worldwide trade ban with Iraq. Although the resolution was accepted by the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, the terms were frequently violated over the next few years. Thus, UN sanctions and further air strikes continued, and diplomatic relations between the United States and Iraq would not improve until Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003.
The Gulf Wars were largely one-sided with approximately 148 American and 100 allied deaths compared to at least 25000 Iraqi casualties. However, in the following years, a lack of medical equipment, the UN sanctions, and sustenance led to over one million civilian deaths in Iraq.
Today, August 2, 2020 is exactly 30 years away from this event, which has solidified the US’s presence in the Gulf. A long term-effect this has had on the US is a greater military, security in the region, and an opportunity for the US to set its position as a global superpower.
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to soar in Texas, many residents are concerned with how their state will curb the spread. Earlier this year, Texas governor, Greg Abbott, allowed the reopening of restaurants, shopping malls, and businesses, claiming that Texas was “wide open for business”. However, Texas congresswoman, Sylvia Garcia, has repeatedly disagreed, and asserts, “We didn’t shut down early enough.” Many others share the same opinion, saying that “Texas’s response to the situation was terrible” and that “something should have been done sooner to prevent this.” Currently, there is a mandatory mask order that Texas officials are trying to effectively enforce, but Texas schools and universities are due to resume in-person learning for the fall semester, and businesses are still operating. Noyane Imo, a physician, says that “The community spread rate is so high. The word pandemic is not just being used to scare people. The media is not blowing it up. This is serious.”
As of August 2, 2020, 12:15 PM, there are currently 154,002 total deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S., and that number only seems to rise. Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested that Americans should wear eye protection in the fight to hinder the spread of COVID-19. His justification is that the eyes have mucosal, “the thin skin that covers the inside surface of parts of the body such as the nose and mouth and produces mucus to protect them”, as referenced by the Cambridge Dictionary. Hence, like that of the mouth and nose, the eyes are just as prone to being infected by respiratory drops.
Science and Technology
The world's first 3D-printed neighborhood is being built in Tabasco, Mexico for families living on $3 a day. A giant 3D printer built the first two houses in an impoverished, rural part of Mexico last week, breaking ground on what will be the first 3D-printed neighborhood in the world. The company’s CEO and co-founder, Brett Hagler, says that the machine is on a X-Y axis and will ooze proprietary cement mix out of a nozzle.
Simultaneously, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technological company named Clearview AI, which provides facial recognition software used by private companies, law enforcement agencies, universities and individuals, has triggered fears about facial recognition. Hoan Ton-That, a founder of Clearview AI, claims that the purpose of facial recognition technology is only to benefit society and lower crime rates.
As a possible US ban on TikTok looms over dedicated users of the short-form video app, many of the consumers are attempting to evade the ban by using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to resemble browsing from a country where TikTok is permitted.
World Politics and Economics
On Friday, Hong Kong announced that they would reschedule their election to next year due to their third wave of COVID-19 cases; however, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, asserts that there is no reason for Hong Kong to postpone the election, and he states, “We urge Hong Kong to reconsider their decision.” Multiple pro-democracy groups claim that Hong Kong’s decision is part of an attempt to thwart opposition candidates challenging those supported by Beijing, as the people of Hong Kong have repeatedly demonstrated their desire and ability to hold free and fair elections for decades.
On the other hand, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supported President Trump's proposal to ban the social media app TikTok. He announced that the app exposes American citizens’ personal information straight to the Chinese government in which, “These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It could be the user's facial recognition, could be information about their homes, their phone numbers, and who they’re connected to... These are true national security issues.” Pompeo also claimed that the Trump Administration would take measures in the days to come to address “a broad spectrum of national security risks” introduced by software companies and “will make sure that everything we have done drives us as close to zero risk for the American people.”
Southeast US Weather
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts that hurricane Isaias’s strength will further dissipate as it brushes by Florida’s east coast and moves further north. However, other sources claim that Isaias will strengthen back into a Category 1 hurricane. Currently, it has maximum sustained winds of about 70 miles per hour and a minimum central pressure of 994 millibars (MB).
Simultaneously, the 94L Invest in the west Atlantic is still enlarging and is expected to become a Tropical Depression in the next day or two. The NHC predicts that 94L Invest has a 40% chance of formation in 48 hours and a 60% chance of formation in 5 days.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, and Yijia
Texas Politics: Stephanie and Vicki
Health: Matthew, Megan, and Allison
Science and Technology: Bryan, Andrew, and Yiqi
World Politics and Economics: Joseph, William, and Jake
Southeast US Weather: Jade and Aiden
Editors: VIA and Isabel
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)