August 23, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
The Republican National Convention (RNC), scheduled to begin on August 24th, in Charlotte, North Carolina, will roll call in person and have 336 delegates, contrasting the Democratic National Convention’s (DNC) nearly 4,000. The convention will span up to four nights, and speakers include the family of incumbent Donald Trump, current Vice President Mike Pence, Republican governors, senators, representatives, and citizens whose lives have been positively influenced by the President. The theme of the RNC is “Honoring the Great American Story,” and Trump is scheduled to officially accept the presidential nomination on Thursday night.
Per the WFAA, an ABC-affiliated television station, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar calls the selection of Kamala Harris to be Joe Biden’s running mate as monumental for women but particularly for women of color. Escobar proclaims, “Children were separated from their parents at the border... unaccompanied minors expelled into countries that are not their own. People of color and minority communities have been on the receiving end.” She believes that the symbolism of a woman of color running for Vice President allows young girls in Texas to admire and look up to a woman who looks like them. Escobar states, “I’m a big believer in the idea of when you see it, you can be it."
According to FOX News, President Trump plans to hold a news conference on Sunday for a potential major therapeutic breakthrough for the Coronavirus. However, Nancy Pelosi, US House Speaker comments in a news conference on Capitol Hill, "The FDA has a responsibility to approve drugs, judging on their safety and their efficacy, not by a declaration from the White House about speed and politicizing the FDA." Nevertheless, the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, claims it’s possible that the virus could be over within two years.
USA TODAY reports that as COVID-19 cases increase in Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and López-Gatell, a Mexican epidemiologist and infectious diseases expert, have blamed the rising amount of deaths on Mexico’s poor nutritional values. López-Gatell asserts, “the evidence is very clear, but there are many interests, which have led to information being covered up in other (past) administrations,” and he further declares that sugary drink consumption has claims around 40,000 lives of Mexicans annually. “With products that do damage, we have to discourage their consumption so that fewer people are unhealthy.”
World Politics and Economics
A former elite insider of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Cai Xia, denounced China’s ruling elite and President, Xi JinPing, leading to her expulsion from the party. Later, in an interview with CNN, Cai calls for the US to double down on its approach to Beijing, sanctions on high-ranking Chinese officials, and communities to together help stop the CCP from “infiltrating” the globe and spreading “totalitarian” ideals. Cai, one of the few people with close ties to the CCP who have dared to speak up against the party, has refused to disclose further information in fear of her own safety.
Per BBC, in Belarus’ capital, Minsk, tens of thousands of opposition supporters continue to hold mass rallies after a disputed election granted President Alexander Lukashenko another term in office. The election, supposedly, was “stolen” by mass vote rigging. Lukashenko faces calls for his resignation, and many protesters, who are being watched by riot police officers, are frequently seen carrying red and white flags along with anti-government slogans. In response, Lukashenko, who has governed Belarus for 26 years, accuses the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of attempting to divide Belarusian people and situate a new president.
In addition, Lukashenko accuses "foreign powers," Poland and Lithuania, of organizing troops on the country's border, and declares that he will be placing his armed forces on Belarus’ western border on "high alert". NATO, however, claims that the troops mean "no threat to Belarus or any other country" and had "no military build-up in the region". NATO asserts, "Our posture is strictly defensive," and a Polish official has calls Lukashenko’s accusation that Poland may be undermining Belarus to be very "sad and surprising".
Science and Technology
The U.S. Department of Energy and Microsoft announced on Tuesday that they will be teaming up to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools that will help first-responders react more efficiently to rapidly-changing natural disasters, including wildfires, floods, and hurricanes.
This summer, per CNN, plenty of video games have been released in the exploding market of free, online multiplayer games, which is becoming ultra-saturated and extremely tough to make headway in. Kendall Davis, an adviser at global games fund Kowloon Nights says, "Fortnite has now changed the ecosystem and what players are going to gravitate to next. This space is a winner-take-all-market."
Southeast US Weather
(The Atlantic) Tropical storm Marco has become a hurricane with winds of 75 mph and a minimum central pressure of 991 millibars (Mb) and is expected to make landfall in Louisiana by tomorrow evening. On the other hand, tropical storm Laura has winds of 65 mph and a minimum pressure of 1000 millibars (Mb) with very organized with hurricane characteristics such as rainbands and an eye-like feature. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says it will make landfall on the Texas-Louisiana border, and Houston is unfortunately in the cone.
(The Pacific) There are two disturbances on the southwest coast of Mexico. Both have a high chance of forming-- one with a 90 percent chance and the other at 70 percent-- and are located very close together while moving roughly moving in the same direction. The NHC reports in an outlook that regardless of the development of the second disturbance, areas in southeastern Mexico and northern Central America will experience heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the next several days.
Today’s high in Houston is 97 degrees Fahrenheit and the low is 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The chance of rain is 23 percent, and rain can be expected around Tuesday and will last until next Monday due to Hurricane Marco. In addition, there will be a slight drop in temperature going into the upper 80s that will last until next Tuesday. The wind is blows up to 14 mph to the east.
Quick Query: On this day 15 years ago, the costliest storm in US history formed. Can you guess it? Answer in the comment section!
To get live coverage of the latest hurricane updates on the tropics, visit the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Tidbits, CyclonicWx, or watch Force Thirteen. Also please stay safe, and for more on the weather, please visit the NOAA Graphical Forecast.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Yijia, Caleb, and Eric
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew, David, and Owen
World Politics and Economics: Joseph, William, Jake, and Alexander
Science and Technology: Bryan, Andrew, Yiqi, and Amelia
Southeast US Weather: Jade and Simon
Editor: VIA and Susanna
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)