August 24, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
The Republican National Convention (RNC), which will be aired on ABC, CNN, and MSNBC News, has officially nominated incumbent President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, both who will be at the White House to accept their nominations. The first day, when roll call will occur, will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the following days will be virtual. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the location of the RNC changed multiple times and the number of attendees at the roll call has scaled back to 336. Speakers include Trump’s family, various Republican senators, governors, congressmen, etc.
On Monday, TikTok, a short-video sharing social networking service, filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration’s orders to cease transactions with the app in the US. The lawsuit, which marks a major escalation, claims that as the White House issued a "heavily politicized" order that declared Tiktok to be a national security threat, the app’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, was not given a fair chance to testify. Therefore, Trump's executive order illegally rests on emergency powers law in ways that do not apply to TikTok, and he allegedly violates free speech rights declared in the First Amendment-- exceeding his given authority. TikTok further asserts that it takes tremendous measures to protect the privacy of millions of US citizens, and the company additionally posted an explanation for their decision on their website. Nevertheless, “the executive order seeks to ban TikTok purportedly because of the speculative possibility that the application could be manipulated by the Chinese government.” Over the past few years, Tiktok has already been sued multiple times for allegedly leaking biometric information and violating child privacy guidelines. Nevertheless, information about the settlements has yet to be disclosed.
Texas Tribune writes that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) sent officers to investigate footage of protests, find, and arrest over a dozen Texans who are against police brutality. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick claims that if the state hadn’t intervened, the protests would’ve caused chaos, and the article states, “DPS reported that 11 officers were injured with cuts and bruises from assaults during Capitol protests that weekend...tens of thousands of dollars of property damage was done.” In addition, DPS asserts, “Those who were arrested were not peaceful protestors; they were engaged in various types of crimes – some of them felonies…Anyone who attacks the state Capitol or… DPS Troopers... will be investigated, charged and arrested...” However, on the opposition side, the DPS is accused of doing a “witch hunt” and trying to pull attention away from the movement to change American law enforcement against people of color.
Per Reuters’s article, “Russia vaccine roll-out plan prompts virus mutation worries,” creators of the vaccine reassure the public with tests proving it safe. However, test results have not been released, and so Russia declared that it will conduct a large-scale testing of 40,000 people. Concerningly, it will be first tested on already infected, high-risk subjects, which brings the worry of mutations into light.
Fox News writes that according to a study published in the Journal Current Atherosclerosis Reports, blood pressure medication is suspected of having the possibility to reduce COVID-19-related deaths. From their analysis of 28,872 patients, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors seemingly showed a lower risk of death, per AMBOSS,
World Politics and Economics
Chang Song-Min, former aide to South Korea's late president Kim Dae-Jung, declares that Kim Jong Un is in a coma, per New York Post's report. This allegation comes days after the Yonhap News Agency writes that Kim has delegated some of his responsibilities to close aides, including his sister, Kim Yo Jung. There is definitely doubt about the validity of the diplomat’s claims, since previous absences from Kim also sparked claims about his wellness.
At the Chaman border, a six month blockade affiliated with the COVID-19 pandemic has ended as officials from Balochistan, a Pakistani province, reach an agreement with their Afghanistan equivalents. When the border first closed to contain the virus, foreign visitors became stranded in both countries, and objections from travelers, laborers and traders eventually led to a riot on July 31st where at least six people died. In April, the Afghanistan government requested for the border to open momentarily and allow the isolated to return home. As the Pakistani government has agreed to the appeal, border crossings can continue and the Bab-e-Dosti Gate opens regularly.
Science and Technology
Per BBC, the latest single, “Dynamite,” by the K-pop boy band BTS, broke multiple YouTube records, as it was viewed 101.1 million times the same day it was released. It surpassed the previous record set by a fellow K-pop girl band, Blackpink, who’s song, “How You Like That,” racked up 86.3 million views in 24 hours. “Dynamite,” the first single from BTS to be sung entirely in English, is also the first video to achieve 100 million views in one day. BTS hopes that it conveys "positive vibes, energy, hope, love, the purity-- everything."
Southeast US Weather
(The Atlantic) Tropical storm Marco’s winds lowers to 40 mph, has a minimum pressure of 1008 millibars, and according to official forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), it will dissipate by early Wednesday. On the other hand, Tropical storm Laura has organized characteristics such as rainbands and a defined center, and global forecast models show Laura may cause a critical landfall. There are multiple hurricane and tropical storm watches in effect for Louisiana and Texas, including Houston.
(The Pacific) The Eastern Pacific has two disturbances with high chances of forming into major hurricanes, despite lack of circulation. Meanwhile, the Central Pacific is quiet with no disturbances expected in the next 5 days.
(Local) Today’s high in Houston is 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the low is 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Within the next 10 days, rain and a drop in temperature on Wednesday to next Monday can be expected as tropical storm Laura makes landfall.
Quick Query: Which of these hurricanes is the deadliest hurricane in US history? Answer in the comment section!
The Great Storm of 1900
Hurricane Stan (2005)
Hurricane Ivan (2004)
Hurricane Cindy (2005)
Yesterday’s answer: [2. Hurricane Katrina]
To get live coverage of the latest hurricane updates on the tropics, visit the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Tidbits, CyclonicWx, or watch Force Thirteen. Please stay safe, and for more on local weather, visit the NOAA Graphical Forecast.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Yijia, Caleb, and Bryan
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew, David, and Owen
World Politics and Economics: Joseph, William, Jake, and Alexander
Science and Technology: Amelia
Southeast US Weather: Jade and Simon
Editor: VIA and Isabel
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)