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August 25, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics

The Republican National Convention’s (RNC) first night included speakers, such as Donald Trump Jr., the advisor and fundraiser of Trump’s Campaign, UN ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Andrew Pollak, the parent of a 2018 Parkland Shooting Victim. Key topics included Trump’s handling of hostages, strong economic performance before the COVID-19, and how he benefited, namely, the middle class. The speeches targeted Democrats for misinformation and the “defund the police” movement. The second day will include First Lady Melania Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

American Airlines, the world’s largest airline with 133,700 employees, announced that they will lay off 19,000 employees by October 1st-- unless the company receives additional help from Congress. American Airlines will inevitably reduce employees by a head count of at least 40,000, as 12,500 had agreed to leave with early retirement or buyouts. Although the CARES Act provides a fund of $50 billion dollars in direct grants and loan guarantees, less than 50 percent of the airline’s planes are set to fly in the 4th quarter and services to 15 smaller US markets will be suspended.

Texas Politics

Per Fox News, Texas governor Greg Abbott tweeted, “A teacher in a Texas public school comparing police officers to the KKK is beyond unacceptable. It’s the opposite of what must be taught. The teacher should be fired.” The 8th grade middle school teacher allegedly gave 400 students in Collin County’s Wylie Independent School District a homework assignment that was associated with comparing police officers to the Ku Klux Klan. National Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Joe Gamaldi writes, “This is abhorrent and disgusting, and only further widens the gap between police officers and the youth in our community.”


According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of August 25, 2020, 12:16 PM (CDT), there are a total of 5,715,567 cases and 176,617 total deaths in the US. California remains the state with the highest number of cases at a total of 668,615.

Science Magazine writes that a study, led by immunologist Shiv Pillai of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, and published last week in Cell, discovered that COVID-19 drains immune cells from the lungs, helping prove a smaller study conducted earlier.

As a reminder of the guidelines set by the CDC, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after going to public areas, stay 6 feet away from people, cover your mouth and nose with a mask when going out to the public, and clean and disinfect things you’ve bought or touched after returning from the public.

World Politics and Economics

CNN reports that after being questioned about allegations of family corruption, Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, threatened a reporter outside of the Metropolitan Cathedral, saying, “I feel like punching you in your mouth, okay?” The journalist commented on the accusation that the former aide to Bolsonaro’s eldest son, Flavio Bolsonaro, deposited money into the bank account of Michelle Bolsonaro, the current First Lady.

According to BBC News, accusations that President Vladimir Putin sanctioned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny have been dismissed. Navalny’s doctors say that he had “probably” been poisoned, and his supporters suggest that the poison was placed in a cup of tea at Tomsk airport. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announces, "We can't take such accusations seriously. They absolutely cannot be true. They're more like 'empty noise', so we don't intend to take them seriously."

Two prominent figures in planning protests in Belarus's opposing movement, Olga Kovalkova and Sergei Dylevsky, have been detained for 10 days. Both are part of the National Coordination Council, founded by exiled resistance leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, in an answer to Belarus's discredited presidential poll. President Alexander Lukashenko vows to crack down on his opposition, who have formed mass protests in the capital city, Minsk. A representative of Tikhanovskaya, Kovalkova along Dylevsky were apprehended on Monday at the entrance to the Minsk Tractor Factory (MTZ), where they had been leading workers on a strike against the government. Earlier, Lukashenko’s speech at the MTZ was punctuated by outcries for his resignation.

Science and Technology

American Tech Giant Apple has been given permission to block the video game Fortnite from its app store, but cannot terminate the Epic Game’s, the developer, accounts or compromise its graphics tool, Unreal Engine. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, decreed that Epic Games had not demonstrated irreparable harm so far; however, regarding Fortnite, the company has "strategically chosen to breach its agreements with Apple."

Per CNN, Palantir, the Silicon Valley data-analytics company known for taking on controversial work for the US government, filed paperwork Wednesday indicating its intent to go public. The company, which has long shrouded itself in secrecy, reported that it has never turned a profit and that a large portion of its revenue came from its three biggest customers. In the first six months of 2020, it reported losses of 164 million dollars, compared to 280 million dollars a year earlier. In the 17 years since it was founded, Palantir Technologies received financial backing from the CIA, became one of the most valuable private companies in the United States, and earned a seat at the table alongside the biggest tech companies in meeting with President Donald Trump. Co Founder Peter Thiel, a member of the so-called "PayPal mafia" and a longtime Facebook board member, additionally supported Trump's 2016 campaign.

Southeast US Weather

(The Atlantic) Hurricane Laura blows winds of up to 110 mph, and will reach land with a minimum pressure of 990 millibars (Mb). There is a hurricane warning in effect for Houston, and multiple evacuations are occurring as the storm is expected to hit at 1 am on Thursday. Houston is expected to be in the yellow zone, meaning that it will undergo slight flooding.

(The Pacific) Three disturbances have formed near the south-southeast tip of the Baja California peninsula or the lower west part of Mexico. The first one has a 90 percent chance of formation and will slowly move east-northeast and towards the southwestern coast of Mexico. The next disturbance has a 60 percent chance of forming, while the last one only a 40 percent chance of forming. Regardless of development, the third disturbance will likely cause heavy rainfall and flash flooding in southeastern Mexico and northern Central America during the next few days.

Quick Query: A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when it involves winds that go how many miles per hour?

a. 75

b. 80

c. 90

d. 25 on residential streets; 55 on highways

Yesterday’s answer: [1. The Great Storm of 1900]

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, and Caleb

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, Aiden, and Simon

Editor: VIA

(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)

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