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August 26, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics

The Republican National Convention (RNC) wrapped up its second night in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium and the White House in Washington D.C. with speeches and events during the two-hour broadcast. The speeches were delivered in an empty auditorium in Washington, DC, and the White House. Speakers included Eric and Tiffany Trump, children of the President, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, activists, and Governors. In First Lady Melania Trump’s address, she brings up Biden’s inactivity during his 47 years as a politician and claims that he has not benefited the middle class. The First Lady also pleaded for racial unity and urged Americans to not create assumptions of a person based on the color of their skin, as well as declaring that violence and constant looting in Wisconsin are becoming more uncontrollable. Melania Trump empathized with COVID-19 victims, and offered gratitude to nurses, doctors, and first responders. She reassures her listeners, "I know many people are anxious. Some feel helpless. I want you to know you're not alone." The third night of the RNC will feature Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, additional activists, and Representatives.

According to BBC News, two people have died and one injured during a third night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The protests were sparked by Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who, on Sunday, was shot by the police as his children screamed. The next day, during Monday’s protest, Governor Evers called the National Guard to help local police, and the forces used tear gas, rubber bullets, and smoke bombs, while protesters combated with baseball bats to attack cars and property.

Texas Politics

Last week, both the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) released a joint statement concerning the creation of a tracking and monitoring system for COVID-19 cases in public schools. TEA is currently working with superintendents to finalize a plan that will accurately accumulate and share COVID-19 case totals from schools. DSHS writes, “Data on the number of cases in schools is of paramount interest to parents, students, teachers, staff, public health experts, policymakers, and the larger community. This information will be submitted to DSHS any time there is a positive case in a campus community.”

As the Democrat and Republican parties continue campaigning, they ensure to target 10 specific districts across Texas, “or nearly half the GOP-held seats in the state's congressional delegation”. Per Texas Tribune, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has added Republican Rep. Van Taylor of Plano, Roger Williams of Austin, and Ron Wright of Arlington to their target list. DCCC spokesperson Avery Jaffe claims, "Democrats are on offense across Texas, campaigning on access to quality, affordable health care and protections for those with pre-existing conditions."


According to CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker, as of August 26, 2020, 12:21 PM (CDT), there are almost 5.8 million cases and nearly 178 thousand total deaths in the US. California remains the state with the highest amount of infections at 673,095, and Florida follows with 599,176 cases.

A study found that tiny llama antibodies may have a possibility at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Llamas, like all mammals, have antibodies to protect them from viruses, but in this case, their antibodies are extremely small, giving it a viable ability to bind “to the virus’ spike protein with an unmatched affinity — we’ve never seen anything like this in my lab before,” announces Peter Walter, a molecular biologist and biochemist who is part of a team working to develop a potential coronavirus treatment using the llama-inspired compound. “It was absolutely beautiful to see,” Walter tells NBC.

World Politics and Economics

Tensions rise in the East Mediterranean, a very contested region, as Greece and Turkey, both North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, stand off against each other. Ships from both sides have been displaying force, ever since Turkey announced that it will extend its “illegal” gas explorations beyond Monday and that the US, France, and Italy will be joining it in training. Greece retaliated by conducting naval exercises in the same location. Although there has been no direct conflict, the situation may escalate very quickly.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is joining a growing group of international leaders, who call for an investigation into the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which the Kremlin denies its suspected involvement with. Johnson declares, “The poisoning of Alexei Navalny shocked the world. The UK stands in solidarity with him & his family. We need a full, transparent investigation into what happened. The perpetrators must be held accountable & the UK will join international efforts to ensure justice is done.” Navalny currently remains comatose at a medical ward in Germany after feeling sickly on a flight to Moscow last week. His allies believe the tea he drank preceding the boarding of the plane was intentionally poisoned by the Russian government. and tests carried out by doctors in Berlin discovered the presence of cholinesterase inhibitors in his system, which block the transmission of signals between nerve cells. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserts that if Navalny has, indeed, been poisoned, the United States will support the European Union’s (EU) call for a thorough investigation and is ready to assist in that effort.

Science and Technology

Per BBC, Twitter suspended accounts that have shared messages which, copypasta, convey that they have switched from being part of the BLM protester to planning to vote for the Republican Party. The first message was posted under a user with a profile picture of a male model by the name of Nelis Joustra, who responded, “I can’t believe that some pages are using me as profile picture without asking me for permission. Disrespectful. 🤦🏽‍♂️” The article details, “Soon many more accounts were sharing the message. Most appear to be Republican supporters and other users who enjoy trolling...Another called James said he shared the message ‘to add to the chaos’”.

CNN writes that Facebook’s ability to give targeted ads to iPhone users will be significantly curtailed by Apple's latest operating system, iOS 14, which places restrictions on user data. On Facebook’s Audience Network, it will be much more difficult for advertisers to target users even when they're using non-Facebook apps. Facebook did not reveal how much the service comprises, but cited tests showing that removing personalization led to a more than 50 percent decrease in revenue from the Audience Network.

Southeast US Weather

(The Atlantic) Hurricane Laura, the first major hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, is now a monstrous Category 4 with 145 mph winds and a minimum pressure of 947 millibars (Mb). The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Laura to peak at 150 mph and category 4 before making landfall on the Texas-Louisiana border, where multiple hurricane warnings are in effect. In as fast as 24 hours, Laura intensified from category 1 to category 4, and possibilities of it becoming a category 5 are growing by the minute. Fortunately, Houston will only undergo wind and mild rain.

(The Pacific) Tropical storm Hernan, moving along Mexico’s west coast, is lacking organized and will dissipate by next Sunday. On the other hand, tropical storm Iselle is predicted to move towards Baja California, slightly turn towards the west, and also dissipate.

Today in Houston, it is partly sunny with a high of 92 degrees and a low of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to Hurricane Laura, rain showers may be expected at night. For the following 10-days, the cloudy weather and showers will be gone by next Tuesday and replaced with sunny skies.

Quick Query: When does the Atlantic season begin and end?

a. April 1st to August 30th

b. June 1st to November 30th

c. May 1st to October 30th

d. There are no hurricanes in the Atlantic

Yesterday’s answer: [A. 75*]

*The original answer of “74” has been corrected. We apologize for the mistake.

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, Joseph, and Eric

Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan

Health: Matthew, David, and Owen

World Politics and Economics: William and Alexander

Science and Technology: Bryan, Andrew, Yiqi, and Amelia

Southeast US Weather: Jade and Simon

Editor: VIA

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

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