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August 27, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics


The third night of the Republican National Convention (RNC), aired on live television, featured speeches from multiple politicians and supporters.

Several speakers were women, and they claimed that Trump respects the opinions of women and is in an effort to re-establish their support. They also addressed racial issues, asserting that the current president cares about all races despite his depiction in mainstream media.

Per npr.org, Vice President Mike Pence, the closing speaker, brought up how Joe Biden would fail to resolve the civil unrest threatening law and order on the streets of America, as Biden has made clear his intentions to defund the police.

A tactic used by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and additional others throughout the convention is to paint two starkly contrasting images of America’s upcoming years. One portrayal of the future is a socialist country ruled by the mob, where free speech is silenced and “cancel culture”, or online shaming, is unchallenged. The other picture envisions Trump’s promise of a booming and steady economy, low unemployment rates, and a free society that supports the middle class.

Finally, Joe Biden was labeled as “nothing more than a Trojan horse for the radical left,” hinting that the Democratic party may transform to a radical leftist group should Biden be elected, as his decisions seem to be far-leftist.


Yesterday, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) sued Under Armour, a sportswear company, for ending a 280 million dollar sponsorship deal signed in 2016. The deal stated UCLA’s athletes and students would exclusively wear and use Under Armour products, but in June, Under Armor discontinued the partnership with UCLA as they were paying for undelivered marketing benefits and struggling to pay such a large amount of money. However, UCLA’s lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles court, argues that the company is capable of fulfilling its promises and “in fact, has intermittently provided some of the promised products during the COVID-19 pandemic, though it has intentionally withheld others and delayed deliveries in an effort to cause more harm to UCLA." On the other hand, Under Armour declares, “at UCLA's request after the termination of the agreement, Under Armour continued to deliver athletic products for the 2020-2021 school year because we support athletes, even as it remains uncertain when sports will resume."



Texas Politics


After fearing that Hurricane Laura may be a fatal blow to Texas, many officials were relieved when the state wasn’t affected as badly as they had thought it would’ve been. Per Texas Tribune, Gov. Greg Abbot announced, “As I asked everybody how they feel about working their way through this hurricane everyone pretty much had the same phrase, and that is: 'We dodged a bullet,'" he said. Even so, there is still work to be done for the storm’s aftermath. More than 160,000 Texans are out of power in counties, such as Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin, and, in addition, many left for shelters and need to get back home. Nevertheless, officials are optimistic that the storm is over, and southeast Texas is ready to undergo repairs.



Health


According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there are 5.83 million cases recorded in the US, and Brazil follows with almost 3.72 million cases. There is a total of 24.2 million cases and 826k deaths globally.


CNN reports that the US and UK are ranked among the worst for how the governments handle the pandemic. 76 percent of Republicans believe that the government is doing good, compared to a measly quarter of Democrats. In the statistical joint survey, a total of 18 percent of Americans feel that the country has been united currently.


NYTimes writes that the Trump administration and the CDC recommend people without COVID-19 symptoms to avoid testing. However, scientists warn that the revision may cause the weak responses of reopening schools to go further down, and is highly counterintuitive to slowing down the spread, as people without symptoms are the most prolific spreaders.


Per Nature.com, researchers at Yale University observed the immune responses of 98 men and women with COVID-19, and they found that the two sexes had different immune responses. In addition, men are more likely to die from COVID-19, as they generally have higher levels of cytokines and chemokines, which are partly responsible for causing inflammation. On the other hand, women seem to have a stronger response from immune cells, or T-cells; therefore, the team proposes that gender should be taken into account when treating people with COVID-19.



World Politics and Economics


On Wednesday, China fired a barrage of missiles into the South China Sea as an attempt to establish sovereignty and warning for the US to back off. The missiles mark the end of a series of military exercises that were conducted to pressure Taiwan and the US into giving up claims to the island. M. Taylor Fravel, an expert on the Chinese military, tells the New York Times, “The growing frequency of exercises and the new types of capabilities displayed demonstrate the progress China has achieved in its military modernization drive over the past two decades.” In response, the Trump administration placed sanctions on twenty-four Chinese companies, also per the New York Times. However, the XinHua News Agency writes of accusations about the US’ “naked provocation” when the US allegedly flew a U2 spy plane over Chinese military training exercises. Clearly, higher tensions and a possible trade war over the island of Taiwan are looming in the near future.


Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that he has formed a reserve force to intercede with Belarus if need be, as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko "asked me to set up a certain police reserve" and "I have done so". On Rossiya 1TV, he informed, "We also agreed that it won't be used until the situation gets out of control," which, he details, is when extremists are using political slogans cross a certain boundary and starting things such as armed robbery, setting fire to property, trying to seize government offices, so forth. Nevertheless, under an alliance and deep cultural and ethnical relations between the two countries, Putin has made a clear commitment to aid Belarus with security.


Science and Technology


CNN reports that CEO Kevin Mayer of Tiktok, a short-form video-sharing app, and COO of the Chinese-based company ByteDance has resigned as they face enormous backlash from American President Donald Trump. In a memo to employees, he writes, "In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for. Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company." Mayer, a former top Disney executive, was hired less than four months ago to gain traction in western countries.

Following a week-long, escalating fight between Apple and Epic Games, Fortnite, a popular online game, has been taken down from Apple’s app store, and those who already have the game downloaded on Apple Macs, iPhones, and iPads will be unable to receive updates from the game.


Southeast US Weather


(The Atlantic) Laura, the first major hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season, is currently a weakening tropical storm as it ties for the strongest recorded hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) will be going over post-analysis opinions after Laura dissipates. On the other hand, two new disturbances both have a 20 percent chance at formation, and areas in the Caribbean are being looked at for signs of convection and rotation that might develop, although Global Forecast Models show no sign of strengthening in that area.


(The Pacific) Two tropical storms, Hernan and Iselle, which are sitting next to the west coast of Mexico, are heading northwest, may not cause any severe damage, and will quickly dissipate.


(Local: Houston, Texas) Today is sunny with a high of 99 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity index of 52 percent, however, makes it feel like it’s 109 degrees outside. In the 10-day forecast, the mostly sunny weather and boiling temperatures will last until this Sunday, as showers can be expected by next Monday.


Quick Query: What year had the most active Atlantic Hurricane Season in US history? Answer in the comments section!

  1. 2001

  2. 2017

  3. 2006

  4. 2005

Yesterday’s answer: [B. June 1st to November 30th]


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.


_________________________________________________________________________

Writers:

US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Yijia, 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 and Simon

Editor: VIA

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

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