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August 28, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics


The Republic National Convention (RNC) wrapped up its final night yesterday, with multiple speakers giving support to incumbent President Trump and criticism to the opposition, Joe Biden. Over the course of an hour, Trump spoke of his accomplishments, the administration’s COVID-19 response, military successes abroad, abortion rights, riots associated with BLM, and the period of economic growth during his first term. As he painted America to be a place of hope, Trump criticized Biden for 2020 a “dark chapter” in America’s history The convention ended with a firework celebration in Washington D.C.



Texas Politics


The current altercations over mail-in voting are focused more on whether voters can receive the ballot through postal services. Texas Tribune reports, “In a letter...Keith Ingram, director of elections for the Texas secretary of state, told Harris County to ‘immediately halt’ its plans to send every registered voter in the county an application for a mail-in ballot for the general election.” As the state of Texas works to expand options for its 2 million people are registered voters, strategies to do so have been a critical subject. Nevertheless, Ingram argues that a possible mistake of sending ballots to unqualified applications may clog “up the vote by mail infrastructure” by impeding “the ability of persons who need to vote by mail”.


The first major hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season, Hurricane Laura, caused less damage than initially feared, as it avoided major cities like Houston and New Orleans. CoreLogic estimates that damages will be between 8 billion to 12 billion dollars, while Moody’s Analytics approximates the cost to be 20 billion dollars. In the 4 Texas counties majorly affected by the hurricane, close to one-third of homes are covered with insurance and crude oil and natural gas production have been halted in the gulf coast region. This implies a forthcoming of higher commodity prices and stocks.



Health


According to CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker, as of August 28 2020 1:32 PM (CDT), there is over 5.84 million cases and 180k deaths in the US. As a state, Californa remains to hold the highest amount of cases at almost 685k cases.


Per the New York Post, scientists, who also reviewed 10 international studies of swine flu and other diseases, report that humidity affects a virus in three ways: droplet size, how droplets float, and how droplets land on surfaces. According to DW, a German news website, the team writes that in a humid room, virus droplets there would be fewer “chances for other people to breathe in infectious viral droplets.” Correspondingly, researchers urge that indoor rooms ought to keep a relative humidity of 40 to 60 percent and continue to observe public health guidelines.


In CNN’s article, “Coronavirus model projects more than 317,000 US Covid-19 deaths by December,” the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) furthers their model of possible COVID-19 deaths by writing on their website, “If mask-wearing in public increases to 95%, more than 67,000 lives could be saved."



World Politics and Economics


Europe's migrant crisis only worsens from the pandemic. Bodies of people trying to make the dangerous journey to safety wash up on beaches. Humanitarian organizations are doing what they can to help, but opposition from citizens, travel restrictions, and closed ports add further obstacles. CNN writes of a man and his friend who were found dead on a beach in Northern France, allegedly attempting to make the trip across the English Channel.


Japan's longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe, resigns in his worsening health and a long suffered ulcerative colitis, a bowel disease. Abe parlayed nationalist themes and promises of an economic revival into the longest term in office. However, as Abe undergoes a new treatment for his illness, he no longer has time to maintain duties as prime minister. He apologizes to the Japanese people for failing to complete his term of office, “and amid the coronavirus woes, while various policies are still in the process of being implemented.” The end of his career deeply saddens those who appreciated him.



Science and Technology


Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, is due to demonstrate a working brain interface as the first part of his plan to give people superhuman powers, per BBC. The interface may allow people to control phones or computers through their minds, and Musk intends to prove this on Friday with “neurons firing in real-time”. Neuralink, his “brain-hacking” company, trialed with humans last year with the long-term ambition to achieve “superhuman cognition”, or to merge with artificial intelligence.

Per CNN, Walmart, a 58-year-old American company known to sell everyday goods, casual clothing, groceries, has joined Microsoft in its bid to buy TikTok’s US operations. Analysts watching the meteoric rise of social commerce in China— a mashup of social media activity and frenzied online shopping— believe that Walmart's interest in TikTok makes perfect sense.

Southeast US Weather


(The Atlantic) While Laura moves north into the Gulf Stream, two new disturbances pop up in the Atlantic, making a hyperactive season seem possible. Both have not been upgraded to an Invest. The disturbance more east has a 40 percent chance of formation in the next 5 days, as the other has a 30 percent chance of formation. The next names on the list are Omar and Nana, and as there are only eight more names, reaching greek letters seem more plausible than ever.


(The Pacific) In the eastern Pacific, remnants of Hernan expected to dissipate later today, and tropical storm Iselle is expected to go through a weakening trend starting today. On the other hand, in the central pacific, a disturbance had formed 900 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii. It has a 20 percent chance of forming into a hurricane and seems to be heading northeast.


(Local: Houston, Texas) The current high is 98 degrees Fahrenheit and the low is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Chances of rain are at 48 percent and the amount of precipitation is expected to be 0.15 inches. For the next tens days, the high remains near 98 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows stick 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The likelihood of rain increases on Monday to 50 percent and decreases nearing Tuesday morning.


Which Atlantic hurricane from the following has been the most intense? Answer in the comment section below!

  1. Hurricane Laura (2020)

  2. Hurricane Charley (2004)

  3. Hurricane Wilma (2005)

  4. Hurricane Harvey (2017)

Yesterday’s answer: [4. 2005]


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 and Caleb

Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, Megan, Miranda, and Yijia

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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