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August 31, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics

Topics discussed in the conventions of both the Democratic and Republican conventions, included how the economy will recover after the pandemic, incumbent President Trump’s foreign policy achievements, and immigration. In addition, racial justice and law enforcement have taken the country by storm due to the recent movement and the occasional violent protest. The Republican Party claims that the idea of “defunding the police” is absurd and law enforcement is trained to keep communities safe, whereas Democrats argue that policing is frequently getting out of hand. Nevertheless, as the situation develops, one thing is clear: law enforcement will be a key issue during future political debates and rallies.

Users of online brokerages, such as Robinhood, Vanguard, and E-Trade, are reporting issues with delayed order updates. For instance, the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been investigating Robinhood ever since it experienced two outages within 24 hours during a major trading day in March. According to DownDetector, an internet service tracker, 2,600 users living on the East Coast report problems with Robinhood and Vanguard, 1,300 with Schwab, and 250 with E-Trade. Though these apps are facing many technical issues, companies are working to restore services as quickly as possible.

Texas Politics

According to, the Democratic Party rolled out it’s “Texas voter registration week” on Monday. The goal is to “turn Texas blue” by pushing a million Texans registered to vote and reaching many from the younger generation. Abhi Rahman, the director of strategic communications theories, “...more voters that we register the more likely the state is to turn blue. We feel like for every Republican voter that’s unregistered there’s three or four Democrats that are unregistered.” The party aims for 40 percent to be black and 35 percent to be Latino; however, the onset of the pandemic has absolutely increased the challenge.


According to CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker, as of August 31, 2020, 2:02 PM (CDT), the U.S. is nearing 6 million cases and 183k deaths. California is almost at 700k cases, compared to Texas 610k cases.

Per NBC News, Dr. Stephen Hahn, the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), declares that any vaccine for the use of the public will be approved “on the basis of science and data,” and, he tells CBS Evening News, “will not make that decision on the basis of politics.” However, NBCNews also reports that “...Hahn's gross overstatement of a key statistic for COVID-19 death rates erodes trust in public health at a critical juncture.” Earlier this month, as a result of misinterpreted data, Dr. Hahn granted authorization for convalescent plasma as a treatment to COVID-19, which caused a debacle which led to the FDA Chief Spokesperson to be removed. Later, Dr. Hahn apologized, but public morale has already been damaged.

As COVID-19 ravages even well-developed countries such as the U.S., Africa’s population largely remains to fight against malaria, a disease generally carried by mosquitoes and inflicts victims with chills and fevers. When malaria is not treated with proper care, the brain receives an inadequate supply of oxygenated blood, potentially causing learning-disabilities of sorts or even death.

Moreover, Cameroon’s Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID) reports that particular types of mosquitos have become immune to several pesticides. This allegation is supported by Science Magazine, the peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In the journal, two key malaria carriers-- the Anopheles coluzzi and Anopheles gambiae-- are sampled. In the experiment with the former insect species, an hour’s exposure to clothianidin, a neonicotinoid used as a pesticide, killed 100 percent of the A. coluzzii, compared to the 45 percent of A. gambiae death rate. This implies that the majority of A. gambiae has successfully adapted to the human’s use of insecticides.

World Politics and Economics

BBC News writes that India’s former president (2012-2017), Pranab Mukherjee, died in the hospital while removing a brain clot while being infected with COVID-19. Mukherjee’s son, Abhijit, confirmed the death in a tweet.

Fox News reports that India accuses China of making military advances near a border where an incident between the two countries caused the deaths of at least 20 Indian soldiers. India’s defense ministry alleges that China’s People Liberation Army carried out hostile military movements to alter the state of affairs in the Ladakh region, and, thereby, infringed on the consensus reached during neoteric peace talks.

China has denied that its troops transgressed on the agreement, and foreign ministry representative Zhao Lijian asserts in a briefing in Beijing, “Chinese border troops always act in strict compliance with the Line of Actual Control, and have never crossed the line for any activities.” In highly contrasting colors, two Indian security officers report to the Associated Press that over two dozen Chinese troops wandered into Indian territory on Saturday night. Indian troops blocked and demanded the soldiers to go back. The officials claim that there were no physical clashes.

Shares in the Asia Pacific are sending mixed signals. Japanese stocks gain in major markets as investors monitor political developments in the country. After Prime Minister Shinzo announced his resignation, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.1 percent to close at 23,139.8, while the Topix index advanced 0.83 percent to end its trading day at 1,618.2 after losses on Friday. The search for a new prime minister continues.

During the final hour of trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lowers. The Shanghai Composite from Mainland Chinese drops 0.2 percent to about 3,395.7, as the Shenzhen Component sheds 0.672 percent to around 13,758. Earlier, China announces that manufacturing activity expanded in August; however, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), according to the National Bureau of Statistics, came in at 51, which is below analysts’ expectations of 51.2. Monthly PMI readings above 50 signify expansion, while those below indicate contraction.

Rafik Hariri, former prime minister of Lebanon, was killed in a bombing in 2005. CNN writes that Hariri died on February 14, 2005, when a bomb struck his car and killed twenty other people and injured around 200 others. The lead suspect, Salim Jamil Ayyash, is found guilty of being involved with the planning of the bombing.

Science and Technology

BBC writes about the self-driving Tesla cars, which have the newfound ability to read speed limit signs, detect traffic lights, stop signs, and much more. In addition, the vehicle's autopilot system generates a speed limit warning on the dashboard and sends alerts if the car has not moved at a green light.

Per Business Insider, Facebook, an American social media company, accuses Apple of blocking their most recent update, which allegedly contains “irrelevant” information for users, in the IOS app store. The article details that the update contained “a ‘transparency notice’ telling users that 30% of their payment goes to Apple.”

CNET reports that Chadwick Boseman, aged 43, passed away on August 28, after a four-year-fight with colon cancer. He made a career as an actor who occasionally played pioneers who fought to impact the world in a better way. For instance, in the movie “42”, he acted as the legendary Jackie Robinson, baseball's first black major league player. In “Get on Up,” he portrayed the music legend, James Brown. In the 2017 movie “Marshall,” he acted as Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court Justice. Nonetheless, Boseman is well known for his part in the movie “Black Panther,” where he is the king of Wakanda, the world's most technologically advanced and secretive fictional country.

Although Apple has made itself a clear Big Tech company, CNN Business writes that Apple may run even further in the industry if it’s future phones, including the upcoming iPhone 12, can successfully allow the customer to experience refresh rates as high as 120 Hz. In detail, if this goal is achieved, the raster-based screen display will refresh 120 times per second to display a new image. On the other hand, such high refresh rates will likely diminsh both battery life and the display resolution.

Southeast US Weather

(The Atlantic) Tropical depression 15L by the east coast, per Global Forecast Models, is likely to be weak tropical storm and dissipate quickly. In the Caribbean, Invest 99L still hasn’t formed due to its lack of rotation but may development overnight into a tropical depression. Also, a weak tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa has 30 percent chance of development over the next 5 days; however, that percentage may rise as it passes strong wind shear near the coast of Africa.

(The Pacific) Only one disturbance resides in the Pacific and maintains a 30 percent chance of forming into a cyclone as it slowly moves westward or northwestward. By mid-week, less favorable environmental conditions will cause the disturbance to dissipate.

(Local: Houston, TX) The weather is at a high of 98 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, the humidity and UV Index makes it feel like 112 degrees Fahrenheit outside. On the 10-day forecast, the sunny skies will stay until around Friday where chances of rain showers increase, and the temperature drops into the lower 90s. Concurrently, a possible cold front may move in and decrease temperatures to the lower 80s next week.

Are you aware... that on this day an year ago, Hurricane Dorian was a powerful Category 4 hurricane heading for the Bahamas, and two disturbances were quickly forming into tropical storms Gabrielle and Fernand?

Quick Query: Today two years ago, tropical depression 6 formed off the coast of Africa, eventually becoming… Answer in the comment section below!

  1. Hurricane Irma

  2. Hurricane Jose

  3. Hurricane Florence

  4. Hurricane Michael

Yesterday’s answer: [2. Tropical Storm Allison]

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, and Caleb

Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan

Health: Matthew, David, Owen, and Joseph

World Politics and Economics: Joseph, William, Jake, and Alexander

Science and Technology: Bryan, Yiqi, and Amelia

Southeast US Weather: Jade and Simon

Editor: VIA and Andy

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

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