August 6, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
As the General Election nears its climax, both presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. are running massive campaigns for the 2020 presidency, causing payoffs to rise immensely. Mr. Trump raised 165 million dollars this year, which is more than double the 80 million dollars he accumulated in his 2016 campaign. On the other hand, Mr. Biden raised 140 million dollars for his 2020 campaign, compared to Hillary Clinton’s respective 2016 campaign that amassed 89 million dollars. Both parties are aided by grass-roots donors (the general public) as well as super political action committees (PACS), which can raise unlimited sums of money from corporations. In addition, campaign funds may have likely increased this year due to internet ads and commercials targeting social media platforms, such as Facebook or YouTube. Nevertheless, the question of whether massive funds imply massive turnout will only be answered on Election Day.
Per texastribune.org, the COVID-19 pandemic is compelling Texas’s economy to crumble and deteriorate, tremendously affecting Texans all across the state. 3.1 million people have filed for unemployment relief since the middle of March, causing the unemployment rate to double from the start of 2020. As reported in the website’s article, “Economists say weakened oil prices, high unemployment and the ongoing public health crisis will slow Texas’ economic recovery.”
According to CNN’s article, President Donald Trump has conceded to continue the payment of sending National Guard troops to help with the COVID-19 situation, but only for two states- Texas and Florida. His decision has prompted accusations of special treatment from many others, including Noam Lee, the executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. Mr. Lee insists, "With American lives at risk, the president is continuing to manipulate our nation's pandemic response to benefit his own political fortunes. The National Guard deployments are the latest development in the partisan games the President has played with states seeking critical supplies and aid." In response, however, a White House official asserted that the governors of Texas and Florida made "special, direct cases to the President” and that Trump "is open to speaking with any governor from any state”. Despite people sharing multiple opinions and dozens of other states being in a critical condition due to this dangerous pandemic, Texas, for certain, is to be occupied by National Guard troops.
According to cdc.gov’s COVID-19 data tracker on August 6, 2020, 12:15 PM (CDT), there are a total of 4,802,491 cases in the United States alone. For a more detailed view, yesterday, August 5th, the coronavirus.iowa.gov reported 46,492 positive cases and 893 deaths in the state of Iowa, but as of this morning, there have been 649 new COVID-19 cases along with 13 additional deaths, causing Iowa to have more than 47,000 cases and 900 deaths from the virus. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency of the U.S. the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) predicted that, at this rate, a total of 175,000 to 190,000 total COVID-19 deaths will be reported by August 29th.
Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of people look to buy or rent a new home, and health experts warn them to be wary of hidden dangers. As stated by the CDC, “recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children,” and “selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.” As reported by survivingmold.com, mold “affects multiple systems in the body, which in turn, causes the patient to exhibit multiple symptoms,” such as joint pain, autoimmune-related illnesses, feelings of fogginess, etc. On Fox News, Jennifer McCormick, a Maryland real estate advisor for Engel & Volkers Annapolis, recommends potential home renters or buyers to, "look for any suspected areas of mold growth and note items such as musty smells, standing water in basements or stains in a ceiling."
Science and Technology
As dispatched by CNN earlier this week, SpaceX, a renowned aerospace company, “launched an experimental rocket prototype on a ‘hop test,’” and “the giant tank-like vehicle -- reminiscent of an old metal grain silo -- soared nearly 500 feet above the ground before touching down safely on a nearby ground pad.” CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, plans for the prototype to be in the listing of aerocrafts, which are part of the design of “Starship,” a rocket mechanism that will finally be able to carry humans to Mars.
Ever since jet engines have become available for the larger masses, people have been sticking them on pretty much everything they could excogitate-- from cars to backpacks to bikes. A notable example is the Bone Shaker, “a monster jet truck that comes equipped with a J79 turbojet that generates 18,000 horsepower,” interestingengineering.com writes. Furthermore, the Bone Shaker, capable of reaching 300 mph, has an engine that was used by the U.S. Navy and Air Force for 40 years. Although most of the jet-engined contraptions we’ve seen in recent times are land-based, the Hacksmith, a YouTube channel that has been uploading videos since 2006 and has a subscriber count of around 9.28 million, has built the world's fastest canoe powered with a couple of jet engines.
World Politics and Economics
Due to rising COVID-19 cases in the US, the price of gold has risen over $2000 for the first time as investors move their money into the precious metal due, and Peter McGuire from XM.com says that he sees gold reaching "$2,200 by Christmas" with silver, platinum and palladium also set to see strong gains. As these record-high prices are driven by tensions between the US and China, investors prepare themselves for a possible pick-up in inflation from the impact of trillions of dollars of stimulus from governments and central banks around the world.
Visiting the devastated capital city of Beirut, Lebanon, President Macron of France called for "profound change" for the government. He described it as a "metaphor for Lebanon's current crisis" and stated that a "new political order" was needed, while calling for an investigation into the explosion "to prevent things from remaining hidden and doubt from creeping in". There are also multiple claims that government corruption, mistreatment, and mismanagement led to the explosion, which killed at least 137 people and injured another 5,000 people, per CNN. Judge Fadi Akiki, a representative at the militant court, claims that more than 18 port and customs officials and individuals in charge of or involved in maintenance at the warehouse where the explosion happened have been questioned. In addition, France, once a past ruling power in Lebanon, has sent planes carrying rescuers and medical aid, French investigators, and further supplies in the next few days. A two-week state of emergency has begun so rescue efforts can locate and treat the people.
Southeast US Weather
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season has come to a break-- although not for long, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The weather service’s August 6th press release predicted an 85% chance of an above-average season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and a nominal 5% chance of a below-normal season also, likely reaching between 14 to 25 tropical storms. This report implies that storms may be even named with Greek letters-- an occurrence that has not happened since the year 2005 when there were over 7 major hurricanes and 27 named storms. Although it is not being currently monitored by NHC, a tropical wave off of Africa has a chance of becoming a great disturbance along with the potential to become a major hurricane. Global Forecast Models (GFS) speculate that only a few low-pressure systems with minimal damage will form until at least mid-August.
Currently, in Houston, Texas, the weather is mostly sunny with a high temperature of 96 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Progressing through the week, clouds are expected to move in by Saturday, and rain is anticipated to fall on Sunday and Wednesday to Friday of next week. As for today, there is an 18 percent chance of rain and wind blowing to the northwest are speeding up to 7 miles per hour. A humidity of 70 percent at 11 am (CDT) will drop down to 52 percent by 5 pm (CDT).
All local information is gathered from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Please remember to always stay safe and check in with your local weather center for news and weather preparation tips.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Yijia, and Caleb
Texas Politics: Stephanie and Vicki
Health: Matthew, Megan, Allison, and Owen
Science and Technology: Bryan, Andrew, and Yiqi
World Politics and Economics: Joseph, William, and Jake
Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon
Editor: VIA and Susanna
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)