December 17, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
Early in-person voting for the Georgia Senate Runoffs began Monday. As both the Democratic and Republican party are almost equal in Senate seats (with Democrats holding 48 seats and Republicans holding 50 seats), this vote will decide which party controls the US Senate. Turnout in Georgia’s general election reached a record of 5 million, but according to the Associated Press, turnout for the runoff election is not expected to be that high. According to the New York Times, roughly 800,000 people voted, and 1.2 million mail-in ballots have been requested, with most mail-in ballots cast in the general election going to Biden, though both parties are encouraging people to vote by mail early. Currently, polling from FiveThirtyEight and RCP show both races as a virtual toss-up, meaning that either race is anyone’s game.
According to yahoo.com, Google has been faced with a lawsuit from Texas and nine other states (Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah). This lawsuit claims that Google tried to “crush competition with exclusionary tactics” including by striking a deal with Facebook to manipulate advertising auctions. The lawsuit states, “The Supreme Court has warned that there are such things as antitrust evils. This litigation will establish that Google is guilty of such antitrust evils, and it seeks to ensure that Google won’t be evil anymore.”
` Per Texas Tribune, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been working on the plan for the COVID vaccine in Texas. “There will be multiple vaccines available to us by the time we get to March, and we’ll be providing far more doses of vaccines than what we currently have,” Abbott says. Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt continues, saying, “It’ll still be weeks, perhaps months, before it is absolutely available to anyone who chooses to have it, and also in the meantime we need to continue the kinds of things that have gotten us this successful so far. I can guarantee you that there's still an emphasis on increasing our capacity to have these vaccines as soon as possible and at as great a quantity as possible.”
According to, CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of December 17, 2020, there are 16.75 million cases nationwide and 306k deaths. Currently, California leads with 1.61 million cases, while Texas follows with 1.51 million cases.
(CNN) Today, as the United States reaches 17 million official COVID-19 cases, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel recommends a second vaccine from Moderna for the country.
Science and Technology
Computer simulations have struggled to capture the impact of elusive particles called neutrinos on the formation and growth of the large-scale structure of the universe. Lecturer Kohji Yoshikawa says, “Earlier simulations used certain approximations that might not be valid. In our work, we avoided these approximations by employing a technique that accurately represents the velocity distribution function of the neutrinos and follows its time evolution.”
Southeast US Weather
(Atlantic) There are no expected tropical storms to form in the next 48 hours.
(Pacifc) There are no expected tropical storms to form in the next 48 hours.
(Local) The high for the next few days is at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and the low is at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. On Saturday, there will be thunderstorms throughout the day and a 90 humidity. This weekend, wind speeds will stay between 8 and 14 mph.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Caleb, and Annabelle
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew, David, and Owen
Science and Technology: Bryan
Southeast US Weather: Simon
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)