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December 20, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics


Top lawmakers have reached a compromise over the $900 billion coronavirus relief package earlier in the week, according to NBC News. The roadblock was originally caused by an argument on the Federal Reserve’s role in intervening with the US Economy; however, yesterday night, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, “If things continue on this path and nothing gets in the way, we’ll be able to vote tomorrow.” Per CNN, the package is expected to include direct payments of $600 billion for individuals, $300 per week in jobless benefits, and money for small businesses, schools, and billions more for vaccine distribution.



Health


According to, CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of December 20, 2020, there are 17.59 million cases nationwide and 315k deaths. Currently, California leads with 1.8 million cases, while Texas follows with 1.57 million cases.



Science and Technology


Researchers at Hiroshima University have "blended together various polymer and molecular semiconductors as photo-absorbers to create a solar cell with increased power efficiencies and electricity generation." Itaru Osaka, corresponding author of the paper, reveals, “A key is to use a very specific polymer, one that allows us to have a very thick semiconductor layer for OPV cells, which significantly enhances optical interference effect compared to a thin layer.”


Southeast US Weather


(Atlantic) A low 1060 mb low pressure gale west of Florida is expected later to move to the waters of the Caribbean.


(Pacific) A strong gale force winds located at the Gulf of Tehuantepec is expected to move across the the Gulf of Mexico with a 25 per hour wind speed.


(Local) The high of the week will be 77 on Thursday and a low of 38 on Sunday. Chances of rain will increase to 75% chance of thunderstorms.


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Writers:

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

Editor: VIA

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

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