December 24, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
With two more weeks untill the election date, over 1.6 million ballots have been cast in Georgia’s senate runoffs, which will determine control of the US Senate . The first race is between incumbent Senator David Perdue and Jon Ossoff, and the other is between Raphael Warnock and Incumbent Kelly Loffeler. The voter turnout has far exceeded the number of ballots cast in Georgia’s last Senate runoff in 2008. Currently, Republicans only need to win one of the two races in order to retain control of the Senate (which the GOP has controlled since 2014), while Democrats need to win both races.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tried to get the Trump administration to revoke funding for the COVID relief system that Harris County budgeted for expanded mail-in voting earlier this year. Houston Chronicle reports, “The mail-ballot application push was part of the county’s $27.2 million plan to expand voting options, funded in large part through CARES Act money. The county also instituted drive-thru voting and expanded the number of polling locations.” Paxton wrote in his letter, “We respectfully ask the department to scrutinize its award of CARES Act funding to Harris County in light of the county’s stated intent to use federal funding in violation of state law, and to the extent possible, seek return of any amounts improperly spent on efforts to promote illegal mail-in voting. Without implementing adequate protections against unlawful abuse of mail-in ballots, the department could be cast in a position of involuntarily facilitating election fraud.”
According to, CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of December 23, 2020, there are 18.17 million cases nationwide and 321k deaths. Currently, California leads with 1.92 million cases, while Texas follows with 1.61 million cases.
Science and Technology
Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are accelerating a research engine that alloes a view inside the atomic-level real-time workings of combustion engines. Martin Wissink, the lead of the project states, “Around the world, industry, national labs and academia are looking at the interface between turbulent combustion that happens in the engine, and the heat transfer process that happens through the solid components... The objective is to fully resolve stress, strain, and temperature in the entire domain over all the metal parts in the combustion chamber.”
Southeast US Weather
(Atlantic) A high pressure system across the basin of the Gulf of Mexico will shift eastward tonight. The cold front will enter the Northwest Gulf around midnight with widespread gale- force winds as it races southeastward. A broad area of seas in excess of 12 ft. will build behind the front throughThursday night.
(Pacific) No tropical storms are expected for the next two days.
(Local) The skies for the next two days are sunny, but will turn cloudy and rain on Sunday and the following Tuesday (29th) and Wednesday (30th). Winds are topping at 18 mph today, and the temperature drops to a low 35. The temperature will gradually increase until the anticipated precipitation next week.
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)