July 31, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
In President Trump’s tweet yesterday, he claimed that Mail-In Voting is incredibly prone to fraudulency and inaccuracy. Moreover, he asserted that other issues include Ballot Harvesting, the submission of ballots by third party volunteers or workers, and forgery, the illegal and fake printing of ballots,can create an unfair election.
Regarding the subject of postponing the presidential election that is set to occur in November of this year, Article II of the constitution states that only the US Congress holds the power to choose the timing of the election, meaning that President Trump likely does not have the authority to delay the upcoming 2020 elections. During a press conference that took place Thursday evening, the president backed off of his earlier statement of pushing for the delay of the general election, claiming his reason for the suggestion was not wanting “to see a crooked election” and that “this election will be the most rigged election in history”.
In the Harris country region around Houston, Texas, COVID-19 cases have been steadily rising-- particularly within the Latino community. According to NBC, the Memorial Hermann Health System’s analysis of Emergency Room (ER) visits shows that far more Hispanics have arrived in hospital ERs compared to other ethnicities. Since the summer surge, front-line medical workers and public health officials in Texas have been increasingly exhausted and overwhelmed. Cindy Zolnierek, CEO of Texas Nurses Association, reiterated that, “it’s traumatic. It’s like white-knuckle driving all the time.” Dr. Joseph Varon, chief medical officer at United Memorial who has worked 132 days straight as of July 29th stated, “I’m living on adrenaline and running on fumes.”
Recently, some schools have begun to reopen while many other school districts are still struggling to figure out how to keep their students both safe and educated. In response to the worsening economy, more than a thousand health professionals have signed a letter to take a different approach to the fight against COVID-19. This new approach would involve universal mandatory masks and a shutdown of non-essential businesses.
Science and Technology
A new technological advance in Florida schools, Active Law Enforcement Response Technology (ALERT), can prevent lives from being unnecessarily lost due to school shootings. During a trial attempt shooting, police enforcement caught the two “shooters” within minutes. Mandel, who has been developing the ALERT software since a total of 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 said, "When they arrive on the scene, they know exactly where to go, how to get in, [and] where the shooter is,"
Neuralink is a neurotechnology company that is building a tool to link human brains with computers without the need for a physical connection. The company, formed by the renown Elon Musk, hopes to create a new way of interfacing with technology in the not-too-distant future.
World Politics and Economics
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, postponed the Hong Kong elections because of a spike in COVID-19 infections, as the past ten days have been described as the “third wave” of infections with more than 100 cases daily. Ms. Lam claims that there are 4.4 million registered voters in Hong Kong and the elections will create "a large-scale gathering and an immense infection risk." Politicians opposed to postponing of the election assert that an election can only be postponed 14 days and that any longer would “trigger an unconstitutional crisis in the city.”
Belarusian authorities have stated that they have detained dozens of Russian Private Military Contractors (PMC) days before Belarus’s presidential election. Belarus’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, who is gunning for a 6th term in office, has made several accusations against Russia of trying to compel Belarus to abandon its post-Soviet Freedom. Throughout his rule, President Lukashenko has depended on Russian support, but has vehemently resisted Moscow’s efforts to gain some authority over the country’s economic assets. The Belarus state news agency, BelTA, stated that 32 members of Russia’s PMC had been detained overnight, outside of Minsk by a Swat team from the Belarusian state security committee, pushing political tensions between the two countries to an all time high.
Southeast US Weather
Tropical Storm Isaias has intensified into a hurricane overnight, and its strength will only increase. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that the storm has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and a minimum central pressure of 991 millibars. The official forecast for Isaias claims that it will only be a Category 1 to Category 2 hurricane with moderate damage, while others believe that it has great potential for major hurricane intensity. Today Isaias formed an eyewall and will proceed to go through a process of intensifying overnight. Florida will likely be subject to minimal to moderate damage, whereas the Bahamas will receive a direct blow from Hurricane Isaias and suffer moderate to severe damage.
Additionally, a Tropical Disturbance 950 miles east of the Lesser Antilles can possibly form into the next tropical system. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says that it has a 30% chance of formation in the next 5 days.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, and Yijia
Texas Politics: Stephanie and Vicki
Health: Matthew, Megan, and Allison
Science and Technology: Bryan, Andrew, and Yiqi
World Politics and Economics: Joseph, William, and Jake
Southeast US Weather: Jade and Aiden
Editors: VIA and Isabel
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)