November 18, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for October 2020 was lowered to 6.9%, compared to 7.9% in September’s report, and rates across all demographics have fallen. The US also added back over 600,000 jobs since September, though, according to CNN, there are roughly 10 million fewer jobs since the pandemic began. Additionally, economic recovery is moderating, and the next presidential term ought to help the economy recuperate and heal the job market. Congress has passed several stimulus bills, though there are disputes over the sum of money that the bill will distribute and where it should go. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 cases are currently still on the rise without any signs of halting, and the economy is not out of the woods yet.
As Thanksgiving grows near, thousands of people line up near Dallas to receive food from the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB). According to CBS News, the organization distributed over 63 million meals, a 45% increase compared to 2019. The food bank has seen an increase in need since the start of the pandemic, with at least 40% of the people "coming through the doors" being "new to them and due to COVID." Anna Kurian, NTFB's Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, says, “More than 6,000 cars and about 25,000 people were served by volunteers and staff of the food bank during the around five-hour event.” The food bank distributed 600,000 pounds of food, including 7,280 turkeys, to families during the "Drive-Thru Mobile Pantry."
According to, CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of November 18, 2020, 12:32 PM, there are 11.3 million cases nationwide and 247k deaths. Currently, Texas leads with 1.14 million cases, while California follows with 1.03 million cases.
(CNN) An analysis of the Phase 3 trial for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine found that it is 95% effective. The data shows that Pfizer's initial claim of having a better than 90% efficacy has withstood.
Science and Technology
Per SciTechDaily, Oklo is forging a path to build innovative nuclear power plants that meet federal safety regulations. Earlier this year, the company became the first to get its application for an advanced nuclear reactor accepted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The acceptance was the culmination of a novel application process that set a number of milestones in the industry, and it has positioned Oklo to build an advanced reactor that differs in several important ways from the nuclear power plants currently operating in the country.
Southeast US Weather
(Atlantic) Currently, a disturbance in the Atlantic is the third possible storm to hit the countries below Mexico days after the passing of Tropical Storm Lota. Though this storm is anticipated to be weaker than the first two as it only has a 20% chance of forming in the next two days, it has formed close to land, hence posing a significant risk to the nearby countries. The next disturbance also has a 20% chance of forming east of South and North Carolina.
(Pacific) Tropical Storm Polo is expected to dissipate this Friday morning.
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)