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October 18, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics

Record shattering turnout among early voters continues as the number of ballots pass 26 million, according to the BBC. As of yesterday, Texas, California, and Florida lead with 3.4 million, 3 million, and 2.4 million ballots cast respectively. This huge turnout is supported with long lines and enthusiastic voters in states such as Virginia, Ohio, Georgia, and Texas. Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida and the creator of the US Elections Project, predicts roughly 150 million ballots will be cast and the turnout will be unmatched for the last century. For returned mail-in ballots, 55% are from registered Democrats and 25% are from Republicans. With 16 days until the election, 81 million ballots have been requested.

Texas Politics

Rebeca Huddle, a native of El Paso, Texas, was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by Gov. Greg Abbott. Previously, Huddle served as a Justice on the First Court of Appeals in Houston. Gov. Abbot commends, “Rebeca brings to the court a strong work ethic and sharp legal mind... Texans depend on a fair and impartial justice system... and I know that Rebeca will faithfully defend the Constitution and work hard for the people of Texas.”


According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of October 18, 2020, 12:17 PM, there hare over 8.02 million cases and almost 218k deaths nationwide. California leads with the most cases at a total of 861.4k, and Texas follows by a total of 815.6k cases.

(KHOU) The CDC warns that indoor gatherings, considering the upcoming holidays, are unsafe. Dr. Linda Yancey, an infectious disease expert at Memorial Hermann states, “Definitely not gathering in small groups in people’s homes. That is about the least safe thing you can do." Yancey explains that considering COVID-19 is airborne, anyone within an enclosed, infected area is highly susceptible to the virus.

Science and Technology

Per CNN, Dropbox’s 3,000 employees will work remotely most of the time, but will be able to occasionally visit offices that have been altered to collaboration spaces. Such “hybrid approach” levels out the playing field and allows employees to “choose whether or not to work out of the office.”

Consistently, science missions attempt to search for possible extraterrestrial life close to Earth. Lingam, the lead author of such research, details, “We examined whether conditions amenable to life... at some point in their histories and how scientists might go about searching for traces of past subsurface life on these objects. We know that these searches will be technically challenging, but not impossible.”

Engadget writes that as NASA plans to revisit the moon in 2024, astronauts ought to have a reliable way to connect to each other. Hence, this week, NASA announced a provision of 14.1 million dollars to Nokia in the endeavor to build a 4G LTE on the moon’s surface.

World Politics and Economics

BBC reports that Tropical Storm Alex, which heavily affected UK in early October, resulted in over 100mm of rain in parts of Wales, south-west England and eastern Scotland. October 3rd, recorded as wettest day, has caused researchers to claim that “the deluge was enough to exceed the capacity of Loch Ness- the largest lake in the UK by volume.”



US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Caleb, and Annabelle

Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan

Health: Matthew, David, and Owen

World Politics and Economics: Amelia

Science and Technology: Bryan, Yiqi, and Joseph L.

Editor: VIA and Isabel

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

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