October 28, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
Justice Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in Tuesday morning by Chief Justice John Roberts, becoming the 115th Justice to serve on the Supreme Court. The ceremony took place in the East Conference Room, with the audience properly distanced and wearing masks. Barrett was confirmed by the senate with a 52-48 majority. Her seat in the court further provides Republicans a 6-3 majority, giving Conservatives a lead when regarding future laws and issues.
With 71 million ballots cast, the number of votes this year has officially passed 50% of the total 2016 count. California leads with 7.9 million ballots cast, and Texas and Florida follow at 7.8 million and 6.4 million respectively. Texas, however, holds the highest turnout rate, giving it over 85% of the number cast in 2016. The Texas Tribune estimates that up to two-thirds, or 12 million, registered voters in Texas may cast a ballot this year. Currently, 48 million have voted by mail, and 23 million have voted in person. In the states that count party registration, Democrats lead overall with 48% of ballots, and, while Republicans trail around 30%, they consist up to 41% of the votes in person.
Considering the current surge of voters, the Texas National Guard announced that Governor Greg Abbott is sending 1,000 troops to five of the state's biggest cities to “deter any civil disturbance at sites in various cities within Texas” as early as this weekend. Per Fox News, Adjutant Gen. Maj. Tracy Norris claims that the Texas Military Department "was activated to provide additional support to the Department of Public Safety in the summer of 2020." According to the Houston Chronicle, Governor Greg Abbott has agreed to omit San Antonio from his planned deployment of National Guard Troops.
According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of October 28, 2020, 12:15 PM, there are over 8.75 million cases and almost 226k deaths nationwide. California leads with the most cases at a total of 904k, and Texas follows by a total of 874.3k cases.
(FOX NEWS) According to research from Inmar Intelligence, a data-driven technology-enabled services company, 57% of U.S. consumers are considering to replenish their assortment of goods and essential products stockpiled due to fear over a potential “second wave” of COVID-19.
Science and Technology
(BBC) China’s policy on planting trees plays a “..significant role in tempering its climate impacts.” An international research team notes that in two specific areas of the country “.... the scale of carbon dioxide absorption by new forests has been underestimated.” They make up about 35% of China’s carbon “sink” -- a reservoir that absorbs more carbon than produced.
Geologists from the University of Georgia look to find ways to create soil with materials on Mars’ surface. Laura Fackrell, the lead author of the study, explains, “We want to simulate certain characteristics of materials you could easily get on Mars’ surface,” such as mineral makeup, pH levels, and salt content. Through such simulations, scientists may learn about the potential fertility of the soil and “knowing if they are viable and if not, are there feasible solutions that can be used to make them viable.”
After a substance was found in the two engines on the Falcon 9 rocket may have caused them to start earlier than planned, SpaceX is replacing both of the engines. The rocket will soon carry four astronauts to the International Space Station.
Southeast US Weather
Atlantic: Tropical Epsilon still going with storm speeds to the north North went off of the Atlantic zone yesterday. However, Tropical Storm Zeta made landfall today in New Orleans and has the potential to cause more damage. On the other hand, a disturbance south of Cuba has a 10% chance of forming.
(Pacific) A disturbance located off of the South coast of Mexico has a 40% chance of forming as it moves west throughout the week with a near-zero chance of making landfall.
(Local) The cold front reaching Texas has caused temperatures in Houston to rise of 81 degrees Fahrenheit, maintain an average of 74 degrees Fahrenheit, and drop to a chilling low of 44 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind will be strong tomorrow at 19 mph to the Northwest and will stay above 10 in the next week. The skies are expected to stay sunny or partly cloudy at most.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Caleb, and Annabelle
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew, David, and Owen
Science and Technology: Bryan, Yiqi, and Amelia
Southeast US Weather: Simon
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)