October 3, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
The latest and final employment report prior to the November elections was released yesterday. Only 661,000 jobs were added in the month of September, depicting that the recovery is indeed slowing down. The unemployment rate has fallen to just under 8 percent, about half of that the rate in April (15%) and less than the reports of the additional 1.5 million added jobs in August (8.4%). Although the economic recovery has been swift in comparison to past recessions, it appears to be decelerating. Furthermore, permanent layoffs are continuing to rise, with, alarmingly, over 4 million permanent layoffs. "Today's report reveals a two-sided economy: More than 12.6 million Americans remain out of work as COVID-19 rages on while in other pockets of the economy employers added millions of new jobs," said Glassdor Chief economist Andrew Chamberlain. Still, many fear that the recovery will eventually come to a halt as government aid expires, and many companies, namely airlines, have been planning to cut jobs and lay off workers unless another stimulus bill is passed. However, only time will tell whether the economy recovers well enough in time for the Presidential Election.
(CNBC) As money put into the economy has decreased, President Trump pressured Congress to pass another COVID-19 stimulus plan. He tweeted, “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!”
Despite optimistic claims of the POTUS’ supposedly “steady” condition, sources claim that Donald Trump, after being hospitalized, experienced shortness of breath among other more moderate COVID symptoms that indicate a progression from a mild to a more serious form of the disease. According to CNN, Trump required supplemental oxygen on Friday; however, his physician, Dr. Sean Conely reported earlier today that the President “is not on oxygen right now” and did not require oxygen on Thursday or yesterday. Additionally, a senior administration official told Fox News that in the last 12 hours, “there has been zero concern” for the President’s health, but he adds that the next 48 hours are “critical,” Trump, who was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center earlier, says he feels “great” and “could walk out of [the medical center] today,” according to Dr. Conely at a press conference.
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas issued a proclamation “enhancing ballot security protocols” for the presidential election voting. The proclamation requires that mail-in ballots must be taken to one designated office location per county. Abbott defends, “As we work to preserve Texans’ ability to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take extra care to strengthen ballot security protocols throughout the state. These enhanced security protocols will ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting."
According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of October 3, 2020, 12:44 PM, there are over 7.31 million cases and 208k deaths nationwide. California leads with a total of 817k infections, and Texas follows with a total of 756k cases.
World Politics and Economics
As COVID-19 cases are reportedly becoming contained, life in China is returning to normal. However, this week, the Mid-Autumn holiday, has caused millions of people to travel and go on vacation. Although economic recovery may be boosted, China’s success in taming the virus will be tested. Last year, the holiday season had a total of 782 million domestic trips generating 650 billion yuan in tourism revenue. This year, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism predicts that 550 million domestic trips are to be made.
Science and Technology
Per BBC, Ash Dieback, triggered by a fungus called Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, causes leaf loss and crown dieback and its effects are worsening this year. The combination of the “coronavirus lockdown and the driest spring on record [has] created a ‘perfect storm’ for the disease to spread.” The National Trust states that they are required to spend a minimum of £2m towards the infected trees this year, considering that it was “four times more than the average cost of felling trees.”
According to SciTechDaily, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have invented a method for 3D-printing soft materials, such as gels. NIST researcher Andrei Kolmakov states that “using a 3D printer to fabricate an object made of gel is a bit more of a delicate cooking process.” Kolmakov places an ultrathin barrier of silicon nitride that protects liquid from evaporating, while allowing X-rays and electrons to penetrate into the liquid.
Southeast US Weather
(Atlantic) The Atlantic is heating up with 3 disturbances and Tropical Storm Gamma, which is circling around Mexico’s southern tip and will likely move inside the Gulf early next week. The (red) disturbance with a 70% chance of forming will follow Gamma’s tracks, moving west-northwest. If it continues down the predicted path it may affect Houston. The other two disturbances east of the Gulf both have a 20% chance of forming.
(Pacific) The Pacific contains 2 disturbances and Storm Marie, which is currently hitting its peak. The (orange) disturbance may likely follow Marie’s path, while the yellow disturbance has slow speeds and recently formed off the coast of Southern Mexico.
(Local) The high for the next 10-days is 89 degrees Ferhinhent and the low is 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Chance of rain remains below 10% until next Thursday, where it will be brought up to 20%. Next friday may see some strong winds going 15 mph east-northeast.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Caleb, Matthew, and Annabelle
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew and David
Science and Technology: Bryan and Amelia
Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon
Editor: VIA, Isabel, and Susanna
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)