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September 13, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics


According to the New York Times, the search and investigation continues for the man who shot and severely wounded two police officers at a metro station on Saturday. In a video posted on Twitter, an armed person runs up to a parked police car, and, without warning, fires multiple times through the passenger window, before proceeding to sprint away. The officers, as of this afternoon, have not yet been identified; although, a released report identifies a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old and a 24-year-old man. Both victims are currently recovering from surgery after being in critical condition. Fox News writes that while the victims received intensive care, protesters outside of the hospital chanted, “We hope they die!” while blocking lanes to the ER, holding up ambulance traffic for others being rushed to the hospital. According to eyewitnesses, they even dared to attempt to break into the ER where the officers were being kept for reasons unknown.


Former New York City mayor and 2020 ex-presidential nominee, Mike Bloomberg, is devoting 100 million dollars to help Democratic nominee Joe Biden win Florida, a key swing state, and one that the Democrats lost in the 2016 election. The funds are said to come from Bloomberg’s Super PAC, an independent political action committee that contributes money to political candidates, and aims to free up expenses for the Biden campaign. While the money can also be allocated towards other swing states, such as Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign remains confident for a consecutive win in Florida. Incumbent President Trump further criticizes Bloomberg on Twitter, commenting, “I thought Mini Mike was through with Democrat politics after spending almost 2 Billion Dollars, and then giving the worst and most inept Debate Performance in the history of Presidential Politics.”


Two days ago, the Judicial Watch obtained Department of Justice (DOJ) records showing that senior members of the Special Counsel’s Office wiped dozens of phones assigned to them for work-related use. Out of them, 20 were wiped because officials “accidentally” entered the password wrong too many times. Others, according to the SCO’s phone review, were “wiped after [being] placed in airplane mode from which they could not be unlocked because [the] password was forgotten.” CNN and Politico add that top Senate Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson, are pushing for an investigation on the phones of Muller’s team because of “concerns about record retention and transparency”. Their worries are based on the possible mishandling of the Russian/Kremlin investigation.



Texas Politics


Good Morning America from ABC News reports that several states, including Texas, Montana, and Arizona, will no longer receive unemployment benefits of 300 dollars per week starting tomorrow. The payments were part of the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, which was a temporary provision established after the 600 dollars Federal Pandemic Assistance Program expired. Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has limited funds, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will continue to pay eligible claimants for the approved six weeks if previous FEMA grants are still available.



Health


According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of Sep 13 2020 1:33 PM, there are over 6.46 million cases and 193k deaths nationwide. California has the most infections at 750k, Texas with 657k, and Florida follows closely at 654k cases.


Politico writes of recent reports where appointees from the Health and Human Service Department (HHS) have been attempting to warp the numbers of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports in order to understate the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic and depict the country as if it were on an upswing. The New York Times adds that senior health officials have verified that 2 HHS officials, Caputo and Alexander, sent emails to the CDC, accusing them of using the reports to “hurt the president.” The two officials implied that the reports were exaggerating the effects the virus would have on children, and, thus, trying to compromise the president’s plan to reopen schools, work, and other portions of the economy.


(NYTimes) Dr. Anthony Fauci, the official COVID-19 advisor, believes that America may not become fully recovered, or ‘normal’, until the end to 2021, since access to a well-prepared vaccination may not be available until then.



World Politics and Economics


BBC reports that on the fifth consecutive Sunday after a rigged election, hundreds of thousands of people are still protesting in multiple cities in Belarus for the resignation of incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko. In the capital city, Minsk, protesters marched to the residential area of Drozdy, where most of the country's officials including Lukashenko live, but were obstructed by police. In an effort to control the masses, large numbers of police enforcement stationed to block key areas of Belarus ensured a brutal police crackdown. In addition to opposition leaders being detained or exiled, Lukashenko denies any wrongdoings and accuses Western nations of interfering.



Science and Technology


Per CNN, Mercedes-Benz has rolled out Microsoft’s HoloLens to 383 dealerships across the U.S. The HoloLens creates an augmented reality with arrows and circles to help auto mechanics fix cars. The article details that tech market researcher ABI “...expects under 2 million AR headsets to ship in 2020, but predicts this will climb to 3 million in 2021.”



Southeast US Weather

(The Atlantic) The Atlantic currently holds 3 tropical disturbances and 4 tropical systems (Paulette, Sally, Rene, and tropical depression 20).

Hurricane Paulette will likely intensify into a major hurricane later. Tropical storm Sally is at 60 mph in the Gulf, soon to make landfall as a hurricane in Louisiana. Tropical depression Rene is weakening and forecasted to become a remnant low by Monday. On the other hand, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) anticipates Tropical depression 20 to become a powerful category 2 hurricane or tropical storm by tomorrow.

2 of the 3 disturbances in the Atlantic are near Africa, while the other is in the Gulf of Mexico and isn’t expected to develop due to close proximity with Sally. However, disturbance 2 (red) has a 70 percent chance of forming within two days as it slowly moves north-northwestward. Formation is not likely for disturbance 3, since it is encountering strong upper-level winds and colder waters this Tuesday.


(The Pacific) The vast Pacific, which remained quiet from mid-Aug, is getting busier with systems. Remaining in the Eastern Pacific, tropical storm Karina, formed from two disturbances, is moving at 12 mph towards the northwest. In the Central Pacific, located about 850 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, the disturbance has a 20 percent chance of intensifying into a cyclone as it moves westward 10-15 mph.


(Local Weather: Houston, Texas) Today is sunny with a high of 92 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. In the forecast for the next 10 days, it may rain tomorrow and Tuesday until Thursday. The clouds may again Saturday, but sunshine will ensue through next week.


Quick Query: Where are the strongest winds in a hurricane? Answer in the comment section!


Yesterday’s answer: [#4]

Explanation: In the north, storms spin counterclockwise, whereas in the south, they spin clockwise. This is the Coriolis effect, which is caused by Earth’s rotation. For instance, in Australia, toilet water spins clockwise when flushed, contrary to a counter-clockwise flush in the U.S.


To get live coverage of the latest hurricane updates on the tropics, visit the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Tidbits, CyclonicWx, or watch Force Thirteen. Please stay safe, and for more on local weather, visit the NOAA Graphical Forecast.


_________________________________________________________________________

Writers:

US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, and Caleb

Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan

Health: Annabelle, Matthew, David, and Owen

World Politics and Economics: Joseph, William, Jake, and Alexander

Science and Technology: Bryan, Amelia, and Joe

Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon

Editor: VIA and Isabel

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

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