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September 16, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics

With election day less than 2 months away, both campaigns of Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are starting to get wild. In the 10 days left before the debates, ABC News held a town hall for Trump where undecided voters ask about multiple contentious issues of his administration, including the COVID-19 response, law enforcement, healthcare, and the economy. During the town hall held in Pennsylvania, a swing state holding major importance in the election, Trump reassured voters that a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready within a month. He alleges, “If you want to know the truth, the previous administration would have taken perhaps years to have a vaccine because of the FDA and all the approvals, and we’re within weeks of getting it. You know, it could be three weeks, four weeks, but we think we have it.” Trump additionally denied Biden’s accusations of him downplaying the risks of COVID-19. As for medical care, the Republican nominee criticized Obamacare for not caring about people with pre-existing conditions, and finally, responding to claims about Trump being unpresidential, Trump expressed that his administration team has fundamentally changed America, presumably for the better.

Texas Politics

The Texas Supreme Court rejected Harris County’s proposal to send mail-in ballot applications to all its 2.4 million registered voters and ordered it not to send any unsolicited applications “until further order” Even then, county officials sent applications to those older than 65 years, leading to criticism from Republicans. As both sides fight vigorously, the end result continuously goes back and forth. Texas Tribune reports “The order in the Harris County case was the second issued by the Supreme Court on Tuesday that affects mail-in voting procedures. The state's top civil court also ordered the state to add three Green Party candidates back to the ballot after a judge previously ruled them ineligible.”


According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker as of Sep 16 2020 12:16 PM, there are 6.57 million cases and 195k deaths nationwide. California holds the most infections at a total of 760k, Texas second with 668k, and Florida follows closely at 661k cases.

(NYTimes) Texas state health officials published data recently, showing that, along with frequent inconsistencies in the data, the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was higher than what was originally disclosed. Several residents and officials claim that they can’t trust or rely on the numbers given by the government, as thousands of cases are overlooked and reported weeks later. “The changing of gears and data reporting at the state has a lot of public health departments feeling a significant case of whiplash,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio said.

World Politics and Economics

Per BBC, United Nations (UN) investigators claim that Venezuela's government has perpetrated multiple severe violations resulting in crimes against humanity. Cases of killings, torture, violence and disappearances are being investigated in a thorough investigation for the UN Human Rights Council. Venezuelan Ambassador Jorge Valero claims that the UN mission is part of a US conducted crusade, causing the team to be blocked from travelling into Venezuela. Presently, Venezuela is suffering a severe economic and political catastrophe with millions fleeing the country in recent years. In the report of their findings on Wednesday, the UN team declared that Venezuela's security services had been engaged in a pattern of structured violence since 2014, aimed at suppressing political opponents and generally persecuting the population. Venezuelan President Maduro and the ministers of interior and defence were not only conscious of the crimes, but gave orders, arranged operations, and provided resources. As evidenced by the UN report, "The mission found the government, state agents, and groups working with them had committed egregious violations." The intergovernmental organization has called on Venezuela to hold the perpetrators in account for and to prevent further violations from taking place.

Southeast US Weather

(The Atlantic) Currently, most tropical systems, including storm Vicki, do not pose a threat to landfall, and will likely dissipate at the end of this week or so. Tropical storm Paulette however, will make a u-turn heading south along with winds up to 74mph next Monday. Tropical storm Sally, making landfall a few days ago is now dissipating along central Georgia. Both Disturbance 1 and 2 (the red ones) both have a 70 percent chance of forming, though disturbance one is traveling at a leisurely rate. The yellow disturbance has a 30 percent chance of forming and is moving toward the Northwest part of Africa.

(The Pacific) Tropical storm Karina has now reduced to a depression and will likely disappear around next Monday. A disturbance with a 30 percent of forming will be undoubtedly moving along the south coast of Hawaii, a few 100 miles south of Hawaii.

(Local: Houston, Texas) For our weekly update, it will be a little rainy these seven coming days, with the next week having a prep chance not below 10 percent. On Thursday and next Tuesday, there are predictions of some rain clouds moving over Houston and Sugarland, likelihoods rising to 40 percent. Furthermore, the temperature will drop to the lower 90s to the lower 80s by Tuesday.

Quick Survey: What was the Atlantic hurricane season for the year 2020?

Sunday’s answer: [Eyewall]

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



US Politics and Economics: Dylan and Annabelle

Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan

Health: Matthew and David

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

Science and Technology: Bryan, Andrew, Yiqi, Amelia, and Joe

Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon

Editor: VIA, Isabel, and Susanna

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

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