September 18, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
Just as Republican candidate Donald Trump did a few days ago, Democratic candidate Joe Biden attended a CNN town hall last night to discuss key issues among undecided voters. Topics included COVID-19 and the Trump Administration’s handling of COVID-19, as well as the Affordable Care Act, racial equality, and the environment. Firstly, Biden claimed that if the American population wore masks, 100,000 lives could’ve been saved, and later publicly expressed that he trusts Dr. Fauci more than the President. As for the Affordable Care Act, Biden wishes to reinstate Obamacare, contrasting Trump, who promised to repeal it. Pertaining to the topic of climate change, Biden promised that the fracking business would not be purged, but rather “phased out” and hopefully transitioned to net zero emissions by 2050.
The headline shooting of two officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) more than a week ago has turned into a nationwide string of attacks on the police. Earlier this week in New Jersey, ABC News reports, a Honda Odyssey cruised past the home of two police officers and their 10-day-old infant and fired six shots at the house. Fortunately, the police officers and the baby did not sustain any casualties, although the gunman (possibly gunmen) is still on the loose. Camden County Police Chief Joseph Wysocki says that he believes “this was a targeted attack against this residence and the officers inside” at a press conference. ABC News further writes that across the country in Arizona, Phoenix, a suspect has been arrested for allegedly attempting to murder state troopers. On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the suspect’s car reportedly pulled over alongside the trooper’s car, and the shooter then stepped out of the passenger side of the car before firing multiple shots at the officer with an automatic rifle. The trooper’s attire was easily identifiable and it is suspected that this is yet another ambush. DPS detectives are still searching for the driver.
Texas Democrats are calling State House Republicans “anti-vaxxers” in response to a statement made by a political action committee that supports Republican leaders “dedicated to protecting vaccine choice rights”. Texas Democratic Party communications director Abhi Rahman declares, “During one of the biggest pandemics in American history, it is unconscionable that Texas Republicans would refuse to mandate vaccines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.” The Texas Democratic Party called the PAC an “anti-science special interest group” that “threatens to worsen the COVID-19 pandemic.” On the other hand, Republican State Reps. Matt Shaheen and Jeff Leach told kxan they want parents to have a choice for their children. “Democrats want to stop the spread of coronavirus and end this pandemic. Republicans don’t believe in doctors or experts and continuously refuse to believe in science. That’s the choice in this election.”
According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of Sep. 18, 2020, 12:17 PM (CDT), there are 6.65 million cases and 197k deaths nationwide. California leads with the most infections at a total of 766k and Texas follows with 678.8k cases.
(Washington Post) The CDC has reverted a heavily condemned guideline, “those without symptoms do not necessarily need a test,” to recommending those who have had close contact with COVID-19 to test, even if they are asymptomatic.
World Politics and Economics
Per BBC, the U.S Department of Commerce will forbid US citizens from downloading TikTok and WeChat on U.S. app stores-- unless President Trump agrees to a last-minute deal. The Trump administration alleges that the companies threaten national security and have the ability to pass user data to China--- accusations both China and the companies have repeatedly denied. WeChat will be effectively shut down on Sunday this week, while TikTok may still be utilized until November 12th, which is when it may also be fully banned. TikTok declared that they were disappointed in the order and argued against the commerce department, stating that it had already pledged itself to unparalleled levels of transparency in the wake of the Trump administration's unsettlety. Tencent, company of WeChat, stated,"We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods,” and will continue talks with the US government "to achieve a long-term solution".
Science and Technology
According to CNN, Japan is attempting to develop a robot, Model T, that will help solve the issue with a lack of workers in the country. Model T is controlled by someone with a VR headset and a set of special joysticks. Although it is currently not very efficient, developers are trying their best to better it.
Southeast US Weather
(The Atlantic) For the first time in 15 years, we have reached Greek-letter names for tropical systems. Subtropical storm Alpha, tropical storm Beta, and tropical storm Wilfred were formed today, and while Hurricane Teddy weakened to Category 3, it is expected to maintain the status of a major hurricane as it heads towards Bermuda. Tropical storm Wilfred has no threat to land, and subtropical storm Alpha formed off the Portugal coast will make landfall in Portugal, being barely visible on the National Hurricane Center (NHC) outlook. Tropical storm Beta in the Gulf may become a hurricane with a possible effect on Houston. There are two additional ‘Areas of Interest’ (AOI); one being the remnants of Paulette with a moderate chance of forming moving south. The other visible wave has a low chance of forming due to wind shear.
(Local: Houston, Texas) Today, we have a coastal flood watch due to tropical storm Beta and we will possibly receive some rain from Sunday to next Thursday. Otherwise the rest of next week is fairly sunny.
Trivia Time: Why can’t planes fly into Hurricanes? Answer down below in the comments section!
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Caleb, and Annabelle
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew and David
World Politics and Economics: Amelia, Joseph, William, Jake, and Alexander
Science and Technology: Bryan and Joe
Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon
Editor: VIA and Isabel
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)