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September 19, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, appointed by President Clinton in 1993, passed away yesterday due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, opening up a political fight to be her successor. Senate majority leader Mitch Mcconnell stated the senate will vote on incumbent President Trump's nominee for approval, which will likely be known by next week and a woman, per CNN. Trump’s list of potential candidates has the names of forty-five people. As the White House searches for the next justice, nonetheless, citizens and politicians nationwide are remembering Ginsberg for her service. On both sides of the political spectrum, Ginsberg is being remembered by Trump as “an amazing woman who had an amazing life”, and a “beloved figure” by Biden.

Texas Politics

In honor of the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Texas Governor ordered all state flags to be lowered today, announcing, “Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer of keen intellect and will be remembered as a judicial giant. She put service above self and leaves behind a grateful nation.”

In the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Beta, is expected to “bring heavy rain and flooding to the Rio Grande Valley and the Coastal Bend beginning Sunday to next week.” Thus, per Gov.Texas, Gov. Abbott has called to “ready resources” and urge Texans to follow flood preparation guidelines and safety tips. Please remember to stay safe and never attempt to cross flowing streams, flooded roadways, and road barricades placed for protection.

To sign up for emergency alerts from the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio:


According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of Sep 18, 2020, 12:46 PM (CDT), there are 6.7 million cases and 198k deaths nationwide. California leads with the most infections at 769.8k and Texas follows with 682k cases.

(Houston Chronicle) In the Houston region, there are 174,353 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 1,020 from yesterday, and 3,278 deaths. Gov. Abbott lifted COVID-19 restrictions last week, and Lt. Gov. Patrick prioritizes the economy and protection of the police.

(MedicalNewsToday) A major study has found that the number of adults experiencing depression in the US has tripled. Prior to the pandemic, 8.5% of U.S adults reported being depressed, but currently, the percentage has risen to 27.8%. Data from a CLIMB (Life Stressors Impact on Mental Health and Well-being) survey found that a possible driving factor concerns financial well-being, as those with less than 5,000 dollars in their savings are 50 percent more likely to experience depression.

World Politics and Economics

According to BBC, over 15,000 people, the largest number of protesters in years, rallied in Thailand's capital, Bangkok, calling for a reformed political system, including the monarchy’s effect on the government. Without any reported case of violence, the people chanted, "Down with feudalism, long live the people." Since July, protesters have been calling for the abdication of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who received the power in a 2014 coup and won the disputed 2019 elections last year. Today’s student demonstrators moved off the campus of Thammasat University and into a park next to a grand palace used for royal ceremonies, planning to occupy the space overnight and congregate at the prime minister’s office on Sunday morning. Student leader Panupong "Mike" Jadnok declared to the crowd, "I hope the people in power will see the importance of the people. We're fighting to put the monarchy in the right place, not to abolish it."

Science and Technology

BBC writes about Australia’s gympie-gympie, or stinging tree, which resembles a spider or a scorpion that releases deadly toxins after being irritated. The stinging starts as an intense burning, then escalates to a “pain akin to the affected area having been slammed in a car door,” and lasts anywhere from days to weeks. Scientists from the University of Queensland report that the structure of the venom is like a knot, “allowing the toxin to tangle and repeatedly target pain receptors in the victim.”

Southeast US Weather

(The Atlantic) As Subtropical Storm Alpha heads east into Europe, both Tropical Storm Beta and Hurricane Teddy continue raging in the Atlantic. Tropical storm Beta will not intensify into a hurricane, whereas Hurricane Teddy may become an annular hurricane after finishing its eyewall replacement cycle. Meanwhile, the remnants of Paulette may reform as it heads south towards Azores.

(Pacific) Besides a single disturbance that does not pose any chance to make landfall, the Pacific is rather calm.

(Local: Houston, Texas) As a tropical storm warning is in place for Houston, rain can be expected tomorrow to possibly next Monday, due to a stall from Tropical Storm Beta.

Trivia Time: How many hurricanes have hit the US so far in the year 2020? Answer in the comment section below!

Yesterday’s answer: [Even with powerful jet engines, planes will spin in the formation of the storm. With the exception of the Air Force Reconnaissance Plane (also known as The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron or “Hurricane Hunters”), each spin lowers the plane’s altitude until it hits ground.]



US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Yijia, Caleb, and Annabelle

Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan

Health: Matthew, David, and Owen

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

Science and Technology: Bryan, Yiqi, 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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