September 25, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
As the 2020 election enters its final 40 days, the first of three presidential debates is expected to occur on Tuesday, September 29 at 9:00 Eastern in Cleveland, Ohio. Ohio, a swing state Trump won in 2016, has become increasingly competitive as both candidates try to win over undecided voters. Issues, such as COVID-19 and the economy, continue to cause concern on both sides of the political spectrum. As for today, Trump is expected to attend roundtables with his supporters, while Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris will pay respects to judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who died last Friday.
Voters express pandemic safety concerns, similar to the way during primaries, which were effectively postponed by several states. However, the November presidential election cannot be delayed, and questions about its repercussions are being raised. Arguably, safety equipment and a competent voting environment provided by the states may dull a surge in cases. However, some people remark that safety precautions in minority and lower-income neighborhoods may be significantly inferior due to lower air quality and filtration; thus, hindering some people from voting, hence swaying the election in either direction.
For this year’s presidential election, over 16 million Texans have voted. Although results are not publicly out yet, James Henson, the director of The Texas Politics Project at The University of Texas at Austin, explains the numbers to cbsaustin.com, "If you take the COVID-19 pandemic, ...economy, ...protests over racial injustice and police brutality, ... this means you created a recipe for a lot more interest in elections…”
According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of Sep 25 2020 12:16 PM, there are over 6.95 million cases and 202k deaths nationwide. California leads with the most infections at 790k and Texas follows at almost 724k cases.
(FOX NEWS) A COVID-19 mutation emerges to be additionally contagious, and experts claim that the virus could bypass protective masks. Washington Post wrote on Wednesday, scientists published the identification of a new strain of the virus, which accounted for 99.9 percent of cases during the second wave in the Houston, Texas
Science and Technology
SciTechDaily reports that although 5G networks may boost technology and connection speed, they have the ability to mess up weather forecasts. 5G networks use higher frequencies for communications while leaking radiation from a transmitter into a nearby frequency or channel. These leakages could get into the bands that weather sensors use to see how much water vapor is in the atmosphere and change weather forecasting. A 5G leakage strength of 15 to 20 decibel Watts could affect the accuracy by 0.9 millimeters of rain.
In the quieter, quarantined cities, birds have undergone a voice change; for example, sparrows have sung rather quietly. Dr. Elizabeth Derryberry, who works at the department of ecology and biology, says, “People were right that birds did sound different during the shutdown and they filled the soundscape that we basically abandoned.” She also mentions how big noise pollution can affect this.
Southeast US Weather
(Atlantic) The Atlantic is quiet without any disturbances.
(Pacific) Remnant Low Lowell is slowing down and is expected to dissipate around the end of next week. However, a medium-chance disturbance is forming and moving along Mexico's west coast.
(Local) In the next week, Sunday is the hottest at 88 degrees Fahrenheit, while Monday is the lowest at 61 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has the highest chance of rain at 20 percent.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Caleb, and Annabelle
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew, David, and Owen
Science and Technology: Bryan, Yiqi, Amelia, and Joe
Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)