September 26, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
With election day more than a month away, interest in early-voting skyrockets, with over 28 million ballots requested and another 43 million set to be mailed in to voters amid the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. In total, this is expected to exceed the 50 million early voting ballots cast in 2016, per CNN. The states with the most ballots requested are indeed battleground states. Florida takes the lead at nearly 5 million ballots requested, followed by Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania-- all of which are states Trump won in 2016. As of now, CNN estimates that half of a million ballots have already been cast, with the biggest number being from North Carolina at 200,000.
Gov. Abbott announced the allocation of over $171 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will be used for rental aid. Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa affirms, "I strongly support this effort as it will assist families to stay in their homes at a time of financial stress for so many Texans. This funding will help keep families together and provide them with the rental assistance and legal support needed to prevent homelessness."
On Texas.Gov, Gov. Greg Abbott comments on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. He affirms, "Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a remarkable individual who will make an outstanding Supreme Court Justice. Her proven legal brilliance is matched by her exceptional character and unflinching commitment to the U.S. Constitution. The Senate should swiftly confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court..."
According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of Sep 26 2020 12:16 PM, there are over 7 million cases and 203k deaths nationwide. According to the data, California leads with the most infections at 794k, and Texas follows with almost 724k cases.
(Dallas Morning News) Texas schools see a dip in new cases for COVID-19, despite reopening of schools and increased in-person schooling. From Sept 14 to 20, Texas schools reported 33 fewer cases compared to the week before. Lewisville reported a state-high 31 new student cases, 23 of them from high schools, bringing its student total to 62 cases to date.
World Politics and Economics
The Vatican Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu unexpectedly resigned and revealed that he was told to do so by the pope, who suspects him of giving money from the Church to his brother. The Cardinal was a close aide to the pope, who now declares to no longer had faith in Becciu due to a report of an act of misappropriation. Becciu has denied the allegations.
A breakthrough in climate change occurred this week when China declared that it will reduce “its emissions to net-zero by 2060.” This action follows the UK's 2050 net-zero target, which, in the last few years, has been largely put aside.
Science and Technology
Per NBC, vocal industry experts on Facebook no longer wish to wait for the independent oversight board, a project announced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in April of 2018, and, thus, have begun their own. These 25 people, who plan to analyze and critique Facebook's content moderation decisions, call themselves “ the real Facebook oversight board,” and scheduled a meeting with Facebook on Oct. 1st. The host will be Kara Swisher, a New York Times opinion writer.
To measure minuscule magnetic fields, researchers often use superconducting quantum interference devices, or SQUIDs. A typical SQUID consists of a superconducting ring interrupted at two points by an extremely thin film with normal conducting or insulating properties. Contrastingly, the new SQUID is made up of a stack of two-dimensional materials, including two graphene layers on top of each other and separated by a thin film of boron nitride.
Southeast US Weather
(Atlantic) The ocean is quiet and disturbances are not expected within the next five days.
(Pacific) The Pacific is also relatively quiet besides a disturbance with a medium chance of forming expected to move off in the next five days.
(Local) The weather this week in Houston is a lot cooler and a cold front will move in next week. Today sees a slight haze with a high of 87 and a low of 72. As that cold front moves in the high will drop as low as the mid-70s and the low will possibly into the upper 50s.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan and Miranda
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew, David, and Owen
World Politics and Economics: Amelia, Joseph, William, Jake, and Alexander
Science and Technology: Bryan and Yiqi
Southeast US Weather: Jade and Simon
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)