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September 30, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden appeared in the first of the four debates for the 2020 General Election. The debate, at 8 pm CST on Tuesday, was at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The participants were asked to discuss key issues, such as Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, healthcare (specifically the Affordable Care Act), the COVID-19 pandemic and its current response, climate change, race relations, law enforcement, and mail-in voting.

Arguably, President Trump took a rather aggressive, hence speaking over both Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace. CBS estimates that Trump interrupted Biden at least 70 times. Furthermore, money transactions made Biden’s son, Hunter, also became a topic of conversation during the debate. Concurrently, Biden stumbled over words, and delivered insults, accusing the President of being a clown, liar, and racist.

Viewers of the debate accuse both candidates of frequently evading questions. Trump, for instance, was asked to explicitly condemn white supremacy movements but did not do so. Biden was asked about backing law enforcement groups, and, in the opinions of many, did not provide a crystal clear answer and, as Trump alluded, was choosing amid radical left support or those closer to the middle on a scalar level.

A distinguished strategy adopted by Biden last night was his eye contact with the camera, facing away from Trump and speaking directly to the viewers with an approach appealing to pathos. Trump, contrastingly, looked more frequently towards the moderator, Chris Wallace, and the camera.

A CBS poll found that 48% of people called the debate for Biden, and 41% called it for Trump-- almost identical to the polls. Nearly 10% believe the debate was a tie.

Nonetheless, the Vice Presidential debate is scheduled to take place on October 7th, between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence at 8:00-9:30 pm, Central Time.

Texas Politics

Multiple cities in Texas are experiencing increases in late payments for federally backed home loans. Dallas News writes, “...more than 17% of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) almost 8 million home loans nationwide were delinquent in August.” Since the start of COVID-19, the number of late FHA loans has been greater than the number of overall mortgage delinquencies. In areas such as Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, around 20% of homeowners with FHA were late with payments. “At some point, a significant percentage of the then-delinquent loans would be expected to be placed on the market by owners under distressed conditions or become foreclosures, and then enter the market,” said researchers from the American Enterprise Institute.


According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker as of Sep 30, 2020, 12:16 PM (CDT), there are a total of 7.16 million cases and 205.3k deaths nationwide. According to the data, California leads with the most cases at 807.4k, and Texas follows second with 743k cases.

(Click2Houston) Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and the Houston Health Department are working together to launch a program in an effort to support mental health during the pandemic. The program, “Let’s Beat COVID-19: Health Education and Support Services,” will include a mental health helpline and other resources designed to help Americans.

Science and Technology

Per NBC News, Tik Tok has launched an in-app guide for the 2020 election to encourage citizens to be active voters and informational participants in America’s democracy and society.

BBC reiterates, according to multiple studies, species worldwide are steadily becoming extinct. The Royal Botanic Gardens affirms, “Plants and fungi hold promise as future medicines, fuels, and foods,” but these opportunities may disappear due to rising temperatures and natural habitat destruction globally.

Southeast US Weather

(Atlantic) The disturbance in the Atlantic has a moderate chance of forming in the next 5 days. A tropical depression may form later this week, caused by the storm located south of the gulf.

(Pacific) The Pacific has two disturbances, one being Tropical storm Marie, which may become majorly impactful.

(Local) Yesterday hit the cold front at a low of almost 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but next week is not expected to be as chilly. The high will be 88 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The chances of precipitation are currently at zero, but, due to the cold fronts, snow becomes more plausible.



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

Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan

Health: Matthew, David, and Owen

Science and Technology: Bryan, Yiqi, Amelia, and Joseph L.

Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon

Editor: VIA

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

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