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September 5, 2020 News Summary

US Politics and Economics

Former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden met the family of Jacob Blake on Friday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and proceeded to also speak with local police, politicians, and religious and non-profit leaders. Biden spoke of the overwhelming optimism in Blake’s family, expressing that he “came away with the overwhelming sense of resilience and optimism that they have,” recalling that Blake’s mother was “praying for Jacob and praying for the policeman.” Biden further declared the combination of rioting and looting to be intolerable and condemn violent protests.

In Portland, Oregon, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Michael Forest Reinoehl, the main suspect in the murder case of Aaron “Jay” Danielson. Both men participated in Portland protests on August 29th, but while Reinoehl was a supporter of antifa, a leftist anti-fascist group, Danielson was a member of the far-right group Patriot Prayer. As U.S. Marshall services allege that Reinoehl was armed and posed a threat, he partly admits to the murder, claiming it was an act of self-defense. However, Reinoehl expresses fears of being harmed in custody, and it is unclear whether or not he fired gunshots. New York Times writes that in the U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s press statement, he blames the increase of riots and violent protests on leftist movements, such as BLM and antifa. Barr believes that the have “characterized Mr. Reinoehl as a ‘dangerous fugitive’ and a ‘violent agitator’.” Nonetheless, protests in Portland have only grown more intense, with police already arresting 27 people on accounts of unlawful assembly.

Additional US Segment

On March 23rd, Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old African American suffering from mental illness, bolted out of his brother’s Rochester apartment, scantily clad. His brother, Joe Prude, called 911 in the hopes of police finding him and bringing him back to safety. However, in the hours that commenced, Daniel was arrested and knocked unconscious after an officer held a knee to his head. He would die a week later.

On Thursday, seven police officers were suspended for Prude’s death, and in another instance, author Pete Earley’s mentally ill son, Kevin, was shot twice with stun guns.

These events beg the question as to how law enforcement deals with citizens who suffer from mental illnesses; however, it is critical to note that those with mental illnesses have alternatively affected police forces. Since 1970, at least 120 police officers have been killed by the mentally ill.

Currently, several city governments are beginning to move the mentally ill out of the criminal justice system, while others shift funds meant for law enforcement to first responders. In addition, infrastructure, such as White Bird Clinic, an emergency medical hospital, is being built to combat mental illnesses. In a 2019 article from The Atlantic, Paul Tullis claims, “Across the U.S., people who should be placed in mental health facilities for treatment are instead detained in jail for unconstitutionally long periods—sometimes months—before they have been convicted or even tried for any crime.”

If you have any relatives, loved ones, or close friends that may possibly be self-destructive, please call 1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Lifeline. It might just give them a second chance.

Texas Politics

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced that it has partnered with Carnegie Learning to create the Carnegie Learning Texas Math Solution, which provides educators and K-12 students with free, digital instructional material that meets the state’s basic standards, more familiarly known as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for natives. This set of instructional materials is a segment of TEA’s “Phase 3: 20-21 School Year” plan, “Texas Home Learning (THL),” which provides access to both a Learning Management System (LMS) and instructional materials with webinars.

In a court during November of 2019, U.S. District Judge, Janis Jack, fined Texas health and human services officials 150,000 dollars for failing to ensure that large foster homes maintain 24-hour supervision, claiming she no longer found “the state’s child welfare agency ‘to be credible in any way.’” According to Texas Tribune, this year, Jack also finds the officials “in contempt of court... for failing to make progress toward foster care reforms.” Jack emphatically agrees that “the foster care system ‘continues to hurt and endanger children,’” but, nonetheless, gives the state a month to make improvements before choosing to possibly place hefty fines of up to several thousand dollars per day.


According to the John Hopkins COVID-19 Map, as of September 5, 2020, 10:28 AM (CDT), there are over 6.2 million cases and 186k virus-related deaths in the US. Brazil follows with more than 4 million cases, adding to the nearly 27 million cases worldwide.

World Politics and Economics

Both the Killeen Daily Herald and BBC report that Australian police have made multiple arrests amid anti-lockdown riots attended by hundreds nationwide. In Melbourne, the focus of Australian protests, around 300 people marched in opposition to COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place for a month to reduce the amount of infections and deaths. During the “Freedom Day” protest at several locations in the city, four men were arrested for violating the rules. Additional protests took place in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, causing Prime Minister Scott Morrison to warn, “In the absence of a vaccine, we may have to live this way for years.” On Friday, Morrison stated that seven of the country's eight states and territories are agreeing to open internal borders by December. He further suggests that an eventual travel bubble with New Zealand, a neighboring country, may increase tourism and partly rejuvenate the economy. Nonetheless, in only the last two months, COVID-19 cases in Australia tripled over 26,000 and deaths rose to 748 from 104.

Science and Technology

Per BBC, application of privacy measures preventing apps and websites from tracking people online was due to arrive in Apple’s latest iOS 14 update in the fall. The company claims, “The changes were being delayed until the start of 2021 to give app developers and websites more time to adapt their services.”

Southeast US Weather

(The Atlantic) Tropical depression Omar has been reduced to a remnant low in the North Atlantic, while the east Atlantic heats up with three disturbances. Cruising west-northwestward, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Disturbance 1 off the coast of Africa presents a 60 percent chance of forming into a tropical depression in the next 48 hours and 90 percent within 5 days. Disturbance 2 from the Caribbean has a low chance of forming and is expected to dissipate due to wind shear and dry air. Disturbance 3 also off the coast of Africa may gradually develop when conditions become more favorable in the Atlantic, giving it an 80 percent chance of forming in 5 days.

(The Pacific) From the remnants of tropical storm Nana, tropical storm Julio has developed and will move generally west-northwestward. The NHC cautions, “Regardless of development, this low could produce locally heavy rainfall along portions of the southwestern coast of Mexico.” and may become a post-tropical cyclone by the end of next week.

(Local: Houston, Texas) Today, the high is 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the low is 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Chance of rain will not exceed 33 percent; meanwhile, precipitation increases by .05 inches. In the next few weeks, a cold front might come in, causing the temperature to drop to the upper 60s by Thursday. On Tuesday through Thursday, the probability of rain may rise to 67 percent.

Quick Query (Multiple Levels):

Easy: Which of the following hurricanes was the costliest?

  1. Hurricane Sandy (2012)

  2. Hurricane Alicia (1983)

  3. Tropical Storm Allison (2001)

  4. Hurricane Harvey (2017)

Medium: What does “CDO” mean in reference to a hurricane?

  1. Cloud Description Opaque

  2. Cumulus Dynamically Oriented

  3. Civil Defence Operation

  4. Central Dense Overcast

Hard: Which hurricane caused the most tornadoes?

Yesterday’s answers: [Easy: False]; [Medium: 4. 160 mph]; [Hard: Hurricane Ike (2008)]

To get live coverage of the latest hurricane updates on the tropics, visit the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Tidbits, CyclonicWx, or watch Force Thirteen. Please stay safe, and for more on local weather, visit the NOAA Graphical Forecast.



US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Yijia, Eric, and Caleb

Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan

Health: Matthew, David, and Owen

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

Science and Technology: Bryan

Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon

Editor: VIA, Isabel, Susanna, and Mingyi

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

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