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August 24, 2020

Monday News Roundup: Week of August 24

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Directions: Read the summary, watch the video, and answer the discussion questions. To read the transcript of the video above, click here

Summary of top newsIn California, wildfires have burned over 900,000 acres and over 100,000 people have been given evacuation orders. More than 550 wildfires have been identified this season in the state, with three clusters in northern California causing most of the damage. The average area burned in California every year has increased through the past few decades, from 236 square miles per year in the early 1970s to 1,394 square miles this decade. Dozens of studies have linked increased wildfires in California to climate change, though there are other factors involved as well.

Also in the news:

  • Protests erupted in Kenosha, Wisconsin after police shot a Black man several times as he entered his vehicle. The man was apparently unarmed, and the incident was captured on cell phone video and shared through social media.
  • President Donald Trump announced emergency authorization of the use of blood plasma from people recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for those currently infected. Though some evidence suggests plasma treatment may help reduce mortality, not enough studies have been performed to prove it is an effective treatment.
  • The Republican National Convention is set to kick off this week, starting Monday, August 24 with speeches from former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, Jr.
  • The House of Representatives approved legislation in a rare Saturday session that would reverse recent changes in U.S. Postal Service operations and send $25 billion to shore up the agency ahead of the November election. No vote has been announced yet in the Senate.

Focus question: Why is August through October a time of the year when natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes occur? How do you think this season of natural disasters will be different from past years?

Media literacy: What news item that you think is important is not discussed in this roundup? Why do you think it’s important?

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