WORD LISTS

This Week In Words: Current Events Vocab for October 31–November 6, 2020

November 5, 2020
Stories about the election, another tropical storm, and a big win for Uber contributed word to this week's list of timely vocabulary from the week's top news stories.
concede
Republicans appear to be holding on to their Senate majority, though a couple of races — both in Georgia — may not be decided until runoff elections are held in January. Democrats flipped one seat in Colorado, but lost one in Alabama, and Republicans in some close races were able to prevail. If the Senate is evenly divided 50/50 between the two parties, then the Vice President casts the deciding vote.
And in the latest news Wednesday, GOP Sen. Susan Collins, a prime target for Democrats, declared victory in Maine shortly after 1 p.m. ET as her challenger Sara Gideon publically conceded that she "came up short."
Fox News (Nov 4, 2020)
contested
Stock markets surged despite the ongoing vote count, due in part to investor confidence that the results would be announced soon and the lack of widespread unrest. Tech stocks did especially well, because investors hope that if Republicans retain control of the Senate Democrats will be unable to implement the reforms they discussed during the campaign.
Big swings could return as the threat of a contested, drawn-out election still looms.
AP (Nov 5, 2020)
demographic
Republicans gained seats in the House of Representatives, though the exact number is not yet clear. Democrats appear to have retained their majority. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy credited the President's leadership with the party's gains, and said the Republican caucus will be more diverse than ever, with somewhere between 14–19 more women and 6–9 members of racial or ethnic minorities.
"His efforts in reaching out to every demographic has positively changed the future of the GOP,” said Mr. McCarthy, California Republican.
Washington Times (Nov 4, 2020)
intervene
The Trump campaign filed a series of lawsuits in states where the vote count was still underway. The suits call for stopping the vote count in Michigan and Pennsylvania, a recount in Wisconsin, and invalidating Pennsylvania mail-in ballots received after election day. Democrats said that these suits are worthless, and that all votes should be counted. Legal experts were unsure whether any of the suits would succeed.
Trump campaign officials said they planned to ask courts to halt vote-counting until more access is granted for Republican observers in Michigan and Pennsylvania; seek to initiate a recount in Wisconsin; and intervene in litigation pending before the Supreme Court over Pennsylvania’s extended deadline for mail ballots.
Washington Post (Nov 4, 2020)
lambaste
As of late Thursday night, election results in Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania were still too close to call, though all were moving in Biden's direction. Vice President made a short statement, urging voters to trust the vote-counting process, which was occurring normally and with appropriate supervision in every state. President Trump gave a speech where he accused Democrats of trying to steal the election.
Offering no evidence, Trump lambasted election workers and alleged fraud in the states where results from a dwindling set of uncounted votes are pushing Democrat Joe Biden nearer to victory.
Reuters (Nov 5, 2020)
marginalize
Ethiopia moved closer to civil war as the government launched attacks against the northern Tigray region. Tigray, which is controlled by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), held elections last fall despite a national ban. Prime minister Abiy Ahmed described the election as illegal, and accused the TPLF of attacking an army base. The margins of your notebook paper are the edges, so to marginalize someone is to push them out of the center, into the outer regions.
The state's governing party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), was once at the centre of power in Ethiopia, but since Mr Abiy became prime minister in 2018, it has been increasingly marginalized.
BBC (Nov 5, 2020)
remnant
Tropical storm Eta caused massive flooding and damage in parts of Central America and may regain strength as it moves over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Current projections have the storm moving northeast towards Cuba, and then possibly over South Florida. The mountains of Guatemala and Honduras interrupted the storm, sapping much of its strength and moisture, but meteorologists predict that it will gain force over the Gulf.
The remnant spin and energy from Eta are expected to emerge over the northwest Caribbean Sea on Friday.
Weather.com (Nov 5, 2020)
surpass
The day after the election, the U.S. set a new record of 91,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Many states are seeing large increases in infection rates as cooler weather forces people indoors. Total confirmed cases are over 9 million, and over 232,000 people have died in the country so far. Health officials are calling for steps to curtail the spread before what many experts are predicting will be a horrible winter.
More than 232,000 people have died from Covid in the US, and total confirmed cases have surpassed 9 million.
Guardian (Nov 4, 2020)
tally
The 2020 election set records for voter turnout. With nearly 160 million Americans voting, the total percentage of eligible voters who exercised their right to cast a ballot should be 66.8 percent, the highest since 1900. Over 100 million ballots were cast early, more than double the number in 2016. Tallea means "rod" or "stick" in Latin; in ancient Rome notches were cut in a piece of wood to keep track of debts.
At least 23 million votes have yet to be tallied, NBC News estimates.
CNBC (Nov 4, 2020)
wield
Uber and Lyft successfully used their apps to convince voters to support a California ballot initiative that classified their drivers as independent contractors. If the measure had failed, the companies would have been forced by state law to provide benefits and a minimum wage. The companies spent $200 million on advertising, and created pop-up ads in their apps advocating for the passage of Proposition 22.
This isn’t the first time Uber wielded its app to score a political victory.
The Verge (Nov 4, 2020)

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