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Current Events

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March 19, 2014

3:50

Missing malaysian airplane

Missing Malaysian Airplane

The Malaysian Airlines airplane, carrying 239 people, is still missing after a week of intense searching by more than a dozen countries. The Malaysian government now believes that its off-course route was deliberately planned.

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March 18, 2014

4:28

Crimea votes to succede from ukraine

Crimea Votes to Secede from Ukraine

Residents of Crimea, which is a part of Ukraine, voted to secede and join neighboring Russia. In response, citizens in the capital of Ukraine are preparing to use military force to prevent any action by Russia. Citizens are afraid that one day Ukraine will lose more territory to Russia.

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March 17, 2014

3:54

3 d printing creates affordable prosthetics

3-D Printing Creates Affordable Prosthetics

Children can outgrow prosthetics quickly and it is also very expensive. 3-D printing can be used as a replacement since printed prosthetics are cheap to produce and sizing can easily be adjusted when the printer sits at home.

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March 13, 2014

4:17

Food waste as energy

Food Waste as Energy

The same methane gas emitted from humans is also produced by the same bacteria that lives in old pizza crusts, curdled milk, and other discarded food. Scientists have found ways to convert the methane gas from old food into energy. Several cities are already converting waste into energy, listen to this story to learn how New York City is trying it out.

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March 12, 2014

5:05

Tracking owls

Tracking Owls

Snowy owls made an unusual change to their migration patterns this past winter. Why did they do it? The answer is lemmings. Scientists intend to take advantage of this atypical migration to track their movements with a GPS.

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March 11, 2014

4:08

Making stars on earth

Making Stars on Earth

Scientists usually study stars from afar, through a telescope. One scientist discovered a way to study stars up close, and on Earth — through a machine that acts like a powerful energy generator or star, called the Z Machine.

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March 10, 2014

4:32

Mcdonalds ed

Minimum Wage Debate

President Obama spent the last week touring the country to promote the benefits of raising the minimum wage. He says it will help lower the income inequality gap. Opponents say raising the minimum wage will force some employers to cut jobs. Economists are divided on whether raising the minimum wage will actually increase jobs. Listen to this story to find out.

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March 7, 2014

6:04

Supreme court women

Supreme Court Women

Being a working mother is difficult, but being one of the first two females on the Supreme Court may be even harder. Learn how the female judges of the Supreme Court juggled family obligations and the demands of the court. This month is Women’s History month and we are highlighting stories about women.

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March 6, 2014

4:20

Carbon emission price

Carbon Emission Price

Is it fair to charge countries per carbon emission? Some leading researchers think so. They also believe that this could motivate countries to be more prepared for climate change and energy reductions.

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March 5, 2014

5:02

Suffrage

Women's Suffrage

During Women’s History Month, it’s good to remind students that although the Constitution granted the right to vote, American women were not given that right until the 1920s during the suffrage movement. The nineteenth amendment, which would allow women to vote, was sent to the states for ratification in 1919. The ratification vote came down to one man and his mother’s advice. Listen to the story to hear more about how U.S. women fought for an important civil right.

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March 4, 2014

4:46

A commuter rail's holocaust connection

A Commuter Rail’s Holocaust Connection

The new operator of the Massachusetts Commuter Rail is a French company whose trains played a role in the Holocaust. Now, the company wants to manage trains in Maryland. A Holocaust survivor is protesting, though, because the company’s trains once transported thousands of Jews to death camps. Listen to this story to understand how the actions of a company decades ago can affect its business today.

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March 3, 2014

4:36

Nutritional label gets a makeover

Nutritional Label Gets a Makeover

The traditional nutritional label that lives on the backs of food packages are often dense and overloaded with information. The new label focuses on components that matter: calories, serving size, and sugar.

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February 28, 2014

4:32

Keystone indecision

Keystone Indecision

The Keystone XL Pipeline was initially labeled as a harmful source of carbon dioxide by leading scientist, Marcia McNutt. However, she recently switched her position and supports its construction — her reason? The pipeline will save the country money.

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February 27, 2014

3:52

Grand canyon's real age

Grand Canyon’s Real Age

The Grand Canyon was thought to be around 6 billion years old, but new evidence proves that maybe only some parts are—and some parts are even older. Listen to this story to understand the confusion over the canyon’s age.

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February 26, 2014

5:22

Age and race

Age and Race

Rosa Finnegan did not stop working until she was 101. Now 102, she lives at a nursing home and comes to realize her perceptions on race and the end of life.

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February 25, 2014

4:35

Former ukrainian president's zoo

Former Ukrainian President’s Zoo

Peacocks and ostriches in his private zoo. Marble floors and crystal chandeliers in a mansion. Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych left behind an estate that has shocked the people of Ukraine. While he claimed to live modestly, he actually lived in an extravagant estate which has a personal golf course and a zoo of exotic animals. Anti-government protesters hope to keep the outrageous estate intact as evidence against the former president.

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February 24, 2014

5:13

Lunch counter protester

Lunch Counter Protests of Civil Rights Era

During Black History month, it’s important to learn about the small protest that sparked the civil rights movement. Four black teenagers demanded service at an all-white lunch counter in 1960. One of those protesters recently passed away and this story reflects on his life and impact.

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February 21, 2014

5:28

Ukraine unrest

Ukraine Unrest

The fast moving crisis in Ukraine is threatening the stability of that country. Nationalists are fighting the elected government. The unrest is tied to Ukraine’s past as part of the former Soviet Union. Listen to this story with your students to understand the history of the conflict.

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February 20, 2014

3:52

Teacher unions vs. students

Teacher Unions vs Students

A potentially landmark lawsuit goes to trial Monday in California. At issue: whether job protections for public school teachers undermine a student’s constitutional right to an adequate education. The students and parents who filed the lawsuit see it as a potential model for challenging teacher protection laws in other states. Unions and state officials say the lawsuit demonizes teachers and has no merit.

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February 19, 2014

5:48

Throwing away food

Throwing Away Food

On average, we throw away around 40% of our food. Sarah Ramirez, a Stanford Ph.D, decided to fight hunger by picking crops from fields and yards that would’ve been trashed. Listen to this story to learn if her efforts are successful.

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February 18, 2014

4:29

Wooly mammoths depended on flowers

Woolly Mammoths Depended on Flowers

50,000 years ago, the arctic was not icy—but grassy, full of life and of course, woolly mammoths. After studying these giant animals’ DNA found in feces and soil, scientists hypothesize their extinction may be due to a flower. Listen to this story to find out why.

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February 17, 2014

4:42

Chinese oreo cookies

Chinese Oreo Cookies

Twist, lick, and dunk is familiar to Americans growing up with Oreos, but it did not make sense to Chinese cookie lovers when Oreos were first introduced. It was only after the Oreo team changed the shape and taste of the Oreo did it succeed. Listen to this story to learn what the Chinese Oreo looks like.

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February 14, 2014

4:13

Valentine's day spending decreasing

Valentine’s Day Spending Decreases

Valentine’s Day is the second most popular holiday, right after Christmas. But this year, Valentine’s Day spending went down compared to previous year’s. Is this a response to the war on Valentine’s Day? Listen to this story to find out why.

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February 13, 2014

3:20

Cvs drops cigarettes

CVS Drops Cigarettes

All 7,600 CVS Caremark stores will no longer be offering tobacco products for sale. The change is part of the company’s move into healthcare. Listen to this story to hear if this move will really help curtail smoking and promote healthy living.

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February 12, 2014

3:41

Subjectivity

Subjectivity in Olympic Judging

In past Olympics, vote trading, where one judge trades for votes with another judge, skewed judging in ice skating; however, when anonymity was enacted, vote trading just got worse. Listen to this story to learn how subjectivity has a role in judging.

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February 11, 2014

3:27

Curling provides quick  effective  workout

Curling Provides Quick, Effective Workout

Curling is the Olympic sport of propelling a rock across the ice field with a broom called a brush. Although it looks simple, curling has been known as “chess on ice” and requires a lot of athletic ability to move the rock forward accurately. Listen to this story to learn what skills curlers need.

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February 10, 2014

3:03

Sochi's man made snow

Sochi's Man-Made Snow

The Sochi Olympics started with lots of snow—lots of man-made snow, guaranteed by machines. This time last year, Sochi was dry, but they have enough snow now to cover almost 920 football fields. Listen to this story to learn how the machine works.

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February 7, 2014

3:51

Kraft's orange cheese fraud

Kraft's Orange Cheese Fraud

Kraft’s Mac and Cheese products are going through a change because parents and nutritionists believe that the food coloring caused hyper activity in children.

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February 6, 2014

3:56

Bill nye debates creationist ken ham

Bill Nye Debates Creationist Ken Ham

Bill Nye, television show host and science educator, debated Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum, on creationism versus evolution in a spirited exchange. Listen to this story to hear each side's argument.

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February 5, 2014

3:54

Ancient plague dna found in tooth

Ancient Plague DNA Found in Tooth

One of the first instances of a plague was found during the Roman Empire. The plague, which occurred during the 6th century, spread through Europe, Africa, and Asia. Today, an ancient burial site may hold DNA evidence of why and how it occurred. Listen to this story to learn the difference between ancient and modern bacteria.

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February 4, 2014

2:25

Death penalty

Death Penalty for Boston Marathon Bomber

The 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing suspect could face the federal death penalty. Some victims of the bombings actively argue for capital punishment. The majority of residents in Massachusetts, where the bombing happened, do not support the penalty and it is not legal for state crimes. Listen to this story to learn what the bomber's fate might be. And then listen to this story about how a federal death penalty law trumps a state law that prevents it.

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February 3, 2014

3:56

Chinese new year fireworks

Chinese New Year Fireworks

Many Chinese citizens did not light fireworks this year to ring in the year of the horse because many parts of China already have toxic air pollution levels. Lighting fireworks during the Chinese New Year is traditionally done to bring good luck. Listen to this story to learn why the Chinese are especially worried about air pollution.

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January 31, 2014

2:50

Drought cripples community

Drought Cripples Community

A third of the country's produce is grown in California, but more than half of the state is under severe drought conditions. The financial loss is huge since land cannot be planted and produce is not grown and sold. Listen to this story to learn who else a drought affects.

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January 31, 2014

3:04

Drought hurts ski resorts

Drought Hurts Ski Resorts

Farms aren't the only things suffering in a severe drought - ski resorts are also hurting. With little to no snow fall, ski resorts delay openings to unprecedented dates. Listen to this story to learn more about how communities are living with this reality.

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January 30, 2014

3:48

Superbowl economics

Super Bowl Economics

This year's Super Bowl will be held at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium—but many mistakenly believe it will be held in New York. This could have tremendous economic impact on New Jersey since business will flow to Manhattan rather than stay in New Jersey. Listen to this story to hear what the mayor of the host city has to say.

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January 29, 2014

4:50

State of the union 2014

State of the Union 2014

President Obama laid out a sweeping agenda in his State of the Union address. He called for a "year of action" on many important government changes. He told Congress he wants to raise the minimum wage, extend unemployment, fix immigration laws and ensure equal pay for women. Listen to this story for a short wrap-up of the one hour speech and then discuss with your class.

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January 28, 2014

7:47

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Robotic Arms Change Lives

Brittle bones disease is a congenital disease that makes a person's bones extremely fragile and twisted. Currently, there is no cure — but engineering students at Rice University came together to build a robotic arm for one brittle bones patient. Listen to this story to learn how it changed the teen's life.

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January 26, 2014

4:36

Gentrification.square

The Pros and Cons of Gentrification

Gentrification holds a negative connotation for many people, who believe it pushes the less fortunate out of their homes to benefit the more affluent. However, recent studies have shown that gentrification may actually benefit lower income families. Listen to learn more about the history of gentrification and its possible benefits for low income families.

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January 24, 2014

4:39

Mexican national executed in u.s.

Mexican National Executed in U.S.

There are 48 Mexican nationals on death row in the United States. The third Mexican national was executed this week in Texas, despite push back from Secretary of State John Kerry and the Mexican government. Listen to this story to learn why this precedent could be risky for US citizens living abroad.

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January 23, 2014

11:50

Syrian teenager

Syrian Teenager Supports His Family

Since the Syrian Civil War began, more than 2 million people have fled the country. Half of the Syrian refugees are children. A majority of Syrians have crossed borders into neighboring countries in the Middle East. Listen to this story to hear about a seventeen-year old Syrian refugee in Lebanon that must now support his family.

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