Current Event July 29, 2014
When corporations were first created, they were given one right and that was to the right to make a contract. But as the country industrialized, they received more rights under the Bill of Rights, like individual people. Listen to this radio story to learn how rights for corporations have changed over time and how the most recent Supreme Court ruling about Hobby Lobby gives corporations more rights than ever before.
Current Event October 12, 2016
The debates between the U.S. presidential candidates will mark the first time gender is a dynamic. The way women are perceived in a debate setting is different from the way men are perceived. The pitch of a woman’s voice and the way a woman dresses should not affect the debate, but are often highlighted or criticized. Listen to hear more about how some people see women versus men in a debate setting.
Current Event August 24, 2017
Recently violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia after a rally held by white nationalists became violent when they clashed with counter demonstrators. One woman was killed. The white nationalists were in Charlottesville to protest the city’s plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. The clash has raised tensions around the country about what to do with monuments honoring Confederate figures. One city, Richmond, Virginia has a rich history when it comes to the early development the United States. It had a massive slave marketplace and a strong Confederate Army during the Civil War. Listen to hear a discussion of the history and fate of Confederate statues.
Current Event June 2, 2017
The mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana removed four Confederate statues from the city to ease controversy of how the city remembers the Civil War. He made a speech at the fourth and final removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Some saw these statues as symbols of white supremacy and of the systemic oppression of human beings, and some saw them as tributes to Confederate heroes. Listen to learn more about the statue removal in New Orleans and its place in the nationwide debate about the removal of symbols of the Civil War and then debate: Should Confederate statues from the past be removed?
Current Event September 19, 2013
Starbucks Coffee has a new policy. While the coffee shop used to allow guns, it’s now saying that they’re no longer welcome. Starbucks is not explicitly banning these weapons, but instead just asking customers to leave them at home. This new policy has been met with mixed reactions. Click here to listen to this story about how the gun debate is mixing with coffee.
Current Event March 1, 2018
The movie about the superhero Black Panther is a phenomenon. The stars of the movie are black actors and it takes place in a fictitious African country that was never colonized by Europeans. The Black Panther has characters who are rulers of kingdoms, inventors, creators of advanced technology, and fierce women warriors who protect the king. Crowdfunders across the U.S. are raising money to take entire groups of kids to see this movie. Listen to this story to hear the reaction of fifth grade students after they saw the Black Panther.
Current Event November 18, 2015
In coordinated attacks at six sites across Paris, France, 129 people were killed and more than 200 people were injured. This large-scale terrorist attack is being claimed by the Islamic State, or ISIS. The terrorists used suicide belts and automatic weapons to attack people at a concert, a football game which the President of France attended, restaurants and cafes. Listen to hear what led to this attack and what is being done to prevent future attacks.
Current Event October 13, 2016
Former Israeli President and statesman Shimon Peres was one of the founders of Israel. His participation and influence in Israeli politics spanned decades. After his recent passing, he is remembered for winning the Nobel Peace Prize and for his optimism about forming peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Listen to learn more about Peres’ legacy.
Current Event October 19, 2015
Israelis and Palestinians have had conflicts for centuries. Recently the violence and death toll on both sides has dramatically increased. The focus of the dispute is on one site in the Holy Land that is sacred to both Jews and Muslims. It’s known as Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims. According to an agreement in 1967, Muslim religious authorities administer the site, Israel controls security, and non-Muslims are not allowed to pray there. Jewish activists have recently decided that this is a holy place where Jews should pray, and their mass visits have caused protests. Listen to hear how control over Temple Mount has led to violence and threatens stability in the country.
Current Event November 20, 2014
In 1967, a brief war between Israeli and Palestinian forces led Israel to capture the Old City of Jerusalem, which included the holy of sites in both Jewish and Muslim religions. The Temple Mount has become a point of tension among Israeli and Palestinian communities. From who can visit and pray there to who controls the space, this is igniting conflict as right wing Jewish politicians fight for more control and access to the site.
Current Event June 20, 2016
An attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida left 50 people dead and the nation in shock. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump talked about their reactions to the tragedy and thoughts on how to prevent these kinds of attacks in very different tones. Clinton used a dignified tone and encouraged “steady hands and clear eyes” during this time. Trump used a tough tone and repeated his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Listen to hear about the different reactions to this tragic event.
Current Event November 9, 2016
North Korea has shown it is close to having the scientific ability and political will to launch a nuclear weapon. Recently the Communist nation has conducted a number of nuclear missile tests. Even though these tests weren’t successful, many intelligence officials believe North Korea is close to becoming a nuclear power. There is growing concern among U.S. intelligence experts that their technology is improving as they learn from their failed missile launches. Listen to hear how the experts view the threat of North Korea.
Current Event March 24, 2016
When an American college student tried to steal a propaganda sign in a North Korean hotel he was arrested and sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor. As a result, the United States has strongly recommended that U.S. citizens not travel to North Korea. Diplomats have tried to negotiate with North Korea and have urged them to release this man on humanitarian grounds. The U.S. assumes North Korea will use him to bargain for something in return. Listen to hear more about the politics of this unfortunate arrest.
Current Event October 16, 2015
With the most recent school shooting at a Community College in Oregon, gun control is still a hot topic of debate. Passing stricter gun control laws is a political challenge. Voters who oppose gun control often decide who to vote for based only on this issue. Politicians don’t want to be hurt in the next election and are reluctant to propose strict gun control laws. However, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has proposed new gun control legislation in the past and is currently introducing new legislation. Listen to this story and then have your class debate whether new gun control laws will keep Americans safer.
Current Event September 5, 2016
For many voters, a candidate's’ religion is an important factor in deciding whether or not they will vote for them. Last week we looked at HIllary Clinton’s Methodist faith. This story looks at Trump’s faith. He was baptized in the Presbyterian church but does not claim to be devout. He later joined a Protestant church with a preacher who promotes the Prosperity Gospel. Governor Mike Pence calls himself a “born again evangelical Catholic” and brings his strong support from conservative Christians to this race. Listen to hear more about how these candidates’ religious beliefs shape their outlook.
Current Event January 20, 2015
Islamic extremists in the Middle East and France have dominated the news. But they’ve also attacked innocent civilians in Nigeria. A group known as Boko Haram kidnapped young school girls in April of last year. Most recently they appear to be behind brutal attacks and killings in the lawless north of Nigeria. The Nigerian government seems powerless to stop their attacks. What is Boko Haram and are they connected with other Islamic militant groups? Share this story with students to help them understand this growing threat.
Current Event December 11, 2013
Nelson Mandela, former South African President and leader of the anti-apartheid movement, was also labeled a "terrorist." As protests against the government grew from peaceful to violent, learn more about why Mandela was forced to call for armed struggle by listening to this story.
Current Event March 23, 2016
As part of Native American Heritage night, a women’s high school basketball team wore traditional Navajo hair styles. They wore a tsiyeela—a bun tied with yarn. Then a referee told them they couldn't play because he believed the hairstyle broke regulation. The students ended up taking out their buns. After the team received an apology, they wore their traditional hairstyles at the next game. And so did many in the audience. Listen to hear more about this event that highlights the issue of cultural sensitivity.
Current Event June 6, 2016
Obama recently visited Hiroshima, Japan, to honor the memory of all who lost their lives in World War II. The city was the first to be hit with an atomic weapon in 1945. Nagasaki was the second. Obama is the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima. He did not apologize for using nuclear weapons on Japan during his visit, but paid respect to the victims. Listen to hear more about this historic visit.