Topic: Politics

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Current Event May 16, 2016

Political Turmoil in Brazil


Brazil has taken an unprecedented move and suspended its president from office pending an impeachment trial. Brazil’s Senate voted to put Dilma Rousseff on trial for impeachment for breaking financial rules. Rousseff denies any wrongdoing and plans to fight the impeachment. Almost 60 percent of Brazil’s Congress is under criminal investigation, and the acting President, Michel Temer, is also accused of profiting from a corruption scandal. As a major political and economic power in South America, Brazil’s crisis could have serious ramifications.

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Current Event May 10, 2016

Nepal Earthquake a Year Later

Politics Earth and Space Science

The Himalayan country of Nepal was rocked by a devastating earthquake that killed almost 9,000 people one year ago. Today, the country still suffers from widespread homelessness, power outages and a serious lack of basic supplies. Even with the large amounts of money pledged to Nepal, none of that money actually arrived to help the people. Monsoon season is approaching and the people need more secure living situations in order to survive. Listen to hear more about the conditions in Nepal after the earthquake.

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Current Event May 9, 2016

Race Shapes Up


Both political parties appear to have their presidential nominee. The presumptive nominee for the Republican party is Donald Trump. Candidate Ted Cruz dropped out of the race and after this story aired, John Kasich also ended his candidacy. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders won the state of Indiana and is staying in the race. But it appears all but certain that Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton will be the party’s nominee. Listen to hear more about how this year’s Presidential race is shaping up.

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Current Event May 2, 2016

Populist Appeal

Civics/Government Politics

Populism has been a big factor the presidential election. In both Republican and Democratic races, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are tapping into frustrations against the elites and the establishment. Many voters see this election as being about economic fairness, and they feel like they've been left behind. The resentment has become more intense and politicians who name a clear target of blame have many people rallying behind them. Listen to hear about the lasting effect this may have on American politics.

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Current Event April 29, 2016

Debate: Should Britain Leave the EU?

Politics Economics

There is an important debate in the United Kingdom about whether they should stay in the European Union or leave. One opinion is that there is a huge amount of discontent with the workings of the European Union and it will dissolve in the future. Another opinion is that the European Union has helped facilitate change in Europe and has promoted democracy, human rights and market economies. Listen as two brothers debate this issue, then discuss your students’ opinions about whether Britain should leave the EU.

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Current Event April 20, 2016

U.S. Funding in Honduras

Politics US government Protest

The U.S. government has traditionally given money to Honduras to help with its military and police operations. However, some are arguing that Honduras is a repressive regime that does not deserve this money. Opponents of U.S. aid point to the many unresolved killings of Honduran political activists, arguing that the corrupt government neglects to fully investigate these murders. Listen to learn more about the controversy around giving aid to Honduras.

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Current Event April 14, 2016

A President Shot

Civics/Government Politics

On this day in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by actor John Wilkes Booth. In this radio story, an author and reporter visited Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., where Lincoln was shot. They describe how the assassin carried out his attack, fled to the countryside, and finally met his end. They remember, too, how spectators responded to the President’s death. Listen to learn more about how these dramatic events unfolded.

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Current Event April 12, 2016


Civics/Government Politics

The 2016 Democratic National Convention is scheduled for the end of July. During the convention, delegates will vote for the Democratic Party’s nominee for the President of the United States. The race for delegate votes is close between candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The attention is now on “superdelegates” consisting of about 700 party leaders who can support any candidate and may change their minds at any time, regardless of how residents in their states voted. Listen to learn more about superdelegates and their potential influence in the upcoming election.

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Current Event April 8, 2016

Debate: How Do We Prevent Nuclear Terrorism?

Politics war

World leaders gathered recently in Washington D.C. to ensure terrorists never get access to a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, Russia has a large stock of nuclear weapons and is not attending this summit. North Korea and Iran have never been invited. There’s concern nuclear materials will fall into the hands of terrorists, and there is concern about the large stockpiles dedicated to military purposes. The past three Nuclear Security Summits have helped more than a dozen countries get rid of nuclear materials, and began steps toward Obama’s goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. Listen to hear how world leaders are working to prevent nuclear terrorism and debate with your students other ways to prevent this.

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Current Event March 29, 2016

Attacks in Belgium

Politics Religion Violence

A recent bombing in Brussels killed at least 38 people and wounded hundreds. These terrorist attacks were the third major attack claimed by ISIS in Western Europe. There is now a clear link between the Paris attacks and the Brussels attacks. This has uncovered vulnerabilities in the way these countries are gathering and sharing intelligence. The country of Belgium is bitterly divided between French speaking and Dutch speaking citizens, who have different cultural, social and political agendas. There are two intelligence agencies and six police zones in this city of a million people. Listen to hear how these attacks revealed vulnerabilities in the security sharing system.

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Current Event March 25, 2016

Debate: Who Should Control the Supreme Court Nominating Process?

Civics/Government Politics Government structures

President Obama has selected Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Garland was approved for confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., by the Senate in 1997 with strong bipartisan support. However Senate Republican leaders have vowed to block any action on his confirmation for political reasons. They believe a president who is leaving office within the year shouldn’t nominate a new justice. The Supreme Court is one of the three branches of government and was established to be above politics. Listen to this audio story and debate with your students: Who should control the Supreme Court Nominating Process?

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Current Event March 24, 2016

American Arrested in North Korea

Politics Law

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.

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Current Event March 23, 2016

Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court

Politics Gender Law

Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court in 1981. Her selection came as a surprise to some, as she was not well known in the world of judicial writing. Despite struggles early on as she learned her role in federal court, O’Connor had a long and successful career until her retirement in 2006. Listen to learn more about O’Connor’s path to the Supreme Court and her experiences as a woman in law and politics.

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Current Event March 22, 2016

Politics Gets Physical

Politics Protest

Supporters of Donald Trump clashed with protesters and became violent at a political rally in Chicago. The rally was cancelled. There have been tensions building around Trump's campaign for president. Some have accused Trump of encouraging violence others say he’s created a toxic environment in the presidential campaign. However, the voters don’t seem to have a strong reaction. Many people have already made up their minds about who they are voting for, and negative incidents such as this do not change their opinions. Listen to hear more about the volatile nature of this campaign.

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Current Event March 18, 2016

Debate: Should Income Affect Immigration?

Politics Immigration

Britain's Prime Minister promised to bring migration numbers down six years ago. But the numbers have risen. Now the government wants to cut migration by having non-Europeans with skilled worker visas leave the country if they don’t make at least $50,000 a year. Lower-paid workers such as artists, health care workers, and people in the trades will be affected by these new rules. Listen to hear about the new plan and debate the pros and cons of setting a salary benchmark for immigrants.

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Current Event March 14, 2016

Barriers to a Female President

Politics Gender

Countries such as Germany, the Philippines, Argentina and Great Britain have elected women leaders, but the United States has never elected a woman president. Sexism and legal discrimination have stopped women from gaining leadership positions for the past 200 years, but things have changed recently. Women have been supporting each other to gain elected positions, and have proven that women are capable leaders. Listen to hear more about the history of women leaders in the United States.

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Current Event March 7, 2016

What's Driving Voters?


Voter anger is the news story of this Presidential election. It’s fueling support for candidates such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Anger at the government has been present for years, as seen in the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements. There is a strong anti-establishment sentiment, especially among Republicans, about the way things are going and many voters want a change. Listen to these political reporters as they reflect on the current voter sentiment.

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Current Event March 1, 2016

Trump vs. Cruz in Texas


Super Tuesday, the day when 12 states hold their presidential primaries, is today. Texas has a big race, with the possible prize of 155 delegates. One of the Republican candidates, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is hoping to win his home state. While Cruz has many supporters, some are having a hard time trusting him. His main rival, billionaire Donald Trump, is surging in popularity, even in Cruz’s home state. Listen to hear more about the Republican primary race in Texas.

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