Current Event May 2, 2014
Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone With The Wind was an instant success when it was published in 1936. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was a national bestseller. Mitchell was inspired by her family’s history as Southern planters and their stories of the past. The novel’s themes of love and survival resonated with some, but her portrayal of slavery and the Civil War, through the eyes of a slaveholding woman, remains controversial. Listen to learn how the Georgia county that served as inspiration for the book is dealing with this legacy today.
Current Event April 8, 2014
Rwanda marks the 20th anniversary of the genocide this week. The ethnically driven killings led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, as the majority Hutu faction targeted ethnic Tutsis. Today, as people remember their loved ones, many feel traumatized by the horrible events of the past. Some feel that the country has become much more progressive since the genocide, but others argue that there is still a long way to go. Listen to the story to hear more about how Rwanda’s past still affects its present.
Current Event April 7, 2014
It has been three years since thousands of Syrian refugees living in neighboring countries have worked or attended school. They were forced from their country due to the war. Life is difficult for the refugees, but it is also hard on the host country’s economy as well as international aid groups. Listen to hear more about Syrian refugees.
Current Event April 4, 2014
Theories abound about what happened to the Malaysian Airlines flight 370. It’s been about a month since it mysteriously disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysia and Australia are leading the search effort about 1,100 miles off the Australian coast. What happened to the airplane remains a mystery.
Current Event March 31, 2014
After Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, NATO looks to strengthen defenses around allied countries in the face of possible aggression from Russia. The international community gathered recently to discuss ways to deter Russia.
Current Event March 19, 2014
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.
Current Event March 18, 2014
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.
Current Event March 6, 2014
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.
Current Event February 25, 2014
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.
Current Event February 21, 2014
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.
Current Event February 17, 2014
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.
Current Event February 3, 2014
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.
Current Event January 26, 2014
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.
Current Event December 7, 2013
In 1960, American author John Steinbeck took a 10,000 mile road trip around the United States with his poodle, Charley. They rode in his pickup truck, which he converted to a camper and named Rocinante after Don Quixote’s horse. This counterclockwise trip from New York to Maine, to the Pacific Northwest, California, Texas, the Deep South and back to New York inspired Steinbeck’s novel “Travels with Charley” and allowed Steinbeck to see his country and answer the question “What are Americans like today?” A modern day journalist retraced Steinbeck’s journey, using the novel, Steinbeck’s letters and some old-fashioned detective work.
Current Event December 1, 2013
William Faulkner was a private man and a proud Southerner. He is considered by many to be a literary genius. Faulkner wrote frankly about the South, where he lived his entire life. His work brought him acclaim including a Nobel Prize and two Pulitzer Prizes. From 'The Sound and the Fury' to 'As I Lay Dying,' Faulkner took the reader into the mind of his characters by presenting distinct points of view and a stream of consciousness writing style. Learn more about this great American author by exploring his antebellum home in Oxford Mississippi.
Current Event November 21, 2013
Several non-profits are targeting families in Africa making less than $2 per day: they want to give those families' children a chance to gain a world class education with affordable tuition. However, stakeholders in Africa feel like chains of low-cost private schools are actually accomplishing the opposite and do not allow access to education for the poorest kids. Discuss with your students the importance of education and what kind of aid is actually helpful by listening to this story.
Current Event November 20, 2013
Over the weekend, thousands of people in the Philippines died as Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the area. It was one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded. Listen to this story to understand why this storm caused so much damage.
Current Event October 25, 2013
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, activists are challenging the ban on women driving by taking the wheel and documenting their protests by video. Madiha Al Ajroush, a longtime advocate of women driving, compares the inability to drive like cutting one's legs off and taking the wheelchair away. This is not the first attempt to challenge the ban. There were two previous attempts in 1990 and 2011. Use this story to talk to your students about the struggle for women's rights on a global scale and how that compares to rights women currently have in the United States.