Current Event September 27, 2016
Parts of New Jersey and New York were rattled by several homemade pipe bombs set in different areas. One exploded in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York city injuring dozens of people. Police arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami based on evidence that he started buying materials to make explosive devices back in June, and that he recorded a video of himself setting off an explosive device near his home in New Jersey. Investigators think the motivation was tied to Islamic terrorism. Listen to hear more about this investigation and what may have motivated this attack.
Current Event September 26, 2016
Thousands of Native Americans and supporters are protesting the construction of an oil pipeline from North Dakota to central Illinois, that will transport 470,000 barrels of oil per day. They are against it because a section of the pipeline will run near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The tribe and its supporters have serious concerns about the project affecting their land and water. President Obama has ordered a temporary halt on the construction of the pipeline, but the Sioux tribe wants a permanent halt to the construction. Listen to hear more about this controversy.
Current Event July 19, 2016
Americans have been shocked and saddened by the targeted killing of 5 Dallas police officers in apparent retaliation for the many police shootings of black men. The Black Lives Matter movement has organized peaceful protests to bring awareness to these events. Kwame Alexander, an award-winning poet and children’s author who touches on the themes of love, education and race, reflects on the shooting of the officers and the killing of two black men by police - Alton Sterling and Philando Castille. Listen to hear about how he communicates with kids, and why he thinks it’s important for students to think outside of themselves to understand these events.
Current Event April 20, 2016
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.
Current Event March 22, 2016
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.
Current Event February 18, 2016
After a pro-Beijing official was appointed to the University of Hong Kong, students protested. Nearly 20 years ago Hong Kong reverted to Chinese control. This protest shows it’s still an uneasy arrangement. Students boycotted classes for one week to push for more democratic leadership of their University. The new chairman of the University said that the students have been acting like they are on drugs. The chairman is a member of the Communist-controlled advisory body of China and also sits on Hong Kong’s Cabinet. Listen to this story to hear more about what is threatened in the mixing of politics, academics and the relationship between China and Hong Kong.
Current Event February 10, 2016
Traditions and history are important, but in some places that is being set aside if they are seen as offensive. A college in western Massachusetts is named after the town of Amherst, and their mascot is Lord Jeffrey Amherst who was a British General during the French and Indian War. Some say the General is an example of hate and discrimination because he called for giving blankets with smallpox to Native Americans. Some say he was a hero because of his military service. Listen to hear more about how this man’s history has entered into the debate over a college mascot.
Current Event January 18, 2016
The occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in southeast Oregon has brought attention to the federal government’s management of public lands. The group of armed protesters want the land to be handed over to locals. Some people making their living off the land are experiencing economic hardship and are pointing to mismanagement and the red tape and regulations set by the Bureau of Land Management. Others have no problems with land management but simply want more people to understand the issues of the rural west. Listen to this story to learn more about this divisive issue.
Current Event November 19, 2015
At the University of Missouri several racially charged events went unaddressed. Racist graffiti, open racial slurs and simmering racial tension were met with no response from the school’s administration. Out of frustration, many students protested. One graduate student went on a hunger strike and the football team refused to play until the President of the university resigned. The pressure by students forced the President, as well as the Chancellor, to step down. Listen to this story to hear more about the message this sends to the students on this campus.
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 September 3, 2015
The phrase “hands up, don’t shoot” has become a rallying cry and trending hashtag across the country. The expression, “to throw your hands up,” can indicate hopelessness or that something is too difficult to continue, which resonates with how helpless some feel after the many incidents of shootings of black men by police. “Hands up, don’t shoot” is used to protest police abuses and started after the death of Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last August. Some officers say this chant makes teens more emboldened and non-compliant with the police, along with being a questionable retelling of the events of Michael Brown’s death. Listen to hear how this chant is seen in different ways to different people.
ELA High School
The novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" was written more than 50 years ago and yet its themes of racism and civil rights remain relevant today. In this story author James McBride who wrote “The Color of Water” explains why the book inspired generations of American writers.
Update: This story first aired in 2010. In July 2015, a newly discovered novel written by Harper Lee in the 1950s, "Go Set a Watchman" was published.
Current Event June 2, 2014
Twenty five years ago, a group of students in China dared to challenge the Communist government with protests in a major square in Beijing called Tiananmen Square. The protests were broken up by the military, who fired into the crowd. More than 300 people were estimated to have been killed. The government called the protests "counter-revolutionary." In the decades since the "Tiananmen Massacre," the government has worked to make the protest disappear from the minds of the Chinese people. Listen to this story and then discuss how history can be controlled.