Topic: US government

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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 4, 2016

FBI Hacks Phone

Civics/Government US government Government structures

After the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the FBI took Apple to court to try and require them to unlock the iPhone of the suspected shooter. Apple refused, but then the FBI figured out how to get past the phone’s security on its own to look for evidence. After that, more cases of locked phones possibly containing evidence in criminal cases are showing up around the country. The FBI recently agreed to help prosecutors in Arkansas hack into to a phone that is believed to have information in a murder case. Listen to the possible privacy repercussions of the government hiring people to unlock phones and devices.

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Current Event March 28, 2016

Historic Visit to Cuba

Civics/Government US government

Recently President Obama made an historic trip to Cuba. As the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since 1928, the President pledged to restore diplomacy and cooperation between the two countries. He met with Cuba’s president Raul Castro as well as anti-government activists, hoping to normalize relations with both Cuba’s leadership and citizens. Listen to hear more about how Obama’s visit represents a new page in U.S.-Cuban relations.

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Current Event February 9, 2016

Clinton and Sanders Battle In New Hampshire

Politics Civics/Government US government

Today voters go to the polls in the New Hampshire primary. Both parties have hotly contested primary races that are expected to continue through the spring. The Republican Party is having difficulty defining what it means to be a Republican, but the Democratic Party is also struggling to shape the future of its party. Candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have very different visions of what the Democratic Party can do for the country. Listen to a variety of opinions from voters and discuss the differences between these candidates.

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Current Event January 31, 2016

Voter's Mood

Civics/Government Politics US government

The first votes in the 2016 presidential election will take place today in the Iowa caucus. As this important election event and other primaries approach, voters and candidates are expressing powerful emotions about the state of the country. Democrats are upset about the economic divide between the rich and poor, while Republicans fault President Obama’s policies on immigration and healthcare. Meanwhile, many voters feel anxious about terrorism and personal finances. Listen to this story to hear the feelings that are defining this election.

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Current Event January 28, 2016

Monkey Selfie

Civics/Government US government

In 2011 a monkey in Indonesia grabbed a photographer’s camera and took his own photos. They went viral. How do copyright laws apply to non-humans? An animal rights organization said the monkey is due the royalties, and the photographer who owns the camera said he owns the copyright. This case actually went to court. Listen to hear how this unique legal issue played out in federal court.

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Current Event January 26, 2016

Voter ID Laws

Civics/Government Politics US government

New Hampshire’s primary election is coming up and a record turnout is anticipated. This will be the first presidential primary with the state’s new voter identification law in place. The law, which passed three and a half years ago, requires everyone voting to show a photo ID. Not all states have ID requirements. Election specialists say laws like this push voters away, as many voters may show up to vote without their ID. Others say it’s necessary to prevent voter fraud. Listen to this story about how the new laws might affect the upcoming primary election.

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Current Event January 18, 2016

Ranchers on Federal Land

Civics/Government US government Protest

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.

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Current Event November 23, 2015

Syrian Refugee Backlash

Immigration US government war

The United States House of Representatives voted to pause the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program, even though the war in Syria has led to millions of refugees looking for safe haven in Turkey, Europe and the U.S. After the attacks in Paris, Republican lawmakers are afraid that terrorists will enter the U.S. disguised as refugees. The current plan is to settle 10,000 Syrians using a rigorous process including screenings and background checks from the FBI and Homeland Security that take between a year and a half to two years to complete. Republicans say it’s not enough and it’s better to be safe than sorry. This story aired before the House passed the bill to pause the program with a veto-proof majority. The President is opposed to pausing the program, and it's unclear when the Senate will consider the bill. Listen to hear more about this backlash against Syrian refugees.

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Suffrage

Current Event March 5, 2014

Women's Suffrage

Civics/Government Gender US government

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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