Current Event January 23, 2017
The Senate is holding confirmation hearings for President-elect Trump's Cabinet choices. Democrats say majority Republicans are rushing the nominees through the process and that several of them haven't yet completed or submitted all of the financial disclosure and ethics paperwork required. Each committee holding a hearing has its own set of rules about the information it requires. Listen to hear about this push to confirm Cabinet nominees quickly.
Current Event January 19, 2017
Donald J. Trump will be sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States. Inauguration day always occurs on January 20th following the presidential election. In recent history, at the start of every American presidency, the new president gives an inaugural address after being sworn into office. These speeches have sometimes become memorable tag lines for the president's priorities. This story is an historical reflection on several past inaugural addresses.
Current Event January 9, 2017
This week, the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia after saying it was confident the Russian government interfered in last year's presidential election. The purpose is to deter Russia from cyberspace hacking in the future. The United States also expelled 35 undercover intelligence agents to deter Russia from harassing U.S. diplomats in Russia. Listen to hear more about possible retaliation and what actions are legal when the U.S. is not at war.
Current Event January 5, 2017
Fake news stories with clickable headlines that millions of people read and share have become a focus during the U.S. Presidential Election. People who run fake news sites make a lot of money from advertising. The identities of these fake news creators can be hard to track. In this story a reporter pursued one story to its creator to learn about why he started writing fake news. Listen to hear more about how untrue news goes viral, and who creates these stories.
Current Event January 3, 2017
The U.S. Capitol is a very dog-friendly workplace and lawmakers have been bringing their dogs to the Capitol since the 1800s. They used to sit at Congressmen’s feet in the Senate Chamber and roam the hallways with their owners. There are occasions when the dogs fight with each other, but mostly they are a friendly face in the lawmakers’ workplace. Listen to hear more about these dogs and their long history in the Capitol.
Current Event December 23, 2016
The Department of Labor has guidelines for companies that want to use unpaid interns. Essentially, unpaid interns have to be treated like students and shouldn't do the work of paid employees. But those rules don’t apply to government internships. There are hundreds of interns that work for free in government agencies, and one former intern is trying to change that because he says it favors students who come from wealthy families who can afford to support the students during the internship. Listen to this story and debate whether government interns should be paid.
Current Event December 22, 2016
Lawmakers in South Korean voted 234-56 recently to impeach President Park Geun-hye. A constitutional court will now decide whether to remove her from office because of her involvement in a corruption scandal. In South Korea there have been protests of Park’s leadership, with over 2 million people calling for her impeachment. President Park’s power as president is temporarily removed as the court makes its decision. Listen to hear more about the ongoing political events in South Korea.
Current Event December 19, 2016
There is evidence that a CIA assessment found that Russia intervened in the U.S. presidential election to try to help Donald Trump win. In this story, a reporter from the Washington Post discusses what they found out about how the Russians intended to help Trump in the election. It’s known that Russians hacked into both Democratic and Republican emails, and released emails to Wikileaks that were damaging to the Democratic campaign. President-elect Trump has stated that he does not trust the CIA’s assessment. Listen to hear more about what is known about the CIA report.
Current Event December 13, 2016
Recently, Austria held a runoff election for president and Italy voted on changes to its constitution. The countries voted on different things, but the underlying issue was the future of Europe. After the Brexit vote, where Britain voted to leave the European Union, Austria predicted a victory for a far-right, anti-immigration candidate. In their election upset, the leftist leader won the vote. In Italy, the country’s position in the European Union was challenged and a growing anti-establishment mood won the election, rejecting the changes to its constitution. As a result, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned, and asked the government to carry out its mission faithfully. Listen to hear more about these important elections.
Current Event December 5, 2016
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has died at age 90. Castro took power in the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and was in power for nearly 50 years leading the only communist state in the Western Hemisphere. He led a movement to overthrow Fulgencio Batista, Cuba's military dictator, and had wide support from Cubans. But there were flaws in his socialist system, and the economy, education, and health care systems fell into disrepair. Castro outlasted many U.S. presidents and their attempts to overthrow him. He was a skilled politician with a complex legacy, and a man determined to continue holding power whatever the costs. Listen to hear more about the leadership and life of Fidel Castro.
Current Event November 29, 2016
The Philippines’ former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, died in exile in Hawaii more than two decades ago. Where to bury the dictator has been tied up in a court battle, but the justices of the highest court recently ruled he should be laid to rest in Manila's Heroes Cemetery. Opponents argue that he was no hero and doesn’t deserve to be buried there, but others think this will be an important step to heal the nation from his divisive rule. Listen to this story and hear about the reaction of people from the Philippines.
Current Event November 28, 2016
The U.S. federal anti-nepotism law prevents a public official from appointing a relative to a position in their agency. It was made a law in 1967 after President John F. Kennedy nominated his brother as Attorney General. It is also used to prevent congressmen from hiring their wives to work in their offices. President-elect Donald Trump has relied on his son-in-law as a key adviser during his campaign. If his son-in-law were given a job in the White House, it would raise legal questions around nepotism. Listen to learn more about nepotism laws in the U.S.
Current Event November 22, 2016
Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans from across the country gathered in central Seoul recently, in an organized and peaceful protest against the president, Park Geun-hye. They are demanding she resign because she has been charged with abuse of power and fraud. The South Korean president shared classified information with a friend and was advised by her on a range of state affairs. President Park says she understands the seriousness of this situation, but shows no sign she will resign. Listen to hear more about the government crisis in South Korea.
Current Event November 21, 2016
Immigration was a big issue in the U.S. presidential election and president-elect Donald Trump has said he definitely plans to build a barrier on the U.S. border with Mexico. He said he will prioritize deporting unauthorized immigrants with criminal records. Immigration and Customs Enforcement estimates about 2 million undocumented immigrants fall into this category, but the majority are not drug dealers or murderers, but charged with nonviolent crimes such as shoplifting. Listen to hear more about the potential plans of the incoming Administration.
Current Event November 15, 2016
Reaction to the results of the U.S. Presidential election were both positive and negative. This story describes the reaction of some people who supported Hillary Clinton and other candidates to election results. To hear about the reaction of Trump supporters, listen to this story.
Across the country people gathered to voice their anger and disappointment that Donald Trump won the Presidential election. There were marches in several cities, including New York, Seattle, D.C., Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Chicago. In Miami a group of Immigrant’s Rights activists protested and students in California high schools walked out of class. Listen to hear the reaction to the election.
Current Event November 15, 2016
Reaction to the results of the U.S. Presidential election were both positive and negative. This story describes the reaction by Trump supporters in Pennsylvania. To hear about people protesting Trump’s election, listen to this story.
Many voters in Morgantown Pennsylvania voted for Donald Trump because they say they think he will bring back blue collar manufacturing jobs in the area. Trump’s message of reforming the government and preventing illegal immigration were also appealing to these voters. Listen to hear the reaction of these Trump supporters.
Current Event November 14, 2016
BB guns are popular among children, but they can pose a threat to the safety of communities. BB guns typically look almost identical to real guns, unless closely inspected. When a BB gun is held by someone in public, it is often mistaken as a real gun and a threat to anyone in the area. Parents and educators encourage children not to use BB guns because it could put them in danger. Listen to hear more from children and parents in Baltimore about their opinions on BB guns.
Current Event November 11, 2016
There is pressure to increase the minimum wage from low wage workers around the country. Some cities and states, including New York and California, have already increased the minimum wage to $15 an hour. For employees working minimum wage jobs, like in some fast food chains, the bump would make it easier for them to afford their rent and other essentials. However, raising the minimum wage also will also affect small business owners, who are concerned about the high costs of running their shops. Listen to hear different perspectives on this issue and debate whether it’s a good idea to raise the minimum wage.
Current Event November 10, 2016
This week the United States elected Republican Donald Trump as the 45th President. He defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton, the first female candidate for President. Trump will be the first U.S. President to have never served in public office nor served in the military. He tapped into widespread dissatisfaction voters feel toward the political establishment. While Trump won the electoral college votes needed to become president, it appears Clinton won the popular vote, which reveals a deeply divided country. In his acceptance speech Trump talked about bringing the country together. Listen to hear more about the results of this election.
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.