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 June 30, 2016
After a mass shooting that killed 49 people at a nightclub in Florida, the U.S. Senate voted down a set of gun control measures. The measure included expanding background checks at gun shows and Internet sales, as well as preventing people on the terror watch list from buying guns. Some people say the National Rifle Association, or NRA, is blocking these laws, and others say the real target should be terrorists, not gun control. Meanwhile, there is another bill being written that would deny people on the no-fly list from buying guns. Listen to hear the reactions to the failed legislation and what the future may bring for gun control.
Current Event June 20, 2016
An attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida left 50 people dead and the nation in shock. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump talked about their reactions to the tragedy and thoughts on how to prevent these kinds of attacks in very different tones. Clinton used a dignified tone and encouraged “steady hands and clear eyes” during this time. Trump used a tough tone and repeated his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Listen to hear about the different reactions to this tragic event.
Current Event May 23, 2016
In 2015, worldwide religious freedom deteriorated and in some places, spiraled downward. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reported that violations included denying health care and voting rights, to imprisoning people of certain religions. In some countries, religious freedom is a matter of life and death, and governments fail to protect people from attacks or violence. The issue of religion can also lead to terrorist violence. The commission did not report on the status of the United States, but these global examples may put religious freedom violations in the United States into perspective.
Current Event March 29, 2016
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.
Current Event March 9, 2016
The Syrian government and the opposition have agreed on a cease-fire in Syria, which has resulted in a significant drop in violence. The fighting hasn’t completely stopped since there are reports of some airstrikes that violate the agreement. With this truce, the United Nations hopes to deliver more aid to starving people under siege, which has not been possible until now. Russia and the United States agreed on the cease-fire plan, even though they back opposing sides in this war. There are plans to hold talks to bring the Syrian regime and opposition together, but the situation is still very fragile. Listen to hear more about the cease-fire in Syria.
In this story Ishmael Beah, author of "Radiance of Tomorrow" and "A Long Way Gone," is interviewed about his experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. He talks about his understanding of the effects of war on his country. Beah describes the lessons of war, the impact fighting has on nature, as well as the resilience of his people. Listen to learn more about Beah’s harrowing but inspirational story.
Current Event November 18, 2015
In coordinated attacks at six sites across Paris, France, 129 people were killed and more than 200 people were injured. This large-scale terrorist attack is being claimed by the Islamic State, or ISIS. The terrorists used suicide belts and automatic weapons to attack people at a concert, a football game which the President of France attended, restaurants and cafes. Listen to hear what led to this attack and what is being done to prevent future attacks.
Current Event April 14, 2014
Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. Following the blasts, thousands of runners were told in the middle of their race that they could not reach the finish line due to the bombings. This year many runners are returning, and they are set on finishing what they started.