Topic: Politics

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Current Event November 21, 2016

Trump's Top Priorities Include Immigration and Border Security

Politics Immigration

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.

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Current Event November 15, 2016

Protesting Trump’s Election


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.

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Current Event November 15, 2016

Trump Supporters React to Election Win


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.

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Current Event November 14, 2016

BB Guns Look All Too Real

Politics Violence

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.

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Current Event November 11, 2016

Debate: Should We Raise the Minimum Wage?

Politics Economy

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.

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Current Event November 10, 2016

Trump Wins 2016 Presidential Election


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.

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Current Event November 9, 2016

North Korea Poses Serious Nuclear Threat to World

Politics war

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.

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Current Event November 8, 2016

Why the U.S. Calls Its Leader President


When the founding fathers of the United States were writing the Constitution in the 1780s, they were deadlocked about what to call the leader of the executive branch. At the time, “president” was used in other contexts. University heads were called presidents and heads of colonies sometimes used that title as well. But until President George Washington, this word had never been used to describe a leader of a country. Listen to hear how the decision was finally reached.

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Current Event November 7, 2016

Young First-Time Voters


This election will be the first time some young people will be able to vote. Listen to a few first-time voters who are preparing to vote in the presidential election. Some are certain they are voting for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson while others are still undecided. They discuss their feelings about their choice of candidates and what their friends are talking about related to the election. Listen to hear more from young voters and the issues that are most important to them individually.

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Current Event November 4, 2016

Debate: Should We Have Real-time Voting Projections on Election Day?

Politics Journalism

On election night in the United States, most news organizations won’t report results until the polls close. But this year, voting information may be released in real time while many people are still voting. It is commonly thought that publishing information on voting projections would change voters’ actions and possibly change the election results. Others think that voters should have the same access to information as news organizations. Listen to this story and then debate whether you think we should have real-time voting projections on election day.

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Current Event October 31, 2016

Climate Change in the Presidential Election

Politics Climate Change

Climate change and energy policy are issues that are important to millions of Americans, but the issue has not been front and center in the presidential election. Both candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have said they want to make the country energy-independent but their views on how to do that are very different. Listen to hear how Trump and Clinton differ sharply on topics such as coal, renewable energy and the Paris climate agreement.

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Current Event October 28, 2016

Debate: Should Older, Sick Prisoners be Released for Compassionate Reasons?


The Federal Bureau of Prisons can petition the court for the early release of a prisoner for extraordinary and compelling reasons, called compassionate release. It is typically granted in cases where the inmate is dying or has a debilitating medical condition. This story highlights the case of a former Massachusetts House Speaker who was sentenced for corruption in 2012. He is dying of cancer and the Federal Bureau of Prisons has filed a motion to release him early. Listen to hear more about this extraordinary type of release and debate whether sick prisoners should be released for compassionate reasons.

Update: A federal judge ruled to grant the Massachusetts House Speaker early release because of his health.

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Current Event October 27, 2016

Could the Election be Rigged?

Politics Constitution

Democracy has lasted in the United States when it has failed in other countries. This is due to many reasons, but mainly because there has always been a peaceful transfer of power following an election. Going against political norms for hundreds of years, Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has claimed the election will be rigged and has hinted that he may not concede if his opponent, Hillary Clinton, is elected. Trump has expressed concerns about voter fraud at polling stations, and encouraged people to closely monitor voting. Listen to this story to hear an expert in election law explain why he doesn’t believe the recent polls are not close enough for concerns about a rigged election to be realistic.

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Current Event October 24, 2016

Presidential Election Likely to Impact Short-Handed Supreme Court

Politics Constitution

The Supreme Court is short handed with only eight justices to do the job of resolving the important legal questions of the United States. Since February 2016 when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly, the Supreme Court has been evenly divided in important cases. Under the Constitution, the Senate’s job is to confirm or reject the President’s nominee. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has promised that no Obama nominee would get a hearing or a vote and he believes the next president should select a nominee. Listen to hear more about how the presidential election may impact the next appointment to the Supreme Court.

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Current Event October 17, 2016

Presidential Candidates Plans to Lift the Economy

Politics Economy

Both U.S. Presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have said they are committed to creating more economic opportunities for Americans.There is a sense that economic opportunity is slipping away for some Americans, which is causing them to become angry. While both candidates have addressed this topic in their campaigns, they have presented their plans in different ways. Listen to hear how each candidate talks about the economy, and their plans to create more jobs and improve the lives of Americans.

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Current Event October 13, 2016

The Complex Legacy of Shimon Peres

Politics Religion Global Middle East

Former Israeli President and statesman Shimon Peres was one of the founders of Israel. His participation and influence in Israeli politics spanned decades. After his recent passing, he is remembered for winning the Nobel Peace Prize and for his optimism about forming peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Listen to learn more about Peres’ legacy.

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ELA High School

Totalitarianism in George Orwell's 'Animal Farm'

Politics American Literature

George Orwell is widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s most influential authors. His most famous book, “Animal Farm,” is considered to be a commentary on the dangers of Soviet-style totalitarianism. The book follows a group of animals who overthrow their human owners and establish self-rule on the farm. Over time the hopes of a better life fade as a small group of pigs take control and establish a dictatorship over the rest of the animals on the farm. “Animal Farm” continues to resonate with those who read it. This audio story commemorates the 60th anniversary of the publication of the novel and discusses its plot, its influence, and connections to today’s world.

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Current Event October 12, 2016

How Gender Factors into the Presidential Debate

Politics Gender

The debates between the U.S. presidential candidates will mark the first time gender is a dynamic. The way women are perceived in a debate setting is different from the way men are perceived. The pitch of a woman’s voice and the way a woman dresses should not affect the debate, but are often highlighted or criticized. Listen to hear more about how some people see women versus men in a debate setting.

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Current Event October 11, 2016

New Museum Captures History of African Americans

Politics Race Culture

National Museum of African-American History and Culture opened on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in September 2016. It started with a vision and a mission to tell the story of America through the lens of black history and culture. Many people have given parts of their lives to this museum, which has collected 37,000 artifacts. The first item to come into the building was Jim Crow-era segregated train car that was lowered underground. Currently, 3,000 artifacts are displayed in the museum, and the curators will keep collecting for future exhibitions. Listen to hear more about this museum that was first proposed by black veterans of the civil war, and was recently opened to the public.

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