Sunday, August 28, 2011

7th period: First Current Event Assignment, due 9/2

See the prompt listed above and use the current events assignment page/rubric provided in class. Remember, your response must be posted by Friday at 4 pm in order to receive credit. 


  1. Stefan Steiner / 7th Period
    Flooding an ongoing concern amid Irene's destruction / the CNN Wire Staff / August 29, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    Hurricane Irene recently passed into Canada after wrecking havoc along the East coast. Flooding was severe in New England, especially in New York, New Jersey and Vermont, places with few precautions towards this natural disaster. While flooding was causing damage up North, Power Outages occurred in many places in the Southern States, including coastal North Carolina. Thick rains and storm surges destroyed roads and bridges all over the coast. 27 deaths in nine states were caused by Irene, the latest disaster to strike America.
    This event affected me very much. A few houses near me lost power and storms have been hitting my area for a few days, causing changes in my routine. I am very sorry for everyone who was harmed by this hurricane and I am glad it has passed.

  2. Jeremy Howell
    For Muslim family, faith complicates grief for loved one lost on 9/11 By Jessica Ravitz
    CNN/ 8-29-11

    This article tells how the attacks on the 11th of September 2001 effected a Muslim family. Baraheen Ashrafi’s husband was one of 32 Muslims killed in during the attacks. Muhammad Salahuddin left behind a wife, five year old daughter and a son that was to be born on the 13th of September. Salahuddin’s family has been subject to ridicule ever since that morning, but they remain firm in their belief that their religion was not to blame. Whatever the reason for the attacks, the family is still picking up the pieces after the tragedies of that day. When asked if they would be attending a memorial service on the 11th, they replied that they carry the anniversary with them, everyday.
    I feel just as bad for this families loss as I would for any. All religions have extremist. This can not be denied and just like I wouldn’t blame all Germans today for the Holocaust I will not blame all Muslims for the attacks. Today most religious extremist are Muslim and I believe that the reasons for this should be looked into and controlled. I disagree with many aspects of Islam, but unlike the 9/11 attackers, I am willing to look beyond my differences. Two kinds of people should be blamed for the attacks. Those who participated in the attacks and those who ideologically stand with them. No one else is to blame. Whatever their religion.

  3. This article is about the damage done by Hurricane Irene. Vermont and upstate New York were hit especially hard. Flooding destroyed many houses and brought the death toll up to 38. As of Monday 5 million people are without power along the East coast, 800,000 of which are in New York. Many are describing the flooding as the worst they’ve ever seen.
    This article outlines the damage done by Irene very well. Chapel Hill experienced minor power outages, but those up north have had to deal with evacuations and harsher weather. Hopefully the rebuilding process will be a smooth one.

  4. Peter Norwood
    Michele Bachmann: Hurricane Irene Is God's Warning To Washington; Campaign Says She Was Joking
    Shuhannah Walshe and Matthew Jaffe
    Summary: In this article, Shuhannah Walshe and Matthew Jaffe of ABC News examine Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul’s response to Hurricane Irene. Michele Bachmann’s response was that this natural disaster was a sign from God, telling Washington that they need to stop spending so much money. Later Bachmann claimed that she was joking and did not actually believe that God send the natural disasters to tell Washington something. Ron Paul’s response was more about FEMA, and how it needs to be cut. He believes that it should be the state’s responsibility to manage emergencies. He believes that FEMA is just one more government program that is spending money that shouldn’t be spent. Rick Perry believes that although FEMA is a large amount of money being spent, we should not be so drastic and cut the entire program.
    Response: At first this article caught my eye because of the title. My reaction was, what has this idiotic woman done now?! My apologies for the strong words towards Bachmann, I typically am open and accepting of most politicians so this just goes to show how intolerant I am of her incompetence. When I read the entire article I found no problem with Bachmann’s point that the government should end the rapid spending, but to say that God sent natural disasters to tell Washington they should straighten up is absurd; even if her remarks were intended to be a “joke”. I really like Ron Paul’s ideas about FEMA. Managing emergencies should be the state’s responsibility, not Washington’s. Rick Perry’s beliefs about FEMA were reasonable too, but I agree with Ron Paul more.

  5. Luke Ciocca/ 7th period
    Twitter Becomes a Playground during Hurricane Irene/ Nick Bilton
    New York Times/ August 28, 2011

    During the devastating hurricane this past week, people didn’t panic they tweeted. Hurricane Irene, which ripped up the coast of the eastern seaboard, caused mass devastation to thousands. In spite of this some people found the time use twitter. Mayor Michael Bloomberg told his followers to use caution and news outlets used it to spread information about the storm. There were also misconceptions. Some pictures were taken claiming they were of the storm but in reality they were from different storms. This storm was shocking, but twitter offered as a tool to use.

    This article shows that there is a growing spread of technology. We now see that people are evolving from their televisions to their computers. This can be a good thing because it helps rapidly spread technology to a wide amount of people. It can also be seen as a bad thing because it’s becoming less of a need to move away from our computers and get active. I like the way they used twitter to spread information to people that need it, I just think sometimes it’s used to excess

  6. Anna Emslie
    7th Period Honors C&E

    Last week, a lawsuit brought on by two children against their own mother was dismissed due to the case not falling outside ‘all possible bounds of decency.’ Steven Jr., 23, and Kathryn, 20, appeared in court with their father, Steven Miner, equipped with a 33 page document stating a list of intentional infliction and emotional distress put on them while in custody of their mother. Divorced in 1995, their father, Steven, was given sole custody over his son but part-time custody over his daughter. Both children reported events where one or the other child was favored and treated spitefully. The original complaint, filed two years ago by Steven, claims that Garrity-the mother-sought to punish her ex-husband by taking her detrimental conduct and aiming it at her children. She sought to pit them against each other and often spoke illy of their father, calling him a “Disneyland” parent who did nothing but spoil them. Represented by attorney Shelly Smith, Garrity was let off without any legal punishment, claiming that she was devastated by the accusation that she was being an ‘inadequate mother.’ The case was instead alleged as an accountability issue, with damages sought for more than $50,000 dollars for each child.

    After reading this article, I personally found that the whole case was a mix of underlying, hurtful emotions being surfaced under law. Since the appeal was written by the father, it seems a lot like he had used persuasion to convince his children to stand with him against their mother. This brought a question to my mind: would you rise up in court against your own mother or father? Would you do it if it could win you a false pride and fifty thousand dollars?

    Published: August 30, 2011
    Article: Mother wins lawsuit over allegations of lousy parenting
    By: Billy Mears, CNN

  7. Jason Cohn Period 7 Suspected North Korean cyberattack on a bank raises fears for S. Korea, allies Chico Harlan and Ellen Nakashima Washington Post 8/29/11
    Investigators have found evidence that North Korea is trying to rob a South Korean bank through their computers. The suspicion arose when almost half of the servers at one bank crashed on the same day. This is the first publicly reported computer sabotage by a nation against another nation. Thirty Million customers couldn’t use ATMs or online services for many days. 95% of South Koreans keep money and medical files online.
    I think that this is terrible for South Korea because they have no way of stopping these attacks right now. It is unsettling to know that there is nothing you can do to stop an attack like this. I hope that it doesn’t happen again and that they find out who did this.

  8. Eric Reinstein Period 7
    US Moves to Block Merger Between AT&T and T-Mobile
    Edward Wyatt
    The New York Times, 8/31/2011

    On August 31, 2011, the US Justice Department sued to block the $39 billion dollar merge between AT&T and T-Mobile USA, saying that the merge would end competition in the wireless industry, cause higher prices, and reduce jobs in the two companies. AT&T and T-Mobile both have said they would fight the lawsuit, and that the Justice Department ignored several benefits of the merge. The FCC is also hinting that they could decide to also block the lawsuit, which would aid the fight against the merge. Also, many consumer advocacy groups are cheering on the move, saying that removing T-Mobile from the mobile spectrum will raise prices and cause the wireless market to be a double-monopoly completely controlled by AT&T and Verizon.

    Though when I first heard about this, I thought it might be a good thing, as AT&T is known for it’s less-than-quality service, the acquisition of T-Mobile could really help it improve. But after reading more about this whole thing, I realized the only people benefiting from this merge is the company. Consumers are paying higher prices for less options and people are losing jobs. I do hope that a compromise is worked out, allowing AT&T to become a better company while keeping the low-cost options and jobs that T-Mobile currently provides, as opposed to them just staying separate companies.

  9. Jack Kleissler/7th period
    Irene floods in North Carolina and New York ‘disaster’/ None found
    BBC World News/ August 31st 2011

    This article gives an overview of the damage caused by hurricane Irene when it swept across the East Coast this past weekend. The damage was most severe in North Carolina and New York but the entire many more states were affected. Over 1.7 million homes/ businesses are still with out power, and 45 deaths are being credited to the hurricane. New York had to shut down its subway system for the first time in its history and nearly 370,000 people were ordered to evacuate the city. In North Carolina high powered winds did most of the damage while in northern states the damage is attributed to extreme flooding. All in all the storm caused 10 billion dollars worth of damage and shut down New York city since it was not prepared for such a storm.
    I didn’t know that the hurricane had done that much damage, I knew there was flooding up north but here in Chapel Hill the worst I saw were a couple downed trees. I went through Hurricane Isabel a few years ago and that caused much more damage to the outer banks than this storm even though there was some substantial damage done. President Obama is quoted to have been said the storm was a ‘disaster’, now I wouldn’t go that far but it did do a fair but of damage and caused a lot of problems on the east coast.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Aaron Smith/7th Period
    Father accused of throwing son off boat says he was joking/ the CNN Wire Staff
    CNN/August 31, 2011
    In Irvine, California a father, Sloane Briles, was seen hitting his 7 year old son on a boat and then throwing the child off the boat into the water. The father denied the accusations saying that they were just having fun and all he did was jump into the water with his kid. Sloane was fighting with his girlfriend when his 7 year old son started crying. Briles then threated the child by “If you don’t stop crying, I’m going to throw you overboard.” And that’s exactly what he did. Before throwing the kid off the boat, he started smacking him a couple of times. Briles did eventually jump in the water to rescue his son. Thankfully there were other people who saw what happened and informed the local police of what was happening. Briles still denied all charges and the children were taken to their mother.
    I found this article very interesting but I think it was completely insane of what the father did to his child, who was only 7 years old. The reason I choose this article was because of the title but once I read it it just made me think, why would anyone do to this to their own child? Or to any child. Even if the father was joking, why would he throw his child into a heavy traffic waterway and when the child was “only a fair swimmer” That is just stupid. I hope the father gets what he deserves and that the child never has to deal with his fathers stupidity again.

  12. Oskar Marszalek/ 7th Period
    Rebels Extend Deadline as Qaddafi Says He’ll Resist/ David Kirkpatrick
    New York Times, September 1st 2011

    This article reports the progress of Libyan rebels that have recently taken over the nation's capital, Tripoli. Initially, the rebels, whose government is now being recognized by countries such as Russia and Romania, gave the former leader of Libya Colonel Muammar el-Qadaffi a deadline to officially resign his power. If the Colonel did not meet the deadline, the rebels would reengage in fighting with the Colonel and his loyalists. However, this deadline has now been extended to the 42nd anniversary of Qadaffi's rise to power, September 10th. Qadaffi has apparently rejected the rebel's offer, as encouraging his loyalists to "let Libya be engulfed in flames," and to not give up fighting, saying "We will not give up. We are not women."

    Personal reflection: I believe that the series of events is actually applicable to what we are studying in class. The story in Libya is one where citizens, who believe the government is failing them, look to overthrow it. This story is interesting for me because it also shows the potential of human wrath as a result of a lust for power, as illustrated by Qadaffi's actions and statements.

  13. Zunzun Aung: 7th period
    Mother: Didn’t know 13 year-old daughter was working for Zetas
    Belen Zapata, CNNMexico, August 12th 2011.
    This article is about teenagers near our age involved in drug gangs. The report was set out on August 12th; a thirteen years old girl has been released because a Mexican law says only offenders older than fourteen are subject to jail time. The young girl was working for a criminal group called, Zetas, and was detained the previous weekend. The source didn’t explained why she was working for Zetas, but it seemed like they paid her large amount of money every two weeks of the month. The mother of the thirteen years old didn’t realized it but she knew that her daughter has been skipping school a few times. However, she explained that, her daughter and she have talked and that the child has improved on her schoolwork and grades that she was requested for scholarship by the Mexican government. Since the girl has been released, she is now under the watch of her mother and a tutor twenty-four seven.
    I think it is fair enough that the girl was released, however fourteen years old was caught for working for a criminal gang and he was sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of 4.5 million pesos. From my personal experience, I think parents should be more aware of what their children are up to, because without communication within the family, it could bring trouble and danger to the child and the family. However, I understand many families in a country like Mexico or El Salvador has their children working for criminal gangs because of money. Some parents would agree to it because they, themselves can’t provide for the family. Therefore, children go out for criminal gangs to provide for the family.

  14. Jonah Horwitz / 7th Period
    Rescuers race against time, floodwaters to save families / the CNN Wire Staff / August 29th 2011
    North Carolina, Virginia and Vermont were some of the few states hit hard by Hurricane Irene. Hundreds of homes were destroyed from the gushing of muddy water flooding through. Hurricane Irene created loads of damage leaving 3.3 million customers without electricity. At least 38 deaths were recorded in 11 different states. This devastating hurricane left whole communities underwater, businesses, roads, bridges, many homes and farmers lost all their crops. Water was flooded out into the streets destroying stores, houses and of course, the roads. The gushing water spread sand all over some communities leaving the beaches half of what it used to be. Some people were left trapped in their communities having to get a helicopter to help them.
    This hurricane was definitely a bad one, but it could have been a lot worse. Sure, it left a lot of damage, but compared to other hurricanes in history, we were softly hit. It has caused millions of dollars in all the disasters, but this problem can be solved in less than two years. I think it is very sad that those poor people lost their lives. Hopefully, all those people that’s houses were destroyed will get money donated so they can find a new house to stay.

  15. Brian Mack, 7th Period
    Kurdish activists clash with police in Istanbul/ Yesim Comert and Ivan Watson September 1, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    Tensions between Turkey’s government and members of the Kurdish ethnic minority rose in the streets of Istanbul on Thursday. What started out as a peaceful protest soon escalated into total chaos. 3,000 Kurds filled the streets of Istanbul and approximately 150 of them contributed to the violence. The Kurds that partook in the violence towards the riot control were irritated that one of their political officials, Yildirim Ayhan, was killed in a similar rally on Sunday. As a response to the Kurds throwing rocks at them; the policemen heaved teargas over the fence that separated them from the raging riot. The Kurds answered by hurling Molotov cocktails at the riot control. After about two hours of mayhem the riot was over, and life returned to normal. While the streets were still filled with broken glass and teargas canisters; commuters attempted to catch the shuttle bus that leads to the airport as if nothing happened.

    I believe that the Kurds that started the violence on Thursday had no intentions of keeping it as a peaceful protest. I believe that they were aggravated that one of their leaders was killed, and they wanted whatever revenge they could get. I think the police did a great job in dealing with the rioting Kurds because they kept they’re distance/separation, and only used teargas in an attempt to disperse the huge crowd of people.

  16. Juno Park/period 7
    Firefighters Responding to 9/11 at Increased Cancer Risk/Stephanie Smith 1, 2011

    During a recent study that was conducted, research shows that there is an increased risk of cancer in firefighters who responded to 9/11. The chief medical officer at the New York City Fire Department, Dr. David Prezant, announced that the risk is much higher, and the firefighters are up to 19% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer. At first, doctors were surprised to find that an increase even existed in such a short time after the 9/11 incident. Usually an increase wouldn’t have been found for maybe 10 to 15 years, but they noticed one after only 7. Many people investigating this issue think that the reason for this can be attributed to the sheer amount of chemicals and carcinogens in the air that merged with dust, and thus were more easily propelled throughout the body.
    Although the firefighters were heavily affected by this, they weren’t the only ones who responded to the call. Many police officers have also noticed a rise in the number of cancer cases. They were there alongside the other workers for months in the search for survivors and the clean up effort. One police officer, vice-detective Ernie Vallebuona, said in a CNN interview that there used to be almost no people with cancer, but now there seems to be someone in every branch of the department. Compensation for illnesses and injuries is provided to responders by The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, but sadly it does not include cancer. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health saw no correlation between cancer and 9/11. For people like Ernie this is a problem. However, this issue will be reviewed by NIOSH in 2012 and the recent study done will be included.

    I think that the firefighters are the ones who least deserve to have an increased chance of cancer. I’m deeply saddened by these findings and who it affects. The men and women of the fire department were doing their job and risking their lives to help people; now it’s their lives at stake. This is very unfair and the least congress could do is compensate them for their sacrifice. The article shows that inhaling certain substances can quickly lead to cancer, so I wonder what things I inhale on a daily basis that could be harmful?

  17. Keven Daly/7th period
    Libya Crisis: Col Gadaffi is ready to fight"long war"./bbc world news

    Anti-Gaddafi forces encircling the city of Sirte have given loyalists an extra week to negotiate their surrender.Meanwhile, Western leaders have urged the interim authorities to engage in reconciliation with their enemies.The colonel has not been seen in public for months, and it is not known where he is hiding.He vowed to fight "a long, long drawn out war" against what he called the occuption of Libya.

    My opinion of this story is that this story was amazing in some ways.Also this story is quite interesting if you actually take the time to understand it.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Luthfi Bustillos 7th period
    White House upbeat on US economic growth
    BBC news September 1st, 2011

    The White House is confident that the US will not fall back into a recession but the economy will actually increase. It is expected that the economy will grow by 1.7 percent. The White House expected the economy to grow by 2.7 percent but that did bot happen. The white however is not so confident that they will reduce the unemployment rate. They expect it to stay the same throughout the year. This will be a big talking issue in next years elections.
    This article interested me because, this kind of news has a factor on who people vote for in next years election. I think that the fact that the US economy will only grow by 1.7 percent is not a good sign. Even though it is an increase it is still a slower increase then expected. The unemployment rate is expected to stay the same which will not look good on the Obama administration.

  21. Kiara L. Luna / period7

    Study shows rise of cancer in 9/11 firefighters;postSpecialReport

    A new study shows that the firefighters that worked during the event of 9/11 have an increased risk of having cancer. A 19% increase of probability to get cancer than firefighters not present around the area and 10% more than the general public. Even thought the big amount of people affected by this, a federal report concluded that there is a lack of evidence to be certain that the toxic they were exposed to it’s the cause for the cancers. At this moment, first responders are still not able to receive any federal money to compensate and cover the expenses for the cancer treatments.

    I think it’s not fair that the people who risked their lives to save others are going through this. I believe the correct thing is to compensate the affected families; they were just doing their job and helping people who needed their help. I can’t imagine what these families are going through whether someone’s health was affected or if they lost a loved one in 9/11.

  22. Salomon Ariza/ 7th period
    Van der Sloot charged with murder/ the CNN Wire Staff September 1, 2011
    The article which I read is about how a man named Joran van der Sloot who was finally charged this Thursday for the murder of a Peruvian woman named Stephany Flores. He had been arrested since June of 2010 , however he had not been charged until just recently. This is a very important fact especially in Peru, since if someone is arrested for a crime and trial doesn’t start after 18 months the criminal is off the hook. This is why it was crucial that he was finally charged. The crime was committed last year on May. He Is believed to have killed Stephany Flores and have taken her money. He tried fleeing to Chile to hide, although he was caught after a couple of days. Prosecutors want him to get a 30 year sentence and pay Flores’ family $73,000. Van der Sloot’s attorneys say that since it was an isolated crime he should get less time in prison.
    I was quite amazed when I read this article. The first thing that baffled me was the fact that van der Sloot was formally charged just this past Thursday even though he had gotten arrested on June last year. This makes me wonder just how efficient the enforcing of the laws is in Peru. Another thing that surprised me is that the law in Peru lets criminals off the hook if their trials do not begin after 18 months. I have also read and seen on TV about many crimes that occur in Tijuana Mexico that are about the murder of women. It’s clear in my opinion that Latin America has a lot of things it need to improve to lower the amount of crimes done to women.

  23. Perla Sanchez
    Pr. 7th
    Dan Rivers, CNN Senior International Correspondent"
    August 30, 2011

    Burned Gadhafi family nanny being treated in Tripoli

    Shwygar Mullah, worked for the wife of Gadhafi's son Hannibal as a nanny. Mullah took care of
    her little son and daughter. Mullah is 30 years old and is native Ethiopian. Mullah explained to
    CNN how she was burn by Hannibal's wife, Alien. She said that Aline poured boiling water on Mullah's head because she refused to bit her child so she wouldn’t have to hear her cry. Aline lost control and took Mullah to a bathroom, tide her arms and taped her mouth, then poured boiling water on her head. Mullah's burns are dressed and she is being treated with antibiotics.
    After I read this article and looked at the video were Mullah is showing her burns, made me realize how this type of situations happen to many others. Not exactly get burn but many suffer the consequences of crazy people that cant control themselves. This people take their anger off on innocents; that they know they cant defend themselves.

  24. Lizzy Stompel/Period 7
    Hurricane Irene/ NY Times
    Aug. 31, 2011

    This article is about Hurricane Irene. About a week ago we had a series of storms in North Carolina caused by Irene. This Hurricane pummeled a big area of the East Coast. That Hurricane caused major flooding in upstate New York and Vermont. Also a lot of cotton and tobacco crops in North Carolina got flooded. Irene has killed at least 44 people in 13 states. As a result of this, millions of people are jobless, and even more are homeless. A lot of bridges were destroyed too.

    I think this has left a big mark on the East Coast. This also made me think about all of those people who lost their houses and/or family members. This impacted me because my relatives live in NY and I was very worried about them. Their power went off so we couldn’t contact them to see if they were harmed by the storm.

  25. Cameron Baker Period 7
    Powering Prosthetics with Thoughts Alone
    September 1st, 2011

    This article is about a new prosthetic arm, in development at Johns Hopkins University. As newer prosthetic arms are developed, the goal is to replicate the human arm as closes as possible, with the available technology developed. However new technologies are always being released, and the newest being a focus on nerves in the fingertips, able to sense vibrations, temperature and textures, along with other functions. The weight of the human arm is also an important factor, to give the user the natural feel of using their arm to complete tasks. The average human arm weighs in at about 9 pounds. Although the functions of prosthetic arms are limited, the most recent products can actually be controlled by thoughts alone, an extremely complicated scientific concept.

    I think that the possibilities given by new years of technology are stunning, and things we never thought possible now can be. Replacing an arm that someone lost due to an extremely unfortunate accident is so rewarding. The fact that we are capable of developing these technologies is so relieving, as well as knowing we really have so much more potential than what is already displayed.

  26. Katie Alexander (period 7)
    Netflix Stock Plunges as Netflix Stock Plunges as Starz Ends Contract Talks
    September 2, 2011: 12:42 PM ET

    Starz is a pay cable network that licenses Sony's movie catalog. Previously in 2008, Netflix struck a four-year deal with Starz that gave it streaming access to Starz' inventory. On Thursday Starz announced that “Netflix's streaming content catalog is about to take a big hit.” Starz publicized it “has ended contract renewal negotiations and will pull its movies and TV shows from Netflix early next year.” Netflix stock fell almost 8% in after-hours trading following Starz' announcement. Already in June, hundreds of Sony movies including high-profile titles like "The Social Network" and "Salt" suddenly disappeared from Netflix's "watch now" catalog.

    After reading this article I felt disappointed. As avid Netflix user I like that it has recent television shows and movies to watch instantly. Since Starz contract is ending soon, I don’t know if my favorite shows and movies will have the watch now option. Also, I fear for the Nexlflix Company. From the little knowledge I know about stock, I assume if you stock goes down it is not a good sign.