February 17, 2012
What Price Do We Pay?
What price do we pay when we buy a phone?
I don’t mean the price tag, I need y’all to know.
In China, some Apple workers work for days,
Some are underage, nerves are getting frayed.
To investigate, Apple’s sending a crew,
To see if these workers are getting abused.
The Chinese VP, he came to visit,
To see the Pentagon and have dinners - exquisite.
We told him there’s no need to duel,
But our countries must play by the same rules,
And it’s not cool the way you’ve got Syria’s back,
When protesters get hit with a serious attack.
And what price do we pay for gas?
With less oil supply, you do the math.
What price do we pay when we don’t count sheep?
Studies show we need 7 hours of sleep.
What price do we pay for peace?
Our military knows that it is not cheap,
And now women are getting into the danger zone,
Not on the base where it’s safe, they’re far from home.
This week, Israelis were attacked,
In three different countries across the map.
They blame Iran, who says the Israelis,
Killed their scientists - this whole world’s crazy!
What price do we pay for fame?
RIP Whitney Houston, remember the name.
I dream of Grammys, but only in my sleep,
Adele won big like she's Rolling in the Deep.
From undrafted to scoring on Kobe,
Meet Jeremy Lin, the one and only.
That’s the price you pay when you judge
A book by its cover, so we’ve only got love.
Workers in Foxconn City
When you think about the price of an iPad and iPhone, you may want to consider costs beyond the cash that you're plunking down at those shiny Apple Stores. Parts of Apple products like iPhones and iPads are built at Foxconn, a giant manufacturing company in China. And labor associations are questioning whether Foxconn's million plus employees are being treated well. A New York Times article about Foxconn exposed accidents and long hours at the plant, a rash of workers' suicides, and the fact that many employees live in cramped dormitories near the factory. Apple has now agreed to allow an independent group to investigate the conditions. Do you consider labor conditions when you purchase products? Learn more.
The Chinese Vice President
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping made a visit to Washington this week. He's expected to become the President of China next year, so the Obama administration gave him a warm welcome. But despite pleasantries like Champagne toasts, tea with Iowa's governor and a 19-gun salute, Xi's visit didn't bring about any major changes in the United States' relationship with China. The countries still have vastly different views on human rights and economic policies that remain to be resolved. But at least they have their manners. Do you think that leaders of nations have a responsibility to discuss serious subjects when they meet? Learn more.
Last March during Arab Spring, peaceful protests against Syria's current regime began. But peace was not met with peace, and President Bashar Assad's government forces have violently attacked protesters. The United Nations attempted to pass a resolution to get President Assad to step down, but Russia and China vetoed it. In response to international criticism, China has sent a foreign minister to Syria to try and find a peaceful resolution to Syria's current crisis. But the UN doesn't think this is enough, and they will soon be voting on another resolution to condemn the Syrian government's violence. Do you think that China will have any influence in its talks with Syria? Learn more.
Filling up your gas tank is a pricy affair.
Gasoline prices have been on the rise across the United States since the start of the New Year. Prices are typically lower in February, so it is possible that these unseasonably high prices forebode record-high gasoline rates for this summer. The current cost is a result of lower production in the North Sea, as well as the tensions between the United States and Iran. How can you cut back on your gasoline use? Learn more.
Go to sleep. (But not right this second.)
If you've somehow managed to sleep through every other mention of this, we'll tell you one more time. Get some sleep! Sleeping at least 7 hours a night will improve your memory, reduce stress, and even make you happier. You know what won't improve your memory, reduce stress or make you happier? Staying up till 2 a.m. playing Angry Birds. Why do you think that many teens don't get enough sleep? Learn more.
Female soldiers on the front lines?
Even though the Pentagon expressly forbids women from serving in combat, women have been allowed to serve alongside the infantry in Iraq and Afghanistan. And some female veterans say that even though women are not supposed to be on the front lines, the reality is different. Many women have been involved in dangerous missions that have resulted in injury. Do you think that women should be allowed to serve alongside men in combat zones? Learn more.
Israel and Iran
Tensions between Israel and Iran are only growing. Iran has blamed Israel for the deaths of nuclear scientists, and now Israel is blaming Iran for violence against Israelis in Thailand, Georgia and India this week. As the week progressed, more evidence emerged linking Iran to these assassination attempts. As the confrontation over Iran's nuclear program grows, some are worried that the situation could escalate to full-out war. Do you think that other nations should step in to help ease the tensions between Israel and Iran? Learn more.
Whitney Houston's famous version of "I Will Always Love You"
Whitney Houston, who rose to astronomical fame in the late 1980s with a string of pop hits and movie roles, died last weekend. She is remembered for her sublime voice that provided the soundtrack to many romantic slow dances. Unfortunately, her fame was followed by years of drug addiction and marital strife. By the end of her life, her famous voice had waned and she was mostly known for her erratic public appearances. Fans around the globe remembered her in her better times, blasting "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" on dancefloors across the country. Why do you think so many celebrities battle drug addiction problems? Learn more.
Adele is rolling in the Grammys.
Grammy night was all about Adele. The British singer won every category she was nominated for, and took home six Grammy awards, including Record of the Year for the song Rolling in the Deep. The wins were particularly sweet for Adele because she had just recovered from throat surgery. She received a standing ovation from an audience that was relieved to hear that its new favorite singer still has her vocal chops. Did the Grammys honor the sort of music that you enjoy listening to? Learn more.
Two weeks ago, most people hadn't heard of Jeremy Lin. Or if they had, it was because they knew him as a Harvard-educated basketball player who was undrafted and getting traded from team to team without success. But on February 4, the Knicks pulled Lin off the bench and he scored 25 points in one game. In his next game--his first NBA start--he scored 28 points. And he just kept doing it again and again. Some say that people had doubted him because of his race, as Lin is the NBA's first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese decent. Regardless of what they thought before, though, riveted fans can't stop watching the Linsanity. Have you watched Jeremy Lin play? Learn more.
Which technology company is being accused of unfair labor practices in China?
Which foreign leader visited the United States this week?
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping
Which countries vetoed the U.N. resolution that would have urged a leadership change in Syria?
Russia and China
What common purchase has been increasing in price all year?
What should you do for at least 7 hours each day?
What type of soldier has recently been allowed to serve alongside infantry in combat zones?
Which two nations are blaming each other for attacks on their citizens?
Iran and Israel
Which famous singer and actress died this week?
Who won six Grammys after undergoing throat surgery?
Which NBA player has emerged from the bench and reached stardom over the past two weeks?
Jeremy Lin. See you next week!
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