March 16, 2012

An Afghan Tragedy & A British Visit

I'd like to welcome y'all to another chapter,
Of world news broadcast live, via rapper.

Tokyo, Japan one year after,
And we're still feelin' effects of the disaster.
They're hoping they can rebuild faster,
But it's difficult dealing with the nuclear reactor.

In Afghanistan a US soldier,
Is being accused of doing something real vulgar.
Allegedly he left his base on a shooting spree,
Killing civilians and even nine children.

Back home Rick Santorum,
Got to watch votes from the Southern states pour in.
He won Alabama and Mississipi,
The race for the GOP is getting sticky.

Heads up colleges are gettin' picky.
So watch what you post on Facebook, it's risky.
They sayin' one in four schools,
Factor in Facebook posts to help who they choose.

Let's head to Alaska, grab your snow shoes,
It's time for the Iditarod and we don't wanna lose.
Dallas Seavey was the youngest winner ever,
But he owes it to his dogs, who held it all together.

A Florida student, who's really quite clever,
Whose parents came here to make their lives better.
Well she avoided deportation,
The valedictorian and an inspiration.

We got a visit from the British Nation,
The Prime Minister's here, but not for vacation.
Obama says that there's strong relations,
It's good to have friends in the times that we're facing.

Thanks for checkin' Flocab for the education,
Happy St. Patrick's Day, we 'bout to break and PEACE!

The immediate aftermath of the Tsunami

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of the Japan set off a 65-foot tsunami that would wreak havoc on the island nation. Over 19,000 people died as the tall waters of the Pacific swept over dozens of coastal towns. And when the tsunami destroyed the cooling systems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, the reactors began to melt down, releasing dangerous radioactivity into the surrounding area. One year later, people in Japan--and around the world--took time to remember those who died in the disaster. Did you follow the story of the disaster and recovery last year? Learn more.

A military base in Afghanistan

In October, President Obama presented a plan to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan by 2014. To prevent the Taliban from rising to power again, U.S. forces have been focusing on training the Afghan army to operate self-sufficiently. But two violent acts this week are making the U.S. reconsider the time table, and they'll possibly bring troops back sooner. On Sunday morning, an American soldier allegedly left his base and gunned down 16 Afghan civilians. President Obama called the attack "tragic and shocking," and he called the Afghan president to express his condolences. Then on Wednesday, an Afghan crashed a stolen pick-up truck and emerged in flames near U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's plane. Panetta was unharmed, though the Afghan driver died later. In light of this recent violence, do you think that the United States should bring troops back sooner? Learn more.

Santorum sweeps the south.

Without a clear frontrunner in the Republican primary contest, delegate counts are starting to matter. With each primary win, candidates earn a certain number of delegate votes for the Republican convention in August. A candidate will need 1,144 to win the nomination. On Tuesday night, Rick Santorum beat out Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in both Alabama and Mississippi and was rewarded with 36 delegates. While Santorum was sweeping the South, Romney found success in Hawaii and American Samoa, earning 43 delegates. Romney currently leads the delegate count with 495, while Santorum has 252 and Gingrich as 131. 1358 delegates are still there for the taking. So numerically, anyone could still hit 1,144 and win… even Ron Paul, who has 48 delegates. Who do you think will be the Republican nominee? Learn more.

Liking Flocabulary on Facebook is not embarrassing.

With Facebook and Twitter, sharing thoughts and photos with your friends has never been easier. But it has also never been easier to mistakenly share embarrassing personal details with the whole world. And that hilarious picture of your friend doing something stupid might not be such a hilarious accompaniment to his college application. One in four college admissions officials look at students' online profiles while they are reviewing the application, and many employers are doing the same when looking at job applicants. While some civil rights activists say that this practice violates free speech, the reality is that it is happening. To keep yourself safe, here's a good rule of thumb: don't put anything on Facebook that you wouldn't want your grandma to see. Have you ever posted something online that could be considered embarrassing? Learn more.

Seavey during the race

At the age of 25, Dallas Seavey became the younger musher ever to win the Iditarod. Musher? Iditarod? Huh?! The Iditarod (it rhymes with "I bit a cod") is an annual long-distance sled dog race through Alaska. Mushers, or the people who steer the dogs, traverse the 1,112 mile-long trail with teams of 12-16 dogs. (Have you ever heard a person yell "Mush!" to get someone to move? This is where that word comes from.) It's a long, cold, grueling race--in fact nobody has finished it in under a week. Last year, John Baker set the record for fastest time at 8 days, 19 hours, 46 minutes and 39 seconds. Have you ever seen sled dogs? Learn more.

A protester for more immigrant rights

The valedictorian of North Miami Beach High School was facing the possibility that she might not graduate. Daniela Pelaez moved to Florida from Colombia when she was four, and her parents never went through the legal process to become citizens. But when a judge ordered Pelaez and her sister deported, her community stepped in with protests and rallies to keep her in the United States. And it wasn't just Pelaez's friends--Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote a letter to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director asking him to block her deportation. The efforts were successful, and Pelaez will be able to stay for two years while working on gaining citizenship. Do you think that successful students who are undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States? What about less successful students? Learn more.

Do you think you could beat the President in ping pong?

British Prime Minister David Cameron popped by the White House for a visit this week. While Cameron and President Obama had serious discussions about British and American forces in Afghanistan, they also had some fun. Obama took Cameron to an NCAA basketball game, and taught him the terms, "alley oop," "brackets" and "fast breaks." They also exchanged gifts. The Obamas gave the Camerons a fancy grill, while the Camerons left the Obamas with a ping pong table. But Cameron thought that they may have each received the wrong gift, when he said, "I gave him a table tennis table and he gave me a barbecue, but when you see us standing next to each other, it's quite clear that the person who needs the exercise is the British prime minister and the person who needs the barbecue is the president." Why do you think that political visits often involve some silliness? Learn more.
What happened one year ago in Japan?
The earthquake and tsunami disaster
Where did an American soldier allegedly shoot 16 civilians?
Who won Republican primaries in Alabama and Mississippi?
Rick Santorum
What website are many college admissions departments checking when students apply?
What race did Dallas Seavey win this week?
The Iditarod
What almost happened to a valedictorian in Miami?
Who visited with President Obama this week?
British Prime Minister David Cameron
Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day...
...we'll see you next week!

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