May 25, 2012

Egyptian Elections & An Italian Earthquake

It's May 25th,
Flocabulary's the team you're running with.
There's a lot happening, so let's get it cracking,
We'll go ahead and drop The Week in Rap then.

First off, Egypt's having an election,
It's been 60 years since they went in that direction.
Do you think they'll go secular or Islamist?
Hit us on Facebook and leave us your comments.

Speaking of which, you may have heard they went public,
But to some investors, that's a sore subject.
They had a rocky start, they may have hid facts,
So people were suing them to get their money back.

President Obama was in Joplin, Missouri,
Where their school was destroyed last year, but don't worry.
He came to speak to the graduating class,
How they're an inspiration for what they've gotten past.

At last, Chen Guangcheng is in the States,
After a diplomatic battle he's made his escape.
He'll be at NYU just studying law,
On a mission to try to bring justice for all.

Northern Italy saw (What?!) an earthquake,
In a city so old that it was easy to break.
You may know 'em for their Parmesan cheese,
But the quake came and destroyed millions with ease.

The student from Rutgers, well what did he do?
He spied on his roommate, and that ain't cool.
'Cause a few days later he jumped off a bridge,
And now the kid's going to jail for what he did.

Don't forget about the SpaceX rocket,
And the International Station that it could be docked with.

Coming off the top, it's The Week in Rap,
Brought to you by who?! F-F-F-Flocab!

An Egyptian woman casts her vote.

Millions of Egyptians waited patiently in long lines on Wednesday and Thursday to do something they'd never done before: vote for president. Last year's Egyptian revolution brought a 60-year dictator rule to an end, and this presidential vote is an important step toward democracy. Egyptians are deciding between 13 secular and Islamist candidates, and a runoff vote for the top two candidates will take place on June 16 and 17. Do you think that the transfer of power to the new president will be peaceful? Learn more.

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Mark Zuckerberg was smiling last Friday.

Last Friday, Facebook was on top of the world, with an IPO that valued the company at more than $100 billion dollars. (And its billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg celebrated by getting married the next day!) Just one week later, it's a completely different story. Facebook's stock prices quickly dropped, raising questions about possible illegal insider trading and the ways that banks determined Facebook's value. Some shareholders have even filed a lawsuit against Facebook, saying that the company withheld important information from investors. Do you think Facebook is worth $100 billion? Learn more.

Recovery workers in Joplin

Last May, a tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri, destroying large parts of the town in a matter of hours. 161 people were killed, and nearly 50,000 people came to the town to help with the recovery. One of the buildings destroyed in the tornado was Joplin High School. After Joplin students spent their year taking classes in a converted department store, they had a treat at their graduation: President Barack Obama gave a speech, calling the seniors a "source of inspiration." Why do you think President Obama chose to speak at the Joplin High School graduation? Learn more.

Chen Guangcheng

A few weeks ago, we told you about Chen Guangcheng., a blind Chinese legal activist who was trying to escape China after years of imprisonment and violence. After a tense month of diplomacy between the U.S. and China, Chen was allowed to leave. He arrived in New York this week. The United States has granted him partial citizenship rights, and he will now be studying law at New York University. Do you think that other Chinese activists will now try to come to the United States? Learn more.

Destruction from the earthquake

A magnitude 6 earthquake rattled northeast Italy on Sunday. Many centuries-old buildings were destroyed in the region that is best known for making Parmesan cheese. Four people were killed by a falling building, and dozens were injured. Do you think that very old buildings should be retrofitted to be safe for earthquakes? Learn more.

Dharun Ravi during his trial

In September 2010, Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi filmed his roommate, Tyler Clementi, kissing a man. When Clementi learned he had been spied on, the college freshman committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. As teen suicide and the effects of anti-gay bullying have become prominent national issues, the media has closely followed Ravi's trial. This week, Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in jail, though he could have gotten 10 years in prison for a hate crime. At the sentencing, the judge said, "Our society has every right to expect zero tolerance for intolerance." Do you think Ravi received an appropriate sentence? Learn more.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule

Ever since NASA shut down the U.S. Space Shuttle program, the commercial space race has begun to heat up. SpaceX sent a capsule called Dragon to the International Space Station this week, and at least eight other for-profit companies are looking to send ships into orbit. In the meantime, NASA has hired SpaceX to deliver cargo and astronauts to the Space Station. Do you think that space travel will become common within your lifetime? Learn more.
In what country did citizens vote in a momentous presidential election?
Which company had a rough week in the stock market after last week's IPO?
Where did President Obama give a graduation speech?
Joplin, Missouri
Where did Chen Guangcheng arrive this week?
The United States / New York
What disaster happened in Italy this week?
An earthquake
Who is going to jail for spying on his roommate?
Former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi
What private company is sending a capsule to the International Space Station?
Coming off the top, it's The Week in Rap...
...and next week we're bringing you something special for all the grads. Don't miss The Last 18 Years in Rap.

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