October 28, 2011

"A Spooky Week in Rap"

Need some scary stories for Halloween? Just flip on the news. An earthquake shook Turkey, police clashed with protesters in Oakland, and the SAT is upping test security by hiring…former FBI agents. But we’ve got some good news, too. So tune in to the latest Week in Rap.

What should I be for Halloween? I need an answer.
My head's empty: jack-o-lantern.
Maybe a Musketeer or a Mouseketeer?
Let's see what happened behind us, adjust the mirror.

Last week, they killed Qaddafi,
Now there's a secret grave for his body.
Wow. A new start for Libya,
A government from scratch - I'm not kidding ya.

US troops are leaving Iraq,
They'll leave whether Iraqis need 'em or not.
Turkey? That's where the East meets West,
But a big earthquake had their people distressed.

The Arab Spring started in Tunisia,
Then it traveled like it had a visa.
This week legions of Tunisians,
Cast their votes for a future they believe in

Let's take the news back to the states,
One school is limiting the trips you can take
To the bathroom: to six times each year,
To cut class cutting, but is that fair?

Our Prez says students with loans are too stressed,
Is he lowering the rate? Oh yes.
And a study says boys should get shots,
For HPV to make the cancer rate drop

Police and picketers are not joking,
A showdown went down in Oakland.
Tear gas had 'em choking, crying,
The cops said that rocks were flying. Wow.

Remember when teens on Long Island,
Got caught scheming, cheating and lying
On the SAT? Well now it'll be
Harder to cheat, they're upping the security

A new study's in the limelight,
If you hang outside, you will have better eyesight.
An Empire State of Mind, I'm King Kong,
Go trick or treat, knock-knock and ding-dong.

Libyans celebrate liberation.

Last week, Libyan rebels killed Muammar el-Qaddafi, their bizarre and powerful dictator for the past 40 years. Following his death, many Libyans celebrated in the streets. The country is now officially liberated and citizens are beginning to create a new consitution and elected government. How can other countries support this newly liberated nation? Learn more.

President Obama meeting with troops in Iraq

The United States entered Iraq in March of 2003. This week, President Obama announced that the war would come to an end after nearly 9 years. There are currently 40,000 U.S. Troops in Iraq, and they will all return home by the end of the year. In their remaining time in Iraq, U.S. troops will focus on helping to prepare Iraqi troops and government for autonomy. Do you think that now is the right time for U.S. troops to come home from Iraq? Learn more.

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocked eastern Turkey last weekend. Over 60 people were killed when nearly 100 buildings collapsed. Rescue efforts continued throughout the week. More than 30 people were rescued from the rubble, including a two-week-old baby girl who had been buried for two days. How can Turkey ensure that new buildings in this earthquake-prone region will be safe? Learn more.

Tunisians waiting in line to vote

The revolutionary uprisings in Tunisia last year sparked the Arab Spring revolutions all over North Africa and the Middle East. And now Tunisians can claim another first: this week they held free elections for the first time in the country's history. More than 90% of registered voters turned out for the polls to cast ballots. (Comparatively, only 60% of registered voters in the U.S. voted in the 2008 presidential election). Early results suggested that the Islamist Ennahda party had won, but authorities are counting the votes slowly to ensure a fair election. The rest of the region--also struggling with new regimes--will be watching Tunisia closely. Do you think the fair Tunisian elections will influence countries like Egypt and Libya? Learn more.

One high school in Illinois is putting a limit on bathroom passes. You get three trips to the bathroom per semester, and any extra will land you in detention. The Principal at the school claims that the policy was designed to crack down on cutting class, but some say it is an extreme--and possibly painful--measure. Do you think schools should put a limit on bathroom usage? Learn more.

You managed to avoid getting detention for using the restroom. You managed to take the SAT without hiring someone. You finally make it to college...only to be saddled by massive debt from student loans. The path toward higher education is fraught with many challenges, but President Obama is trying to alleviate the economic stress. This week, he announced a student loan relief plan to assist students and graduates struggling with loan payments. The changes could affect nearly 6 million people. Do you think the costs of attending college are reasonable? Learn more.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended the HPV vaccine to girls for the past five years to lower the rate of cervical cancer. And now the government is recommending that boys receive the vaccine, too, to help prevent the spread of HPV, an increasingly prevelant STD that can cause cancer. What do you think is the most important vaccine in the last 100 years? Learn more .

The Occupy Wall Street protests have been spreading throughout the country and world, and until this week they had been largely peaceful. But in Oakland, California, the police began to crack down by clearing out a plaza where protesters had been living. Accusing the crowd of throwing bottles and rocks, the police began using tear gas and arrested throngs of protesters. As a result of a confrontation with the police, one 24-year-old Iraq war veteran protester is in critical condition with a fractured skull. Protesters are now rallying in support of the injured Marine. Do you think the anti-Wall street protesters should be allowed to occupy public spaces? Learn more.

With college admissions more competitive than ever, SAT-related stress has skyrocketed. And the intense pressure led some students to take drastic--and illegal--measures. Several people in Long Island were accused of taking the SAT for other students, and in some cases accepted payment upwards of $2000. Security was so lax that a 19-year-old man was allegedly able to take the test for a girl. But the College Board's bread and butter are their supposedly objective tests. So as a result of this scandal, they aren't messing around: they hired a firm run by the former director of the FBI to beef up test security. Do you think that increasing test-related security will solve this problem, or do you think there are larger issues to deal with? Learn more.

This guy spent too much time inside.

Have you ever wondered why avid readers wear glasses? It might be because they are reading inside. A new study has shown that kids who spend more time outside are less likely to be nearsighted. Buildings are overrated. Get outside! How can schools incorporate more outdoor activities into the school day? Learn more.
Which African nation began forming a new government this week after the death of its former leader?
What country will U.S. troops leave by the end of the year?
What country was struck by a large earthquake?
What nation held its first elections this week?
What can students at one school now only do six times per year?
Leave class to use the restroom
What did President Obama propose this week to help students?
Lowering student loan rates
Where did police use tear gas against protesters?
What organization is cracking down on security after a cheating scandal?
The College Board (SAT)
A new study says that ______ will help with your eyesight.
going outside
How are you dressing up for Halloween?
Comment on our blog and let us know!

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