October 7, 2011

Occupy Wall Street & Nobel Prizes







The Week in Rap coming back with the raw,
We rock steady and we're ready to draw.
So we breakin' out the pen and the sketch pad,
Flocab giving you the news that we just had.
Starting off, I don't know if y'all sleep,
But there's been a lot of drama on Wall Street.
It's occupied by the people who feel,
That the 99% is given a bad deal.
Still in Afghanistan it's mad real,
Ten years at war do you think we ought to chill?
They're saying that the top scout got killed,
Anwar al-Awlaki,
An al-Qaeda top three.
But in Italy a girl got free,
Convicted of murder, but she said, "Not me."
Finally after four years in prison,
She came back home 'cause the evidence was missing.

Listen!
You really wanna know who's the livest?
This week they gave out the Nobel Prizes.
No lies, it's open to all,
One day maybe you can put a medal on your wall.
The NBA may not be dribbling the ball,
The lockout's coming down to a close call.
They're already talking 'bout a shorter season,
And if nobody plays then, nobody's team wins.
"Hey yo, well, tell me what's going on in Greece then."
Action in Athens, they took to the streets, man.
Civil servants all went on strike,
'Cause of job cutbacks and a bunch of tax hikes.
(Yikes!) But in Hawaii, yo, they're living out their dream,
'Cause you can now surf for your high school team.

The Week in Rap on your television screen,
It's Flocab bringing you the news, knaw-mean?


To protest economic inequality, more than 2000 protesters have been camping out on Wall Street in New York City, home of many of the country's largest financial institutions. The movement is called "Occupy Wall Street" and the protesters call themselves the "Other 99 percent," a reference to the fact that 1% of Americans earn 25% of all U.S. income, and in many cases pay lower tax rates. Similar protests have spread to other major cities. Why do you think the protesters have chosen the method of occupying the streets? Learn more.

The United States has officially been at war in Afghanistan for ten years. 50 percent of Americans think the war has not been successful, though 39 percent of Americans consider it a success. And 70 percent of people polled think the war has gone on too long. In June, President Obama announced a plan to withdraw 33,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 2012. Do you think the war in Afghanistan has been successful? Learn more .


Anwar al-Awlaki in 2008

Anwar al-Awlaki was a top al-Qaeda leader, though he had one key difference from other members of the anti-American terrorist group--he was born in the United States. Al-Awlaki was the first U.S. citizen to ever be placed on the CIA's "kill or capture" list, and this week he was killed in a drone attack. Since the death of Osama bin Laden, the Obama administration has continued to target the remaining al-Qaeda leadership. Do you think the CIA should be able to target American citizens? Learn more.

Four years ago, Amanda Knox was just another American college student, studying abroad in Italy. But when her British roommate was murdered, Knox was charged. The world has closely followed the trial proceedings ever since, largely due to the scandalous nature of the crime and Italy's somewhat overdramatic criminal proceedings. (In a closing argument, the prosecution said that Knox was a "luciferina" or she-devil.) This week, due to lack of evidence to convict her, Knox was declared innocent and was allowed to return home. What challenges do you think Knox will face now that she is free? Learn more .


Alfred Nobel made so much money from inventing dynamite that he was able to create the Nobel Prize.

The newest crop of Nobel Prize winners were announced this week. The Nobel Laureates include a team of doctors who made breakthroughs in studying the immune system. One of the doctors had used treatments from his Nobel Prize-winning research to help fight his own diagnosis of cancer, but, sadly, he died 4 days before the prize was announced. The Nobel Peace prize will be announced today. If you could give a Nobel Prize to someone in your community, who would you award and why? Learn more.

Sad basketballs; nobody can play with them...

The NBA is hemorrhaging money faster than LeBron James can sprint across the court. 22 or the league's 30 teams lose money each year, and the NBA needs to cut costs. But who should give up the money? Players and team owners have been unable to come to an agreement about salaries, so the owners locked the players out of the courts. The pre-season has been cancelled, and teams may miss the first two weeks of the season if players and owners can't reach an agreement by Monday. Some players have gone oversees to play ball. Do you think basketball players should be paid multi-million dollar salaries? Learn more .

When the United States lost its perfect AAA credit rating, politicians acted as though it was an earth-shattering disaster. But for the economically-troubled Greece, this downgrade was like the valedictorian freaking out over receiving an A-. Greece's economy has been in turmoil since 2010, and the country has the lowest credit rating in the entire world. To protest the government's weak response to the unending economic crisis--and upcoming pay cuts--over 25,000 civil servants went on strike this week. Do you think that striking is an effective action to help workers get what they want? Learn more .


"I'm doing this for the trophies, bro."

Young surfers in Hawaii will soon be pondering the question, "How exactly do you sew a varsity letter to a wetsuit?" Hawaii just made surfing an official high school sport. Many students say this designation is long overdue, since they've been surfing after school anyway. But now kids will be able to catch waves with their school community support. What sports would you like your school to add? Learn more.
What is the name of the protest movement happening in New York City?
Occupy Wall Street
How long has the United States been at war in Afghanistan?
Ten Years
How was Anwar al-Awlaki different than other al-Qaeda members?
He was a U.S. citizen.
What country's courts had convicted American Amanda Knox of murder before overturning the verdict?
Italy
What prizes were awarded this week?
The Nobel Prizes
What professional sport is currently experiencing a lockout?
Basketball
In what country did civil servants go on strike?
Greece
What is the new official high school sport in Hawaii?
Surfing
What is Flocab breaking out this week?
A pen and sketch pad. See you next week!

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