Arizona Wildfire
Liam (6/10)
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On May 29, the Wallow wildfire started in Arizona in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. As of Wednesday, June 6, the wildfire covered more area than New York City and Chicago combined. Little progress has been made to contain the fire, despite around 2,500 firefighters working against the fire, 389,000 acres have already been consumed. On Wednesday two towns near the fire, Springerville and Eagar, were both given the order to evacuate to prevent deaths. Currently there is no certainty as to what caused the fire, but it was most likely caused by humans and was able to spread easily due to the very dry climate at the time.

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Ben (6/2)
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Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor and seven time winner of the Tour de France, is now the focus of a federal investigation on performance enhancing drugs. In 1999, Armstrong’s cycling team accepted a sponsorship from the United States Postal Service. Each team member gave their word (to the government) that they would not violate the laws of cycling. The current investigation questions whether or not Lance Armstrong broke his promise to our government by taking performance enhancing drugs. For several months, a grand jury in Los Angeles has been hearing secret testimony from many of Armstrong’s former teammates. Among these teammates are Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie. Both of these men told the government that they witnessed Lance Armstrong doping while performing for the UPS team. The star cyclist himself insists that he has never been involved in drug use, using the fact that he has never failed a drug test to back his claim. Despite this, the investigation continues. If Lance Armstrong is found guilty of lying to the United States government, both his personal image, and that of the sport of cycling will never be the same.

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Ethan (5/25)

Missouri Storms

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On May 22nd, a killer tornado, and storms swept through Joplin Missouri, and the current death count is at 125 and rising. The tornado ran through the town, destroying absolutely everything in its path. When survivors came outside, and looked at their town, about a third of it was absolutely destroyed, and clean-up seemed unimaginable. Just about every structure in sight was destroyed, and the moral of the town was about as low as it could have been. The town was described to be “like a war zone”. Nearly 750 people have been treated for serious injuries at the hospital. This is considered one of the deadliest tornadoes ever to hit the United States. Although, when all seemed lost for the residents of Joplin, the rest of the country stepped up, and aid was brought in instantly. Search and Rescue teams have been working around the clock, and many survivors have already been found. Aid is already being sent through sources such as the Red Cross for people who have lost homes, or many other needed things in the storm. Overall, this is one of the worst natural disasters this year, and it will affect the residents of Joplin Missouri for years to come.

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Olivia (5/6)

On May 1, the leader of al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, was shot through the head by an elite team of Navy SEALs. He was the main organizer of 9/11. Since last summer President Obama and U.S. intelligence possessed information that he may be hiding in a Pakistani compound around an hour away from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. In addition to being close to the capital, the compound is very near to a military base and training facility. This has caused some to be suspicious of why the Pakistani government was unaware of the hideout. The raid lasted 40 minutes and besides Bin Laden, three other men were killed. Supposedly, one was his son and two were his couriers. Osama Bin Laden had not been using internet or phones. Instead, he sent messages through his couriers which is how the U.S. tracked his location. Bin Laden was buried at sea to avoid supporters using his burial place as a shrine. Recently, President Obama declared he would not release photos of the body for fear of inflaming Middle East reactionaries. Computer files, flash drives, DVDs, and documents were obtained in the raid and are being analyzed. There are some critics who don’t believe he is really dead, but it has been verified by DNA.

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Amelia (5/4)

Last Friday, April 29th, history was made when Prince William wed Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. The newly titled Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were accompanied by 1,900 wedding guests and at least one million fans lining the procession route in London. Beginning at Westminster Abbey, the wedding route continued past Whitehall, the Horse Guards Parade, and the Mall, ending at Buckingham Palace.
Thought the ceremony was very traditional, there was a minor difference in the vows between the couple. Like Princess Diana in 1981, Catherine Middleton opted out of promising to obey her husband and left it out of her vows. The wedding party included William’s younger brother, Harry, as best man, and Catherine’s sister, Pippa, as maid of honor.
The wedding was broadcasted live all across the globe, and was estimated to have been watched by hundreds of millions of people.
Over 5,000 police officers were on duty, ensuring the safety of all the wedding guests, especially the Duke and Duchess. 55 arrests were made during the day, and two miles of London were closed off to traffic for the wedding. All of the precautions paid off as the wedding seemed to be executed flawlessly and on-schedule.

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Syrian Uprising

On Monday the Syrian government launched a military operation and sent thousands of troops into the town where the uprisings began 5 weeks ago.
The United States has threatened sanctions against the country, demanding a halt to the violence. At the United Nations, a draft statement has been made
condemning the violence among security council members. Just after 4 a.m. somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 members of the army and different
security forces raided the city of Daraa. They were equipped with 7 tanks and snipers. They began shooting protesters as well as innocent civilians
sleeping in their homes. There were 7 people confirmed killed an activist said, while other witnesses described many dead bodies lying in the streets.
The United States is preparing new sanctions against members of Bashar al-Assad (the president of Syria) regime who are overseeing the crackdown.
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Ivory Coast Conflict

Since 2002, the Ivory Coast has been in a civil war, which has divided the north and south. The Ivory coast is a country in Africa, and it’s last disturbance occurred in November of 2010, when the president, Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat in an election that he had been postponing for years. Despite declarations by the United Nations, the United States, the African Union, and the European Union that Mr. Gbagbo had been defeated by Alassane Ouattara, he has held onto power because of his support in the north. Mr. Gbagbo used his military power to terrorize citizens in the former capital, Abidjan where Mr. Ouattara was forced to stay in a hotel, protected by the United Nations. This spring, militias who fought in the north came to support Mr. Ouattara, until Mr. Gbagbo was trapped in the presidential mansion. Mr. Ouattara’s final goal is to capture Gbagbo for trial and taking office.

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Jack Elder


April 8th was the deadline for congress to sign the 2011 United States federal budget which would fund the Federal Government until September 2011. Back in February, 2010, President Barack Obama proposed his 2011 budget, and indicated that jobs, health care, clean energy, education, and infrastructure will be priorities, along with requesting 3.83 trillion dollars of spending. Congress passed a series of continuing resolutions to keep the government running, with the 6th continuing resolution expiring on April 8th, 2011. If a budget resolution or a seventh continuing resolution wasn’t passed by April 8th, the federal government would be forced to shutdown, causing an estimated 800,000 employees of federal government to be furloughed. The major points of disagreement that was stopping the budget from getting passed was cuts that Republicans wanted to remove all funding for Planned Parenthood, among other cuts. However, in the final hours of debate, the Republicans and Democrats agreed to pass another funding extension, which cuts $2 billion out of the budget, and will last through next Friday, April 15. Negotiators also agreed on a package that will cut 38.5 billion out of the current budget, forming a compromise, and stopping the possible Government shutdown.

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Crisis in Japan


On March 11, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9 struck Japan. The earthquake created a massive tsunami in the northeastern part of the country. The earthquake struck about 250 miles from Tokyo, 20 miles deep, causing buildings to shake for several minutes. The tsunami hit the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and disabled the reactor cooling system, causing the plant to shut down. Close to 45,000 civilians in the area were forced to evacuate in fear of a radiation leak. The total death toll as of now is about 10,000 people, with 17,000 more missing and hundreds of thousands homeless. The cost to recover from this horrible natural disaster is said to be about 300 billion dollars.

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The Arizona Shooting:

By: Abby Latham


On January 8, 2011 a gunman opened fire at a Tucson Arizona supermarket. It resulted in six people killed and 13 injured. Among the victims injured was Representative Gabrielle Gifford. Ms. Gifford is a conservative Democrat who represents Arizona’s eighth district. She was in critical condition after surviving a shot to the head, but over the weekend she was transported by plain to a Texas rehabilitation. Other victims of the shooting included a nine year old girl and a federal judge. Jared Lee Lounghner was the shooter. He is a troubled 22 year old college dropout. The political aspect of this is that the shooting raised questions about the tone of the nations political debate. Some of the blame from the shooting has been directed at Sarah Palin because of a map that she published with targets on the districts of Democratic incumbents. The shooting has also provoked efforts for gun control legislation to be founded. There is much controversy over this because Arizona has become a national leader in gun rights. Some say that the shooting has not influenced gun rights.

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Isabelle (1/7)
The Blizzard That Marks The End Of 2010

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One of the largest spanned blizzards in United States history hit the East Coast, the Rockies and the Midwest during the Christmas holiday. Excessive snow and 59 mph winds caused airports to cancel over 10,000 flights and the Long Island Railroad to cancel trains, stranding hundreds of people at New York’s Pennsylvania railroad station. Hundreds of New York City buses sat trapped in 2 foot deep snow, leaving over 10,000 New Yorkers unable to get to work. Over 100 sanitation trucks in Brooklyn alone were stuck. New York City emergency operators received 49,474 calls on December 27th, but, ambulances could not get through. One thousand vehicles were removed from three major New York City expressways. Runways reopened on December 29th. Foreign flights were landing in New York before Gates became available, forcing passengers to wait on planes for almost 12 hours. Many blame Mayor Bloomberg for the catastrophic response.

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Chris (12/6)

Recent Korean Conflict
On November 23, 2010, North Korea launched an attack on Yeonpyeong Island, killing two civilians and two South Korean marines. This attack has caused tensions between both nations to grow. Kim Kwan-Jin of South Korea said that, “we will definitely use aircraft to attack North Korea,” if they attack again. Mr. Kim is a retired general, and former leader of the nation. Though this conflict has been going on for a while, it has not been this high since the Korean war. Since the attack, South Korea and the U.S. are planning more drills. Both South Korea and the U.S. are trying to have China help stop the attacks. However, China is denying involvement, and saying that they don’t know which side provoked the other.

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Connor (11/23)
TSA Holiday Security...Invasive?
The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up and and with it is a new way of airport scanning. Some are saying that it is necessary while others say it is invasive.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued the use of full body scanners and full body pat downs because of last years holiday season
security breach. The scanners take a scan of you dressed, but the image that the TSA personnel see is a bare image of you. This is done so people can’t
hide threatening devices beneath their clothing. You can chose either a scan or a full body pat down. The nation’s security airport chief, John Pistole asks
that people don’t make too much of a fuss during the holiday season because of the busyness in airports this time of year. He also says that the security
policies are always evolving. This coming Wednesday some critics of the policy are calling for people to protest by asking for the pat down because it takes
longer to do than the scan, causing delays.



Arie (11/9):

The Cholera Epidemic in Haiti
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On October 21, 2010 it was official; Haiti was being hit again. This time, it was not with a natural disaster like an earthquake; it was an epidemic called cholera. Cholera is a diarrheal illness that is caused by ingesting contaminated water. The infection is manifested in the intestine and the victim experiences extensive diarrhea. This causes the victim to become dehydrated quickly and if they are not rehydrated quickly within four hours, the disease can be fatal. This disease can not be spread directly from person to person, but if a cholera victim contaminates a water source with vibrio cholerae organisms and someone drinks from that water source, they will be the next victim of cholera. Also, this epidemic may occur when a group's water source has a failure in the sanitation process. So why is this happening in Haiti? According to the CDC, after the earthquake many people were put into refugee camps. A large percentage of those people are still in the exact same place, and with that many people there and so little space, the conditions are not hygienic or sanitary. The interesting thing is that this epidemic hasn't been a problem in Haiti since the mid 19th century. Is Haiti ever going to get a break?

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Sam (10/22):

Oil runs low. Planes and trains stop. Garbage sits uncollected. France is on strike.


Big proposals always bring big controversy, as is the case in France. Over the past week, French workers have taken to the streets to protest the proposal to extend the age of retirement in France. Nicholas Sarkozy, the president of France, recently proposed legislation that would raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 and the age at which retired people get pensions from 65 to 67. This proposal is very unpopular with most people and organizations, but especially with the unions. Unions all across France have gotten together to resist this bill. This past Tuesday, it was estimated that 3.5 million people took to the streets across the country to protest. With 200 cities and towns in protest, many jobs aren't getting done and many others are getting interrupted. Truck drivers are on strike. They are not working or are driving in slow groups on the highway (as shown above) which greatly delays the transport of goods. One major consequence this is that over 4,000 gas stations have actually run out of diesel because the fuel is not getting delivered. Public transportation to, from, and around France is also being interrupted. Thirty percent of planes have been grounded or delayed because of the strike and only 60% of trains are running. Other demonstrations have involved clashes with police marked with violence and looting. Though 71% of Frenchmen currently sympathize with or even support the workers, this number may change as the protests have more impact on their daily lives and get more out of hand. Despite the strikes, Sarkozy said he would continue to encourage the legislation. French senators voted on the issue and approved it earlier this week. Now it awaits the approval of the Constitutional Court before Sarkozy signs it.

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Julia (10/14):


 When the leaves start changing, so do peoples opinions on politics. The colors of roadside signs blur together with the autumn trees, as voters make their decisions on who to elect. With campaign commercials just starting to be broadcasted, it can seem like there are endless candidates running for various offices. This year for the Maine gubernatorial election, there are five candidates. The two main candidates carrying the most support currently, are Paul LePage, (Republican) and Elizabeth Mitchell, (Democrat). At this point, the vote could really swing either way, according to recent polls that is. The other three candidates are Eliot Cutler, Shawn Moody, and Kevin Scott who are all running as Independents. These three candidates all have rather low percentages of popularity. In the race for Maine’s 1st District congressional seat, our current rep, Chellie Pingree, is running against Dean Scontras. While this poll is led by Chellie at the moment, it is still definitely going to be a close election all around. In the 2nd congressional district Mike Michaud is running against Jason Levesque. Michaud is in the lead from the polls, but there is still a large percentage of voters
undecided. For all of these candidates running for office, it seems as if the undecided voters will make or break who wins these 2010 elections.

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