The government shutdown has been active for one month so far - the longest in history. To learn more about the shutdown itself please look to another article here on cougar news which will hopefully explain why it's happening etc.
The government shutdown has made many government-owned buildings close down temporarily. Specifics include; Museums, Embassies, The Pentagon, National Archives, and National Parks. There are most likely more but my focus is on National Parks and, before you ask, yes ALL government buildings are closed down until the shutdown is lifted. The outrage of Park fans is that even some people could be in danger, as people who are invading national parks are getting injured because staff aren't on duty to stop people from getting hurt. For example, a person walking their dog in Yosemite ended up having to chase it and fell off into Nevada Fall. This wouldn't have happened if staff were there to tell him to not take his dog.
Including this incident, there have been 7 deaths and 4 of which have been suicides, and of course, we give our condolences to those families of all of the victims.
Not only are people in danger but the wildlife in these National Parks are being hurt by other people and some VERY rare trees and plant life, that have been the reason that the sites became Nation Parks in the first place. The most important type of which is the rare Joshua Trees, which as IFLScience says ¨Will take some national parks years to recover¨. It has now been a month, the longest in history so far, and while it continues it will be a hard record to break. Another park near us is Blue Ridge Parkway which, had to put up a BRPA on their website to warn people to be careful. We also ask all people who plan to enter national parks to be careful.
Story by Skye Robertson
The death penalty is a very controversial subject. Many people believe that it is nowhere near acceptable for the government to kill anybody for any reason. On the other hand, though many people believe that if you committed a crime so terrible it is only ok for you to be put to death. This is an unbiased telling of the rules and regulations of North Carolinas death penalty laws. Many states don't use the death penalty because they believe it is a cruel and unfair punishment and therefore they have stopped using it. Although many other states still use capital punishment. 30 states use capital punishment and it is illegal in 20 states. It is still a legal punishment in North Carolina though it has not been used since 2006.
In North Carolina, the death penalty has been around since the state was a British colony though back in that time people were hung. In 2009 the supreme court decided that the death penalty would be disproportionate for any offense against an individual that did not involve the death of the victim. This means only murder suspects can be on death row. This penalty is very controversial and has not been used much in the past 10-15 years. The death penalty can only be given for forms of murder such as various forms of murder such as murder committed during a drug-related death, drive-by shooting, murder during a kidnapping, and murder for hire. The death penalty is also called capital punishment. Many people who are death row never get executed or die of natural cause while awaiting execution. This occurs with around one-fourth of death row inmates.
The last person In North Carolina to be executed was in 2006 in North Carolina. Many sources say that there is a good chance that Samuel Flippen is the last person to be executed in NC, he was executed in 2006 for the murder of his 2-year-old stepdaughter. The autopsy of his daughter Britney Hutton revealed that she was beaten to death because she wouldn't stop crying, after Samuel Flippen’s wife at the time, Tina Flippen, had left for work around 9:15. He was executed by lethal injection at the age of 37. He was executed on the eighteenth day of August in the year 2006 and he mouthed the words “I love you”, to his parents outside of the window. He said those final words before dying at 2:11 am. He was convicted of first-degree murder and executed after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the request to stop the execution.
Story by Brooke Darby
If you have been watching the news or been on social media lately you have probably heard about the partial government shutdown that we are in right now. Most people have started to wonder about the history of government shutdowns, and just like you probably have I've started my own research. I'm going to give you the rundown on the government shutdown, what causes them, and the difference between a partial and full shutdown.
I'm going to start by telling you the difference between a partial and full shutdown and brief details on the wall itself. A partial government shutdown is when Congress doesn't pass funding or the president doesn't sign them before the previous appropriation doesn't run out. A partial government shutdown can also happen when the president and Congress can't agree on funding for something, for example, our current shutdown, which happened because the president wants 5.7 billion dollars for border security. The 5.7 billion would let President Trump build another 237 miles of steel fencing, and that's adding to the 580 miles in place. But this wouldn't cover the whole border, as there would still be 1,140 miles left because the border is 1,954 miles long. So the difference between a partial and full shutdown is that during a partial government shutdown about 25% of the government is shut down, places like national forests, museums, and non-essential personnel. But places like jails, IRS, TSA, FAA are still open, the thing is the people who work at those places have to work but are not being paid to do so and about 1 out of 16 workers have said they can not come to work. But a full government shutdown is when everything government related is shutdown This is all according to my various sources CNN, The Washington Post, and Investopedia.
Now I am going to list all partial and full shutdowns in U.S. history in total there have been 21 government shutdowns all for either very short or long periods of time. I am going to list each shutdown and the president that they happened with. The first ever government shutdown was in 1976 with President Gerald Ford it was 10 days long and lasted from September 30th to October 11th. The next few shutdowns were with President Jimmy Carter who had a total of 5 government shutdowns 3 in 1977, 1 in 1978 and the last in 1979, the first was 12 days the last 11 days and the longest was 18 days. Next was President Ronald Reagan who had 8 his fist in 1981 and last in 1987. He had 2 shutdowns in 1982, 1 in 1983 another 2 in 1984 and one in 1986. His longest was only 3 days and his shortest was legit 1 day long! Up next we have President George H.W. Bush who only had 1 shutdown in his presidential career which was in 1990 and 3 days long from October 5th to 9th. President Bill Clinton had 2 shutdowns one in 1995 and the last 1995-1996. His first one was 5 days long November 13th-19th, and the last one was the longest government shutdown in America but not anymore, it was 21 days long and crossed on over into the new year from December 5th to January 6th. Next, we have President Barack Obama who had one shutdown that lasted 16 days from October 1st to the 14th in 2013. Now last but not least we have our current President, President Donald Trump who has 3 government shutdowns each of them was in 2018, the first lasted one day which was February 9th, the second was Jan 20th to 23rd which was 3 days long. The last which is the shutdown that we are in right now which started on December 22 and it has not ended yet, this is all according to ThoughtCo.
So far the shutdown has not ended yet, and the democrats dont want the wall and the President does, he would like 5.7 billion dollars for funding for the wall. Journalists have asked President Trump if he will declare a national emergency and his response was “I can do it if I want,” … “I may do it.” If he was to declare a national emergency he could get funding without going through Congress and use Pentagon funding to build the remainder of the wall, another option has the Army Corps of Engineers build it. This is according to CBS News. Now I am going to talk about who has been affected by this shutdown, many government agencies have been affected including Homeland Security, Justice, State and Treasury, and many others have been affected too like the Environmental Protection Agency and even NASA. Many people are working without pay or staying home without pay about 800,000 are just living without pay. Some have to work and will be repaid when our government opens back up, but others are being sent home with no such chance of being repaid. This is all according to the Washington Post again. Thank you for reading my story on the government shutdown and all it's many details and history and have a great rest of your day.
Story by Diakhou Gaye
On Monday, November 26th, 2018 the General Motors co. (GM) said they will cut 14,700 salaried workers as of December 2019 according to the USA today. This cut is 15% of there salaried workforce. This closes up to 7 factories in North America according to the Chicago Tribune. This is the first minor cut that the GM has made since the great recession, the great recession was in 2008 when the stock market crashed but not to bad. In case you do not know what the GM is... GM is the general motors company. It makes cars and sells them under names such as GMC Chevrolet Cadillac and bike.
This is obviously not good for the economy. The COE Mary Barra said, “to get in front of while the company is strong and the company is strong”. The GM, however, does not see the economic backlash from this, in the trade war between us china and Europe, this might raise the prices of imported vehicles. The GM, however, did not close any plants in China. President Trump urges GM to close a plant in China instead of Ohio. This is terrible for the people that the GM is firing. This is like the reason that the economy is so weak because there are not enough jobs these new cuts just prove that.
I emailed a corporate relations manager and he responded. I asked him for more information about the cuts and this is what he responded with: "As painful as this is, GM must make decisions to ensure the company’s future, and ensure we can continue to provide good manufacturing jobs here in the U.S. for years to come. You may have noticed the popularity of pickups and SUVs on the roads today. This in part is due to a shift that many consumers have made toward trucks and away from some types of car models – especially compact cars. As a result, the company will discontinue the production of some car models next year. At the same time, GM is investing in new technologies to expand in electric vehicles and introduce self-driving vehicles. To sum up, shifts are taking place in the market that unfortunately result in some types of products declining in demand, while others grow. And a big transformation is taking place that will expand new kinds of vehicles in the future."
This proves a point that the GM has not been doing as well in the last few months and this would be worse for our economy than the cuts and the GM plans to modernize their cars by as stated in the Email. One thing that I pick up in the email is that some cars they made were not doing good one of those being the Chevrolet Volt. This was one of there fuel-efficient cars. They are stoping the production of the volt and making more fuel heavy SUVs and pickup trucks. This the email stated is to preserve the future of the GM.
The GM’s cuts might hurt there business because people will not support the choices the GM made for multiple reasons and I see why but in the end this was to stop them from going out of business. That would hurt the economy more. I hope in the future that the GM will reopen the factories that they closed.
Story by Garrison Hunt
At age 85, Ruth Bader Ginsberg recently had an accident that left her with three broken ribs. She was briefly hospitalized. During her brief stay at the hospital Ginsberg did not take the days she was there off. She was keen that her doctors would leave as soon as they finished their work on her so she could get her own work done. Ginsberg is an associate justice of the supreme court of the United States of America, and the oldest of them, too. Many people learned about this amazing judge by watching the 2018 documentary, RGB. Ginsberg has survived not only broken a total of 5 ribs, but also beaten cancer not once, but two times.
Ginsberg, born Joan Ruth Bader, was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 15, 1933. Ginsberg was appointed by the 42nd president, Bill Clinton, on August 10th, 1993. Ginsberg's parents were both Russian immigrants, causing Ginsberg to be questioned as a child about where she was from. Ginsberg has said that her mom was one of her biggest encouragers growing up, sadly shortly after Ginsberg graduated from high school her mother died. Ginsberg told CNN that her mother was, "unusual for her time because she stressed the great importance of independence." Ginsberg also said that in her mother's short life she taught her the importance of persisting and to keep trying even if not at first successful. Ginsberg said that how her mother raised her had a great impact on how she works and even how she raised her children and grandchildren.
In Ginsberg's 13 years as an associate justice of the supreme court, she has managed to do many amazing things for women's rights. Right from the start, she was making history, having gone to Harvard, Columbia, and Cornell University. When Ginsberg was appointed, she was the second female to ever be a part of the supreme court, after Sandra Day O'Connor. One out of many amazing feats Ginsberg has accomplished was being a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and also was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsels. Ginsberg has been in these following six cases as well as many others. She was in Duren v. Missouri (1978), Califano v. Goldfarb (1976), Edwards v. Healy (1974), Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld (1974), Kahn v. Shevin (1973), and Frontiero v. Richardson (1972). Ginsberg says that she will continue her work until she is not able.
Story by Stella Coffey
On October 29th a student was shot and killed by a classmate around 9:00 am. Authorities say it was a fight and then the student was shot at 10:30, police said the student died. Around 9:15 the lockdown was lifted and student’s parents were allowed to pick up their kids. Authorities say the shooting was an isolated incident since there was only 1 death. The school is 12 miles southeast of Charlotte, according to WLOS. The Charlotte Observer says it started with just a school fight and students just thought it as a normal fight and people were crowding around, when the kid who was being bullied pulled out a pistol and people turned and ran the other way as teachers pulled students into classrooms. The suspect, Jatwan Cuffie, turned himself into the school's resource office without a fight. Since this is very recent there is not much information.
30 people have died during school shootings this year; there have been 58 school shootings (a school shooting is defined as whenever a firearm is fired on the school campus). This just proves the amounts of school violence that is in our country. Who knows how many full lockdowns and fights there has been this year. It's just sad how much violence happens in our schools. A school is a safe place for me, but every time I hear that a school shooting has happened or I see or hear about a fight, it just feels less safe at that moment. When I see kids bullying other kids or picking on other kids it makes me worry about both of those kids, it pains me to see kids cussing each other out or fighting because I know that people in society do not act like that so kids should not either. There is a statistic that half of the world's teenagers (13-15-year-olds) report that there is a peer to peer violence, like bullying and fighting. This is a real problem. But it seems not many people are trying to stop it even though it is a really bad problem.
I think gun control would be a good thing to stop school shootings. When I say gun control I do not mean like no guns for civilians I mean make it harder to buy a gun with more background checks and better age limits and besides, you can not take legal guns from someone because the second amendment says we have the right to bear arms. Except, in my opinion, some guns that are legal should not be legal. Such as the AR-15 that was used in the Stoneman Douglas shooting in February 2018. The Stoneman Douglas high school students should be role models for us because after that they spoke up so much to prevent school violence. In the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, it was a slaughter, the FBI says he planned it for months and had been obsessed with murders and mass shootings. In Sandy Hook's case, it was due to poor background checks of who was buying the guns, even though the shooters mom bought the guns (AR-15, 2 other pistols). He used an assault weapon to massacre the 1st-grade classroom. If the AR-15 was illegal it would not have been nearly as bad in both shootings.
My second idea to stop school violence is that we need to change as students. We need to stop getting into fights and arguments and start realizing that although we may have a difference we are all humans and we all want to live a good life. If we all think of how we can make another's personal life just a little bit happier. Because let's think about this get you an argument with someone or your bullying some or being bullied would it be better to make the person angrier or happier. The Charlotte shooting was because of bullying. The bully was the one who was shot at the end of the day. It's just terrible that the bully gets to the person's head so much that the person shot him, it is just terrible. Think if the bully had just stopped the day before he might not be dead. This leaves me to another point, the person who shot the bully should have had thicker skin and just stepped away and told the bully I do not care what you say to me it does not hurt. See if we all changed or we did not let people bother us we would be happier and better people. Nate Durham from 6th grade thinks that there needs to better disciplinary systems in schools. Joe Hooten, a 6th-grade student, thinks we should have more drills. I especially agree with Joe's idea because we have had 3 full lockdowns and no drills. I know AMS has a lot of cameras, so this is not much of an issue for us but some schools might need more cameras like in their parking lots or other common places like cafeterias, sports fields like our track and hallways. These ideas fit under the topic of better security.
During the recent lockdown on November 6, 2018, a 7th grade parent called the school and they did not pick up. this, of course, worries many parents that the school is not giving information to the public, which is reasonable. Do you think that during a lockdown a school administrator is going to tell every parent that calls a reason why we are in lockdown? No. Their job is to keep us safe. All the situations of our 3 lockdowns to prove the threat is not true. I understand that we do not know that much about the recent lockdowns. I would like the schools to tell the public. I also understand that if the threat is made by someone under 18 they can not release their name, so due to that the school is not allowed to tell us that much. During the lockdown I saw from Mr. Hickman's room, I saw police letting cars out of the car line and then they blocked the car line. Later more police arrived. I saw one with a huge assault rifle. Many people saw an officer with one. We have to remember we are safe at school. we have devoted teachers here to keep us safe.
Overall school violence is a huge problem. I hope at AMS we stop the little that there is in our school. There is way too much school violence in our world today, I think we can stop it if try. My goal to be nicer to people who are mean or rude to me I challenge all of you to do the same.
Story by Garrison Hunt
A tragedy occurred in Pittsburg on Saturday, October 27th, and killed 11 people attending the Tree Of Life synagogue and injured several police officers. Shots started firing at around 10 a.m during a baby naming ceremony. The suspect is now in custody. Those killed were Irving Younger, Melvin Wax, Rose Mallinger, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Jerry Rabinowite, Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Daniel Stein, Cecil Rosenthal, and David Rosenthal. Officials are now investigating the deadly attack on the Jewish community, according to CNN.
The alleged shooter is 46 year old Robert Bowers. Police are saying that Bowers acted alone, with a total of 3 handguns and 1 rifle recovered from the crime scene. He faces 44 federal charges for the murder of 11 worshippers in Squirrel Hill, some of which are punishable by the death penalty. Bowers has a history of making Anti-Semitic posts on social media platform, Gab. His last post was made minutes before the first reports of the shooting. "I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered," Bowers posted. "Screw your optics, I'm going in."
Many across the nation are sharing their empathy for the tragic incident. "The museum reminds all Americans of the dangers of unchecked hatred and anti-Semitism which must be confronted wherever they appear and calls on all Americans to actively work to promote social solidarity and respect the dignity of all individuals," the US Holocaust Memorial Museum said in a statement. In the wake of the shooting, many have started raising money and materials for the victims of the shooting. The NHL team, Pittsburgh Penguins, started a donation page and a blood drive to support the community. If you would like to donate to a verified GoFundMe that has been created to help the victims, click here.
Story by Erin Chen
Image from CNN.
History. It is something that we as Americans like to think we have gone so far from. I would like to believe that too, but in my day to day life I realize more and more things happening that we think we have “left in the past.” I think that by writing this I can inform and educate on how we need to change as a city, state, country, and world.
1.Blood and Soil
Blood and Soil is a concept that was constructed in the 19th century. What it means is that they would look at your blood to see where you came from and who your ancestors were. It also looks at the soil your ancestors were working on. They used that idea to make and influence you to go back to that place where your ancestors were. So basically it’s telling you to go back to your own country. Now obviously they don’t do ancestry test and blood test to determine this. And by they, I mean the racist people saying this. They assume this by looking at the color of your skin. Now that you have background knowledge you’ll be able to realize what I’m getting at. At the Charlottesville Riot, in Charlottesville VA, one of the MANY racist slurs they said was “Blood and Soil.” Like I stated earlier, this was a concept constructed in the 19th CENTURY. And the rioters went and rioted and said “Blood and Soil.” What they were implying here is telling all different people of all different ethnicities to go back to their “homeland.” The fact that people are bringing this back from the 19th CENTURY to say this to people in 2017 is heartbreaking. We want to think that we've come so far as Americans, but when we bring back horrible things like this, we can’t have gone that far.
2. Religious Persecution
Religious Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of a person based on their preferred religion. An example of this was started in the 1640’s. When we look at it, religious persecution here started with Christians. This was at the hands of a small number of Jews and Romans because Romans owned a lot of the land that Christianity was spreading on, and the Romans were not ok with that. And now in our most recent American society, we are STILL prosecuting people for their religion. From the days January 27, 2017, to March 16, 2017, Donald Trump and Mike Pence put a travel ban (Executive Order 13769) on MUSLIMS, to prevent TERRORISTS from getting into America. Donald Trump stereotyped ALL MUSLIMS assuming they were all terrorist and did not let them travel to the United States. So many people couldn’t get home to their families because our president of the United States was so scared that we were going to be attacked. Because he assumed all Muslims are bad. Keep in mind this dates back to 1640 and before, and we’re doing it in 2017.
3. Sexual Harassment
I am aware that sexual assault comes in many horrible shapes and forms and spans throughout history. Right now I am only going to focus on one case. The Anita Hill case. In 1991 Hill came out and accused Clarence Thomas of sexual assault. She said that he would make very vulgar and sexual remarks when they were working together. He also asked her out many, MANY times and she refused all of them. She spoke out and said she didn’t leave because “civil rights” was her ambition. So all and all she went to trial and she took the lie detector test and everything she was saying was true. But Thomas still got selected to be on the Supreme Court. 52-48 one of the most narrow margins.
All of Thomas’ supporters supported and believed him. But soon after President George H.W. Bush put a law in place where harassment victims have the right to seek federal damage awards. After this rule was put into place 50% of the public's view shifted in Antia's favor. Today right now, a similar thing is happening with Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. Brett Kavanaugh (Former White House Staff Secretary) was nominated for the supreme court, a nomination he was honored with. Everything was going right but then earlier in the summer Christine wrote a letter accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school. Apparently what had happened was at a “drunken high school party” where Brett exposed himself and pushed her toward his private area. There has been a lot of controversy over this case. Is she lying? Why is she coming forward now? “But Brett is such a nice guy! He would never!” A lot of people are on different sides. But a lot of people are standing with Christine. All and all, the fact that this case is happening right now, and how similar it is to Anita Hill’s is insane to me. And I’m very curious as to what will happen next.
Now I know all of these are nowhere near identical. In fact, there are key differences between every one of these different pieces. But, there are obvious similarities. Like I previously stated we want to believe that we’ve come so far but truth is, we have a long way to go as Americans. We also have a lot of learning to do. So we don’t go in this deadly cycle of repeating history over and over again.
Story by Tia Irby
Hurricane Florence, one of the biggest storms to ever hit North Carolina has left millions without power, at least 37 dead, and devastating flooding. Scheduled to hit the Carolinas on September 13, Florence was the start to the new hurricane season. Dumping gallons of rain, Florence has caused disastrous flooding. Just recently, Florence has been downgraded from a category 1 to a tropical disaster but is still expected to do some flood damage to eastern parts of North Carolina and head up North afterward.
A hurricane is formed by water and air rising in a funnel-like motion. When the wind shear is high, the hurricane tilts and the storm becomes weaker. When the wind shear is low, the hurricane keeps a strong shape and the storm worsens. Florence had a high shear but still managed to keep its shape.
Florence has caused a great deal of damage, mainly flooding. Some parts of North Carolina even claimed to have thirty inches worth of flooding, and if confirmed, it could be a new state record. A resident of Kennel Beach, North Carolina, Todd Willis, said "this is just the beginning. It hasn't even gotten here yet and there's already water in the bottom parts of people's houses." Another resident of North Carolina, Annazette Riley-Cromartie said, "You just keep hearing people yelling, and you can't do anything," she said. "It's the worst feeling in the world."
Story by Iris Schreiner
The terrorist attacks of September 11, set a chain reaction of events that would change our lives in the US and around the world. One of the most immediate changes is air travel which took place in US airports. Architecture changed when the international code council released new building codes suggestions to make skyscrapers safer and able to endure more. Also, Anti-Islamic violence in America jumped after the attacks.
Air travel is one of the most obvious changes after 9/11. Only 5 percent of checked bags were screened before 9/11. Shortly after 9/11, Congress federalized airport security by passing the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which created the Transportation Security Administration. The new TSA procedures included stricter guidelines on passengers and luggage screening. Airplanes also had major changes like secure cockpit doors and first class cabin curtains. In conclusion, air travel became a lot stricter after 9/11.
Architecture changed when the international code council released new building codes suggestions to make skyscrapers safer and able to endure more, a least until everyone can evacuate. Changes include more stairways for buildings taller than about 42 stories, elevators that can be used during emergencies, higher fire resistance and impact resistant walls for elevator shafts and exit stairways. In conclusion, after 9/11 buildings became safer and are able to endure more.
Half of US Muslims say they find it more difficult to live in this country since the 9/11, terrorist attacks. Violence against Muslims broke out instantly after 9/11, and have been continuing ever since. In 2001, the FBI recorded 93 anti-Muslim assaults. In conclusion, after 9/11 Muslims have found it difficult to live in the US.
Overall, after 9/11 there were big changes including air travel, architecture, and anti- Islamic violence. “On that day, 2,996 people died in and around the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and on a commercial airplane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The nation’s response was swift.” (Laura Santhanam)
Story by Ingrid Pehrson
Santhanam, Laura, and Larisa Epatko. “9/11 To Today: Ways We Have Changed.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 11 Sept. 2018, www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/9-11-to-today-ways-we-have-changed.
Villemez, Jason. “9/11 To Now: Ways We Have Changed.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 14 Sept. 2011, www.pbs.org/newshour/world/911-to-now-ways-we-have-changed.