ArticleAugust 29th, 2014
Need-to-know: Extra’s top summer stories
This summer saw constant breaking news around the globe. Check out Extra’s top summer stories below, with links to more information on these stories, discussion questions for your classrooms, and other teaching resources.
ISIL advances through Iraq
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group that the U.S. has called terrorist, escalated its operations this summer. ISIL now controls one-third of Iraq and made important gains this summer, sweeping through Kurdish areas and capturing towns in northern Iraq. The group also drove Christian and Yazidi minority groups to an isolated mountain range where they were stranded without food or water, prompting an international humanitarian response. The U.S. has been using airstrikes in Iraq to weaken ISIL, but Obama stated that he had no plans to send ground troops to fight.
NewsHour Extra resource: Displaced Iraqis Fear Returning Home
Ferguson shooting sparks racial unrest
When white police officer Darren Wilson shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, it created a storm of protests and debate about the role of the police force in a community. The event caused racial unrest in a town whose population is mostly black with a majority-white police force. Social media played a large role in public perception of the event, which polls showed was largely divided by race. Police were criticized for their use of tear gas and smoke bombs to restrain protesters while residents of the town urged peace.
NewsHour Extra Resource: Current Events in Ferguson: The Michael Brown Shooting
Israel and Hamas fight in Gaza
Violence sparked between Israel and Hamas, a militant Palestinian group, after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed while hiking in the West Bank in late June. Hamas, which a number of countries have deemed a terrorist organization, is the governing force of the Gaza Strip. Some have criticized Israel for striking Gaza in civilian-heavy areas, including a U.N. school that was serving as a shelter. Over 2,000 Palestinians and 69 Israelis died in the conflict. Hamas and Israeli negotiators in Egypt decided on an open-ended cease-fire in late August after several failed attempts. For a firsthand perspective on the war, check out our Student Voices from Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
NewsHour Extra Resource: Israel and Hamas Announce Open-Ended Cease-Fire
Ebola strikes Africa
The worst-ever outbreak of Ebola began in Guinea this summer, soon spreading to Liberia, Sierra Leone and other neighboring nations. 1,550 people have died so far from the disease, which has no effective treatment or cure and is transmitted through bodily fluids. A prominent Nigerian doctor died from the disease, while several Americans were infected and sent back to the U.S. for treatment. Experimental treatment for the disease has emerged, but researchers urge caution in using a drug that has not undergone standard testing.
NewsHour Extra Resource: Experimental Ebola Drug Raises Hopes, Ethical Questions
World Cup creates a new star
The FIFA World Cup in Brazil pitted the world’s soccer teams against each other in an epic showdown. Tim Howard, the American goalie during the Olympics, drew massive attention during a U.S. game against Belgium in which he made 16 saves, the most in World Cup history. Though America lost to Belgium 2-1, the event drew millions of American viewers and raised interest in the sport around the country.
NewsHour Extra Resource: 2014 World Cup Resources from the PBS NewsHour
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Brexit vote leaves Britain, European Union reeling
The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on Thursday, shocking the rest of the world and leading to the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron.BrexitEuropean Unioninternational politicsUnited Kingdom
Democrats sit-in on House floor to push for gun reform
A sit-in led by Democratic members of the House of Representatives began on the House floor Wednesday as they called for Republican colleagues to allow a vote on gun control legislation. Continue readinggun controlgun reformOrlandoU.S. House of Representatives
Partisan divide continues in Congress over gun control reform
Democrats once again attempted to push forward gun control legislation this week following last week’s massacre at an Orlando nightclub.gun controlmass shootingOrlando shootingU.S. Senate
Murder of British politician changes tone of U.K. Brexit debate
The man accused of murdering a British member of parliament last Thursday made his first court appearance in London on Saturday. Authorities believe Thomas Mair shot and stabbed Jo Cox to death on a street in broad daylight, because of her position to keep the U.K. in the European Union. Continue readingBremainBrexitBritainE.U.economyEuropean UnionimmigrationJo CoxMember of ParliamentmurderparliamentSocial StudiesU.K.United Kingdom
Zika virus shadow looms over summer Olympics in Rio
Concern surrounding Zika virus has taken center stage in Brazil, as local organizers of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games assure the world that the country is safe for athletes and tourists. Continue readingBrazilfavelaGovernmentOlympicspublic healthRio de JanieroRio OlympicsSocial Studiessportssummer olympicsWHOWorld Health OrganizationZika virus