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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After victory, Standing Rock protesters remain at camp
On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would have come a half a mile south of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Instead, the Corps said it would begin to explore alternative routes. Continue readingDakota Access PipelineGovernment & Civicsnonviolent protestNorth DakotaoilpipelineSocial StudiesStanding RockStanding Rock Sioux Tribe
Massachusetts students recreate election reactions with Mannequin Challenge
A group of students at Somerville High School in Somerville, Massachusetts decided to capture the range of emotions they were experiencing by creating a Mannequin Challenge video. Continue readingElection 2016mannequin challengePoliticsStudent Voice
Aid groups call for access as airstrikes continue in rebel-held Aleppo
Fighting has escalated in Aleppo, Syria as rebel groups try to hold off government forces attempting to take back the eastern section of the city. Continue readingAleppoCivil WarSyrian Civil War
The legacy of Cuba’s Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro, the 90-year old communist leader of Cuba, died on Friday. He had ruled the country with a firm grip for nearly half a century, withstanding a 50-year long U.S. economic embargo and multiple assassination attempts. Continue readingBay of PigsCold WarcommunismcubaCuban Missile CrisisFidel CastroGovernment & CivicshistoryPoliticsRaul CastroSocial Studies
DACA Dreamers fear Trump’s immigration policy
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised to crack down on undocumented immigration, including hundreds of thousands of young people who have obtained temporary legal status under the Obama Administration. Continue readingCivicsDACADonald TrumpDreamersElection 2016GovernmentGovernment & Civicsimmigrantsimmigrationimmigration policyPresident ObamaSocial Studiesundocumented immigrants