AP Gov. Summer assignment
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Fertilizer facility explosion injures at least 160 in central Texas; 5 to 15 feared dead

Fertilizer facility explosion injures at least 160 in central Texas; 5 to 15 feared dead | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
Some first responders believed missing after fertilizer plant explosion near Waco, Tex.
Alyssa's insight:

In the immediate wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, a fertilizer factory in the town of West, Texas exploded in what authorities are assuming to be an accident. This is significant to United states government because due to the heightened alarm from the previous attacks, more precautions have been implemented to ensure thatt this was not another act of terror. this past week proved to be chaotic and it will be interesting to see how the three branches of government will protect the american people and handle the matters at hand.

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Obama makes statement on Boston bombings

Obama makes statement on Boston bombings | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
(CNN)-- President Barack Obama said he ordered the "full resources" of the federal government to respond to the Boston bombings on Monday, and that he also called for increased security around the United States as necessary.
Alyssa's insight:

President Obama responds to the Boston Marathon Attacks by releasing a statement declaring this day "Patriot's Day" to commemorate the freedom loving attitude of the Bostonians. One interesting aspect of this statement was that President Obama did not use the word terrorism to describe the attacks while the federal investigators have been declaring this an act of terror. The president's comment sets the tone for how the government will carry out the response to the bombings.

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U.S., allies warn North Korea against 'provocative' moves (quarter 3 #4)

U.S., allies warn North Korea against 'provocative' moves (quarter 3 #4) | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts warned North Korea against "provocative" moves Sunday.
Alyssa's insight:

This week, North Korea released a statement saying that their new leader, Kim Jong Un has made an important decision that will strenghten the country. This caused our leaders along with others such as Japan and South Korea to heighten their caution in case of a nuclear test. Even though previous attemptss have been non threatening, the antagonistic move by N. Korea has impacted the United States by raising caution for saftey. This also tested the strength of the new Secretary of State, John Kerry.

 

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Rep. Ryan unveils $4.6 trillion plan to cut the deficit

Rep. Ryan unveils $4.6 trillion plan to cut the deficit | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
House Republicans unveil a 10-year plan to balance the budget by repealing President Obama's health care law and overhauling the Medicare system.
Alyssa's insight:

This article shows the basics of the Republican plan to balance the budget. It includes a full repeal of Obama's Health care law, give subsidies to seniors who purchase their own health care, rewrite the medicare system, transfer power of medicare to the states, and requires a plan to fix social security. However, this plan will probably not go anywhere due to a Democrat majority in the Senate and Executive branch. It will be interesting for America to watch the nature of the debates of this topic because Medicare is important for our aging populaiton, and we would like to see an end to the constant bickering. The part that stood out to me is at the end of the article, it sayss that if they don't make an agreement by April 15, nobody gets paid until they sove the budget or get voted out of office.

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Had a flu shot? You'll be OK -- maybe

Had a flu shot? You'll be OK -- maybe | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
So you got a flu vaccine this season, and you've been reading about the flu epidemic. You might be wondering: Will the vaccine keep me healthy?
Alyssa's insight:

In this flu season, the CDC says that flu-shots will pretty much help you to not catch the flu. However, the U.S. is prepared to completly cover two of the three most common cases of the flu. This wil effect the united states especially in times of high travel. The CDC is doing everything it can to keep people informed on the importance of vaccinations.

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Cuba's easing of travel signals a sea change of hope

Cuba's easing of travel signals a sea change of hope | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
A new kind of migration commences as the communist state eliminates a long-standing restriction on Cubans' ability to leave.
Alyssa's insight:

In October, the Cuban Government released a statemment saying that the travel restrictions on Cubans will be loosened this year. This may cause the United States to consider alowing travel to Cuba and maybe eventually lift the embargo. Aftter the statement was announced, many countries, including the United States, began to reconsider their visa policy concerning Cubans. THe wet-foot dry-foot policy will probably become obsolete as cubans begin to fly onto U.S. soil for the first time in 50 years.

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Obama announces reduced U.S. role in Afghanistan starting this spring

Obama announces reduced U.S. role in Afghanistan starting this spring | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai discuss the future of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
Alyssa's insight:

Both U.S. and Afghan presidents hope to reduce the U.S. influence in Afghanistan as they begin to come home. This will create a more independant Afgahanistan while allowing the U.S. to still focus on counter terrorism operations and educating Afghan forces on how to combat them as well.I think it's a good step toward more cooperation between our two countries.

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As U.S. Weighs New Rules, Sales of Guns and Ammunition Surge

As U.S. Weighs New Rules, Sales of Guns and Ammunition Surge | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
The rapid growth in gun sales began after President Obama’s re-election and surged after the Dec. 14 shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn.
Alyssa's insight:

Due to the recent tragic mass shootings, many Washington officials are proposing more strict regulations on gun ownership. Since before the election, gun dealers have had trouble keeping up with the demand to stay in stock. Many people say that they wish to purchase guns now so thhey won't have to deal with possible obstacles. Personally, I feel criminal and background checks should be more strict when buying a gun, but I undrstand why these people wish to avoid them. 

 

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Mitt Romney receives newfound enthusiasm from Republicans

Mitt Romney receives newfound enthusiasm from Republicans | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it

After months of mixed support, Mitt Romney is welcoming a new, more enthusiastic support from the republican party.  As the election draws near, many supporters are starting to believe that tehy have a good shot at becoming the president. The movement of support to Romney in the republican party is interesting because just a few months ago, he did not have the favor of them.

 

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Texas Republican Sen. Cruz eligible to be president should he decide to run

Texas Republican Sen. Cruz eligible to be president should he decide to run | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
No need to repurpose those “birther” T-shirts or buy a similarly-worded domain name should Texas Sen.
Alyssa's insight:

The requirements for becoming the President of the United States are starting to be interpreted in different ways. Senator Ted Cruz was born in Canada, however his mother was born in Delaware. A 14 page non-partisan report states that the term natural born citizen should apply to anybody who has been naturalized by the citizen process. This will allow a whole new group of people eligible to run for president.

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After 15 years in solitary, convicted terrorist pleads for contact with others (quarter 3 #5)

After 15 years in solitary, convicted terrorist pleads for contact with others (quarter 3 #5) | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — Ramzi Yousef, inmate No. 03911 at a federal "supermax" penitentiary, is serving life with no parole plus 240 years in a 7-by-11-foot cell with no bars and one small high window, far from other inmates, prison staff and the world beyond...
Alyssa's insight:

In this article, the man who set off a bomb in the World Trade Centerkilling 6 people and injuring over 1,000 others in 1995 requested a trial allowing him to leave solitary confinement. This was financed wiht the help of Al Queda and his Uncle, the man behind the September 11 attacks.  For the past 15 years, he has had minimal contact with people causing irreversible psychological disorders like paranoia. He claims the denial of a hearing to be released from solitary confinement is unconstitutional. However, the U.S. government believes that with a large following and previous attempts to create a bomb while in prison he is still a threat to the people. This question of the rights of criminals has a huge impact on the saftey and rights of the incarcerated.

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Wounded Giffords urges senators to act now against gun violence (quarter 3 #3)

Wounded Giffords urges senators to act now against gun violence (quarter 3 #3) | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
It's time to act on gun violence, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- wounded in a 2010 shooting -- told lawmakers Wednesday.
Alyssa's insight:

Gabrielle Giffords spoke at the first congressional hearing about gun violence since the Sandy Hook shooting in December. Both sides of the gun control debate were present, with representatives from the NRA saying that law abiding citizens should not suffer for the actions others do. The status of the second amendment is a very salient issue in theese times due to the more and more frequent mass shootings. Many ideas from universal background checks to the armed protection of people at schools were tossed around. The decisions made in congress will effect the buying and selling of arms, the kinds of guns and amount of amo bought, and the saftey of civillians everywhere.

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Seeing Darwin Through Christians’ Eyes

Seeing Darwin Through Christians’ Eyes | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
For the religious, evolution continues to divide more than 150 years after “On the Origin of Species.”
Alyssa's insight:

This article highlights the diversity of congress. One side is promoting a "Darwin Day" to raise awarness about the mind behind evolution, while the other strongly believes that evolution contridicts the Bible. Science and religion are often strong points in campaings and can make you or break you in the constituants eyes. This article also showed some facts about arguments from famous court cases over the past century wich was interesting as well.

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Old Foes Lead Charge Against Chuck Hagel

Old Foes Lead Charge Against Chuck Hagel | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
The campaign now being waged against Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense echoes his dispute with fellow Republicans over the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Alyssa's insight:

As information on who will fill which cabinet position, old feuds are turned up between possible Secretary of Defense Hagel and Conservative war hawks. THe Hawks accuse Hagel of supporing a weaker view on diplomacy due to his opposition to deploying troops to Iraq n 2003. Hagel, a war veteran, says that the hawks had no real experience with war and were too hasty in their previous decisions. This argument shows a shift between the older, post 9-11 mentality of preemptive strikes and tough diplomacy and a new, more cautious appraoch seen more popular today.

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Treasury: We won’t mint a platinum coin to sidestep the debt ceiling

Treasury: We won’t mint a platinum coin to sidestep the debt ceiling | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
Alyssa's insight:

A proposal has been made to invalidate the debt ceiling by minting a trillion dollar platinum coin. This is one of the more interesting Ideas I have heard, but it sounds a little ridiculous. The ability to mint coins at any value comes from a 1994 law that allowed the treasury to mint platinum coins at a lesser value for collecters. If this were to pass, it would give the President more power and create further tension between the two branches. Congress needs to gettheir act together and decide waht to do before everyone else takes the toll.

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Chinese Firm Buys an American Solar Technology Start-Up

Chinese Firm Buys an American Solar Technology Start-Up | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
Hanergy Holding Group of China added to its international acquisitions with MiaSolé, a thin-film solar panel manufacturer that is considered one of Silicon Valley’s most promising young firms.
Alyssa's insight:

Developing and producing alternative forms of energy is more expensive and competitve than previously thought. Due to Chinese corperations mass producing solar panels, American producers can not keep up and have been forced to sell some promising companies. This effects the U.S. government because they will not receive anything after investing subsidies in alternative energy research.

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Critics complain Sandy aid tied to other projects

Critics complain Sandy aid tied to other projects | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it
Conservatives and watchdog groups are mounting a 'not-so-fast' campaign against a $50.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package.
Alyssa's insight:

In the wake of the damage of Hurricane Sandy, the President, Senate, and House of Representatives have different ideas about how to use funds. In December, President Obama proposed a $50 billion relief package which went through approval and appropriations in the Senate,with a section comprised of  a $12 billion block grant. However, critics in the House of Representatives claim that some of the aid will go to areas not affected by Sandy. Because of the flexibility of the Block grants, states can use the money to improve infrastructure instead of helping those still recovering. While it is important to give enough materials to aid the recovery of a large section of the country, we should try to manage the waste which is created in bureaucratic descions.

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Health-care ruling will cap a consequential week for Obama

Health-care ruling will cap a consequential week for Obama | AP Gov. Summer assignment | Scoop.it

President Obama faces a busy week with many important topics crucial to the next election.  The Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act as well as hand down judgment on Arizona's illegal immigration law. Also, Congress will have totackle problems of federal student loans, highway projects, and vote on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The success of Mr. Obama in the next week can greatly influence the election in November

 

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