• Texas Sanctuary City Ban Put on Pause

    A federal judge in San Antonio has temporarily halted part of an immigration law meant to crack down on “sanctuary cities” throughout Texas. The law, which was due to take effect September 1, would require law-enforcement officials throughout the state to detain undocumented immigrants at the request of federal officials. Federal District Court Judge Orlando Garcia granted a preliminary injunction of the legislation, however, warning in a 94-page ruling yesterday that it would “erode public trust and make many communities and neighborhoods less safe.” The injunction came amid concerns that undocumented immigrants suffering the effects of flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey might not seek help from authorities out of fear of deportation. Texas authorities have vowed to appeal Garcia’s ruling.

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think the judge made this ruling?
    • Do you think the ruling will hold on appeal? Why or why not?
    • Do you agree with the judge's decision? Why or why not?
  • Palin's Lawsuit against The New York Times Dismissed

    A Manhattan federal judge threw out former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s lawsuit against The New York Times today. Palin sued the newspaper for defamation earlier this year over an editorial that tied an ad featuring crosshairs denoting anti-gun politicians, produced by her political action committee, to the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The Times was forced to append a correction to the editorial, noting the fact that “no such link” was established between the Palin group’s ad and the shooting. The judge said Palin was unable to prove on a “plausible factual basis” that the Times’ mistake was “malicious” in nature. In a statement, the Times said: “We were delighted to see today’s decision. Judge Rakoff's opinion is an important reminder of the country's deep commitment to a free press and the important role that journalism plays in our democracy. We regret the errors we made in the editorial. But we were pleased to see that the court acknowledged the importance of the prompt correction we made once we learned of the mistakes.”

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why did Palin sue The New York Times?
    • Do you agree with the argument made in the video? Why or why not?
    • Do you think the judge made the right decision? Why or why not?
  • North Korea Engages Japan

    North Korea fired three missiles toward northern Japan, Japanese broadcaster NHK announced today, local time, citing Japan's government. The missiles passed over Japan and landed in the ocean, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, citing military intelligence. Japan's government issued an emergency warning and urged residents in northeast Japan to seek shelter. The Pentagon issued a statement shortly after the missiles landed. "We assess North Korea conducted a missile launch within the last 90 minutes," the Pentagon wrote in a statement. "We can confirm that the missile launched by North Korea flew over Japan. We are still in the process of assessing this launch. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America. We are working closely with Pacific Command Strategic Command and NORAD and will provide an update as soon as possible."

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you believe North Korea did this?
    • How do you think Japan will respond? Why?
    • How do you think the United States will respond? Why?
  • ESPN Pulls Robert Lee from University of Virginia Football Game

    Sports announcer Robert Lee has found himself at the center of a major sports controversy on perceived political correctness gone crazy. In what ESPN says was a joint decision between the broadcaster and the company, Lee was removed from broadcasting Virginia’s season-opening football game on September 2 against William & Mary because of the similarity of his name to the Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The news caused a firestorm of responses on social media. In response, commentators have argued ESPN made the right decision, while others feel this decision is symbollic of the state of political corectness in the United States today. ESPN staffers have pointed to the fact that if Lee had been allowed to work the game, he would have likely faced social media mocking--along with the network--from many of the same individuals who are challenging the change in assignment today.

    Discussion Questions:

    • Do you agree with the decision to remove Lee from the game? Why or why not?
    • Are you surprised by the response to this decision? Why or why not?
    • Do you think America is becoming too concerned with political corectness? Why or why not?
  • Trump Reveals New Afghanistan Strategy

    President Donald Trump last night said the United States’ new approach to the war in Afghanistan does not amount to “nation-building,” but rather “killing terrorists.” He said U.S. support for Afghanistan is “not a blank check,” and acknowledged his recent skepticism of increased involvement in the Middle Eastern nation. “My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts, but all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office,” Trump said during a primetime address at Fort Myer outside Washington. “So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every angle.” Trump said pulling out of the country would create a “vacuum” similar to one that was created in Iraq, when American gains there “flipped back into the hands” of terrorists, namely ISIS. He also urged Pakistan, a neighbor of Afghanistan, to work with the U.S. rather than “harbor criminals and terrorists.”


    Discussion Questions:

    • Do you think the new strategy will be successful? Why or why not?
    • How do you think Pakistan will respond? Why?
    • How would you rate Trump's speech compared to others he has given? Why?
  • Secret Service Running Low on Funds

    The Secret Service cannot pay more than 1,000 of its agents anymore because the agency has already hit its federally mandated yearly salary and overtime capUSA Today has reported. President Trump’s large family and frequent traveling has created an especially heavy workload for the agency. Under the Trump administration, the agency is trusted with protecting 42 people, including 18 members of the Trump family. This is up from the 31 people protected under the Obama administration. The agency is also taxed by Trump’s frequent weekend trips to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

    Discussion Questions:

    • Should the number of family members protected be limited? Why or why not?
    • What should happen as a result of the shortage of funds?
    • Do you disagree with Trump's travel practices? Why or why not?
  • Barcelona Terror Attack

    At least 13 people are dead and many others injured after a van plowed through a crowd of people in a popular tourist district in Barcelona, Spain. Two officers were also run over at a security checkpoint, police say. Two suspects have been arrested, and ISIS claimed attackers as "soldiers of the Islamic state." Over one hundred people were ultimately injured.

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think ISIS targeted Barcelona?
    • How do you think Spain will respond?
    • How can countries better prevent attacks of this nature?
  • Trump Holds Questionable Presser

    President Donald Trump has blamed the “alt left” for inciting violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday that he said led James Fields to “murder” a protester. “You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible and it was a horrible thing to watch. But there is another side,” Trump said, adding there were “very fine people on both sides” of the demonstrations. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump said of the so-called “alt-left.” The president said he waited two days to condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name because “I like to know the facts” beforehand. “You don't make statements that direct unless you know the facts,” Trump said during a press conference at Trump Tower.

    Discussion Questions:

    • How would you characterizie this press conference?
    • Why do you think Trump made these comments?
    • Do you think Trump can survive this incident? Why or why not?
  • Jury Sides with Taylor Swift

    Jurors in a Denver federal court yesterday sided with Taylor Swift in her lawsuit against a DJ who allegedly groped her, and ordered the DJ to pay her $1, the symbolic damages Swift requested in her suit. Swift accused DJ David Mueller of groping her during a 2013 meet-and-greet. Mueller sued Swift in 2015, claiming her allegations lost him his job. Swift countersued Mueller, saying he “intentionally reached under her skirt, and groped with his hand an intimate part of her body in an inappropriate manner, against her will, and without her permission.” A judge rejected Mueller’s suit. In a Monday night statement, Swift thanked her lawyers, and said she acknowledged "the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves."

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think the jury sided with Swift?
    • Do you believe the publicity with this case will help other women in similar situations? Why or why not?
    • How do you think the media portrayed this case? Accurately? Why or why not?
  • Trump vs. McConnell

    President Trump fired back at Mitch McConnell yetserday for the Senate majority leader’s suggestion that the president had “excessive expectations” about what Congress could achieve during his first six months in office. “Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don't think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to congressional Republicans’ failed attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Speaking at an event in Kentucky, McConnell said Congress gets low marks because “the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point.” He added: “I think [Trump] had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think McConnell raised these points?
    • Do you agree or disagree with McConnell? Why?
    • Do you think Trump is harming the party? Why or why not?
  • Trump Threatens North Korea

    President Trump issued an extraordinary threat to North Korea, saying the country "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." His comments came as US intelligence analysts have assessed that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead, according to multiple sources familiar with the analysis of North Korea's missile and nuclear program. In response, North Korea has threatened to attack Guam.

    Discussion Questions:

    • What do you think about Trump's comments? Were they appropriate? Why or why not?
    • How do you believe North Korea will respond?
    • Do you think Guam is in danger today? Why or why not?
  • Good News for Jobs in America

    America has added more than a million jobs since the President took office, and Trump was quick to announce the news via Twitter. This is the second time he has violated a federal rule that requires an hour between when a report is released and when federal officials can comment on the numbers. But overall, Trump's infamous Twitter fingers have been less punchy than usual during John Kelly's first week as the President's new chief of staff.

    Discussion Questions:

    • Should Trump take credit for the job increase? Why or why not?
    • What do you think about Trump's use of Twitter?
    • How would you characterize Trump's performance thus far? Why?
  • Trump Call Transcripts Make the News

    Transcripts obtained, first by The Washington Post show President Trump spoke with the Mexican President about trade and immigration, said Mexico will be paying for the wall, complained about the amount of illegal drugs coming into the United States, and said he won New Hampshire during the election because the state is a "drug-infested den." The transcripts also disclose Trump's conversation with the Australian Prime Minister, in which the President said their call was the "most unpleasant call all day."
     
    Discussion Questions:

    • Should these transcripts have been leaked? Why or why not?
    • How do you feel about Trump's behavior in the calls?
    • How would you characterize the way foreign leaders respond to Trump?

  • Trump Refers to White House as a Dump

    President Donald Trump told members of the Trump National Bedminster in Bedminster, New Jersey that he spends time there and at Mar-a-Lago, his exclusive club in Palm Beach because the White House is “a real dump,” according to Golfmagazine. When he is in Washington, Trump often takes day trips to his golf course in Virginia.


    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think Trump said this?
    • How does this make you feel?
    • How do you think the American public will react? Why?