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Grades 1-4
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for Grades 9-12

July 15, 2024
July 08, 2024
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For Grades 9-12 , week of July 15, 2024

1. AN ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION

On July 13, 2024, former President Donald Trump was speaking at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, when gunshots rang out. The Secret Service quickly pulled him off stage to protect him. Trump later said a bullet grazed his ear, causing him to bleed. The suspected shooter, who was not at the rally but fired from outside, was killed by the Secret Service. At least one person at the rally also died, and two others were critically injured. The attack is the first serious attempt on a U.S. presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1981. It happened just before the Republican National Convention where Trump was set to be nominated again. President Joe Biden condemned the violence, and the Secret Service is investigating. Despite the chaos, Trump managed to briefly address the crowd before being taken away. Research the history of presidential assassination attempts in the United States. Write an article that summarizes this history and the context in which they occurred and include the information about this latest case, the first in some sixty years.

2. MESSAGING APP CALLED MISLEADING

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action against an anonymous messaging app called NGL, banning it from allowing users under 18. This is the first time the FTC has done this. The move came after NGL was found to violate child privacy laws and expose teens to cyberbullying. Kristin Bride, whose 16-year-old son tragically died by suicide in 2020 due to cyberbullying on similar apps, had complained about NGL. The FTC found that NGL falsely advertised itself as a safe space with good moderation but failed to deliver on these promises. The app also misled users by sending fake messages and charging for features that didn’t work as advertised. NGL agreed to pay $4.5 million in compensation and a $500,000 fine. The FTC’s action is part of a broader effort to improve online safety for children and teens, with ongoing discussions about new laws to protect young users on social media and messaging platforms. Research NGL, including what it offered teens and how it fell short of its promises for users. Then, write an article summarizing how the environment created on the app could be harmful to young users. Include tips for young people on staying safe online, using research to create your list of tips.

3. DIAGNOSIS DEVELOPMENTS

Scientists have found that gut microbes in autistic people are different from those in non-autistic people, which could help create a reliable diagnostic tool. This discovery raises the possibility that a simple stool test could help diagnose autism earlier, potentially speeding up the process compared to the current methods, which can take years. In a study involving over 1,600 children, researchers discovered that autistic children had distinct differences in their gut bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes. By analyzing these differences with AI, they could identify autistic children with up to 82% accuracy. These findings suggest that gut microbes might play a role in autism, either by affecting its severity or its symptoms. The hope is that, in the future, stool tests could be used for earlier diagnosis and personalized treatments, like adjusting diet or using probiotics to improve gut health. However, more research is needed to confirm these results and make this approach a reality. Consider how health reporting affects different communities. How should a reporter balance sharing scientific breakthroughs with the responsibility of ethically reporting accurate information that doesn’t harm vulnerable groups? Write a paragraph about your thoughts on this issue.

4. BACK TAXES IN THE BILLIONS

The IRS announced it has collected $1 billion in unpaid taxes from wealthy individuals, showcasing how it's using funds from the Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022. This Act aimed to improve tax fairness, ensuring that high-income people pay their fair share. The IRS has focused on wealthy individuals with incomes over $1 million and significant unpaid taxes. This effort is partly to show the agency’s effectiveness amid fears that a future Republican administration might cut its budget. The IRS has also started new measures, such as cracking down on improper tax deductions for personal flights and tackling complex tax avoidance schemes. Despite these efforts, critics point out that many audits still target people earning less than $200,000, and there are ongoing threats of budget cuts from Republicans. Choose at least two other countries and research how their taxes compare to those in the United States, including what kinds of taxes are collected and what that tax money is used for. Then, write a summary that compares the United States’ system with what you learned about other countries.

5. BANKRUPTCY DENIED

A federal judge has dismissed Rudolph Giuliani's bankruptcy case, which means the former New York City mayor and lawyer for Donald Trump now has to face his creditors without bankruptcy protections. Giuliani, who owes around $153 million to various people and businesses, including $148 million to Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, will now have to deal with lawsuits and foreclosure actions directly. The judge, Sean H. Lane, decided to dismiss the case because Giuliani failed to meet court deadlines and provide complete financial information. Giuliani had requested the dismissal himself to avoid a bankruptcy trustee taking over his finances. Now, his creditors can pursue claims against him in state courts. During the bankruptcy case, Giuliani had significant expenses, including high living costs and undisclosed purchases, which he failed to properly report. Additionally, he's facing multiple lawsuits, including criminal charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and a lawsuit from a former employee who claims he harassed and assaulted her. Giuliani is also barred from filing for bankruptcy again for at least a year, which gives his creditors time to pursue their claims against him. Using research from your newspaper or online, write an article that summarizes the legal and financial battles Giuliani is facing currently and how his bankruptcy claim being thrown out could affect those battles going forward.