Current Events


Teen Journalist Sleuths to Attend White House Press Dinner
April 23, 2017
Six Kansas high school students whose investigative efforts resulted in the resignation of their school's principal will be attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington, D.C. The six–Maddie Baden, Connor Balthazor, Gina Mathew, Trina Paul, Kali Poenitske, and Patrick Sullivan–gained nationwide attention after their dogged fact-checking exposed questionable credentials of Amy Robertson, the principal at Pittsburg High School. The annual D.C. dinner, which this year takes place on April 29, is put on by the White House Correspondents' Association. The website Huffington Post invited the students and will pay their expenses. The students' advisor, Emily Smith, will accompany the students to the nation's capital and to the dinner.

School within Fukushima Exclusion Zone Reopens
April 23, 2017
Students and teachers have returned for the school year within the exclusion zone created in the wake of the Sendai Earthquake and resulting tsunami in Fukushima, Japan. The Naraha Elementary and Junior High School is now open for business, two years after the Japanese Government lifted an evacuation order issued in the wake of the radioactive meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Tiny 2,100-year-old Looms a Pattern of Complexity
April 23, 2017
Archaeologists in China have found the earliest evidence ever of looms used to weave patterns. The dig, in Chengdu, resulted in the 2013 discovery of the looms, which are more than 2,000 years ago. Older looms have been found. However, all of those looms were basic in construction and use. The looms found in Chengdu, a city in the Sichuan province, in the southwest part of the country, are small yet powerful examples of a more complex loom function, one used to create complicated patterns.

Gorsuch Rounds Out Supreme Court Membership
April 9, 2017
The Supreme Court has the full complement of nine Justices again, now that the Senate has confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch will be officially sworn in on April 10. The next Supreme Court session begins April 17.

Norway to Have a Blast Creating Ship Tunnel
April 9, 2017
Norway is planning to blast through solid rock to create the world's first ship tunnel. The tunnel will be 118 feet wide and a mile long and enable ships to pass throught he narrowest part of the Stad peninsula, in the western part of the country. The primary purpose of the tunnel, other than to save transport time for both freight and passenger ships, is to help those ships avoid the often treacherous waters of the Stadhavet Sea and the rocks and other hazards that dot that part of the country's coastline.

Mosaics Signal Return of 'Lost' Roman Town
April 9, 2017
It had existed only in writings elsewhere, but the ancient Roman town of Ucetia is once again in focus, this time by modern archaeologists. During construction on a school near the modern town of Uzés, in the south of France, researchers from the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research found mosaics, building fragments, and other remains of the Roman settlement, known to modernity only as a name on a stone slab in the nearby town of Nîmes. The site measures more than 43,000 square feet and contains artifacts spanning seven centuries of Roman occupation.

Harriet Tubman Photo Sold for $161,000 at Auction
April 1, 2017
A previously unknown photograph of famed Underground Railroad "conductor" Harriet Tubman brought in $161,000 at auction, far more than had been exepected. The photo shows Tubman in her 40s and was discovered in an album once owned by Emily Howland, who lived in Sherwood, N.Y., near Tubman's home in Auburn. The photo is distinctive, historians say, because few photos of the famed abolitionist remain and the ones that do show her in her elder years.

'Doomsday Vault' Gets a Digital Twin
April 2, 2017
Now open on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean is an archive for the world's data. The Arctic World Archive sits alongside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a frozen-storage facility built in 2008 to house the world's most important crop seeds. The idea of the seed vault is that it will be opened only after a global catastrophe. The popular nickname is the "doomsday vault." The idea of the data archive is that governments and scientific institutions around the world send in digital data that they wouldn't want to lose in the case of a natural or manmade disaster on a global scale. The vaults' owners will then preserve the data using an analog storage technique: photosensitive film stored in secure boxes.

Bring Dogs to Work at a Government Department
April 2, 2017
In a first for the U.S. Government, employees at the Department of the Interior will be able to bring their dogs to work (for more than just a day). Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the pilot program as a means of boosting morale among the 70,000 employees in the Interior Department. A 2016 survey of federal workers found that just 61 percent of the Interior Department's employees reported being happy in their jobs; Interior's results placed the department 11th out of the 18 largest federal agencies. The first test of Doggy Days at Interior will be on May 5; the next test will be on September 1. Still to be worked out are details such as whether the dogs will need to leashed or vaccinated or fully housebroken (or all of the above). Zinke owns a black-and-white Havanese dog named Ragnar.

Tokyo Olympics Medals Made from Recycled Metal
April 1, 2017
Medals handed out at the 2020 Olympic Games will be made of recycled metal, organisers of the Tokyo Games announced. The goal of the project, which is already under way, is to collect eight tons of raw metal, out of which will come the two tons of pure metal needed to make the approximately 5,000 medals that will be awarded to athletes.

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Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2017
David White