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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Quakes, tsunami, nuclear crises: Japan's nightmare deepens

The human toll: Look for stories that try to describe the true extent of the damage from the tsunami and estimate the number of lives lost. The death toll is certainly expected to rise through the coming weeks. Why?
The economic toll: Look for stories on what it's going to take for Japan to recover from this triple disaster.
The nuclear debate: The damage to Japan's nuclear facilities will certainly force a re-examination of planned nuclear energy projects around the world, analysts say. Where does your local newspaper stand on the future of nuclear power? Has this disaster changed the newspaper's opinion?

First, a massive earthquake triggered a catastrophic tsunami affecting the entire Pacific region. Then, in the aftermath, focus shifted to the ability of Japan's nuclear reactors to withstand the combination of natural disasters.

As an anxious world watched Sunday, Japanese engineers raced to prevent a nuclear meltdown by flooding reactors with seawater and releasing pent-up gasses from the plants.

The estimated death toll from Japan's disasters climbed past 10,000 Sunday as hundreds of thousands of people struggled to find food and water.

CNN reported that by Sunday afternoon, The United States, the United Kingdom, China, and South Korea were among 69 governments that have offered to help in rescue and humanitarian efforts.

Japanese Prime Minister: "In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan."
-- Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan calling on his country Sunday to join together and be prepared to make some sacrifices in the hard road to recovery.

Tokyo resident: "Now I have nuclear plants to worry about. We have an idea of what to do when an earthquake hits, but what should I do in a radiation leak?"
--Indri Rosid, who lives in Tokyo

Tsunami survivor: "I ran away after I heard a tsunami was coming. But I turned back to fetch something from home and was swept away. I was rescued while hanging on to the roof of my house."
-- Hiromitsu Shinkawa, 60, who was rescued Sunday nearly 10 miles out at sea on the roof of his floating house.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2015
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