For Grades 9-12 , week of July 31, 2023


While it’s not unusual for federal officials to accidentally keep or misplace classified documents after leaving office, President Trump is facing charges for allegedly misleading officials when they requested he return documents that were later found at his Mar-a-Lago residence. Recent allegations include that he also intended to cover up video evidence of his attempts to keep the classified files. The trial in this case is set for next May, but could be delayed based on the new charges. Write an article that summarized what was previously known about the case and the new developments about charges for the alleged cover-up.


The Democratic-led Senate and Republican-led House are set for a clash over the annual defense policy bill. The Senate passed a bipartisan version of the bill with 86 votes to 11, approving 5.2 percent pay raise for troops and civilian employees, investing in hypersonic missiles and drone technology, and more. The version of the bill that passed in the House included conservative policies involving abortion and access to gender-affirming care for transgender service members. President Biden has said he would veto the House’s version of the bill. Write a list summarizing all of the differences between the two bills and each side’s complaints against the other.


Many listened to a Congressional hearing with rapt attention last week when retired Air Force Major David Grusch testified under oath that the government has evidence of “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAPs), the technical term for UFOs. Grusch said that while he worked for the government agency that operates spy satellites, he was asked by the head of a task force to identify highly classified programs related to UAPs. In doing so, he says, he discovered a decades-long program aimed at retrieving possible alien spacecraft that had crashed into Earth and reverse-engineering them; he also said the government had possession of the remains of “non-human” pilots of these aircraft, and that they have been hiding this information from the public. The Pentagon has since denied the allegations of a cover-up, and Grusch did not present any evidence of his claims. Read more about Grusch’s claims or watch the video of his hearing and write an article summarizing the claims.


Soldiers in Niger announced on national television that they held a coup, kicking out President Mohamed Bazoum. Bazoum’s presidential guard announced they were holding him hostage and had dissolved the country’s constitution, closing its borders in the interest of security. While Niger’s region of West Africa has been victim to Islamist militancy, Bazoum was an ally of Western countries. Read the latest on the situation in Niger and write a brief update to the story.


Harvard’s admission process is under fire by the Department of Education. The agency opened a civil rights investigation in the university’s undergraduate admissions process and how legacy and donor-based practices may have violated federal law. Three civil rights groups filed complaints about the policies on behalf of Black, Latinx, and Asian applicants who may have been discriminated against. Write an opinion piece that explains your take on legacy-based admissions in college.