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For Grades 9-12 , week of July 17, 2023

1. KUSHNER QUESTIONED

Federal prosecutors who are investigating former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election have now questioned Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, about whether the then-president acknowledged having lost the election in the days following the announcement of the results. Kushner is said to have testified that Trump seemed to truly believe the election was stolen. If prosecutors are able to prove in court that the former president acted to try to overturn the results after having admitted that he rightfully lost the election, it would indicate corrupt intent to remain in power in a future legal case against him. Write an article summarizing the case against Donald Trump and how Kushner’s testimony could affect it.

2. AI INVESTIGATION

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the creator of ChatGPT, OpenAI, over security concerns. The FTC asked OpenAI about how the start-up treats users personal data in examining whether OpenAI engaged in unfair data security practices. The investigation could force OpenAI to reveal the data sources it uses to create its chatbots and other AI models, as regulators worry about chatbots spreading disinformation. Write an article discussing how ChatGPT spreading disinformation can be problematic for regulators.

3. TAX DATA

Tens of millions of taxpayers who used TaxAct, H&R Block, or TaxSlayer’s services to file their tax returns may have had their sensitive personal data shared with Google and Facebook parent company Meta. A Congressional investigation found that the privacy breach shared data because they used Meta Pixel, code that tracks website analytics, and Google Analytics. While many companies use pixels for capturing analytic information, the sensitive nature of data entered on tax preparation websites means that users may have been sharing more with Meta and Google than they realized. Write a short article that would explain to taxpayers who may be affected by the privacy breach and what it means for them if they were.

4. HACK EXPOSED

US officials recently announced that Chinese hackers gained access to the email accounts of State and Commerce Department officials, including that of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, prior to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned visit to Beijing in June. While the hacking incident is still being investigated, there is no indication that classified information was at risk for being exposed in the attack. The hacking incident was discovered the day of Blinken’s diplomacy trip. In your newspaper or online, read about the hacking incident and the Biden administration’s response to it. Then, write a short article summarizing the facts of the event.

5. PAY BUMP

For the first time, all players at the Women’s World Cup will be paid at least $30,000 this year. The payout will increase based on how many rounds the team makes it through, with the winning team’s players earning $270,000 each. This is a significant milestone for the tournament and for female soccer players, who earned an average salary of $14,000 previously. The tournament’s costs, including prize money and payments to the teams, was $152 million this year, compared to $40 million in 2019. In contrast, the prize pool for the men’s World Cup in 2022 was $440 million. Research how the men’s and women’s World Cup experiences and facilities have differed in past years. Then, write a proposal of how the women’s teams could be treated more fairly in comparison with the men’s.

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