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.

FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 07, 2019

The year ahead: These topics and events will make front page news in 2019

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Select a photo or article about someone sure to be in the paper again during 2019. Do you want to read more about her or him?
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Pick a story about another ongoing subject and explain why it'll stay in the news.
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Which upcoming event or events are you most interested in? Tell why.
Holiday break is over, so we start this year with a sketch of subjects that'll make headlines during coming weeks and months in the areas of government, world news, sports and entertainment. Topic A this week is the partial federal government shutdown since Dec. 22 as President Trump and Congress try agree on the amount of spending for a border security wall to address illegal immigration from Mexico into Southwestern states.

Another important development in Washington involves a power shift in the U.S. House from a Republican majority during 2016-18 to a Democratic one now. That significant change puts Democrats in charge of all House committees, which means they can hold hearings into alleged misdeeds by the Trump administration and the president himself. The new majority can request documents and, if needed, issue legal-force subpoenas (pronounced sub-PEEN-ahs) requiring that they be delivered. Moreover, the House Judiciary Committee has authority to start impeachment (removal) proceedings against a president, as Republicans did against Bill Clinton in 1998 and as Democrats did against Nixon in 1973. (Follow-up action by the Senate is needed to unseat a president. Clinton was impeached by the House, but not convicted by senators. Nixon quit when impeachment appeared certain.)

Separately, a special Justice Department prosecutor named Robert Mueller appears to be wrapping up an inquiry into Russian meddling with our 2016 presidential election and possible contacts between Moscow and Trump's campaign. "Even absent a 'smoking gun' of collusion, Mueller has dramatically increased the political pressure on the president," Washington Post reporter Shane Harris writes in a 2019 news preview roundup.

In non-government news, attention will be grabbed by the Super Bowl on Feb. 3 in Atlanta and by Academy Award nominations in two weeks on Jan. 22 and the Oscars ceremony on Feb. 24 in Los Angeles. (For a look at nine films seen as Academy Award candidates, see the video below.) Other entertainment headlines will belong to Rihanna, who confirms she's finishing her first album since 2016.

News from overseas will continue flowing from Syria and Afghanistan as U.S. troops are withdrawn from those conflict areas by the Trump administration. The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union economic alliance by March 29, a voter-approved move known as Brexit (for British exit). Prime Minister Theresa May still is working on details of the pullout that are acceptable to a majority of her nation’s Parliament members, as well as the European Union. Another ongoing situation involves shakier relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia after the Oct. 2 assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi government's apparent role in his murder at one of its diplomatic buildings in Turkey.

House leader says: "Democrats will honor our constitutional responsibility to exercise oversight of the Trump administration and get the American people the answers they deserve. Voters delivered a check and balance on the president that will hold him and his administration accountable for the abuses of power and culture of corruption that have consumed Washington." – Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Magazine writer says: "The midterm results [from November’s congressional elections] effectively brought an end to Trump's legislative agenda, or at least the parts of it that Democrats find objectionable. But the victory gives Democrats little legislative power of their own. If by some miracle any Democrat-authored House bill makes it through the Republican-controlled Senate, Trump’s veto pen awaits." – Jason Zengerle, New York Times magazine contributor

Columnist says: "As Trump fights for his political life in 2019, his favorite punching bag — the reality-based press — will get more of a pounding." – Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post media columnist

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2019
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