, week of
June 12, 2023
1. HIGH-SPEED CRASH
Last week, a deadly train wreck in India made headlines. Three trains collided after an apparent signal failure, killing at least 275 people and injuring more than one thousand others. The trains have a signal system that is meant to prevent accidents, but the system didn’t work by it should for unexplained reasons in this case. One of the trains was traveling more than 80 miles an hour when it crashed into a freight train carrying iron ore; shortly after, another train on a separate track collided with the existing wreck. Write an informative piece detailing the news of the crash and its possible causes, using research from the newspaper or online.
2. GOLF CONTROVERSY
The PGA Tour, which is the lead organizer for professional golf in North America, announced that it would “merge commercial operations under common ownership” with LIV Golf, Saudi Arabia’s new professional golf tour launched last year. Previously, the PGA was outspoken against its players participating in LIV Golf events based on allegations of human rights violations and corruption in Saudi Arabia. Now, the businesses are partnering together, potentially following complaints filed against the PGA for violating anticompetitive practices when it punished players for participating in LIV Golf events. Research information about Saudi Arabia’s history and the complaints against the PGA tour, gathering information from multiple sources. Then, write an article explaining the different sides of the issue.
3. DOCUMENT TROUBLE
President Trump was charged with federal criminal charges for his mishandling of classified documents prior to his departure from office in 2021. The full indictment has not yet been made public, but the New York Times reports that the charges from the Justice Department include violating the Espionage Act by retaining national defense secrets, making false statements, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The exact nature of the classified documents at Trump’s Florida residence is still unknown. The former president is still considered a front-runner in the upcoming 2024 presidential election. Research the Espionage Act and what it does, then briefly write an explanation for how the former president’s keeping of classified documents could be a violation.
4. TREATMENT BREAKTHROUGH
UK-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has completed a trial of its drug Tagrisso as a treatment for lung cancer with impressive results. The trial of 682 patients with non-small cell lung cancer with a mutation of the EGFR gene introduced the drug or a placebo after patients had their primary tumor surgically removed. Typically, patients would eventually have a recurrence of their cancer, but patients treated with Tagrisso were shown to live longer than those who had the placebo drug. Research the clinical trial process for medications, then write a paragraph explaining how Tagrisso was tested for efficacy and what, if anything, you would do differently to ensure medications are safe for patients.
5. ORCA PARTY
A research group in California came across an unusually large pod of orcas, also known as killer whales. The group of twenty-four orcas were spotted near the Farallon Islands and included at least six families of whales, including mother-child pairs and adult males. The whales were traveling north in water that was 500 to 1000 feet deep. Killer whales, which are technically part of the dolphin family, are named as such because they prey on larger whale species in addition to other marine mammals and fish. Think about why orcas might be traveling in larger groups and to different waters than they normally visit. Write down some of your ideas and discuss with your classmates.