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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.

FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 08, 2024

2024 news agenda includes wars, presidential politics, immigration and the Summer Olympics

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What upcoming events are you most interested in? Tell why.
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Pick a photo or article about someone sure to be in the paper again during 2021. Do you want to read more about that person?
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Choose coverage of another ongoing topic and explain why it'll stay newsworthy.

This year, barely two weeks old, is like a fresh notebook near the start of a school year. New topics will arise, surprises are ahead and lessons will be learned. Though outcomes are uncertain, some big events will shape what this newspaper and other media cover in coming months. Two ongoing wars, U.S. elections, immigration and an Olympics will be among major front page subjects.

Two of the biggest domestic stories of 2024 are connected: Court cases against Donald Trump and his effort to win the Republican nomination to run against President Biden in the Nov. 5 election. Polls show that Trump, president from 2017-21, is far more popular than party rivals such as former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and past New Jersey Govc. Chris Christie. Several early surveys have him ahead of Biden in key states. Republicans start picking nominating convention delegates next Monday, Jan. 15, in Iowa, and continue eight days later in New Hampshire. The campaign takes place amid preparations for a federal trial of Trump on charges of improperly keeping official documents, of trying to stay in office fraudulently and of encouraging a Capitol takeover on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump argues that he's immune from prosecution, an issue the Supreme Court soon will decide.

In other upcoming national political news, Congress will grapple with whether to continue financial support for Ukraine's fight against a Russian invasion that began in February 2022, and also how much to help Israel with weapons and money as it retaliates against Hamas terrorists in the neighboring Gaza Strip who killed about 1,200 Israeli civilians last Oct. 7. In addition, senators, representatives and the president will consider strategies to deal with a heavy flow of asylum-seeking immigrants from South America and elsewhere, who are straining state and federal services along the southern border with Mexico. U.S. voters will fill 34 of the 100 Senate seats and all 435 House seats in November. "The one thing I think we can count on is a non-boring 2024," New York Times columnist Gail Collins writes.

Not all headlines will be that heavy. The world's best amateur athletes in 32 sports compete in and around Paris from July 26-Aug. 11 at the Summer Olympics, held every four years in a different country. New events this time include breakdancing (for real!), surfing, wall climbing and skateboarding. Entertainment news will be made March 10 in Los Angeles when the Academy Awards honor the best films and actors of 2023. Nominations get announced in two weeks on Jan. 23. Also in L.A., the Grammy Awards salute the best recordings, songs and artists on Feb. 4. Nominees were unveiled in November, with American singer-songwriter SZA (Solána Imani Rowe) up for nine possible awards – the most of anyone – for her album "SOS" and its lead single, "Kill Bill."

SZA says: "I'm very grateful and very shook and I wish my granny was here to come with me again. Last time I was most nominated my granny flew out for the first time. Bittersweet thoughts." -- Tweeting about Grammy nominations (her grandmother died inb 2019)

Blogger says: "By this time next year, the fate and resilience of American democracy will have been tested and possibly determined." – Elliot Kirschner in New Year’s Day post on Substack

Columnist says: "I refuse to believe that a man who's under indictment for a jillion different offenses is just going to coast to victory." – Gail Collins of The New York Times on Donald Trump

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2024

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