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For Grades 5-8 , week of June 17, 2024

1. PRESIDENT AND SON

President Biden said he won't reduce his son Hunter Biden's sentence after Hunter was found guilty of lying on a form when buying a gun. The president spoke about this at a meeting in Italy. He mentioned he's proud of Hunter for overcoming addiction and sees him as a good person. Biden stated he respects the jury's decision and won't pardon Hunter or reduce his punishment. Hunter faces possible prison time, but experts think he might get a shorter sentence or probation. This comes before another trial in September about tax issues, which is seen as more serious. Hunter's daughters were with President Biden when he talked about their dad's situation. Write a summary of this story, including the context of Hunter’s court case and the charges against him.

2. PRINCESS SPOTTED

Kate, the Princess of Wales, who is married to Prince William, shared an update about her health. She has been undergoing chemotherapy since March when she was diagnosed with cancer. Kate, who is 42 years old, said she is doing well overall but still has some tough days when she feels weak and tired. She mentioned that she will continue her treatment for a few more months.

Despite her health challenges, Kate appeared at the King's birthday parade, which included a military show with soldiers, horses, and music. If you were able to interview members of the Royal family for a podcast or talk show, write a list of questions you would like to ask and what the angle of the story would be.

3. ACTORS’ WARNING

In 1999, Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard starred in "The Blair Witch Project," a movie that became a huge hit at the Sundance Film Festival and made a lot of money. Despite its success, the actors struggled with money themselves. They improvised most of the movie but were told to stay quiet about it. The actors didn't make much money, even though the movie earned millions. Artisan Entertainment, the company that bought the film, gave them only a fruit basket to celebrate its success. The actors faced criticism and financial hardship. They felt trapped by the movie's fame, unable to escape it. Years later, they sued the company for using their names and faces without paying them enough. They eventually settled, but it wasn't as much money as the filmmakers made. Recently, when a new Blair Witch movie was announced without their consent, they spoke out again, demanding fair treatment. They hope their story will help others in similar situations in the movie industry. Write an outline for an article you would write about this story, including all the people you would interview, what questions you would ask, and what sources you would use for research and other information.

4. DISNEY LAWSUIT SETTLED

Disney and Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, settled their dispute over development at Walt Disney World. Disney had sued because the governor's team took control of the district that oversees Disney World. They argued over who controls building and planning there. Now, they agreed on a plan for the next 20 years. Disney will invest $17 billion to expand the resort. They can build more theme parks, hotels, and shops. In return, Disney will give land for infrastructure and use local companies for construction. The agreement ends a long fight that started because Disney opposed a state law. Now, they're working together for the park's future. Research the history of the lawsuit and the tension between Disney and DeSantis’ administration. Then, write an article that summarizes the case and how the settlement could affect the theme park and the state.

5. GENDER PAY GAP

Two women who work at Apple have sued the company because they say Apple pays women less than men for doing the same jobs. They want to represent more than 12,000 current and former female employees who worked in engineering, marketing, and AppleCare. Other big tech companies like Google and Oracle have faced similar legal challenges. Google paid $118 million in 2018 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit, and Oracle paid $25 million to settle a lawsuit about underpaying female employees. The lawsuit against Apple focuses on how the company hires people and evaluates their performance, which the women say creates a pay gap between men and women. California made it illegal for employers to ask job candidates about their previous salary starting in 2018, but the lawsuit claims Apple asked about pay expectations instead, which still led to women being offered lower starting salaries compared to men for similar work. The lawsuit also says Apple’s performance reviews are biased against women, favoring qualities that men are more likely to be praised for, like teamwork and leadership. This can affect women’s chances to get promoted or receive bonuses, according to the lawsuit. Research gender wage gaps in the United States and what laws have been proposed or put in place to prevent them. Then, write an article that summarizes what you learned and how it relates to Apple’s new lawsuit.