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For Grades 9-12 , week of Apr 01, 2024

1. SOUTH CAROLINA MOVES AHEAD TOWARD ELECTION

Despite its district maps being ruled as unconstitutional, the state of South Carolina will proceed with the 2024 congressional elections without redrawing. The case involves South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Nancy Mace. A three-person panel of federal judges from South Carolina determined the district had to be redrawn after the map was found to have violated the Fourteenth Amendment and essentially excluded 30,000 Black voters from the district. The Supreme Court heard arguments about the case in October but has not issued a decision in the matter yet. As a result, the same three-judge panel said it would be impractical to make changes to the maps now when the deadline for some absentee ballots is as soon as late April. Research other congressional map redrawing cases that have been in the news in the last few years. Then, write a summary of the current case in South Carolina and how it compares to others you read about.

2. GERMANY STRUGGLES WITH ISRAEL ALLIANCCE

As the war in Gaza continues, Germany remains one of Israel’s biggest supporters as a way for the country to atone for the Holocaust. Germany is even the second-largest supplier of Israel’s weapons. However, with the death toll continuing to rise in Gaza and a manmade famine in the territory looming, German officials have begun to back off on their unwavering support. Recent polls in the country showed that nearly 70 percent of the German people surveyed felt Israel’s military actions were not justifiable. While Germany’s actions toward Israel are unlikely to change, many have found its shift in tone confusing or hypocritical when it’s still providing weapons to the Israeli military. Consider Germany’s position as an ally to Israel and how the country’s history with the Holocaust is part of the context. Then, write an article that explains Germany’s complex position.

3. ABSENTEEISM ON THE RISE

In the four years since the Covid-19 pandemic closed schools, absenteeism has increased across the country, regardless of factors like race or income level. In some districts, the number of absences has doubled compared to before the pandemic. One study showed that if ten percent of a student’s classmates are absent, that student is more likely to be absent the following day. Increases in mental health issues like anxiety following the pandemic are also a factor, with students not wanting to attend school because they don’t know if their friends will be there, they’re nervous about catching up academically, and many other reasons. Consider how chronic absenteeism—or missing at least 10 percent of a school year—can put students behind, both academically and socially. Then, create a flier or other visual campaign that would reach students and help encourage them to not be absent form school.

4. NEW POLLUTION RULES

New regulations from the Biden administration are aimed at encouraging companies to switch to electric or zero-emission heavy vehicles. The rule could impact long-haul trucks, school buses, landscaping vehicles, cement mixers, ambulances, moving vans, RVS and more. While it doesn’t require the purchase of more eco-friendly vehicles, it limits the amount of pollution across a company’s line of vehicles; it’s up to the company of how they want to bring their vehicles into compliance, either by buying new hybrid or electric vehicles or increasing fuel efficiency of their existing trucks. A similar rule was enacted last week to increase the number of new passenger cars and trucks that are all-electric or hybrids. The goal is that a majority of new vehicles purchased by 2032 will be hybrid or electric. Look up the new regulations and consider how they will impact the environment and various aspects of business in the United States. Then, write an article that summarizes the new regulations and their potential impact.

5. THE LIFE OF ELEANOR COLLINS

Canada’s “First Lady of Jazz” Eleanor Collins died last week at 104 years old. She was the first Black person and first woman to host a television program in Canada with “The Eleanor Collins Show,” which ran for three months in the summer of 1955. She was an accomplished jazz singer but never made an album under her own name and rarely traveled to perform. Instead, she focused on her husband and four children and their life in a Vancouver suburb. On her 95th birthday, she was honored with the Order of Canada, the second-highest civilian honor in the country. Read more about Eleanor Collins’ life online, then write a profile about her and her legacy.