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Why don't you write about the shooting that occurred at Fort Hood in Texas. That's the one where the Army psychiatrist who was supposed to get deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, I forget which, went to the base and killed thirteen people and wounded a bunch of other ones. It is, of course, getting a lot of publicity, so other classmates might write about it as well. But that's a pretty obvious one in what's otherwise been a fairly slow news week.
If not that, then there's the always fun health care reform bill. It just passed the House of Representatives this weekend.
An interesting aspect of the Ft. Hood shooting is that this story demonstrates the slants that main-stream news puts upon the reportage of an incident. If you will review the coverage of CNN and NBC, Newsweek, and Time for instance, and contrast them with the coverage that Fox News gave this story [more people watched Fox for the shooting story, interestingly], you will become aware of great differences. For instance, the professionals consulted about possible motives for the shooting of 100 rounds into Army personnel is quite different. Dr. Phil on "Larry King Live" which is aired on CNN, for instance, says that the major "just snapped." On Fox News, however, ex-military officers blame Political Correctness for not having rifted a man who has displayed irregular behavior for years. Other professionals on Fox have made additional comments.
If you will explore the same story told several ways, you may come to your own conclusions, too, rather than those of newscasters. Good Luck.
Perhaps a current event that might be of interest but not used too much is that of Ohio rapist Anthony Sowell. He was arrested for rape. When authorities began investigating him and his house, however, they found several bodies of dead women. These women were found in walls, under floors, and other places. There were body parts found out in the yard as well. Something I heard in a news story was the owner (or a worker) of a processing plant or some other business located next to his house. Over the years, there has been foul odors emanating from that neighborhood, and the business has taken several steps to remedy the odor to know avail, "So we knew it wasn’t us." If that is the case, why weren’t the authorities called in an effort to track down this foul odor? I’ve smelled several dead things throughout my lifetime, (admittedly never a corpse), and the odor of decomposition is hard to miss. How could so many dead bodies be disposed of, and no one was ever the wiser.
Fort Hood is a timely topic. The recent passage of health care in the House and en route to the Senate might be another topic, also previously suggested. To be able to examine it as a step against freedom, as the Republicans suggest, and a landmark moment in the history of the United States, as the Democrats argue, is a powerful dichotomy and worthy of analysis. Another international topic might be the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall. Seeing how times and struggles have paralleled between then and now might be something to study.
You could also discuss the President's impending decision about sending additional troops to Afghanistan. Many are linking his hesitation to the health care vote, the now-canceled election in Afghanistan, etc. Some had thought that his decision would come this week.
Also, Wednesday is Veteran's Day in America. It would be a good topic and could easily be linked to the mental health of returning veterans (which also connects to the Ft. Hood murders).
Why don't you write about the economy and how the government is trying to cause people to spend more money, when in fact the problem is that people have spent too much money already in the past. For example, there are so many incentives to buy - cars (cash for clunkers), houses (extremely low interest rates), etc. You can also tie in the fact that the US is a great debtor nation. Ask the question of whether this makes any sense. What should we do instead? Finally, you can tie in all the talk of bank bonuses this year and the unemployment rate. There is a lot to discuss. And if you want, you can tie this is in with the Great Depression.
What about the execution of John Muhammed, better known as the DC Sniper? He sat on death row for a relatively short time. Some people have been there for decades, but it has been just 7 years since he was convicted. You might want to explore why there was no appeal or how the laws in Virginia differ from those of other states when it comes to capital punishment.
If you are struggling again THIS week, might I suggest the discovery of major quantities of water on the moon? Being able to have a base on the moon allows for many, many types of scientific r&d activities, taking advantage of lower gravity and ready access to areas of no atmosphere (without having to be on a shuttle/space station.) For one thing, we could build rockets to launch from the moon, taking advantage of the lower gravity, that will allow us to explore the rest of our solar system much more easily.
Why don't you write on the rise of China's military, particularly it navy and anti-naval weapons. Will this change the balance of power in the pacific. If so, how? More generally, you can speak of what happens when nations beef up their military. It can be an interesting topic.
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