For Friday’s current events discussion

Hi COM 303 editors!

Post your five current events questions as comments to this post. This will give me one-stop shopping to see, organize and think about your questions. Focus on “how?” and “why?” questions. These questions can come from anywhere in the newspaper — any section — but focus on the one day (Thursday). Publish your questions in the form of a comment to this post.

Some good sample questions:

  1. Mitt Romney just won the New Hampshire primary. Why are Iowa and New Hampshire — two fairly small states in terms of population — the first two primaries? Why not, say, California and Texas?
  2. In 2012, how is that the government still can regulate television? Doesn’t the First Amendment immune broadcasters from government censorship?
  3. Why does Iran think that a U.S. citizen, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, is a spy? (Iran has sentenced Hekmati to death.)

Use either tomorrow’s print or online versions of the New York Times.

Deadline: 8 p.m. Thursday, January 12.

19 Responses to For Friday’s current events discussion

  1. Grace Dunklin says:

    1. Why was it not clear beforehand that the government should not meddle in the appointments of religious officials?

    2. I never heard about the imposter posing as a Taliban official. How could the American government not double check to make sure someone is actually who they say they are before paying them “tens of thousands of dollars”?

    3. I understand that safety is an issue in automobiles simply by nature of their purpose. So why do automobile manufacturers feel like it is necessary to include all the smart phone gadgetry in an already dangerous mode of transportation?

    4. Nuclear policies have been a subject of much debate ever since the first experiments were conducted. Why was this study just now conducted? Additionally, what were the different variables observed and what is the full listed ranking?

    5. I understand the need to debate and show the differing views of political candidates, even to the point of causing dissent among their followers. However, why do politicians feel it necessary to belittle and publically humiliate their competitors when running for office? Does that not in turn make him look like a bully and lower public opinion of his campaign?

  2. Naing Oo says:

    1.) The death of the Iranian Scientist, leaves me wondering what if it was the assassination plan carried out by the United States? Since things are escalating between United States and Iran, is U.S going to team up more with Israel to take Iran out? Possible World War III?

    2.) How will Asian universities respond to Western universities branching out their programs in Asian nations? Are we shutting the doors or learning all that we can from the Middle Eastern nations by closing up programs overseas?

    3.)Doesn’t United States have enough oranges produce in the country, example, Florida and California?

    4.) Today there are cars that will parallel park itself for humans. I wonder tomorrow, will they be driving by itself to the destinations we need to get to?

    5.) Will Japan side with United States if U.S go to war with Iran, since they now decided to reduce oil imports from Iran?

  3. Ashley McDowell says:

    1.) Why would the marines that urinated on Taliban corpses think that would be funny or appropriate to do and record?

    2.)Why wouldn’t New York be more open to allowing worship services in school buildings?

    3.)The death toll in Mexico from drug wars went up to 47,515, how much longer will these drug wars in Mexico continue?

    4.)The European Union is asking Hungary to “modify its laws in line with its commitments as a member of the Council of Europe,” will they modify them or will it go to the European Court of Human Rights?

    5.)The same suspect for the disappearance of Natalee Holloway was found guilty for killing a 21 year old Peruvian woman, will justice be served this time?

  4. Nathan Sutton says:

    1. What’s the backstory to what’s going on in South Sudan?

    2. Since there has been a storage device created that’s only 12-atoms-big, what exactly are the uses of something like that?

    3. What did CVS Caremark do that violated HIPA in 2009?

    4. What “deliberate leaks” are referred to in this article’s second graph?

    5. For the video of the Marines urinating on corpses, what’s the process that will verify the authenticity of the video?

  5. Trevor Sutton says:

    1. Concerning the story on Iran how long ago did all of the covert attacks begin and why? Was it just because of the building of nuclear bombs?

    2. What was the law before this change discussed in the article “Religious Groups Given ‘Exception’ to Work Bias Law”?

    3. Have there been any changes with how the US deals with North Korea since the Obama Administration? Basically more background on the “North Korea Open to Talks on Nuclear Program” article?

    4. How has the US in the past dealt with these type of videos like the one of the Marines urinating on Taliban corpses?

    5. With South Carolina coming for the candidates, how important is this state and also what is their basic stance on key issues?

  6. Audra Frady says:


    In the article “Religious Groups Given ‘Exception’ to Work Bias Law” I read that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a law that granted religious institutions the right to fire their employees without interference of the government. How is this going to affect schools and colleges that are affiliated with religious organizations? Everyone at Berry is aware of the outcry, good and bad, about Shorter’s faith statement. I wonder if more faith affiliated schools will be more likely to issue faith statements now.

    Memory can be a tricky thing, and social sciences have called eyewitness accounts into question due to their inaccuracy. In “Eyewitness Evidence Needs No Special Cautions, Court Says,” it was ruled that courts should uphold eyewitness testimony. However, much research has been shown to indicate that eyewitness accounts can be false and are the leading cause of wrongful convictions. While the ruling says that eyewitness accounts should be treated like any other flawed evidence, how can courts go on ignoring the mass of research that teaches that eyewitness accounts cannot be trusted. Will any extra cautions be taken when jurors listen to these eyewitness accounts?

    How do the ethnic killings in South Sudan affect their goal of unity and government and how might their unrest affect the United States?

    How did the officials check to make sure that the video of the marines desecrating the bodies of the Taliban was authentic, and how can America come back to the table to talk with the Taliban when this is causing such outrage?

    In “Surgeons Transplant Synthetic Trachea in Baltimore Man” a man receives a windpipe made out of his own stem cells. How will this affect the future of medicine and illnesses such as cancer, liver and kidney failure, and other diseases where organ transplants are needed?

  7. rstonaker says:

    1. The federal government recently made exceptions for churches to hire and fire leaders within their organizations without following the work bias laws. This also applies to teachers of religious oriented classes in schools. Why do teachers who teach theology based courses get special treatment when hired? What is it about teaching religion as opposed to other subjects that calls for exceptions to governmental ruling on work bias laws?

    2. Why would the government feel the need to shut down one of the nations largest silver producing mines for an entire year after only two deaths in a years time? Isn’t mining a dangerous practice by definition?

    3. If it is illegal to text and drive, why are car manufacturers spending so much money developing ways to make smart phones integrate into new car’s entertainment systems? Could this money be alternatively spent on new ways to fuel vehicles?

    4. In light of reports that Germany’s economy is coming to a standstill, why is it that Germany has always had trouble maintaining a steady economic flow for itself? Wasn’t Germany’s vulnerable, destitute economic state the reason Hitler could so easily manipulate the German masses?

    5. New York’s public schools are going to be on trial soon for a decision about Christian worship services being held on school grounds. If no other religions are holding services in public schools and Christians will still be able to freely exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights for freedom of religion and assembly outside of schools, why are Christians so adamant about protecting their right to worship at these schools?

  8. 1.) What do the Lou Nuer people gain by killing Murle people and their tribes? They say revenge because the government will not help, but what will the killings do? Show power?

    2.) With the mayor of New York, Michael R. Bloomberg mainly focusing on education in schools, will it harm his chances at reelection?

    3.) In the case of Badley Manning, accused of leaking confidential government information onto WikiLeaks, why would something like this not be taken to a full military trial, while it could have put many people of the United States at risk in safety matters?

    4.) With countries pulling away from Iranian oil imports, will the world economy struggle greatly, in order to make Iran stop the creating of nuclear weapons?

    5.) In the case of the Marines urinating on the Taliban corpses,will the actions of these Marines cause problems for America as a whole?

  9. Deadline has now passed. “Thank you”s to the eight who made deadline.

  10. Brian Russell says:

    I am furious at myself for missing the deadline, and I sincerely apologize for not meeting it. I don’t expect to get any points but here are my questions to at least show I didn’t completely forget about the assignment:

    1.) Numerous monuments to the deceased Kim Jong-il are being built in North Korea, most of which are very expensive to build. This is just another example of the North Korean government spending outlandish sums of money on relatively unimportant things while the people of North Korea starve and live like peasants. How has the North Korean government managed to keep the population from revolting for so long, and will the death of Kim Jong-il trigger a new surge of protests among the impoverished people?

    2.) Workers at Foxconn Technology in China have recently gone on strike and have threatened to commit suicide if their demands are not met. How much longer will China remain a country where big companies can get away with cheap labor? In 50 years, will China have workers rights similar to that of America and other countries?

    3.) American Airlines has recently gone bankrupt. If it is purchased by another airline company, could a monopoly emerge in the airline industry?

    4.) A recent study has shown that too much vitamin D can be just as detrimental as too little vitamin D and can lead to cardiovascular disease. How exactly can one determine whether they are getting too little vitamin D or too much vitamin D?

    5.) The makers of Dungeons & Dragons, a popular fantasy role playing game, are working on a new edition of the game and are focusing heavily on fan input to create it. Dungeons & Dragons has remained a physical board game over the years. Will it eventually switch over to a digital version since so many things such as games and books are increasing appearing on the computer?

  11. Zadie Bridges says:

    1. There have been many attacks on the Iranian nuclear bomb development. Why does Israel’s military not care about the bombings and why are they blamed for them?

    2. Why are the Giants so anxious to be playing against the Packers this weekend, in the Giants second playoff game.

    3.How is that canidates can have a political agenda met by their PAC’s and say that they know nothing about what goes on inside the PAC. Why are these organizations not regulated so that Americans know what goes on with them?

    4. A surgeon In Sweeden replaced a man’s canerous trachea with a synthentic one made of plastic fibers and stem cells. Is the use of bone marrow stem cells to make a synthetic windpipe ethical?

    5. “The Tea Party” is a political activist group that protest all over America. How is this group any different from the Occupy Wall Street protestors?

  12. Matt Pulford says:

    Dr. Carroll, I thought you wanted us to bring these to class tomorrow, my apologies for them being late.

    1) If the economy is really so tight, and most people are cutting back, then why would they spend twice the money on Greek Yogurt? I know that it is more healthy and has more protein, but, apart from health, is there an underlying reason of why people want to spend more?

    2) How close are the Iranians to making a nuclear bomb if the Israeli’s are are conducting terror strikes in Iran?

    3) Why would Hungary want to remove the checks and balances on their president? Wouldn’t this just be bad for the general person given their past history?

    4) How many rulings have their been concerning “ministerial exceptions” when it comes to firing based on sexual orientation? The article alluded that there has been several over the passed 20 years.

    5) Why doesn’t Brazil just send in their military to take back their favelas from the militants instead of using a corrupt police force?

  13. Cari Voutila says:

    1. Why is it that South Sudan is now becoming consumed with violence, despite all of the money that the US and other countries have invested, and the peace that it experienced six months ago?

    2. Why is it that the civil war in Myanmar is only now coming to a close after the 6 years that it’s lasted?

    3. Now that US troops are officially leaving Iraq, what state exactly is it being left in? What does the foreseeable future hold?

    4. How will the collapse of MF Global affect the US economy as a whole, and what does this indicate about the direction of the economy now?

    5. How does the merging of large pharmaceutical companies reflect the health care reform that President Obama implemented? Is this having a positive or a negative effect on the industry as a whole?

  14. Jake Summerlin says:

    1. The War in Iraq seems to be an important issue the West is considering before intervening in Syria. How much should the United States consider Iraq before implementing military intervention?

    2. The accusations of a chemical attack in Damascus are not concrete, almost like the Bush Administration’s claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Should the U.S. wit for the U.N. inquiry of the matter before pursuing other options?

    3. Is it possible for the Obama Administration to take military action in Syria without the approval of Congress?

    .4. A military attack from Israel on Syria would be a disaster. Would they even consider it? In other words, what would be Israel’s interest in attacking Syria?

    5. We all can agree that Gus has died a true legend. How long will it be until he is featured in the next Disney blockbuster?

  15. Haley Sawyer says:

    Which country’s major 3 banks have failed, and their whole banking system is struggling to survive?

    Which company is releasing a refund system for parents whose children have made purchases without their permission?

    On what major issue has President Obama seemingly changed his opinion since becoming president?

    What is the name of the Chinese activist group within which several members have been arrested?

    Which famous romance writer was given an eight-figure advance for the continuation of her “Blacklist” series?

  16. kamerriam says:

    1. Why was Liu Ping put in a Chinese jail recently?

    2. Why are the political dealings of Port Authority leader David Samson being closely monitored?

    3. How much money will Apple be refunding to customers? Why are they refunding these customers?

    4. Why do American missileers have a pessimistic outlook on their jobs?

    5. In light of its dismal amount of sales, how does J.C. Penney plan to save money?

  17. Katie Sisk says:

    1) How did the U.S justice department define racial profiling prior to the change?

    2) How could the revised constitution in Egypt positively and/or negatively affect the country?

    3) Why doesn’t the Government take a more active role in ensuring that Veterans receive the health care ( both mental and physical) and support that they need to ensure that they do not become homeless?

    4) In light of aps that can replace personal trainers and coaches, how can gyms increase the use of personal trainers in order to keep making more revenue?

    5)How can Bank of America continue the trend of profits exceeding expectations in the coming year?

  18. Lauren Neumann says:

    1) How are New York subways changing? The Federal Aviation Administration may also be adjusting to allow these changes as well.

    2) Why did Facebook decide to revamp its tools? How are these changes affecting businesses?

    3) How has President Obama’s opinion changed since taking office?

    4) Why were 34 Air Force officers recently suspended?

    5) In the new age of technology, how are sports apps affecting consumers? Will there be no need for coaches in the future?

  19. Allyson Cole says:

    1. What is the New Citizen’s Movement in China and why are its members being arrested?

    2. How have President Obama’s views on surveillance changed since he has taken office?

    3. How is Israel’s Parliament attempting to limit anti-Semitism around the world?

    4. What country’s president has made economic plans that include reduced spending and tax cuts for companies?

    5. Why were 34 Air Force officers recently suspended?

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