The deadly Capital riot and what this means for Trump

By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte

On January 6th, 2021, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington. They were trying to overturn the 2020 election.

The 2020 election had results of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris winning for the term. It was a deadly riot because 5 died and dozens were injured: 4 rioters and 1 police officer.

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died from getting hit in the head with a fire extinguisher thrown from a rioter.

The 4 rioters who died were Ashli Babbitt, Kevin Greeson, Rosanne Boyland, and Benjamin Phillips. Babbitt was an Air Force Veteran, and she died from being shot by a Capitol Police Officer. Greeson suffered from a heart attack and fell to the sidewalk. Boyland died from being crushed by fellow rioters. Phillips suffered a stroke and died.

You may be wondering if people are going to get charged. According to Durkin Richer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C., which handles both local and federal cases in the district, had filed 17 cases in federal court and at least 40 others in the Superior Court by Saturday. The cases in Superior Court mainly have to do with things like curfew violations and gun crimes.

Did Donald Trump do anything to persuade the rioters? Trump encouraged the supporters to storm the Capitol and “fight” for what they demand, but according to Durkin Richer, the Federal Office cannot legally confirm that he “Illegally incited violence because he didn’t specifically call for people to storm the Capitol”. 

The U.S. House impeached Donald Trump for the second time for “Inciting Deadly Capitol Riot”. Trump was the first president to be impeached twice in 245 years. The night of the impeachment, Nancy Pelosi said that Trump was a threat to “Liberty, self-government and the rule of law”. 

How did Joe Biden get into politics

By: Caden Ligman

On January 20th, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Before running for president in 2016, and 2020, Joe Biden served two terms as vice president behind Barack Obama, who was president for 8 years, beginning in 2008.

Biden has had a long career in politics, capitalizing on it by becoming the oldest president ever at 78 years old.

Joe Biden was born on November 20th, 1942. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and his parents were both blue collar workers.

Growing up, Joe struggled with a stutter and was made fun of at school. To get over his stutter he would practice for hours at a time, reciting poems in the mirror.

After graduating high school in 1961, Joe began his college studies at the University of Delaware where he studied history and political science. During his first few years in college, Joe developed a strong interest in politics. This was the beginning of his interest in politics and the spark that would ignite his political career.

After graduating from college and law school in 1968, he moved to Wilmington, Delaware and began practicing law. Joe quickly became an active member of the Democratic Party in 1970, when he was elected as a councilman in New Castle County, Delaware.

Joe’s first big political break came just two year later when he ran for a seat in the United States Senate in 1972. Biden and his family worked tirelessly on his campaign and he won his seat in an upset victory over J. Caleb Boggs. Biden served in the U.S senate from 1972-2009.

Biden’s presidential ambition started in 1987 when he ran for president. He ended up dropping out of the Democratic primary after there were reports that he had plagiarized part of his speech.

This was only the beginning of his presidential hopes. In 2007, Biden ran again for president but dropped out early in the race after receiving a low number of votes during the early caucuses. A few months later however, Biden was chosen by Barack Obama to be his vice president.

The rest is history, Biden served alongside Obama for two terms and ran for president once again in 2020, defeating Donald Trump and becoming the 46th president of the United States. ​

“True bravery is when there is very little chance of winning, but you keep fighting.”

― ​Joe Biden, ​Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose

The effects of marijuana on teens

By Nora Doyle

Image taken from: ‘Scientific American’

Consuming marijuana has become more and more normalized in the teenager age group. It’s become more and more common in college, high school, and even middle school students.

Teens use it for multiple different reasons. It can be used in a party situation, or for fun, as a coping mechanism for different mental illnesses, or even just when they’re bored. These are all reasons that teens smoke weed according to Mentalhelp.net. Another major reason is peer pressure, and wanting to be accepted by other kids.

Teens tend to believe that smoking weed isn’t bad for you or has any negative effects on their bodies or brains. But in reality, according to the CDC, marijuana can have permanent effects on the developing brain.

The CDC says that frequent, or long-term, use of marijuana is often linked to students dropping out of school due to how it negatively affects learning abilities and paying attention. It causes difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and also affects the memory.

As for the effects on mental health, the CDC says that it increases the risk of mental health issues including depression and anxiety. Although marijuana is sometimes known for helping these issues, it makes it harder for the body to produce the chemicals and hormones that make you happy naturally. This is why teens become reliant on weed for their mental health, but it also has the opposite effect.

When it comes to long term physical effects, according to Teendrugabuseuse.gov, it truly affects the lungs and breathing ability. Smoke from marijuana can irritate the lungs and cause a chronic cough. Although, the possible worst symptom is that it can affect women’s ability to have a healthy baby. Excessive smoking of weed can decrease the male’s sperm found and delay ovulation in women so it makes it harder to get pregnant.

Despite what you may hear about marijuana, it is not good for a teen’s developing brain and body. Stay away from weed as much as possible and learn ways to avoid peer pressure.

You don’t need to smoke weed to fit in.

World leaders contracting COVID-19

By: Aisha Dirie

Over the duration of the pandemic, especially these past few months, world leaders have been contracting COVID-19.

Trump announced that he went into quarantine in early October 2020, after testing positive. This was right before the election, and the second presidential debate, but after the first presidential debate. This caused concern that it had been spread to other people at the debate, especially President-elect Joe Biden. Trump contracting COVID-19 cancelled that upcoming 2nd debate.

People close to Trump also contracted the virus including his family, and Ivanka, and some co-workers.

Trump was also hospitalized for his symptoms of COVID-19, as well as other world leaders who contracted COVID-19, like Boris Johnson.

Another world leader that contracted COVID-19 is Emmanuel Macron, the President of France. After testing positive for COVID-19 in mid December, Macron went into quarantine. Since meetings with other countries, and officials, had happened within recent days of his positive test, other European leaders also went into quarantine.

This diagnosis canceled a planned visit to Lebanon, and other planned events for Macron and other leaders in contact with him. 

Although many major world leaders have caught COVID-19, many have recovered safely, including Trump and Johnson, who were both hospitalized for their symptoms. Along with these major world leaders contracting the virus, others include: the Prime Minister of Russia, the President of Bolivia, the Prime Minister of Armenia, the President of Poland, and many more, who have all caught COVID-19.

These events just prove how anyone can get COVID-19, and how important it is to take caution. 

The COVID-19 vaccine is also starting to be distributed within these countries. 

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Why Ariana Grande is the queen of pop

By: Kayla Madison

Ariana Grande is the queen of pop. No doubt about it. She’s been killing it since her ‘Dangerous Woman’ era in May 20, 2016.

Even Nicki Minaj (the queen of rap) said so herself in the song “Side to Side” with the lyric “I’m the queen of rap, young Ariana run pop”.

Following the Manchester bombing (RIP) which left thousands of fans, and Ariana, traumatized, she released the album ‘Sweetener’ on August 17, 2018. It is said by her: I think that it was made to hopefully bring sweeter days.

She has a song “breathin” which she said is about anxiety, which she’d already had prior to the bombing, but that only seemed to heighten it.

Roughly 6 months later, on February 8th, 2019, she released ‘thank u, next’ which she made after her ex Mac Miller passed away (RIP, he was such a sweet hearted soul,) and the split from her then fiancé, Pete Davidson. All 12 of its tracks were on the Billboard Top 100 with “thank u, next”, “7 rings”, and “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” occupying the top 3 spots.

After the release, it broke multiple streaming records, including largest streaming week for a pop album, and female album in the U.S., with 307 million on-demand streams.

Globally, this album was 8th in best selling in 2019, and 4th best selling for female artists.

About a month later, Ariana was set for the Sweetener World Tour that began March 18, 2019. The tour grossed $146.4 million from 97 shows. During 2020’s Grammy Awards, ‘thank u, next’ was nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ and the song “7 rings” was nominated for ‘Record of the Year’ and ‘Best Pop Solo Performance’. Since the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards were rigged, she went home empty handed.

On October 30, 2020, she released the album ‘Positions’. Now, I don’t know about everyone else, but this album is in the top rank compared to some of the others that had dropped around this time.

My favorites from this album are “just like magic”, “west side”, and “love language”. Check them out, they’re great. Of course, those aren’t the only songs I listen to off of it. This album is not like many others, there isn’t a song on here worth skipping. They’re all great and have their own sense of style you could say.

It’s also really nice to see Ariana change vocally and see how she’s in more of a healed place mentally through the songs. She explains them all in the Zach Sang interview, which is quite long but worth watching if you love her.

She also just recently dropped her “34+35” remix with Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion. I’m not really into Megan like that, but her verse made me laugh (it’s very explicit so don’t play it around your parents).

On an unrelated note, she’s engaged to Dalton Gomez, so let’s hope that she actually gets married this time!

Donald Trump’s second impeachment

The House began to write articles of impeachment on January 13, 2021, and they voted to impeach Donald Trump of “incitement to insurrection”.

The articles of this impeachment also include his call to the Georgia governor, where he urged him to “find” enough votes for him to win the state. 

On January 6, 2021, Trump addressed a crowd of supporters where he told them false information about the election, and told them to go to the capitol and “fight like hell” and promised to be there by their side.  

Just hours later, hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers, set up along the Capitol, and there was an armed standoff that took place at the Capitol front door at about 3 p.m.. The police officers had their guns drawn, and this led to a woman to be shot in the chest on the Capitol grounds. Trump finally called on his supporters to “go home” and added, “We love you. You are very special.”

He’s the first president in history to face a second impeachment trial. His trial is expected to begin on February 8, 2021. The vote to impeach him was 232-197, with ten Republicans with him and no Democrats with him.

Senators will be sworn in as members of the impeachment court, Chuck Schumer and the house managers will act as prosecutors, and the Trump defense team will have a period to draft their legal briefs. 

Most Republicans feel that it’s not constitutional to hold a trial when Trump is no longer in the White House. Mr. Schumer in reply said: “It makes no sense whatsoever that a president or any official could commit a heinous crime against our country and then be permitted to resign to avoid accountability and a vote to disbar them from future office.”

Mitch McConnell, who was a loyal supporter of Trump through his presidency, has blamed him for the attack on the capital saying that he “provoked” and “fed lies” to the rioters.

In his 2019 impeachment, where he was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of justice, for allegedly attempting to pressure Ukrainian officials to provide election interference, Trump called the impeachment then and now “the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”

For more information about Trump impeachment please visit

Tips for getting past writer’s block

By Teah Henry

Whether you were writing an essay for school or your own story, surely you’ve hit writer’s block before.

Writer’s block is when a writer has trouble getting words down and continuing what they were writing. It can be tough to deal with and cause your writing to severely slow down. Luckily, there’s ways to get past it. 

  • Write Everyday 

This is a tip more for people who write as a hobby. It’s something that takes time of course, but writing everyday proves to help writers have writer’s block less often.

The writing you do can be whatever you want, such as a journal entry or challenging yourself to write at least five hundred words of a story. It keeps your brain fresh and makes it easier for you to write even if you’re not in the mood for it. 

  • Just Write 

This is a piece of advice everyone hates hearing, but it works.

Write down whatever you need to, even if it’s just scattered thoughts. This helps you move forward with your project, and can also help you get back into a writing groove. If you don’t like what you wrote, you can always go back and edit it. There’s a reason for first drafts!

  • Read and Analyze 

Reading pieces of writing you like can help your brain start to flow again. It also helps to analyze what you’re reading.

Picking apart the sentences and looking at their structure can also help improve your prose. Looking at what you like about other pieces of writing can help you write even better. 

Those are just three tips on how to get past writer’s block.

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to get past it, but these tips can help and hopefully do! If they don’t work, it’s always okay to take a breather and step away from the computer or notebook. Sometimes that’s all a writer needs!

Sex trafficking in Central America 

By: Kayla Arellano

*Note, this article may have material that could trigger individuals (sexual assault, violence against women), therefore, we present a trigger warning here.

Human trafficking has been happening in Central America since 1990, and has been the center of attention in Guatemala, Honduras, and in El Salvador. Human trafficking in Central America has increased throughout the years due to gang violence and corruption in Latin American countries. Gang member seduce vulnerable young women into sex trafficking by promising them security, safety, and a better life in the U.S.; fake job offers; deceived into romantic relationships; coerced by older family members; approached by other victims; etc. 63% are underage, and 96% of the woman are from Mexico or Latin America.

The Polaris Project published a report, in 2016, showing how human trafficking happens in clubs, bars, cantinas, and strip clubs. They are smuggled to the United States without them knowing where they are being taken. When they arrive in the U.S., they take them into any of the previously mentioned places, and are forced to work as a cover for business transactions. 

Dressember.org has found research that labor trafficking, and sex trafficking, occurs in these places, and the employer will use fraud and force to maintain the workers and make them believe they have no choice but to keep on working.

The Polaris Project also had a case study where, in a cantina in Texas, inspectors noticed strange behavior in the female employees. It looked like they were being kept away from the inspectors and the woman showed fear towards the employers.

The employers had told the women that they were in enormous debt because they had been taken to the U.S., and that they would have to work at the place they were sent to, and would have to have sexual interactions with patrons every night. If any of the women resisted, there would be physical violence, sexual abuse, or harm to their families, so they had no choice but to work for them. 

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Why are teens smoking more now?

By: Heidy Ramirez

“Why are teens smoking more now?” is the question of the day.

A lot of them are smoking because of peer pressure or stress and it has not been good with the pandemic going on. They don’t really have anyone to turn to, so people turn to drugs.

2020 was no one‘s year. There was a riot, pandemic lockdown, and COVID.

The teens that start to smoke, mostly start before the age of 18 because of their friends, older siblings or they think they look cool. Another big reason they start is stress, because of everything in the world.

Right now, with the entire pandemic, and with the students not going to regular school, and parents not going to work, there is a lot of pressure at home because of school and work. So, there are a lot of arguments going on, and that creates people wanting to let out steam which is smoke, so they start smoking. 

There is a lot of pressure, and it mostly falls on the teens because we have to show leadership to these younger kids, but the parents don’t understand that it could be a little bit too much for us, so we turn our heads to smoking.

Some teens think that doing grown up stuff can make you grow, but that’s not what happens with smoking; they are smoking their life’s up. The teens are using vapes, juul’s and e-cigs now these days, and there are different flavors so you can choose the one you like and get hooked on it.

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Villains of the sea

By: Grace Helmke

Killers of the deep.

The sinister shadow that lurks beneath, ready to attack.

The shark has been plunged into the public eye inspiring widespread fear amongst individuals all over the world. Their razor sharp teeth, ready to rip practically anything to shreds, and their silent, menacing movements make for the perfect Hollywood villain. Are these sea-dwelling creatures the fearsome menace that the media portrays? 

Hollywood has made a significant impact on the general public view of sharks, depicting them as beings of malicious intent. The 1975 film ‘Jaws’ is most likely the source of the widespread fear, and Hollywood’s overuse of the demonized shark character.

Because of its incredible successes all over the nation, creating multiple millions at the box office, and bursting its way into pop culture as a well known classic film series, copycat movies were bound to emerge. It created an endless cycle of Hollywood movies based on the perpetuating stereotype of the vengeful killer shark, leaving America in a fascinated fear. 

This was an incredible shift of thought from what the notion was before the movie was released. It was once believed that sharks were harmless creatures. They stayed out of the way of humans, and humans did the same.

When swimming became a regular recreational activity, sharks were acknowledged very little. Even in the scientific world, they were seen as simply another oceanic inhabitant instead of a test subject with interesting, unusual or even dangerous enough behavior to study. They were simply just there.  But ‘Jaws’ flipped the nation overnight. It created a fearsome character that the public latched onto, and never let go of. 

Today, because they have captured public attention, sharks are studied extensively. Their behavioral patterns are documented and analyzed religiously by scientists all over the world.

What has come from this research is an enormous amount of myth debunking. The most impactful myth created in Hollywood was that sharks are man eaters. Of course, because that meant that sharks threatened human lives, they became the villain.

But the reality is that sharks do NOT like the taste of human flesh, nor do they actively hunt humans for prey.

In the extremely rare occurrence of a shark attack, it is just a case of mistaken identity in an area of low visibility. They would likely just be giving a bite out of curiosity more than have the desire to make a meal out of a human. That is why there are more documented shark bittings than shark fatalities.

There just isn’t enough blood-vessel-containing-fat on humans for us to be a hearty snack. Even an individual with a high concentration of fat on their body does not have enough fat, that contains blood vessels, for sharks to want them. Our blood and fat isn’t something they enjoy. 

That leads into the next completely false myth that sharks are just mindless killers. While sharks are predatory creatures, they don’t kill anything they see, nor do they constantly think about food. They are incredibly intelligent and evolved creatures, who can navigate themselves across the ocean using only their sense of smell.

Much like humans, sharks are curious and sociable creatures. An experiment was implemented in which two objects were placed in the water: one resembling the shape of a seal, the other a square. The great whites approached the square out of curiosity over the seal shaped object. Instead of biting and attacking the object, they would bump into it, attempting to “feel” what it was. This inquisitive characteristic was exhibited in several experiments, the sharks in question having no intent to harm the object, only discovering what it could be. 

The news has also impacted our perception of sharks. It seems that anytime there’s a shark attack or shark encounter, it’s plastered all over the news. It makes it seems as though shark attacks are common events happening all the time.

But the truth is, that there is an incredibly low chance of an individual even seeing a shark in the wild, much less attacked.

Let’s put this into perspective. You have about a 1 in 3,784,067 chance of being attacked by a shark. And that counts non-malicious shark encounters as well. When you think about the millions of people that enter the water a day, that number is extremely low. You have a greater chance of being struck by lightning, or winning an Olympic gold medal. 

That being said, do sharks deserve to be so villainized?

The answer is no. They have been wrongfully dubbed a malicious creature due to aggressive news coverage, and Hollywood’s fabrication of the shark villain. Not only do they have an aversion to the taste of humans, they are incredibly intelligent beings capable of high functioning brain activity. They have simply fallen victim to a Hollywood charade. 

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