The Iowa caucus

By Jillian Armstrong

Most people have heard about the Iowa caucus, and even it’s results this year. Most people, however, don’t know why the caucuses are so important and the influence it has.

The Iowa caucuses are biennial electoral events for members of the Democratic and Republican parties in the state of Iowa. The Iowa caucus is regarded as an important indicator of a candidate’s likely success and it usually is the first among the nomination contests. 

You may be wondering why the Iowa caucuses are important and why they are in Iowa in the first place. Iowa is tiny, atypical to the rest of the United States, and provides about only 1% of the nation’s delegates. However, this doesn’t stop the state from being the first indicator of whether a presidential candidate’s support is holding up. The timing of the Iowa caucus provides candidates time to adjust their messages, which gives the state a large amount of power in elections. The Iowa caucuses give the media a tangible measure of candidates’ relative strength.

The Iowa caucuses’ importance can be seen in past electoral races. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, for example, the Iowa caucuses in 2000 played an important role in the ascendance of the Democratic nominee, Al Gore. It did the same thing for the election’s ultimate winner, George W. Bush. In 2008, former President Barack Obama took lead in the Iowa caucuses. This forged a path for his nomination and victory over his rivals. 

The Iowa caucuses are run differently from other primary elections. In primary elections, in other states, registered voters go to polling places to cast ballots. In Iowa, people gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and vote on the candidates.

The caucuses were run differently this year, a decision that may have backfired. Instead of local meetings, it was decided that an app would be used to make the experience “easier.” The apps showed irregularities and votes began to have to be counted manually. This led to a significant delay in determining the results. 

According to CNN, the eventual results of the Iowa caucuses showed Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders as front runners in the Presidential race, both carrying about 21% of the votes. Elizabeth Warren was not far behind in the race with about 18% of the votes. So, as the Presidential race continues, these three candidates should be paid close attention!

Youth Climate Justice Summit

By: Vivian S

If you are currently alive in the world, you have probably heard of climate change. One of the most discussed issues in this day and age, everyone seems to have an opinion about climate change. And youth are no exception, which is why they will be having a discussion about it.

On Wednesday, February 26th, which yes, is a school day, from 8:30am to 3pm, youth will be holding a summit to discuss climate change.

During the summit, youth will learn how to participate in government, specifically on the issue of climate change, and get a chance to speak with their representatives. Youth will also get to listen to youth activists, and learn how they are protesting climate change. While the summit may be about climate change, it also will be talking about how social justice relates to climate justice.

While posters around the school proclaim that the summit will be taking place at the MN State Capitol Building, the website says that it will be taking place in a multitude of buildings, mainly the Good Neighbor Center. The Good Neighbor Center is where the Highland group will be meeting first as well. If you are confused, like I was, you can find a map and instructions of where to go on the website.

To find that map and register, go to: https://www.climategen.org/our-core-programs/yea-mn/youth-climate-justice-summit-2020/.

They very strongly recommend and would like you to register.

If you are worried about transportation, the organizers also have options for that. You can fill out an application for transportation funding (though I’m unsure if they’re taking them anymore given applications were supposed to be turned in by January).

The Highland group is currently trying to work out transportation, but hasn’t yet got anything, if they do get transportation, they will be announcing it via announcements or their Instagram (@hpsavestheworld).

Also, if you are worried about food, there will be food there.

Last year, about 200 youth met with 50 senators at this summit. They participated in workshops, some of which discussed climate justice. Multiple organizations including Yea! MN, MN Can’t Wait, Women for Political Change, and MN350 participated in the event.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, whom I’m assuming is a Minnesota youth, you might want to register and plan to attend. 

Sex trafficking nationally

 

Minnesota is such a quiet place no one would think something like sex trafficking would be going on. It is known for teens to do risky things in the bathroom at malls and movies in Minnesota. But no one really knows if they’re forced to interact in these sexual encounters. There was a total of 28 victims forced into human sex trafficking last year during the “Final Four” in March of 2019, also sex trafficking is huge during the Super Bowl, which Minnesota hosted not that long ago. 

All 28 of those victims were rescued, including one minor, and there was a total of 58 men and women that were arrested for these crimes.

But this isn’t only happening in Minnesota, it’s a worldwide problem. Over 20.9 million are victims of human trafficking globally. This is occurring everyday and is ruining little girls and women’s lives. 

The average age of when a sex trafficking victim is first sold is 13years old. The ages go up to as high as 30 years old. One pimp of who was a sex trafficker, but ultimately was caught said, “The goal is to get the girls as dependent as possible. Mentally you’ve gotta burn into their brains you’re the only one…You’re god. Once you’ve got that down and they’re ready to work…Then you instal the fear…The wrath of god. If they mess up, there’s a price to pay, and they know it’s a heavy price.”

Most everyone knows about sex trafficking from what they see and hear in movies and the news but no one has ever sat down to actually listen to the victims instead of interviewing them to get famous off their stories.

So, as we conducted research, we went around to the students of Highland Park Senior High School and asked their opinions on the topic. We interviewed multiple students but only a few of these students’ opinions really stood out. The same two questions were asked: “How do you feel about human sex trafficking?” and “What are your emotions towards the victims that go through sex trafficking?”. 

Jerry Flores a sophomore attending Highland Park Senior High said, “Well sex trafficking is a controversial topic and isn’t well thought out or more of the less thought of. I feel that there should be more laws about how to compensate these families when going through these type of experiences.” 

Brianna Avalos said, “It has messed up young girls’ lives because they don’t experience things that everybody else does because of it.” She also said. “It makes me feel bad because they have to go through it everyday and they don’t have a normal lifestyle that a normal person would have.”

Another Highland Park student said, “The authorities need to do a better job regulating it.”

We then asked our parents about sex trafficking and here’s what they had to say:

“It’s horrible and they need to have a specific force team for just sex trafficking.”

“I feel that this kind of thing happens almost everyday and for these young girls to go through something like that it’s really really sad. I feel that the police should do more to stop the creeps and pedophiles who use these young girls for their bodies.”

According to the U.N.-backed International Labor Organization (ILO) globally, it is estimated that up to 40 million people today are affected by this industry. In 2019 alone, per the Institute for Sport and Social Justice’s “Shut Out Trafficking” program, there were 2,907 individuals arrested, suspected or charged with human trafficking activities in the United States. More than 400 people over 18 years of age were rescued from being trafficked and nearly 115 children under age 18 were freed. There were 83 new laws passed and 483 community-based initiatives to fight human trafficking.

There are plenty of groups and organizations working and helping the police in different states to stop this crime from happening. So, if you, or anyone, are in need of help please don’t hesitate to call the National Trafficking Hotline at: 1-888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to Polaris Project’s BeFree Textline at 233733. And please take the information provided to you and spread the word; it’ll help a lot of kids and women. 

Animals going extinct

There are a couple of explanations behind why an animal or creature can become endangered. One explanation is loss of environment. To become familiar with why creatures have become terminated previously, we utilized data from National Geographic.

Creatures might be compelled to move because of an adjustment in their condition, this can be common, natural change, or by human causes. The dinosaurs, for instance, passed on because of natural disasters.

Animal populaces have diminished by 60% since 1970; it’s thought to be because of rigorous cultivating of land. The rainforests that are being chopped down have many species in them. From the plants, to creepy crawlies, to the feathered creatures, and common mammals. These creatures utilize this condition as their home; it gives shelter and nourishment to them. 

Species that endure their natural surroundings being cleared need to relocate. With an absence of land, there is an expanded possibility of human-animal interactions. Introduction to wild creatures can be possibly hazardous to both parties. Potentially dangerous plants, growths, or insects, might be nearer to society because of their territory being crushed. They begin to grow and thrive in communities which is unwanted.

The loss of species we are seeing today is evaluated to be somewhere in the range of 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the common eradication rate. People have pursued a significant number of the bigger animals from pretty much every occupied landmass in the course of 125,000 years. 

The International Union for Conservation of Nature evaluated how likely it is for specific bird species to go extinct. This depends on characteristics they saw from them. What they found was that the little and versatile creatures have a superior possibility of endurance. Huge creatures are progressively powerless against people since they are targeted and need more space. The loss of these creatures has tumbling impacts. They support their biological system, for instance, elephants disperse huge seeds around the land.

Creatures coincide with their condition; removing their environment carries dangers to them. The West African Black rhinoceros was a subspecies of the black rhino that was proclaimed to be wiped out in 2011. This creature’s end was due to excessive poaching and demands for rhino horn. 

There is an informational article to help you learn more about larger animals becoming extinct from the New York Times

This article was intended to shine light to everyone on how their environment has been changing. Earth is the home for millions of species of animals. People have been cutting down and taking down the habitats of these animals for years. After such a long time of destruction and hunting, animals are becoming endangered.

We want to preserve these animals of the past and keep them alive, but because of sport hunting and exotic demands it’s only becoming harder. We lose animal and plant species because of agriculture pushes, whether it’s building homes, or farming.

I’d recommend visiting the Wildlife Conservation Society’s site if you would like to donate to that cause or learn more about it.

The importance of having unedited photos

The importance of having honest and non-photoshopped photos in newspapers is critical. They are critical because citizens trust that their news source will have truthful information. Having truthful information helps readers trust the press. Photoshopped/edited photos could lead to misread information. 

OJ Simpson was a famous running back in the NFL. According to Britannaca, he was accused of killing his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. There were many different rumors and photos going around talking about the trial. Many newspapers showed variations of photos that were taken.

In Time magazine they had edited Simpson’s mugshot to be darker. The editor claimed that his edits had “no racial agenda.” He had also said “I used my long-established style to give the image a dramatic tone.” Time even showed the before and after of the edited photo. The people who viewed these images could assume a lot of different things just from one edited photo. The different things could be spread and turn into a controversial argument. 

According to the New York Times, in 2015 there was a competition called the “World Press Photo Competition.” Many people had to be disqualified from the competition due to “manipulation or excessive digital post processing.” To learn more about this event, and the actions that were taken during and after it, you can visit “Staging, Manipulation and Truth in Photography”. This is yet another example of how important it is to not edit your photos. 

The reasons having unedited photos is so important because it makes people get the wrong impressions, and it could affect editors or photographers for the rest of their lives. 

What is the Coronavirus? How can I protect myself?

As we all know, sickness and disease are very common parts of our lives. Everybody knows that eventually they will get sick, most of the time it’s no big deal and all you need to do is ride it out. We know how diseases like the common cold are spread and what we can do to prevent ourselves from getting sick. But even with these precautions, people still get very sick each year.

 One virus that has been in the news recently is known as The 2019 Novel Coronavirus or simply just the coronavirus, it is part of the corona family which houses other viruses such as the common cold, or influenza.

The outbreak started in a town that has been identified as Wuhan, China. Wuhan has since been quarantined, but not before hundreds of people fled the village and surrounding towns.

This virus is spread through airborne particles and is very contagious, it is passed from person-to-person. But unlike influenza, the coronavirus currently has no vaccine.

In the US, there are 5 states with confirmed cases of the coronavirus. According to the CDC, there have also been 29 countries with confirmed cases of the virus. China has reported 28,000 confirmed cases with more than 560 coronavirus deaths, according to The Washington Post

There are more viruses that belong in the coronavirus family, such as the common cold, which was mentioned earlier, and the viruses that caused the global outbreaks of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2015, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

It is believed that this virus spread to humans from animals, like the MERS and SARS viruses did but they are still unsure about what the specific cause of this outbreak was and when they will be able to find a cure.

People are being warned not to travel to China and returning travelers are being tested and detained for 14 days to check for the virus.

The best way to avoid getting sick is to avoid anybody who has been diagnosed with the virus, and your wash hands frequently while avoiding any unnecessary trips into crowded areas.

Death of a legend

Kobe Bryant was an American basketball player. He entered the National Basketball Association right out of high school, and played for the Los Angeles Lakers. On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people, were killed in a helicopter crash, while on their way to a youth basketball tournament.

Before the helicopter went down, the pilot told air traffic control that he was climbing to avoid a layer of fog. Witnesses reported that they saw the helicopter flying through a layer of clouds and fog, seconds before it crashed. The helicopter slammed into a hill.

According to the radar data, the helicopter crashed at about 152miles per hour. It has been reported that the helicopter fell at a quick rate, and according to experts that was too fast for a standard landing. 

The helicopter had a reputation as a safe aircraft. Investigators have said that the helicopter lacked a key warning, meaning the helicopter system didn’t warn pilots, if they are getting too close to the ground. Officials have said that it’s too early to know whether the lack of warning was the cause of the crash. 

Fans around the world mourned the death of the star and his daughter Gianna; people gathered outside of the Staples Center to pay their respects. Alicia Keys, who hosted the 2020 Grammys, gave a tribute to him, and his teammates have also honored him and paid tribute to them.

Vanessa Bryant broke her silence on Instagram with a heartbreaking post with a picture of her, her husband, and their 13-year-old daughter, saying: “My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them.”

For more information, visit this site:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/us/kobe-death.html

Australian bushfires

Australia is in a devastating position. Bushfire has been burning acres of land since October, 2019 and they have continued into January, 2020. Though lots of people are aware of the fires, here is some information to further educate you on the topic. 

One of the first bushfires started on November 11, 2019. It burned roughly 49,000 acres of land in an area known as Ravensbourne.

But it does not stop there, since then more fires have ravaged more of Australia leaving $4.4 billion damage. 

Why did the bushfires start? There are many different reasons for the fires that have overtaken parts of Australia. One of the biggest contributors is the extreme conditions. Australia is currently enduring its hottest, and driest, year recorded. Though the conditions do play a role, other components like humans actions and weather, such as lightning, have also started other fires. 

The effects of these fires have been unfortunate. Approximately 18 million acres of land have been burned, including about 200 homes. Unfortunately, 27 people have died, of which three were volunteering firefighters. And lastly, a lot of animals have been put in severe danger posed by the fires. Though it’s an estimation, it’s possible that half a billion animals have been killed; some being endangered species threatened by extinction. 

Recently, there was a project to help out the animals fleeing their natural habitats. They called it “Operation Rock Wallaby.” The Australian government of New South Wales dropped thousands of carrots and sweet potatoes, around 2,000 pounds in total, hoping to prevent the animals from starving to death. 

So, what can you do to help Australia? The best way you can help Australia is to donate. Some of the best charities include Mission Australia, Oxfam Australia, and Sacred Heart Mission.

In January, it was announced that 1.1 million people have donated to Australia and raised $30 million to help repair the damage caused by the bushfires. Some of the biggest contributions came from celebrities or businesses, including Kylie Jenner, Elton John, Pink, and many more. Their money helped volunteering firefighters and their families, to get more emergency resources, and families who are in need. 

Women in the U.S. military

When it comes to serving one’s country, it took a lot to get women to where they are today. Throughout the years, women have been fighting to move up the ranks in the military. It took a long time, but finally, women can now enroll and serve their country in any rank or position. 

Women have always held a role in the United States military, however for the majority of the time, the roles never involved combat. These women who wanted to serve were confined to jobs as washwoman, cooks, medical caregivers/nurses, seamstresses, and laudresses in the 18th and 19th century. These military roles were mainly taken part during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

Once World War l came around, women still were mainly just nurses. However, the women not already working medical positions were to enlist in the armed forces. During this time, most still served in a voluntary area. A select few ended up being hired by different branches of the military for work and aide in clerical positions. 35,000 women and counting served in the army during WW I. 

During WW ll, women were once again recruited for the army. This time not only to be a nurse, or work in a clerical position, but to be hired as a weather forecaster, telephone operator, or linguists.

As time went went on, some faced a lot of hardships while being a part of the army. Congress decided to allow women to legitimately enlist in the Army of the United States. Because of the Women’s Army Corps, in 1943, women could attain a military rank and serve overseas. 

Women served valiantly in WW ll. They were mocked, sexually harassed, and stigmatized. Through all that, they served bravely and some received medals and citations of their contributions. However, every woman who served was not considered a veteran or given benefits.

A few years later because of sexism in the military, in 1948, President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law. This meant letting women serve as full and permanent members in all branches of the U.S. military. However, women were still restricted. This act limited the number of women who could serve. This left only 2% to be women in the military. At this point, it would take years to get women to where they needed to be equally. 

Slowly but surely, Women’s roles did expand from where they were. By the time it was 1970, women in the military could rise to command roles in non-combat units. Along with this, women and men began to train together.

In the year of 2013, women finally achieved full status in the U.S. military. They could now serve in combat roles. However, this did raise a new global question; should women be required to register for the draft? 

Bee puns really sting

Bees are very interesting insects. In one way they are defying the natural law of weight compared to flight and in other ways they are very efficient and precise little creatures. 

They are built very large and have very small wings. Strangely, they can fly which is interesting because they don’t have the large wings that would be needed for its size.

They are very strong and have an interesting life system. There are many different types of bees like the: bumblebee, hornet, honey bee, western honey bee, etc. Each type has its own features. A bee has a standard defense system but has a complicated outcome. 

Queen and worker bumblebees can sting. Unlike in honeybees, the bee can sting repeatedly without injuring itself; by the same token, the stinger is not left in the wound. Bumblebee species are not normally aggressive, but may sting in defence of their nest, or if it feels endangered itself. 

There are many bees that have a complication. If a bee feels like it is in danger it will sting, but the stinger will be left behind. The bee needs its stinger or it will die. 

Certain bees are in danger of going extinct and many have been put on the endangered list. 

The main causes for the extinction of bees is pesticides and parasites. Ever since WWII the use of pesticides has increased by extreme amounts.

One third of the world’s food supply is made by bees. If all bees go extinct we would be left with no crops, flowers, or plants. If bees disappeared off the earth mankind would estimatedly only have four years or so to live. We wouldn’t be able to regrow any plants to make more food. If bees don’t have food then we don’t have food. 

Easy ways to help protect them is to plant more flowers and plants in your yard, try to eat bee friendly foods that don’t contain too much honey and things, and most importantly, don’t kill them. You can easily find a safe way to move their home somewhere new or just let them stay where they set up camp. Always remember that if you don’t bother them, then they won’t bother you.