ACT change

Each year, millions of high school students across the country will be in intense pressure to get a good score and do good on the ACT exam. The ACT exam is usually always mandatory to get into any college.

Luckily, for high school students, the ACT will be somewhat easier next year as students go through the college admissions process. Officials at ACT stated that starting next September, students who would want to improve their scores would be able to retake single sections of the five part test.

The ACT lasts around 3 hours and next September, instead of sitting for all of them again, if a student wants to retake it, they will not have to retake the whole five part test again and can choose which specific section they would want to improve on.

This new change could allow students to avoid doing worse on sections they had taken earlier.

A lot of colleges and universities have made test scores an optional part of applications, but still many students aspire to score highly on the ACT and SAT exams.

The five subsections on the ACT are: reading, math, science, English and writing, which is optional. All 5 are graded on a scale of 1 to 36.

As of right now, scores on the four required sections are averaged into a composite score. Also starting in September, students will get a new superscore that combines their highest scores on the subsections from each time they took the test.

Ed Colby, an ACT spokesman said, “They might think, ‘Why do I have to sit through and take all these tests again if I only need to improve my math score? We’re trying to save them time. We’re trying to save them money.”

Test experts said the changes would help many students improve their scores. This new ACT change will hopefully help students achieve a higher score on their ACT. 

Area 51 raid

People from all over the country walked, drove, and even flew to raid at a United States Air Force facility, within the testing and training range in Nevada, known as Area 51, on September 20, 2019.

The reason behind this raid started when a Facebook event page was created to raid Area 51 by Matty Roberts, on June 27, 2019. The reason for the raiding was to see if the phenomenon about extraterrestrial life is really real and potentially on earth.

Over 2 million people on Facebook responded to the event and said they would go and this started into widespread media attention and created memes.

There has been conspiracy theories since the 1950’s, about Area 51, capturing and holding many aliens within their facility. Many individuals have said to have seen UFOs within and around the radius of Area 51. All of these conspiracy theories led to the raid that happened.

10 days before the  official day of the raid, 2 Dutch tourists were caught and later arrested for trespassing. As a result of that, the two men were sentenced to a year in prison according to NPR.

The creator of the page on Facebook, Matty Roberts, stated that his page was entirely all just a joke and he was discouraging people that potentially were going to the raid.

The Lincoln County Sheriff Department thought that over 30,000 people would come to raid Area 51 on September 20th, but shockingly, only 150 people came despite over 2 million people saying on Facebook that they wanted to go, or were interested into doing so.

But throughout the weekend, there were smaller raids and festivals with over 6,000 people attending. Throughout the weekend, 5 arrests were made in connection to the raid.

Despite no one really seeing anything they expected and wanted to see, they can say this experience was all around worth it. 

4 ways to support Hurricane Dorian victims

As you all may know, Hurricane Dorian has severely affected the lives of those living in the Bahamas. You may be seeing it all over the news, and you may be wondering ”Is there anything I, a high school student in Minnesota, can do to help those in the Bahamas who have been struck by this tragedy?” Well, there are some ways you can help. Here are 4 ways you can support the victims of Hurricane Dorian.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2019/09/04/757426316/photos-show-hurricane-dorian-damage-in-the-bahamas

1. Donate Money

The first and most effective way to help is to donate money to a variety of organizations that help hurricane relief. Several organizations are already working in the Bahamas. A couple organizations include: The Red Cross and Global Giving.

Donating can vastly help support those who are struggling in the Bahamas, and are in need of materials.

Americares is a company that will also help based on what you give. This disaster relief organization is currently promoting a donation match and will match donations you give dollar for dollar.

2. Donate Clothes

Donating Clothes is definitely a great way to help provide citizens with proper, wearable clothes. You can donate clothes to the Bahamas Red Cross and they will see to it that they get in the hands of those who need it most.

3. Provide Supplies and Resources

If you’re short on money, or can’t give out any clothes, you can also give resources and supplies to organizations that help relief from Hurricane Dorian. Miami-Dade county is collecting supplies to help Hurricane survivors, and are accepting a wide variety of donations, including tents, cots, hygiene kits, purified water, portable generators and more.

4. Give Canned Food

Non-perishable food products are definitely needed in the Bahamas as a solution to feed those who have been driven out of their homes without resources, and are living in temporary spaces. You can donate canned goods to: World Central Kitchen.

Source: https://weather.com/news/news/2019-09-08-hurricane-dorian-bahamas-destruction-evacuations-aid

Every little donation helps, no matter where in the world you are. Together, we can support those less fortunate than us by giving whatever we can to help hurricane victims. No matter how little you give, it’s up to us to respond to the needs of Dorian victims.

The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a plan proposed by Democrats, that is aiming to curve climate change and address economic inequality. It is named after Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression, but with Green added on for the environmental part of the plan.

The Green New Deal has been gaining interest over the past few months, and on March 26, it was brought to a vote. The plan was shot down, but proponents of the plan are trying to pass parts of the plan as smaller bills. It has been estimated that we have 10 years left to fix carbon emissions or else there will be a catastrophic event.

Everybody knows what the Green New Deal is, but how does it actually work? The plan is to boost clean energy and infrastructure by offering incentives to those who will build the structures necessary for clean energy. This will hopefully make clean energy the first choice over non-renewable energy sources such as: coal, oil, and natural gas.

The plan also aims to tackle economic inequality by creating jobs for lower income people. These jobs would mostly be in construction, as all the new infrastructure needed for renewable energy will have to be built by someone. All the new building is supposed to stimulate the economy and help the environment.

The idea of a Green New Deal is not a new idea. It was first mentioned in columnist Thomas Friedman’s book Hot, Flat and Crowded in 2007. The idea was picked up by Obama in 2008, and by liberal groups in Britain, but in 2010, the Republicans won congress and the Tories (the conservative party in Britain) won Parliament, and the idea was lost.

The idea resurfaced in the 2016 election race when Jill Stein ran with her own idea of the Green New Deal and Bernie Sanders also had his own idea of the plan. Both of these candidates would eventually lose, but then in 2018, the Democrats regained the house and young, progressive, representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reintroduced the plan and gained support from many progressive representatives. The bill was eventually killed, but the fight is not over and many representatives are pushing for other plans like it.

Mueller Investigation

In the years of 2017-2019, Robert Mueller was doing a special counsel investigation against Russia. He was investigating their government to see if they had anything to do with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. A source said, on May 17, 2017, the investigation extent included the allegations that were linked to Donald Trump’s 2017 presidential election.

In 2019, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) started to look into the special counsel, eight days before Trump fired James Comey, who was leading the FBI Russia investigation. The FBI had a feeling that Trump and Russia were linked. The FBI were investigating Trump for obstruction of justice.Following the dismissal of Comey, 130 democratic lawmakers, in congress, called for the appointment of a special counsel.

The investigation resulted in the finding of dozens of instances of foul play by Paul Manafort. They found federal crimes, and at least eight guilty pleas led to convictions, possibly leaving him to serve 7 years in jail.

On Sunday, March 24, 2019, Mueller submitted his report to the FBI. The democrats fear that what they have read has already been made public in Trump’s favor.

The democrats demand that they see the full report made by Mueller. Attorney General William Barr said Mueller’s report cleared Trump of campaign tampering with Russia and criminal obstruction.

For more information, please visit:https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/03/29/politics/mueller-report-secrecy/index.html

Daylight saving time

This year, Daylight Saving Time (DST) fell on March 10, 2019. By moving the clock ahead one hour we are able to make a better use of daylight. During the summer the sunlight is out for a longer amount of time than in the winter. Each country/region has its own time/date to change its time. People who live near the equator don’t have to change their time because in that area there is 12 hours during the day and 12 hours during the night.

According to webexhibits.org there has been a poll made indicating that people in the United States believe that daylight saving is because there is more sunlight in the evenings during the summer. Since there is more sunlight during the evening there is more time to enjoy the long day and to have fun.

Daylight saving may conserve energy, because during daylight saving the energy we use is cut by a very small yet significant amount of energy. About one percent of energy is lost a day, because there is less electricity/lights that are needed during the day. When electricity for light is used, it’s mainly during the night when people are about to sleep, but since evenings have more sunlight, there is a smaller amount of electricity needed to be used.

If you hate daylight saving time, no worries, the end will come on November 3, 2019. After daylight saving time ends, you will be able to move the clock back one hour. Usually, the time changes at 2A.M. whether or not going forward one hour or backwards one hour.

One positive you can get out of daylight saving is having more time to enjoy fun things, and a positive for the end of daylight saving is that you get more sleep.

Paul Manafort: Multiple sentences overview

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign manager and consultant, has been officially charged with multiple counts of tax and bank fraud. Manafort worked as a Republican party campaign consultant, and joined Donald Trump’s campaign team in 2016 (he was the campaign chairman from June to August 2016).

Manafort was officially convicted in August 2018, on eight charges (all of which relates to tax and bank fraud) in the Eastern District of Virginia. He was also charged on ten other counts, but the judge declared a mistrial.

Later, in the DC District Court, Manafort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He also pleaded guilty to witness tampering.

On November 26, 2018, Robert Mueller released a statement saying that Manafort violated his plea deal by lying to investigators. In the DC District Court, Judge Amy Berman Jackson officially voided the plea deal, so Mueller advised the Virginia court to charge Manafort and have him serve 19 and a half years to 24 years in prison.

On March 7, 2019, Judge T.S. Ellis called Mueller’s sentencing guideline “excessive,” and sentenced Manafort to only 47 months in prison. Six days later, Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Manafort to an additional 43 months in prison.

Only minutes after this sentencing, New York state prosecutors charged Manafort with sixteen state felonies. This will almost double his sentence, making him serve 7 ½ years instead of 47 months.

Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett was born on June 21, 1982, and is an American actor and singer. Jussie Smollett grew a big following after appearing on the famous show Empire. He plays Jamal Lyon.

On the night of January 29, 2019, Jussie Smollett tells the police that at around 2 a.m. what he believed were two white males, wearing masks and a MAGA (make America great again) hat, had attacked him. According to Smollett, the two men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him. They then tied a rope around his neck and poured a chemical substance on him.

Smollett says he went home and one of his close associates had to call and tell the police 40 minutes after the incident had occurred. Sources say that Smollett was hesitant to call the police because of his status.

After the attack was shared to different media outlets, there were a lot of A-list celebrities that offered their support to Jussie Smollett.

After the investigation, police noticed that some things that Jussie was doing after the incident were odd. For example, the night of the attack, Smollett said that he had broken ribs, two days later he was seen at a concert dancing and jumping. It didn’t make sense as to why someone who had broken ribs would hold a concert.

On February 1, Jussie released his first public appearance on Good Morning America, he said, “Let me starts off by saying that I’m O.K. My body is strong but my soul is stronger.”

During the interview, people noticed how Smollett was getting defensive when Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts asked why didn’t he give the police his phone. Smollett said he had personal pictures and information that he didn’t want the police to see. People thought that if you are innocent, and have nothing to hide, you’ll just give the police your phone.

A few weeks after the incident, it came out that police think that Smollett hired two brothers to stage the attack, and the reason why he did this was because he wasn’t getting paid enough. For his role on the show Empire, he only gets paid $20,000 an episode and he thought that wasn’t enough, so he thought that by staging this attack, he would get a raise and get donations for the hate crime that happened to him.

A lot of people were hurt that he could have lied about a situation like this, feeling that he’s making it harder for people of color to come out in the future and tell their hate crime stories.

Snow storms on the West Coast!

The U.S. has been going through a rough winter so far this year. With the polar vortex hitting the Midwest in late January, and the heavy snow storms on the Northern Eastern coast, the newest area to be affected with this snow storm is the West Coast. Squaw Valley, in California, had its snowiest month on record, according to The Guardian. Snow was also seen falling near Pasadena and West Hollywood.

More snowfalls have also took their tolls in areas in Oregon.

Going back to California, a state that is mainly familiar to sunshine and low precipitation, it had one of its snowiest Februaries the state has ever seen. Although it saw massive snow storms hitting many parts of the state, it didn’t break the record of the snowiest month of all time for the state of California. Tamarack, California holds the record of the snowiest month in the state, 390 inches of snow fell back in January 1911, and it holds that record according to Theweather.com.

Not only California and Oregon were hit with tremendous amounts of snow. Arizona and Las Vegas, yes, Las Vegas, were hit with an uncommon weather storm. In Flagstaff, Arizona, the region was buried in snow, exactly 35.9 inches according to CNN. The city was under a state of emergency. The snow that fell that day became the snowiest single day in recorded history in Flagstaff, Arizona. Breaking the previous record of 31 inches back in 1915.

The roads in Northern Arizona were so bad that the Arizona Department of Transportation was urging everyone not to travel through that region. Arizona State troopers say they responded to more than 400 calls for stranded vehicles and slide-offs in 24 hours.

Now, in Las Vegas, we don’t see as much snow compared to the nearby cities and states, but the fact it even snowed in Sin City was trending nationwide. Las Vegas had over 4 inches of snow. Due to the residents not being used to snow, or never witnessing snowfall in their lives, travel became slick and hard in Las Vegas. Schools in Las Vegas were closed due to the snow according to Accuweather.

We’re only 3 months into 2019, but this year alone, for weather across the nation, has broken so many records in unusual places, and it still may have more records to break.

Some of the United States presidential candidates running in 2020

The United States is currently in the third year of Donald Trump’s presidency. This means that next year 2020) is the next election for United State’s president. So far, there are a handful of candidates running for office.

Today, I will be listing a couple candidates and their backgrounds from both of the political parties.

Elizabeth Warren is one of the democratic candidates for the next presidency. She was formerly a Harvard law professor in Massachusetts. She is specifically known for advocating for more regulations on Wall Street and other big corporations.

Another candidate for office is democratic, New Jersey, U.S. Senator, Cory Booker. He was a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. He was elected as mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in 2006, serving until he was elected to the Senate, and assumed office, in 2013.

One of the republican candidates running for office in 2020 is the former governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld. His beliefs are very libertarian based (he was a libertarian nominee for Vice president in 2016). Even though he is running on the republican side of the political spectrum, he believes in LGBTQ rights along with being pro-choice.

Another one of the republican candidates running is the President, Donald Trump, himself. He will try to be re-elected for office in 2020.  According to the Washington Post, he was spending money on 2020 efforts as early as Nov. 24, 2016. Trump is also confident he will be re-elected, depsite his constant low approval ratings.