North Korea gets U.S. and South Korea war plans

Early on morning of October 11, North Korean hackers were able to hack into the South Korean government computers and stole about 235 GB of data. The stolen data included 300-lower classified, confidential documents, and there were also classified wartime plans drawn up by the U.S. and South Korea.

Mr. Rhee Cheol-hee, a South Korean lawmaker, had stated to reporters that one of the documents that was stolen included South Korea’s military plan of removing North Korea leader, Kim Jong-Un, if war between the Korean Peninsula breaks out. The hackers had used a computer vaccine service, and South Korea had been able to trace the IP address, of the vaccine, which originated in Shenyang, China.

In 2010, the U.S. broke into North Korea’s computer system; targeting Reconnaissance General Bureau, which is North Korea’s equivalent of the US C.I.A. Last month, U.S. strategic bombers, and fighters jets, flew along the East Coast of North Korea. North Korea claimed a right to shoot any American warplanes flying near the country.

The Pentagon hasn’t yet released a statement, but spokesperson, Army Col. Rob Manning, stated that “I can assure you we are confident in our security in our operations plans and our ability to deal with any threat from North Korea.” He also added, “The operations plan that they are referring to is a bilateral plan, so the Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance remains steadfast in their commitment to make sure they safeguard that information and ensure readiness on Korean Peninsula to counter any North Korean threats.”

Trump tweeted on Monday, October 9th, “Our country had been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars and getting nothing. Policy didn’t work.” He then tweeted later in the afternoon “Presidents and their administrations had been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements been made and massive amounts of money had been paid…hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of US negotiators. Sorry but only one thing will work!” When the reporters asked Trump what he meant by his tweets his only response was “You’ll figure it out pretty soon.”

Gender roles

by: Ali Limback and Eddie López

The definition of gender roles (according to Google) is basically a set norm of what each gender is supposed to be/act/look like.

image taken from Twitter @Thynative

The typical norm for guys is to be fit, act very tough, and be interested in sports. Guys can also be intrested in other things besides sports, like video games, and more. Most of the time when guys find things of interest, that are typically “girly” things, they get excluded. Often, since they are not intrested in the same thing as most guys, they find the person weird, so they call them names like “fag” or “queer.”

The typical norm for girls is to be super social, very dainty, with no muscle, and very much into their looks. It’s not the usual to have short hair because that’s a “boys hairstyle.”

A good example of exposing people to non “normal” looks is through celebrities and their fashion choices. Honestly, it is more socially acceptable for a girl to wear “boys” clothes than the other way around. That is why I chose to focus on male celebrity

fashion choices.

Harry Styles has recently been wearing outfits that don’t fit into the standards of normal masculine fashion. He has been seen wearing a lot of woman’s clothing (like blouses) and colors men wouldn’t typically wear. We personally think that it’s great to see someone so high in the music industry (a lot of people look up to him) wearing what he wants to wear, and showing people that we can mix fashion, and there’s not a set gender in clothing. A lot of people are being really great about his recent change in fashion and supporting him through it all.

From Glee, the character, Kurt Hummel, was known for his fashion choices. He was bullied and called very rude things because of what he wore because he was different. He was definitely a character to look up to because even through all the bulling, he did not change his fashion choices because of what other people said. It ended up great in the end because he got such a great job in fashion, and he never gave up on himself.

NFL national anthem protests

Before every game, whether it’s for high school or the pros, the national anthem plays and we stand to face the flag. Lately, many of the pro sports players haven’t been standing for the anthem. Players in the NFL have been kneeling during the anthem. “Why?” some might ask. It’s because they are protesting against police brutality and racial injustice.

The protests began on August 26, 2016, when then 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would not stand during the national anthem according to ProCon.org. Many people have conflicting views regarding the players’ actions, the president of the United States has given his opinion, as well as the National Football League.

President Trump has tweeted out many things about the protests, some of which say the players should be fired. He believes what they are doing in disrespectful to our country. Trump told Vice President Pence to attend a 49ers game, who then left right after the anthem, after seeing players kneel, instead of stand, says Jeremy Woo from Sports Illustrated.

The NFL has stated that they are not making any plans at the moment to make players stand during the national anthem. They are “trying to move from protest to progress, working to bring people together” states a spokesperson from the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to all 32 teams saying “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem.” Mid-October, players in the league are expected to go to New York to discuss plans to solve the issue and create a positive change within the NFL and the country.

Overall, it seems everyone would like a change in some form. Players would like to see a change in society. The president would like to see a change in the NFL. And the NFL would like everyone to be positive.

 

US military crash In Syria

On early Friday, September 29, a US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed in Syria due to an unknown reason. There is still an ongoing investigation, but it is assumed to be an mechanical issue. The aircraft had around 2 dozen Marines abroad and two members were injured, but according to Operation Inherent Resolve, the injuries was considered non-life-threatening. The injured members were transported to a medical facility and examined.

According to CNN, the military official told them that the hard landing completely destroyed the plane, and that it was not due to enemy activities. The aircraft crashed early in the morning, in a combat zone at a base. The base was where the U.S. maintains Special Operations forces and artillery support. Operation Inherent Resolve released a statement confirming that the crash did happen, but did not give the location. They gave a vague response, saying it was in the Middle East. Later, the officials were able to tell the location of the crash, which was Syria.

The Pentagon will not disclose either names or series affiliation in this mishap. Right now, the U.S. has more than 1,000 troops in Syria. Ospreys are often used to transport troops within Syria. U.S. advisers are working with Syrian Democratic Forces to train them in combat and against Islamic State militants. Earlier this year, the Marines established an outpost in Syria against Islamic State forces, preventing them from retaking hold of the northern city of Raqqa. The U.S. also backed Arab and Kurdish fighters, with Syrian Democratic forces, to secure Raqqa Old City on September 4. U.S. troops had been in Syria since October 2015, to support Operation Inherent Resolve.

On Friday, the 29th, lots of reports from doctors and medical aid groups say that many of the hospitals are at risk for being targeted. Syrian troops had began targeting hospitals, which is considered violating a human rights rule. Human rights groups have protested that the Syrian troops have been violating the rule in “an egregious violation of the laws of war and a callous attempt to inflict suffering on civilians.” According to Physicians for Human Rights, the latest attacks were the most intense since April. Brice de Vingne, of Doctors Without Borders, said that the attacks had been taking place near Idlib. The United Nations has deemed attacks against hospitals a systematic attempt by the Syrian government to target health care facilities.

Trump takes NBA by storm

Lately in the news, our president, Donald Trump, has been having issues with sports and its players. Trump has been making many different statements on the NFL and the whole dilemma about players kneeling during the national anthem and protesting during NFL games.

After an NBA team wins the finals, they earn a trip to go to the White House and shake hands with the president, they also get to give the president a custom made jersey, and many other things. Our past president, Barack Obama, was able to get custom jerseys from the Golden State Warriors (2015 NBA finals champs), the New England Patriots (2017 NFL Super Bowl champs), The Los Angeles Lakers (2010 NBA finals champs), and many others college and pro champions.

This past year, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA finals and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers four games to one in a five game series. Just like every year previous, the Warriors were going to head to the capital of our country and go and meet Donald Trump to give him his personalized jersey. All this was going well until Trump decided to make comments on the recent NFL protests, and that the players who are participating in these protests should “be fired,” and shouldn’t be able to play anymore.

Being a humble man, Stephen Curry, the superstar point guard from the Warriors, responded to the president’s tweet, as reported by the Washington Post, “And by acting and not going, hopefully, that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to.”

Shortly after Curry made his remark, President Donald Trump tweeted out “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn.” According to the Washington Post, the Warriors responded to his tweet saying that they were fine with not going to the White House and they would “Constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversion, and inclusion.” 

In recent times, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, responded to the matter with multiple responses on the NBA’s official website. “I have a general concern as a citizen that there’s a huge gap – call it a gulf – in our society right now, and it’s incredibly divisive. And I believe this league can play a role in attempting to unify people.” He stated during an interview that he knows of an NBA rule that states that all players and coaches must stand during the national anthem.

Since 16 of the 32 states that NBA teams are based in voted for Trump, Silver was asked if he thought players making statements would offend the NBA fans. Silver replied with a no saying that he doesn’t think that players speaking out will be an issue.

According to the NBA’s official website, NBA player Lebron James commented on Silver’s response to a tweet he (Lebron) had made earlier on his personal twitter account “He (Trump) used the sports platform to try and divide us and sports is so amazing and what it can for everyone. No matter the shape, size, race, ethnicity, religion, etc.. People find many things because of sports and it bring people together….. I’m not going to let, while i have this platform to let one Individual no matter what the power he/she should have use sports to divide us.” 

Right now, sports and politics are colliding for reasons under the sole purpose of someone wanting to stand for something they believe in or stand for. These players are only trying to make a point for what they believe in and are being accused of doing something wrong by someone who should be leading our country and not saying words that upset us and divide us. After these events we should know how to stay together as a whole country and not let individual opinions of certain people change how we see things.

Hurricane Harvey

By: Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick

Hurricane Harvey made landfall near the Texas Gulf coast late on August 25. In just 56 hours, Harvey grew from a regenerated tropical depression over the Gulf of Mexico into a Category 4 hurricane. According to weather.com, wind gusts reached 132 mph in Port Aransas and 125 mph near Copano Village. With the wind, also came massive amounts of rain; an area near Highlands, Texas reported an astounding 51.88 inches of rain!

Various airports in Hurricane Harvey’s path had to cancel or delay more than 12,000 flights, and according to the express.co.uk, Harvey has left 30,000 people homeless. With the staggering amounts of rain, wind, and flooding that occurred, many have lost homes, and some have even lost their lives. As of September 22, 2017, as reported by the Houston Chronicle, 75 people have lost their lives due to the storm. And as they continue to clean up the areas affected by the hurricane, the death toll could rise.

Amidst the chaos, millions have donated to organizations like the Red Cross to help the victims of this terrible storm.

Many people are donating to help the people in Houston, and one significant person is J.J. Watt. His fundraiser raised more than $37 million. J.J. Watt is not the only one donating, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army have each donated $300,000.

With the excessive damage to over 200,000 homes, there is a lot of debris. According to CBS News, there is an estimated 8 cubic yards of debris, consisting of furniture, clothes, toys, drywall and other items, inside of the damaged houses. Cleaning up the streets of Houston will take months, especially since resources will be divided to help with the damages from hurricane Irma. The debris will go into the landfills. San Antonio and Houston help each other after disasters, and so some of the debris will go there.

Everyone is volunteering and helping out, even though Federal Emergency Management will cover about 90 percent of the costs. Houston is slowly but surely recovering from the traumatic hurricane.

For more information, please visit: https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/tropical-storm-harvey-forecast-texas-louisiana-arkansas

 

National Coming Out Day: General attitude and do’s/don’ts

National Coming Out Day is fast approaching on Wednesday, October 11th. With this in mind,  I would like to talk about how people feel on this day, and things to do and not do.

First things first; some do’s and don’ts.

  • DO be respectful

Coming out can be a hard thing for some people and the last thing they need is disrespect for being themselves.

  • DO say kind things if someone comes out to you

If someone comes out to you, be kind. Say “I’m here to support you.” Or “I will care about you no matter what.” Saying things like this will enforce trust in your friendship or any other relationship type.

  • DON’T out other people

It’s disrespectful to someone if you out them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think it’s not a big deal or that they should come out. It’s an invasion of their privacy. If they came out to you that means they felt safe enough and trusted you enough to tell you, and by outing them, you immeadiately demolish that trust system.

  • DON’T come out as straight

Considering everyone’s first assumption of people is that they’re straight, there is no need to say this. This is not your day. It is a day for a marginalized group to feel proud about who they are and not have to hide it anymore.

  • DON’T fake “out” someone

If your first reaction to this day is to out someone who’s not in the LGBT+ community as a joke, then don’t do it. Here’s why: It perpetuates a system of oppression that continually makes people in the LGBT+ community the butt of a joke.

  • DON’T force yourself to come out

It’s ok if you don’t come out. This day shouldn’t make you uncomfortable. Come out on your own terms.

  • DON’T pressure someone to come out

People may not be ready to come out or be in a safe position to come out. If you force someone to come out when it’s unsafe you may put your friend in a dangerous situation.

  • DON’T feel like you have to come out on National Coming Out Day

 Come out when you want to come out. Come out when you feel most safe, and ready to, and come out to someone you trust.

Next I’ll talk about the general attitude towards this day. For this I interviewed 9 people who are apart of the LGBT+ community and asked them 4 questions pertaining to National Coming Out Day. Here are some of their answers (if their name and sexuality appear, I obtained clear consent to use it):

Question 1: Why is National Coming Out Day important to you?

Laura Rutherford (trangender girl, bisexual): National Coming Out Day allows people to be their full selves.

Kaliyah Phelps (lesbian): It’s a day for LGBT+ people to use their voice and tell their stories.

Eva Semlak (lesbian): It’s a way to share experiences and talk about them openly.

Ally McGinnis (lesbian): It’s a day of awareness and visibility of LGBT+ people.

Mason Blumer-Lamotte (pansexual): Sheds light on the different types of people and it’s nice to have the option to come out.

Sār Chirhart (gay): A day centered around the courage to come out.

Anonymous: Normalizes being LGBT+ and makes it apparent that it’s hard to be yourself.

Generally most people mentioned that it’s important to highlight the courage, visibility, and vulnerability that it takes to come out.

Question 2: Do you think National Coming Out Day makes it easier to come out?

Mai Dao Thao (non-straight): I think it makes it easier to come out since everyone is doing it and it gives you more confidence.

Laura Rutherford: Yes because people aren’t doing it alone but there is also pressure to come out.

Kaliyah Phelps: Yes, sort of. It’s a lot of pressure for some but a perfect opportunity for others.

Eva Semlak: Yes, but also no. It shouldn’t be a specific day to come out but more of a recognition day.

Ally McGinnis: Yes, but also no. Yes, because it’s an invitation to come out and there’s a lot of support, but no because there a lot of pressure to come out.

Rocco Kyllo (gay): It’s always going to be hard, but it will make it easier eventually.

A lot of people had the same idea. It’s a lot of pressure to come out, but also if you feel none of that pressure it’s a great day.

Question 3: How do you feel about coming out on National Coming Out Day?

Mai Dao Thao: I came out before National Coming Out Day, and it won’t be a surprise or be special since everyone else is coming out.

Laura Rutherford: I didn’t come out on National Coming Out Day, but I felt a lot of pressure to.

Ally McGinnis: It’s cool and if you’re a celebrity it’s a good day to come out and be supportive of others coming out.

Mason Blumer-Lamotte: I personally wouldn’t because I wouldn’t want to put a timer on something so personal, but it’s up to the individual.

Rocco Kyllo: It’s a fun way to come out and it’s good for when you don’t know when to do it.

Anonymous: It’s great for people who need the support but could come to feel like an obligation.

The interview subjects generally felt that it’s good if you are ready to come out but that it could feel like an obligation or necessity if you’re not.

Question 4: What do you think are some “don’ts” of National Coming Out Day?

(I’ve included most of these don’ts in the previous section but I’ll add some of the ones I think need to be emphasized).

Mai Dao Thao: Don’t hate on people that come out because they built so much confidence to do it.

Kaliyah Phelps: Don’t tell them what to say or what not to say.

Ally McGinnis: Don’t out others

Rocco Kyllo: Don’t pressure people to come out

So what’s the take away? Don’t pressure someone to come out, don’t be rude to someone who comes out, and always be accepting of someone who is different than you, because our differences are what makes us human and interesting. The world would be a lot more boring if everyone was the exact same.

Would you call the police if you witnessed a murder?

In 1964, The New York Times published Martin Gansberg’s now famous article “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police” about the killing of Catherine Genovese. It claimed that thirty-eight people witnessed a murder (of a woman some of them knew) and did not intervene, giving lazy excuses for their lack of action afterward.

Later, the title was proven partially false in another New York Times article, but the story still led to the formulation of the bystander effect theory; a theory in psychology which, according to Psychology Today, posits that observers in emergency situations are less likely to intervene the more other observers there are around them, even observers who would be likely to intervene if they were alone. The phenomenon is prevalent and well-documented. It has even been discovered in the behavior of five-year-olds in a study published by the Association for Psychological Science. According to Psychology Today, Psychologists explain the bystander effect for many reasons, but namely that in emergency situations humans’ sense of personal responsibility is diffused when surrounded by other bystanders, and that humans model their behavior off of those around them, so if no one is intervening they are unlikely to.

The popular ABC primetime show What Would You Do? features many examples of the phenomenon, staging offensive acts in public and seeing how bystanders react. Often on the show, large groups of bystanders react late, or do not react at all.

Last week, Ms. Ostendorf’s English 9 Accelerated class read “38 Who Saw Murder…” and learned about the bystander effect. They watched the following video demonstrating and discussing the effect:

From “Coolpsychologist” on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OSsPfbup0ac

Below are excerpts from interviews of three students in Ms. Ostendorf’s class. They gave their opinions on “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder…” and the bystander effect, commenting on where it manifests in their lives.

Jack Malek, 14

What was your initial reaction to reading “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder…”?

I was really surprised to read that thirty-eight people saw a woman get killed that they knew and they did nothing about it, they did nothing to save her.

Do you think the bystander effect is a real phenomenon?

I do. This is happening right here and this story is a perfect example. Because people think when they see something, and there are a lot of people around that someone else is going to do something about it. So, this is a perfect example.

Did reading “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder…” lead you to question yourself?

I questioned myself, “Have I ever been a part of the bystander effect? Have I ever done this? Have I ever been part of this phenomenon?”

Do you think you would have reacted in this situation surrounded by other bystanders? Would you now?

After reading this story, yes. But, I don’t know if I would have been part of the bystander effect before.

Otto Schmidt, 14

What was your initial reaction to reading “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder…”?

I was somewhat shocked and surprised that the people didn’t help when needed, but after thinking about the story and realizing the circumstances of it being the nighttime and people not really wanting to help and thinking somebody else would, I wasn’t super surprised by the outcome.

Did reading “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder…” lead you to question yourself?

It definitely made me think more about ignoring, not just when people are in need but ignoring a lot of things, or just doing things because everybody else is doing them even though maybe it’s not the right thing to do.

Before you learned about this, do you think you would have reacted the same way as the other 38 people if you were in that situation?

Probably.

How would you react now?

At the very least, it would lead me to think about what happened here. And then, to act.

Henry Aerts, 14

What was your initial reaction to reading “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder…”?

Honestly kind of shocked but in a way I was also kind of not surprised. Because, I’ve seen people doing that where someone is in need but no one helps, they just walk by because they think that someone else will help them or they just don’t want to get involved. So, I’ve seen that kind of thing before.

How do you see the bystander effect in your personal life?

For example, when the teacher asks a question in class, a lot of times no one says anything because they think that someone else is going to answer it, but then in the end it just goes awkward and silent because no one can answer it, thinking that someone else would.

Did reading “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder…” lead you to question yourself?

Yeah, it kind of did. Because, I wasn’t sure if I would have done anything different. Maybe I would have called the police, I don’t know.

How would you react now?

If it happened tonight, I would definitely call.

Hopefully, with more knowledge about the bystander effect, people will begin to intervene more in emergency situations, even when surrounded by others.

Pride Month

Since it’s June, it seems to be a good time to write about Pride Month and its history!

June is Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. June was chosen because it’s the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which began on the early morning of June 28th, 1969. The Stonewall Riots took place in New York, and are often considered the start of the modern gay rights movement. The Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia at the time, and was one of the only places to openly cater to the gay community, including its most marginalized members, such as transgender people, drag queens, butch lesbians, and homeless youth. Police attempted to raid the inn, and tensions went up when transgender women refused to go to the bathrooms with police officers to have their biological gender checked. A crowd gathered, drawn by the commotion, and were sparked into action when a woman resisted arrest, fighting with police officers.

Rainbow flag proudly waving

There are two other very important anniversaries to the LGBTQ+ community that also take place in June. The first is the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting last summer, which was on June 12th. The shooting was a hate crime that killed 49 people attending a gay and lesbian club in Orlando, and was both the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter and the deadliest hate crime against LGBTQ+ people in US history.

On a substantially happier note, the final noteworthy date, June 26th, marks the anniversary of same-sex marriage legalization in the United States! The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples could indeed get married, a goal that the LGBTQ+ community had been working towards ever since the Stonewall Riots started the Pride movement. It just goes to show, even though we still have a long way to go, we’ve come very far since the days of Stonewall.

(Cool side note: If you Google any word related to Pride Month during June, such as ‘gay’ or ‘bisexual,’ Google will add rainbows to the search results.)

Manchester bombing

Aftermath
Image Via Wikipedia.org

On the 22nd of May, a suicide bomber targeted the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, in Manchester England, in the second terrorist bombing the city has seen (The first being the 1996 IRA bombings). Of the 22,000 people at the concert, the bomb killed 23, including the 22 year old terrorist, and injured 116 more. Immediately afterwards, many tried to flee the arena, quickly leading to widespread panic across the city.

However, the immediate response from both citizens and emergency services was commendable. Concert goers where offered free rides, and lodging, over Twitter, or even just a place to charge phones so they could contact their parents. In particular, local Sikh communities and temples helped to respond; providing meals and safe places to stay.

Shortly after the bombing, police investigated a suspicious package near the arena. It turned out to be clothes, and was the last major cause for alarm that night. After the attack, the UK’s terror threat level was raised from Severe to Critical, though it has fallen back to Severe as of May 27th. As a further response, several members of the British Parliament proposed an automatic death penalty for suicide bombers.

The attacker was determined to be 22 year old Salman Abedi, a British Muslim of Libyan Descent. Well, at first, it was thought that Abedi had been supported (ISIS even claimed responsibility for the attack), but after a raid on his apartment, and further investigation, it was determined that he was largely acting alone. It is certainly possible that he sympathized with ISIS and their goals though.

Whatever the precise motives behind it, the bombing was a tragedy, and we hope it won’t be repeated.