Friday, October 30, 2015

The Week of 10/22/15 in a Glance - Post Two

Hi Everybody! (and Happy Halloween!)
We hope you read our first post from last week. This is our news from 10/22 -10/30
 Enjoy, and feel free to comment!

Why is Hillary in the Courthouse?

By Owen Tucker-Smith

In a glance: Do you remember the Benghazi attacks three years ago in Libya? Hillary Clinton, a current democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential election, was Secretary of State at the time. As the main job of this position is to advise foreign affairs, you can see why after the attacks fingers would be pointed at her. Anyway, on October 22nd, just eight days ago, Clinton testified in front of the Benghazi Committee, a committee determined to figure out what happened in Libya in 2012. And what happened in the hearing? Basically the democrats and the republicans spent the whole time yelling at each other...

No, I don’t remember the Benghazi Attacks!  The Benghazi Attacks occurred three years ago on September 11th in Benghazi, Libya. Benghazi was the location of an American government post at the time, and it was attacked. Buildings in the post were burned down and four americans were killed. One of these Americans was Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, a very important figure. The attack was made by an islamist group of armed men, one of the leaders being Ahmed Abu Khattala1. To investigate the event the Benghazi Committee was created and they have been pestering Hillary for a long time now...

I do remember Clinton’s email thing though... does that have something to do with it?     Well, yes it does. The Benghazi Committee recently uncovered that Clinton used a private email during her service as Secretary of State. This makes everybody wonder: “Were there emails about Benghazi that we don’t know about?” And there were. Recently “new” emails specifically about the attack were handed to the committee. At the time of the event everybody thought the Benghazi attacks were the effects of a random protest, and it was not until later that everyone found that it was a terrorist attack. Among other things, the emails show that Clinton knew all along what it was.

What happened at the hearing?     Not much. The republicans wouldn’t stop pestering Clinton about lying, and the democrats acted as though the whole hearing was pointless. Clinton also seemed to not understand why she was being questioned so much about her emails as she shouted at one point, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Hillary was questioned for eleven hours before the hearing was over, and there was no huge resolution at the end. The whole thing was basically an eleven hour argument.

The Benghazi attacks and hearings are controversial ideas. Feel free to comment down below what you think: Do you side with Hillary? Or her questioners? Why?

Reference 1: Kaphle, Anup. "Timeline: How the Benghazi Attacks Played out." The Washington Post. N.p., 17 June 2014. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.

Local Fame

By Maddy Art

If you’re a seventh grader, you are already an expert on this. On the other hand, if you are an eighth grader, it is more than likely that you have been hearing bits and pieces about some exciting local news. Ali Benjamin is an author that lives in Williamstown with her two kids (one of whom is an eighth grader at Pine Cobble). Recently, her debut novel The Thing About Jellyfish was shortlisted for the National Book Award*. Benjamin also co-wrote two memoirs: Positive (about Paige Rawl), and The Keeper (about Tim Howard). So back to The Thing About Jellyfish. The story takes place while protagonist Suzy Swanson is a seventh grader, but includes frequent flashbacks to sixth grade or before. Suzy’s former best friend Franny has recently drowned on a family trip to Maryland, despite Franny’s strong swimming skills. Most disregard this, saying “some things just happen,” but not Suzy. She sees that this can’t add up, and becomes convinced that the hidden cause of Franny’s death was a jellyfish sting. The grief of Franny’s death has driven Suzy into nearly complete silence. Join Suzy as she attempts to prove her theory whilst struggling with middle school. Kirkus Reviews describes The Thing About Jellyfish as “A painful story smartly told” with “appeal well beyond a middle school audience.” This one might be worth bumping up to the top of your to-be-read pile!

*The National Book Award is a literary award given in the United States each year. The four categories are Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. The Thing About Jellyfish is competing for the Young People’s Literature title. Being shortlisted essentially means you are a finalist - in the top five!

Hurricane Fake Out

By Rose Gotlieb

You might have heard about Hurricane Patricia - the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. The hurricane escalated from just a weak storm to a monster with 200 mph winds in only 25 hours - which is to say, it escalated extremely quickly. It was only about 30 miles wide, which is small for a hurricane, but it was packed with power, and destined to hit Mexico.

But nobody died. And there wasn't much damage. A few mudslides blocked roads, some houses were destroyed, and power lines were knocked down...but that is much less than what could have happened. The ferocious storm lost power when it hit land. I guess this time the trick was a treat.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Week of 10/19/15 at a Glance - Post One

Here is our very first post ... hope you enjoy!

What Happened to Spencer Stone?
By Owen Tucker-Smith

You might have heard about some people that stopped a terrorist attack on a train this past summer, and you might have heard that something bad happened to one of them very recently. You don’t know the details, so we will give them to you.
Spencer Stone, a member of the US air force, was on a train in France last summer with his two friends when a gunman with a knife entered the car. Stone and his friends tackled him and acted as heroes. They had stopped a terrorist attack. Stone was stabbed, but he lived. Now, this was last summer. Why are we reporting it today?
As we said, Spencer Stone was stabbed on a train last summer. And believe it or not, it happened again! Not on a train, though. This stabbing occurred outside of a bar in Sacramento. The police doubt that the attack had anything to do with Stone’s heroic act on the train, and they have not found out who did it. We will have to wait and see...  

So Who’s Big From the Donkey Side of Things?
By Maddy Art

On Tuesday October 13, the first Democratic debates transpired. Two Republican debates had already occurred, but this was the first for the Democrats. There were six candidates debating, but one has since dropped out. Here’s what the current candidates are all about:

Lincoln Chafee -
Lincoln Chafee used to be the Governor of Rhode Island, and before that was in the U.S. Senate. He also used to be a Republican. And then an Independent. Seems like he can’t make up his mind, right? Well, he claims he has always felt the same way about the issues, and the parties themselves have changed. Speaking of the issues, what is Chafee all about? Well, Chafee is a supporter of people of color, and does not believe the Confederate Flag should be flown on state property. He stands with the LGBTQ+ community, and supports same-sex marriage. He believes that the U.S. should negotiate with Iran. Lincoln Chafee defends the Second Amendment within reason. Currently, Lincoln Chafee is low in the polls with just above 0%. Chafee is considered the least liberal* (most conservative) of the candidates.

Hillary Clinton -
Hillary Clinton was the First Lady to husband Bill Clinton during his span as president from 1993 - 2001. She ran for president in 2001, but was beat in the Democratic primaries by Barack Obama. Clinton served as a New York senator, and then as the United States secretary of state. Hillary Clinton believes that all races should be equal, and acknowledges that “we’ve come a long way on race, but we have a long way to go” . She supports gay marriage. Clinton sees that science has proven vaccines work. Hillary firmly believes in gun control. It is said that Hillary is too quick to jump to using military force as a solution to problems, but you can be the judge of that. She is highest in the polls with just around 50%. She is the third most liberal of the candidates.

Lawrence Lessig -
Everyone changes their mind, right? Well, Lawrence Lessig included.So despite pledging not to run, he is now. He originally was only going to run to have the Citizens Equality Act of 2017 passed, and then he would drop out. But, that no longer stands. Lessig is in it for the long haul. In addition to being a professor at Harvard, Lessig started a nonprofit organization involving distribution of copyright. He defends the equality that people of color should have. Lessig supports gay marriage. He isn’t doing very well in the polls at all - he has just about 0%.

Martin O’Malley -
Martin O’Malley was the Mayor of Baltimore and then the Governor of Maryland. He believes “all are created equal, including gay, lesbian, and transgender.” He would like stricter gun control laws, and thinks assault weapons should be banned.O’Malley supports a minimum wage raise. He also wants to get rid of the death penalty. He says the rioting in Baltimore were just because of hopelessness. O’Malley is the second most liberal candidate, and has about 1% of people’s votes at the moment.

Bernie Sanders -
Bernie Sanders is currently a senator for Vermont. He was in the House of Representatives before that. Sanders is a self defined democratic socialist, which he says means that he thinks poverty is unnecessary and people can work together. If you ever hear the phrase “feel the Bern,” it’s referring to Bernie. He firmly believes in equality no matter your sexuality, gender, race or anything! He is working to get equal pay for woman and abolish discrimination. Sanders is for gun control, although he did vote to allow guns on trains. Sanders is second in the polls with about 25%, and he is the most liberal of the democratic candidates.

Liberal means mostly democratic, while conservative means mostly republican.
What’s Going on in Turkey?
By Owen Tucker-Smith

Next month there’s going to be a Turkish election. Some will call this event “well timed,” as these folks blame the current president for the incident that occurred recently.
You might have heard that something really bad happened in Turkey on the Saturday, October 10th. Well, what you heard was right. What happened on Saturday was the worst attack ever to occur in Turkey.
What happened? At the capital, a peace rally between the government and a Turkish group that had been disputing with the government for a long time was happening. The rally was supposed to end the fighting. That was when the twin bombs fell and killed 95 people. And yes, this was at a meeting to have peace.
Who did it? Nobody has come out clean yet, but ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has been suspected. Blame for the event has been pushed to the president as citizens believe he hadn’t put enough effort into security.

What’s Going On With Those Elephants, Anyway?
By Rose Gotlieb

You’ve heard about the democrats. Now let’s talk about the Republicans.
The Republican candidates have had two debates so far, and they have fifteen candidates. As of today, two have dropped out. Here, I’m just going to tell you about the top candidates that you’ll probably hear the most about.

Donald Trump - I’ll bet you were expecting this one. Donald Trump is a businessman who deals with real estate. Trump isn't a big fan of immigrants. He says: "A nation without borders is not a nation”- otherwise known as, we need a big wall between us and Mexico. As in, a literal, impenetrable wall. He also plans on getting Mexico to pay for the wall. Good luck with that, Donald. He also believes we should work on putting our own citizens before immigrants. He’s got some pretty strong views on gun control- that the second amendment is an important right and that we should focus on the people abusing guns, rather than everyone who uses them. Trump is against gay marriage. He wants to help the economy… let’s just hope he also decides to help his hair. He’s in the lead with the polls, at around 32%.

Jeb Bush -
With his brother, George W. Bush, having been the 43rd president, and his dad, George Bush, getting the job too, (with the lucky number of 41), Jeb has a lot to live up to. Bush, (as in Jeb, not George), was governor of Florida from 1999-2007. He believes that immigrants should be given a chance to become a citizen, but if they don’t abide by the laws, they can be deported. Unlike Trump, he believes that the climate is changing, and that something must be done. He believes that “we need to work with the rest of the world to negotiate a way to reduce carbon emissions”. But he’s more worried about our economy. He wants to get more jobs available to middle-class citizens. He has one major issue, though- his first name isn’t George. He’s got 7% on the polls- still stuck in single digits.

Carly Fiorina - A former business executive, Carly Fiorina is the only female presidential candidate for the Elephants. She holds to the mainstream Republican ideas. She would like to reduce taxes. She hasn’t said much about Social Security and Medicare, and she says that the people won’t know her plans until she becomes president. Cliff-hangers are the worst… Fiorina says that if she becomes the Republican candidate, she’ll be able to stop Hillary Clinton from using the ‘gender card’- e.x, being the first woman president. However, not many people think that Carly will get that far.

Ben Carson - Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon. He is against ObamaCare, protects the second amendment, and wants to stand by Israel. On education, he believes that “the Common Core must be overturned.” That’s literally what he said. He despises the taxing system we have now, and thinks that it’s way too complicated, and riddled with loopholes. He also believes that religion should be able to be practiced, and tells us that it says so in the constitution- and that people should be able to pray- or not pray- where they like. Carson has 22% of the polls.

Marco Rubio - Rubio is a United States senator. This means he’s got practice in politics. He wants to help senior citizens by boosting their incomes and stopping ObamaCare, modernizing our health system. He wants to get spending under control, and has a few ideas for it- such as stop ObamaCare and prevent big spending. Seems like he’s doing a whole lot of stopping, and not a lot of going. He believes in the Second Amendment. About higher education, he thinks that it costs way too much and is way too time-consuming. Just whatever you do, don’t shout polo. Marco is 10% in the polls.

And What Is this Refugee Crisis I’m Hearing About?

You might have heard about the EU's "refugee crisis". Huge amounts of people, mostly Syrians fleeing from their country, (but also people from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Pakistan, and other places with the same problems - fear, war, and unequal rights), are going to Europe. In 2014, about 280,000 people crossed the borders into Europe. From January up until August during 2015, there have already been 350,000 migrants - and they keep coming.
The path to the EU (which is, of course, not a literal path) is fraught with danger. But so are the countries these people are coming from. Most people take boats, trying to reach Greece and Italy, and that can be disastrous. People traffickers, who are basically merchants that immigrants pay - a lot - to get them to Europe, give the migrants flimsy dinghies and other inefficient and unsafe tools to get where they need to go. These traffickers, through the chaos, find it easy to exploit the migrants.
This year, Germany expects 800,000 refugees to arrive at their borders. That’s a ratio of 1 refugee : one hundred Germans, because Germany has 80,000,000 citizens.
That’s more than the amount of people who live in Boston.
Migrants are trying to gain asylum. Asylum is the right to food, first aid, and shelter. A refugee can claim asylum by convincing the government that if he/she goes back to his/her own country, he/she will be in danger.
In a glance?
Hundreds of thousands, and maybe millions of refugees are fleeing from problems in their own countries to the EU. They don't have money to pay for themselves, and they need food and shelter. Meanwhile, the different states of the EU aren't all agreed on the rules of who has to take on what amount of migrants, and a lot of the countries aren't following the rules anyway. This might be an old problem, but it's also a big one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Welcome to The Greylock Glance!

     Our names are Maddy, Owen, and Rose, and we are the editors of The Greylock Glance. Every week we will bring you news from the school, district, country, or even the world. This news will come to you in an easy to read format, as our mission is for everyone to understand what is going on around them. Stay tuned for out first post, which should be released any day now. Thanks for reading!
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