Friday, December 15, 2017

Record-breaking ‘Stall Day’ fights cancer and exams

Parker Miele
Staff Writers

Stall Day is a day for NHS students to raise money for mini-THON, which raises money to fight  childhood cancer. Stall Day is also a day for the students to be able to miss a minute of class for every $2 raised. Many classes raised a ton of money, one of the best being Mr. Elvey’s second period contemporary issues class. The students had a quiz on the day of Stall Day and to avoid the quiz the class gathered together all their money and raised the $82 needed to miss class.
  Jack Tocci, who is in Mr. Elvey’s second period contemporary issues class, said that he was “so happy I didn’t have to take the quiz. I was up late with EMT class the night before.”
 The final figures for this year’s Stall day were impressive! Students were able to raise over $400 more than last year. This year students raised a total of $2657 while last year they got $2251 together. The money that students raised is very impressive, especially for the small number of students in the high school.
 Not only do students love missing class, but they also enjoy raising money for a good cause. Vanessa Northrup, who is in one of Mr. Rutledge’s statistic class, said “I really enjoyed Stall Day and having Mr. Rutledge bring in pretzels for all of us, but the best part was that the money we raised went to help cure childhood cancer!”
  Amanda Horak contributed to this article

High school’s ‘First Annual Cow Plop’ to fund prom

Maggie Pfeifle
Staff Writer

New Hope-Solebury High School’s first annual Cow Plop will commence on Jan. 11 at 2:30 p.m. on the football field to raise money for the Junior/Senior Prom.
 On Jan. 11, a cow will be brought in from a local farm. In whichever square the cow plops first, the owner of the square will receive 15% of the money raised.
 Each donation slip costs $25 and buys one square on the football field. Donation slips are available in the main office and are to be dropped off Dec. 15 and Dec. 21 before homeroom at the posts that will be set up by the main office and the theater lobby.
 After the collection dates, the names of participants will be put through a random generator to decide which square belongs to who. Once the squares are randomly generated, the participants will be informed of which square they were assigned. The size of the square is dependent on the amount of squares sold and will make up the football field. The squares will be mapped out online and on the day of the event, wherever the cow plop lands will be measured by exact coordinates to determine whose assigned square it fell in.
 Once it is determined who the square is assigned to, the buyer of that square will receive 15% of the total money raised. If the fundraiser goes well, this money could equate to over 1,000 dollars. The first place junior and senior seller will receive two free tickets to prom, the second and third place junior and senior seller will receive one. A portion of the money raised by freshmen and sophomores will also go to their future prom. In addition, for every five squares a person sells, they are automatically entered into a raffle to win a grand prize.
 A precedent is hoped to be set for future grades: having a single successful prom fundraiser. If participation from all grades occur, this will achieve the successful goal of extremely low prom ticket prices.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Kevin Spacey Faces Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Maggie Pfeifle
Staff Writer
Recently, more than a dozen sexual misconduct allegations have been made against actor Kevin Spacey ranging throughout the 1980s to just last year.
 On Oct. 30, in an interview with Buzzfeed News, actor Anthony Rapp publicly alleged that Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance on him in 1986, while Rapp was a teenager. Rapp alleged that Spacey had invited him over for a party, and, at the end of the night while Spacey was inebriated, had climbed on top of Rapp in an awkward sexual advance. Rapp says that he was able to squirm away and leave the apartment. Spacey was twenty-six at the time, Rapp only fourteen. Rapp stated that he felt compelled to come forward with the information following the accusations against Harvey Weinstein.
 In response to the accusations made against him, Spacey tweeted, “I honestly do not remember the encounter. But if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.” In the second part of his statement, Spacey came out as a gay man, which was met with outrage from the LGBT community who believed his timing was a deflection that reflected poorly on them. According to Variety, Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD said, “This is not a coming-out story about Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that.” Other backlash came from celebrities, like comedian Wanda Sykes who tweeted, “No no no no no!  You do not get to “choose” to hide under the rainbow!  Kick rocks!”
 The Boston Globe reports that journalist Heather Unruh has also accused Spacey of sexually assaulting her teenage son in July of 2016. She claims that Spacey had sexually assaulted her son in a bar where he worked as a busboy. Spacey then allegedly urged the young man to accompany him to an after-hours party to drink more, before leaving for the bathroom, which was when Unruh’s son was able to run away. Unruh’s son reported the incident to Nantucket Police. A meeting with prosecutors will occur soon and “the investigation will proceed from there,” Cape and Island’s District Attorney, Michael O’Keefe has said, as reported by the Boston Globe.
 Other incidents have been alleged to take place at the Old Vic, a theater in London, between 2004-2015. According to the BBC, an actor at the theater, Roberto Cavazos, claimed Spacey, “routinely preyed on young male actors.”
 CNN additionally reported that eight crew members anonymously described the work environment of Spacey’s Netflix show House of Cards as a toxic work environment, saying Spacey’s behavior was “predatory and included non-consensual touching and crude comments and targeted production staffers who were typically young and male.”
 In a statement provided to the New York Times, Spacey’s publicist said: “Kevin Spacey is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment. No other information is available at this time.”

 In response to the allegations, Netflix has since suspended production indefinitely on the next season of House of Cards, and has fired Spacey from the show he once starred in. Spacey’s upcoming biopic, Gore, has also been canceled, and Sony Pictures is replacing the actor with Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World, an upcoming film that is set to release in December.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mueller begins Indictments in the Russian Investigation

Jennifer Abele
Editor


The head of the Special Counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Robert Mueller III began indicting members of the former Trump campaign beginning with Paul Manafort Jr. and Richard Gates III on Oct. 27.
 Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to nine counts of money laundering. He used the money to fund a luxury lifestyle. He also failed to register as a foreign agent while working as a lobbyist overseas.
 Richard  Gates also pleaded not guilty to seven counts. Gates was a lobbyist and political consultant who worked with Paul Manafort with the Ukrainian political party “Party of Regions.”In the 1980’s Manafort co-founded the Washington D.C. based lobbying firm Black,Manafort, and Stone. Rick Gates had interned at that particular lobbying firm. Gates then continued to join Davis and Paul Manafort’s lobbying firm in 2006. Both men started their partnership in 2006 and ended in 2015 after generating over tens of  millions for their work on the Ukraine. Both failed to register as foreign agents, and according to the indictment also failed to report work and fees.  From 2006 to 2016 Gates and Manafort allegedly laundered their funds from the Ukraine through corporations, bank accounts, and partnerships.
 The U.S. government alleges Gates and Manafort continued the schemes by laundering money to foreign nominees, companies, and foreign countries. The money was laundered to these foreign countries that they currently work with; Cypress, Grenadines, Saint Vincent, and Seychelles. After the partners were asked by the U.S. Government about foreign bank accounts, companies, etc. the pair falsely said there weren’t any; to avoid paying taxes.Between 2008 and 2017 Gates and Manafort attempted to defraud the United States by providing false information to tax accountants, financial bookkeepers, and legal council by devising a scheme to obtain money and property.
 Michael Flynn Sr. is currently being investigated for money laundering and pleaded guilty to lying to the federal agents about his overseas contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak back in December 2016. There is a two-page list of false statements made to Mueller about his interactions and communication with  the Russian Ambassador filed on Nov. 30. Additionally, there is information that Flynn was offered a deal by Turkish officials to attempt to remove, Fethullah G├╝len, a chief rival of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, from the U.S. to Turkey for $15 millions.
 Michael Flynn Jr. was part of the transition team staying close to his father Michael Flynn Sr. Michael Flynn Jr. could be arrested during or after Flynn Sr. is indicted.  Michael Flynn Jr. continues to be most known for the tweets he produced about the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory and defending his father on the Twitter platform.  
 George Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about his connections to Russia. Papadopoulos knew that the Russian services were holding thousands of emails on Hillary that were promised to provide the dirt on Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos has continued to cooperate with the FBI. Through the English-based professor, Joseph Mifsud, he then attempted to arrange a meeting with the Russians and Trump campaign to collect dirt on Hillary Clinton.
 Jared Kushner is also being investigated currently under the Russian Probe. Howard Dean, Former DNC Chairman, predicts Kushner will be charged with money laundering. He has had four undisclosed meetings with Russians and Trump campaign members, and he stated it didn’t mean he colluded with the Russians. A single source told Andrea Mitchell, that the White House Staffers and former Trump transition team members have been deleting calls and texts in attempt to prevent themselves from being subpoenaed. After debating whether or not Kushner scrubbed his Twitter account. Kushner has not yet tweeted any tweets after joining in 2009. Kushner was also aware of Donald Trump Jr being in contact with Wikileaks. Kushner gave Mueller the documents of the conversations between WikiLeaks and Donald Trump Jr.
 Donald Trump Jr. was in contact for ten month with Wikileaks. Trump Jr. passed the WikiLeak messages to Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, and Brad Parscale. Trump Jr. began corresponding with WikiLeaks two weeks before Podesta’s emails were leaked. Donald Trump Jr. submitted the direct messages between himself and WikiLeaks to Mueller’s team. “Here is my entire chain of messages with wikileaks(with my whopping three responses) which is one of the congressional committees has chosen to selectively leak. How Ironic!” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.   

 Mueller’s investigation team continues to discover new information everyday for the public. The committee describes their investigation as incomplete and continues to lay out their schedule. Mueller’s team has at least 25 interviews to go, 2 hearings; one with Trump’s lawyer, the other with social medias, and 100,000 more pages of documents. Chairman Burr and Vice Chairman Warner suggested that if there is a case against Trump’s obstruction of justice charge to fire FBI Director James Comey, that it would be more appropriate for Senate Judiciary Committee or  Department of Justice special counsel Mueller. The Mueller investigation has now topped over five million dollars since the investigation kicked off  in July 2016.

Doctors Will Perform First Head Transplant On a Human

Eric Locke and Georgia Pappas
Staff Writers

This December, a Russian man by the name of Valery Spiridonov, was going to receive the world’s first ever human head transplant. This may seem like a story out of a science fiction novel to some, but to Italian Neuroscientist Dr. Sergio Canavero it’s a reality. Dr. Canavero made headlines back in 2015 when he announced that he will perform the multimillion dollar operation.
 Valery Spiridonov, who planned to have the surgery performed this December, decided to back out after two years of planning. Spiridonov acknowledged that he lost hope for a new body free from disabilities and said his dreams will never happen.
 Spiridonov suffers from Werdnig-Hoffmann Disease, which breaks down muscles and causes the destruction of nerve cells that help mechanical functions. Spiridonov states in an interview with Daily Mail, “I cannot rely on my Italian colleague, I have to take my health into my own hands.”
 Spiridonov says that he will take his health on a different route and receive a conventional spinal surgery that will not cure his rare disease but at least improve the quality of his life.With about 12,500 spinal cord injuries occurring every year in the U.S., Dr. Canavero is not the only scientist searching for a way to fix them. In the 1960s, L.W. Freeman experimented on various animals including dogs and rats, testing whether spinal cords would ever repair themselves naturally, which was found to be possible in some cases.
 The discoveries by Freeman were quite impressive and have impacted Canavero’s research and ideas for the procedure. Canavero stated that Freeman’s work “shone light on the path,” inspiring and providing him with a better idea about less-popular spinal cord research.
 After researching, Canavero believes that the main idea to a successful procedure is polyethylene glycol, or PEG. which is a type of gel that drastically increases spinal cord fusion. By making a clean cut and applying the gel, Canavero hypothesizes that the gel will allow the cords to fuse, which would create the necessary pathway for brain signals to travel throughout other areas in the body.
 With all of these positive factors about the surgery come negatives. Many individuals, including Jerry Silver, a Case Western Reserve University professor of neurosciences, have concerns with the transplant.
 Silver worried about the pain that the patient will undergo even if the procedure is successful. "Every muscle, the bones, everything has been severed," Silver said to Newsweek. "Can you imagine the pain from all those cut things? That's the worst."
 No matter what the critics are stating, Canavero is prepared to perform this transplant and get positive results. "Let's not be stupid-this is a risky surgery. But informed consent means that whoever goes under knows full well what lies ahead and is in such a crippling condition that there is no other strategy for them." he says. Canavero has figured that if the procedure is a success, he will go down in the history of medical research as a huge impact. If it fails, he says he will try it again, believing that is the only way to move forward.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Breaking Down the Iran Deal

Graphic created by Stephen Prager

California Wildfires claim dozens of lives and leave thousands homeless

Vanessa Northrup & Charlotte Taylor
Staff Writers

The month of October was not easy for the citizens and wildlife of California. Since the middle of October, multiple wild fires have come ablaze throughout many  counties in Northern California due to the extreme dryness in the area. According to the Washington Post, as of Nov. 1 about 42 people are dead, and over 100,000 people are displaced. More than 8,400 homes and buildings have been destroyed, with more than 160,000 acres burned; and the fires aren’t all out yet. The fires in Tubbs, Sonoma, and Napa counties have now been ranked as the deadliest wildfire disaster in California history by SFGate.
 While most of the flames have been contained, firefighters are still tirelessly working to put out the remaining fires and make sure the state is in the clear. Though the next big problem for Californians will be the ash. Scientists and Americans are currently trying to figure out how badly soil and water will be contaminated because these fires burned more than just vegetation. The fires burned through the wildlife land and into parts of cities. Associate Director of environmental health for the US Geological Survey, Geoffrey Plumlee, told Mother Jones: “For how many structures that were burned in fairly small areas in these fires, I think that’s a first-of-its-kind event. The concern is, can they get it cleaned up before the heavy rains come?” There will be more updates on this as the days go on.
 There are many websites to donate to help people in California who are out of houses and jobs, such as the California Fire Relief Foundation, which is on GoFundMe.com. There is also the Napa Valley Community Foundation, which is one that has been recommended to send money for families in need. Napa County officials ask for people to stop sending food and start sending money for supplies. Multiple Facebook groups are open to give updates on the survivors as well as status of the fire. The city of Santa Rosa is working with the United Way to help distribute funds for when insurance money runs out. Overall, this natural disaster has ripped across California leaving many without shelter, food, or water. With donations, the state will be able to come back together as one.