Friday, February 27, 2015

PSIC-supported handball tournament draws many competitors and supporters

Chloe Verwiel
Staff Writer

February 6 was a night filled with excitement at New Hope-Solebury High School. With approximately 80 students in attendance, Positive Student Interaction Club (PSIC) club held a handball tournament.  “The aim of the club is to provide positive and fun activities for all members of the school’” stated sophomore Hannah Rescek. PSIC did exactly this. The night was filled with fun but competitive games to see who would win the Chipotle gift cards. It was set up in a tournament style with double elimination.
  Jess Zimmerman, Kelly Hyland, Claire Dougherty, Victoria Kalinovich, Hannah Rescek, Mr. Achenbach, and Mrs. Park did an amazing job at organizing the event and getting such a high participation number. Mr. and Mrs. Cosner, Mr. G, Mr. O’Hara, and Mrs. Roberts were kind enough to help during the event in order to make sure everything went smoothly. Teams were lucky enough to participate and get customized t-shirts for free. The event was paid for by a grant given to PSIC by NHS Cares. This money was able to pay for the shirts and gift cards. Snacks, such as pretzels and candy, were generously donated by members of PSIC.  
  The competition was intense as many teams were close to being crowned the winners. In the end, “We Want Chipotle” became the champions and received the Chipotle gift cards. However, all eleven teams showed tremendous effort, and most importantly, had an amazing time.

Kill switch added to iPhone 6

Claudia Kolinchak and Victoria Siano
Staff Writer

Mobile device theft has become a big business. This is where phones or tablets are stolen for the personal information contained on the device.
  In the past, phones had the option to clear information if they were stolen, but not enough people used this resource.
  A new solution that has recently debuted is called a kill switch. Towards the beginning of this year, it was announced that it will be mandatory for all phones to come with this. It is an anti-theft feature that will be required on tablets and smartphones. Instead of having customers choose if they want the program, it will be automatically enabled when the phone is in service.
  When a phone that has the kill switch is lost or stolen, the owner is able to manually lock the phone to prevent anyone from seeing his or her information. This will render the device useless until the identity of the owner is validated.
  Some kill switches may permit wiping of all contacts and personal data. For example, all Apple devices can be remotely wiped by the registered user on iCloud. All one has to do is go to, sign in, locate the device and click “Erase iPhone.”
  Kill switches  minimize the chances of identity theft. iPhones have the option to have your phone automatically reset if the passcode is guessed incorrectly 10 times. The problem with this feature is that users might forget passwords and would lose access to their phones.
  Many of the major companies, such as Google, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, HTC, Motorola, AT&T, Nokia, Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint, have signed this pledge and now must have all phones manufactured for sale in the Unites States come with this technology.

Terror jolts France; nation unifies under dire threat

Nick Damarodis

The headquarters of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris were attacked by radical Islamists on January 7. Retaliating for the magazine’s controversial depictions of the prophet Muhammad, the two gunmen murdered 12 people who were working that day, including a Muslim police officer, Ahmed Merabet, who attempted to stop the men.
  The rampage continued as the men decided to take over a warehouse on Jan. 9 in the small town of Dammartin-en-goele, located a few minutes away from Charles De Gaulle Airport. The hostage situation was reported around 10 a.m. Paris time, with the whole town placed on lockdown by police and military forces shortly after. While this standoff was taking place, another man abruptly entered a kosher grocery store, Hyper Cache, in Eastern Paris shortly after 1 p.m. Both were hostage situations, with the Hebdo gunmen holding one hostage and the Hyper Cache standoff involving several shoppers, most of whom were women and children.
  The world was watching as the two tense, live standoffs took place in the city. A display of security was produced unlike ever before seen in modern France, with over 80,000 soldiers, police officers, and special forces taking part in operations in both areas. At the second standoff, the situation was more delicate, considering the higher number of hostages and dense area that the market was in. The main highway of Paris, similar to Washington D.C.’s beltway, was shut down for the better part of the day to prevent greater movement in and around the metropolitan area.
  In Dammartin-en-goele, schools were on lockdown and had to be evacuated before any type of force was used against the terrorists. While the children were in school, reporters noted that some of the children at the school closest to the warehouse were brave enough to open up windows and chant “Je suis Charlie!,” the motto of the free expression movement that has come out of the attacks, to everyone standing outside. Parents were eventually allowed to pick their children up and move them to safer ground. Due to the small size of the town, police and military officials were able to isolate the area quickly.
  After several hours of attempted negotiation with the two Hebdo terrorists, gunshots were heard outside of the warehouse they had taken over just before 6 p.m. Paris Time. At that point, the military decided to fire back and kill the gunmen in a swift manner.
  It was a short time before the military made the decision to strike Hyper Cache, where one gunman was still holding hostages. A quick gunbattle occurred, with the gunmen dying in the midst of rapid fire as special forces drove their way into the establishment.Unfortunately, the battle would result in a mix of both living hostages who were saved as well as some casualties. Five people lost their lives in the Kosher market attack. On the day of the hostage attacks, AQAP (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) took responsibility for the attacks.
  The attacks that brought shock and fear to France also delivered a wave of support from people around the globe. #Jesuischarlie has become one of the most used hashtags ever, and many have even gone out onto the streets in their own cities to march in support of the French and freedom of the press.
  Paris was the center of these peaceful marches on Jan. 11, as 1.5 million people went on the streets to show their support, an unprecedented number for a march in Paris.
   Many prominent world leaders were in attendance, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu locking arms with French President Francois Hollande and numerous other foreign dignitaries. Hollande and Netanyahu went to the Grande Synagogue in Paris after the march, where the Israeli PM announced “Our common enemy is radical, extremist Islam - not normal Islam,” and also told all Jews in France that they have a homeland in Israel if they feel it is necessary to leave. One notable exception was the United States, with neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden in attendance. Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris, but he was not at the rally. He took part in security meetings in the days afterward.
  Although the outpouring of support to the victims of these attacks has been beneficial to promoting a peaceful and unified front, many are still wondering what will happen next. Some want stricter controls on who can come in and out of France, while others are suggesting doing more to assist French Muslims in assimilating within their nation. Each of the attackers was born in France and evolved into radical islamists while in France.
  There is still a manhunt to track down the wife of the attacker of the Kosher market. According to recent intelligence gathering, she left the country on Jan. 4 from Spain and headed for Turkey to eventually make her way into Syria.
Charlie Hebdo magazine has released its latest issue, described as a survivors’ issue, throughout France and nearly 20 other countries. With translations in five languages, there is a great expectation for high sales from this issue. Newsstands around Paris were jammed on Jan. 14, the first day that the issue came out. The highly sought after magazine apparently sold out within minutes. Millions of copies have been produced, and more could be produced to ensure that everyone who wants a copy is able to find one, although it is expected to be extremely difficult to buy a copy in America. Only 300 of the magazines are estimated to arrive in the U.S., but a total of over five million have been sold worldwide.

Spirit Week Schedule Released

Hannah Mui
Staff Writer

After last year’s “Ramen controversy” there will be new changes to the rules of the can war point system. Students from opposing teams argued over whether ramen noodles can count as cans. This year, student government decided to award points for every pound of food donated. Every day during spirit week, Mr. Gonsiewski and student government officers will be weighing each team’s food donations. The food collected will be donated to Operation Helping Hands that will distribute the food across Bucks County.
  Another change of spirit week is to the coin wars. Instead of awarding the winning team with 50 points, now one point will be awarded for every dollar donated in coins. Unfortunately, only coins will count for points, so no dollar bills will be accepted.
  The theme of spirit week, announced during an assembly on Feb. 19, will be “Breakfast of Champions,” where each grade level is assigned a type of cereal as their theme. The seniors will be Lucky Charms, the Juniors will be Fruit Loops, the Sophomores will be Cap’n Crunch, and lastly, the freshman will be Frosted Flakes.
 There are many exciting activities planned for the week for students to enjoy. Monday’s theme is Fruit Loops, and students will earn points for dressing in tropical attire. That night, the Pig Roast Luau will be held in the Middle School Cafeteria from 6:30-8 pm. Following that will be a Honey Nut Cheerios theme on Tuesday, and students can dress up in black and gold to look like bees. Activities will be held in the gyms and theater from 7-9 pm that night. On Wacky Wednesday, students can wear crazy gear to school, nad the theme is Trix. There will be a hypnotist assembly during the day, and an Open Mic Night in the theater from 7-9 pm. Thursday’s theme is Wheaties, and points can be earned for wearing sports attire. The Gong Show will be the school-day assembly, and the dodge ball tournament will be held from 6:30-9 pm in the High School gym. Lastly, Friday’s theme will be Cap’n Crunch, and students should wear blue or gold according to what team they are on. During 7th and 8th period will be the competetive games where the winner will be announced, and from 7-10 pm is the I <3 Techno dance in the middle school gym.