Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Student Government decorates for the holiday season

Riley Brennan
Features and A&E Editor

Getting into the holiday spirit when December rolls around can be a struggle for high school students who struggle against their pre-winter break coursework.
 Junior Shayna Berman knows this too well: “It’s hard to get in the Holiday spirit when all I can think about is upcoming tests, quizzes, and projects.”
 Trying to squeeze in some holiday shopping or catch Freeform’s “25 Days of Christmas” nightly movie special is practically impossible with deadlines scheduled right before break followed by midterms coming in the new year.
 Luckily, New Hope’s Student Government doesn’t let the holidays go unnoticed. At the beginning of December, the Lion’s Den, which is located out in front of the library, near the main office, was decorated  with different colored lights, a decorated tree, a menorah, and much more. Students love the added scenery, especially Junior Erica Brennan, “I wish we could leave the decorations up all year long!”

 The decorations, brighten the school, promote holiday spirit, and encourage student’s to use the Lion’s Den.

Results of the parking lot recount combined with advice for students

Mackenzie Carpenter, Nina Coughlin, and Courtney Purdy
Staff Writers

As the holidays are approaching, as well as the freezing weather, many students who still do not have a parking pass are concerned about the long cold walk from Saint Martin’s Church. Students were noticing that there were empty spaces in both the East and West lot everyday, and requested there be a parking space recount. Mr. Demby, New Hope-Solebury security staff, conducted a recount in both the East and West parking lots. Although the recount revealed nearly 20 empty spots in both lots combined, that does not necessarily mean 20 more students will receive a parking pass.
  “We need to leave spots open for visitors, substitute teachers, and parents,” stated Mr. Demby. “We can’t have every spot filled by the students and everyday staff because that leaves no room for outside visitors.”
  Future fixes to the parking lot issue were brainstormed by a group of senior writers for The Lion’s Tale to help those students who are uneasy about the walk from the church. Just because a student possesses  a car and a license that does not mean that person has the right to drive to school everyday. Many schools in the surrounding area limit their student parking to seniors ONLY. Students who have late arrival and/or early dismissal should have priority to a parking pass. Those who plays sports or participate in afterschool activities should also get priority in the distribution of parking passes. If a student is not in possession of a parking pass, then that person absolutely has to exercise their ability to ask a friend or peer for a ride to and from school. New Hope is a small town and many people here live in a small radius to one another. Instead of making it a priority to complain to the school about something that is out of administration’s  control, make it a priority to find a ride to and from school: ask people who live nearby, play on the same team, or have late arrival/early dismissal.
  Students put a lot of pressure on the school and the administration to accommodate to the needs and wants and they rarely realize the other factors that play into it.
  Unfortunately, those parking in the church have to walk a considerable distance to get to school no matter where they park. Whether they are on campus or at the church, they have to walk in the cold, and sadly the school cannot change the weather.

Experts have no idea what to do with Bitcoin

Owen Roberts Staff Writer “Bitcoin could rise to $2,000 under President Trump”; “Venture Capitalist Tim Draper predicts bitcoin could reach $10,000 by 2018”; “Bitcoin Startup owner Chandler Guo predicts each bitcoin will reach 1 million USD.” Headlines like these are everywhere. With so many insane predictions it’s hard to tell who is telling the truth, and who is delusional or uninformed. Anything is definitely possible (Bitcoin was ten cents in 2009 and is now approaching $800), but the truth is most experts have no idea what to do with it. Even extreme cases like Guo’s make sense. If Bitcoin captured 1% of the global market cap, it could easily reach prices in the $100,000s. But it has a long way to go to reach that. Bitcoin’s $12 Billion market cap may seem like a lot, but that’s less than .04% of the global market. But a $2,000 price is not so unrealistic. With the current price, that’s only a 165% raise. Much of it depends on Trump’s presidency. Many are hoping that the U.S or other large countries will accept Bitcoin as an official alternative currency, considering that many countries are pushing to regulate it. “Bitcoin will become regulated whether anybody likes it or not,” says Chris Skinner, an expert in financial technology. A more heavily regulated market may entice nervous consumers to invest in it because of promises of financial stability, which is one of the main reasons it doesn’t have more adopters (Bitcoin prices were anywhere in the range of $128 to $1000 in 2013, and have risen 200% in a year) At the end of the day, nobody really knows what will happen to bitcoin. If you like the idea of a digital currency and want to go the extra mile, buy some. In ten years it could be worth $1 or $100000.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Dylann Roof convicted on all counts in Charleston church massacre

Krupa Shah
Staff Writer
On Monday, Nov. 28, a federal judge granted Dylan Roof the right represent himself in his own trial with being evaluated competent just a week prior. Roof has been accused of killing nine people in a Charleston church in June of 2015. Roof faces thirty three federal charges including violation of the Hate Crime Act, obstruction of exercise of religion, and the use of a firearm to commit a murder. If Roof is convicted, he could potentially face the death penalty.  
 Roof’s trial began on Dec. 7. During several interrogations with the FBI, Roof has been documented to be nonchalant and sometimes laughing about the situation at hand and why he chose to kill the nine parishioners in the church.
 He told FBI officials that he scouted out different locations but ultimately chose the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to execute his plan. When asked about how many people he killed he stated that he wasn’t sure about how many people he killed and just said that he just killed the people and did not have a well thought-out plan.
 When Roof was questioned about why he killed them, he said: “I had to do it because somebody had to do something. Black people are killing white people every day on the street, and they are raping white women. What I did is so minuscule to what they’re doing to white people every day all the time.”
 He also talked about how after he killed everyone in the church, he planned to turn the gun on himself. He was unable to do this as the police stormed the church during that time.
 During the trial, prosecutors introduced Roof’s journal as piece of evidence documenting his hatred for the black community. In the journal, he wrote about why segregation was a good thing in America and his desire to recreate that system today in America. He also wrote about how he considered the white race to be superior to the black race.

 As the trial progressed in the following days after his confession, many of the victims’ families had testified in an attempt to sway the jury. Many experts are saying the Roof will most likely be unable to escape the death penalty.

Update: Roof was sentenced to death on January 10, 2017.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Trump’s Surprising Win Creates Turmoil Within the Nation

Jay MacDowell & Thomas Muzekari
Staff Writer
   
Immediately following the results of the 2016 presidential election, much of the nation reacted with anger as a result of Donald Trump’s surprising, unexpected election win. Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote but didn’t win the election. One may ask how this is possible. Although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, Donald Trump gained the majority of votes from the electoral college.
 Since the election, there have been protests in many major cities across the nation. Some of these cities include Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles. Some of these protests have even made their way to towns in Bucks County, such as Doylestown and New Hope.  
 Unfortunately, during some of these protests violence has broken out. In some cases, Trump supporters have shown up, which has resulted in fighting between the two sides. Additionally, many cities have seen strong reactions from their police forces. In some places, police have administered tear gas and left many of the protesters injured.
 In the midst of these protests, many famous people have spoken out about their feelings towards the election. One of these people was LeBron James, who endorsed Clinton. He spoke out on the election outcome, saying: “No matter if you agree with it or disagree with it, he’s the guy.” James went on to say that we have to “figure out a way” to make things work by coming together and working together.
 Clinton, in her concession speech, said of Trump, “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” Furthermore, President Obama had Trump come to the White House just a few days after the election, and he has said that his priority is for there to be a smooth transition. Both have emphasized that the nation must come together and unify.

YouTuber claims that Barron Trump is autistic, then apologizes

Liz Donahue
Staff Writer

On November 11, YouTube user James Hunter posted a video titled ‘Is Barron Trump Autistic? #StopTheBullying’. The video showed Barron Trump, 10, clapping for his father's appearance at  the RNC. The video had gained over two million views since first being shared and has attracted the media’s attention.
 Rosie O'Donnell reposted the video, writing ‘Is Baron Trump autistic, if so - what an amazing opportunity to to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.’ Many parents and friends of those with autism replied to O’Donnell, saying that her post was ‘evil’ and not meant to spread awareness, and that she only posted it because of a long time feud with Donald Trump. After O’Donnell saw the responses, she explained on her website that her own daughter was diagnosed with autism in September.
 In response, Melania Trump hired a lawyer who is threatening a lawsuit over what she called the ‘slanderous’ video. Trump claimed that his ‘odd’ behavior was normal for a ten year old late at night, and stated that he was simply tired. Melania Trump did not threaten to sue Rosie, but Melania’s attorney demanded that the YouTuber who posted the video, James Hunter, take down the video and state an apology.
 The YouTuber who posted the video, however, waited a day to gain more views and run ads for monetization, a process where YouTube will pay the user for high traffic videos. The original video gained well over two million views. It cannot be found, however, it is probably still out there. After removing the controversial video, Hunter posted a video titled ‘My Apology to Melania and Barron Trump.’ The apology video has racked up more than 476,000 views, however it should be noted that ads are still running on the video, meaning that Hunter is making money off of his apology. Hunter’s account was created on November 10, 2016. He has four thousand subscribers and no other content besides the apology video. His message seems sincere in the video, however it is unclear if he feels sorry or is using it as an opportunity to make more money. In the description of the video, he states ‘This is my official retraction and apology in regards to my 7-minute YouTube video titled: "Is Barron Trump Autistic? #StopTheBullying" I retract all statements made in that video, and I sincerely want to apologize to the Trump family, especially to Melania and Barron Trump.’


Link to apology video: https://youtu.be/_6q8uNUbgDA

Friday, December 9, 2016

Secret NSA spy hub discovered in New York

Victoria Siano
News Editor

On Friday, Dec. 1, 2016, a website known as The Intercept released some unsettling news about the AT&T building located on 33 Thomas Street in New York City. Long thought to be the location of a large switchboard,  the building was found to also  be one of our nation’s most important National Security Agency surveillance sites--a monitoring hub used to tap into phone calls, internet data, and faxes from all over the world.
 Ever since its construction in 1969,  the building--recently discovered to be code-named TITANPOINTE--was believed to be one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the United States and the world’s largest center for processing long-distance phone calls (run by the telephone company AT&T). This explained its intimidating-looking structure: reaching 550 feet into the New York skyline, it is made of concrete and granite, and has no windows whatsoever, and is capable of withstanding an atomic blast. The building essentially is a fortress designed to safeguard the powerful computers, cables, and switchboards it houses.
 Its structure and the impossibility to get a glimpse inside has contributed to the sense of mystery and uncertainty that have captured the attention of passersby, even though it is common to keep people in the dark about a building containing necessary and very important telecommunications equipment. The investigation led by The Intercept was able to shed some light on the building’s primary usage.  
 In its investigations, the organization was able to contact a former AT&T engineer who had worked in the building. The individual had told The Intercept that inside the massive structure was a major international “gateway switch” which is able to route phone calls between that US and other countries. A series of top-secret NSA memos were also discovered during the course of the investigation, which suggested that the NSA had tapped into these calls from a secure place in the building that AT&T employees, in most cases, could not access. This indicates that the skyscraper is a core location for controversial NSA surveillance programs which have targeted communications of the UN and the World Bank as well as 38 other countries.

Relevant sources:
   

Clean Energy Won't Be Trumped by Trump

Max Charney
Art & Entertainment Editor

After the surprising upset of Trump’s election, many Americans are worried for a multitude of reasons: How will he treat Muslim Americans and Mexican-Americans? Whom will he nominate to the Supreme Court? Whom will he appoint to his cabinet? How will he treat America’s allies? Will he overturn  Roe v. Wade? The list of  issues can at times feel endless. But one of the most troubling issues is his lack of concern for the environment and climate change.
  President-elect Trump has stated before that he does not believe that climate change is real, and believes that it is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese in an attempt to hurt the American economy and American workers. President-elect Trump also stated that he is going to end the “war on coal” and lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion  worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale oil, natural gas, and clean coal. This is alarming, just as the Earth's rising temperature is alarming. It seems that if Trump does go through with his plans, American could no longer be a leading force in pursuing clean energy and combating climate change; in fact, this might make America a leading force in contributing to climate change. At least America will be great in something, right?
  However, there may be some hope. The coal industry has been on declining swiftly for a number of years. Which is good news for the environment, but not the greatest news for those who have jobs in that field. This is simply because that coal-fired plants cannot keep up with America's energy needs. This is not because Americans are using more energy, but because coal is becoming obsolete.
  “As recently as 10 years ago, coal-fired power plants provided half of America’s power needs. Today that number is closer to 30 percent — and falling. Coal is not likely to fade entirely from the scene any time soon, but informed analysts see its share of the U.S. energy mix dropping to less than 20 percent in the not distant future,” said David Schlissel in his article “Coal will not recover,” published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Those numbers are not sufficient enough to make America an energy independent nation, as president-elect wants to do.
  Nonetheless, it is not just coal that is on its way out with the new era. Oil now has a growing competitor: lithium batteries. Oil has been a sign of economic and geopolitical power over the last century; the drive for oil has immensely shaped the world in ways that can not even begin to realize, wars have been fought over this black gold. It the fuel in vehicles, oil’s biggest purpose. Yet with electric cars on the way, lithium batteries will soon be at the forefront of travel. This new worldwide energy revolution has been off to a slow start, but it’s about to get a whole lot faster. Electric cars being priced more affordably, the ever-growing air-pollution regulations, and a global will to end climate change, is all going to launch the world further into the new energy revolution. Germany has promised to ban all combustion engine cars from being on the roads by 2030. Norway and the Netherlands are going even further by working on legislation that will ban all sales of gasoline-powered engines in the country by 2025. With the huge demand coming for electric cars, The Wall Street Journal  has reported that gasoline demand will be reduced by 5 to 20 percent over the next two decades, assuming that EVs (Electric Vehicles) gain more than 35 percent market share by 2035.
  This is all happening simply because of the rapid technological advancements in the clean energy field, according the International Energy Agency: “Renewable energy reached an important turning point last year with record new installations of emissions-free power surpassing sources that burn fossil fuel.” Their reports also show that over the next five years, renewable energy will become the world's fastest growing source of electricity. Surprisingly, this report came out before the Paris-Agreement. The Paris-Agreement is a treaty, ratified by 110 out the 197 countries present at the convention, to cut carbon emission by 55 percent. President-elect Trump however, has vowed to back America out of this agreement when he takes office. It seems that not only American’s are concerned about the Trump Presidency. China has promised to stop sending the U.S. iPhones and cars, and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed that Europe should impose a carbon tax on American imports if the United States pulls out of the Paris-Agreement. It’s not just Americans who are worried about the Trump Presidency. Only time will tell how America is going to fit into the world’s energy revolution--and time may be running out of time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Plane Crash Leaves Soccer World And Brazil Devastated

Savannah Herring
Staff Writer

A plane full of young, athletic soccer players, crew members and a few journalists crashed in the mountains near Medell├Źn, Colombia, as the team was on their way to the Final of the Copa Sudamericana, a South American soccer tournament.
 The team had an extraordinary season and had a great impact on their small, industrial town where they were faced with economic despair and government corruption. This soccer team, the Chapecoense, was making waves in their club history and were finally able to play for the gold on the biggest stage of soccer at their level. However, their story ended with a most horrific and unexpected outcome.
 While flying, the pilot made an emergency call about an electrical failure, but moments later the plane violently crashed into the mountains with 77 people aboard. Only six people survived. Among them were three players, two crew members, and one journalist. Everyone else on the plane was declared dead. The crash left the plane in pieces and completely crushed, luggage and bodies scattered.
 Juca Kfouri, one of Brazil’s most eminent soccer columnists, declared, “I’ve never seen or felt anything like this in 46 years of journalism.”
 Those that were alive called out for help, but as for the rest, there were no wounded, only the dead.
 The tournament was suspended by soccer officials. However, in great grace and respect, the Colombian team that was expected to play Chapecoense, Atl├ętico Nacional, requested that the trophy be awarded to the Brazilian team, as a “posthumous homage to the victims.”

Monday, November 21, 2016

Donald Trump will be 45th President of the United States

Liz Donahue
Staff Writer

Tuesday, Nov. 8 was one of the most anticipated days of the year. The race between Clinton and Trump was close, however many people were expecting a Clinton win due to then-current polls and Clinton’s campaign confidence. However, when the news came on early Wednesday morning, millions were shocked that Donald Trump had been elected the 45th president of the United States. Many were angered, scared, frantic, and/or upset, but the presiding emotion seemed to be confusion. How did he win?
  Tuesday started off with many of the polls underestimating Trump’s chances, predicting a Clinton win. Many battleground states that were leaning towards Clinton had actually flipped in Trump’s favor, something that was very unexpected. Pennsylvania, a state which most experts felt was almost certainly going to go to Clinton, actually went red during the late hours of the election. Nobody predicted that Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio would all go to Trump as well. There is speculation that many people lied to pollers about who they were actually voting for.
  Hillary Clinton won the popular vote; however, Donald Trump won the electoral vote. Many African American, Latino, and young voters failed to show up to vote on Tuesday, which hurt Clinton in the race. According to ABC News, only 11 percent of Latinos voted, and Trump took 29 percent of those votes. Trump had a stronghold on men, and even got 44 percent of the female vote.
  As the Lion’s Tale went to press, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was leading President-elect Donald Trump in the popular vote 63,045,266 to 61,607,950. Michigan is still counting its votes and plans to certify its election results at the end of November. Although Trump is only leading by .3 percent of the vote (about 11.600 votes according to 270towin.com), officials believe he will carry the state and win the election with a final electoral college vote count of 306 to 232.

Rise in hate crimes across America post-Trump election

Krupa Shah & Lauren Walinski
Staff Writers

Ever since Donald Trump’s election a few days ago, hate crimes have been cropping up across the country. These crimes range anywhere from swastikas and hateful messages being graffitied in bathroom stalls or store or home walls. These messages include phrases as “make America white again,” “black lives don’t matter,” “gay families = burn in hell,” “go back to where you came from” and others.
  People are also reporting being harassed in the street. Women all over the country are reporting sexual harassment, including men using phrases such as “grab them by the p*ssy” as said by our current president-elect. People of color have reported being called racial slurs and being told to return to Africa, Mexico, or other countries, sometimes even being told to go “back” to the wrong country. Many people who have been told this are American born citizens. Members of the LGBTQ community have reported being called slurs as well, and being told their marriages would be overturned. Threats on people’s lives have also been made, such as an incident that took place at the University of Pennsylvania where black freshman were all added to a GroupMe chat called “N***er Lynching.” Racial slurs and images of lynching were shared. Threats of lynching and a “Daily Lynching” event were also shared with the group. At Royal Oak Middle School, white students were caught on film chanting “build the wall” in their cafeteria during lunch. Another Pennsylvania principal has also reported many white students chanting “Cotton picker,” “You’re a N***er,” and “Heil Hitler” at the students of color.
  Physical assaults have also been reported by many. Muslim women wearing hijabs have reported had them ripped off their heads, forcing some women to remove their hijabs for their own safety. Many Muslim people and people of color have reported being robbed, assaulted, and even people attempting to run them over in crosswalks. Women have reported being grabbed and groped without their consent in public. Kids have been bullied and beat up for their race, religion, or sexuality. One teenager had a bottle broken over his head at a bar on a date with another guy. Many people of color are being presumed to be an ethnicity that they are not. For example, one woman who was sitting in a restaurant when an older white man began to harass her. Presuming, that she was of Mexican descent he said, “I can’t wait until Trump asks us to rape your people and send you back over the biggest d*nm wall we’re ever going to build. Go back to hell, w*tback”. After this was said he threw her drink in her face and gave her the middle finger before walking away.
  The reason Trump’s election has caused hate crimes to spike is because Trump ran a platform of hate. He ran on racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and homophobia and when he won it validated these views to every other American who held them. If the President-elect could say and do bigoted things, then any average American could, too, if he won Presidency. It also shows that if a person in a position of authority does something inappropriate it is acceptable for one of their followers to follow suit. Trump fostered a campaign playing into the hatred of this country. Now hatred has won, and this is the result.
  The following reporters and sources were consulted:
CNN: http://tinyurl.com/h7r8gjt
USA Today:
http://tinyurl.com/gvb26k5
http://tinyurl.com/zyofydj
http://tinyurl.com/jh56xyb
https://t.co/oxOA1AOFD6
https://t.co/cQFUbN1JHK
https://t.co/6k5TyDKTDP
https://t.co/EAxggYm42j
https://t.co/wFJWWGnoyI
NYTimes:
http://tinyurl.com/h46yb3h
Dallas Morning News:
http://tinyurl.com/hgukgea
NBC:
http://tinyurl.com/jbgt6cu
http://tinyurl.com/jrvvs5e
Time: http://tinyurl.com/zjhpo2z
Southern Poverty Law Center:
http://tinyurl.com/hhecm9w

Return of Thon-ye West

Katie Tangradi
Opinions Editor

New Hope-Solebury official mini-THON, an all night fundraiser to aid the research for finding a cure for childhood cancer, is finally back! Once again we have teamed up with the Four Diamonds organization which amps it all up FTK-- For The Kids.
  Over the next few months leading up to mini-THON, expect student government to put the FUN in fundraising. Mini-THON is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 with a start time of 7 p.m. Of course it goes all night so it will end promptly at 7 a.m. the next morning.
  The first fundraiser that occurred during this past autumn sports season was Grill Squad. Eric Luo really wanted everyone to know, “Grill Squad was dope. THON is gonna be dope. Remember it’s for the kids.”
  Next stop on the mini-THON fundraising train is the Jules pizza fundraiser. This event conveniently is taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It is a perfect way to kick off Thanksgiving break and end a half day.
  When students return from Thanksgiving break on Monday, Nov. 28, there will be a mini-THON kick off assembly. At this assembly the theme will be announced along with exciting details of the event. The best way to make this a success FTK is to start raising money now. Over Thanksgiving, ask friends and family to think about making a donation. Start thinking about your mini-THON team names, get creative! One day we will dance in celebration. Until then we dance for the cure.

Student takes advantage of online opportunity

Jacob McCloskey
Features Editor

If you’re someone who writes well, someone who wants to find something unique to add to a college application, or someone who has an interest in anything that is at all distinct or marketable, there’s most likely a place online where you can get published. Many students in the past have written for the Odyssey Online, local newspapers, or sports, music, or fashion websites that they’re interested in.
  I’ve recently begun an internship where I write at an electronic music website. I’d never thought about writing anywhere else other than school, but after coming across a listing and an easy application, I found myself as one of the staff writers for noiseprn.com.
  The process begins when a writer adds a new idea to the “idea” section on the website’s organizational page. From there, a writer will select a subject to write about, send it to the editors, and the article will soon go online. On top of writing about topics that are simply fun, the website also can provide press passes to music festivals, gives writers the chance to interview artists, and ultimately delivers opportunities that wouldn’t even be a possibility in any other context.
  If you love sports, there’s probably hundreds of websites that want writers to contribute articles about sports. If you’re passionate about music, there’s most definitely a place where you can participate. If you like fashion, the same applies. There’s a huge variety of writing opportunities available for websites online, and most of these are great ways to get a foot in the door to any industry.
  http://www.noiseprn.com/author/jacob-mccloskey/

Be smart about Black Friday shopping

Alexandra Buchler
Staff Writer

Black Friday is one of the best days of the year. It’s the perfect time to snag a new video game, a new pair of designer shoes, or a new flat screen TV. No one can deny the mayhem inside of every mall on Black Friday, so here are a few tips to help you survive it.
  First, know what you want to buy before you go out. This will help you get in and out of stores as quickly as you can, while also helping you avoid being trampled by other shoppers.
  Second, always check online deals, especially if you’re not one who likes pushing your way through large crowds and battling other vehicles for parking spots. Usually, online stores will have deals that begin at midnight!
  Third, take a buddy with you, since the buddy system makes it easier to locate items in a store, and makes your trips to the malls go much faster. Additionally, the stores with the best deals on Black Friday are Walmart, Kohls, Target, Sears, American Eagle, GameStop, Best Buy and Pacsun.
  If you’re planning on going shopping Black Friday, follow some of these tips for the ultimate shopping experience!

War Crimes investigation into U.S.

 Jack McKenna
Staff Writer

When people hear the term “war crimes,” they assume that a cruel dictator or an extremist terrorist group is involved, but according to the special prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in the Netherlands, the United States might soon be added to that list. The head prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is considering a full investigation that could lead to the prosecution of U.S. Forces for war crimes in Afghanistan, including torture, unreasonably cruel treatment, and rape. The war crimes detailed in the report are alleged to have taken place at secret detention centers set up and run by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the early stages of the war in 2003-2004. The report cites less than 100 cases, but notes that these were not isolated events. As reported in the New York Times, the document says, “Rather, they appear to have been committed as part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ from detainees.”
  U.S. forces are not the only group under threat of investigation in this war crimes inquiry. Afghan Government Forces and the Taliban also are implicated in reports of similar war crimes of torture. Additionally, the report claims that the CIA may have similarly mistreated detainees in Poland, Romania and Lithuania between Dec. 2002 and Mar. 2008.
  While Bensouda’s report concludes there is a “reasonable basis” for a prosecution to be brought against the troops, U.S. cooperation is extremely unlikely as it is not a member of the court. Additionally, a previous U.S. Justice department investigation into CIA abuse did not result in prosecution, which leads most to conclude that an ICC trial of American soldiers for war crimes is unlikely to go forward.

Trump makes Cabinet selections

Owen Roberts
Staff Writer

On Nov. 13, Donald Trump announced his first picks for his cabinet. For chief of staff, Mr. Trump picked Reince Priebus, the current head of the RNC. The chief of staff in the Trump administration will assist Trump more than the average president, considering he has little experience with lawmaking. The chief of staff is also in control of the president’s schedule, including who he meets. Priebus will also be in charge of all other White House employees.
  Trump’s second pick is Stephen Bannon, former executive of Breitbart News. Mr. Bannon is being picked as chief strategist and senior counselor and adviser to Trump. During the Trump campaign he was named Trump’s campaign executive.
  Critics have questioned the reasoning behind Bannon’s appointment. Breitbart, which Bannon used to run, has been called controversial by many, with articles such as “Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage,” and “The solution to online ‘harassment’ is simple: Women should log off.”
  Trump still needs to pick a majority of his cabinet, including secretary of state. The Trump campaign has admitted that Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, may be a top contender. Other possible picks include John Bolton, former UN ambassador, and Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the house. Jeff Sessions, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Kelly Ayotte, and Michael Flynn may also hold prominent positions in a Trump cabinet.
  No matter who Trump picks, his presidency will most likely shape American policy for the next few decades. With control of both the House and the Senate and with many Supreme Court seats soon to be open, Trump’s cabinet decisions hold more weight than previously expected.

New Hope Celebrates Education Support Professionals

Amanda Horak & Parker Miele
Staff Writers

National Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day is dedicated to the men and women who help students every day, and keep the whole school running. The national day to thank these people is Nov. 16, which fell on a Wednesday this year. The ESP staff may be wearing shirts labeled NHS ESP to show that they are a member.
  ESP staff members complete many tasks to help the students and teachers have a safer and smoother-running school day. These tasks include greeting students at the door, keeping the school safe and clean, providing students with delicious lunches, and assisting the teachers and students in classrooms in order to facilitate and achieve better learning outcomes. The staff members also do so much more to help everyone throughout the school year.
  The ESP staff would greatly appreciate any thanks from the students, especially since their work is so important. Happy National ESP Day!

Veterans talk to students

Amanda Horak & Parker Miele
Staff Writers

On November 11, students walked into social studies classes to meet a host of incredibly smart and supremely brave men and women who have fought for our country. These men came in to share their amazing stories and journeys and never dropped a smile from their faces. Every student  could tell that every veteran was proud of their military service.
  After fourth period the veterans were done sharing their journey with students. They went down to the library for a fantastic lunch. The choir sang “God Bless America,” for them, while the local girl scout troop talked to them even more about what their experience was like.
  We asked some students about what they thought of the veterans and if they would like to continue bringing in more veterans next year.
  A junior, Katie Hunt, said: “I really enjoyed listening to them talk. Their stories were truly incredible. I do hope we do this again next year to hear even more about what others went through too.”
  This is just one of the students who really got a great experience from Veterans Day. Many walked away with a better understanding of the sacrifice it takes for someone to risk their own life for their country.
  A junior Vanessa Northrup, said: “I really understand how much these men risked to help our country and I am forever grateful for them and what they risked for us.”
  The Veterans Day visits were a huge success at New Hope this year. A lot of students are really looking forward to next year to learn more from the veterans.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

African-American Museum opens in Washington with speech by President Obama

Claire Dougherty and Savannah Herring
Staff Writers

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) was established in 2003, and officially opened on Sept. 24, 2016. The Smithsonian museum presents “A People's’ Journey,” containing close to 37,000 artifacts related to African American History subjects such as community, family, the arts, religion, civil rights, slavery and segregation.
 The opening ceremony, held by President Obama and several other distinguished guests, honored more than simply “powerful moments in African American history, culture, and community.”  The President stated that “what makes this occasion so special is the larger story it contains.” As he and several other speakers noted, there is great significance in the opening of this museum for the black community. It is an enormous accomplishment for Americans. Efforts to establish a national museum devoted to African American History initially began as early as 1915. Despite this, very little progress was made towards the creation of such an organization, and the efforts made were hardly recognized until the 1970s. In 1988, legislative pressure began and authorization of the museum was made official in 2003. Three years late, in 2006, a site was decided on, and progress took off.
 As President Obama stated at the opening ceremony, the building itself, designed by David Adjaye, is “surely a sight to behold.”  Located in the National Mall, the museum is ten stories--five above ground and five below ground--of sheer excellence. McKissack & McKissack, the first African American-owned architectural firm in the United States, provided project management services on behalf of the Smithsonian. Their services resulted in what some consider to be one of the grandest museums in America and one of the most beautiful buildings in DC.
 Every piece in the museum is worthy of being recognized, but some of the more attention grabbing pieces includes the glass-topped casket originally used to display and bury the body of 14-year-old Emmett Till, the victim of racially motivated torture and murder in Mississippi. Till's death sparked the 1950s and '60s African American Civil Rights Movement. Other notable pieces include a badge from 1850, worn by an African American in Charleston, S.C., indicating that the wearer was a slave, and Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves.
 Surely, in order to get a full understanding of the excellence of the museum, one must pay it a visit. Unfortunately, if you’re like most Americans, and you have a burning desire to see the exhibit, you still must wait until March at the earliest.. Since Sept. 24, the museum has been packed and will continue to be packed. Still, tickets are being sold at an alarmingly fast rate.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Scientists use nanotechnology for climate change breakthrough

Owen Roberts
Staff Writer

On October 12, a group of scientists may have discovered a possible new breakthrough in fighting climate change. In a new paper published by Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee, researchers Adam Rondinone, Yang Song, and Dale Hensley detailed new findings about carbon dioxide. “We're surprised but very happy about the attention,” said Rondinone.
 Through the use of a carbon copper and nitrogen combination, scientists have discovered a way to reverse carbon combustion using a catalyst spike of carbon, copper, and nitrogen. From there, the researchers were able to create small chemical reactions in carbon dioxide, resulting in 63 percent of the CO2 being converted into ethanol.
 With this cost-efficient method, CO2 that has been dissolved in water can be changed into ethanol, which can then be used as fuel. The new discovery could be useful for making grids more efficient by giving energy companies a way to store their excess power. It could also be used to store excess energy from renewable sources such as solar panels and windmills.
 The scientists were attempting to study a more complicated reverse combustion reaction when they accidentally activated the carbon. “We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own.” said Adam Rondinone, one of the lead researchers.
 This isn't the first time reverse carbon combustion has been talked about. In 2013, it was the main topic in that year’s American Chemical Society meeting, a group that meets to discuss important chemical discoveries. They saw it as a way to reverse engineer climate change.
 The experiment was done at a microscopic level, so it’s unclear how this would work on a large scale. But considering the effect carbon dioxide has on our atmosphere, this avenue should be explored.

Reality behind the polls may be closer than it appears

Lauren Walinski
Staff Writer

Throughout this election, polls on the percentages of people voting for each candidate have been a focus for much of the country. The polls update daily, and as of October 27, the numbers are as follows: Clinton is in the lead with 45.7% of the vote and her numbers have been increasing. Trump comes next, with 40% of the vote. Trump’s numbers are also rising. As for the third party candidates, Johnson had 5.8% of votes country-wide while Stein has 1.8%. Both of their numbers are decreasing.
 On a smaller scale there are also surveys of the individual states. As of October 27, Clinton has 47.0% of Pennsylvania vote and Trump has 42.7%. However, Clinton’s numbers appear to be falling as Trump’s appear to be rising. The percentages of the third party candidates were not listed.
 When confronted with the results of these polls, Trump claimed they were “phony” and that the media was biased against him. He was quoted telling telling a crowd: “When we do badly, I don't know about polls, right? But when we're doing well, I know about polls” and even reported telling supports “I believe we are actually winning” despite his numbers showing otherwise.
Due to Clinton’s strong lead, her campaign fears voters will assume her win is assured and supporters won’t turn out. On the opposite side, the Trump campaign worries his supports will think his loss is definite and followers won’t vote. The final vote, therefore, is expected to be very close.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Kim Kardashian Gets Robbed

Chloe MacGillvray
Staff Writer

On Oct.3, a group of five men dressed as police officers entered Kim Kardashian's Paris hotel room. According to TMZ, the concierge of the exclusive hotel was gagged and tied down after the robbers entered. The men proceeded to Kim Kardashian's hotel room, where they easily entered. Kim was in bed and was immediately ordered to get up. She tried to contact her bodyguard, Pascal Duvier, but the robbers knocked her cell phone out of her hand. Her wrists were bound together with duct tape, and she was thrown into the bathtub of her hotel room. Kim Kardashian's friend, Simone Harouche, was also in the hotel room. Harouche locked herself in the bathroom when she heard the commotion, and was able to call Kourtney Kardashian and Duvier. Kim reports that she could not understand the men, but knew they had said “ring” multiple times, most likely in reference to Kardashian’s engagement ring. Kim’s children were not in the hotel at the time of the robbery, and her sisters were out shopping with her bodyguard.
 A full list of what was stolen has not yet been reported; however, we believe that two mobile phones were taken from her, along with $11 million worth of jewelry and a $4 million engagement ring. After the robbery, Kim was immediately escorted to a jet back to New York, where she met up with her husband, Kanye West.
Current suspects are known as the Pink Panthers, an organized crime group notorious for stealing valuable jewelry. No arrests have been made, however police continue to investigate the involvement of the gang.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/everything-we-know-about-night-kim-kardashian-was-robbed-gunpoint-paris-1584784

Republican Party headquarters firebombed

Victoria Siano
News Editor


Just three weeks before the presidential election an event occurred that has been considered an attack on our democracy. On Saturday night, Oct. 15, a firebomb was found to have been set off in the Republican headquarters in Orange County, North Carolina. Additionally, graffiti messages had been painted on the building next door warning Republicans to flee town.
 According to pictures posted on Twitter by the Republican party early Sunday morning, the building inside has been completely destroyed, with blackened walls, burned campaigns signs for several Republican candidates, and charred furniture. As if this weren’t bad enough, pictures of the scene displayed graffiti that included a swastika and the terrifying message stating “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.”
 This immense damage, however, had not been discovered until the next day by a business owner who called the authorities by around 9:00 a.m., Sunday morning. After receiving this call, the Hillsborough police quickly started their investigation; analyzing the scene of the political terrorist attack as well as working with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in order to track down whoever was behind it. From their examinations, they have concluded that building had been destroyed by a bottle of flammable liquid reading the words “Freedom Speaks” which was thrown through one of the front windows of the building.
 In a statement to the New York Times, Mayor of Hillsboro, Tom Stevens, stated: “This highly disturbing act goes far beyond vandalizing property; it willfully threatens our community's safety via fire, and its hateful message undermines the decency, respect, and integrity of civic participation.” Along with this, Mayor Stevens also discussed the fact that North Carolina law enforcement is responding quickly to investigate the matter and “prosecute the perpetrators.”
 North Carolina law enforcement is not the only group that has responded to this act of political terror, however. Despite supposedly being held accountable for the act by none other than presidential candidate Donald Trump, the Democratic party started a GoFundMe campaign Sunday night, Oct. 16, in order to help raise money to rebuild the Republican Party headquarters. As of Monday morning, the campaign had already raised $13,000.

War continues in Aleppo after 3 day humanitarian ceasefire fails

Lexi Anderson
Editor-in-Chief


A humanitarian pause of the bombings in Aleppo took place on Thursday and extended into Saturday in an effort to help civilians escape the war ridden area, but this so-called plan to evacuate injured and vulnerable people was unsuccessful as the United Nations failed to gain access to Eastern Aleppo and aborted their plan. The violence has sinced resumed in the city, causing hope in Aleppo to decrease even more.
 This momentary ceasefire commenced on Thursday, Oct. 20 and ended on Saturday, Oct. 22, and was supposed to be a way for civilians to escape, however the United Nations has since aborted their plan, and the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien claimed: “The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo, conditions placed by non-state armed groups and the government of Syria’s objection to allowing medical and other relief supplies into the eastern part of the city.”  
 According to Russia, the period of “humanitarian” time was meant to differentiate moderate fighters from extremists, but rebel fighters, including Al-Farouk Abu Bakr--a commander of the Islamic group Ahrar al-Sham--said that they would not be leaving and would not back down, stating: “When we took up arms at the start of the revolution to defend our abandoned people we promised God that we would not lay them down until the downfall of this criminal regime.”
 The rebel fighters stuck to their word during the ceasefire, with none of them accepting the pause in fighting. This did nothing to help the United Nations, and according to O’Brien, no families or civilians were evacuated during the three-day pause. In addition, since Saturday, bombings and ground fighting have continued and even increased, according to the Observatory for Human Rights.
 At the start of the Syrian civil war, Aleppo was the most populous city in Syria. It was a place of pride for the country, boasting success in the textile, soap, and gold industries, which could be found across the Middle Eastern markets. The city was cherished and enjoyed by tourists coming to explore the medieval marketplace and venture into one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back to B.C. when it was a spot on the Silk Road.
 However, since the Syrian War has ravaged Syria, Aleppo has been hit harder than any place. The city has been split, with opposition forces in the East and Bashar al-Assad’s government controlling the West. Russia, in support of Assad, has been continually bombing and destroying the Eastern half of Aleppo, causing over hundreds of thousands of deaths, including 218 civilian deaths in opposition held areas and 178 in government held areas in August alone. European foreign ministers have severely criticized Assad, Russia, and other allies for the outrageous and unreasonable bombings that have hit Aleppo and continue to kill hundreds of innocent people each month. They even have recently amounted the terror to war crime status.
  Before this ceasefire started, the United Nations stated that they couldn’t guarantee that they would be able to effectively carry out any aid operations, and had proposed a resolution to stop the bombing in Aleppo in order to establish real humanitarian aid. However, Moscow vetoed this resolution.
 Aleppo is on the brink of extinction. Contrary to what some may think, such as presidential candidate Donald Trump who believes Aleppo has indeed fallen, there is still time to save the city, however action is needed now. According to the Syrian envoy of the United Nations, if we cannot find any solution to save Aleppo between now and December, it will no longer exist. As more and more people continue to die each day without any clear resolution in the horizon it is imperative that stronger actions must take place or else this historic and iconic city will fall.

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

National Security Agency Contractor Arrested for Theft of Top-Secret Data

Katie Steele
News Editor

In August, the FBI. secretly arrested Harold T. Martin III, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor suspected of stealing classified government information. The source codes he is being investigated for stealing were reportedly developed to hack into the networks of foreign governments. At the time of his alleged theft, Martin worked for Booz Allen Hamilton (Edward Snowden’s former employer), a U.S. consultancy firm which aids in the government’s handling of defense and intelligence issues. The company rakes in billions of dollars every year from government contracts; in 2013, Bloomberg called Booz Allen the world’s most profitable spy organization.
 And even though the government relies heavily on Booz Allen Hamilton and its workers for intelligence-- a former company executive, James Clapper, currently serves as the Director of National Intelligence, which makes him President Obama’s top intelligence advisor-- this is not the first time the company has suffered a security breach. In 2013, while working at Booz Allen, Edward Snowden perpetrated what has been called the most significant leak in political history, copying and releasing an estimated 1.7 million NSA documents to the public. The recent arrest of Martin has renewed examinations of the firm’s operations and the safety measures that they have in place.
 In August, some of the top-secret files that have since been found in Martin’s possession were offered for sale on the internet by an anonymous group. Investigators have found that the trail leads back to his home computer, but are struggling to say definitively whether or not he deliberately sold them to the group that posted them online, or if they hacked his computer and found them without his knowledge. He claims that he amassed his massive collection of files with no plan to pass them along.
 Two months after the arrest, authorities are still uncertain if Martin is telling the truth. Authorities have estimated that he stole 50 terabytes (TB) of data, beginning in his first year working for the company in 1996. For reference, IBM’s supercomputer Watson has only 16 TB of RAM. In its first 20 years of observation, the Hubble Space telescope captured only 45 TB of data. The Justice Department has called the theft “breathtaking in its longevity and scale,” and it places Martin just behind Snowden, who stole an estimated 60 TB of NSA information.
 Martin was originally charged only with the unauthorized removal of classified materials, but federal prosecutors have since moved to charge him under the Espionage Act. Espionage charges will carry much larger penalties for him.