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.”