Thursday, July 7, 2011

America's Newspapers: Hot Topics in the News

America's Newspapers by Newsbank is a database of local (Columbus Ledger-Enquirer), state (including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), and national newspapers (including the New York Times) of the U.S. Each newspaper includes local and regional news, politics, sports, industries, cultural activities, and community.

NewsBank Hot Topics address a wide variety of contemporary subjects from around the world related to social studies, science, health, sports, the arts, people and more.

To read more, please use the search terms suggested below in the America's Newspapers database found in GALILEO.

As always, please Ask a Librarian for help!



ENVIRONMENT: Arizona and New Mexico Wildfires

TOPIC: Arizona and New Mexico are suffering record wildfires this summer. What are the causes of these extreme fires? What are some of the largest wildfires in our history and what were their causes? What is being done to help save valuable Native American pueblo land?

SEARCH TERMS: (Arizona OR New Mexico) AND wildfires

SPORTS: Wimbledon
TOPIC: The winners of the Wimbledon tennis championship are Novak Djokovic who beat champion Rafael Nadal and Petra Kvitova who upset Maria Sharapova. What other major wins have these two champions had in their careers? What were the best plays and most exiting moments of the tournament?


HEALTH: Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels

TOPIC: The U.S. FDA has issued graphic warning labels for cigarette packages showing disturbing images of the gruesome effects cigarette smoke can have on people. Why did FDA decide to replace the existing warning labels? What are some of the ways the government has regulated the way cigarettes are sold over the years?

SEARCH TERMS: cigarettes AND warning labels

Civics, Government and Politics: Afghanistan War Policy

TOPIC: President Obama has outlined the details of his strategy for the US combat mission in Afghanistan which includes significantly reducing the number of U.S. troops. What are the troop numbers and timeline of this strategy and what was the reasoning behind those decisions? What have been the arguments for and against his strategy and who have been the most distinguished voices on each side?

SEARCH TERMS: Obama AND Afghanistan AND troops

Civics, Government and Politics: New Constitution for Iceland

TOPIC: Iceland has chosen to write a new constitution and is reaching out to its citizens through social media and other online means. Why does Iceland want to rewrite its constitution? How is it using technology to find out what its citizens want? What are the most contentious issues being considered for inclusion in it?

SEARCH TERMS: Iceland AND constitution
CRIME AND LAW: Violent Video Games

TOPIC: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the restriction California has placed on the sales and rentals of violent video games is unconstitutional. What is their reasoning for this decision? What were the specifics of the restriction that California was imposing?

SEARCH TERMS: violence AND video games AND California


Civics, Government and Politics: Libya Legalities

TOPIC: A lawsuit has been filed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers claiming that the Obama military action in Libya is unconstitutional. What is the legal case for and against their lawsuit? What are some other U.S. military actions in the past that have been controversial because they were done without the approval of Congress?

SEARCH TERMS: Obama AND Libya AND lawsuit

Civics, Government and Politics: The Republican Primary Candidates

TOPIC: The poll ratings for Representative Michele Bachmann among Republicans have improved after her strong performance in a recent debate among GOP presidential candidates. What other candidates saw their ratings rise and which candidates saw them fall after the recent New Hampshire debate and what were the reasons given for these changes when voters were polled? Which GOP candidate has seen an exodus of his campaign staff and what were the reasons for their departure? Who are the latest candidates to join the Republican primary and what are their backgrounds?

SEARCH TERMS: Republican AND president AND 2012

Civics, Government and Politics: Communist Party in China
TOPIC: There are 80 million members of the Communist Party in China. It is the 90th anniversary of its founding. What percent of the total population are members? What benefits accrue to party members? What are some of the current issues facing the leadership of the party and country?

SEARCH TERMS: China AND Communist Party

CRIME AND LAW: Rafik Hariri

TOPIC: A U.N. investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri has issued four arrest warrants to the government of Lebanon. Among the accused are two members of Hezbollah. What is Hezbollah? Why would members of it want Hariri dead? Who else, in the intervening years, has been thought to be responsible?

SEARCH TERMS: Hariri AND assassination AND investigations AND Hezbollah

CRIME AND LAW: Bolivia Challenges the U.N.

TOPIC: Bolivia is challenging the terms of the 1961 U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, maintaining that coca leaves should not be classified as illegal drugs. What is the historical use of these leaves in the Andes Mountains? Why are they among the drugs listed in the convention? What is the current president of Bolivia’s connection to coca leaves?

SEARCH TERMS: Bolivian AND coca AND U.N.

ECONOMICS: Wal-Mart Lawsuit

TOPIC: The Supreme Court has rejected the class-action lawsuit brought against Wal-Mart for sexual discrimination. What was their reasoning for this decision? What are some other class-action lawsuits that have faced similar legal challenges?

SEARCH TERMS: Wal-Mart AND discrimination

ECONOMICS: Economic Stagnation

TOPIC: The economy has not improved at a significant rate and the polls show the public is frustrated. What are the reasons given for the weakness of our economic recovery? What are the different strategies that have been tried and how has each one fared?

SEARCH TERMS: economy AND public AND polls

ECONOMICS: Greece Financial Turmoil Continues

TOPIC: Turmoil continues in Greece as the further austerity imposed by new bailout loan conditions are resisted by the populace. Protests have turned into riots. Why does Greece need loans? Why are the IMF and its Eurozone partners imposing seemingly harsh conditions on the loans?

SEARCH TERMS: Greece AND IMF AND (loan conditions OR austerity)
EDUCATION: Preschool in Sweden

TOPIC: A Swedish preschool seeks to prevent children from getting pushed into stereotypical gender roles by not using pronouns like he or she, not reading books that reinforce stereotypes and not allowing certain kinds of toys. What are gender roles? What are stereotypes? Do you think this Swedish school will succeed? How long do you think it will take for them to be able to judge success or failure of this attempt?

SEARCH TERMS: Egalia Preschool AND gender

EDUCATION: U.S. Students Rate Poorly in History
TOPIC: The 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress has showed that American students have a poor grasp on history. What were the numbers given in the report and what did they represent? What are the reasons students are doing so poorly in history?

SEARCH TERMS: students AND history

HISTORY: Alexander the Great

TOPIC: Macedonia is erecting a gigantic statue of Alexander the Great, which has upset the Greeks who believe Macedonians are expropriating a particularly Greek hero. Are the people who inhabit the Macedonia of today the same as the Macedonians of Alexander’s times? What are the Macedonian’s arguments for honoring Alexander?

SEARCH TERMS: Alexander the Great AND Macedonia AND statue

HISTORY: Full Pentagon Papers Released

TOPIC: The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin Texas is making the full breadth of the Pentagon Papers available to the public for the first time. What are the Pentagon Papers and how did they play a role in freedom of the press and the role of covert information during wartime? What details of the Pentagon Papers were the most significant and why?

SEARCH TERMS: Pentagon Papers



TOPIC: The United Nations has declared rinderpest, a cattle disease, to be fully eradicated. The last case was seen in a wild animal in 2001. What are the symptoms of rinderpest? How was it spread? What was its role in human history? How was it eradicated?

SEARCH TERMS: rinderpest AND eradication

ENVIRONMENT: Vultures Comeback

TOPIC: The vulture population is Asia has declined in recent decades, but conservation efforts have seen a comeback in some countries and a smaller rate of decline in others. What is the role of vultures in the ecosystem? How are they fostering the population of vultures in Cambodia? Which religion has used vultures for centuries in the disposal of its dead and how have they coped with the population decline?

SEARCH TERMS: vultures AND Asia AND population


TOPIC: The Prague Zoo has sent four Przewalski horses, a stallion and three mares, to Mongolia to help rebuild the herds there. Why did these horses have to be reintroduced to the wild? Where are the other populations of the horse located and what is being done to preserve them?

SEARCH TERMS: Przewalski horses AND conservation

ENVIRONMENT: Ocean Corridors

TOPIC: An international team of scientists led by two Americans have discovered two broad and busy ocean migratory highways that run across the Pacific and they have named them the North Pacific Transition Zone. How are these highways or corridors formed, and what purpose do they serve? How were they discovered and what experiments were conducted to find out specific aspects of them?

SEARCH TERMS: North Pacific Transition Zone

HEALTH: Court Ruling on Health Care Reform

TOPIC: The U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has ruled the health care reform law of President Obama is constitutional. What were the grounds for the ruling and what was the argument challenging the law? What have been the challenges to the law in other cases?

SEARCH TERMS: health care AND ruling AND Cincinnati

HEALTH: Vaccinating the Third World

TOPIC: Nations have pledged millions to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. The Gates Foundation pledged a billion dollars to it. What is the goal of the alliance? Who are its members? How do they hope to meet their goal?

SEARCH TERMS: Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization

HEALTH: Cigarette Packaging in Australia

TOPIC: Australia seeks to have cigarettes sold in packages without company logos but with graphic images showing the dangers of smoking. Philip Morris International, based in Hong Kong, is suing the country on the basis of an investment treaty between Hong Kong and Australia. What are Philip Morris’ arguments? What degree of compensation is it seeking? How is the Australian government responding?

SEARCH TERMS: Australia and cigarettes
HEALTH: Scarlet Fever Returns

TOPIC: Scarlet fever has hit Hong Kong. This strain of the fever shows some drug resistance. What is drug resistance? Why do health care providers fear it? What are the symptoms of scarlet fever? How many cases are there in Hong Kong and how does this compare to recent years? Were there any fatalities?

SEARCH TERMS: Hong Kong AND scarlet fever


TOPIC: The Vatican has launched a web site that will aggregate its media output in one spot. The Pope tweeted the news. What sort of media is the Roman Catholic Church involved in? What does it say about the penetration of digital media that one of the oldest, if not the oldest, organizations in the world feels the need to have a presence?

SEARCH TERMS: Vatican AND web sites


TOPIC: June 28 was Tau Day - a day when mathematicians who wish to replace the constant Pi with another named Tau celebrate. Tau is twice the size of Pi, 6.28 to 3.14, and according to these mathematicians using a constant that measures the radius rather than the diameter of a circle simplifies things. What is the definition of a circle and how does it relate to the constant being proposed? How will this constant make things easier?

SEARCH TERMS: Tau AND Pi AND constants

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Corporate Web Suffixes

TOPIC: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has voted to allow a new format of website addresses that end in corporate names. What impact does this have on how the web operates? What is the history of ICANN and what is its role in operating the web?


SPORTS: Dallas Mavericks New NBA Champions

TOPIC: The Dallas Mavericks have defeated the Miami Heat to become the champions of the NBA. Who were the top players and what were the best plays? What kind of a season did each team have and how did this change throughout the season? What are some predictions for NBA teams next season after the recent NBA draft and team trades?

SEARCH TERMS: Dallas Mavericks AND Miami Heat

SPORTS: Boston Bruins Win the Stanley Cup

TOPIC: The Boston Bruins have beaten the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup. What happened on the streets of Calgary in the days after the Bruin’s win? Who were the key players and what were the key plays? What is the history of these teams?

SEARCH TERMS: Bruins AND Stanley Cup

SPORTS: Women’s World Cup

TOPIC: The women’s soccer tournament is being held in Germany through July 17th. What teams are considered the favored to win and who are their major players? When did the Women’s World Cup begin and how has it developed?

SEARCH TERMS: Women’s World Cup

SPORTS: McIlroy Wins U.S. Open

TOPIC: Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has won the U.S. Open at the Congressional Country Club in Maryland with a record-breaking score of 268. What was the previous record and who held it? What is his history in golf?


SPORTS: LA Dodgers File for Bankruptcy

TOPIC: The Los Angeles Dodgers have filed for bankruptcy. What were the conditions that led this team into bankruptcy? What has Commissioner Bud Selig done in response to the bankruptcy? How are they temporarily financing their daily operations and meeting their payroll obligations?

SEARCH TERMS: Dodgers and bankruptcy


FILM AND TELEVISION: Law & Order: Criminal Intent

TOPIC: The last episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent has just aired on the USA Network. Who is Dick Wolf, and what are the different shows in his Law & Order series? What was the span of each of the individual series?

SEARCH TERMS: Law & Order AND Criminal Intent

FILM AND TELEVISION: Celebrating Fellini

TOPIC: The Toronto International Film Festival is presenting an exhibition on the Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini and his impact on the culture of celebrities. As part of the exhibition, they have asked other filmmakers to pair one of his films with a comparable work. Who was Fellini? What were his most famous films? Which film pairings sound the most appealing to you?


FINE ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE: Hungarian Photographers

TOPIC: An exhibit at the Royal Academy in London shows the wide range and style of Hungarian photographers in the 20th Century. They produced some of the iconic images of the age. Who are some of these photographers and what are some of the images they produced? Why did much of their work take place outside of Hungary?

SEARCH TERMS: Royal Academy AND photography AND exhibitions
FINE ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE: Rare Photo of Billy the Kid

TOPIC: American businessman William Koch has bought the last remaining photograph of famous outlaw Billy the Kid. What was the early process used to take and develop this early photo? What is the history of how this photograph has changed hands and stayed preserved?

SEARCH TERMS: Koch AND Billy the Kid AND photo*


TOPIC: Artists pretending to be construction workers have illegally painted a piece of graffiti called The Surfing Madonna under a train bridge in San Diego. Why is there an effort to preserve this piece of graffiti? What are some other examples of graffiti that have received a lot of attention in the artistic community?

SEARCH TERMS: Surfing Madonna AND San Diego

LITERATURE: Harry Potter E-Book Sold on J.K. Rowling Website

TOPIC: The J.K. Rowling website Pottermore will be the only place to buy Harry Potter e-books. What has been the reaction from other book selling venues to her choice? What are some technological changes in book selling that have threatened traditional sales venues?

SEARCH TERMS: Pottermore AND e-book AND Harry Potter

LITERATURE: Against All Enemies

TOPIC: Bestselling author of political thrillers, Tom Clancy, has a new novel called Against All Enemies. What is his new book about and what research did he do for the book? What are some of the other bestsellers he has written and what popular character shows up in many of his books?

SEARCH TERMS: Tom Clancy AND Against All Enemies


TOPIC: Colum McCann has won the International IMPAC Dublin Award. How are works nominated for this prize? What works are eligible for it? Who came up with the idea for this prize? Who are some previous winners of it? What book did McCann win for?

SEARCH TERMS: Colum McCann AND International IMPAC Dublin Award

PERFORMING ARTS: Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark

TOPIC: The Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has finally opened. What famous band did the music for this play? What problems plagued this musical during production?

SEARCH TERMS: Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark


PEOPLE: Whitey Bolger

TOPIC: Whitey Bolger, the notorious Boston crime boss who has been a fugitive from justice since 1994, has been arrested in Santa Monica, California. What was his position in the Winter Hill Gang and what crimes is he accused of? What reputation did he have in Boston and how has he been portrayed in popular culture?

SEARCH TERMS: Whitey Bolger

PEOPLE: Clarence Clemens

TOPIC: Rock saxophone player Clarence Clemens was most famous for his role in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. What were some highlights of his solo career? What were his roles in acting and philanthropy?

SEARCH TERMS: Clarence Clemens

PEOPLE: Prince Philip

TOPIC: Prince Philip has turned 90 recently. What royal families was he born into? What was his life like before his marriage to Queen Elizabeth? How is he perceived by the British press? Has his longevity changed that perception?

SEARCH TERMS: Prince Philip

PEOPLE: Muhammad Hassan Shama

TOPIC: Muhammad Hassan Shama was a founder of Hamas and the leader of its Shura Council. What is Hamas? What is the Shura Council? Why was his position kept secret?

SEARCH TERMS: Muhammad Hassan Shama

PEOPLE: Ai Weiwei

TOPIC: Ai Weiwei has been released from detention and given a heavy fine for tax evasion. What area the restrictions on his actions following his release? How do such numerous restrictions impact him? Is his release due to the attention given his detention abroad?


PEOPLE: Monaco Royal Wedding

TOPIC: Prince Albert of Monaco has wed. His bride is Charlene Wittstock. Where did the prince meet her? What sport did she participate in and how successful was she in that sport? What is the significance to Monaco of this wedding?

SEARCH TERMS: Charlene Wittstock AND Prince Albert

PEOPLE: Jack Kevorkian

TOPIC: Jack Kevorkian was a controversial advocate for legalizing a right to suicidal alternatives for terminally ill patients. What was the Detroit Free Press Report? What is the history of the right to die movement?

SEARCH TERMS: Jack Kevorkian

PEOPLE: Shaquille O’Neill

TOPIC: Shaquille O’Neill is retiring from professional basketball. What are the teams that he has played for and what did he do to make those teams successful? What off-court activities is he involved in?

SEARCH TERMS: Shaquille O’Neill

PEOPLE: Peter Falk

TOPIC: Peter Falk was one of the most recognized actors of his generation. What is the famous TV show that he starred in and what were the qualities of the show that made it so successful? What are the most celebrated films that he was involved in?


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