Monday, December 17, 2012

Nine Afghan Girls Killed by Taliban Mine

Nine young girls were killed in Nangarhar, Aghanistan, while searching for fire wood, on Monday.

During their search they managed to set off a buried explosive device.

Two other girls were taken to the hospital, with serious injuries.

The girls ranged from nine years old, up to thirteen.

Security forces later found two more unexploded devices nearby.

They believe that the Taliban had temporarily placed them there, to be moved to a target, at a later time.

19 Killed in Pakistan Explosion

Nineteen people were killed in an explosion, Monday, in Pakistan.

At least seventy more were injured when a car, filled with explosives, suddenly blew up.

It happened at the Fauji Market in Jamrud area of Khyber Agency.

Shops nearby were damaged and ten other cars were destroyed.

Wounded and injured were taken to a hospital in Peshawar.

No one has taken responsibility for the attack.

Benghazi Police Targeted

Four Libyan police were killed Sunday night when rpgs landed in their security compound, in Benghazi. It is believed that the attack was an attempt to break into the detention center, to free prisoners kept there.

Monday saw two police stations attacked at nearly the same time. In both instances an explosive device was thrown at the building, luckily causing no injuries and only minor damage.

At the same time Derna's police chief suffered an attack on his car. Neither he or his driver were wounded, but the car was torn to pieces by gunfire and a small explosion.

During Sunday, Libya's parliament voted to close borders with Chad, Niger, and Sudan. They also declared the southern part of the country, which borders the others, to be a military zone. Their hopes is that in doing so they'll be able to cut off the flow of weapons, to terrorist and militant groups.

Two Injured in San Antonio Movie Theater Shooting

A shooting at a San Antonio, Texas mall left two people injured.

Nineteen year old Jesus Manuel Garcia showed up to his work, the China Garden, and began firing at fellow employees.

The employees ran outside a side door of the restaurant, towards the Mayan Palace theater, across the parking lot.

Garcia followed them, shooting as he went, including at a marked police car.

After entering the theater, he continued searching for his coworkers and firing his gun, injuring one person.

An off duty Bexar County Sheriff's Department officer, Sergeant Lisa Castellano, was working security at the theater.

When she heard the shots she went to find them, and upon seeing a gunman, shot him four times.

Garcia required surgery, but is now in stable condition, as is the person he shot.

Once he is released from the hospital, Garcia will be facing charges of attempted capital murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

His bail has been set at ten million dollars.

Two Topeka Officers Shot Down on Duty

Gogian, left, Atherly, right
Two police officers were killed Sunday night while investigating a suspected drug deal, in Topeka, Kansas.

Corporal David Gogian, fifty, and Officer Jeff Atherly, twenty-nine, approached a vehicle in a grocery store parking lot.

As they neared, bullets were fired from a gun, inside the car, striking both officers, and then the vehicle sped off.

Both officers died from head wounds.

Later in the night, Topeka police received a tip to the whereabouts of the shooter, and surrounded the house.

Twenty-two year old David Tiscareno refused to come out, and police lobbed tear gas inside.

Tiscareno then came out, but would not drop his gun.

At least one of the officers fired and struck Tiscareno, who was declared dead on arrival, at the hospital.
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Cyclone Evan Runs Through Samoa and Fiji

Samoa and Fiji have been feeling the brunt of Cyclone Evan.

Over the weekend Evan took it's turn with Samoa, killing four, and leaving twelve still missing.

Houses were destroyed and heavy flooding hit most of the islands.

Now, it's Fiji's turn, and things are much of the same with heavy flooding, bridges washed out, and damage to buildings.

People are crediting the government's advance preparation for saving lives and ensuring that those who needed to evacuate had done so before the time came.

Government Information Documents Replace Traditional Curriculum as Feds Seize More Control of Schools

Schoolboy Writing in NotebookIn schools across the country, traditional literature is being replaced with government informational texts.

It is the result of the Common Core standards transition from teaching literature to focusing on government provided informational documents. “English teachers across the country are trying to figure out which poetry, short stories and novels might have to be sacrificed to make room for nonfiction,” The Washington Post reported.

This is not sitting well with some teachers. Jamie Highfill, an eighth grade English teacher in Fayetteville, Arkansas, said that she has had to ditch “some short stories and a favorite unit on the legends of King Arthur to make room for essays by Malcolm Gladwell and a chapter from ‘The Tipping Point.’ Highfill goes on to explain that with the informational texts, the human connection prominent in literature, isn’t present.  She expressed dismay over the fact that her students are bored and shutting down. “I’m seeing more behavior problems in my classroom than I’ve ever seen.”

Perhaps the biggest concern, however, is that these informational documents could usher in a politicized curriculum. National Review’s Stanley Kurtz cites the fact that one of Common Core’s suggested texts is Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management. Kurtz believes that this particular executive order was chosen because it “appears to give the imprimatur of the federal government to the political gospel of ‘sustainability’ and the crusade against global warming.”

Also included as Common Core recommended reading is a 2009 New Yorker essay on health care which, Kurtz notes, "may not explicitly endorse Obamacare, but it certainly leaves students with the impression that Obamacare is wise policy.” He adds that, “the potential for political abuse in a curriculum heavy with government documents and news articles should be obvious.”

It has been reported that though the Common Core impetus has so far only targeted English language arts and math, more subjects will eventually be included. For instance, Education Week has reported that the “release of a framework for common standards in social studies had been anticipated at the annual meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies, in Seattle last month.”

According to the Heritage Foundation:

 ”Since coming to office, the Obama Administration has been intent on standardizing what is taught at each grade level in all of the nation’s schools. It has used its flagship “Race to the Top” competitive grant program to entice states to adopt the K–12 standards developed by a joint project of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). It has also suggested, in its 2009 Blueprint for Education Reform, that adoption of these common standards could one day be a qualification for states wanting future Title 1 dollars for low income schools.

Parents, teachers, and education leaders along the political spectrum are increasingly raising questions about the constitutionality and transparency of this joint project, called the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). They are also expressing concern about the high cost of implementing the standards and the national tests that will be based on them, as well as the potential loss of local control of curriculum and instruction.”

The move towards the centralization of education standards significantly minimizes the amount of important input from parents and teachers on what children are taught in school. In order to prevent the encroachment of federal control of schools, states must reject the impending national education standards.