All posts by Editor Bernstein

Assad, Chemical Weapons, and MOAB, Oh My! … by Jada Giddings

Recently in the past two weeks, the U.S. fired the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), or “Mother of All Bombs,” into a network of tunnels filled with ISIS fighters in Afghanistan. Killing at least ninety-four ISIS militants terrorizing the Afghan people, a majority of the citizens of Afghanistan supported this bomb dropped. This weapon, MOAB, was the first time the United States military have used it.

The Mother of All Bombs.
The Mother of All Bombs.

The bomb was dropped from the C130 Hercules jet and guided to its target with a GPS of sorts. It accelerated thirty-two feet per second from where it was dropped causing it to be pulled down by gravity at insane speeds. The bomb has a one mile range and practically flattened everything in its blast radius. Despite the high casualty rate of this air strike, ISIS fighters continue to attack American troops and Afghan security forces, which led the U.S. to threaten to call in more airstrikes to known militant positions throughout Afghanistan.

 

Along with last week’s event of MOAB, Bashar al-Assad committed genocide against the Syrian peoples in Khan Sheikhoun. After this chemical attack, the United States responded by holding the entire Assad regime accountable for the blatant human rights violations. Killing around five-hundred thousand innocent lives, the United States is taking Syria’s disregard for human rights seriously. It is intended that all financial networks that participated in the making of chemical weapons, used to attack these many innocent lives, will be shut down. Though, it is little known that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons before. “In response to findings by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism, that the Syrian regime was responsible for three chlorine gas attacks in 2014 and 2015,” A recent press release stated, shedding new light on chemical attacks by Assad. Why he has committed genocide against the people of Syria; a mystery. Just the week after the 2017 chemical attacks took place, China and Russia vetoed a United Nations resolution that was backed up by the West, the resolution imposing sanctions in Syria of its chemical weapons.

Assad“It was the seventh time that Russia, Syria’s top military ally, has used its veto power to shield the Damascus regime,” AFP reported. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, claimed it was “completely inappropriate” to impose sanctions on their ally, Syria, believing that it would disrupt the peace talks with them.

North Korea’s Nuclear Temper Tantrum… Story by Cathrine Ross

Nuclear war. That’s what’s on everyone’s mind recently. North Korea, also nicknamed the Hermit Kingdom, has been causing much tension around the world. They are known for their threats towards other countries, focusing on nuclear weapons for said threats. Though their nuclear weapons, until recently, have been washed away as they have failed and haven’t proven to be a big threat. Their weapons aren’t as developed as other countries, causing North Korea to be put on the back burner per say. However, now they are no longer on that back burner. North Korea has displayed their advancements in nuclear weapons with testing and a showing of them during their military parade on the 105th birthday of their former leader Kim Il-sung. During this celebration, there was a concert where a propaganda video was played in the background. In this video, there was a CGI missile that was launched and it showed that it hit San Francisco, California. A burning American flag and white crosses were displayed and a dominate North Korean flag was also shown, and then that was the end of the performance.  This display of hostility towards the United States didn’t go unnoticed by the President, nor the other leaders of the world. Many world leaders have warned North Korea about starting nuclear warfare, however, they have not listened and continue to put pressure on the United States and other nearby countries with their nuclear weapon tests. According to CNN, North Korean government officials have stated that the nuclear tests ‘will never stop’. Expert studies and various classified intelligence reports have come to the conclusion that the country is actually capable of producing a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, with what the C.I.A. calls “the disco ball.” The sphere is supposedly a nuclear weapon, shrunken to fit inside the nose cone of a missile. Credit: Korean Central News Agency
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, with what the C.I.A. calls “the disco ball.” The sphere is supposedly a nuclear weapon, shrunken to fit inside the nose cone of a missile. Credit: Korean Central News Agency

This, however, hasn’t been officially confirmed as experts are working only with the limited information they can access. Though this is proving to be a cause of stress for the U.S. President Trump and the other world leaders.  The world leaders are unable to access all the possible current information from North Korea, which is causing the world leaders to fear that they are actually running out of time. In a rare event, President Trump called all 100 senators to the White House in a closed-door meeting, discussing how to handle North Korea, which is “an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority.”

The US has ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to mounting concern over the North’s nuclear and missile tests. Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/US Navy from Getty Images
The US has ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to mounting concern over the North’s nuclear and missile tests. Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/US Navy from Getty Images

The President has been focusing on putting pressure on North Korea since he first got into office, wanting to put more outside restrictions and pressure on them, so they wouldn’t be able to feel comfortable being aggressive and destructive towards those who are not their allies. According to Fox News, America’s Pacific forces commander, Adm. Harry Harris Jr., reported to Congress, stating that the installment of the the U.S. missile defense system against North Korea would be finished in a few days, the location being that of South Korea. He said that any North Korean missile fired at U.S. forces would be destroyed. “If it flies, it dies.” With the pressure of North Korea’s threats on mind, many Americans are getting anxious. It seems that no matter how much the country is advised against nuclear war, they are insisting that they won’t stop what they are doing, and that the U.S. is the one encouraging a nuclear holocaust. Tension between the countries of the world are rising as everyone, especially the U.S., is trying to figure out what to do. North Korea threatening San Francisco and even Seattle with their missiles, the government is preparing for a military response immediately if this threat become any bigger of a threat. So, what exactly is going on with North Korea? Are they right to say that the United States are attempting to start a nuclear holocaust? Or are they just doing this in order to gain more support from surrounding Asian countries? There is no way to confirm whether or not North Korea is able to successfully create missiles that have the power to actually hit American soil. All the specialists can do right now, with their limited information, is estimate the damage that North Korean weapons could possibly have on our country. Are we at risk of being attacked? Is a nuclear war on the brink of starting? Or will this once again get buried underneath failed nuclear tests, like before.

 

Spoilers! Star Wars Episode VIII Leaked – Real or Fake?… Story by Roger Rogers

WARNING:  SPOILERS

Throughout the past year, we have seen a sith lord throw a fit and freeze blaster bolts. We have seen the characters Rey, Fin and Po and of course, we can’t forget the wonderful little droid Bb-8. We have lost one of the greatest members of the Star wars cast and we have been given new ones. As the rumors are going around the states and one of those rumors is the Possible real leaked script of Star Wars Episode VIII.

Here we have Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Kylo Ren Dueling out in the supposed big fight In Episode VIII.
Here we have Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Kylo Ren Dueling out in the supposed big fight In Episode VIII.

The script that was supposedly was leaked from a YouTuber named Star Wars Theory. As he read the script he would change his voice to match a certain character. While the Script he had read wasn’t confirmed to be the Actual script. But what we have heard from J.J. Abrams is that some of the plots that have been said in the script. In fact, some of the leading Characters from the Star wars Franchise have let slip some very important plot twist.  IT is believed that Mark Hamill Aka Luke Skywalker, had let slip the true identity of Rey’s parents.  Moving back to the script, one of the most heart-wrenching, plot twist in the galaxy is that Luke Will In Fact “Join the Dark Side!”  This is confirmed by JJ Abrams in an interview At the Star Wars Celebrations in Orlando, Florida on April 13th, 2017.

 

Fin in medical bay in a coma.
Fin in medical bay in a coma.

During the interview, JJ Abrams Stated that he loves the script that was created for episode VIII. Will this change the way we see Luke Skywalker? And will Rey find out who her parents are? Will we finally find out who Supreme Leader Snoke is or will we have to wait for episode IX?  And one last question remains for the Star wars Franchise and that question is: With Carrie Fisher aka Leia Organa the Twin sister to Jedi Master Luke Skywalker Dead how will they proceed?

 

Finals Week Leading To Third Trimester… Jada Giddings

 

It’s the last week of second trimester and its havoc for all high school students; not to mention the final say over grades and passing classes. With the daily rush and the weight of homework, students have on the last week of March, it’s hard to believe they all can survive – and especially knowing third trimester will be bringing a new style of project-based learning at Forrest Bird Charter High School.

It’s finals week, more like a high school student’s final week of living.
It’s finals week, more like a high school student’s final week of living.

The sophomores through seniors will have their schedules changed under the means of the next big school project: community service. Helping the community, improving the town of Sandpoint, and showing off a creative mind are all a part of the project, but some sophomores disapprove of the assignment. Because the community project, it requires teenagers of FBCS to go out into the world and interact with the community to provide service to them. Of course, this leads some teens, those introverted or more independent, to disapproving of the more extroverted project. Also, a great displeasure from the percent of kids who don’t want the next trimester project to take place, also don’t approve of schedule changes.

A photo of the FBCS sign in our rainy springtime, ebbing third trimester to come.
A photo of the FBCS sign in our rainy springtime, ebbing third trimester to come.

Schedule changes, for sophomore through senior students, will consist of morning periods switching to an all-school class to receive lectures to impact their final project or entering the public to do their project. Luckily, for those who dislike the community service projects have an alternative set of projects to be accomplished that do not require leaving school campus. On the other hand, freshman will not be changing schedules. For them, everything will remain the same but some think that they should change their periods with their higher peers. Unfortunately, freshman will have to wait until tenth grade to partake in schedule changes for third trimester.

Spring Thaw Causes Problems For North Idaho Residents… Mack Jastle

North Idaho winters are typically long, frigid, and relentless, routinely dragging on into the beginning of April.  Snow banks are slow to thaw, and several weeks of miserable rainy weather and slippery roads make travel a bother, to say the least.

However, recent spring weather has left many students high and dry in the transportation department, with mudslides blocking roads and floods preventing travel, even across some stretches of highways in the area.

Slippery Slope…Recent spring thawing has initiated weather warnings in the area, resulting in several mudslides over backroads and highways alike. Photo-by: KIVI
Slippery Slope…Recent spring thawing has initiated weather warnings in the area, resulting in several mudslides over backroads and highways alike. Photo-by: KIVI

Heavy rainfall over the past week, coupling with thawing snowbanks, have put many areas on risk for flooding, and the roads are becoming increasingly dangerous as conditions worsen.

 

As counties scrambled to deal with flooding and mudslides caused by the spring weather, Governor Butch Otter signed state disaster declarations for seven North Idaho counties on March 21st.

These counties included the Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Kootenai, Latah, and Shoshone counties.

Kootenai County has declared a flood emergency after heavy flooding has caused damage to property, and the potential for more damage looms still as more snow melts

Detour…Snowmelt and heavy precipitation have caused heavy flooding in many areas, closing roads and preventing travel. Photo-by: KBOI
Detour…Snowmelt and heavy precipitation have caused heavy flooding in many areas, closing roads and preventing travel. Photo-by: KBOI

and precipitation adds to the rising waters.

According to the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, twenty-five Idaho counties have local declarations pertaining to snowfall or flooding in their areas.  Water levels of the Coeur d’ Alene River, the St. Joe River and other bodies of water within the counties have risen dramatically, resulting in widespread flooding and roads being submerged under the water.

The weather has prevented many from being able to reach their work or get to school.  The rapidly rising temperatures, combined with frequent precipitation, have created a perfect set of circumstances for hazardous mudslides and flooding.

Weather advisories are in effect until early next week, as more precipitation is expected over the weekend.  Counties in the area are still on alert for mudslides, avalanches, and further flooding as the situation develops.