Tag Archives: Forrest Bird Charter School

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 C-130 Hercules 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.

Does Idaho agree with Bernie Sanders?… Story by Davey Breakey

According to a recent poll by Fox News, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders currently has the highest approval rating of any U.S. senator. This poll included a variety of political leaders and other politically relevant organizations, favorability is calculated by subtracting the overall favorable views minus the unfavorable views.

I (Davey Breakey) have taken the initiative to poll the students and staff of the Forest Bird Charter School to see whether they support bernie sanders or not. This poll includes 30 different people chosen at random to participate. Here are the results of the poll…

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 2.27.09 PMOverall 63% percent approve of Bernie Sanders, 30 percent are neutral and 10 percent disapprove. Judging by this data, our school has a pretty strong supporter base for Sen. Sanders with a disapproval rating of just 10 percent!

One of the issues and most likely the reason for sanders popularity with young people’s views on making College and higher education Tuition and debt free. An interesting twist, could Idaho (one of the most conservative states in America) have the largest support group for Sanders ideas?

Wrapping up the SATs.... Mitzi Vesecky advises FBCS students, as well as manage state testing
Wrapping up the SATs…. Mitzi Vesecky advises FBCS students, as well as manage state testing

Every student with the opportunity to dual enroll in Idaho also gets $4,125 towards their college tuition saving them upwards $7,000 per year, according to 2017 Boise State tuition fee and possibly even more if you include other expenses such as boarding which is anywhere from $3,380 to $6,294 per year. Also, if we get into food costs you’re looking at an additional $3,900 for 2 meals a day throughout the academic year. All together you could be saving about $17,000 per year!

So if you are able to get your associate’s degree before you graduate high school–which according to Mitzy Vesecky is very difficult to do–you could be saving you or your parents $34,000 in college expenses, I’d say that’s pretty good!

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.

 

What’s New with Bird Eye News?… Story by Isaac Solly

This last year has seen quite a lot of growth with our schools Bird Eye News, and as with any evolving group we have seen some major changes of late. Last trimester, our former editor Lauren Stidham left Forrest Bird. We have taken this vacuum to try and coordinate our editor services better and produce a higher amount of content for the last trimester.

The role of story editor has been split into two co-editors working independently with their own group, Jada Giddings and myself, Isaac Solly. Because of our aforementioned growth, Bird Eye News now hosts fifteen students—too much for a single person to manage at weekly publications.

Bird Eye News on Youtube… Our channel now features comedy, news, and student pieces
Bird Eye News on Youtube… Our channel now features comedy, news, and student pieces

We also hope to show off some new features on our website this trimester, including more involvement from the student body in the Bird Eye News. A new editorial page will be shown in the near future where we open up issues and articles to student responses. This page will also include opinionated pieces from the journalism class meant to spark a friendly debate. Short stories and student work from classes (including art) will be showcased here—another reason to get involved and read the Bird Eye News.

As well our story teams, Bird Eye News has revamped our respective YouTube channel. Our video department was created last year and has grown from the Harrison report into a large variety of featured shows, all of which can be found on our channel. To help us manage this, Leah Roth has become our video editor along with an expanded group of video makers who hope to increase our content stream on the site.

Hard at work… The film crew prepares for next week’s publication
Hard at work… The film crew prepares for next week’s publicationgroup of video makers who hope to increase our content stream on the site.

 

Bird Eye News is also open to sharing student hobbies and creations on our YouTube page. For example, Bill Morton’s “The Upside Films” videos (which many students are involved with) will have a playlist on the channel. We welcome FBCS students with any other videos that they would like to share with more publicity to approach the journalism class, so we can discuss featuring them.

 

The journalism class is extremely happy that so many people have been watching our videos or reading articles on the site, and we look forward to showcasing even more student work and having a higher quality and supply of pieces to come.

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?

 

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.

French Elections: A Test for the EU… Story by Isaac Solly

French Elections: A Test for the EU                                                Isaac Solly

On April 23, France will hold the first round of their presidential election. The current leader from the Socialist Party, President Hollande, has chosen not to run due to low popularity averaging around 20%. This is the first French president not to run for reelection in modern times, and a power vacuum has led to no clear front runner. Main candidates include the moderate-liberal Emmanuel Macron, the right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen, and the conservative Francios Fillion.

The French electoral system is different from a simple popular vote—there are two rounds of voting, where presidential-hopefuls will be filtered out to two candidates. Such a process favors more radical groups in the first stage, but works against them in the second as coalition groups often form to appose hard-liners.

French Election: From April 23 to May 7, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron will likely face off for the Presidency. Photo by: Getty Images

So far, Marine le Pen is poised to win the first round with around 28%, but Macron is close behind with 25%. Because these two candidates would be the only to make it to the second round, the votes of the less popular candidates would be split between them—polls suggest Macron would end up with 62% to Le Pen’s 38%.

Fillion’s bid was looking as probable up until the last few weeks, when a payment scandal emerged revealing that his wife had a government salary for doing no work. While the Republican Party did not abandon him completely, his popularity sunk, and his many notable figures inside his campaign resigned. Such shows the unpredictability in presidential races—a similar scandal could severely hurt Macron. Le Pen is already under investigation for mismanagement of EU funds, but her base has remained loyal to her.

Round Two Matchups: The three top candidates in a hypothetical second round election. Photo by: frenchelection.online
Round Two Matchups: The three top candidates in a hypothetical second round election. Photo by: frenchelection.online

Le Pen seems to be trying to ride a wave of nationalist sentiment that elected Donald Trump and voted for Brexit. Her policies are anti-Islamic and xenophobic, but are also in the wake of many major terrorist attacks on French soil. This is not her first time running either—her Popular Front has been running in every election as a fringe group, only recently gaining a chance at the French Presidency. Despite this success, Le Pen would struggle to create a Parliamentary majority, and would likely be in the center of a deadlock in politics.

Macron is winning in the polls, but such predictions have failed en mass in the last world elections. Some French voters believe that his moderate tone resonations too much with the previous president and President Hollande’s failed promises. The French recovery from the 2008 financial crisis has been slow and unemployment remains high at 9%. France’s final results on May 7th will prove to be a crucial testing ground in the EU from center-left leaders. Germany’s Angela Merkel is up for reelection soon as well and faces similar opposition from nationalist parties. France’s upcoming election will give hints on whether or not nationalism is indeed tearing Europe apart.

Works cited:

“France Presidential Election 2017.” BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.

Featured Photo by Kamil Zihnioglu

Trumpcare Derailed: The Republican Foray into Healthcare… Story by Isaac Solly

On March 6th, House Speaker Paul Ryan unveiled the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, to the house floor. Since 2009, the Affordable Health Care Act or ObamaCare had been in place, and now Ryan proposed a vote on it’s 7th anniversary, March 23rd. President Trump tweeted his support of the bill, calling it “our wonderful new Healthcare Bill” and adding “ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster” in his usual form.

Both moderate and extreme conservatives immediately criticized AHCA, and cast into doubt the solidarity of the ruling party. Notably the Freedom Caucasus, 29 members strong, disliked the similarities to ObamaCare and promised a “no” vote. The current party divisions in the house left 194 democrats and 241 Republicans—for ACHA to pass, only 23 Republican dissents were necessary. The bill needed a simple majority, but all democrats were vocally opposed to the replacement plan.

The Bill’s Advocates: Ryan and Trump closely coordinated in trying to convince representatives to vote “yes.” Photo By: Win McNamee
The Bill’s Advocates: Ryan and Trump closely coordinated in trying to convince representatives to vote “yes.” Photo By: Win McNamee

The bill’s policies kept in place policies such as coverage under parents’ plans until age 26 and clauses that prevented companies denying coverage based on health. In fact, what it did change were laws that determined premiums based on wealth and replaced them with costs determined by user age—essentially, this helped young adults and the rich but harmed older and poorer citizens. AHCA also came with cuts to Medicaid and Medicare programs that help those with disabilities, low income, or who are over 65.

Federal healthcare is reliant on a varied user base in order to balance costs between those who are healthier or in poor conditions. ACHA removed many incentives for healthier people to stay on the plan and as such, costs would probably go up for most users. However, AHCA does include around $337 billion in savings over 10 years, a very significant decrease in costs from previous healthcare bills.

Supporting Republicans coined the bill as “universal access” rather than “universal coverage”—President Trump touted both phrases over the campaign and in the Oval Office. The shift in wording makes a large impact in the legislation, and instead of promising health care for all it gives the impression that people will be able to have more choice. This promise of choice came at a great cost, however; the CBO (Congressional Budgetary Office) as a non-partisan group estimated 24 million additional people would lose insurance over 8 years. To put this into context, 28 million people are currently uninsured, and the bill would nearly double that.

Uninsured America: The percentage of Americans without healthcare is projected to rise under AHCA.
Uninsured America: The percentage of Americans without healthcare is projected to rise under AHCA.

Trump used this opportunity to showcase his negotiating prowess, one of his traits he often cited in the campaign trail. He and Ryan made changes to try and appease more conservative members of the house who were opposed to AHCA by lowering maternal care and deductions. However, by the 23rd the votes were not there, and anywhere from 28 to 30 Republicans were poised to defect, and polling in the public showed abysmal support of around 17%. After a similar battle on the 24th, the date to which Republicans moved back the vote, Trump conceded and pulled the bill, though not before blaming Democrats, saying they “own[ed] ObamaCare.”

TThe defeat of AHCA is a Democrat victory, though it may be short lived. Republican interparty problems are what destroyed the bill, and their reasons for dissent are the polar opposite of Democrat opposition. On the other hand, President Trump gave an ultimatum and ultimately failed to pass a bill and repeal ObamaCare. Not only this, but his agenda is now derailed and he has lost an initiative on health care. Republicans will try and lick their wounds, but if they cannot pass legislation even with a friendly president and majority in Congress, the next 4 years are going to be disappointing for their voters.

 

Works Cited

“Donald Trump’s US Healthcare Bill Withdrawn.” BBC News, BBC, 24 Mar. 2017,       www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39387550. 

Glenza, Jessica, and Lauren Gambino. “Republican Healthcare Plan: 24 Million           People Could Lose Coverage, CBO Reports.” The Guardian, Guardian News          and Media, 13 Mar. 2017, www.theguardian.com/us-     news/2017/mar/13/budget-office-republican-healthcare-coverage-deficit-       costs.