1.) “Je Suis Charlie” Rally Draws Record Crowds to Paris
Yesterday, over 40 world leaders took to the streets of Paris along with a crowd of over 1.6 million people to protest last week’s terror attacks. These leaders included Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. These leaders, who are often in direct conflict with one another, chose to unite to support a common cause.
The Paris rally stemmed from a series of terror attacks that began last Wednesday, when Muslim extremists Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and slaughtered 12 staff members.
The attack was in response to several Charlie Hebdo cartoons which portrayed the Prophet Mohammed in a negative light. The magazine was attacked years earlier for similar cartoons, when extremists threw a Molotov cocktail through the window, burning the publication’s former office to the ground.
Following the attack on Charlie Hebdo, another extremist, Amedy Coulibaly, shot and killed a policewoman on Thursday, and killed four people at a kosher market in a hostage situation. Coulibaly tried to bargain for the release of the Koauchis, and was killed in the ensuing police assault.
The attacks created a massive world-wide response in defense of free speech rights. The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, which means “I Am Charlie” in French, has been trending on Twitter since the first attack, and over 6 million people took to the streets in peaceful protests throughout France. In the U.S., similar protests took place in D.C. and other major cities. Although the attacks appear to have subsided, the issue of free speech protection will continue to be discussed in the coming weeks.
2.) Obama Calls for Free Two Years of Community College
Last Friday, President Obama released a video directly from Air Force One that explained his new proposal to provide two years of free community college to American workers. This proposal was issued with the intention of making a college education as accessible and universal as high school education, in the hopes of empowering lower-income workers and boosting the economy.
Obama went on to say that it is well within the abilities of the government to fund such a proposal, and that universal college education would allow the U.S. to compete economically with any other country in the world.
It is expected that, if Obama’s plan passed, nearly 9 million students would participate, saving $3,800 a year per student. The cost of sending that many students to college would be nearly $70 billion, and the federal government would initially pay for $52.5 million.
Full details of the cost and funding of this new proposal will come in Obama’s State of the Union address, which will take place on Jan. 20. To become an actual program, the proposal requires action in Congress — which is currently dominated by a Republican majority that has stated wariness of new spending programs.
3.) Golden Globes Kick Off Entertainment Awards Season
Last night started the entertainment awards season as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted the Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton. The event gave recognition to the music, acting, directing and effects of the past year’s movies and television series. Here are some of the results.
Best Drama: “Boyhood”
Best Actor in a Drama: Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Best Actress in a Drama: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Best Comedy or Musical: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical: Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical: Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Best Director: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Best Animated Feature Film: “How To Train Your Dragon 2”
Best Screenplay: “Birdman”
Best Original Song: John Legend, “Common” from “Selma”
Best Original Score: Johan Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
Best Foreign Film: “Leviathan,” Russia
Best Drama: “The Affair”
Best Actor in a Drama: Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Best Actress in a Drama: Ruth Wilson, “The Affair”
Best Comedy: “Transparent”
Best Actor in a Comedy: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
Best Actress in a Comedy: Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
Best Miniseries: “Fargo”
Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo”
Best Supporting Actor: Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart”
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honorable Woman”
Best Supporting Actress: Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
4.) Eighth Grade Enrollment Night Scheduled For Jan. 15
SM East will host an event for current eighth graders on Thurs., Jan. 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The event is aimed at incoming East students and their parents, and allows families to visit with various teachers to explore academic and co-curricular interests. Enrollment Night is an annual event which helps to acclimate eighth grade students to the size of SM East, and to give them the opportunity to ask questions and receive information about programs throughout the school.
5.) MORP Dance To Take Place After Friday’s Basketball Game
The annual MORP dance, which was previously planned during football season, has been rescheduled for this Friday, Jan. 16. The dance will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. in the cafeteria directly after the varsity boys’ basketball game.
MORP is one of the most popular dances for students. The name is “Prom” spelled backwards, and the whole event is seen as a “backwards” dance. Students do not take dates or dress up for the dance; typically, the theme is something that students can wear costumes or crazy outfits for.
Tickets will be on sale throughout the week for $10, and all sales will be donated to the Johnson County Christmas Bureau. Students will need a student ID to enter the dance.
Senior Julia Poe is the Editor of The Harbinger Online. She loves writing, broadcasting and spending quality time in the j-room with her staff. Outside of journalism, she enjoys basketball, Broadway musicals, old romance novels and Chipotle. Read Full »