In the news – read and discuss

On the topic of homelessless: In A-magasinet this Saturday (28.2.20) there was an article on people living in hotels in the USA because they cannot afford their own place to live… sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, only at first glance… The Norwegian photographer Monica Strømdahl has made a photo documentation of this, see picture below.

Ett av flere bilder i serien «Flophouse America», om de som velger å bo på billige amerikanske hotell på ubestemt tid. Dette bildet er nå utstilt på kunstsenteret Hennie Onstad og publisert i 2019-boken fra Norwegian Journal of Photography. Foto: Monica Strømdahl
Ett av flere bilder i serien «Flophouse America», om de som velger å bo på billige amerikanske hotell på ubestemt tid. Dette bildet er nå utstilt på kunstsenteret Hennie Onstad og publisert i 2019-boken fra Norwegian Journal of Photography. Foto: Monica Strømdahl

https://journalisten.no/dokumentarfoto-foto-henie-onstad/i-2005-sa-monica-stromdahl-etter-et-billig-sted-a-bo-det-startet-et-14-ar-langt-fotoprosjekt/374102

On any given night last year, 568 000 people in the USA were homeless, up 3 % from the year before, after a period of steady decline. About 37% of the homeless live on the streets. in cars, in tents or vacated buidings. The rest got shelter in temporary housing like for example cheap motels and emergency centers (A-Magasinet/Anette Aasheim: De som sjelden sjekker ut, 28.2.20)

  • What do you think are the biggest challenges of being homeless?

From the UK: you have probably heard of the artist Banksy, who uses street art to get his message across? Now there’s another oppositional voice critisizing the British establishment; Stormzy. Check out the article below:

Stormzy at the Mercury prize ceremony – of which he was a judge – London, 19 September 2019.
Stormzy makes cover of Time magazine as ‘next generation leader’ 
The rapper features alongside Greta Thunberg on the magazine’s annual list of young trailblazers
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/oct/10/stormzy-makes-cover-of-time-magazine-as-next-generation-leader-great-thunberg-annual-list
  • Had you heard of this artist & activist before? What are his songs about? He calls himself a “political analyst” – why?
  • One of the issues he addresses is the rise in knife crimes in the UK. In 2018 alone, 76 people were killed in knife crimes in Lodon. You can read more about that in the post from May 14, 2019 below.
  • Another issue is Grenfell Tower – What happened here in 2017?

Another person you need to have heard about is Alexandia Ocasio-Cortez. She is a Democratic Congresswoman from New York, elected to the House of Representatives in 2018. Her story is told in the Netflix documentary Knock Down the House (2019): https://knockdownthehouse.com/

Bilderesultater for alexandria ocasio cortez full speech religious freedom
  • Read this article and discuss the speech she gave on religious freedom and its implications.

Election Day

Bilderesultat for election day uk 2019

Today is Election Day in the UK. The latest polls show the Tories still slightly ahead, maybe increasing their majority in Parliament… But what will happen with Britain, with Brexit – how united can the United Kingdom be after all this? Read this fascinating story about London Road in different parts of the UK: https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/12/world/divided-kingdom-gbr-ge19-intl/

And while the British are voting, the House of Representatives in the USA have filed their articles of impeachment against President Trump. The first article charges him with abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to assist him in his re-election campaign by damaging Democratic rivals. The second article charges him with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents in response to House subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry. The impeachment trial against the President could start as early as next week. Will Trump be impeached, or stand stronger than ever before the election in 2020? Here’s an interesting commentary on similarities between the UK and the USA in the way people are voting: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50717536

Trump promised to “Make America great again”. Are British voters hoping for the same for Britain?

Update after the election:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=2595887153825540

Write a short blog post where you sum up the results of the election and comment on what you think might be some of the consequences.

Issues in British politics

It’s hard to believe these days, but British politics is not all about Brexit… In class today, you’ve read about other political issues that are of importance to the British public. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/01/political-issues-2018-homelessness-universal-credit-social-care-child-poverty

https://uk.isidewith.com/poll/49841143

Write a blog post about one or more of these issues that you find interesting and/or surprising. Include facts and viewpoints in your post.

Northern Ireland

The UK , Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Today you will learn about Northern Ireland’s present and past, and we will start by looking at some tragic, recent news from the country:

Recent news

Northern Ireland has a history of religious and political conflict. On April 18, the young 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was shot and killed during a riot in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. McKee was killed on the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement that ended decades of sectarian conflict.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh89V0ImAMM

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o3xYIoHGVE

In groups, discuss:

Why was she killed? And what are the concerns of Northern Ireland today?

Research. Find out: Who are the new IRA?

Read this text (either online or on paper):

https://passage-new.cappelendamm.no/c453153/artikkel/vis.html?tid=498532

option: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61JisaFGHFY&t=140s

For those of you who want to know more about Brexit and the border issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRMwCz_Q9b4

Write: In a blog post, sum up what you have learned about Northern Ireland and what sort of challenges the country faces today.

Dreams

From M.L. King Jr.’s I have a Dream to Theresa May’s British Dream- a slight difference in content, country and decade. One from 1963, the other from 2017. Today’s task:

Compare and contrast the two speeches in terms of content (message) and identify the literary/linguistic devices May uses to enhance her message to the participants at the Conservative Party’s conference.

For background information, see https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/oct/04/theresa-may-british-dream-cap-on-energy-bills-housing-tory-conference-speech,

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-41506032

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdMcbLT3jSY

Vote of no confidence

The Brexit drama has produced another episode and makes sure that newspapers all over the world have something to write about!

Yesterday, PM of the UK Theresa May experienced another setback as the agreement she has negotiated with EU leaders on leaving the European Union was voted down by the House of Commons, or parliament. More than a third of conservative MPs rejected the plan. This was a major defeat for May. It remains unclear whether the UK will be able to come up with an agreement on leaving the EU by March 29 or not. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, has tabled a vote of no confidence which means that May (worst case scenario) might have to step down as prime minister. This, however, is very little likely as the Conservatives hold the majority in the House along with DUP. On Wednesday there was a debate in Parliament and after that, a vote. May’s government survived the vote and she says she will continue to work towards a Brexit agreement. To learn more about this, I recommend the BBC.

Discuss: What is a vote of no confidence, what will happen next with Brexit and what is May’s greatest challenge?