EBSCOHost POINTS OF VIEW REFERENCE CENTER - Another research source for students presenting opinions from multiple sides of current controversial issues. Essays provide questions and materials for further thought and study and are accompanied by thousands of supporting articles from political and social publications. If you're using Points of View Reference Center on your home computer, you'll have to enter your name, library card barcode, and PIN to begin.
FACTS ON FILE WORLD GEOGRAPHY AND CULTURE ONLINE - A global approach to the study of countries, places, peoples, and geography concepts and skills. Select a country and click on 'Country News' in the left-hand menu to find out about current events in that country. If you're using FACTS ON FILE on your home computer, you'll have to enter your name, library card barcode, and PIN to begin.
NOTE : The sites listed below are generally suitable for
high school and above, unless otherwise noted.
Alert Net - News about humanitarian and climate crises around the world (Thomson Reuters Foundation).
Choices : Teaching with the News - Materials and ideas to help students and teachers explore the policy issues behind the news headlines of the day. High school; free registration required. (Brown University)
Foreign Policy Backgrounders - These overviews explain current political and economic issues, covering topics as varied as Sudan's state sponsorship of terrorism, Colombia's left-wing guerrillas, NAFTA's economic impact, and media censorship in China. Use the left-hand menus to browse through reports, articles, podcasts, and other resources on additional subjects by issue or by resource type (Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher). See also Carnegie Endowment for 'commentary and analysis addressing the most important foreign policy issues of the day and the regions they affect.' (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization).
Frontline - Online documentaries and related background materials explore and illuminate 'the tough, controversial, and complex issues that shape our times.' Includes video and audio podcasts. (PBS; site includes advertisements)
Global Topics - Dozens of articles for students, examining various topics relevant to the region and countries of Asia, such as climate change, global pandemics, microfinance, urbanization, and more. (Asia Society)
Hot Topics [UPDATED LINK!] - Links to information on controversial issues from affirmative action to welfare reform (St. Ambrose University). Political Advocacy Groups provides links to education and advocacy groups from both sides of a variety of issues (By librarian Kathleen Carlisle Fountain, Washington State University, Vancouver).
Independent Lens : Community Classroom - Lesson plans and film modules on current events topics such as immigration, civil rights, women's rights, religion, the environment, and more. (PBS)
New York Times Learning Network - Materials on current events for students and teachers; grade level varies. Includes quizzes, lesson plans, word of the day, student opinion, and more (site includes advertisements). See also Brown University's Teaching with the News (for high school teachers & students; free registration required) and Time Magazine for Kids (site includes advertisements; grades K-6). PBS NewsHour Extra provides current events learning materials for students and teachers, grades 7-12. CNN Student News 'utilizes CNN's worldwide resources to bring each day's top news stories to middle and high school classrooms. The 10-minute, commercial-free program encourages student participation and provides classes with context for understanding current events.' KidsPost has news stories, games & puzzles, and fun activities for kids (Washington Post). Teaching Kids News offers daily, kid-friendly news articles, written by 'a small but incredibly dedicated group of professional writers, photographers and university-level journalism students who volunteer their time.' Curriculum and grammar questions are included for every article (by Jonathan Tilly et al.; a companion to the non-profit site Getting Kids Reading). Current Events from Holt McDougal features short articles on current events and issues, with links to related information, plus a daily quiz, calendar of events, 'Today in History' and other features. For grades 6 - 12. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company)
Peace Corps Challenge Game [UPDATED LINK!] - 'Take the role of a Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to the fictional village of Wanzuzu. Explore eight critical challenges villagers are faced with, and determine realistic and sustainable solutions to improve their quality of life.' WebQuests, lesson plans, and multimedia are offered for each challenge. (Peace Corps)
Places in the News - Brief background information on places recently featured in the news; click on 'Previous Places in the News' for archived entries (Library of Congress). For the latest news on all countries & regions, see Times Topics : Places (New York Times; site includes advertisements). BBC Country Profiles 'provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. They also include audio and video clips from BBC archives.' (British Broadcasting System; site includes advertisements). See also Background Notes : Countries A - Z (U.S. Department of State). See our Homework Links : STATES & COUNTRIES page for more links, including links for younger students.
ProPublica - Investigave reports on a variety of current issues, including the economy & bailouts, health care reform, Guantanamo detainees, natural gas drilling, and more. (Independent non-profit organization)
Public Agenda Discussion Starters [UPDATED LINK!] - Citizen guides on current issues such as energy, education, health care, economy, immigration, and others. Each guide 'outlines different approaches to solving specific public policy problems, along with the pros, cons, & trade-offs of each choice.' (A non-partisan public opinion research and education group)
Social Issues - A collection of online interactives and videos on a variety of topics, including a global oil crisis, sustainability, Native American storytelling, prejudice, obesity, war, and more. (ITVS / Corporation for Public Broadcasting)
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks - 'Inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers,' these video talks present innovative solutions to many of the world's most pressing problems. Covers Technology, Entertainment, Design, Business, Science, Culture, Arts, and Global issues; speakers include Jeff Bezos, Bono, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, and dozens more. You can explore by theme, title, or speaker's name.
Times Topics - A directory of all the news, reference information, photos, graphics, audio and video files published in the New York Times since 1981 on thousands of subjects, listed from A to Z (site includes advertisements). See also BBC News Special Reports (British Broadcasting Corporation; site includes advertisements).
Ten Stories the World Should Hear More About - Describes 'a spectrum of issues and geographical regions, some of which draw on troubling humanitarian emergencies and conflict situations while others focus on such vital areas as human rights and development'; the most recent list was created in 2008 (United Nations). For more recent stories, see Project Censored (Sonoma State University) and the IRE Investigative Reporting Award Winners (Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc.).
TV News Archive - Do you need news video footage for your homework assignment? Use this searchable archive to find news videos from hundreds of thousands of broadcasts on all major U.S. networks, from 2009 up to the past 24 hours (Internet Archive). NOTE : Includes broadcasts in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and other languages. From your search results, click on 'More Search Options' if you want to limit videos to English (or another language).
Afghanistan - For current news and background information on Afghanistan and other places of interest, see Places in the News and related links, above. For more background on Afghanistan, see also Al Qaeda and Taleban links, below.
Al Qaeda - A brief overview describing the 'organisation of Islamic militants that has declared "holy war" on Americans, Jews and their allies' (2006, British Broadcasting Corporation; site includes advertisements). See also Al Qaeda Backgrounder (2012, Council on Foreign Relations).
Beyond the Fire - 'Introduces the real-life stories of 15 teenagers, now living in the U.S., who have survived war in seven war zones. These stories tell of loss, hope, fear, strength and despair - and most of all, resilience.' [NOTE : Transcripts only; interactive & audio were not working when checked 12/13.] (2004, ITVS and Corporation for Public Broadcasting)
China : Young and Restless in China - 'An intimate look into the lives of nine young Chinese, coming of age in a society that's changing at breathtaking speed.' (2008, PBS; site includes advertisements)
Climate Change Links - Selected websites exploring the issue of global climate change. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Cyberwar : Time to Mobilize - Overview & analysis of recent and potential cyberattacks that endanger our security, and the potential threats to civil liberties from proposals designed to minimize them. (By Marvin Ammori, Stanford Law School's Center for Internet & Society, in the Sacramento Bee newspaper; 2012)
Digital Divide : The World Wakes Up - 'From the most switched on countries such as Sweden to the poorest nations in Africa there is a widening gap between those with access to technology and those without.' This article reports on the current status of the gap between the technology haves and have-nots (2010, British Broadcasting Corporation; site includes advertisements). Digital Divide provides summaries and links to the latest news, commentary, and events on the digital divide (Benton Foundation). For more on the digital divide within the United States, see Internet & American Life, below, and The New Digital Divide (Stanford Social Innovation Review).
Drug Abuse Info for Teens - Drug facts, Q&A, and real stories written for teens. Drug Abuse Research Reports offers in-depth reports on abuse of steroids, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, and other substances. For somewhat briefer reports, see Drug Info Facts. See also Mind Over Matter (for grades 5-9). (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Dying to be Thin - A 'Nova' special report on eating disorders (December 2000, PBS; site includes advertisements). For recommended fiction on body image, see Our Bodies, Our Minds : Confronting Self-Image in YA Fiction (2013, School Library Journal). For more about body image and eating disorders see South Plainfield Public Library's homework links on Health & Fitness and Consumer Education.
Ecology & Wildlife Links - Links to selected websites on environment/ecology, wildlife, plants, and animals. (South Plainfield Public Library)
Economic and Business Issues : Hot Topics - Selected articles, books, and websites on various issues in business and economics. The topics currently covered include Healthcare, Social Networks, Clean Technology, Corporate Social Responsibility, Housing Market & the Economy, and Women Executives & Career Tracks. (Stanford University Graduate School of Business)
Economic Crisis and Market Upheavals (Times Topics) offers ongoing coverage of the financial crisis and the global economy from 2007 to the present, with links to related topics (New York Times). For background, see Inside the Meltdown which offers interviews, analysis, and timeline exploring the questions 'How did it all go so bad so quickly? Who is responsible? How effective has the response from Washington and Wall Street been?' (2009, PBS Frontline; site includes advertisements).
Electronic Privacy : Hot Topics - Background information on privacy issues in the news, such as government surveillance, Facebook & social networking, National ID, body scanners, and more (Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public interest research center). For more on a wide range of privacy issues, see Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (non-profit organization).
Energy Facts [UPDATED LINK!] - Links on different sources and uses of renewable & nonrenewable energy and energy conservation.
Equal Rights Amendment - An overview, history, and FAQ about the proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would guarantee equal rights to women. (Alice Paul Institute & National Council of Women's Organizations)
Faces of the Fallen - Pictures and names of U.S. service members who have died in 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' and in 'Operation Enduring Freedom', with hometown, military unit, and circumstances & date of death for each. Provides links to related coverage, including In Their Own Words , reflections on the war from soldiers who have returned home from Iraq. This feature is part of America at War, a special report on the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, and national security (Washington Post; site includes advertisements).
Food Issues : Sustainable Table - 'Celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers on food-related issues and works to build community through food... helps consumers understand the problems with our food supply and offer viable solutions and alternatives' (Global Resource Action Center for the Environment).
Generation Next : Tough Choices - Online documentary series which examines how young people are coping with the recession, with links to earlier Generation Next documentaries and related resources. (PBS; 2009). For related information, see the 2009 Pew survey on Gen Next & the Recession; A Portrait of 'Generation Next', findings of a 2006 research study on young Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 years, investigating their attitudes, lifestyles, and politics; and The Millennials, a collection of recent reports that found 'American teens and twenty-somethings' to be 'confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living.' (Pew Research Center).
Guantanamo Prison - The latest news about the U.S. military base in Guantanamo, Cuba which is being used to hold prisoners captured in anti-terror operations. (New York Times; site includes advertisements)
HIV / AIDS Timeline - A global timeline of 'the political, scientific, cultural, and community developments that have occurred over the history of the epidemic,' 1981 - 2008; includes links to related news videos (Kaiser Family Foundation). Another good resource is the video documentary The Age of AIDS ; with a broadband connection, you can watch the entire program online. (2006, PBS/Frontline; site includes advertisements). The Science of HIV/AIDS contains student activities and essays that help students understand the virus that causes AIDS, how infectious agents multiply in organisms, and the worldwide spread of HIV/AIDS; grades 5-12 (2012, Baylor College of Medicine).
Indigenous Cultural Survival - Online articles about indigenous (native) peoples and issues which affect them. (By Cultural Survival; non-profit organization)
Internet & American Life - Studies on the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life (Pew Charitable Trusts).
Japan : Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Crisis - For ongoing coverage of the 2011 disaster in Japan and its aftermath, as well as many other natural & manmade disasters, see our Weather & Disasters links page (South Plainfield Public Library).
Journey to Planet Earth : Mobilizing to Save Civilization - 'Explores the fragile relationship between people and the world they inhabit, and the necessity to achieve a balance between the needs of people and the needs of the environment.' Topics include loss of farmland to urban development, the pollution of rivers, and inadequate housing and water resources in the world's mega-cities, as well as 'hopeful solutions... that will help eradicate poverty, stabilize population, stabilize climate, and protect and restore the earth's forests, soils and fisheries.' Hosted by Matt Damon; high school and up (2011, PBS; site includes advertisements). For more environmental resources, see South Plainfield Public Library's Ecology & Wildlife links and Climate Change Links.
Media Smarts : Digital & Media Literacy - Resources on issues related to marketing that targets children and youth, with essays and educational games to help you become 'media smart'. (Canadian non-profit organization)
Middle East - The latest news, plus features, opinion and analysis, on the Middle East region (Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, etc.). Includes special reports on the Arab uprisings, Syria conflict, and Egypt in crisis. See also Partisans of Ali : A History of Shia Faith and Politics, below, and Israel at 60 (British Broadcasting Corporation; site includes advertisements). For historic background on the Middle East, see Middle East : Global Connections (2002, WGBH).
Modern Slavery - A brief overview describing forms of slavery that still exist in today's world. (Anti-Slavery International, non-profit organization)
Occupy Wall Street (Times Topics) - Overview, ongoing news coverage, and links to related resources on protests 'against corporate greed, social inequality and the corrosive power of major banks & multinational corporations' that began in New York's financial district in 2011 and have spread to many other cities and countries. (New York Times; site includes advertisements)
Partisans of Ali : A History of Shia Faith and Politics - 'The United States is immersed more deeply than ever in the Muslim world's sectarian divide. A five-part series explores the split between Shia and Sunnis, from its origins shortly after the death of Muhammed in the seventh century to the modern-day upheaval in Iraq.' Print articles and slide shows with audio. (2007, NPR; site includes advertisements)
Runaway Switchboard - Information on where to get help in a crisis, with related articles, statistics, links, and other resources. To talk to someone who can help, call 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929). See also Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which includes a list of Warning Signs For Suicide (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). For facts and statistics on suicide, see About Suicide (Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Education Development Center, Inc.)
Sustainability - Is our consumer society sustainable? This 2008 radio series follows consumerism from its origins to its dominance over the world's economy, and examines how our consumer culture might be adapted to reduce destructive consequences. (American Public Media; site includes advertisements)
Taleban - A brief overview describing the 'hardline Islamic movement fighting a guerrilla-style campaign in Afghanistan' (2006, British Broadcasting Corporation; site includes advertisements). See also Times Topics : Taliban (New York Times; site includes advertisements) and The Taliban in Afghanistan (2011, Council of Foreign Relations).
Terrorism (Times Topics) - News about Terrorism, including commentary and archival articles, plus multimedia features and links to additional resources (New York Times; site includes advertisements). For additional analysis, see Issues : Terrorism (Carnegie Endowment) and Terrorism (Council on Foreign Relations).
Weather & Disasters - Links to selected websites on weather, climate change, and natural & manmade disasters. (South Plainfield Public Library)