divided world Current Events, Issues
& Controversies
See also:

General / Multi-Issue Sites

Ebsco Points of View Reference CenterEBSCOHost 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 AtlasFACTS 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 AUDIO VIDEO (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 VIDEO - 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)

Hot Topics - Links to information on controversial issues from affirmative action to welfare reform (St. Ambrose University).

Independent Lens: Community Classroom VIDEO - 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 VIDEO provides current events learning materials for students and teachers, grades 7-12. CNN Student News VIDEO '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; site includes advertisements). 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.; affiliated with 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 INTERACTIVE - '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 AUDIO VIDEO '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). Login to FACTS ON FILE: WORLD GEOGRAPHY & CULTURE for more learning materials on countries, places, peoples, and geography. 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)

Project Censored AUDIO - Annually reports on the Top 25 Most Censored Stories - important news stories which corporate media have ignored, misrepresented, or censored; also includes articles on related issues (Sonoma State University). See also IRE Investigative Reporting Award Winners (Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc.).

Public Agenda Discussion Starters - 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: ITVS Interactive VIDEO INTERACTIVE - 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 VIDEO - '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).

TV News Archive VIDEO - 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).

Individual Current Events Topics

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 Taleban links, below.

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.' (2004, ITVS and Corporation for Public Broadcasting)

China - For current news and background information on China and other places of interest, see Places in the News and related links, above.

Climate Change - See Homework Links: Weather & Disasters - Global Climate Change.

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 Pew Research Internet Project, below, and The New Digital Divide (2010, Stanford Social Innovation Review).

Disasters (Natural & Manmade) - See Homework Links: Weather & Disasters.

Drug Abuse - See Homework Links: Health & Fitness - Drug Abuse.

Eating Disorders - See homework links on Homework Links: Health & Fitness - Eating Disorders.

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 VIDEO which offers interviews, analysis, and timeline exploring such questions as 'How did it all go so bad so quickly' and 'Who is responsible?' (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). See also Electronic Frontier Foundation: Deeplinks NEW! (nonprofit organization). For more on a wide range of privacy issues, see Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (non-profit organization).

Energy - See South Plainfield Public Library's Homework Links: Science - Energy Facts links.

Environmental Issues - See Homework Links: Ecology & Wildlife and Homework Links: Weather & Disasters - Global Climate Change.

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; regularly updated (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).

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 - 2012 (Kaiser Family Foundation). Another good resource is the video documentary The Age of AIDS VIDEO; with a broadband connection, you can watch the entire program online. (2006-2012, 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; for grades 5-12 (2012, Baylor College of Medicine).

Indigenous Cultural Survival: Cultural Survival Quarterly - Online articles about indigenous (native) peoples and issues which affect them. (By Cultural Survival; non-profit organization)

Internet & American Life - See Pew Research Internet Project, below.

Journey to Planet Earth: Extreme Realities UPDATED! VIDEO - Companion site for the ongoing PBS series that 'dramatizes new ways of looking at the delicate relationship between people and the world they inhabit.' The latest documentary in the series investigates the link between extreme weather, climate change, and threats to our national security; click on 'Program Details' under any program for a summary of findings on that topic. Hosted by Matt Damon; high school and up (2014, Screenscope, Inc.). Click here for related education resources (PBS; site includes advertisements). For more environmental resources, See 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. For historic background, see Partisans of Ali: A History of Shia Faith and Politics (below), Israel at 60 (2008 - 2010, British Broadcasting Corporation; site includes advertisements), and 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) VIDEO - 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 AUDIO - '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)

Pew Research Internet Project - Studies on the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. High school and up. (Pew Charitable Trusts)

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 (1-800-273-8255), 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 AUDIO - A collection of radio stories covering a wide range of current topics in environmental and economic sustainability, including energy, food production, jobs, and climate change. See also Consumed: Can We Afford the Consumer Economy AUDIO. High school and up. (2013-2014, American Public Media; site includes advertisements)

Times Topics: Taliban (New York Times; site includes advertisements) and The Taliban in Afghanistan (2014, Council of Foreign Relations).

Terrorism (Times Topics) VIDEO - 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).

Wealth & Poverty UPDATED LINK! AUDIO VIDEO INTERACTIVE - How hard is it to balance a family budget working a low-wage job? This interactive takes a typical budget and income based on family size and geography and lets you try to make ends meet. Includes links to related audio & video. See also Marketplace: Wealth & Poverty NEW! AUDIO VIDEO (American Public Media; site includes advertisements). Poverty in Focus NEW! is a collection of interviews with low-income people in New Jersey. It shows the daily struggles faced by low-income people, and puts a human face to the issue of poverty (Legal Services of New Jersey).

Weather & Disasters - Links to selected websites on weather, climate change, and natural & manmade disasters. (South Plainfield Public Library)


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