Category Archives: News/Op-Ed

Life of a Brave: How To Gain Healthy Weight

by Jacob Jornadal and Sele Pemasa

As easy as it sounds, gaining weight is a bit more complicated than you would think. We are here to inform high school students about the healthy and correct way to gain weight.

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Many students today – especially with the ability to drive – have access to all sorts of fast food. Many advisors say to stay away from fast food or to at least limit to once a month.

Other items to avoid is soda. Soda is the highest sugar saturated drink on the market. Consuming these type of foods and beverages will lead to you gaining the unhealthy weight that will produce more body fat rather than muscle, which is what we are trying to avoid.

We asked football coach Steven Lo how others could gain healthy weight and how to maintain it, looking for advice. 

“If you’re in a store, you want to shop on the perimeter of the store. Meats, fruits, vegetables, good grains, not putting crap in your body. No fast food, typically if you’re gaining a pound a week, that’s a good marker for gaining healthy weight. Work out four to five days a week, strength training will build muscle mass and conditioning will help keep everything lean,” said Lo.

Not everything has to do with lifting weights and working out to achieve your ideal body weight. Gaining good, healthy weight truly begins in the kitchen. If you are looking to produce muscle mass, your diet must consist of lean meats like chicken and fish. Maintaining a diet like this takes a lot of consistency and patience, but if you stick to it, you will slowly get the results you are looking for.

If you are going to a gym or weight room, try to create a workout schedule and focus on different muscles for different days, so you are not overworking certain parts of your body.

Another key component is protein, protein should be consumed at the latest 30 minutes after your workout. If not, that workout is wasted. Whether it be shakes, bars, or eating a good meal that’s protein-rich, it will feed your muscles that are gassed out and need recovery. Think of it like this, while you work out, you are tearing microfibers in your muscles, and protein builds your muscles back together.

Gaining healthy weight is a challenge, but all worth the while when you know what you’re putting into your body and feel good, leading a healthy lifestyle.

 

News: Discrimination Against Intersex Athletes Rising Controversy

by Joshua Adoh

In a recently ended year-long court case, female South African runner Caster Semenya has been given a choice.

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This choice was appointed by recent ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) due to her abnormal high testosterone levels to either, “forcibly alter her body’s natural hormones, or give up international competition,” according to Vice Sports News.

This unique situation has brought about an alarming ultimatum. On one hand, you would think it is not right to forcibly change an athlete’s natural gender, but on the other hand a female athlete with noticeably high testosterone levels can have extremely unfair advantages.

Vice Sports News explains that the Caster Semenya situation fell into the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) territory, which mandates medical intervention for Differences of Sex Development (DSD) individuals.

Despite the obvious athletic advantages, I do not think these regulations should require intersex female athletes – like Semenya – to forcibly lower their testosterone levels to align with IAAF maximum limits prescribed for females.

In this specific case, Semenya was born with abnormally high testosterone levels, so who is IAAF to forcibly alter a person’s human genetics. At this point, one should think to themselves: how important is this sport? Is it worth forcibly suppressing the natural hormone that your body produces?

In my honest opinion, I have never cared about what people do with their bodies, because in this day and age everyone has the right to believe what they think is right or wrong. It is not our place as fellow humans to try and convince them otherwise. However, it does frighten me to see people making life-altering decisions for something as trivial as entertainment.

I am not saying this to discredit athletes to any degree, female or male, because as an athlete myself I understand the importance, but I draw the line at having artificial procedures done on my body. The biggest question that I would like to ask you – the reader – is where would you draw the line?

“The DSD policy represents the tortured lengths international sports associations will go to ensure a vague ideal of “fairness” in sports. After decades of doping concerns, the IAAF is now ruling that some athletes must alter their body’s natural hormones just to compete,” states Vice Sports News.

There has been some that came to the defense of athletes like Samenya – such as Dr. Silvia Camporesi.

“Dr. Camporesi is a bioethicist at King’s College who has previously written in defense of Semenya’s right to compete without altering her natural hormone levels,” stated Vice Sports News.

In a recent interview with Vice, Camporesi stated that the CAS verdict is ‘weird,’ in part because the court initially admitted that “there is not enough evidence to support the regulations.”

Camporesi notes that the CAS decision was made based on theoretical ideas about potential advantages, and “not on evidence of a concrete advantage.”

The fact that there is not enough evidence to support the IAAF regulation proves that there is no real logical reasoning behind this real rule, merely theoretical ideas.

“Semenya’s female competitors will remain at a disadvantage even if she agrees to lower her testosterone levels (which can be achieved by taking oral contraceptives) because Semenya will still have a higher-than-average level of the hormone as well as the additional advantage of a lifetime of higher testosterone exposure, which means greater bone and muscle density and lung capacity, among other physical benefits,” states a recent article from Christine Rosen.

This is a pretty ugly situation for Caster Semenya, and a radical move on the IAAF behalf. Whether or not she has the medical procedure, she will still have physical advantages.

In my opinion, the IAAF ruling is unfair and should be reversed immediately.

 

 

News: UNC-Charlotte Shooting Kills Two Students

by Jake Bailey

On April 30th, 2019, the community of Charlotte suffered a tragedy that resulted in the death of two University of North Carolina Charlotte students and left many more injured.

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“The shooting took place on the last day of classes for UNC-Charlotte, just as the campus was getting ready for a Waka Flocka Flame concert,” said The Charlotte Observer.

Suspect Trystan Andrew Terrell allegedly chose to enter the Kennedy Building at UNCC, and open fire on his fellow peers inside.

“Trystan Andrew Terrell is accused of gunning down two students and injuring four others in a classroom on Tuesday, according to police,” says ABC News.

Fortunately, all who were injured are expected to make a successful and full recovery, but the death of two innocent students is still too much.

As for the motive of the shooting, that much is unclear at this time, according to police and school officials. Terrell, however, is facing more charges and jail time.

“In addition to the two murder charges for the deaths of 21-year-old Riley Howell and 19-year-old Ellis Parlier, Terrell has been charged with four counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, discharging a firearm on educational property and possessing a gun on educational property, according to jail records,” a police report told The Charlotte Observer.

As for the two students who were killed in the gunfire, one of them courageously risked his life to save many of his peers, and ultimately was killed after stepping in front of bullets intended for others.

“He kept charging. A bullet to the torso did not stop Riley Howell. A second bullet to the body did not prevent him from reaching his goal and hurling himself at the gunman who opened fire last week inside a classroom at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The third bullet came as Mr. Howell was inches from the gunman, who fired at point-blank range into his head,” stated The New York Times.

The chief of police stated that once the shooter was subdued under Riley Howell’s body, no one else was then shot after.

Students and faculty joined together shortly after the tragedy for a vigil in honor of 19-year old Ellis Parlier and 21-year old hero and savior, Riley Howell.

“Since 2014, there have been at least seven other shootings on or near North Carolina colleges and universities,” stated Greenville News.

USA Today offers a few tips to help students on a campus be prepared for a possible school shooting situation. Tips including: keep a cell phone and charger on hand at all times if possible, and sign up for your school’s alert system.

In addition, students should share their location with family and close friends at all times. Finally, students should check to see if there is a Text-to-911 service in their area for as much safety as possible.

It’s sad that times have reached this level of evil and terror in America. But school shootings are now something everyone must be prepared and ready for.

News: Mueller Report Analysis

by Jake Bailey

On April 18th, after much speculation in the media, a redacted version of the Mueller Report was released to Congress, causing tremendous controversy, to say the least.

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The Mueller Report is the culminating result of a two year investigation by the Special Counsel into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. Ultimately and most importantly, the Mueller Report indicated that there was no finding of Trump, or his campaign, criminally conspiring with the Russians.

The Mueller Report stated that in regards to the Obstruction of Justice charges, they were unable to reach a finding, and leaves Congress the opportunity to pursue investigation on this front, if they so choose.

Additionally, the Report did find evidence of President Trump’s and Michael Cohen’s shared interest in building a Trump Tower in Moscow, Russia. The Report also found evidence of Michael Flynn trying to help President Trump’s campaign find Hilary Clinton’s emails. 34 people associated with Trump were indicted, some of whom have been convicted.

Trump, however, considers the findings a complete exoneration, likely because the investigation was initiated to reach a conclusion on the issue of criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and administration with the Russian government.  The president also takes issue with the legality of the investigation.

“It began illegally, and I hope somebody takes a look at the other side. This was an illegal takedown,” said President Trump.

And as he so succinctly put it in a tweet, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT.”

As far as prosecution is concerned, President Trump, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort were all cleared of charges for interactions with Russian officials, and many people consider them fortunate to have escaped charges in the manner they did.

In a broader view of events, impeachment has been an extremely controversial topic among politicians as well as the general public.

Leaders of the Democratic Party and the House of Representatives have been conflicted over whether or not to pursue the impeachment of President Trump.   A primary consideration is that we are coming into the election cycle for the next President in 2020.  The controversy centers largely on whether it is wiser to move on and focus on the issues facing the nation, or follow this through to the end.  Congress requested and received a redacted version of the Mueller Report to review and make a determination.

According to ABC’s Mueller Poll, citizens are divided on the issue of impeachment.  While Trump’s approval rating is holding at 39 percent, over 50 percent of citizens believe Trump is guilty of wrongdoing of some kind and that he lied to the American public.

The responses from Democrats vary widely, as there are several different “blocs” of the Democratic Party.  The most liberal are calling for impeachment, the moderates are calling for a “ruling out” of impeachment, based on their review of the Mueller Report, and the conservative Democrats are calling for the party to move on from the controversy, even if they pursue other investigations.

The Republican Party also varies widely in their responses, as Republicans range from Trump enthusiasts to Anti-Trumper’s and everything in between. Those most loyal to Trump are calling on a continuation of the Russia investigation, with a focus on the origin of the investigation and the investigators, themselves.  Moderates are learning toward a focus on approving conservative judges and the issues facing the country (moving on), and those against Trump are using the Mueller Report as another reason to move on from Trump and select another nominee for the 2020 election.

Very few Presidents have endured the level of defamation of character, scrutiny, and slander that Trump has. The last President to do so was probably Richard Nixon, during the Watergate ordeal.

“The final blow came with the decision by the Supreme Court to order Nixon to release more White House tapes. One of these became known as the ‘smoking gun’ tape when it revealed that Nixon had participated in the Watergate cover-up as far back as June 23, 1972.  Around the country, there were calls for Nixon to resign.  At 9:00 pm on the evening of August 8, 1974, Nixon delivered a nationally televised resignation speech. The next morning, he made his final remarks to the White House staff before sending his resignation letter to the Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger,” says Watergate.info.

 Now, the Trump presidency hangs in the balance until the decision is made as to whether or not he will finish out his first term in office. 

 As expected, the two parties of politicians have passionate feelings about the release of the Mueller Report; and most are unwavering in their opinions.

According to EightThirtyEight.com, “Republicans who approved of how Mueller handled the investigation went up by 25 percentage points, from 21 percent to 46 percent, whereas the percentage of Democrats who approved of Mueller’s work went down by 15 percentage points, from 77 percent in February to 62 percent in March.”

Since the interaction between President Trump and Russia was proved to not exist, Russian officials quickly rushed to the side of President Trump and urged him to re-solidify the mutual friendship and respect between the two countries.

While Trump and his campaign were exonerated on the issue of conspiracy, there is no doubt that the Russian’s, on their own, interfered in the election.  Some say this has been occurring for many years.  Americans should be informed about the issue of foreign interference, which is anticipated to be attempted throughout the next election cycle.

Life of a Brave: Dark Web Poses Virtual Threat To Students

by Joshua Lucero and Elijah Ramos

What is the Dark Web? The Dark Web is part of the world wide web that can only be accessed by a special software, allowing participants to be anonymous whilst participating in illegal activities.

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The Dark Web is more than just a label that has been given by the feeble minds of those who do not understand the magnitude of this creation.

The “Dark Web” and “Deep Web”  can be seen as separate online resources. However, the Deep and Dark Webs are virtual seas where users can access information that they cannot in regular search engines such as Safari, Yahoo and Google.

The Dark Web is purposely hidden and encrypted from others. These encryptions include sites that distribute drugs, guns and other illegal products.

This separate part of the internet has seemingly always been there, but no one truly knows who exactly created the Dark Web. Even though the direct origins of this system of secure servers is unknown, there are still speculations.

The Dark Net is the foundation of the accessible tool TOR (The Onion Router), which was created in the 1990s by the U.S. Naval Research Labs funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The use of TOR was created to keep people anonymous when accessing and communicating on the internet.

This use of TOR was to protect field agents when talking to their handlers. They would communicate on a secure network, and through the use of TOR, their IP addresses would be scrambled and become unrecognizable. This main basis of TOR was to benefit those who would participate in endangering their lives in operations that were classified to the public.

TOR was created by Paul Syverson and two other mathematicians who began to make this concept a reality. When these men created TOR, it worked by hiding a user’s IP address as it passed through other random IP addresses in the onion server before reaching the final destination.  In the earlier stages of TOR, only law enforcement was using this secure site. Even though TOR would bounce their messages through other IP addresses, it would be relatively difficult to spot a user.

The way onion users were spotted was easy, because the person’s final IP address that the website would see would be marked from the onion server. This meant that even though they had a “secure” way to talk, if someone saw the onion IP address it would automatically be assumed that law enforcement was involved. Therefore, they would release this tool of secrecy to the public so their hidden eyes could be more protected by having more users.

In 2002, TOR became open to the civilian population, as the government started downplaying its military origins to attract a wide pool of users.

During that time and still today, the Deep Web provides easier, more secure way to engage in illegal activity without high exposure. The Deep Web, with the help of TOR, became a space in which people who enforce the law, those who oppose it, and those who have a sense of curiosity for the unknown began to rub virtual shoulders.

In short, the start of TOR brought into the world what we know now as the Deep Web, the Dark Web and its many other names. 

Overall, the Dark Web is creating a rise in the criminal underworld that has and will continue to rise with the evolution of technology. The Dark Web is something of a virtual Costco where there are endless supplies to what the buyer wants. 

Jobs on the dark web can consist of delivering unknown packages from point A to point B. A driver can accumulate $1,000 a week if packages are consistent and of the same market price. Others can make more depending on the value of what is in the package. 

Drug dealing is a major effect of the dark web. Business on the web has boomed because of the transaction of money through cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. With the blend of sites like Silk Road and Bitcoins untraceable currency, the dark web has a high number of customers. Sites like Silk Road are one of the major attractions for the drug trade.

Silk Road was like Amazon, or any type of online business, with established categories such as drugs, guns, jewelry, computer equipment, books and anything else you can think of. With these categories came subcategories, and if you were looking for a high of any kind, the Silk Road was the place to go. But in 2013,this site was shut down with the creator – Ross Ulbricht – caught by the FBI.

The Dark Web has limitless illegal uses and is no place for fun, nor should it be taken lightly. 

On the Dark Web, illegal acts that are cultivated to seem normal when interacting in the footsteps of danger. When lurking, there are many traps that you can follow to get in situations that will be regretted by a user. The web has communications with terrorist groups, militias and other military trained groups for hire.

Hypothetically, these groups can cause mass destruction wherever they may be hired. So-called “governments” on the web could and may have hired groups to put another country at risk. This does not stop at terrorist groups, but people are able to hire hit-men to do their dirty deeds. It doesn’t stop at potentially killing someone “IRL” (in real life) but if someone needed a picture, video, or anything planted or erased, there are hackers for hire to do any job such as this. They are able to destroy anything connected to the web that needs to be destroyed.

When surfing the dark web, there are live chat rooms that would deeply disturb the average human mind. Examples of unspeakable crimes against humanity are known as “red rooms.” These rooms vary from a number of live chat and recorded videos of deeply disturbing events. These live chats can consist of victims of all ages being dragged and taken against their will to unknown places or rooms. In these rooms, there is a list of options to either torture or kill the victims.

In order to get clearance in these live chat rooms to participate, the active participant must pay the greatest amount of currency on the server. As the top bidder, they are then able to choose from a list of options that are provided to kill or torture their victim. In many cases, these chat rooms are filled with vicious people hidden behind a screen. An example of this is someone in these chat rooms winning the top bid and then choosing what to do with the particular victim. 

Horrific rooms and videos similar to this can be found in the deepest parts of the dark web. These recurring rooms are only expanding. Again, this place should not be taken lightly or looked at due to childish curiosity.

Even though people may not have the intentions to look at this type of material, it is easy to let one’s curiosity get the better of them. There are no second chances when interacting on these levels. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

 

News: Boeing 737 Max Recalled After Two Fatal Crashes

by Joshua Adoh

After two fatal crashes involving the Boeing 737 Max, the Chicago-based aerospace company has been forced to recall the plane.

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On April 4th, 2019, Chairman, President and CEO of Boeing Dennis Muilenburg issued out a message to the families that were involved in the recent fatal crashes of the Boeing 737. 

In this apology, he explains a bit of information on why these aircraft crashed in the first place and the failures that took place.

“Let me emphasize that safety is always number one at the Department of Transportation. A good day is when nothing bad happens,” stated secretary Elaine Chao. 

Boeing is currently going through intense scrutiny for the multiple failures of its aircraft. After such losses, the company is going to have a rough time marketing their aircraft again.

Muilenburg deeply apologized for the losses that occurred due to the 737 Max failures.

“Together, we’ll do everything possible to earn and re-earn that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the weeks and months ahead. Again, we’re deeply saddened by and are sorry for the pain these accidents have caused worldwide. Everyone affected has our deepest sympathies,” stated Muilenberg in a recent statement.

Trying to push safety as Boeing’s main objective is not only a mechanical issue but also a means to gain back the trust of their consumers and endorsements.

“Software for the Boeing 737 Max and safety features classified as optional are at the heart of the scrutiny – and a federal probe – over the design and marketing of the aircraft as well as the FAA’s certification of it,” stated WTTW News.

“The full details of what happened in the two accidents will be issued by government authorities in the final reports, but, with the release of the preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident investigation, it’s apparent that in both flights the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System – known as MCAS – activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information,” said Muilenberg.

Mr. Muilenburg seems extremely confident and poised about the development of the companies aircraft and takes full ownership of the tragedies that occurred.

“The history of our industry shows most accidents are caused by a chain of events. This again is the case here, and we know we can break one of those chain links in these two accidents,” he stated.

Improving planes MCAS will allow for a safer and better flying aircraft, yet the question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is – how long will these improvements take? And ultimately, how effective will these improvements be?

 

Nipsey Hussle: The Marathon Continues

by Nnamdi Chugbo

The death of the late, great Nipsey Hussle has left the world in shock.

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The Los Angeles native rapper passed away on March 31st, 2019 as a victim of a murder outside of his clothing store, The Marathon Clothing.

The rapper was praised for the way he was able to turn around his life from living a life in the streets as a gangbanger of the Rollin’ 60’s Neighborhood Crip. He dedicated the last years of his adult life to giving back to the community and pouring funds and community service into the broken streets of Los Angeles.

Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was pronounced dead on the scene of at his murder. The news of his murder caused an uproar of mourning and respectful remembrance of the late rapper throughout the streets of Los Angeles and across social media platforms. Notable figures, such as Rihanna, LeBron James, YG, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, and many more took to social media to mourn and send prayers and support to the family and friends of the late rapper.

Nipsey’s humanitarian contributions to South Los Angeles were formally entered into the Congressional Record by Congress member Karen Bass. Some of his many contributions to the community include establishing a STEM center that partnered with Silicon Valley outlets and investing money into his community through his clothing store – The Marathon Clothing – right on Crenshaw and Slauson in the heart of South Los Angeles.

Nipsey also created many jobs in his community by funding barbershops, cell phone stores, multiple restaurants, his recording studio – Marathon Studios – and even a record label called, “All Money In Records.”

He believed that the true way to give back to the community that raised him was by investing in it and allowing his community to progress in the right direction economically and educationally.

The late rapper also left an eternal imprint on the music industry. His albums, Crenshaw, The Marathon, The Marathon Continues, Slauson Boy 2, and Victory Lap were his most renowned works. Victory Lap was even nominated for a Grammy Award for the best rap album of 2018, but fell just a bit short to Cardi B with her debut album, Invasion of Privacy.

Nipsey Hussle’s death was a very unfortunate blow to the whole world, specifically the Los Angeles area. Thankfully, his legacy will last forever and everybody can learn a lesson from looking at the kind of life that Nipsey lived.

He went from a kid who was lost in the streets to a respectable figure that beat the odds and helped his community in ways that upbuilt not just the black community, but every citizen of South Los Angeles forever.

 

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