DIRECTIONS:  Circle the correct answer for each question.  (2 points each)
Note:  Answers to this quiz will be sent on Wednesday, January 14th.


1. More than 300 people were killed in violence that erupted in Kenya in early January, with dozens dying when a church was set alight in Eldoret, a city west of the capital, Nairobi. What was the principal reason for the strife?
a) tensions between the Muslim and Christian communities
b) allegations that the presidential election had been rigged
c) anger by native Africans at the country’s South Asian community, which runs many businesses
d) the failure of the millet crop, the staple food of most Kenyans

2. In January, Poland’s recently elected Prime Minister demanded that the U.S. give Poland hundreds of millions of dollars for _____________ in exchange for allowing the U.S. to put interceptor missiles in Poland. The purpose of this Ballistic Missile Defense system is to protect Europe (including Poland) and the U.S. against a ballistic missile attack from the Middle East.
a) the Polish university system
b) the Polish military
c) nuclear weapons
d) a food subsidy program

3. In February, Fidel Castro officially stepped down as president of Cuba (his brother Raul took over). For how many years did Fidel rule Cuba?
a) 29
b) 39
c) 49
d) 59

4. In March, China cracked down on hundreds of Buddhist Monks protesting in which country?
a) Mongolia
b) Hong Kong
c) Nepal
d) Tibet

5. Who was elected Vladimir Putin’s successor as president of Russia in March?
a) Dmitry Medvedev
b) Nicolas Sarkozy
c) Hugo Chavez
d) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

6. In May, Cyclone Nargis ravaged which Southeast Asian nation, flooding vast areas and killing at least 100,000 people, leaving thousands missing, and up to a million people homeless?
a) Bangladesh
b) Burma
c) Thailand
d) Indonesia

7. Also in May, a huge earthquake measured at 7.9 on the Richter scale hit China, killing almost 70,000 people and leaving 4.8 million people homeless less than two months before the Olympic Games in Beijing. In which province was the epicenter, where most damage was done?
a) Punjab
b) Sichuan
c) Hunan 
d) Tokyo

8. The specific goal of China’s censors during the Olympic games was to:
a) block all immoral TV shows and movies while there are so many foreigners in the country
b) hide the corruption of most Chinese officials and the Communist party in general
c) repress any mention of the recent earthquake’s victims
d) bury negative stories or remove any reference to links between bad news and the games

9. In defense of choosing China to host the Olympics despite their dismal human rights record, the International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge assured reporters in July by saying:
a) “China’s president has personally promised me that they will allow the free flow of information during the Olympics”
b) “there are no human rights violations in China”
c) “For the first time, foreign media will be able to report freely and publish their work freely in China”
d) “the Chinese government already allows freedom of speech and assembly, religion and freedom of the press”

10. Which country was invaded by Russia in August?
a) Belarus
b) Georgia
c) Ukraine
d) Poland

11. What is significant about Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s resignation from office this year?
a) he left peacefully
b) he had just been elected president
c) he had cooperated closely with America in the fight against international terrorism
d) he was voted out of office

12. Which Indian city did Islamic terrorists target in December, killing more than 170 people in a 60-hour rampage across the historic core of the city?
a) Bangalore
b) Delhi
c) Calcutta
d) Mumbai

13. In December, Greeks (mainly young people) rioted in Athens and other cities, with protesters smashing windows and burning cars as they fought running battles with police. What sparked the violence, the worst in the Mediterranean nation since the 1970s?
a) The decision by the government to cut unemployment benefits during the ongoing recession
b) a Dutch editorial cartoon mocking the birth of Jesus Christ
c) The end of subsidies on olive oil, a major ingredient in Greek cooking
d) The killing by police of a 15-year-old boy

14. The president of which Latin American country joined Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez earlier this year in implementing policies to nationalize much of the nation’s economy?
a) Columbia
b) Brazil
c) Bolivia
d) Ecuador

15. British lawmakers voted in May to
a) ban embryonic stem cell research using hybrids
b) permit embryonic stem cell research using hybrids
c) ban adult stem cell research using bone marrow
d) ban all forms of stem cell research

16. Lee Myung-bak was elected to be South Korea’s new _________________ president in March.
a) communist
b) socialist
c) liberal
d) conservative

17. A stem cell technique using ______________ stem cells has been named scientific breakthrough of the year by Science magazine.
a) animal
b) adult human
c) embryonic human
d) plant

18. A shortage of clean drinking water due to the inept and harsh rule of Robert Mugabe has caused a malaria / cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe.

19. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to floods caused by the rainy season / fighting between rebel and government troops.

20. The North Korean government threatened South Korea with military action for dropping leaflets from balloons into North Korea calling for regime change / spreading rumors that Kim Jong Il is dead.

21. Pirates off the coast of Somalia / Syria have greatly increased the number of attacks on ships that they board and hold for ransom.

22. Chad’s military is not protecting its citizens from the Sudanese militias crossing the border and attacking them because it does not want to defend the Christian citizens being attacked / is busy defending the government from Chad’s own insurgency.


23. The Iowa Caucuses, which kicked off the 2008 primary season in January, were won by Barack Obama and which Republican candidate?
a) Mike Huckabee
b) John McCain
c) Mitt Romney
d) Fred Thompson

24. Who was not a Republican candidate for president?
a) Mitt Romney
b) Rudy Guiliani
c) Tom Tancredo
d) Sarah Palin

25. In their 2008 party platform, the __________________ party’s plank on abortion says: “The ______________ Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”
a) libertarian
b) Green
c) Democratic
d) Republican

26. Which Democratic presidential candidate came closest to Barack Obama in winning the Democratic nomination early this year?
a) John Kerry
b) John Edwards
c) Hillary Clinton
d) Nancy Pelosi

27. Who did Barack Obama choose as his vice-presidential running mate?
a) John Edwards
b) Hillary Clinton
c) Joe Biden
d) Al Gore

28. While campaigning in Ohio, then-Senator Obama responded to Joe the Plumber’s question “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?” by saying:
a) “It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too. … I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
b) “No, my tax plan will actually lower your taxes”
c) “If you work hard and make a profit, my goal is to help you keep as much of your money as you can. My tax plan will not tax you more, no matter what your profit margin is.”
d) “Plumbers charge too much as it is. Of course we’re going to tax you more under my plan. You need to share your profits with those less fortunate than you. My goal is to make sure you do it.”

29. Which of the following well-known personalities was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor this year?
a) Tim Russert, TV journalist and host of NBC’s “Meet the Press”
b) White House spokesman and former FOX News host Tony Snow
c) Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy
d) actor Paul Newman

30. Voters in this state elected the first Vietnamese-American to Congress. Republican Anh “Joseph” Cao, who fled his native land at age 8 when Saigon fell, won an election delayed by one of the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast this fall. In which state is his congressional district?
a) Texas
b) Alabama
c) Louisiana
d) Mississippi

31. What does the recently passed marriage amendment to the California constitution state?
a) “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”
b) “Any marriage between two people in love is valid or recognized in California”
c) “Marriage between any two people is valid or recognized in California”
d) “The state of California will not prohibit same-sex marriages”

32. The U.S. military conducted about 25 air strikes into Pakistan in an attempt to:
a) specifically target al Qaeda and other terrorists hiding in the tribal area of Pakistan
b) scare the Pakistani government into giving up its oil
c) intimidate the Pakistani army
d) get revenge on Pakistani civilians for knowingly harboring terrorists

33. Ballot measures appearing on November’s various state election ballots included all but:
a) a marriage amendment making marriage only between one man and one woman
b) an attempt at banning abortion with the exception of victims of rape and incest, and to protect the mother’s health
c) eliminating affirmative-action
d) banning the use of cell phones while driving

34. In a 5-4 ruling in June, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the constitutional right to ______________ applies to noncitizens held at Guantanamo Bay
a) keep and bear arms
b) habeas corpus
c) assemble peaceably
d) freedom of the press

35. To which position was General David Petraeus appointed by President Bush in May?
a) Secretary of Defense
b) head of the Multi-National Force in Iraq
c) head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
d) leader of CENTCOM

36. Indiana’s voter law, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, requires voters to show _________________ before voting.
a) proof of residence
b) photo identification
c) a social security card
d) proof of employment

37. Those who favor a strict cap-and-trade program include:
a) all Democratic congressmen
b) all U.S. Senators
c) both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates
d) all Republican congressmen

38. Republican Presidential candidate John Mc Cain said that he is a conservative. Why did many conservatives dislike Sen. Mc Cain?
a) his record shows that he is not a real conservative
b) he opposes same-sex marriage
c) he wants to close the borders and he opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants
d) he is leading the fight to make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent

39. How many gold medals did swimmer Michael Phelps win at the Beijing Olympics?
a) 3
b) 8
c) 14
d) 35

40. After days of negotiations that appeared to be leading to a multi-billion-dollar bailout of the U.S. auto industry, the measure crumbled in the Senate due to the auto Workers’ / auto executives’ refusal to agree to wage cuts before their current contract expires in 2011.

41. The vote on Proposition 8 in California to define marriage between one man and one woman / make homosexual marriage permanently legal was close, but it passed by a little over 50%.

42. U.S. Special Forces launched a rare attack into Syria / Saudi Arabia in October to target the foreign terrorists who used that country as a safe haven for their attacks into Iraq.

43. The Congressional ban on offshore drilling was highly unpopular with the majority of Congressmen / Americans.

44. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, commonly referred to as a bailout of the U.S. financial system, is a law enacted in response to the global financial crisis of 2008 authorizing the United States Secretary of the Treasury to spend up to $7 billion / $700 billion to purchase distressed assets, especially mortgage-backed securities.

45. Franklin Raines, the former CEO of Fannie Mae who was forced to resign amid an accounting scandal, earned $90,000 / $90 million during his 5 years as CEO at Fannie Mae.

46. Christian Fundamentalists / Islamic Jihad in Yemen claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in September on the U.S. embassy in the capital city of Sana’a.

47. Presidential candidate John McCain chose conservative Republican Governor Bobby Jindal / Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.

48. Speaking before Congress in April, Gen. David Petraeus said that the U.S. troop surge had drastically increased / reduced violence in Iraq.

49. The purpose of the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change held in NYC in March was to give scientists who question global warming / Al Gore the opportunity to freely express their/his views on climate change.

50. Many Democrats and civil liberties activists do not want to include the immunity provision in the FISA law because they say it is unfair to terrorists / unconstitutional.

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