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(Note to teachers: The 2014 Year in Review quiz totals 106 points. Delete a few questions of your choosing, or let students try for the extra credit.)
DIRECTIONS: Circle the correct answer. (1 point each)
GOVERNMENT / IRS
1. According to a report released by the Inspector General for Tax Administration in May, over the past few years the IRS has been targeting
liberal / conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
2. The IRS required Tea Party groups / Occupy Wall Street groups applying for tax exempt status to provide information including lists of donors, printouts of Facebook posts, what books people in the group were reading and asked about future activities, like future donations or endorsements the group would make, among other things.
3. After the IRS targeting was made public, the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm, announced that the IRS harassed two of their
pro-choice / pro-life clients when they were seeking tax-exempt status, asking questions about the content of their prayers and requesting pledges that one of the groups would not protest Planned Parenthood.
4. When asked by Congress to testify about what she knew, when she knew it, and who in the IRS is responsible for targeting groups who oppose President Obama’s politics, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt unit invoked her First Amendment rights / pled the Fifth.
PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (OBAMACARE):
5. The Obamacare healthcare exchanges opened in October. In one / two-thirds of the 36 states with federally-run exchanges, applicants were unable to sign-up on the first day.
6. In a speech addressing the problems people were having signing up for Obamacare, President Obama suggested that as an alternative to signing up online people could, among other things, mail in paper applications / just pay the fine.
7. In September it was reported that concerns have been raised by President Obama / some lawmakers about the ability of the government’s health data system to protect personal health records and other private information.
8. Regarding the Affordable Care Act, outgoing Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Democrat who helped write the law, has called its implementation a “train wreck” / “work of art.”
9. Certain small businesses / unions were outraged to learn that ObamaCare, which they used their political muscle to help pass, will cause them to lose their “cadillac” insurance plans.
10. Sen. Ted Cruz / President Obama assured Americans numerous times before ObamaCare was launched “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.”
MULTIPLE CHOICE. (2 points each)
There is one correct answer for each question. Circle the correct answer.
NSA SURVEILLANCE / EDWARD SNOWDEN LEAKS
11. The British newspaper The Guardian was the first to report that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting _______________ daily.
a) phone records of every Muslim extremist living in the U.S.
b) phone records of anyone who belongs to a Tea Party group
c) phone records of millions of Verizon customers
d) DNA samples
12. The NSA’s surveillance system in some cases retains the written content of emails sent between ___________________ within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology.
d) illegal aliens
13. Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked additional documents in December – these showing that the NSA and its British counterpart the GCHQ have been spying on gamers by sending undercover agents into virtual universes to monitor activity in online fantasy games such as:
c) Just Dance
d) World of Warcraft
14. Documents leaked by Snowden revealed in the Fall that the NSA spied on world leaders including:
a) Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
b) Iranian President Hasan Rouhani
c) Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un
d) none of the above
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION / CONGRESS / FOREIGN RELATIONS:
15. In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama listed his priorities for his second term, which included all but which one of the following?
a) create a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
b) implement policies to address global warming
c) greatly reduce government spending to reduce the deficit
d) implement strict gun control laws
16. In January 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. ruled that when President Obama used recess appointments to fill National Labor Relations Board vacancies he violated the constitution because ___________________________________.
a) the Senate was not truly in recess when the president made the appointments
b) the recess appointments were filled by his friends
c) no other president has ever filled vacancies during Senate recess
d) the positions did not need to be filled at that time
17. During a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in January, President Obama agreed to:
a) give the Afghan military as many drones as they need
b) allow U.S. troops running the Afghan police program to stay in local villages until they felt the job was done
c) withdraw U.S. troops from Afghan villages in the spring, months ahead of previous schedules
d) invite Karzai to play golf on a family vacation in Hawaii
18. In December, more than 30 leading news organizations lodged a protest with the White House against restrictions that block journalists from taking pictures and video of President Obama:
a) playing golf
b) performing official duties
c) secretly meeting with other heads of state
d) on a date night with Mrs. Obama
19. The Pentagon announced in January that it was lifting the ban on women serving in combat and would begin allowing female service members to hold any jobs for which they qualify. One of the top concerns of female Marines is:
a) they won’t have the physical ability to do a full-time ground combat job
b) the men won’t accept them as equals
c) they won’t like being in combat
d) they will surpass their male counterparts in strength and endurance
20. In 2013, the FDA made a preliminary determination that trans fats no longer fall into the agency’s “generally recognized as safe” category, and announced it will move to:
a) ban the use of trans fat
b) limit the use of trans fat
c) fine any food makers who continue to use trans fat
d) ask food makers to consider phasing out the use of trans fat
21. During the government shutdown in October, the Obama administration blocked access to anything government-owned except:
a) outdoor memorials
c) Air Force One
d) recreation areas
22. Auto manufacturers have been experimenting with new materials to build cars because they need to make them lighter:
a) to increase the mileage a car gets to meet the new CAFE standards
b) so they don’t cause as much damage to the roadways
c) to reduce the cost of the materials used to make the car so more people can afford to buy cars
d) to increase the speed at which they can travel so drivers can arrive at their destinations quicker
23. It was reported in February that computer-hackers tied to the Chinese military had stolen massive quantities of data from at least 140 U.S. organizations in 20 major industries since 2006. In response, Congress banned most sectors of the U.S. government from buying information technology made by companies that are _______________________.
a) outsourcing their factories to China
c) linked to the Chinese government
d) owned by Chinese-Americans
24. In August, Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons to attack and kill his own citizens. President Obama had previously stated that the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons would be a “red line” for the U.S. Therefore, President Obama responded by doing all of the following except:
a) calling for strikes against the Syrian government as a response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons
b) urging the U.N. to overlook it this time
c) giving multiple news interviews and a televised address to the nation to promote a U.S. military strike on Syria
d) giving a speech at the G20 meeting in September in an attempt to gain international support for a strike on Syria
25. In a major victory for law enforcement agencies, the Supreme Court ruled in June that police can take a ____________ from someone who has been arrested and charged but not convicted of a serious crime.
b) DNA sample
c) iris scan
d) full body scan
26. In June, the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the 1996 ____________________ by declaring unconstitutional DOMA’s prohibition on federal recognition of legally married couples. The court declared that gay couples married in states where it is legal must receive the same federal health, tax, Social Security and other benefits that heterosexual couples receive.
a) Defense of Marriage Act
b) Traditional Marriage Act
c) States are Sovereign Act
d) Not in My Backyard Act
27. In another major decision in June, the Supreme Court ruled that a key part of the 1965 ________________ was unconstitutional. The law had prohibited nine states, mostly in the South, from changing their election laws without advance federal approval. At the core of the disagreement was whether racial minorities continue to face barriers to voting in states with a history of discrimination. President Obama, whose election as the nation’s first black president was cited by critics of the law as evidence that it was no longer needed, said he was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling.
a) Civil Rights Act
b) Southern Rights Act
c) Voting Rights Act
d) Equal Rights Amendment
THE STATES / CITIES:
28. Fifteen years ago, red-light cameras were rarely seen in the average U.S. town/city. Today, communities in 24 states and Washington, D.C. have installed red-light cameras. Local governments and other proponents of red-light cameras say the main reason for using the cameras is to:
a) increase revenue to their municipality
b) give the police something to do
c) increase safety on their streets
d) avoid having to cut their budgets
29. Voters in Colorado and Washington passed laws in November making the use of recreational marijuana legal. Colorado’s new state constitutional amendment on marijuana permits adults over 21 to use the drug. Colorado’s marijuana regulations will ultimately be set by:
a) students from the University of Colorado at Boulder
b) the Colorado state legislature and the department of revenue
c) Mothers Against Pot Smokers (MAPS)
d) the U.S. Attorney General
30. Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law in February to legalize internet gambling in _________________. Before signing the bill, Gov. Christie required that a 10-year trial period for online betting be included in the the law, and that taxes on the Atlantic City casinos’ online winnings be raised from 10 to 15%.
a) New Jersey
d) New Mexico
31. The governor of _______________ signed a bill into law this week that will allow the state’s school districts to arm teachers and other personnel with guns because rural districts do not have the money to hire full-time law enforcement officers. The law includes amendments that require a school district to decide in a public meeting whether to arm teachers and allows residents to push a school board’s decision to a public vote.
a) North Dakota
b) South Dakota
c) North Carolina
d) South Carolina
32. In late March, a company in ____________________ broke ground on the first new refinery to be built in the U.S. since 1976. Thanks to the Bakken shale formation, this state produces more crude oil than any state except Texas.
c) North Dakota
33. A ban on cellphones and other electronics began in 2013 at the busiest criminal court facility in the country, which is in Chicago. The judge implementing the ban said that in court, people take photos of witnesses in an attempt to intimidate them. Those exempt from the ban at the courthouse include all but:
a) government employees and attorneys
c) defendants on trial
d) people reporting to jury duty
34. In April, the New York Public Service Commission approved a plan to build the Champlain Hudson transmission line which will move 1,000 megawatts of ____________________ from Quebec to New York City. The 335 mile transmission line, at a cost of $2.2 billion, will be built under Lake Champlain and the Hudson River.
a) nuclear energy
b) wind power
d) solar power
35. Colorado’s first-ever recall election of a state lawmaker was held in Colorado in September for two state senators. Citizens who organized the recall did so over the senators’ decision to ignore the will of the people and:
a) work to reduce state income taxes
b) push for strict gun control laws
c) endorse Obamacare
d) purchase drones to spy on citizens
36. The New York City Board of Health (appointed by Mayor Bloomberg) voted unanimously in December to mandate ___________________ for children attending a NYC preschool or daycare.
a) polio vaccines
b) flu vaccines
c) vaccines for the common cold
d) hepatitis B vaccines
37. _______________________ has enabled the U.S. to overtake Russia as the largest producer of natural gas, and possibly do the same with crude oil.
a) President Obama
b) the Hydraulic fracturing technique
c) government regulations preventing new coal plants from being built
d) wind farms in the Texas panhandle
TRUE/FALSE (2 points each) Directions:
38. __________________ Pope Benedict XVI made history in February by resigning, becoming the first pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church to resign in 600 years.
39. __________________ The newly elected pope, the first-ever from the Americas, is from Argentina. The name he took as pope is Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi, who was known for his lavish lifestyle.
40. __________________ Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died in March. President Chavez was known for his free-market economic policies.
41. __________________ Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving British prime minister in the 20th century died in April. Mrs. Thatcher was Britain’s first and only woman prime minister.
42. __________________ In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, attempted to portray himself as friendly toward the U.S., and willing to try to establish a relationship with the U.S.
43. __________________ In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said of the Iranian leaders: “Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
44. __________________ Nelson Mandela died in December. Famous for his fight to end apartheid, he was South America’s first democratically elected president.
MULTIPLE CHOICE. (2 points each)
There is one correct answer for each question. Circle the correct answer.
45. In February, Israel and __________________ carried out a successful test of the next-generation Arrow 3 missile defense system, for the first time sending an interceptor into outer space, where it could destroy missiles fired from Iran. The Arrow 3 is part of a multilayered system that Israel is developing to protect against missile threats.
c) the U.S.
d) the UN
46. In an effort to prevent the banking system in Cyprus from collapsing in March, the government took a bailout from the eurozone. In exchange for the $13 billion bailout, the government of Cyprus agreed to:
a) cut the government’s budget by 50% over the next 5 years
b) quit the European Union
c) confiscate private funds from personal savings accounts held in Cyprus banks
d) legalize same-sex marriage
47. In an effort to block its citizens from reading about the government massacre of peaceful protesters in 1989, the Chinese government in June censored various search terms on a popular Chinese website. The Chinese government’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters on June 4, 1989 took place in Beijing’s:
a) Tiananmen Square
b) Red Square
c) Ho Chi Min Trail
d) Forbidden City
48. In June, millions of Egyptians called for the ouster of the country’s first democratically elected president because he did all but:
a) push through a new constitution that was enshrined in Islamic (Sharia) law
b) grant himself unlimited powers
c) remove judicial review of his decrees
d) push for equal status for Christians on all levels of Egyptian society
OUTSIDE THREATS TO THE U.S. / TERRORISM
49. The AP reported in April that Mexican drug cartels had begun sending some of their most trusted agents to live and work deep inside the U.S. – which experts believed was meant to tighten the cartels’ grip on the ________________________ market and maximize its profits.
a) farm worker
c) college exchange student
50. In October, the U.S. and British governments charged a British man and three others with hacking into U.S. government computer systems, including those run by the military. The hacker’s goal was to disrupt the operations and infrastructure of the U.S. government. Among the thousands of systems infiltrated, the men hacked all but:
a) the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency
b) the NSA
c) the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
51. In the wake of April’s terrorist attacks in Boston some lawmakers called for:
a) the establishment of a better connected system of surveillance cameras
b) a complete review of student visas
c) a moratorium on all immigration from Muslim countries
d) a review of the terrorist brothers’ immigration status
52. U.S. authorities announced in November that they had shut down a secret underground tunnel equipped with electricity, ventilation and a rail system before it could be used between Mexico and California. The plan for the cross-border tunnel was to smuggle:
a) illegal drugs
b) migrant workers heading to California farms
d) mail-order brides
TECHNOLOGY / PRIVACY
53. Google announced in 2013 that it had begun delivering the first wave of its Google Glass to a limited number of special customers they call “Explorers.” Glass allows wearers to do all but:
a) take video
b) launch a drone
c) search the internet
d) check email
54. Tumblr made $13 million in 2012. In May, Yahoo signed a deal to purchase Tumblr for _____________________ to help Yahoo’s business by reaching younger users. The deal was expected to increase Yahoo’s audience by 50%.
a) $1.1 million
b) $13 billion
c) $1.1 billion
d) $113 million
55. Facebook announced in October that the company will build a $120 million, 394-unit housing community for employees within walking distance of its offices. Called Anton Menlo, the rental property will include a resort-inspired pool, spa and cabana area, rooftop entertainment deck with three-themed areas and indoor/outdoor wellness, yoga and training facility with personal training. The Facebook corporate goal that will be fulfilled by the Anton Menlo “company town” is:
a) eliminate the use of automobiles by giving their own employees the ability to walk to work
b) control every aspect of their employees’ lives
c) take care of as many aspects of their employees’ lives as possible
d) track the location of their employees at all times
56. In an interview on “60 Minutes” in May, Professor Alessandro Acquisti of Carnegie Mellon demonstrated the use of facial recognition software to determine random students’ identities. The professor took photos of random students and with free software he had downloaded from the internet, he was able to determine their identity and:
a) the name of their first grade teacher
b) social security information
c) favorite food
NATURAL DISASTERS / WEATHER
57. On the afternoon of May 20, an EF5 ________________ struck Moore, Oklahoma, and adjacent areas, with peak winds estimated at 210 mph, killing 24 people (including 7 children) and injuring 377 others. It destroyed hundreds of homes, businesses and two elementary schools.
58. In September, severe flooding covering almost 200 miles in Colorado caused multiple houses, businesses, roads and bridges to be destroyed or damaged, and at least seven people lost their lives. The flooding damaged/destroyed 200 miles of state highways and 50 bridges. The widespread flooding was caused by:
a) a hurricane
b) the extreme amount of rain that fell over a 3 day period
c) a tsunami
d) extremely dry conditions
EXTRA CREDIT QUESTION:
(Teacher to determine length/content of answer required for the extra credit, and number of extra points to be given)
What do you think was the most important national issue/event of 2013? Explain your answer.