2014 Year in Review Quiz

Friday's News Quiz   —   Posted on January 16, 2015

Questions

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WORLD NEWS

TRUE/FALSE.  Directions: For the bolded section of each of the following statements, write true or false. REWRITE ALL FALSE STATEMENTS to make them true.

EBOLAIn 2014, the World Health Organization declared the Ebola epidemic an international health emergency. Ebola was first identified in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola is a deadly viral infection that may kill 60%-90% of humans that it infects.

1. _______________ The 2014 Ebola outbreak began in Germany and then spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.

2. _______________ In an attempt to stop the spread of the disease, Liberian authorities introduced an ongoing nationwide curfew and put one neighborhood in the capital under temporary quarantine.

3. _______________ In an attempt to stop the spread of the disease, the government of Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide Ebola quarantine in which all residents were made to stay in their homes.

4. _______________ In 2014, there was no safe/effective vaccine to prevent the disease.

5. _______________ After the first Ebola case was reported in Nigeria, the government’s aggressive program to contain and eradicate the disease was successful. By the Fall, the WHO officially declared that Nigeria was free of Ebola virus transmission.

6. _______________ The only way to stop the spread of the disease is to treat infected patients with the “Ebola antidote.”

7. _______________ In a major announcement in September, President Obama called West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak a looming threat to global security and announced he was deploying 3,000 U.S. troops to the region to build tent hospitals.

8. _______________ The Obama administration called for a ban on air travel to and from West African countries affected by the Ebola virus.

9. _______________ Kaci Hickox, the American nurse from Maine, who upon returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa was placed in mandatory quarantine in NJ, said she understood the necessity of such a requirement and placed the well-being of Americans ahead of her own comfort.

ISIS — The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a Sunni Islamist rebel group that controls territory in Iraq and Syria and also operates in eastern Libya, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, and other areas of the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

10. _______________ In January, after ISIS fighters took over the city of Fallujah in Iraq, President Obama referred the terrorists as a “JV team.”

11._______________ In June, the group proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate and claimed religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.

12. _______________ ISIS grew significantly under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and after entering the Syrian Civil War.

13. _______________ Despite the Obama administration calling the group ISIL, in 2014 ISIS renamed itself SHAZAM.

14. _______________ The goal of ISIS is to establish a Sunni Muslim caliphate across the Middle East. Like other Islamic extremist groups, it imposes strict Sharia law in territory it controls.

15. _______________ ISIS forces all Shia Muslims, Christians, Yazidis and anyone who isn’t a Sunni Muslim to convert to their brand of Islam or die.

16. _______________ ISIS terrorists beheaded American soldiers James Foley and Steven Sotloff and have also carried out mass beheadings of soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Syria.

17. _______________ In 2014, Austrian security forces prevented an Islamic State plot to carry out a filmed beheading of a random person in one of the major cities as part of a series of gruesome public executions.

18. _______________ ISIS fighters began attacking the Kurdish city of Kobani, Syria in 2014. Unlike Iraqi soldiers who ran away when confronted by ISIS, the Kurds of Kobani took a stand and continue to fight against ISIS.


MULTIPLE CHOICE.  Directions:  Circle the correct answer.

19. Which country(ies) experienced horrific attacks/murders against civilians by Islamic terrorists in 2014?
a) Nigeria – by Boko Haram
b) Iraq – by ISIS
c) Pakistan – by the Taliban
d) Syria – by ISIS
e) Somalia – by al Shabaab
f) all of the above

20. It was reported that many of the almost 300 teen girls kidnapped from their school in Nigeria in April were forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors. The terrorist group Boko Haram – whose name means “western education is sinful” – has been waging a deadly five-year insurgency aimed at creating a hardline Islamist state there. In response to the kidnappings, President Obama:
a) wished President Jonathan “good luck” in finding the girls
b) sent a task force of U.S. military advisers and hostage negotiators to help the government rescue the girls
c) re-tweeted #bringbackourgirls
d) called on the leaders of the world to form an international coalition to fight Boko Haram

21. In March, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared without a trace. The reason for the plane’s disappearance was:
a) terrorism
b) pilot error
c) mechanical failure
d) a disgruntled employee
e) investigators have no idea, only speculation

22. In July, all 298 people on board another Malaysia Airlines passenger plane died after the airliner crashed in eastern Ukraine. Western nations said there was growing evidence that the plane was shot down by a missile. Who is believed to be responsible for shooting down this plane?
a) Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels
b) Ukrainian government forces
c) Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists
d) North Korea

23. In March, more than 50 countries attended the National Security Summit at the Hague organized by the U.S. Over 30 of these countries signed an agreement to adopt guidelines to improve nuclear security to prevent nuclear and radioactive material from falling into the hands of terrorists. The countries that have nuclear weapons but did not sign the agreement include:
a) Pakistan, China, North Korea, Russia and France
b) France, the U.S., UK, Russia and China
c) Russia, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea
d) China, India, North Korea, Israel and Russia

24. The government of which country banned the national anthem from being performed at weddings, funerals, commercial and other non-political events as a way to “standardize proper etiquette” for the anthem?
a) the U.S.
b) Russia
c) Canada
d) China

25. American journalist Michael Wilner was the only White House correspondent who applied for a Saudi visa to cover President Obama’s 2014 trip to the Gulf country to be denied one. The Saudi Arabian government prevented Mr. Wilner from covering President Obama’s trip by denying him a visa because he is Jewish. The Obama administration reacted to the Saudi government’s blatant anti-Semitism by:
a) saying the U.S. was “very disappointed by the Saudi decision”
b) threatening to cancel the President’s stop in Saudi Arabia unless all White House reporters were granted visas
c) urging the entire White House press corps to boycott the trip
d) inviting Saudi King Abdullah & Mr. Wilner to a beer summit at the White House

26. It was reported in March that over 16% of German companies generate their own electricity (went off the electric companies’ grid) because of increased electricity costs due to:
a) the cold winter weather
b) the increase in the number of employees who charge their phones and tablets from work
c) a 22% government-mandated levy on all electricity bills to fund renewable-energy sources
d) the increased use of coal to power electric plants

27. Tens of thousands of protesters, made up mainly of high school and college students, staged a months-long peaceful protest in _______________ from September to December. They called for full democracy, including open nominations for political candidates.
a) Russia
b) China
c) the U.S.
d) Hong Kong

28. Which countries passed laws against homosexuality in 2014?
a) France, Canada and the Netherlands
b) China, Japan and Thailand
c) Nigeria, Uganda and Chad
d) Colombia, Argentina and Mexico

29. Which country’s president first issued government ID cards for shoppers, then passed rationing laws that force citizens to use a fingerprint scanning system in supermarkets? Customers were/are limited, electronically, to the amount of items they buy each week.
a) Venezuela
b) Cuba
c) North Korea
d) Colombia

30. In _______________ the government, private companies and the public took steps to keep noise to a minimum near exam test locations (as they do every year) to help the over half a million high school students taking annual university entrance exams.
a) India
b) Afghanistan
c) South Korea
d) Japan

31. In November, the governments of Finland and Estonia came to an agreement to link their gas markets by building two liquefied natural gas [LNG] terminals, connected through a pipeline.  This move aimed to reduce both countries’ reliance on natural gas from _______________, (which currently supplies all of Estonia and Finland’s natural gas imports), due to that country’s recently more aggressive foreign policy.
a) the U.S.
b) Canada
c) Russia
d) Ukraine

32. In _______________, November celebrations for their 25th anniversary of the fall of communism turned into protests against the president due to his public support for Russia in the Ukrainian conflict. (The protests that led to the fall of communism in this country in 1989 were nicknamed the Velvet Revolution.)
a) Poland
b) the Czech Republic
c) Russia
d) Germany

33. The _______________ ruled in May that individuals can ask Google to remove links to news articles, legal judgments and other information that comes up during a name search. It was ruled that Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the so-called “right to be forgotten.”
a) United Nations Security Council
b) European Union Court of Justice
c) U.S. Supreme Court
d) International Criminal Court

34. Which of the following is not true about events in Ukraine in 2014?
a) Ukraine’s pro-Russian president fled the capital amid protests; parliament removed him from power and appointed an interim president
c) protests in Ukraine began when its President backed out of a deal with the European Union in favor of Russia
b) Media sources reported the presence of military personnel equipped with Russian weapons and in Russian-made uniform without insignia in Ukraine
d) the governments of Ukraine and Russia have signed a peace treaty after Russia agreed to give Crimea back to Ukraine

35. During the summer of 2014, Israel launched a military operation (Operation Protective Edge) in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The stated aim of the Israeli operation was to stop rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, which had increased after an Israeli crackdown on Hamas in response to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by two Hamas members. At the end of August, _______________ brokered a permanent cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians.
a) the U.S.
b) Iran
c) Egypt
d) Britain


MATCHING.  Directions: Write the letter of his/her description next to each leader’s name.

36. _______ Juan Carlos
37. _______ Ian Khama
38. _______ Nicholas Maduro
39. _______ Narendra Modi
40. _______ Juan Manuel Santos
41. _______ Abdul Fattah al Sisi
42. _______ Kim Jong Un
43. _______ Guy Scott
44. _______ Tayyip Erdogan
45. _______ Dilma Rousseff
46. _______ Haider al-Abadi
47. _______ Blaise Compaoré
48. _______ Evo Morales

a) a white Zambian of Scottish descent; was appointed acting president of Zambia upon the president’s death; the first white leader of any African nation since F.W. de Klerk, the last president of South Africa under apartheid ended there in 1994
b) socialist president who won an unprecedented 3rd term in office; became Bolivia’s first indigenous leader in 2006. He will now continue his program of “indigenous socialism”
c) became prime minister of Iraq when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki finally agreed to step down in August
d) leader of Turkey who “pulled a Putin” by running for president after term limiting out as Prime Minister.  He chose his replacement and is said to call the shots.
e) The former head of Egypt’s armed forces and now president of Egypt. Came to prominence as a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which governed after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
f) president of Colombia, won re-election in June; engaging in peace talks with the guerrilla group FARC
g) socialist who won re-election in Venezuela
h) resigned as President of Burkina Faso after 27 years in the wake of massive protests due to his attempt to amend the constitution to extend his 27-year term
i) announced that he was abdicating, after nearly 40 years on the throne, saying it was time for a new generation. His son, Crown Prince Felipe became the new king of Spain.
j) leftist president of Brazil; first woman to hold the office – barely won re-election in October
k) Supreme leader of North Korea. Won election with 100% of the vote (and “100% of the constituency” voted)
l) won re-election for a second term; the son of Seretse Khama, Botswana’s first president after independence
m) Hindu nationalist, elected 15th Prime Minister of India


NATIONAL NEWS

MULTIPLE CHOICE.  Directions:  Circle the correct answer.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

49. Jeremiah Denton died in March, 2014, at the age of 89. Denton was an American military officer captured by the North Vietnamese in 1965 and held as a POW for seven and a half YEARS. Denton was awarded the Navy Cross for blinking the word _______________ in Morse Code during a propaganda interview conducted by his North Vietnamese captors.
a) SURRENDER
b) HELP
c) OK
d) TORTURE

50. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier who was held captive by the Taliban for 5 years, was released on May 31 when the Obama administration traded him for 5 Taliban terrorists being held at Gitmo without notifying Congress in advance (as required by law). Bergdahl’s release was also controversial because:
a) he wanted to stay with his Taliban friends
b) he deserted his military outpost
c) he was captured by the Taliban after being left behind while on patrol
d) his father had grown a long beard and tried to communicate with the Taliban

51. Andrew Tahmooressi, a decorated U.S. Marine with two tours of combat experience was imprisoned in Mexico after he got lost driving near San Diego, California when he took a wrong turn and accidentally crossed the border. At the crossing, Tahmooressi told Mexican border guards he had three guns he legally purchased in the U.S. in the back of his truck. He thought the guards would let him turn around and head back to the U.S., but instead he was arrested and was held in a Mexican jail for 8 months. In response to requests for help in getting him released, President Obama:
a) took the same action he took for Bowe Bergdahl – swapped 5 Mexican prisoners for Tahmooressi
b) personally called Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and asked him to secure Tahmooressi’s release
c) urged Congress to put a hold on all aid to Mexico until Tahmooressi was released
d) there was no report that President Obama took any action on Sgt. Tahmooressi’s behalf to help secure his release

52. Which leader said to the new ambassadors sent to his country: “If we ignore them [ISIS], I am certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America. These terrorists do not know the name of humanity and you have witnessed them severing heads and giving them to children to walk with in the street.”
a) Saudi King Abdullah
b) British Prime Minister David Cameron
c) U.S. President Barack Obama
d) French President Francois Hollande

HISTORIC ANNIVERSARIES

53. Over 25 years ago, in June 1989, after seven weeks of peaceful, student-led protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, China’s Communist government ordered the military to disperse the protesters. Chinese army troops moved into Tiananmen Square and attacked the crowds, killing and imprisoning thousands. The Chinese government marked the 25th anniversary in 2014 by:
a) launching an official government “History of Tiananmen Square” website
b) teaching about the democracy movement in schools across China
c) barring democracy activists from holding any type of commemoration in the square
d) releasing all dissidents from prison

54. In June, British and American veterans gathered in England to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II. The Normandy landings took place on June 6, 1944 (termed D-Day). The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the liberation of France from Nazi control, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war. The beaches Allied forces landed on on the coast of France on D-Day were codenamed:
a) Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword
b) Utah, Sheboygan, Gold, Juno, and Sword
c) Nevada, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword
d) Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Silver

55. In November Germany marked the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall — the wall that separated communist East Berlin from democratic West Berlin. When giving a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, President Ronald Reagan famously said “_______________, open this gate…tear down this wall.
a) Vladimir Putin
b) Checkpoint Charlie
c) Mr. Stalin
d) Mr. Gorbachev

56. 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI in Europe. _______________ is commemorated every year on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.
a) Veterans Day
b) Armistice Day
c) Memorial Day
d) none of the above

57. 2014 marked the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. The Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships during the Revolutionary War. The fourth stanza of the Star Spangled Banner includes the line:
a) “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’”
b) “The British are coming, the British are coming!”
c) “No tax on tea!”
d) “Taxation without representation”

AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

58. Department of Veterans Affairs: In April, whistleblower allegations of wrongdoing by employees responsible for appointment scheduling at a VA hospital in Phoenix led to high-profile congressional hearings. Soon, investigators from both the department and other federal agencies documented systemic problems across the nation. These problems included employees tampering with official records to hide long wait times for veterans seeking health-care appointments and managers punishing whistleblowers who tried to highlight problems. VA officials had created multiple lists separate from the official electronic waiting list for treatment – fake waiting lists to understate the amount of time veterans had been waiting for medical care – in part _______________.
a) because officials were afraid of President Obama’s reaction
b) so officials could help more veterans get the medical treatment they deserve
c) so officials could get their bonuses
d) because the officials don’t support the use of military force

59. A study, released in April and paid for by the federal government, concluded that biofuels made from corn are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term.
An Associated Press (AP) investigation last year found that a/an _______________ analysis of corn-based ethanol failed to predict the environmental consequences accurately.
a) Big oil
b) EPA
c) Shell Oil
d) Corn Farmers’ Association

60. In October, the FAA for the first time authorized the use of commercial drones by allowing six movie companies to use them for films and television shows. The government chose the movie companies first, according to the FAA’s director, because:
a) “Who doesn’t like a good movie?”
b) “the perks from movie studios are better than those from other groups”
c) they were “thoroughly satisfied these operations would not pose a hazard to other aircraft or to people and property on the ground”
d) “it is a lot more interesting to work with movie people than farmers or law enforcement”

61. The U.S. Department of Transportation gives money to the states for federal and state/local roads through The Highway Trust Fund. Since 2008, Congress has given the Highway Trust Fund billions of dollars to keep it afloat. Congress secured the extra funds by:
a) investigating and eliminating fraud and waste in the current system
b) new borrowing that added to the national debt
c) passing a law to increase the national gas tax
d) using money allocated for Obamacare subsidies

62. Coal is currently used to produce _______________ of our nation’s electricity–more than any other fuel. Because it is cheap and abundant and can be stored on power plant grounds, it helps keep prices stable and power flowing even when demand spikes. In June, the EPA proposed a rule designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants by as much as 30 percent by 2030.
a) 4 percent
b) 40 percent
c) .4 percent
d) 94 percent

63. In 2014, the _______________ rolled out nationwide calorie labeling rules requiring businesses that sell prepared foods and have 20 or more locations to post the calorie content of food and beverages “clearly and conspicuously” on their menus, menu boards and displays. Calorie labeling became law as part of Obamacare 4 years ago; companies will have one year to comply with the new regulations.
a) FCC
b) EPA
c) FAA
d) FDA

64. In December, Orion, NASA’s newest spacecraft for carrying humans beyond low-Earth orbit, passed its initial flight test. This is the first craft designed to carry humans to leave low-Earth orbit since the Apollo program’s final manned trip to the moon in December _______________.
a) 1952
b) 1972
c) 2002
d) 2012

65. In December, the Democrat-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee chose to make public its report on CIA detention and interrogation in the wake of 9/11.  This was done despite the fact that U.S. intelligence agencies and foreign governments have said privately that the release of the report on CIA interrogations a decade ago will be used by extremists to incite violence that is likely to cost lives.  In an op-ed piece, several former CIA directors expressly refuted the accusation that the CIA’s interrogation program was ineffective in producing intelligence.  The former CIA officials listed three successful outcomes of the CIA interrogation program. Which one was not on their list?
a) Interrogations led to the capture of senior al Qaeda operatives, thereby removing them from the battlefield
b) Interrogations led to the disruption of terrorist plots and prevented mass casualty attacks, saving American and Allied lives
c) Interrogations led to the rehabilitation of most of the senior members of al Qaeda
d) Interrogations added enormously to what we knew about al Qaeda as an organization and therefore informed our approaches on how best to attack, thwart and degrade it

66. In May, 49 of 53 Democratic Senators wrote to the NFL asking the organization to force the Washington Redskins to change the team’s name because the Senators consider it racially offensive. In a letter to Democratic Senator Harry Reid responding to the Senators’ letter to the NFL, Redskins president Bruce Allen:
a) told Senator Reid to mind his own business
b) cited a respected poll to prove that Native Americans are not offended by the team name
c) asked why the name should matter because Native Americans don’t play pro-football
d) offered to give Senator Reid lifetime season passes

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION POLICIES

67. In June, President Obama promised he would use executive action to change U.S. immigration policy by summer’s end because he wasn’t able to work with Congress to implement immigration reform. In September, the White House announced that President Obama would only take action on immigration reform:
a) if he could convince Congress to agree to his changes
b) if he could also permanently secure the borders
c) on his last day in office
d) after the midterm elections

68. During the UN General Assembly this year, President Obama attended a meeting on global warming where he discussed his own “climate action plan” and urged other countries to follow through. Of significance was the fact that the two countries with the largest populations in the world _______________ and _______________ did not attend.
a) India and China
b) Indonesia and Bangladesh
c) Saudi Arabia and Japan
d) China and Egypt

69. President Obama has dragged out approval of the Keystone XL pipeline for his full six years in office, giving various excuses along the way. The reason supporters of the pipeline’s construction think President Obama has delayed approval of Keystone XL is:
a) to appease environmentalists in his party
b) to appease Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich government
c) to appease electric car makers, who need oil prices to remain high as a way to increase sales
d) to appease U.S. workers who would benefit from the jobs Keystone construction would provide

70. President Obama announced in October that he would use executive action to increase the program to unite _______________ already living in the U.S. with family members abroad in 2015. This will allow as many as 100,000 _______________ to immigrate to the U.S. without a visa and legally apply for work permits. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley opposed the President’s executive action, saying it is “an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority” and that “the president’s continued push to circumvent Congressional authority and ignore the rule of law sets a bad precedent for the future.”  (same answer for both blanks)
a) Saudis
b) Somalis
c) Mexicans
d) Haitians

71. When the Affordable Care Act enrollment began its second year on Nov. 15, a number of low-priced health insurance plans:
a) were made available to all Americans, regardless of their income
b) maintained the same rates for 2015
c) lowered rates for 2015
d) increased rates for 2015

72. In December, after 18 months of secret talks, President Obama announced he would normalize relations (ease restrictions on travel and trade) with the Communist-run island of Cuba. He then released three Cuban intelligence agents who served long U.S. prison terms for spying on Cuban exile groups in Florida. What did he say Cuba would do in return that they did not immediately do?
a) lift the embargo
b) take “significant steps toward democracy,” including the freeing of all political prisoners in Cuban jails
c) send a box of Cuban cigars to every member of Congress
d) publicly apologize to the “Ladies in White”

IN THE SCHOOLS

73. During the first week of school in September, over 100 students in a NYC public high school – Tottenville High – were pulled out of the hallway for breaking the school’s dress code. The dress code crackdown forced the students to either cover up, or wait in the auditorium until a parent arrived with appropriate attire. The new principal:
a) fired the custodians who decided to enforce the dress code policy
b) implemented the dress code as part of an overall enforcement of existing school rules and discipline code
c) does not approve of the new dress code
d) responded to complaints by changing the policy

74. The school’s dress code policy reads: “All clothing and accessories must not be disruptive to teaching and learning.” The principal explained that the regulations are necessary to prepare students for college and the workforce. The dress code policy is named:
a) “What Not to Wear”
b) “Tottenville High School Dress Code Policy”
c) “Dress for Success”
d) “Say Yes to the Dress”

75. A growing number of lawmakers want to pass laws in their state that, in order to graduate from high school, students would have to pass the _______________ test given to immigrants who want to become citizens. (According to a recent Annenberg survey, only 36 percent of American adults could name all three branches of government; 35 percent couldn’t name any.)
a) civics
b) math
c) U.S. geography
d) English

THE COURTS

76. In November, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request from Kansas and Arizona which asked that the federal voter registration form include proof of _______________ from those registering to vote in Arizona and Kansas. The states asked the Court to intervene with the U.S. Election Commission because they had passed laws making this a requirement to vote but it is not a requirement on the federal voter registration form.
a) valid drivers license
b) high school graduation
c) U.S. citizenship
d) a college degree

77. In April the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a _______________ state constitutional amendment banning racial preferences. The Court ruled that voters had a right to ban affirmative action in their state via a ballot initiative.
a) Massachusetts
b) Oklahoma
c) Michigan
d) Louisiana

78. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Hobby Lobby’s owners objected to a provision requiring businesses to include coverage of certain “contraceptives”.  The Green family had no moral objection to the use of 16 of 20 contraceptives required in the mandate, and Hobby Lobby would continue its longstanding practice of covering these preventive contraceptives for its employees. They only objected to being forced to provide 4 potentially life-threatening drugs and devices. These drugs include the morning-after pill and the week-after pill. They argued that this portion of the Obamacare law violated their _______________.
[In their ruling, the justices broke new legal ground by affirming that corporations, not just individual Americans or religious nonprofits, may claim these rights.] a) right to choose
b) religious rights
c) freedom of speech
d) 5th amendment rights

79. By November, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear another case against Obamacare regulations.  This one focused on whether residents of states that use the _______________ are entitled to insurance tax credits. At stake are subsidies that make plans cheaper for millions of consumers, and are critical to making the law work.
a) federal insurance exchange
b) state insurance exchange
c) both a and b
d) neither a nor b

80. The _______________ ruled in May that city councils and other public boards are free to open their meetings with an explicitly Christian prayer, declaring that judges may not act as “censors of religious speech” simply because the prayers reflect the views of the dominant faith.
a) Obama administration
b) U.S. Attorney General
c) Secretary of State
d) U.S. Supreme Court

PRIVACY/SECURITY/TECHNOLOGY

81. It was revealed in 2014 that the NSA can record _______________ of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to play back conversations up to a month after they take place.
a) some
b) none
c) most
d) all

82. The revelation that police departments across the country are tracking vehicle tags/license plates across the U.S., regardless of whether the drivers are being investigated by law enforcement, has angered many who say their _______________ are being violated.
a) civil rights
b) civil liberties
c) free speech
d) freedom to assemble

83. Government and law enforcement officials say the collection of license plate data across the U.S. is needed to help with _______________, either to incriminate or exonerate a suspect.
a) civil lawsuits
b) private investigations
c) criminal investigations
d) government control of the people

84. In September, CVS stores stopped selling _______________ in all of its stores.
a) tobacco products
b) alcohol
c) Plan B pills
d) candy and soda

IN THE STATES

85. Nearly 69,000 unaccompanied children, mainly from Central America, streamed across the southwest border in 2014, a 77% increase from the previous year. Roughly as many migrants, typically mothers and children, came in family units, a 360% jump.  In June, scores of illegal immigrants from Central America were released at bus stations in Tucson and Phoenix over several days after they were flown by _______________ to Arizona from Texas.
a) Texas Governor Rick Perry
b) Federales
c) U.S. federal officials
d) coyotes

86. The illegal immigrants were flown to Arizona and released at bus stops because:
a) they were meeting family members at the bus station
b) Greyhound had a special deal on one-way tickets
c) because this was the most responsible and lawful action that could have been taken
d) detention facilities were full after a surge in immigrants crossing the border illegally

87. In November, a federal appeals court upheld traditional marriage laws in four states, setting up the prospect of Supreme Court review. At least 30 states had approved marriage laws and/or state amendments stating that marriage was between one man and one woman only. Why are these laws, passed by a large majority of voters, no longer in effect in most states?
a) because the voters passed a second law which made same-sex marriage legal
b) because federal judges struck down the legislation and/or amendments, calling them unconstitutional
c) because U.S. Congress passed a federal law legalizing same-sex marriage across the country
d) because President Obama took executive action to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states

88. In February, _______________ Governor Jan Brewer vetoed legislation that would have protected businesses, corporations and people in her state from lawsuits if they deny services based on a sincere religious belief. The main issue Gov. Brewer had to decide was whether she believed the law was necessary to protect religious freedom.
a) New Mexico
b) Arizona
c) Texas
d) Arkansas

89. The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation announced in February that _______________ in California’s Central Valley would get none of the water they requested from a federally controlled system because of the drought.
a) cities
b) environmentalists
c) farmers
d) florists

90. In 2014, Maryland utility companies began installing digital meters, which transmit usage and other data wirelessly, in all homes and businesses. Customers opposed to having smart meters installed in their homes expressed concerns over privacy, data security and the low level radiation the meters emit. The Maryland Public Service Commission (government regulators) announced in February that customers who don’t want smart meters installed in their homes will:
a) have to pay their power company an up-front fee, plus a monthly charge to opt out
b) can opt out without penalty
c) cannot opt out
d) get a discount on their bill if they opt out

91. In 2014, Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy of _______________ signed into law a measure that would raise his state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, making it the first state to pass legislation establishing a $10.10 minimum wage.
a) California
b) Connecticut
c) New York
d) Florida

92. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in May that Texas leads the nation in job growth and the number of housing units built. The industries that are causing such enormous growth in Texas are:
a) automotive, agriculture and tourism
b) gambling, tobacco and firearms
c) technology, finance and oil
d) health care, telecommunications and government jobs

93. This year’s historic midterm elections saw the GOP pick up nine Senate seats. Republicans will hold 54 seats in that chamber in the next Congress, to the Democrats’ 46. The Democrats’ Senate loss represented the biggest in the chamber that any president’s party had suffered since 1958, during Dwight Eisenhower’s second term. In the House, the GOP will hold 247 seats, the largest majority either party has held since 1931. Republicans also made sweeping advances in:
a) governorships
b) the federal court system
c) state legislatures
d) the U.S. Supreme Court

94. In October, _______________ became the first state in the nation to ban grocery stores from handing out plastic bags with customers’ purchases. Opponents of the bill banning the use of plastic bags said the statewide ban is government overreach.
a) Colorado
b) Massachusetts
c) California
d) Washington

95. Voters in Berkeley, California have passed a law that will impose a 1-cent-an-ounce tax on soda. Which one of the following is also included in the tax?
a) chocolate milk
b) 100% juice drinks
c) diet sodas
d) energy drinks

96. Which issue was not on a ballot measure in any state in the 2014 elections?
a) abortion
b) raising the minimum wage
c) marijuana legalization
d) bans on smoking in public places

97. In 2014, health officials in the town of Westminster, Massachusetts proposed banning privately owned businesses from selling _______________. After a huge public outcry, the 3 member board, which would have implemented the ban for the whole town, voted 2-1 to drop the proposal. Opponents had said the proposed ban, which would have been the first of its kind in the state, was a sign of excessive government interference in private life.
a) any tobacco product
b) lottery tickets
c) snack foods
d) sugary drinks

98. Voters in all but which one of the following voted on whether to legalize recreational marijuana in the 2014 elections?
a) Washington D.C.
b) Texas
c) Alaska
d) Oregon

99. In October, the Colorado Health Department recommended that marijuana regulators ban many _______________ forms of marijuana, and limit legal sales of pot-infused food to lozenges and tinctures because many forms of this type of marijuana “are naturally attractive to children.”
a) drinkable
b) sprayable
c) edible
d) smokable

100. After a 3 month investigation, USA Today reported in November that _______________ could not even say how much marijuana has been grown and sold in the state since it became legal on Jan. 1. In multiple cases, _______________ found stores had far more marijuana than they were disclosing – believed to be a way for the store owners to avoid paying taxes on those sales or selling the extra on the black market.  (same answer for both blanks)
a) Colorado pot shop owners
b) pot “tourists”
c) Colorado state marijuana regulators
d) federal regulators


EXTRA CREDIT QUESTIONS
(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 news issue/event of 2014? Explain your answer.

  1. Obamacare architect calls Americans “stupid”:  The revelation that Jonathan Gruber said the government could rely on the American people’s stupidity to push Obamacare through. Several videos surfaced in which he called American voters “stupid,” suggesting that a “lack of transparency” in the Affordable Care Act contributed to passage of the law, and his comments that there was a need to conceal the Obamacare tax on health insurance in order to get it passed. One video showed Mr. Gruber saying Obamacare passed in part because “the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”
  2. The long wait times at the Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities due to corrupt VA officials.
    The VA scandal:  Officials at the Phoenix VA hospital were accused of keeping a secret wait list of veterans who were seeking health care. This list was kept out of sight of federal regulators, who were instead sent documents that vastly underreported how long it took for patients in Phoenix to see a doctor. An official investigation found the wait list contributed to deaths as many as 40 veterans. VA officials didn’t report those long wait times to the federal government because they wanted to get pay bonuses hospitals receive for keeping wait times short. The scandal at the Phoenix hospital also led to greater scrutiny of other VA-run facilities and whether they also have unacceptable wait times for patients. Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs resigned as a result of the scandal.
  3. White House security breech – fence jumper makes it across the lawn, through an unlocked door, past the staircase to the first family’s residence and into the East room of White House after running past one secret service agent then overpowering a female agent. The Secret Service originally misrepresented how far into the White House the intruder got, saying at first he only made it inside the door. Julia Pierson, the first female director of the Secret Service, resigned in the wake of a subsequent congressional inquiry uncovering other security lapses.
  4. Thomas Frieden, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):  Incompetent response to the Ebola cases in the U.S. Calls by many for his resignation.
  5. Border crisis:   Unaccompanied children from Central America illegally entering the U.S., and the Obama administration’s response.
  6. The historic wins made by the Republicans in the midterm elections
  7. The controversial executive actions / executive orders made by President Obama
  8. More states legalizing recreational marijuana; subsequent fallout over dangers of edible marijuana…
  9. The Sony hacking; controversy over The Interview movie mocking Kim Jong Un
  10. other

What do you think was the most important world news issue/event of 2014? Explain your answer.

  1. the disappearance of the Malaysia airplane
  2. the Ebola crisis
  3. the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria; their barbaric atrocities committed against Yazidis, Christians and anyone who doesn’t follow their strict brand of Islam; their televised beheadings of American journalists and the U.S. response
  4. The continued atrocities committed by Boko Haram, an Islamic Jihadist and terrorist organization based in northeast Nigeria, including the murder of schoolboys, threats against other schools which led to the closure of schools in one Nigerian state, the April kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls – their forced conversion to Islam and forced marriages to Islamic fighters.
  5. The murder of 3 Israeli teenagers by Hamas terrorists, and subsequent Israeli/Palestinian war and the follow-up attacks on Israeli civilians (running over people waiting for a bus; a knife attack and murder of four rabbis praying in a synagogue, etc.)
  6. the crisis in Ukraine
  7. other

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