Frozen hair and polar vortexes aside, 2014 was the hottest year on record worldwide, according to recently released data from the Japan Meteorological Agency. In fact, 14 out of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. Bottom line: climate change is happening; it’s as real as gravity.
Wednesday’s attack at the Paris office of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is thought to have been the work of killers who believe cartoons can be so offensive that they justified the murder of 12 people. When should free speech be protected and why?
Although Monday is officially recognized as Martin Luther King Day, today is the civil rights leader’s actual birthday. Born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929, King would have turned 86 today. How much do you actually know about him and the movement he led? (Article continues below quiz.)
2014 marked a heightened public scrutiny of police departments around the country igniting deep racial tensions and putting a sharper focus on police racial demographics. A less addressed factor, though that may impact police-community relations is officer residency rates. Here’s a map that illustrates the percentage of cops who actually live in the communities they serve in the Bay Area.
Roughly 1 billion people lived on our planet in 1800. And that was a pretty major milestone, considering it took all of human history — at least 50,000 years — to reach that point. But today, a little more than 200 years later, our population is more than 7.2 billion strong.
In the sea that is breaking news, 2014 was a tsunami. A multitude of tumultuous events shook the world this year (sometimes literally). And although it’d be silly to attempt to quantify the “most important” stories, it is worth looking at the topics that American audiences were most drawn to and that seemed to have the greatest impact.
Break out the cigars (the good ones)! The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, ending 50 years of Cold War hostilities between the two nations, President Obama announced today. Check out this interactive timeline that shows the history of Cuba and U.S. relations.
High school students across California this fall created and entered editorial cartoons in a contest that included schools from Chula Vista down south to Ukiah up north. See the winners here.
A New York grand jury in early December voted to not criminally charge a white police officer in the choking death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man. The decision came just 10 days after a Missouri grand jury declined to charge Darren Wilson. Here is an effort to explain a process that’s been thrust into the spotlight over the past two weeks, but remains pretty vague: the Grand Jury.
Circles in the map below are scaled according to the number of sworn officers in each police department. As shown in the blue legend at bottom, the shade of each circle indicates the size of the race gap between the police force (sworn officers) and the population; the darker the circle, the larger the gap.
Bring news, civics and current affairs into the classroom with new KQED News Education resource, The Lowdown.
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