Concerns at Home and Abroad: Michael and Jamal – Natural Disaster and International Disaster

CLP Current Event: October 16, 2018

The news cycle is crowded with significant events so we chose two for this week: Hurricane Michael & Jamal Khashoggi. These recent disasters deserve our concern and our scrutiny as citizens of the United States and the world.

Brought to teachers by Susie Marcus, CLP consultant, with CLP staff.


News Sources

Hurricane Michael (7)

After Hurricane Michael: Shortages, mourning, darkness, by John Bacon, USA Today, October 14, 2018
“Gas was in short supply, power outages were rampant and search teams continued their arduous tasks Sunday as Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Michael remained painfully slow along the coast of the state’s battered Panhandle.”

18 people are dead from Hurricane Michael. That number will only rise., by Stravos Agorakis, Vox, October 13. 2018
“’Unfortunately, I think you’re going to see [the death toll] climb,” Brock Long, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, said on Friday afternoon. ‘We still haven’t gotten into some of the hardest-hit areas.’”

Michael’s death toll jumps as crews search for survivors – live updates, October 13, 2018, CBS News
“Florida emergency officials say they have rescued nearly 200 people and checked 25,000 structures since Hurricane Michael battered the state this week. Authorities said they had wrapped up their initial rapid searches and had begun more-intense searches including inspecting collapsed buildings.”
CLP: Variety of short video clips and pictures

Historic and horrendous Hurricane Michael by the numbers, by Ian Livingston, The Washington Post, October 12, 2108
“Hurricane Michael enters the books as the fourth-strongest (based on wind, third-strongest based on pressure) hurricane to make landfall in the United States in modern recorded history. It was the worst storm on record for the Florida Panhandle, one of the worst ever in Georgia and Alabama, and continued to deliver a heavy blow as it charged across the Mid-Atlantic.”

Dangerous Rapidly Intensifying Landfalling Hurricanes Like Michael and Harvey May Grown More Common, by Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground, October 12, 2018
“The analysis found that the odds of a hurricane intensifying by 70 mph or greater in the 24 hours just before landfall were about once every 100 years in the climate of the late 20th century. But in the climate of the year 2100, these odds increased to once every 5 – 10 years. What’s more, 24-hour pre-landfall intensifications of 115 mph or more—which were essentially nonexistent in the late 20th Century climate—occurred as often as once every 100 years by the year 2100. The major metropolitan areas most at risk for extreme intensification rates just before landfall included Houston, New Orleans, Tampa/St. Petersburg, and Miami.”

Search and Rescue Begins Amid Ruins of Florida Coast, by Richard Fausset, Patricia Mazzei and Alan Blinder, The New York Times, October 11, 2018
“Although it was clear by afternoon that the storm had caused widespread damage, some areas remained largely cut off, and the authorities were trying to deploy rescuers by helicopter and boat.”

We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN, by Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, October 8, 2018
“The world is currently 1C warmer than preindustrial levels. Following devastating hurricanes in the US, record droughts in Cape Town and forest fires in the Arctic, the IPCC makes clear that climate change is already happening, upgraded its risk warning from previous reports, and warned that every fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact.”

Jamal Khashoggi (7 articles)

Saudis preparing to admit Jamal Khashoggi died during interrogation, sources say, by Clarissa Ward and Tim Lister, CNN, October 15, 2018
“One source says the report will likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and transparency and that those involved will be held responsible.
One of the sources acknowledged that the report is still being prepared and cautioned that things could change.”

Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates, Al Jazeera, October 15, 2018
“Turkish investigators will search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Monday afternoon, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said according to AP news agency. For the last week, authorities have sought to enter the Saudi consulate, the place where Khashoggi was last seen before his disappearance according to CCTV footage.”
CLP: Updated as new information comes in

Trump suggests ‘rogue killers’ possibly involved with Khashoggi, says Saudi King denies involvement, by Adam Edelman, NBC News, October 15, 2018
“Moments after Trump’s tweet, the president told reporters at the White House that, from his conversation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ‘it sounded to me like maybe these could’ve been rogue killers.’”

Saudi King Orders Probe in Khashoggi Case, Turkey to Search Consulate, by Reuters, Haaretz, October 15, 2018
“A Turkish diplomatic source said investigators would inspect the consulate on Monday afternoon, following delays last week when the two countries agreed to work together to find out what happened to Khashoggi, a critic of the Kingdom’s policies.”

Saudi crown prince’s carefully managed rise hides dark side, by Jon Gambrell, Yahoo Finance, October 14, 2018
“While pushing for women to drive, he has overseen the arrest of women’s rights activists. While calling for foreign investment, he has imprisoned businessmen, royals and others in a crackdown on corruption that soon resembled a shakedown of the kingdom’s most powerful people.”

Trump doesn’t want to stop arms sales deal with Saudi Arabia over missing journalist, by Christal Hayes, USA Today, October 13, 2018
“Trump, during a Saturday afternoon news conference in the Oval Office, said “we would be punishing ourselves” by canceling arms sales to Saudi Arabia. He said the U.S. was competing against China and Russia for the $110 billion deal with the country.”

Trump vows ‘severe punishment’ if Saudis killed Jamal Khashoggi, by Martin Pengelly, The Guardian, October 13, 2018
“Donald Trump does not want to “hurt jobs” by sanctioning Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, but has nonetheless promised ‘severe punishment’ if regime involvement in the journalist’s death is confirmed.”

After the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia’s multimillion-dollar public relations effort in the US called into question, by Tucker Higgins, CNBC, October 12, 2018
“Graham’s dramatic plea points to a potentially devastating problem for Saudi Arabia, a country whose young crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has been heralded as a visionary reformist leader. On Wednesday, nearly two dozen lawmakers demanded that the Trump administration investigate the circumstances of Khashoggi’s disappearance.”

Questions to Consider

Hurricane Michael (7 questions)
  • Why do hurricanes develop? What response can we make?
  • What is the role of the federal government? What is FEMA?
  • Do the number of hurricanes and weather events in 2018 suggest a pattern of change in climate? Do warmer oceans increase the danger that hurricanes pose?
  • Might we expect additional weather catastrophes in the United States and around the world (reference Indonesia)?
  • Is devastation the correct word to describe Hurricane Michael?
  • What will be needed to restore basic needs in the states where Hurricane Michael struck?
  • What are the long term human and economic consequences of Hurricane Michael?
Jamal Khashoggi (12 questions)
  • Who is Jamal Khashoggi?
  • Who is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)of Saudi Arabia?
  • Why would Saudi Arabia want to eliminate a journalist who criticizes the royal family? What criticisms of the Saudi government has Mr. Khashoggi made?
  • How does his disappearance affect the crucial role of the press and our relationship with Saudi Arabia?
  • Since the location of Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible murder is Turkey, what complications does that bring?
  • What do we lose when journalists are threatened?
  • Does the fact that Mr. Khashoggi was a journalist for the Washington Post enhance our concern? Is this a human rights issue as well as a freedom of the press issue and or a foreign policy issue?
  • What is the role of the President? Should the United States attend the International Conference on Economics and Finance in Saudi Arabia?
  • What is the role of Congress?
  • What does “stand up” to Saudi Arabia mean?
  • What is the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act?
  • Why are both these events newsworthy and important? What might be the economic impact of both Hurricane Michael and the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi? What voice do citizens have to make a difference on both matters?

Background and More

Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040, by Coral Davenport, The New York Times, October 7, 2018
“The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.”

Khashoggi on life under MBS: ‘Nobody dares to speak’, Al Jazeera, October, 10, 2018
“In the debate [full transcript below], UpFront host Mehdi Hasan pressed Khashoggi and two others on whether Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known colloquially in the West as MBS, is truly an anti-corruption and pro-rights reformer and whether the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is really on a path to reform and moderation.”

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan: The Fury of Nature: Hurricanes and the Gulf Coast, Texas Moving Image Archive Program
CLP: Grades 9-12

Natural Disasters: Nature’s Fury Lesson Overview
CLP: Grades 6-8, 9-12

House of Saud
CLP: Grades 9-12; documentary

Saudi Arabia, Scholastic
CLP: Grades 3-5, 6-8

Previous CLP Current Events:
Climate Change
Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Arab World

Constitutional and Legal Connections

What is the Global Magnitsky Act, and why are U.S. senators invoking this on Saudi Arabia?, by Jordan Tama, The Washington Post, October 12, 2018
“A bipartisan group of 11 Democratic and 11 Republican senators sent a letter to President Trump this week, calling for an investigation and a determination of whether to impose sanctions on foreign government officials because of Khashoggi’s reported disappearance, ‘including with respect to the highest ranking officials in the Government of Saudi Arabia.’”

Bipartisan group of senators calls for investigation into Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, by Grace Segers, CBS News, October 10, 2018
“The letter, written by Republican Sens. Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham and Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez and Patrick Leahy, called for Mr. Trump to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which allows the president to impose sanctions on a person or country that has engaged in a human rights violation. The investigation is triggered by a letter to the president from the chair and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Corker and Menendez, respectively.”

Oregon Connections

Tens of thousands of Oregon homeowners bracing for financial impact of Hurricane Michael, by Joe Douglass, KATU, October 9, 2018
“But on the other side of the country KATU discovered the hurricane may have another kind of impact, raising the flood insurance rates of tens of thousands of homeowners in Oregon.”

Oregon State Social Science Standards

8.8 Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
8.13 Explain how current and historical technological developments have influenced sustainability in the United States.
8.14 Explain rights and responsibilities of citizens.
8.21 Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
8.26 Examine a controversial event, issue, or problem from more than one perspective.
HS.20 Analyze the impact on physical and human systems of resource development, use, and management and evaluate the issues of sustainability.
HS.31 Describe United States foreign policy and evaluate its impact on the United States and other countries.
HS.33 Explain the role of government in various current events.
HS.35 Examine the pluralistic realities of society (e.g., race, poverty, gender and age), recognizing issues of equity, and evaluating need for change.
HS.59 Demonstrate the skills and dispositions needed to be a critical consumer of information.
HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.

We the People Lesson Connections

Middle School, Level 2

  • Unit 6, Lesson 29: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 30: How might citizens participate in civic affairs?

High School, Level 3

  • Unit 6, Lesson 33: What does it mean to be a citizen?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 34: What is the importance of civic engagement to American constitutional democracy?