By Raven Rodriguez
Many people are finding more money left in their wallets lately as gas prices have dropped. AAA reports also suggest that prices will continue to drop in the summer of 2015 if there are no refinery issues and things stay stable in the Middle East.
The gas prices have been rising and dropping over the years. In January, prices dropped to the lowest they had been in six years, with the average price being $2.03 per gallon. Prices rose again and were up to an average of $2.43 per gallon in March, according to an April report by AAA.
“I would like to see gas prices continue to go down,” Biology teacher Mr. Jeremy Granger said.
“Prices on gas are too high.” Junior Natalie Couret said. “I would hope that they would stay at an exact amount that was cheap.”
When crude oil prices go up or down gas prices follow. With changes in the world supply and demand oil prices have been going down. The gas price has a lot to do with demand.
For example, during the summer a lot of people go on vacation/trips, with using more gas than a person usually would on a regular basis it causes the demand for gas to spike.
There are other small factors to changes in gas prices. With things as simple as competition between gas stations. Competition may not seem like a big deal. But it does happen between gas stations. According to an article from U.S. News and World report from 2011.
There could be two gas stations right across from each other and they’d both have different prices for the gas.
Competition is however not the only reason that these two gas stations have different prices. One gas station might lower the price in order to bring in more customers.
As always, the cheaper the gas the better for the wallet.
Russia’s occupation in Ukraine raises concerns within the international community as the United Nations collectively try to resolve the issue.
By Bella McCarey
Once again, America has intensely focused their attention on foreign affairs with the growing crisis in Ukraine, this time with reluctance towards becoming involved with Russia due to our weary Cold War relations.
The crisis initially began when over 300,000 Ukrainian protesters took to the streets of Kiev’s Independence Square in early December, leading to the overthrow of the Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych. The protests were caused by the Ukrainian government’s refusal of a trading deal that would lead to a stronger relationship with the west. Instead, they accepted a payout from Russia. From Dec. 1 to Feb. 20, 91 protesters were killed during the series of riots.
Ukraine is divided on the issue, with the eastern part of the country looking forward to Russia becoming more involved in their country in regions such as Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk and Crimea. The other half of the country, including the capital Kiev, are pro-Western and are opposed to associations with a country that has fallen behind the rest of the world by a time span of decades.
Following Yanukovych’s flee from Ukraine, the former Prime Minister of the country Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison and set May 25 aside for the new elections.
With the upcoming deadline of the elections, Russian president Vladimir Putin has taken quick action to make sure that Russian citizens of Crimea and the far eastern region aren’t affected by the new election.
A recent vote put forth by Putin has given the Russian-proclaimed people of Ukraine a voice in whether they would like to remain where they are or embrace their true nationality.
The vote swayed in favor of a partition, immediately granting Putin access to the Black Sea, ultimately causing an international uproar.
The UN Security Council recently held a meeting on Apr. 14 to discuss the crisis, with international diplomats coming to the agreement that Russia can’t simply take a part of Ukraine without direct supervision of the international community and a formal vote overseen by UN officials. Major concerns are that unmarked Russian troops will continue to invade, with the eventual goal of annexing the entire eastern part of the country, which it will incite a civil war in Ukraine.
“Russia, which shares a large border with Ukraine, as well as the broader European region faces spillover effect of potentially severe consequences,” assistant secretary-general for political affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said in a public statement. “Such scenarios will also have repercussions for the entire international community.”
For the United States, President Obama has spoken for the entire country that this is not an issue that we should be heavily involved with.
The Commander-in-Chief has a history of allowing diplomatic issues to sit in a binder at the corner of his resolute English oak desk for months on end, and it is no surprise that he is taking some heat for how he is handling this issue.
In a public statement to the country, President Obama has stated that popular sovereignty will be upheld internationally by his administration. “I don’t think we can be sure of anything [in the Ukrainian crisis]. I think there is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may deescalate the situation.”
Over the last month President Obama has contacted Vladimir Putin regarding Russia’s occupation in Ukraine and has made it known that he does not want to engage American troops in this conflict, however if worse comes to worse, that may be necessary.
“We’re not going to know whether there is follow through on these statements for several days,” Obama said.
News outlets have voiced that Obama’s words are just filling space and time from now until mid-term elections in November. “With Russia’s incursion into Ukraine reviving Cold War-style tensions,” Reuters.com staff writer Steve Holland from Washington writes, “President Barack Obama is at risk of suffering a blow to his credibility at a time when he can least afford it: as he tries to convince voters to stick with his fellow Democrats in congressional elections that will help shape his legacy.”
It is a legacy that is in danger of being laid to rest, should Obama continue to throw around empty, meaningless threats. Economic sanctions have been set up against Ukraine but that is the extent of the United States involvement.
So the question Washington now faces is where to go from here. It has been pointed out by news outlets and late night talk shows that we have invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq for almost 12 years so it is not our place or right to interject. However, a significant difference is that we never annexed a part of those countries, we merely bombed them and are now spending billions of dollars to repair the damage.
The media and a select few politicians are intently watching as more events unfold and with every fresh news release, Russia comes closer and closer to obtaining one of its former Soviet Union regions.
By Seth Crider
Last November Puerto Rican’s took part in a two-part referendum in which they were asked to contribute to a poll about the status of their “multi-identity” homeland. The results were surprising, but not completely conclusive, now the floodgates have been open for an ongoing debate on Puerto Rico’s path forward.
The first question asked voters if they supported Puerto Rico’s status as an island commonwealth; 54 percent voted no.
The second question asked for an alternative to their current status and a reported 61 percent of those that voted chose statehood. However 480,000 people chose not to answer the second question.
Other referendums in the past, for instance, those administered in 1967, 1993, and 1998 were not conclusive and failed to uphold a majority. Why is there then a sudden output of citizens supporting American statehood more than ten years since the last referendum?
Puerto Rican Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock proposed that “An economic downturn and shrinking population were the factors that contributed to the support for statehood.”
In 1952 Puerto Rico became a commonwealth under the United States with a limited self-government. Meaning that the government of Puerto Rico determines local affairs such as taxation, language, and health of its citizens. The Federal Government of the United States determines state affairs like immigration, defense, currency, and foreign trade.
That also means that the more than 4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico are not included in the election of our president every four years.
According to “Nation, Migration, Identity: The Case of Puerto Ricans” by Jorge Duany from the University of Puerto Rico, “Since the 1940s, more than 1.6 million islanders have relocated abroad. Today, nearly half of all persons of Puerto Rican origin live in the continental United States.”
This “transmigration” of people to and from Cuba have drastically changed the landscape of cultural opinions of its members since its conception as a commonwealth. That also means economic changes, and shifts of political orientation.
Duany also adds in his report, “ More specifically, I propose that the emergence of cultural nationalism as a dominant discourse in Puerto Rico is partly the result of a growing diaspora since the 1940s. Puerto Ricans have increasingly moved away from imagining the Island as a sovereign territory apart from the United States, and yet most continue to cling to the notion that Puerto Rico is a distinct nation with its own territory, language, and culture.”
Jorge Benitez a Professor of History at the University of Puerto Rico is also unsure of the ballot but is keen to the always changing Puerto Rico.
“This isn’t to say that support for statehood hasn’t increased; it has,” said Benitez. “But the only thing we can decipher with certainty from the vote is that the people of Puerto Rico want a change to the current status.”
And with Puerto Rico’s New Progressive Party pushing legislation to U.S Congress this month to address statehood it may be sooner than later that the U.S confronts what type of Puerto Rico...Puerto Rico wants.