US Presidential Elections 2k16

As it is widely known, 2016 is the year of the US presidential elections. There are many opinions about who will win these elections, many of which involve Donald Trump. Trump is the most popular of these candidates being portrayed by the media as a narcissistic racist with a very bad haircut and fake tan. But we didn’t want the opinion of the media, so we decided to get the opinions of some people who would qualify for voting in these elections. We interviewed two Americans, a Republican and a Democrat, and two outsiders to get opinions.

These interviews had many things in common, most thought that Clinton was a very strong contender to win for the democratic party due to her influence with the people, her past experience in the white house, people being put off by Trumps extreme positions and that she will then appear to be a more moderate and “centrist” option. Those interviewed were also fascinated by the fact that such an influential country like the US was going to have a female leader like Clinton, which may inspire other countries to do the same. This is what they thought based on who they thought was going to win, but the interviewees had a variety of opinions on other candidates such as Bernie Sanders, and the “world’s favourite” Donald Trump.

Sanders seemed to be a strong contender with good ideas for some of the people, but didn’t seem likely to be able to win the elections because of his strong leftist ideologies. There were also doubts about whether he was physically capable of being able to run for office, and whether he had the experience to be able to run the country.
Democrat voter Reena Sastri said: “I personally like his ideas. Do I think he is fit to be President of the United States? I would probably have to do more research as to his experience”.

Donald Trump obviously managed to make his way into the interviews. Many opposed his ideas. Even as a Republican, Bob Ferguson claimed that he was “not a huge Trump supporter and that if I had a choice, he would have been my last option as a Presidential candidate”.




Lilly Wachowiski, who used to be known as Andy, made a statement to the Windy City Times announcing that she has under gone transgender surgery. She was rushed into announcing the news after she felt threatened by the Daily Mail as she thought they were going to ‘out’ her, although the daily mail denied pressuring her into doing this.

This came after more famous people like Miley Cyrus came out as gender fluid and Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender.

Transgender people are people who aren’t happy with their gender and surgically get changed to the opposite sex. Although this procedure is expensive –  it can come to about £35,000 including counselling and support. We asked our class if they think that transgender surgery should be free and 50% said yes, 31% said no and 19% were undecided.

Hugh, who attends the local LGBT group says: ‘The surgery should definitely be free because it is something that transgender people really desire and it’s more important than people who want plastic surgery because they can cover their imperfections but transgender people can’t be who they want to be.’

Mia added: ‘Nobody should have to pay to become their true selves.’

To oppose the view, another pupil in our class said: ‘It’ll cost the hospital loads of money and if you want it that much you would pay.’


The ‘Fifth Beatle’


George Martin, often known as the ‘Fifth Beatle’ has died age 90

The Death of Sir George Martin was announced by Ringo Starr on Twitter – saying he ‘will be missed.’ This was followed by hundreds of tributes.
George Martin’s family thanked ‘everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support’ according to his manager.
On his website, Sir Paul McCartney said “I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever.
“He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George.
“From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.”

• 1926 – George was born, he was the son of a carpenter in Holloway, North London.
• 7 – his career spanned 7 decades
• 6 – he won six Grammy Awards
• 2 – he won 2 Ivor Novello Awards – Special Award for outstanding Service to British music
• 37,000,000 – he co-produced Sir Elton John’s Candle in the Wind, which was released after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 and sold 37 million copies
• 30 – 30 number one hit singles in the UK
• 1 – he has been nominated for one Oscar
• 205 – commercially released Beatles track produced by him
• 3 – he has written 3 books
• 1996 – he was knighted by the Queen and then 6 years later composed the music for her golden jubilee
• 90 – he died on the 8th of March 2016 aged 90

Following his death we interviewed teachers at Balerno High School to find out their views on how George Martin and The Beatles influenced the music industry.

When asked why the Beatles were so successful, Mrs Anderson from the Music Department of Balerno High School said: ‘At the time when they emerged into the scene it was a new style of music that hadn’t been heard before.’

Art teacher Mr Sinclair said Martin’s death was ‘a great loss of a brilliant mind’.

He said: ‘They were almost a real rebellion. The great thing about The Beatles was they changed their musical style every few years. They were experimental.’

Mr Sinclair echoed an ongoing theme: ‘The Beatles knew how to get a hook, make something catchy. It was incredible the influence they had.’

It’s Not All Fun and Games At SeaWorld Anymore

The killer whale Tilikum, who is the main subject of the 2013 documentary;”Blackfish” is sadly suffering from a serious lung infection, that will be the cause of his death.

The main focus of the documentary was to show that keeping these orcas in captivity affects their behaviour and mental state, which led to Tilikum killing 3 people. It is thought that Tilikum has caught the infection from bacteria in the tanks that he lives in, at SeaWorld, Florida.

Tilikum, likely to die early at aged only 35, won’t be the first orca to die with many, many years still potentially to live. There are many links with keeping these animals in captivity and early death which has caused major concern into how SeaWorld keeps the whales. Out in the wild, orca whales like Tilikum should be living to age 100.

A biology teacher from Balerno High School said: “To improve the conditions in enclosures you need to change the environment to suit an animal’s needs and behaviour and make the living conditions more like the natural wild conditions that orca whales should be living in.”

We spoke to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) about Tilikum and his background life. The conservation expressed their concern for how Tilikum has lived almost his whole life in captivity. A spokesperson from WDC said: ” I’d say captivity will have killed Tilikum when the day comes…”

SeaWorld maybe a place that promotes a fun and enjoyable day out for many people, but arguably it’s not for the orcas. We asked some S5 girls from Balerno High School their opinions and if they would go back to SeaWorld Florida. We received a variety of similar responses: “So sad and you wouldn’t treat humans like that.” “I would go to Florida but wouldn’t go near SeaWorld and wouldn’t pay them because the money is going to be spent on the captivity.” “Whales shouldn’t be blamed.” “Its heart breaking and they should be freed.”

Scottish League Cup Final – Hibernian Vs. Ross County

Hibernian will play Ross county in this year’s Scottish League Cup final this Sunday (13/03/16) at Hampden Park (Glasgow). Hibs faced St Johnstone in the semi-final, winning 2-1 and Ross County beat Celtic 3-1. The last time they played ( back in the 2014/15 season) Hibs triumphed with a 2-0 victory in the League Cup quarter-final.

These two side have met 11 times before, Hibs winning four times and Ross County winning five, the two teams drawing 2 out of the 11 games.

We asked students and teachers in Balerno about who they would like to win the cup. 42 wanted Hibs to win, narrowly outnumbering the 39 who fancied Ross County.

Hibs started their journey by facing Montrose in the 1st round, beating them 3-0. Hibs then were drawn against Stranraer where they narrowly won 1-0
Ross county started their journey by facing Ayr in the 2nd round of the cup and beating them 2-0

Alan Stubbs feels like he has a strong chance of winning this game even though Ross County are the favourites to win.

Could Amateur Boxers Cope with Pros in the Olympic Ring

boxing newspaper photo

This year the Olympics has had a lot of controversy around the matter of whether pro boxers should or shouldn’t be allowed to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Amateur Boxing International Association (AIBA) president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu has released a statement saying that he wants to abolish the rule stating that boxers with 15 or more paid fights can’t compete in the amateur boxing competitions like the Olympics.

Wu said “We want something to change… not after four years, but now.”

If this was to happen there would be major changes made to the whole setup in the Olympics meaning the qualifying which has already started would have to be changed all over again and new qualifying would have to be done.

Balerno police officer PC DEE, who used to compete as an amateur boxer when he was younger, said: “I think that it would be an unfair advantage for the professional boxers because they train for the longer fights that last more than the 3 rounds that the amateurs would be used to.”

He also said that amateurs would struggle with the funding needed to keep them training at the level they would need to if they were competing in professional fights.