December 2, 2023

The Shutdown, a New Congress, and More—In the News 1/1/19

Author: The Great Courses
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In a fast-moving, ever-shifting world, news is continuously breaking. The Great Courses is here to help you understand the full story behind the soundbites. Here are a handful of stories for the week of January 1, 2019, and their accompanying lectures on The Great Courses Plus

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Start of a New Congress
The 116th Democrat-heavy Congress began this week with the agenda of ushering in a new era after eight years of Republican control. Are we destined to just go back and forth, simply undoing the previous regime after each election? Does the methodology of elections work? See how the founders of the U.S. dealt with apportioning representatives to Congress based on population and how no perfect system exists.

The Trouble with Teens and Vaping
The trend of teens and vaping is becoming alarming, with 12 out of every 100 high school students using it monthly and the numbers growing steadily. Teens are more likely to engage in risky behavior and many believe vape companies are banking on this. Peer into the often-mysterious behavior of a teenager to learn why they take the risks they do and what makes them rebellious. Plus, get practical tips for relating better to teenagers, so you can talk to them about the long-term dangers of vaping and addiction.

The Shutdown
The partial government shutdown is closing in on three weeks with no end in sight. Is a deal hopeless when trust is low between negotiators? Investigate the wealth of solutions that are available through trust mechanisms. See how the U.S. Constitution is full of such safeguards, designed to overcome nearly ruinous infighting among the states of the young republic—and see how you can put trust mechanisms to use in your own life.

Finding Friendship Over 50
A recent New York Times article highlighted the challenges many women over 50 face when it comes to forging new friendships, yet meaningful relationships and social interaction can be vital to helping people age in a healthy way. Examine how relationships influence your health. Learn how to leverage your social circle at work and at home to support your well-being.

Meghan Markle: Putting an End to Vices
Meghan Markle has reportedly inspired Prince Harry to give up alcohol and caffeine. Look at recent studies on happiness and self-control in relationships. And if you are in the process of quitting a bad habit, learn how to apply your newfound knowledge of self-control to your romantic relationships, your financial decisions, and your surroundings.

Golden Globes Kick of the Award Season
The Golden Globes on January 6 ushered in the start of the award season for television and movies. Discover why writing a TV pilot is much like building an engine as you compare a failed script to a successful one and learn how writing for television works.

We will be diligently monitoring current events and sharing updates on a regular basis, linking the latest headlines to our courses, so you can get the context, history, background, deeper meaning, and—especially—the facts. Our goal is to help our lifelong learners apply the knowledge they gain from our courses to the real world and become better-informed citizen about the present-day issues that concern us all.

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