Daily Digest: Anniversaries, High School Sports Woes, the FBI and Australian Day Drama

by Evelina Smirnitskaya

Here’s your Daily Digest for Thursday, Jan. 26th:

  • Today is the one-year anniversary of the 18-day revolt known as the Egyptian Uprising which led the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.


  •  The Wall Street Journal writes about a rural school district in Texas trying to shut down its high school sports program in order to keep schools open and the community alive. In Premont, a town of less than 3,000 about 150 miles south of San Antonio, the district is the largest employer. But with its 570 students struggling to meet statewide testing standards and low attendance rates, the state is threatening to shut down the district altogether. The nearest district is 35 miles away. Majority of the students come from low-income families. As a last ditch-effort Premont officials are hoping to use the money saved though eliminating sports to make the needed improvements. In theory, if the results are good, the schools could stay open and the sports could return. One-hundred students participate in the sports program, which will be suspended within a few weeks.


  •  The FBI is hoping to use social media for early global and domestic threat detection, the BBC reports. The idea is to develop an application which would collect information from social networks like Facebook and Twitter and news sties (examples provided: Fox News, CNN, MSNBC) to be mapped out as alerts (FBI prefers Google and Yahoo maps technology, it seems). A request for suggestions from contractors of the applications viability was posted a market request on Jan 19th.


  • Australia’s national day got interesting as Prime Minister Julia Gillard had to be rescued from an angry mob of protesters . Gillard, along with opposition leader Tony Abbott, was in the middle of officiating an award ceremony, when a group of protesters gathered around the building and began banging on the windows and chanting “shame” and “racist.” According to the Associated Press, the 200-some protesters were the indigenous rights supporters demonstrating nearby at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy – a tent-hub serving as the center of anti-Australia Day (which marks the arrival of British colonists in Sydney) demonstrations. The embassy celebrated its 40th anniversary Thursday. Abbott reportedly angered the demonstrators by saying it was time the embassy “moved on.”