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VOLUME 15, NUMBER 13 -- February 23, 2009

KARNEVAL CRAZY – Jan Engelke, 19, is SuperMario and Marco Möller, 19, is Mickey Mouse. Both attend the Gymnasium der Benediktiner in Meschede.

The essence of German Karneval

By Katie Grosser in MESCHEDE, Calle, Germany In the Western World, it is an acknowledged fact that every year has four seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter.

In some parts of Germany, however, there is one very special fifth season – the season of Karneval.

The German Karneval celebrations, especially in carnival “stronghold” cities such as Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz, are legendary.

Although the season officially starts on November 11 at 11:11 a.m., it quickly goes into a rest period over Advent and Christmas, with the main festivities picking up the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, which is called “Weiberfastnacht.”

Although Carnival Clubs throughout the entire country start having their sessions in January, Weiberfastnacht is the day on which the children also start the festivities. Read more

LITTLE GIRLS –  From left are Michelle Beste, 4, Mary Grosser, 3, Annie Grosser and Stella Düking, both 6. They are all in Kindergarten Wallen.

When Hurricane Katrina smashed ashore in 2005, Louisiana teen Samantha Perez started writing about the storm that washed away much of her old life. Her journal, chronicled in the pages of The Tattoo, is all online at Hurricane Journal. Read it for an eye-opening and intensely personal look into the eye of the worst storm in recent history.





-- SPORTS --

Books for India's poor

By Janani Ramachandran in BANGALORE, India As I write this, I look around my room, and realize how incredibly fortunate I am. Typing on my laptop, with my iPod and cell phone next to me, surrounded by a shelves replete with books, I understand how much I take everything I have for granted.

Not even half a kilometer from me and my luxurious lifestyle is a village full of the destitute, hungry, perhaps illiterate people, all struggling to make ends meet and get their two meals a day. Read more


A-Rod draws teens' wrath

Two teens in Connecticut and one in New York weigh in on the steroid scandal that has swept superstar slugger Alex Rodriguez into the maelstrom. Read their opinion pieces:

By Clare Hern in WEST HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. – I am a Yankees fan – always have been, always will be. But I am disgusted with one of the many superstars on the team, Alex Rodriguez. He is a man kids idolize. You can't walk far down a New York street without seeing a shirt bearing his number 13 on the back. He’s on track to become baseball's next home run king. He’s making millions of dollars each year, the highest paid player in baseball. Couldn't get any better, right? Wrong. He’s now just another cheater in baseball, using performance-enhancing drugs to improve his game. Read more

By Luke Pearson in HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, New York, U.S.A. What are the dreams of an athlete? Is it to win a national championship or to win gold in the Olympics? The dream of winning by playing fairly and by the rules has been cheated and corrupted by the use of steroids. Read more

By Rocco DiTaranto in WEST HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. There’s been lots of steroid users exposed in baseball recently and lots of positive performance enhancing drug tests. Now that New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez is trying to recover from his steroid era, it’s time that baseball adopts a harsher punishment for players who use steroids and performance enhancing drugs. Read more

Also see:

Ballooning Barry bombs

-- NEWS --

Children labor through an Afghan winter

By Edrees Kakar in KABUL, Afghanistan – In the foggy, frozen air, three children walked around a public park in Kabul one recent winter evening, carrying boxes of Lay’s potato chips.

The boys, 12-year-old Hamid, his eight-year-old brother Shoaib and their friend, Nabi, 13, were trying to sell the snacks to help their families survive.

After finishing school each day, they come to Qargha Lake, a popular park, to sell their goods.

“We are very poor people and the income of my father is not enough as we have got lots of problems, so that is why I come here every day to sell chips and earn money to support my family and studies,” said Hamid.

On a cold January day, the hills and mountains around Kabul were dressed with snow as the boys offered their wares at Qargha Lake. Read whole story

By Edrees Kakar/ Youth Journalism International

 -- By Alex Patrikios

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