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Hot Buttons: Talk show topics

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International   |   Nov. 4, 2002 at 3:15 AM   |   Comments

BILINGUAL EDUCATION

The dispute over bilingual education has flared again this year with votes scheduled Tuesday in Massachusetts and Colorado on whether to outlaw it in favor of a one-year English immersion program for students who speak another language -- usually Spanish.

The proposals are backed by Silicon Valley millionaire Ron K. Unz, who successfully supported similar referenda in California in 1998 and Arizona in 2000, United Press International reports.

Bilingual education teaches students non-language courses such as history, reading and arithmetic in their native tongue, while they are taught English in separate classes.

In English immersion, students are taught only English for a year, and then are moved to the general school population.

In both Colorado and Massachusetts, parents would be able to apply for waivers to continue with bilingual education, but officials don't have to approve the requests.

-- Should bilingual education end?

-- Do English immersion programs work?

(Thanks to UPI's Les Kjos)


ARAB WOMEN'S SUMMIT

The Second Arab Women's Summit opened in the Jordanian capital of Amman, with calls for Arab women to take an active role to improve their lives and those of their children throughout the Arab world, UPI reports.

More than 1,500 women -- and several men -- gathered at the Palace of Culture for the two-day conference under tight security to express their grievances and demand a greater role in the future of the Arab region.

Jordan's Queen Rania says Arab women's "pain and lack of confidence in the future and hopelessness is beginning to show as mentioned in the Arab Human Development Report for 2002, which indicates that Arab women continue to be marginal in social, economic and leadership activities."

-- Queen Rania says the summit cannot achieve its goals without stressing the suffering among women in Palestine and Iraq? What do you think?

-- The summit's committees are expected to present the first ladies and heads of delegations with recommendations to take back to their respective countries for endorsement? Do you think the male-dominated leadership in those countries will endorse them?

(Thanks to UPI's Sana Abdallah)


SENATE RACE IN MINNESOTA

Polls in Minnesota show former Vice President Walter Mondale either trailing or in a statistical tie with Republican Senate candidate Norm Coleman, UPI reports.

A Minneapolis Star Tribune poll shows Mondale at 46 percent and Coleman at 41 percent, but that falls within the margins of sampling error.

"This state has been through an incredible amount," Tina Smith, Mondale's campaign manager tells the Star Tribune. "The people have been on an emotional roller coaster, so this is going to be a hard one to judge from polls."

Sen. Paul Wellstone, his wife, daughter and several campaign staffers were killed in a plane crash 11 days before the election.

Seventeen percent of respondents say a controversial Wellstone memorial that many considered a political rally influenced their choice in the senate race.

-- Mondale is 74. Should age be a factor in voting when the term is six years?

-- Would the memorial service some have characterized as a rally influence your vote if you voted in Minnesota?

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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