It is VERY, VERY, simple:
Read each NEWS article from Yahoo's home page. That's right... that's all you need to do.
Read the articles from beginning to end. It may require that you sign up with other sites as a member, but simply don't STOP at the article until you read the entire thing. Then click on the small "news" link and have it expand everything. Avoid the "entertainment" news as it is fun but distracting.
Every term you don't understand, go to Wikipedia and look it up. Every person you don't remember, go to Wikipedia and look them up.
Then go to YouTube and search those events of the day... be sure to sort it by clicking on "search options" and then "today" ... or maybe "this week." Watch the videos.
The truth of it all is to be curious. The skill you need is searching search engines. Rely on Wikipedia when you get stuck and concentrate on the "references" down at the bottom... click on those 'external' links and compare what you understand to the articles linked to.
Be very OBJECTIVE. If you lean right or lean left, that doesn't matter... the key is not to fool yourself. Don't get caught up in conspiracy theories. Avoid those like the plague... such as Bush lied about WMD. You have to ask yourself if he lied, if someone told him they existed, if someone hinted at it and he imagined even more? Ditto on the other side. For instance, Obama isn't an American citizen. Do they really have proof or lack proof that he is? If the proof is weak is there a logical explanation? The goal is not to go off on the deep end searching out conspiracy theories as there will be many more details than you can absorb. Just because there is a lot of information doesn't mean it is true or plausible.
Put on your "common sense" hat. Like the two above... Bush didn't find WMD and Obama never presented his actual birth certificate. Common sense tells you that if Bush lied he would be in prison and convicted of a crime and Obama wouldn't be president.
The "odds" of a conspiracy theory being reality is very, very slim. IOW, don't waste your time and concentrate on tangible things for a good overview.
Just like you judge a friend, you will be able to judge news.
In a nutshell you need the basic "civics lesson":
Congress is two groups of people... the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are 435 people in the House of Representatives and 100 people in the Senate. There are two people per state for the Senate. The number per state in the House of Representatives is the size of that state... iow, the population.
Then you have the President and Vice President.
All the above people are voted on by the people (that is you and me and our neighbors).
Congress makes laws, but the President might be the one behind those laws. Once congress makes a law the president must sign off on it. If he doesn't they have to vote again.
That's pretty much it. You will hear a lot about the constitution. These are rules that everyone has to follow. Sometime there are disagreements and that is what our court system steps in. The most important one is the Supreme Court. They make major decisions about the law. These people are appointed to the court for a long time and congress has to approve them to take the job.
So all the above is the main part of government... president, congress, and court.
Some terms my throw you off... they might talk about a Senator and call him a congressman or congresswoman. The next day they make call him a Senator. Or they might call a House of Representative member simply a "Representative" or a congressman or congresswoman. All the above is correct.
There are a ton of minor details about the above, and it's a good idea to study some "civics" but you don't have to know it that well.
Take a look here:
but don't get bogged down... you don't have to know this stuff to understand a lot about government. But the more you know about civics the more you will understand about current events as it relates to government.