CNN Student News with transcript June 2, 2014: American Soldier Held Captive by Taliban Returns Home; Mission to Mars
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz. This is our last week on air before the summer break. First up today, a prisoner exchange. Bowe Bergdahl was the last American soldier held captive from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 28-year old Army sergeant went missing while deployed in Afghanistan in 2009. He was released by the Taliban Saturday. In order to get that done, the Obama administration released five men from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. These are photos obtained by WikiLeaks that match the names released by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Department of Defense would neither confirm, not deny their accuracy. We can tell you that the five men released were members of the Taliban, Afghanistan`s former rulers, and had suspected ties to terrorists. The U.S. has had a policy of not negotiating with terrorists and two Republicans in Congress say the Obama administration broke the law over the exchange because it didn`t tell Congress 30 days in advance of the deal. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. acted fast because Sergeant Bergdahl`s health was getting worse. There are a lot more unanswered questions, including how and why Bergdahl disappeared. We do have details on how he was recovered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB BERGDAHL, SGT. BOWE BERGDAHL`S FATHER: I`d like to say to Bowe right now who`s having trouble speaking English. [Speaking in foreign language] “I`m your father, Bowe.”
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An emotional moment as Bowe Bergdahl`s parents stand with the president.
JANI BERGDAHL`S, SGT. BOWE BERGDAHL`S MOTHER: I just want to say, thank you to everyone who has supported Bowe.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: After nearly five years in captivity their son Bowe is coming home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Release me, please, I`m begging you, bring me home, please. Bring me home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Behind the scenes, a secret choreography had quickly been worked out in just the last several days. A U.S. command center was set up, and at an undisclosed location. U.S. commandos secretly flew to a point near the border where the Taliban said they would be waiting to turn Bergdahl over.
Back at Guantanamo Bay, officials from Qatar were on standby, waiting to take custody of the five Taliban detainees that U.S. was releasing and return for Bergdahl.
That was the guarantee that Taliban need it to let the American soldier go after five years a prisoner.
The Pentagon will not disclose if it was Navy SEALs or Army Delta Force teams. They were taking no chances, several dozen of America`s most elite forces were involved. Other troops stayed at a distance planes and drones flew overhead keeping watch. The heavily armed U.S. troops landed facing 18 Taliban and Bergdahl. A senior U.S. officials says Beau Bergdahl was able to walk and they quickly got him on board of the helicopter.
AZUZ: Next story, the head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has resigned. Republicans and Democrats had been pushing for Eric Shinseki to step down. The Department he led has been caught up in a scandal over health care for American veterans. Thousands of them have reportedly had to wait indefinitely to see a doctor when they needed to. Veterans Affairs says 23 people have died waiting across the country, but sources told CNN earlier this year that 40 had died in one city alone, Phoenix, Arizona. Numerous other VA hospitals are now being looked at for possible misconduct. There`d been problems at VA facilities for decades, but Eric Shinseki says the situation can be fixed, and the next department head will have the tough task of living that process and getting veterans the health care they need.
Time for the “Shoutout.” A corpsbruder is a close comrade or friend. How do you spell corpsbruder? If you think you know it, shout or spell it out. Is it a, b, c or d? You`ve got three seconds, go!
Answer here is C. Corpsbruder is spelled c, o, r, p, s, b, r, u, d, e, r. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
Don`t feel bad if you missed that. A National Spelling bee champion missed it too. But Carl, how can a champion misspell a word and still be champion? Well, that`s because the other student misspelled the word antegrapalos (ph) right afterward. Then, both finalists nailed every word given to them. Didn`t matter that they included algenfilalogie (ph), zdruchula (ph), hollaschick (ph). I can barely say them, but Siram Hathwar and Ansun Sujo could spell them. They went round after round on Thursday night until finally officials at the Scripps National Spelling Bee ran out of words and announced a tie. It was the first time in 52 years that happened. Both of the teenagers walked away with the trophy, $30,000 in cash and thousands more in prizes. I guess each of them could call the other corpsbruder.
Mars, not a warm place. It does not have much atmosphere. It can`t hold water. It`s a desert with about the same amount of dry land as Earth. Despite all that, thousands of people want to go there. In fact, a company preparing for a Mars mission and potential reality show had no problem finding volunteers even if it meant they`d never come home.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, reality TV is going where no man has gone before. Mars.
BAS LANSDORP, MARS ONE: Just like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, when they landed on the moon, it was a story that was shared.
CARROLL: Bas Lansdorp is co-founder of the Mars One mission, a nonprofit foundation that hopes to send its own astronauts to the red planet and televise every step of the way.
LANSDORP: I compare it more readily to the Olympic Games, where extraordinary people do things that almost nobody else can do, and shared that success with us.
CARROLL: Lansdorp spent nearly a decade researching the mission. Its cost, $6 billion, and Mars One has already partnered with Lockheed Martin, which built 10 spacecrafts for NASA.
ED SEDIVY, CHIEF SPACE ENGINEER, LOCKHEED MARTIN: This is the first privatized space mission that Lockheed Martin is going to be involved with, right, and that makes it very exciting.
CARROLL: Mars One`s goal: Get people there by 2025.
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, ASTROPHYSICIST: I think it`s unrealistic. I think they have underestimated the challenges of long-term space flight. I think they have under-assessed what it means to sustain a person in a wholly hostile environment.
CARROLL: Did we mention the trip is one-way? The astronauts would set up a permanent Mars colony? So who would sign up for such an adventure?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will be my dream come true to go to Mars.
CARROLL: 200,000 worldwide sent video applications. The field narrowed to just over 700. These six made the second round of cuts.
Why would anyone want to take a one-way trip to another planet?
MARINA SANTIAGO, HARVARD GRAD STUDENT: So I grew up watching Star Trek with my dad, and was completely inspired.
LEILA ZUCKER, ER DOCTOR: I wanted to be a doctor and I wanted to go into space. I`m a doctor. Now it`s my opportunity to go into space.
BRIAN ROBLES, EMT, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY STUDENT: They say it`s a suicide mission and you`re going to die on Mars, and I`m like, well, we`re going to die here too. So might as well live your whole life to the fullest.
CARROLL: But is one-way the best way?
SCOTT KELLY, ASTRONAUT: You got to applaud their enthusiasm.
CARROLL: Still, astronaut twin brothers Scott and Mark Kelly have their doubts.
MARK KELLY, ASTRONAUT: We didn`t send people to the moon on a one-way trip for the first time. Would have been easier to do that. But that`s not what our country is about.
CARROLL: Mars One is a private venture. These candidates say they`ve thought about the risks, the rewards.
GREG SACHS, COO, EMPOWER SOLAR: It may inspire millions if not billions of people across the earth.
CARROLL: And the goodbyes.
DANIEL CAREY, COMPUTER PROFESSIONAL: I`m torn. I do not know if I have what it will take to turn my back on my family, but this is the only thing that would make me even think about trying.
CARROLL: Mars One, an idea once out of this world.
Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
AZUZ: If you know what the Show-Me State is, then you can show me the first state featured on today`s roll call. It`s Missouri, home of Fort Zumwalt South High School Bulldogs, thank you for watching in St. Peter`s. Whether you call it the Badger State or America`s Dairy Land, Wisconsin is where we find Horlick High School. Hello to the Rebels in Racine. And in the Tarheel State, specifically in the town of Selma, North Carolina, it`s good to see the Vikings of Selma Middle School watching.
It`s tough life being a Florida black bear. You`ve got your scrounging to do, garbage to rummage through. Fortunately, one of them near Daytona Beach found a place to relax. After he tore through some trash, he apparently decided to take a nap in a hammock. Here is what`s awesome. He laid down for a bit, ran off after getting spooked, then came back half an hour later. Neighbors said it`s exciting, it`s unusual. They hope it does not happen again.
The picture alone is pretty un-bear-ievable. He`s kind of bear-coming a neigh-bear-hood cele-bear-ty. Though you`d think he could waive or sign something, he`s just got to learn to grin and bear it, y`all. I`m Carl Azuz, and we`ll bear-ing you more news tomorrow. Tame time, tame place.
CNN Student News June 3, 2014: U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl Freed from Captivity in Afghanistan; Obama Issues Executive Order to Reduce Carbon Reduction; Spanish King Juan Carlos Abdicating; 100 years to Commercial Aviation
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: After being held captive for five years, U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is headed home. But the story is far from over. It`s first up today on CNN STUDENT NEWS.
There are a lot of questions surrounding the prisoner exchange that led to Sergeant Bergdahl`s release. We covered a couple of them in yesterday`s show. There`s also a debate going on about how and why Bergdahl went missing in the first place. The Pentagon says it doesn`t know why he left his Army base in Afghanistan in June of 2009, but some soldiers in Bergdahl`s platoon say he deserted and that at least six U.S. troops were killed why looking for him. One soldier, a sergeant whom Bergdahl served with criticized the government`s decision to secure Bergdahl`s release by freeing five Taliban prisoners at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo bay, Cuba. Outgoing White House spokesman Jay Carney says that what matters is that Bergdahl was a prisoner in an armed conflict, and that the U.S. doesn`t leave its men and women behind. Bergdahl`s recovering in an American military base in Germany. His father says there will be a long process of getting Bowe Bergdahl transitioned back to American life.
Yesterday, President Obama announced an executive order. This is a type of law that doesn`t need Congressional approval, and this is a big one. It requires power plants to reduce their carbon emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030. Many scientists blame carbon emissions for damaging the environment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: As president and as a parent I refuse to condemn our children to a planet that`s beyond fixing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Critics say this carbon reduction in the U.S. alone won`t have much impact on the environment, and there could be some economic consequences as well. For one thing it could force hundreds of power plants that are fueled by coal to shut down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MIKE ENZI (R) WYONMING: The administration has set out to kill coal, and it`s 800,000 jobs. If it succeeds in death by regulation, we`ll all be paying a lot more money for electricity if we can get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the “Shoutout.” Which of these words means to give up a position of power? If you think you know it, shout it out. Is it abdicate, advocate, abrogate or adjudicate? You`ve got three seconds, go!
Top one today. But when a king steps down from his throne, for example, he is abdicating it. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
AZUZ: Almost 40 years after he was crowned, King Juan Carlos I of Spain says it`s time to abdicate, to hand over the throne to a new generation that can take on the challenges of tomorrow. Spain is a parliamentary monarchy. The king`s role in government is mostly ceremonial, he doesn`t set policy for Spain. King Juan Carlos himself is part of the reason for that. He helped transition Spain back to democracy in the late 1970s. In general, he`s been a popular king, but his reputation took a hit in 2012 when he went on a luxurious hunting trip as the Spanish economy was in a deep recession. So, who will be Spain`s new king? That honor will go to Crown Prince Philippe. Juan Carlos says his 46-year old son has the maturity, the preparation and the sense of responsibility needed to serve as king.
We told you yesterday about volunteers for a planned trip to Mars, which may or may not take off in the years ahead, but it was only 100 years ago that the first commercial flight got off the ground or off the water. It was from St. Petersburg to Tampa, Florida. Airline transportation has soared a long way since most planes had two sets of wings.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It all started with the 23 minute flight in a flying boat across Tampa Bay, Florida in 1914. It was humble beginnings for an industry which has transformed a world.
Then the mayor of St. Petersburg paid $400 worth $9000 in today`s money for the privilege of becoming the world`s first paying passenger. Scheduled commercial flights were born.
What the Wright brothers started continued. Allcocom Brown (ph), the Gypsy Muff (ph), these are the machines that helped created industry, which today is worth trillions of dollars. Think about it: 8 million of us each day get on a plane and take to the skies. Some $3 billion journeys we are taking last year. With those trips went the hopes and dreams of deals to be done, families to be reunited, ambitions to be realized.
The entrepreneurial spirit of risk taking spawn by the earlier pioneers continued as more and more airlines took to the skies. Pan American world airways blaze the trail across the Atlantic with jet aircraft and trumpeting service.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A new concept in air transportation, the travail has been taken out of travel.
AZUZ: A smooth ride for passengers it might have been, but for the airline the concept of risk and reward eventually went into reverse. Pan Am couldn`t survive.
The industry has suffered as much turbulence in the pocket as it has in the air. American Airlines is another example of risk and reward. Doing what it does best wasn`t enough to keep American from bankruptcy. And it was the last major U.S. area to merge with U.S. Airways. Aviation has always been at the heart of big dreams. Today`s mechanical birds are a century away from that air boat which crossed Tampa Bay, but does one thing that everyone still shares: they balance the risk and the rewards.
AZUZ: West Coast, East Coast we are transcontinental on today`s Roll Call. Santa Ana California, Europe is the grizzlies of Godinez Fundamental High School leading off today`s roll. We`re making stop in Arizona capital where we found another kind of bear. The bruins are stocking CNN STUDENT NEWS from Trevor G. Browne High School in Phoenix. And still on four legs, it`s the tigers of Ipswich, Massachusetts wrapping things up today. Thanks for watching it, Ipswich Middle School.
All right, now we are headed to a high school in Virginia. Centreville High School, home of the wild cats in Clifton. One 17-year old student there got an incredible surprise last week. It was part of an invitation to prom and you can see there were RG-3 reasons why he couldn`t say know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Centreville High School served as the backdrop Thursday for a dramatic lacrosse playoff showdown. But the emotion of this night involved a student who cannot take the field, but is universally admired for his determination.
IBIS ESPINAL, JUWAAN`S MOTHER: We try to keep Joanne into the mainstream in school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 17-year old Juwaan Espinal despite being non-verbal to the cerebral palsy has a large circle of friends. One of them did the extraordinary.
IBIS ESPINAL: So, he had no clue what was going to happen today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To make him feel ordinary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people hiding behind this banner lured Juwaan to the game for a remarkable surprise – it reads “I know I`m not as cool as RGIII, but will you go to the prom with me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is that right there?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And out popped the Washington Redskins` start quarterback RGIII. Juwaan`s favorite player who came to help classmate Morgan Assel ask her friend the big question: Juwaan, would you be my prom date?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juwaan who can`t say yes or no, of course, said yes. And then was thrilled.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Say cheese.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To take selfie after selfie with one of his heroes.
ROBERT GRIFFIN III, REDSKINS QUARTERBACK: And you can tell he`s (INAUDIBLE). We make time in our schedules for the stuff like this because it`s so worth it.
MORGAN ASSEL, JUNIOR: I`m just so excited, I`m really grateful that RGIII came out to Juwaan. Sorry. It just means a lot that people are willing to do this for him because he`s such a special person.
AZUZ: Most 21-year olds do not or cannot run a marathon. Harriet Thompson is 91 and she just did. Next time you think you can`t do something, think of Mr. Thompson. She`s overcome oral cancer, she`s battling skin cancer, she just defeated 26 miles in just over seven hours. And she set a record in doing it for women age 90 and up. Thompson broke the previous marathon record by two hours and 45 minutes. She`s also been married for 67 years, so she knows a little something about going the distance. It was a feat with her feet, a milestone of miles. She is riding new rules of the road just taking that record and running with it. CNN STUDENT NEWS has got a rumble wheel race back your way with more news and puns tomorrow.
CNN Student News June 4, 2014: Elections in Syria amid the Civil War Is Opposed by U.S. Government; Remembering Tiananmen; Raising Minimum Wage; Loneliness Effect on Human Health
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to all of our viewers worldwide to Wednesday`s edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz.
First up, voting booths opened yesterday in Syria, a Middle Eastern country torn apart by civil war. Its current president Bashar al-Assad is expected to win easily. The Syrian government says the vote shows the nation is moving forward despite three years of fighting. But the U.S., which opposes al-Assad`s government, says it`s difficult, if not impossible for Syria to have free and fair elections.
Voting is taking place only in areas controlled by the Syrian government. Some parts of northern and eastern Syria are controlled by the rebels fighting it.
An expert in international relations says the purpose of this election is to further solidify al-Assad`s position as president. To make it clear he is not going anywhere.
The United Nations says the election will make it harder for Syria to find the political solution it needs.
Around 150,000 people have died in Syria`s civil war, 6.5 million have had to leave their homes.
Well, officially it`s called People`s Republic of China, but its government type is a communist state. This means the government has broad control over China`s economy. The media and the communist party makes China`s laws.
That`s why the Tiananmen Square incident isn`t publically talked about in China today. But when it happened 25 years ago, it involved around a million protesters and with widely broadcast in other countries.
After ten years of economic growth and growing knowledge of other nations` ways of life, a massive group of Chinese students protested demanding more democracy in China. Some risked their lives to do it. The government`s ultimate response became an infamous chapter in the country`s history.
CROWD (CHANTING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In 1989 thousands of students acted with belief they would change China. And during euphoric summer in Tiananmen Square many thought they could.
Then the Communist Party ordered the crackdown.
CROWD (CHANTING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
MCKENZIE: And the soldiers mobilized crashing the democracy movement.
“I was there,” says this woman. It was chaotic. They had guns and shooting, bang, bang, bang, all night it went. There was fighting everywhere.”
“There were bullet holes right in this wall,” says this witness. It was a night of fear and for many of shame. “Everyone thought they shouldn`t have opened fire,” he says. Why did they open fire?
Back then, the party defended its crackdown, but now those questions are left unanswered and no one is allowed to speak of the massacre.
So before long, the police tracked us and shut us down.
“We both know why you can`t come here right now,” he tells me.
The democracy movement started long before June 4 and this place, Beijing University was where the discussion started and the idea started forming for the students to protest.
“Does a day June 4 mean anything to you?” we asked. “What is it, a national holiday,” she says.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No. I haven`t he says.
MCKENZIE: Many young people in China have never heard of June 4, but fresh from graduation, these students says some do talk about the massacre and private.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s little dissensitive.
MCKENZIE: Because you never know who could be listening, she says.
(on camera): Have people forgotten history here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. People don`t – just forgotten in history, but I just say in China, people are really tyrant, people know that this happened and we need to focus on the future.
MCKENZIE: In a way the future looks like this: throngs of tourists streaming everyday onto Tiananmen Square.
It seems like the blackout of history is almost complete because the party wants to make sure that this never happens again. David McKenzie, CNN, Beijing.
AZUZ: From China we are taking you to Poland. President Obama arrived in that country`s capital yesterday. It`s part of a four-day trip to Europe that will take the president to three countries. He met with Poland`s president and promised to increase support for America`s allies in Europe. That includes Poland. President Obama asked Congress for a billion dollars. That money would go to increase military training exercises for U.S. allies near Russia`s borders. The U.S. and Russia have been at odds over the crisis in Ukraine. Critics have accused the Obama administration of having weak international leadership. The president`s hoping this trip will help cement his position on the world stage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the “Shoutout.” What is the federal minimum wage in the U.S.? If you think you know it, shout it out. Is it 5.15, 6.55, 7.25, or 10.10 per hour? You`ve got three seconds, go!
Since 2009, the U.S. federal minimum wage has been 7.25 per hour. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
AZUZ: President Obama has been pushing for a minimum wage increase. He wants it to be $10.10 an hour. But Congress has to pass the law that would do that, and Democrats and Republicans are divided on the issue. The Congressional Budget Office, which gives non-partisan analysis of economic issues says raising the minimum wage to 10.10 would mean higher wages for 16.5 million Americans. But it also says that bad effects would balance up the good. Prices on many goods and services would go up. Businesses would lose money, and an estimated 500,000 Americans would lose their jobs.
States and cities can set their own minimum wages as long as they are equal to or higher than the federal minimum. Seattle, Washington just became the city with the highest minimum wage in America. $15 an hour. Economists aren`t sure yet of the long term effects this will have, but some business leaders caution that the law was passed during a booming economy for Seattle. If that doesn`t last they say their ability to pay higher wages may not either.
From Northern Europe to Southern Africa, it`s worldwide Wednesday on the CNN STUDENT NEWS “Roll Call.” In Brunssum, Netherlands, it`s great to see our viewers at the Outnorth (ph) International School. Thank you for watching. In Mons, Belgium, hello to the students of Shape (ph) High School, a Department of Defense education facility. And in Kazembe, Zambia, shoutout to everyone at St. John Basco (ph) School. We are happy to be part of your school day.
A psychologist at the University of Chicago estimates that about 40 percent of Americans are lonely. That rate has doubled since the 1980s, even though tens of millions more people live here now. Ways to fight loneliness include volunteering, a new hobby, getting active in church, reaching out to another lonely person. But if loneliness is coming, why address it at all?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This will shock you, just how much of an impact being lonely can have on your health. What they found out in the few different studies is that it`s on par with being a smoker. It increases your risk of real diseases like heart disease, like diabetes. So we thing about loneliness in this abstract sense, but the health effects are very objective and very real.
As a neuroscientist, I was so interested in this idea that we know where pain resides in the brain and what we now know is that people who are chronically lonely, they have higher activity in that pain part of the brain. So even though it`s loneliness, it can register as physical pain.
Having friends really does seem to keep people healthy. The simple act of being social defines people`s immune systems and actually it performs better. Simply saying hello can make the person who gets that greeting live longer. The evidence is pretty clear on this, and we are starting to get more and more evidence that you yourself by saying hello, it`s so empowering that could actually do wonders for your health as well.
AZUZ: Getting married has often been characterized as taking the plunge. At a recent event in Minnesota it was literally a plunge. A few bridesmaids made it off the dock OK, the rest of the party will never forget this wedding. In defense of the dock, the party was huge. 22 people in dresses and tuxes, and even though most of them had to dry off afterward, the ceremony only started ten minutes late, despite the fact that they all missed the boat while they say marriage is a sink or a swim undertaking, and there`s a good sign this one will hold water. I`m Carl Azuz, and if you ask me if I want to do this again tomorrow, I do. And I propose you join us on CNN STUDENT NEWS.
CNN Student News June 5, 2014: Prisoner Swaps in America; Young Americans Pessimistic about American Dream; Carlsbad Desalination Plant Will Help Provide California with Water
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s great to have you watching CNN STUDENT NEWS. This is our second to last show of the school year. I`m Carl Azuz. And I`m glad to bring it to you.
We`ve covered a lot of back and forth this week surrounding a controversial prisoner exchange. In order to bring home Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the last American captive from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Obama administration okayed the release of five high ranking members of the Taliban. Afghanistan`s former rulers who have ties to terrorists. A new video from the Taliban shows the moments when Sergeant Bergdahl was released. He`s taken from a truck, walked over to U.S. Special Forces who were seeing shaking hands with Taliban members, and put aboard a Black Hawk helicopter. A U.S. senator says this video will likely be used as propaganda by the Taliban. That group has called this exchange a big victory. The Obama administration, which has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans over the exchange says it needed to act fast, because Bergdahl`s health was in jeopardy. As debate over that continues, Randi Kaye looks into the history of prisoner exchanges.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Prisoner swaps in America are as old as the country itself. Think back to the American Revolutionary War when President George Washington exchanged enemy prisoners for Americans. This letter from the National Archives written by Washington himself lays out the terms of one such exchange.
President Madison swapped prisoners, too, during the war of 1812, trading the enemy for American military personnel. Abraham Lincoln also traded enemy fighters for American soldiers.
Fast forward to 1962 when Francis Gary Powers, an American U2 pilot was released by Russia in exchange for a convicted Soviet spy named Rudolph Abel. Powers plane was downed in 1960 during a reconnaissance flight over Moscow. The two were exchanged in the middle of a bridge between East Germany and West Germany. Powers family was informed just five minutes before the White House announced it.
In March, 1991 at the end of the First Gulf war, Iraq accepted the terms of cease-fire. That led to an exchange of POWs including 35 Americans, which were freed in center Riyadh. As many as 20 prisoners from allied forces were handed over, too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone on is a hero (ph). They look happy to be home, happy to be in freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: But what about an ongoing conflict, when the U.S. soldier is being held by a designated terrorist organization? On that score, there does not seem to be any precedent. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
AZUZ: Welcome to the “Roll Call.” Look up in the sky, it`s a bird, it`s a plane. It`s Golden Eagles, the Ferndale High School Golden Eagles are watching. They are parched in Washington State. Over in Belle Plaine, Minnesota we see some tigers on the prow. Hello to Belle Plaine Junior High. And in the peach state, in the city of Griffin, Georgia, it`s the mustangs of Rehoboth Road Middle School rounding up today`s roll.
It`s happened before, a hail storm struck the woodhouse auto family, a car dealership outside of Omaha, Nebraska and people from all over called up looking for discounts. The hail that hit this week was the size of baseballs. It dropped on 4300 vehicles. Company officials estimate the damage it caused at $162 million. Police say 20 people in the area were taken to the hospital with injuries. The line of severe storms that hit the nation`s heartland brought at least 12 reports of possible tornadoes. Trees are down, powers knocked out, and flooding stranded some folks in Nebraska. Severe weather was headed east last night, storms are expected in the Mid-Atlantic States today.
It`s been five years since the great recession officially ended. This was the economic downturn that hit between 2007 and 2009, but it`s still having effects on people. CNN Money says the recovery of U.S. jobs has been the slowest ever. More Americans are using food stamps than ever. Wages are rising, but barely. Is this all taking a toll on the American dream?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The American dream is this national ideal, the goal of prosperity and success. But in CNN Money`s American dream poll, 59 percent of people say regardless of how you define it, it`s not achievable. Young adults are the most pessimistic, they`ve had a hard time finding good jobs as the country recovers from the recession, and there are already concerns about the next generation, too. 63 percent of Americans say that most children in the U.S. will not be better off than their parents. The problem is that while most people are managing to tread water, that`s not translating into solid financial security. But not everybody is onboard with these findings. The Brooking Center says the American dream isn`t dead and that this negative perceptions are necessarily supported by facts since two major studies early this year show that the ability to climb the economic ladder hasn`t changed significantly over time. I`m Alison Kosik in New York.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the “Shoutout.” Where would you find the line “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink?” You know what to do. Is it “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Moby Dick”, “The Old Man and the Sea,” or Seabiscuit? You`ve got three seconds, go!
Coleridge`s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” has this line about being surrounded by seawater, none of it drinkable. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
AZUZ: Of course, those sailors had only been able to desalinate that water, to take the salt out of it, then they could have drunk it. The basic process of converting seawater to drinking water is ancient, but doing this on a large scale is difficult and expensive. And the fact that more than 70 percent of earth is covered by ocean inspires scientists to keep on trying.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With California experiencing one of the worst droughts in the state`s history, access to fresh water has never been more important or more difficult.
Here in Southern California the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere is being constructed. It will soon take water from the ocean and create 50 million gallons of fresh water a day.
BOB YAMADA, SAN DIEGO COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY: California is in a serious drought right now, and any new water supplies are important to the region.
PETER MACLAGGAN, POSEIDON RESOURCES CORPORATION: We have a $190 billion economy in this region. It`s dependent on water. The question you need to consider is what`s the cost of not having enough water.
YAMADA: Unlike, let`s say, water that comes from rainfall or water that comes from snowpack, we are utilizing what essentially is the world`s largest reservoir, the Pacific Ocean.
CRANE: The Carlsbad desalination plant will cost approximately $1 billion. The fresh water will be pumped ten miles underground to a regional delivery system. Providing water to an additional 300,000 San Diego County residents.
(on camera): Customers, they won`t know whether they are drinking desalinated water or not.
YAMADA: That`s right. That`s right. It will just become part of the overall supply.
CRANE (voice over): Through a process called reverse osmosis, the plant will convert every two gallons of seawater into one gallon of fresh water, filtering out 99.9 percent of the salt. The salt, or brine that`s removed is discharged back into the ocean. The desalination process traditionally takes a lot of energy. A plant this size would normally use as much energy in a single day as 70 homes in a year. Officials at the Carlsbad plant say theirs will use 46 percent less energy.
The project is not without criticism. Environmentalists point out that desalination requires a lot of energy, and that brine discharge can negatively impact marine life.
MACLAGGAN: We are creating more marine (INAUDIBLE) in the south in the San Diego Bay to create new habitats where fish can reproduce there. To the respect of the brine discharge, we dilute the brine with seawater before (INAUDIBLE).
CRANE: The plant is expected to be competed in 2016.
YAMADA: And everybody is extremely excited to see this project coming on line and providing us with new water supplies.
AZUZ: Before we go, many of you probably felt like this this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wake up, Thor. You have to get up, Thor. You have to get up -you cannot lay down all day. You got ..
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: That`s all for the Great Dane wants to do. He`s dog tired. To the puppy`s credit, this video was taken at 3:30 in the morning with his owners have to get up to open their bagel shop, but no matter what they say, or what they do, Thor just wouldn`t Dane to get out of bed. He finds just the thought of it alarming, or he probably dreams of activities like snorkeling or sleepwalking, but if you ask him to live all that in his wake, he`ll probably just choose to sleep on it.
I`m Carl Azuz, a lash of the school year is tomorrow. We hope you are up for it.
CNN Student News June 6, 2014: D-Day Anniversary; General Motors Firing Its Employees; Remembering Events of This School Year
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome. You made it. This is our last edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS for the 2013-2014 school year. I`m Carl
Azuz. Thank you for watching this D-Day.
It`s the 70 anniversary of the largest seaborne invasion in world history. On June 6, 1944, allied forces landed in Normandy, France. The foothold they gained marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. American, British and Canadian troops began to squeeze the Nazis from the West with the Soviets pushing in from the East. Less than a year later, Germany surrendered, World War II in Europe was over.
Another story making headlines today. General Motors has fired 15 employees and released an internal investigation. The problem – 2.6 million GM vehicles had an ignition switch floor. It could shut off the car and disable airbags, power steering and any lock brakes. Wild driving.
GM failed to address the issue for 11 years. The investigation blamed incompetence and neglect throughout the company. Part of its penalty is a $35 million fine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the “Shoutout.” Janet Yellen was confirmed as the first woman to chair what U.S. government body? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Trade Commission or Federal Reserve? You`ve got three seconds, go!
On February 3rd, 2014, Janet Yellen became the first woman to lead the Fed, the Federal Reserve. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
AZUZ: And that`s one of the questions and answers on our end of year news quiz. Teachers, if you loved our weekly news quizzes at cnnstudentnews.com, our year ender is that much more awesome. It`s available right now, totally free at cnnstudentnews.com. Just click under teaching tools.
This year we reported on a terrorist group called Boco Haram. Some of its members recently raided villages in North East Nigeria and killed hundreds of people. The Islamic militants want to overthrow Nigeria`s government and form an Islamic state. It`s kidnapping more than 200 school girls. It was one of the major stories we covered this year. Here`s a look back at some others.
Shutdown. At 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, the possibility became a reality. And the sides in this U.S. government face-off were blaming each other.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: One faction of one party in one House of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government. All because they didn`t` like one law.
REP. DARRYL ISSA, (R) CALIFORNIA: The president refused to compromise, Senator Reid hasn`t even – he`s already said he`s not going to go to conference, he`s not going to go to the constitutional event where we are supposed to come together and compromise.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s safe to say the rollout of Obamacare and Healthcare.gov was less than perfect.
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: And I`ll be the first to tell you that the website launch was rockier that we would have liked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Experts say typhoon Haiyan might be one of the strongest ever. Left the path of destruction as it moved across the Philippine Islands. On this map, you`ll see Tacloban. It was one of the spots that was hit the hardest. No electricity, no food, no water, houses and buildings demolished. Tacloban`s mayor said everyone he talked to had lost someone.
Mineralogists are saying at least another month of cold snow and ice will follow. Interesting news, some cities are approaching records. For Chicago, this is the fifth snowiest winter ever recorded with almost 67 inches of snow so far.
For Philadelphia, the third snowiest, over 58 inches of snow there. And for Indianapolis this winter is the snowiest ever. Almost 52 inches of snow and we are only in February.
Political activist, political prisoner, political leader. Nelson Mandela towering figure in South Africa and in global politics, has died. He spent a good part of his life fighting for equality. For decades, Mandela`s home nation of South Africa practiced apartheid. Mandela`s efforts led to the end of apartheid and earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.
Ceremonies from Sochi, Russia as the 22 Olympic Winter games officially wrapped up last night. Spectacular fireworks and large-scaled choreography ringed the occasion. As far as the final, Olympic medal count goes, Russia got the most gold medals and the most medals overall. The first time the host country has done that since 1952.
It was a tumultuous weekend in Ukraine. We`ve told you about protests in the capital Kiev that led to the ouster of Ukraine`s president last month.
Most of those protesters want their country to have closer ties with Europe.
But many Ukrainians like their ousted president, want closer ties with Russia. And one region where a support for Russia is strong is Crimea.
Malaysia`s government made a tragic announcement yesterday. All lives are lost. It ended many people`s hopes that there could have been any survivors aboard Malaysia`s Airline Flight 370, which vanished more than two weeks ago.
Grieving families expressed everything from anguish to doubt to anger. One woman left the news briefing asking “Where is the proof?” Malaysia says information from a British satellite company and accident investigators indicates that plane crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.
With the school year wrapping up, let`s see who`s watching on the CNN STUDENT NEWS “Roll Call.” Pyramid Lake high school is in Nevada, it`s the home of the Lakers, hello to everyone watching in Nixon.
AZUZ: Elim Christian School is next, the Eagles are on today`s roll. Great to see you in Palos Heights, Illinois. And in Bohemia, New York we are happy to see the thunderbirds today. They are online at Connetquot High School.
We got tens of thousands of Roll Call request this year. And we were only able to mention a few hundred on the show. So thanks to all of you for your patience. We look forward to announcing more schools this fall. And while we are on the subject of what`s coming up on CNN STUDENT NEWS, when we return in August, millions around the world will have had their eyes on Brazil. It`s the site of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the planet`s most viewed sporting event. It runs from June 12 through July 13. And we`ll be – what happened there when we return.
Jumping back to the United States, there is an election this fall. Every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and about a third of the U.S.
Senate will be up for a vote, as politicians compete for positions and Americans go to the polls. It will tie-in the government, history, civics, social studies. And you can count on CNN STUDENT NEWS for your mid-term election coverage.
You know, we are not going to leave you without a mention of news from the lighter side. And without a doubt, my favorite before we go segment of the year featured a cat. A cat named Waffles. One day over the winter, careful there, Waffles, he wanted to make the leap from an icy car roof to the garage roof. Waffles is slipping, yo. Aside from his bruised vanity and the kind of YouTube fame even a cat wouldn`t want. After a slip up, Waffles was feline just fine. When that video came out, we called it the cataclysmic catastrophe, but there is snow deny he`s one cool cat. That`s almost all we have for meow, I`m Carl Azuz. It`s been a pleasure, a privilege and a blessing hosting this show for the best audience we know.
We`ll leave you with a reflection on World News from last August through now.
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