CNN Student News with transcript February 10, 2014: Mixed Jobs Report; Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Economics, the food supply, the Olympics – all subjects covered this Monday on CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show.
First up, U.S. unemployment and jobs numbers. The government usually releases this info on the first Friday of every month. It`s important, because it can indicated how the economy is doing. Latest numbers are a mixed bag. On one hand, the unemployment rate ticked down one tenths of a percentage point to 6.6 percent in January. That`s the lowest it`s been in five years. But it only measure people who are actively looking for jobs, and many Americans have given up. The economy added 113,000 jobs in January, economists call that weak. They were expecting 178,000. The United States national debt is $17.3 trillion and counting. It`s the highest level of any country in the world. The debt limit, or ceiling was created during World War I. It was intended to limit how much the government spent. But Congress has always raised it when it was hit. And now that we`ve hit it again, that`s what Congress is expected to do again.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s back in town, the debt limits circus. But the juggling isn`t the conventional kind you might find in the big top. This juggling uses special accounting rules and billions of dollars. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has some experience juggling. In fact, he`s a pretty good juggler, after all. He had to do this last fall. But like the movie “Groundhog Day”, we`re back at the same place. Effectively, the Treasury can`t borrow more money to run the country, because we`ve reached the legal debt limit. That`s right. To run the country, we have to borrow some money to do everything we`ve promised. Lew now has to use accounting tricks to keep the U.S. solvent, but he can`t do it for very long. He`s already warned that if a deal isn`t done by the end of the month, America risks a default on some of its obligations. And the smart money bets, Congress comes up with the deal in the next few weeks that we avoid a market meltdown, a global panic, spiking interest rates.
House Speaker John Boehner already saying that even getting close to a default isn`t an option this time. And after last fall`s government shutdown, Republicans and Democrats don`t seem to have much stomach for a standoff. So, the juggling has begun for now and investors can watch Jack Lew pull off more daring moves to buy time to keep the U.S. from fiscal freefall until Congress gets a budget deal, but it needs a deal soon. Christine Romans, CNN, New York.
AZUZ: The Obama administration is taking another step in support of same sex marriage. It`s expanding how the government recognizes it. What this means: same sex couples will get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples do wherever the U.S. government has jurisdiction. So, this will apply in court cases, prison visitations and when it comes to spousal benefits when a police officer or a firefighter is killed on the job. This doesn`t legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states. Currently 17 states allow that. But it means that same sex couples who get married in a state where it is legal will get government benefits even if they leave in a state where it`s not. The U.S. Attorney General says this will change countless lives of same sex couples for the better. Some critics say the government is going too far. The National Organization of Marriage says “It undermines the authority of states to make their own decisions about how marriage is handled under law.”
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, if you can I.D. me. I`m a U.S. government agency that dates back to 1862. In the president`s cabinet I`m represented by Thomas Vilsack. Part of my job is to oversee the U.S. farming industry. I`m the U.S. Department of Agriculture or USDA and I work to ensure America`s food supply is safe.
AZUZ: One way the USDA does that is by inspecting the companies that produce food. If a company breaks the law by not getting those inspections, it may have to recall the food it makes. That`s what`s happening with the Rancho Feeding Corporation. It`s recalling 8.7 million pounds of beef and veal, because it wasn`t properly inspected by the USDA. The government says some of the meat came from animals that had diseases or that weren`t safe for human consumption. The meat was sent to places in California, Florida, Illinois and Texas. We don`t know yet if it was sold in markets or restaurants. But the USDA says that so far, no one has reported getting sick from eating it.
OK, separate story about sickness. The most common stomach bug we can get is norovirus. 19 million or more Americans get it every year in crowded places like nursing homes, daycare centers or cruise ships. In fact, almost 900 people on two different cruise ships have gotten norovirus so far this year. So, why isn`t it more common on Navy ships?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pick it up! Pick it up!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The U.S. Navy prides itself on being ready to fight. Whether it`s a fire on the flight deck like this drill on the USS Iwo Jima, or in the ship`s bowels where they battle an unseen enemy: germs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Command is cleaning stations.
CAPTAIN JIM MCGOVERN, IWO JIMA COMMANDING OFFICER: Serious outbreaks of ten or 20 individuals being sick are taken very seriously and we, you know, we attack those outbreaks.
UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: I`m the United States sailor …
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With 3,000 sailors and Marines on board the Iwo Jima, you might think outbreaks of illness would be common. Norovirus sickened nearly 700 people on the cruise ship last month. But the Navy never lets it get to that point. When illnesses like Norovirus break out, sailors are quickly isolated.
VICE ADMIRAL MATTHEW NATHAN, SURGEON GENERAL OF THE NAVY: We either restrict them to medical, we restrict them to their quarters, we do not allow them to traverse to the food stations, to the galleys, to the library, to the gym.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And ships are cleaned around the clock.
JOHN CANEVARI, IWO JIMA CREWMAN: Every day at 07:30 we basically do a clearing station of the ship.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From stem to stern, every sailor sweeps, scrubs and swabs.
DANA GORDON, IWO JIMA EXECUTIVE OFFICER: All of our sailors out cleaning from over here, it`s the decks, the (inaudible) all the way down to the decks.
JAKEILA OWENS, IWO JIMA CULINARY SPECIALIST: It`s important to keep this area clean, because cross contamination is a big factor in food borne illness.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Outbreak or not, the galley is inspected by the ship`s medical stuff constantly, looking for everything from dirt to expired food.
AARAON FERGUSON, IWO JIMA PREVENTIVE MEDICINE TECHNICIAN: We go through every day, two to three times a day during meal periods, after meal periods for the cleaning. So that way, we know that their practices are safe for the crew.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s military discipline that makes the difference, the Navy surgeon general says.
NATHAN: If you have a ship whose main center of gravity is social gatherings, food places, dancing areas and swimming pools, all those things that sailors wish they had, but don`t have on our Navy ships, then I think it`s much more challenging environment to control the spread of a highly contagious virus.
AZUZ: If you`re watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on Friday, you saw some huge and technologically advanced visual effects. It was part fireworks show, part movie making, part Russian ballet, and part remembrance of Russia`s complicated and controversial history. It brought together projection and reflection, but you couldn`t quite call it perfection.
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As competition continues here in Sochi, so does the controversy. This time, the focus is on the opening ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony, a stage manager gave a bad direction to the crew, and one of the electronic snowflakes that was supposed to transform into an Olympic ring, well, it didn`t. American viewers saw that, and so did most of the rest of the world. But not here in Russia. Russian TV actually admitted that when they saw the mistake, they had to broadcast – cut to rehearsal video of the ring functioning properly. And the director also seemed to think that was no big deal. Take a listen.
KONSTANTIN ERNST, SOCHI 2014 CEREMONIES PRODUCER (through translator): When we understood because we had headphones communicating with all the technical people, we were in contact with them. Just a few seconds before we understood that the rings were not opening, we ordered the production booth, which provided the Russian national signal that we were taking the ring opening from the rehearsal. That was the only piece that we used.
NICHOLS: So, in Russia, the mistake never happened. It`s a good reminder here that the official narrative doesn`t always match real life. In Sochi, I`m Rachel Nichols, CNN.
AZUZ: Titanic, how you could describe today`s CNN STUDENT NEWS Roll Call. Why? Because it`s about the titans at Grand Terrace High School in Grand Terrace, California. It`s about the Titans at Papillion La Vista South High School in Papillion, Nebraska. And guess what? The Titans what? Davidson Middle School in Southgate, Michigan. Thanks for watching you all.
There are only snow many times you can build a snowman before the coolness wears off. So, what do you do then? You take it up a notch. Or in this case, many notches. From a place that`s quite compatible with cold, Chicago, Illinois, the annual Snow Day Sculpting Competition pits 27 teams against ten foot blocks of snow. Given them the chance to shape a wonderland out of the long cold winter. Some of these teams practice all year using sand. So there`s a bit of grit to it: it takes more than a grain of talent. I know that shapes up another edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`ll bring you more cutting edge stories tomorrow. We hope you can carve back ten minutes for the show.
CNN Student News February 11, 2014: Historical Flooding in England; Russians Proud of Winter Games in Sochi; Dam Building in Costa Rica May Block Important Passage for Jaguars
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Headline in today`s show. Major winter storms, but not in the United States. Welcome to another international edition of commercial-free CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`re heading to Britain. In January, 2014, the country saw rain, like it hasn`t seen since the 1760s when King George was on the throne. The River Thames, which fits like a loose belt across southern England has been rising from a series of winter storms. It`s flooded towns, destroyed farms and left people scrambling to protect or evacuate whatever they can from their homes. The British government says extra money and man power on the way to help defend and repair homes, but in some areas resident were saying that`s too little, too late.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not a lake or a sea, but a disaster in the heart of the English countryside. They are no strangers to flooding here, but nothing like this, not since records began.
This has been the wettest month for 248 years in this part of Britain, and climbing up this hill overlooking this part of Somerset in the southwest of the country, you get a really amazing perspective on the impact that it`s had. Take a look over here. All of this land, the environment agency here says, 26 square miles of it, has been inundated with floodwater from the rainfalls. It`s having a huge economic consequence, and the local communities are really feeling the impact.
In (inaudible) to drain the fields and roads, thousands of gallons of rainwater are being pumped into already swollen rivers. For many residents, it`s a desperate race to safe their homes.
(on camera): All right, well, we`ve got access to one of the houses that has been severely affected by the flooding. You can see, the water is absolutely everywhere. The owner of the property, Dave Donson (ph) here, he`s been building up the flood defenses as best he can to try and protect the rest of his home from the flood water. But, you know, it`s a scene of real devastation.
(voice over): Outside, an army of volunteers is shoring up the flood defenses, including aid workers like Ravi Singh of the British-based (inaudible) aid agency, normally deployed in disaster zones overseas.
(on camera): How unusual is it for your agency to be called out to help people in Britain?
RAVINDER SINGH, KHLASA AID: Highly unusual. Actually, as a matter of fact, we`ve never done anything before in Britain. And we like other agencies psychologically switched off – they don`t need anything, they`ll be fine. And when I`ve heard some of the callers on the radio station a few days ago saying we`re the aid agencies that appeal to us for international aid, and that really stock (INAUDIBLE)
CHANCE: And forecasters predict more floods are, indeed, on the way. As Britain`s relentless rainstorms look set to continue. Matthew Chance, CNN, Somerset, England.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, if you can I.D. me. You`ll find me between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. I`m a Central American nation that got its independence from Spain in 1821. I`m the only country that borders both Nicaragua and Panama.
I`m Costa Rica, a nation of almost 4.7 million people.
AZUZ: It`s no large country. Costa Rica is about the size of West Virginia with the population the size of Alabama. A little under 5 million people. Its poverty rate is lower than that of its Central American neighbors, though it still includes about a quarter of the Costa Rican population. A new dam could help the country economically in the years ahead, but it may come at a cost to Costa Rica`s coveted biodiversity.
NICK PARKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Buried in dense forest in Costa Rica, work on Central America`s largest hydroelectric dam is pressing ahead.
Construction on this project is now more than half complete. Next year, this entire area will be flooded to create a dam that will supply Costa Rica with ten percent of its electricity.
A key source of renewable energy for a country looking to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. But fears have been raised over the impact on the surrounding countryside.
Particularly, for jaguars like this one we filmed in captivity. The area around the (inaudible) River provides the animals with a corridor to cross between reserves.
SIMON MACARA, ANIMAL ACTIVIST: It`s the weakest link in the jaguar corridor through Central America. So, it`s (inaudible) the area quite as concerned.
PARKER: We visited the area with a government agency behind the dam project. Efforts are under way to improve conditions to encourage greater migration. That means, educating landowners and paying them to leave areas undeveloped. The hope is that many lives will be improved, and the safeguards are model for vital infrastructure. Nick Parker, CNN, Siqueiros, Costa Rica.
AZUZ: In The lead up to the Olympics, we talked about the U.S. government`s warnings about security. We talked about last minute preparations when some hotels and venues weren`t ready. Yesterday, we talked about a technical glitch in the opening ceremonies. But we haven`t yet talked about the pride that`s welling up in Sochi and spreading throughout the world`s largest size country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Winter Games in Sochi are now under way, and Russia is opening its arms to the rest of the world, sharing its culture and tradition.
The opening ceremony was a moment of Russian pride, and not only for Vladimir Putin. In a humble cafe, patrons and cooks stood side by side bursting with patriotism during a life performance of the Russian National Anthem.
Moscow is trying to put what was once a backwater Black Sea resort back on the map. For years, locals endured power outages while much of their city turned into a construction site. After all that, the Losevsky family says, the Olympic Games now feel like a holiday.
“From the new hotels to the big sports arenas, we love it,” Victoria tells me. “I think the whole world will come here, see this and enjoy it.
These days, the people here look unmistakably happy. And sometimes it feels like the entire city is celebrating.
This is my very first Olympiad, and what I`m quickly realizing, is it`s about more than just the sports – this is an entire citywide festival that`s being enjoyed by Russians and by foreign visitors as well.
JOE DESIMONI, AMERICAN TOURIST: I feel very comfortable here, because there is so much security all over the place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to go through metal detectors, even to see ballet. No one is taking any chances. Russians are well aware that for the next few weeks, their country is on an international stage in an Olympic theater where even the audience members are performers.
AZUZ: Big challenge ahead for the National Football League and Michael Sam, he`s a former defensive end for Missouri, planning to enter the NFL draft this May.
In an interview Sunday, Sam announced that he`s gay. This could make him the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. But will the timing of Sam`s announcement affect his draft prospects? Eight executives and coaches, interviews by “Sports Illustrated” said this could hurt him in the draft for several reasons. One is that the NFL`s locker room culture might not welcome an openly gay player. Another is all the media attention that drafting him would bring. Some teams might not want that. And NFL statement says the league would welcome and support Michael Sam. And NFL player who spoke anonymously to “Bleacher Report” said “Half of the NFL`s locker rooms will accept him, half won`t.”
Are the pirates ready for today`s “Roll Call?” Yes, they are. Shoutout to the Davis High Schools pirates. They are watching and putting up with our puns in Yakima, Washington. Next, to Joliet, Illinois. You don`t want to meddle with the steel men. They are online at Joliet Central High School. And good day to the Knights. We found them in Aurora, Indiana, the Knights of South Dearborn High School.
Before we go, one little kitty wants to nap, one little kitty wants to groom. Here`s what we mean. The description on this YouTube video says that Hazel, that`s the name of the toddler, likes to snuggle with the family cats, sometimes she gets groomed, too. Apparently, the cat doesn`t mind taking a break from its catnap to lap up a few minutes of quality time with the toddler. But have anyone ever asked the girl what the deal is with the calic (ph), and she has to explain it`s a cat lick, and someone says, you`ve got to be kitting me right meow. And she says nothing, because cats got her tongue – well, so goes a tale of two kitties. That laps up all our time for today. Just when you thought there were no more groom for puns. Sorry. I just get so cat up in these things. I`m Carl Azuz. For CNN STUDENT NEWS.
CNN Student News February 12, 2014: French President`s Visit to Washington D.C.; China-Taiwan Historical Meeting in Nanjing; Celebrations of 35th Anniversary of Islamic Revolution in Tehran; The Large European Acoustic Facility Built to Imitate Space Flights; Mutts at Westminster Dog Show.
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: We crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans today on CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz reporting from Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. First up, a trip from France to Washington, D.C. French President Francois Hollande stopped by the U.S. capital for a state visit. This isn`t a casual get together for lunch. State visits have pump and circumstance. There are welcoming ceremonies. Sitting assignments at dinner. Last night`s event was the first state dinner of President Obama`s second term. He and the French President, a socialist elected in 2012, discussed economic struggles in Europe, the civil war in Syria and Iran`s controversial nuclear program. Hollande says, trust has been restored after news came out last year that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on U.S. allies, including France.
To another diplomatic meeting now, in Nanjing, the city in China. This meeting is historic. It`s the first time in 65 years that officials from Taiwan and China have met with each other. China`s formal name is People`s Republic of China, Taiwan`s formal name is Republic of China. Both governments consider Taiwan to be a province of China. But while all that`s pretty close, there are some differences here. Taiwan`s government type is a multi-party democracy. China`s is a communist state. And both say, they`re the legitimate rulers over all China, so you can see why there are some tension at the table of this government officials.
PAULINE CHIOU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The delicate relationship between China and Taiwan took center stage at historic talks in Nanjing this week. The two sides agreed to a new chapter in their relationship. While no formal agreements were signed, both marked the moment as a step forward. This is the first time government officials from Taiwan and China have met since 1949. That`s when the communists forced nationalists to flee to Taiwan. Since then, island and mainland have been government separately, both claiming to be the true government of China. While their relationship has improved since 2008, Beijing still refuses to recognize the government of Taiwan to this day. That issue was sidestepped at the meeting, and officials were addressed by their titles. And a sense of diplomacy inside the conference room. As you can see, there were no flags placed around the room. Nanjing is also a symbolic location for this meeting. It was China`s capital city before the split. Pauline Chiou, CNN, Hong Kong.
AZUZ: The United States and Iran are rivals. There are no diplomatic relations between them. The U.S. labels Iran a sponsor of international terrorism, and says its nuclear program could be used to make nuclear weapons. Iran says, the program is only for peaceful purposes. Ties between the two countries fell apart decades ago, during the Islamic revolution of 1979. There was a violent uprising that overthrew Iran`s ruling monarchy and led to the creation of the Islamic Republic that Iran has today. The anniversary of that revolution is being celebrated in Iran this week. A new political tone seems to be coinciding with an old one.
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thousands marked the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Teheran. A celebration that`s always part gushing tribute to the Islamic Republic.
And part kicking the teeth to Washington.
And many here in Iran still see the U.S. government as the world`s bully. And this ceremony has long been used to send a message of defiance against Washington. And that message is, we`re not scared of you and you`re not going to push us around.
Chants of death to America, one of the iconic symbols of Iran`s defiance, still ringing out. 35 years after Washington and Tehran broke off diplomatic ties. “America, you can`t do a thing to us,” says Zahra Elohi (ph).
But this year with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pushing to improve relations with the West, you get the sense here that the tone of the anti- American rhetoric is softening just a little bit.
In his speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was firm. Rejecting Western sanctions and stating Iran will never give up its civilian nuclear program. But he also said, Iran wants peace.
“We want regional countries to know. Iranphobia is a lie. Iran will never think about aggression against any country,” said the president. It was a sentiment echoed by many in the crowd.
“It`s not about attacking anyone,” says Sayah Kozowi (ph). It`s about defending ourselves.
“If they pay attention to us, they`ll see we can be good friends who can help bring peace and love all over the world,” says Mortizad Datha (ph). Cautious calls for peace, reconciliation and mutual respect on the anniversary of a revolution that ended U.S.-Iran relations. Perhaps, an early sign that 35 years of bad feelings re finally starting to ease.
Rezah Sayah, CNN, Tehran.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the “Shoutout.” This is a unit for measuring what: if you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: loudness, resistance, elasticity or depth? You`ve got three seconds, go!
The letters are an abbreviation for decibels, which are used to measure how loud a sound is. That`s your answer and that`s your “Shoutout.”
AZUZ: So, something at 30 decibels would be pretty faint. Maybe somebody whispering to you in a library. You are probably listening to me at a level of around 60 decibels right now, unless you`re sitting right next to the speaker.
Exposure to anything above 85 decibels for too long can cause hearing loss. So, why would someone want to invent something louder than 154 decibels?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A vacuum cleaner, a freight train. `80s heavy metal gods, “Manowar.” None of this can stand up to this monstrous system: it`s so loud it will literally kill you.
Or at least completely rupture your eardrums. It`s called the Large European Acoustic Facility. LEAF, for sure. It`s operated by the European Space Agency in the Netherlands. They use it to simulate the rigors of spaceflight. Things like the noise from a rocket launch. Or the intense friction experience for passing in and out of the atmosphere.
The giant room that makes up the speaker, has massive horns that can blast air so powerfully, that sounds inside the room can exceed 154 decibels.
That`s like standing in the center of a group of jets if they take off all around me. And so, the scientists don`t melt their brains. The room is surrounded by steel-reinforced concrete and rubber padding. Plus, the horns won`t operate unless all the doors are locked and sealed.
AZUZ: Welcome to the “Roll Call.” It`s worldwide Wednesday. That means, we are going global to see who is watching CNN STUDENT NEWS. In Manila, Philippines, hello to the students of Santa Thomas University. Our next school is in Yerevan, Armenia. Thanks to all of those watching at Quantum College Middle and High School. And we`ll make our third stop in Ontario, Canada. We are glad to be part of your day in Victor Loreston (ph) Public School.
The Westminster Kennel Club hosts what it calls the World`s Most Famous Dog Show.” Recent winners that were awarded best in show, included affenpinscher, a Pecanese, a Scottish deerhound. They don`t include any mutts. But at least one part of this show, every dog has his day.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Finally, mutts are back at Westminster. At least, they are allowed in Westminster`s new agility competition that takes place before the main event.
But how do you separate the purebreds from the mutts?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on camera): Mutt or no mutt?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neither one of them is a mutt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mutt or no mutt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No mutt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mutt or no mutt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s an Australian shepherd.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mutt or no mutt?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a .
MOOS (voice over): A mere question was enough to offend a purebred border collie.
Out of 225 dogs competing on the agility course, only 15 were mutts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a mutt.
MOOS: Meet Sadie (ph), from Connecticut.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s thrilled.
MOOS: And though some of the mutts accidentally went around jumps .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or seemed to be slow running the weave polls compared to the more practiced purebreds, still even the purebreds messed up. This one had to do a do-over, but once again the polls near the end proved distracting. The winner, the agility champ was Kelso, the purebreds border collie. A husky mixed name Rou won for highest score in mixed breed. They don`t use the word “mutt” around here.
(on camera): Would he have anything against mutts?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. Not at all.
MOOS (voice over): The purebreds competing without mutts for best in show, were blissfully unaware of any breed warfare, but will Westminster ever hear of allowing mutts to have the equivalent of best in show?
(on camera): What about best in mutts?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. You`ve got to have a standard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I love that.
MOOS (voice over): And when it comes to best announcer, we are putting our money on Woody.
(on camera): Woody cute! Yes! Yes!
(voice over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
AZUZ: Guess, now it`s a mutt see event, though some would say, it`s gone to the dogs. For some mixed breeds, it`s a new found land of opportunity. You know what`s going to happen a schnauzer or later, though one thing we may never know, is who let the dogs out? There is no more time to terrier. We`ll beagle back tomorrow on CNN STUDENT NEWS.
CNN Student News February 13, 2014: Severe Winter Weather in American Southeast; Babies and Morality
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: From the snowbound southeast, I`m Carl Azuz with CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`ve got some interesting info today on winter weather, and we`re starting in the district that`s pretty used to it. The District of Columbia. Congress has raised the roof on the U.S. debt limit. Currently, the national debt is $17.2 trillion. What lawmakers did is suspend the limit. They didn`t raise it to a specific dollar figure. They just voted to allow the government to continue borrowing money. However much it believes it needs to borrow until March of 2015. The bipartisan policy center estimates the government will add about a trillion more dollars to the debt between now and then. The House of Representatives passed this plan on Tuesday. The Senate passed it yesterday. President Obama is expected to sign it into law.
The story here at the American southeast can be summed up in this headline and the ice that covers it. The Georgia capital virtually shut down by winter weather two weeks ago, it`s getting hit with another snow and ice storm. We`d show you what that looks like from our roof here at CNN, but this is the current view from our tower cam, so you see why that wouldn`t work. It`s a relatively rare event for this part of the country. You can see the line of freezing precipitation curling up the eastern seaboard yesterday, expected to last through Thursday from the South to Maryland and Delaware.
Atlanta was expecting three to five inches of accumulation. Charlotte, North Carolina, up to ten inches. Parts of Virginia, 14 inches. Roads were closed, schools and businesses were closed, church and entertainment events canceled. Emergency workers were doing all they could to keep people safe. With winter advisory stretched over 22 states.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not kidding. We`re not just crying wolf. It is serious business.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Weather-related incidents killed at least five people including three in Texas and two in Mississippi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re facing an icing event that is very unusual for the metropolitan (ph) region in the state of Georgia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officials say once you get past a quarter-inch of ice, power lines are in big trouble.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re talking about places seeing even upward of an inch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And officials warn those power outages could be widespread. Look at that. It`s like a ghost town in the entire city of Atlanta.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sleet, ice and snow canceling thousands of flights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your batteries out to get your flashlights out, to get your transistor radio out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wherever you are, you need to plan on stand there for a while.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: One major danger here is ice. Part of the reason so many flights were canceled is because ice coats airplane wings, disrupting in the way air flows over them, hindering their ability to fly. Pilots can`t land on it, just like drivers without tire chains can`t drive on it. Ice coats trees, weighing them down and branches eventually break, taking out power lines as they fall. Almost half of million Americans were in the dark, many without heat yesterday. Utility company said they expected more to lose power as precipitation continued.
Some folks ask, why we don`t bury power lines to get them out of the way. For one thing, it could cost about six times more than suspending them above the ground. It takes a long time to do, and when underground power lines fail, it takes longer to fix them.
Another winter danger in areas that get a lot of snow, avalanches. The snowmobiler who captured this on his helmet cam, says he was pushed about 100 feet. He made it out OK.
When officials know the conditions are right for an avalanche, one that way they can deal with it, is by setting off explosives, causing an intended controlled avalanche. But they can`t keep tabs on every mountainside people will visit. And six people have recently been killed in avalanches in Colorado, Oregon and Utah. In the back country, remote areas where skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers enjoy untouched powder, the snow isn`t groomed. It may not be monitored. The danger is higher, so the need for emergency equipment is higher.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A back country ski outing in Switzerland that is about to turn into a horrifying experience. Christopher Carlson, who was wearing a helmet cam, came very close to documenting his own death. It`s an avalanche. He`s buried about five feet under the snow, unable to move.
CHRISTOPHER CARLSON (yelling)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Carlson is hoping the skiers he was with, find him before he suffocates.
And they do. He`s a very lucky man.
On the average, in the U.S., 28 people die each year from avalanches, often with hundreds of tons of snow plummeting down the mountain. I skied at Colorado`s Copper Mountain with one of the top avalanche experts in the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are the conditions?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good for skiing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ethan Greene is the director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. His state agency`s responsibility in part, to forecast the probability of avalanches.
ETHAN GREENE, COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CTR. DIRECTOR: This is Mayflower Gulch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he takes me away from the resort and into the back country, where most avalanches occur to learn about the three essentials for back country skiers.
GREENE: beacon, probe, shovel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (on camera): beacon, probe, shovel.
GREENE: That`s right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are the three things you have to have with you.
GREENE: That`s right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The beacon.
GREENE: We all put on one of this and turn them on, so they are transmitting. They are sending out a signal and then later in the day, if you get buried in an avalanche, I`ll be able to set mine to receive, pick up your signal and locate you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The probe and the shovel.
GREENE: Yeah. This is a three meter probe poll. So what this allows me to do, is once I get your general location with the beacon, I can pinpoint you with this probe and then use the shovel to dig down to the tip.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): There`s also this fourth (inaudible). And that can keep you above the rampaging snow threatening to bury you. The airbag pack.
AZUZ: Time for “The Shoutout.” Which of these words is a synonym for morality? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it vitriol, rectitude, mortality or acrimonious. You`ve got three seconds, go!
Call it rectitude, morality or virtue, but it all has to do with choosing right over wrong. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
If you`ve spent any time around babies, so we are talking children three to six months in age, you know they can express themselves. Smiling when happy, crying when – well, whenever. But do they know right from wrong? Good from bad? Do babies have a sense of morality? A scientist at Yale University says psychologists have long felt that babies knew nothing in that area. One study is changing that, but there is a caveat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These babies at Yale University`s Infant Cognition Center are here to watch a puppet show. A show designed to illustrate examples of good and band behavior. Watch as this puppet struggles to open a box. A green bunny comes along and helps to open the box. Green bunny is nice and helpful. Then, an orange bunny comes along and slams the box shut. The orange bunny is mean and unhelpful. But what does this mean to six-months old and three months old babies? After repeated shows, they are presented with two puppets. The nice green bunny and the mean orange bunny. Which one will they choose?
Over 80 percent of babies like the nice puppet. So we see babies recognizing good and bad characters. But do they then try to avoid the bad guy? The good bunny has one graham cracker, the bad bunny has two. Which one will the babies choose? Over 80 percent of babies will take one cracker from the nice guy avoiding the mean guy, even though he has one more cracker.
But if the mean guy has eight crackers, and the nice guy just one cracker? Now, which one will the baby choose? 65 percent of babies will take the crackers from the mean guy. According to the study, more crackers means more willingness to overlook dealing with the bad guy.
AZUZ: No bunnies, but plenty of birds in today`s CNN STUDENT NEWS “Roll Call.” Watching us with eagle eyes from Lancaster, California, the Lancaster High School Eagles are on today`s roll. Flying north for the winter, we`ve got the Cardinals of Fairmount Junior Senior High School. Hello to everyone in Fairmount, Minnesota. And we`ll fly down the Mississippi River to get a bird`s eye view of the blue jays. Glad you`re watching in Liberty, Missouri.
Wail now. Here`s something you don`t see every day. Sky diver was taking a camera along for the ride, but the camera apparently jumped before the sky diver, falling out of the plane. The sky diver never found it, but somebody did. A person who owns this pig pen says the camera was found with this footage on it eight months after it fell from the sky. The proof posted on YouTube. For the skydiver, it was one trough break. It`s a poor sign of camera handling. For the animal, no pig deal. For the rest of us, pretty oink credible. But that probably won`t happen again until pigs fly. You knew we`d be bacon up some puns. It`s inporcent to me because I`ve always been kind of a ham. It eats up our time for today, but CNN STUDENT NEWS will be back on camera tomorrow. I`m Carl Azuz.
CNN Student News February 14, 2014: WMassive Snowstorm Bringing Tragedy and Hardship in American Northeast and Southeast; President Obama`s Facing Lawsuit for NSA Surveillance Program; Comcast Plans to Buy Time Warner; Cleaning Burj Khalifa, the Highest Building in the World
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Valentine`s Day, everyone. I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to another lovely edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS. One thing that isn`t lovely as far as many Americans are concerned, the weather. From North Carolina to Boston, another winter storm is frosting the East Coast, possibly the worst the northeast has seen this winter. Ice, sleet, snow, freezing rain, all making it nearly impossible in some places to go anywhere. And staying home wasn`t great either for more than 700,000 power customers in the dark. New Yorkers were looking at 15 inches of snow and that`s just a snapshot of the eastern seaboard.
SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, Mother Nature is serving up tragedy and misery. There are ten confirmed deaths due to the storm. Obviously, amid this tragedy, there also problems and pain, but some people are able to find simple pleasures in so much wicked weather.
A snowball fight in front of the Lincoln Memorial shows the lighter side of the storm, but government agencies are taking the snow seriously. Forecasters expect up to ten inches of snow in the nation`s capital. Officials have ordered all federal offices closed. The plows were out on force Wednesday in Raleigh, North Carolina, but for a lot of stranded drivers, it didn`t do much good. Officials in the southeast urge people to stay home if they could as the road conditions got progressively worse. Even first responders who are having a hard time getting around slipping and sliding as they try to get their vehicles moving again.
As if ice on roads wasn`t bad enough, the weight of ice and snow brought trees down into power lines and in some cases, into homes.
AZUZ: This “Roll Call” is going to the dogs, because Valentine`s Day is all about puppy love.
At Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, Missouri, we`ve got the bull dogs. Thanks for watching, yo.
Up to Chicago, Illinois, it`s where we find the Uno Soccer Academy High School and the fearsome wolves. And in Williston, North Dakota, some coyotes are watching CNN STUDENT NEWS. Howlo to Williston High School.
All right, big business is making big headlines this week. Cable and Internet provider Comcast is planning to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. This would combine the two biggest cable companies in the U.S. And give Comcast $30 million customers. The U.S. government must first approve the deal, and it may not, if it thinks it would give the new company too much control over the market. Both Comcast and Time Warner Cable say this is good news for customers, that the merger will mean higher broadband Internet speeds, faster Wi-Fi in people`s homes, faster releases of new products. But critics are concerned it would limit people`s choices and lead to higher prices. And last year, a consumer satisfaction index ranked the companies lowest in the nation for TV and Internet customer service.
Can you sue the president? The answer is yes. Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have all been sued. The outcomes vary, of course, but it shows you that even the leader of the country is not immune to lawsuits. The latest one involving President Obama has been brought by Republican Senator Rand Paul. He says the president and other parts of the U.S. government violated Americans privacy rights by collecting millions of Americans phone and email records. The government says its controversial program has helped to prevent terrorism. What the courts will say is uncertain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Rand Paul`s lawsuit joined by the Tea Party umbrella group FreedomWorks is the latest legal effort to put the heat on President Obama and the National Security Agency over collection of telephone metadata, the numbers, dates and times of calls, but not the content.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R) KENTUCKY: This we believe will be a historic lawsuit. We think it may well be the largest class action lawsuit every filed on behalf of the Bill of Rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An unusual lawsuit that Paul hopes will gain public support, it goes after the president and the director of National Intelligence, of the NSA and the FBI, on behalf of millions who have been customers, users and subscribers of phone service since 2006.
Paul wants the federal courts to declare the metadata collection program unconstitutional, shut it down and order the government to approach (ph) the information from its systems. But the administration insists the program is legal.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It has been found to be lawful by multiple courts. And it receives oversight from all three branches of government including the Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the lawsuit a good idea?
SPENCER KAMCHEE: Our information, I think it should be private.
LAUREN WOODS: The idea that anybody could be listening to my private life. That kind of, you know, it`s a little bit creepy.
STEVE MEDLIN: I think it`s just kind of a stunt to get attention. I doubt anything (INAUDIBLE) should go over to the lawsuit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were already cases in the federal courts involving the same legal questions: whether the program violates your constitutional right.
STEVE VLADECK, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW: There is no question that the underlying legal question is going to have to be resolved by the federal courts sometimes soon. It just doesn`t seem like Senator Paul suit is going to be the vehicle, through which the courts do it.
AZUZ: Time for “The Shoutout.” Acrophobia is the fear of what? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it ice, spiders, dancing or heights? You`ve got three seconds, go!
If you dread heights, you might just be acrophobic and you wouldn`t want the job we`re about to describe. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.
And that`s because it`s at the world`s tallest building. Not near the bottom of it, not indoors. The Burj Khalifa stands more than half a mile high. It`s located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a place that`s no stranger to sand storms. How do they keep it clean?
JON JENSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When they built the world`s tallest building, Dubai`s Burj Khalifa, it was covered in 24,000 separate panels of glass. Dipak Ghal`s job is keeping them clean.
“The work is interesting, and the view is beautiful,” he tells me. Dipak is one of around 60 migrant workers, mostly from Nepal, India and the Philippines who clean windows here.
And in this dusty desert climate, there is plenty of work for them.
They start at the very tip top.
We`re standing on the 159th floor of the Burj Khalifa. That`s about 35 stories higher than most tourists get to go. It doesn`t sound that high, perhaps. But if you come over here, take a look over the edge, I think you might change your mind.
It`s more than 2700 feet, or nearly a kilometer straight down, certainly not a job for the faint of heart, especially when you`re repelling.
Dipak had never seen a building even half this height before, let alone climbed one. But his brother said he should leave Katmandu and give it a try. Safety comes first. And while they trust their equipment, harnesses and ropes are checked and double checked. Wind speed is also measured. Because up here, one big gust could be dangerous.
“The wind can toss you around the building, from right to left, “He says. “If it`s too strong, we don`t work that day.”
When the inspections are done, they step out over the edge and deep down to business.
It will take those three months to clean each and every window and then they start all over again. The building`s contractor, though, says, rope access is still the most efficient way to get the job done. For Dipak, it`s also a decent living. As a new recruit, he can make over $600 a month, much more than he`d earned as a construction worker building skyscrapers like this one.
“My mom always asks me why I do this. And says it looks dangerous,” he tells me. She wants me to come back to Nepal and get a regular job, but I tell them no, no, no. I like it. And this is a good living.
And he says, just another day at the office.
Jon Jensen, CNN, Dubai.
AZUZ: Americans are expected to spend $17.3 billion on Valentine`s Day stuff. That`s over 55 bucks for every person in the country. Chocolate boxes, a popular gift, date back to the 1860s. But few things are sweeter than the long awaited and well deserved homecoming of U.S. troops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it`s not only me. It`s them that made that sacrifice.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I want my mom to come home .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, this is (inaudible). He`ll meet Dad for the first time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t try to pull it off. They think I`m coming home in about three weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really just want to make – make them feel better about it, you know, and hopefully this .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I can`t even explain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, mom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The absolute joy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m daddy.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Mom!
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Daddy!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome back home.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: It`s tough to beat something so heartfelt. Whether or not you love Valentine`s Day, we hope you have one sweet weekend with chocalot of fan. We will be off Monday for the President`s Day holiday. So we`ll look forward to seeing you again on Tuesday. I`m Carl Azuz.
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