CNN Student News – 2011/03/30

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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: You’re watching CNN Student News! You give us 10 minutes, we’ll give you today’s headlines, with absolutely no commercials. I’m Carl Azuz. Let’s go ahead and get started.

First Up: Libya Mission

AZUZ: First up, President Obama makes his case for the U.S. military’s involvement in Libya. In a speech on Monday night, the president said he ordered troops to take action against Libya because of what he called the “looming humanitarian crisis" in the North African country. President Obama said that outweighed other concerns.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It’s true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. Given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right. In this particular country, Libya, at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence.

AZUZ: The president’s been getting a lot of criticism for how he’s handling this situation in Libya. You can see some of that in yesterday’s show. President Obama had said previously that the U.S. goal was to remove Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from power. But in the speech he made on Monday night, the president said the U.S. shouldn’t do that directly. And a leading Republican senator says that shift is a serious mistake.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: If Gadhafi remains in power, it’ll be a stalemate. We saw a stalemate before after Operation Desert Storm. We saw a no-fly zone and sanctions that lasted for 10 years that Saddam Hussein was able to remain in power. A stalemate is not an acceptable solution.

U.S. Radiation Concerns

AZUZ: Our next story today: whether it’s a military situation, like in Libya, economics, or even something environmental, you know that events in one country can have an impact around the globe. Now, that includes the damage to a nuclear power plant in Japan. Brian Todd explains how what’s happening at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan is starting to show up in the United States.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.: Tiny amounts of radioactivity from Fukushima have now traveled at least halfway across the world, as far as America’s East coast. Particles, believed to have come from Japan, have been detected in the air or in rainwater in at least a dozen states. Is it a health risk? Government officials say the levels are far lower than the amount that would pose any concern, sometimes thousands of times less. We caught up with the health director in Maryland, where radiation from Fukushima was detected in the air and rainwater.

What does it mean overall that this has traveled all the way from Japan to now the East coast of the U.S.?

DR. JOSHUA SHARFSTEIN, MARYLAND SECRETARY OF HEALTH: Well, you know, it shows that an environmental event in one part of the world can have, can be seen, sort of the echoes of it, in other parts of the world. And when Chernobyl happened, a similar thing was seen. When radioactive material gets into the atmosphere and can travel around into the weather patterns, it gets diluted as it goes along. And by the time it gets to a place like Maryland, it’s so small it’s not a public health concern.

TODD: So far, no radioactive material has been found in drinking water or milk supplies in the U.S. The federal government is monitoring radiation as well.

We’re on a rooftop in Washington where the EPA has given us access to a RadNet fixed-air monitor. There are 124 of these across the U.S. It’s a high-volume monitor. It measures three times the amount of air in one hour that we breathe in in one day. The air is sucked in under here and deposited on a filter right here, but measured with a gamma monitor and a beta monitor. Those measurements are transferred to a computer inside here where officials can come in and look at it in real time. That real-time data is transferred to a U.S. government lab in Alabama through this satellite dish right here, a cell-phone transmission there, and also a fixed-phone transmission. But officials do come up here and change the filter every couple of days, also to get more sensitive and accurate, redundant information. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.



TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today’s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Hudson’s social studies classes at Bedford Middle School in Bedford, Indiana! What would you find at the latitude of 90� North? Here we go. Is it the: A) North Pole, B) Cape Horn, C) Tropic of Capricorn or D) Antarctic Circle? You’ve got three seconds — GO! If you were standing at 90 degrees North latitude, you’d be chillin’ at the North Pole. That’s your answer and that’s your Shoutout!

Arctic Study

AZUZ: At 90 degrees North latitude, the North Pole is in the Arctic Ocean. This is an ocean that is covered in ice. And scientists who study the Earth’s climate want to know what happens when the ice from that ocean melts. So in order to do this study, they’ve set up a base in the Arctic Circle, where the temperature gets down to 40 degrees below zero. CNN has a camera crew there to cover this research project. And this is awesome, because it’s the closest we have ever come from actually broadcasting from the North Pole. Scientist Phillipe Cousteau tells us what the research is all about.

PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, CNNI SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we’re here for a week with the Catlin Arctic Survey, which is a group of scientists that are looking at various different issues to understand how the Arctic system works, how the ecosystem and the environment works here, what’s happening with the trend of getting icecaps, with the uptake of carbon in the environment with ocean identification, with salinity changes, really to try and get a bigger picture and a more complete picture of what’s happening with respect to the health of this environment that is so important to everybody on the entire planet.

I think a lot of people forget that the Arctic really, in a sense, is the air-conditioning unit of the planet, and it matters to every single one of us. So, understanding what is happening here and in science of what is happening here is very critical.

Paying for College

AZUZ: You got into college — congratulations! I remember an acceptance letter I got once that said that just a few years ago. Man, it felt great. And it’s what a lot of you seniors are looking for right now: that acceptance letter. But the question that many people are trying to answer is how do you pay for college once you get in? The senior that’s featured in this next report from Christine Romans is weighing all of her options.


OLIVIA POGLIANICH, STUDENT: I am in the process of waiting. Waiting. That’s all I can say.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Eighteen-year-old Olivia Poglianich is waiting to find out if she’s been accepted or not.

CLAUDIA POGLIANICH, OLIVIA’S MOTHER: I got the letter that stated everything they need and they have reviewed, and the package should hopefully come.

O. POGLIANICH: Yes, so now they’re ready.

ROMANS: A straight-A student, this senior at a Long Island high school has applied to 15 schools. But Olivia, like millions of others, faces another challenge: how to pay for her education. Money matters as much as grade point average.

O. POGLIANICH: Affordability is a major part of my decision. For the next four years, will the financial aid from the nation, will that continue throughout the four years?

ROMANS: Olivia has filled out the FAFSA form, which stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It helps decide billions of dollars of student financial aid. Olivia is also a Quest Bridge Scholar, which helps students apply for various college scholarships. But many don’t know about their options. Princeton Review publisher Robert Franek says do as much research as possible and start early.

ROBERT FRANEK, PUBLISHER, PRINCETON REVIEW: Lots of students and families were making a mistake early on in their college research. And this mistake was crossing an expensive school off of their list of consideration early on without following through and finding out how much financial aid that school is actually giving out.

ROMANS: Olivia’s mother was involved from the start.

C. POGLIANICH: Everything is very time sensitive, and the sooner the paperwork gets in, the money’s kind of divied out on a first come, first served basis. So, you really have to be on top of your paperwork and your taxes and have everything in on time.

O. POGLIANICH: You just ask every college specifically, because even after asking the general questions, the specific requirements of one particular school differ greatly from another school.

ROMANS: As April 1st draws closer, Olivia and her mother are nervous and hopeful.

C. POGLIANICH: Reach for the sky. Reach for the sky.

O. POGLIANICH: I’m excited to be going to college. No matter where I go, I’m actually pretty happy about my future.


Before We Go

AZUZ: Almost have today’s show all wrapped up, but before we go, we have a tennis story for you, and we’re going back to the fundamentals. Backhand, forehand, volley. Okay, this is not the most exciting tennis match ever played. But it is, believe it or not, the longest! High school seniors Sam and Katie stepped on the court Friday morning, and they didn’t stop playing until Sunday night. Do the math: That is nearly 61 hours of tennis they played! If they got tired, I guess they just had to rally. The goal of this — you see him having a drink of juice there to keep going — the goal was to set a new world record.


AZUZ: And we’re not gonna string you along about this. Sam and Katie caused a racket in the record books. The previous title holders got served! Game, set, match! Hopefully you won’t fault us for any of those puns. We were having a ball with them. And hopefully, we’ll see you back here tomorrow, when we net more stories on CNN Student News. Bye bye!