CNN Student News 12/03/2013


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CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: I`m back. Happy to be with you for this Tuesday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS. And I want to thank Tommy for filling in for me. Today, we`re going to start with an ending: North Korea is calling off the truce that stopped the Korean war. The conflict involved North Korea and China fighting against South Korea and the U.S. It ended in 1953 with an armistice. We covered the details on the war and the armistice, plus the ongoing tension between North and South Korea in our show on March 6. You can find that in our online archives.

What`s happening now is that North Korea says that truth is invalid. It`s backing out of it. What does that mean? We don`t really know yet. We know that North Korea is angry about new punishments from the United Nations over the North`s controversial nuclear program. We know North Korea is angry about military drills that the U.S and South Korea are running right now. After the announcement about the truce, South Korea tried calling the North on the hotline that`s set up between the two. The North didn`t answer.

Next today, we`re moving over to Japan. As that nation remembers a tragic anniversary this week. Monday was filled with ceremonies, services and a moment of silence. Exactly two years ago when earthquake struck, it was the largest one ever to hit the island nation. And the quake created a tsunami, a giant ocean wave. The two combined to cause massive amounts of damage. Nearly 16,000 people died. The tsunami led to a meltdown at the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear power plant. Crews have been working on the plant ever since. But officials say, it could take as much as 40 years to completely clean up the area and decontaminate it. The effects of the quake and tsunami spread far beyond Japan. This animation shows how huge amounts of debris were pulled out into the Pacific Ocean. Kyung Lah explains why some of it is showing up.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Slamming the shores of one of Hawaii`s most remote beaches - debris - big and small. Covering every inch of the Kamillo Beach coastline - a foreign marking sale where some of it comes from.

(on camera): These are definitely from Japan. This is some type of pickle. That`s definitely Japanese.

(voice over): Hawaii wildlife fund`s Megan Lamson has seen debris from Japan hit at a growing rate since fall. Like a refrigerator with Japanese on the temperature dial. Large buoys, even an intact fishing boat from Japan.

Sucked into the Pacific on that horrifying day two years ago. Traveling through the Pacific, volunteers like HWF had been fighting the already big problem of Marine debris, only made worse with a 1.5 million tons of floating tsunami debris.

MEGAN LAMSON, HAWAII WILDLIFE FUND: It`s disheartening to come out here and see all this marine debris in this area that`s otherwise so remote, debris that`s washing up from other countries.

AZUZ: The debris is washing up on shore, it`s also collecting out in the water. The areas outlined in red are called gyres. These are currents out in the ocean, and because of the way they work, things that float into them, kind of get trapped there. That includes debris from the Japan tsunami. Scientists are finding that trash, especially plastic, inside fish and birds out in the Pacific. We`re going to look at the impact on wildlife. But heads up to teachers. This report involves some shots of dissection. So, you probably want to preview it before showing it to your class. Once again, here is Kyung Lah.
LAH: Look, at what`s inside this albatross, a sea bird, found dead - plastics fills its body.

PROFESSOR DAVID HYRENBACH, HAWAII`S PACIFIC UNIVERSITY: So little fat ...

LAH: David Hyrenbach`s team are researching the alarming rate of debris in the birds.
HYRENBACH: So, here you see ...

LAH (on camera): Wow. It is filled with plastic.

HYRENBACH: Yes.

LAH: This is the stomach of a two-month old albatross.

(on camera): Is that part of a drain?

HYRENBACH: Maybe. Oh, it`s a brush. Look at that. You see?

LAH: About 80 percent of this baby bird stomach is indigestible plastic, by its parents who confused it for food.
HYRENBACH: Morally, this is terrible. How is this possible? Right? I mean majestic, far-ranging, beautiful birds, right, in a pristine place of the North Pacific, and then you open them up and this is, you know, what you find.

LAH: Hyrenbach says every single bird he`s opened up had some sort of plastic, some large ones like these toys and lighters in the adult birds.

A disaster still in the making, now widening its reach.

Environmental activists here say that there is nothing they could do about the tsunami debris. They can just clean up the beaches. But there is something the consumers could do to help them out. They see plastic bottle caps or the plastic water bottles that we use around the world. Consumers can simply use less plastic. Kyung Lah, CNN, Hawaii.

AZUZ: Our next story is something we never like to tell you about tragic car accident involving a group of teenagers. This happened in Ohio Sunday morning, there were eight teenagers packed into a SUV that was supposed to fit five. So, there weren`t seatbelts for all of them. They didn`t have permission to use the car. We are not sure what the details are on that. They were speeding down a two lane road, and they crashed into a guardrail and flipped into a pond. Police say only two of the eight people inside survived. They were able to break a window, get out of the car and run to a home nearby to call 911. Of course, the community is grieving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This way everybody knows, you know, even if you are going through something, pick up the phone and call your family and tell them you love them.

AZUZ: The police don`t know yet as exactly how fast the teenagers were going, where they were going, or what exactly caused the SUV to crash. We do know that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America.

When people, specifically teenagers hear stories like this, does it affect how they drive? Or are crashes something they think just happen to other people? We`d love to get your take on this at cnnstudentnews.com. Please remember, it`s first names only on our blog.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. and Mrs. Razem`s English classes at Martin Behrman Charter School in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Which of these measurements is equivalent to 16 fluid ounces? You know what to do. Is it one cup, pint, quart or gallon? You`ve got three seconds, go.

One pint is the same as 16 fluid ounces. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

AZUZ: If you go out to eat in New York City, and want to order a soda, that`s larger than 16 ounces, you still can. A ban on large sugary drinks, ones over 16 ounces, was supposed to go into effect today. But a state judge ruled against the ban yesterday. He called it arbitrary and capricious, meaning impulsive. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented this idea as the way to fight obesity and to encourage New Yorkers to live healthier life styles.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: There`s no downside here. What is the upside, is for everybody the cost of medical care in this country, which is going to be just bankrupt based on obesity alone, much plus all of the other problems.
AZUZ: But a majority of New Yorkers disagreed. In a "New York Times" poll last fall, 60 percent of the city`s residents said the ban was a bad idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s annoying. I believe it`s unnecessary, like there are so many other things to worry about in this city.

AZUZ: Mayor Bloomberg`s office said it`s planning to appeal the judge`s decision.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, if you can I.D. me. You most likely find me in Egypt, but I`ve also been discovered in South America. I was made thousands of years ago when a human body was preserved. I occasionally show up in monster movies.

I`m a mummy. And there were tens of millions of me made around the world.

AZUZ: It turns out the mummies that have been dead for thousands of years can give researchers a lot of information about medical issues that we face today. In fact, it`s because they are so old, these mummies are so valuable. A few years ago, scientists ran 137 mummies from different parts of the world through a CT scan. They found that one third of the preserved bodies had evidence of a disease called atherosclerosis. That`s when fats and cholesterol build up in the person`s arteries and it can cause problems with your blood flow. It`s a leading cause of death worldwide, and apparently, it`s been around for thousands of years. The findings were released in the study this week.

You might have gotten annoyed, or maybe just tired on Sunday when we have to set our clocks forward. For this guy, daylight saving time must be a nightmare. We`d ask you to count how many clocks you see, but we just don`t have the time. There are a thousand of them in this house. He`s been collecting them for 15 years. He says when it is time to set the clocks ahead, he doesn`t change every single one, but it still takes him a week to do it. That idea might sound cuckoo, but at least some of the clocks should be grandfathered in. Do you know how he can make his collection portable? Just watch. Show`s over already, I guess time flies when you`re having fun. Teachers, please don`t forget to give us your feedback on today`s show. We`ll make a timely return tomorrow for more CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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