CNN Student News 08/04/2013

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UNIDENTIFIED GIRLS: We turn the TV to watch CNN, it`s where we get our STUDENT NEWS. It`s got politics, it`s got weather, it`s got all of things that matter, but it won`t be anything without you Carl Azuz. Carl Azuz. Oh, how we love Carl Azuz. We love him for his times, we love him because he`s funny. Now it`s time for some news.

CARL AZUZ, HOST CNN STUDENT NEWS: And, of course, a big thank you to those Asiola (ph) High students for introducing today`s show. I`m Carl Azuz. This week we`re starting off in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military mission in the country may be winding down, but as we saw over this weekend, the violence in Afghanistan isn`t over. In one part of the country at least 11 Afghan children were killed as the result of a military operation on Saturday. That same day six Americans were killed. Five of them died when their convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber.  Those Americans were delivering books to an Afghan school. One of them was Anne Smedinghoff. She was a diplomat, someone who represented the U.S. government in Afghanistan.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: When I was in Afghanistan, she was part of my team. And she was someone who worked hard and put her life on the line, so that others could live a better life.

AZUZ: Heading back to the U.S. now to talk about the American economy and a report that came out last Friday. It tells us the national unemployment rate, how many jobs were added or lost in the previous months, and it`s one thing experts look at to get an idea of how the overall economy is doing. For March, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, that`s lower than a month before, but this isn`t necessarily good news. The report only counts people as unemployed if they are actively out there looking for work. Nearly 500,000 people stopped looking last months, and some experts say that`s why the unemployment rate went down. So how about jobs? The economy added 88,000 of those in March. That`s not good.  Experts say it needs to add around 150,000 every month just to keep up with population growth.

It`s been a bit more than two years since a massive tsunami crashed in the parts of Japan, something unusual drifted across the Pacific and washed up in Washington State. It`s not this fishing boat, at least that`s not what unusual. It`s what`s inside.  Stowing away in a bait box at the back were five fish and some other animals. They survived a 5,000 mile journey across the Pacific. Their container was open, and the part of the boat it was in was under water, so the fish could swim around outside their box, but still inside the boat. These species of fish are native to East Asia. Scientists don`t want them invading West Coast waters, so they are dissecting all but one of the fish: they`re hoping to find out what this fish ate during the last two years. The last living fish will swim out the rest of its days in an aquarium.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Taylor students at Indian Springs Middle School in Columbia City, Indiana.

Which of these is one of Illinois` state nicknames? You know what to do, is it the Show Me State, Land of Lincoln, Granite State, or Land of Enchantment? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Illinois is sometimes called the Land of Lincoln after one of its most famous residents. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

AZUZ: Zachary Hiller isn`t looking to follow Honest Abe`s footsteps all the way to the White House, at least not yet. He is getting in the politics in Illinois, though, running for his local school board. He is doing that while he`s still in school.  Arnold Wyrick from affiliate KFVS looks at how this high school senior is hoping to help students who follow in his footsteps.

ARNOLD WYRICK, KFVS CORRESPONDENT: Zachary Hiller is 18 years old, and a senior at Zeigler-Royalton High School. And a few months ago at the encouragement of his history teacher, he decided to pursue a political path. He wants to serve on a school district school board.

ZACHARY HILLER, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I think it`ll hurt the students. You know, you cut the teachers, you`re going to cut classes that would be extra like extra curricular classes like band an music and stuff like that, and even sports are going to get cut, because you don`t have as many teachers to fill those positions as coaches. So, I would try to keep as many extra curricular activities as I can to get as many opportunities as I can to the students.

WYRICK: And which is one week before the election, Zachary, two of this classmates and his sister hit the streets of Royalton to shake a few hands and hand out a few fliers. Hiller is hoping that his perspective as a student will give him a chance to make things better for students in the future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like he just wanted to get into that routine where he can help us, other students, and how he can help, speak as them and give the students their opinions as well.

WYRICK: Zachary tells me that the recent consolidation issue really opened his eyes why it`s so important to get involved with the school, community.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: At first I was just like, "Are you kidding me?" Like I really thought it was a joke at first, but then after I went to school and I can tell you he`s actually serious about it, I really think it`s going to be a great thing for him to do.

WYRICK: Hiller tells me this won`t be his only bid to get into politics. And his first step may begin next week during the general elections.

AZUZ: Zach Hiller is hoping to make a difference in his community, that`s what the "CNN Heroes" program`s all about. Regular people finding ways to make their world better. If you know someone who fits that description, you can nominate him or her to be a CNN hero. The link is up in the resources box at Nominations are open through the end of August.

That`s what someone did for Estella Pyfrom. She was working as a school guidance counselor, when she noticed that fewer students had computers at home.  Some experts say that having access to computers can make a big difference in whether or not students graduate from high school. So, when she retired, Ms. Pyfrom came up with a way to help.

ESTELLA PYFROM, CEO ESTELLA`S BRILLIANT BUS: I grew up in segregated South. I actually started picking beans at age six, but my father, I used to hear he would say if you get a good education, you can get a good job. So we knew that education was important. And today`s time, many of our children don`t have computers at home. And low income families don`t have transportation to get to where the computers are. Kids who don`t have access to computers after school will be left behind. My name is Estella Pyfrom. At age 71 I took my retirement savings to create a classroom to bring high tech learning to communities in need.

All right, let`s get on board, Estella Brilliant Bus!

Estella`s Brilliant Bus is a mobile learning center.

Are you ready to get on the computers?


PYFROM: We want to do what we can do to make things better for all. Adults as well.

OK, got it!

I see the bus as being able to bridge that gap.


Between technology and the lack of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She helps me by having one on one attention, and if I don`t get it, she`ll help me with it. I look forward to it a lot.

PYFROM: How are we doing here?

It`s not just a bus. It`s a movement. We want to go from neighborhood to neighborhood to keep making a difference.


AZUZ: And finally today, secret identities. They are not just for superheroes.  Here in Atlanta people don`t know who is inside the suit as the mascot for Georgia Tech. They do know the Yellow Jackets hard work generates a lot of buzz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "BUZZ", 2007-10: Some people who`ve been Buzz have been very reserved, introverted, but as soon as Buzz goes on, you become Buzz and you assume the personality.

BUZZ: The first thing I do is I run GT, on the GT tech flags.

Lights down, and the noise gets super fricking loud.

But how loud, I`m bouncing off the seats, they`re bouncing at the seats and jumping and down, and cheering on Georgia Tech as loud as we can, make as much noise as we can (inaudible) team.

BRIAN GREGORY, GT BASKETBALL COACH: During the games, I think he knows I have a job to do, and he kind of leaves me alone, but every once in a life during the game I`ll catch him doing something, and just kind of chuckle a little bit, because I know again, how important he is to our home crowd.

BUZZ: And it`s hot!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mascots all over the place, kind of get nervous when parents push their young children on you, because some of them love it, and some of them absolutely hate you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got to try to come down and get the picture.

AZUZ: No fun to have a kid cry when they see you, but a perfect picture probably takes some of the sting out of it. The college man`s basketball tournament wraps up tonight, but our pun tournament is already in the books after a story about an egg.  We talked about having two eggs, playing the mystery and you voted for that as the ultimate yolk. Teachers, don`t forget to give us your feedback on today show, we`ll see all of you back tomorrow for more CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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