(CNN Student News) -- January 10, 2011
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Some of our southern U.S. viewers can
literally see one of today's stories right outside their windows. I'm Carl Azuz, with your commercial-free window to the world, CNN Student News!
First Up: Arizona Shooting
AZUZ: National moment of silence was scheduled for 11 am today to honor several shooting victims in Tucson, Arizona. On Saturday, a gunman opened fire at a political event outside a Safeway grocery store. Six people were killed and another 14 were wounded. Those shot included U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a congresswoman from Arizona. When we produced today's show, Giffords was in critical condition at a Tucson hospital -- CNN.com will have the latest information on her condition. Police believe the shooting was an attempt to assassinate Representative Giffords. Though beyond that, a motive hasn't been released. The suspected shooter, a 22-year-old man, was arrested at the scene and is being held by police. He's been charged with trying to kill a member of Congress, plus several counts of murder and attempted murder. Among those killed: 63-year-old Chief Judge John Roll, a federal judge appointed to the bench in 1991. Police don't believe he was specifically targeted. Flags were flown at half-staff over the weekend in the U.S. Capitol and vigils, like this one, were occasions for people to pay tribute to the victims -- and offer prayers for them and their families. From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) CALIFORNIA, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: We stand before you with the deepest sadness for the act of violence that was committed against our colleague, Congressman Gabby Giffords. Let us join in payer with Gabby Giffords' constituents in Arizona as well who have suffered a terrible loss today.
AZUZ: And another statement from another of Giffords' colleagues, House Speaker John Boehner:
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO, HOUSE SPEAKER: An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Such acts of violence have no place in our society. This inhuman act, should not and will not deter us from our calling to represent our constituents and to fulfill our oaths of office. No act, no matter how heinous, must be allowed to stop us from our duty.
Is This Legit?
STAN CASE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is This Legit? Snow has fallen in every U.S. state. Totally true! -- even in Hawaii, as the state's volcanoes get snow in wintertime.
AZUZ: Okay, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and the Carolinas: not what you probably picture as winter wonderlands. But all are in the path of a major winter storm blowing across the southeast. Listen to this: Flights were actually canceled before a single snowflake fell! Why would someone do that? Well some of the airlines wanted to have fewer planes on the ground in Atlanta, when the storm hit. From Texas to Alabama, three to eight inches of snow were expected. That's not much to our viewers in Vermont or Alaska. But the southeast isn't used to so much snow and some areas don't have snow-plows or salt-trucks to deal with it.
AZUZ: We've got the latest U.S. unemployment rate for you today. It's down, but that's not exactly a good sign. Here's what's going on: In November, the national unemployment rate was at 9.8 percent. In December, it decreased to 9.4 percent. So you can see the decrease on your screen there. Why isn't this good news? Well, many experts believe the drop resulted from a decline in the number of Americans who are actively looking for jobs; These people are so discouraged, they've given up for now. For the national job market to get better, new jobs need to be added every month. Businesses are adding some jobs -- just not nearly enough to keep up with what's needed. Since the start of the "great recession," 8.5 million jobs have been lost in America.
Alaska Pipeline Leak
AZUZ: You're now looking at an oil pipeline in Alaska. It's part of the U.S. oil supply. And it's got a leak -- a big one. The Trans Alaska Pipeline's flow was reduced by 95 percent on Sunday. That means only five percent of what we usually get from this thing, was actually coming through. Yesterday, work crews were searching for the source of the leak -- and they did find oil on the basement of one of the buildings that pumps the oil. The Trans Alaska Pipeline supplies 15 percent of America's oil, so you can understand why it's so important for workers to get it sealed up and working again.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Where would you find
Sudan? You know what to do! Is it in: A) Northeast Africa, B) Southern Africa, C) Southeast Asia or D) Central America? You've got three seconds -- GO! Sudan is in Northeast Africa; it's one of the countries that borders the Red Sea. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: History is in the making in Sudan. And to help you understand why, we're going to give
you a bit of history about it. Sudan is a country that was ripped apart by civil war for decades -- two million people died in Sudan starting in 1983. But things started turning around in 2005 when western and east African nations got involved. They helped set up a peace treaty, and they paved the way for Sunday's vote. If things go the way they're expected to, the southern part of Sudan could secede and become the world's newest nation. There were some reports of violence during the vote. And there are still some issues that need to be worked out before Southern Sudan may potentially become it's own country. But just to give you a sense of the excitement among voters, we have our reporter David McKenzie on the ground there. He's going to take you to a polling booth where voters couldn't cast their votes soon enough.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT, NAIROBI: They're calling this their long walk to freedom. Southern Sudanese got up before dawn to come to this polling station. They said they've waited for decades and so more of a wait doesn't matter. There on the ballot is a vote for unity or separation, but really there is no choice for these people: They want to split with the north that they fought over decades. This is Rubina.
Rubina, is this a big day for Southern Sudan?
RUBINA, SUDANESE VOTER: It's a very great day for the Southern Sudanese. As you can see they can stand with all the heat and they are proud to stand still until the time they will cast their vote.
MCKENZIE: Why are you voting today? What are you voting for?
RUBINA: Deep in me, I'm voting for separation and being independent for the first time in our life as being south Sudanese.
MCKENZIE: Thank you, Rubina. You know everyone I spoken to today expresses a similar sentiment. This is a huge day for the country.
You came at 6:30, Jackson, Why did you want to vote today? Why is this important?
JACKSON, SUDANESE VOTER: This is a historical moment for me in my life.
MCKENZIE: It's a big day.
JACKSON: So great a day for me. And the best day in my life that I've ever been praying for and thank God that I'm already here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SUDANESE VOTER: Today is my birthday. Because of voting,
because of getting a new country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SUDANESE VOTER: This is for secession. And if we get secession, then freedom.
MCKENZIE: Although they have seven days to vote, everyone seems to be voting today. We've seen old people, blind people, even wounded war veterans casting their ballot. These women say that they have to vote today, because it is their special day and they've waited for it their entire lives. David McKenzie, CNN, Juba, Southern Sudan.
AZUZ: Alright, you probably hear stuff from your parents like this all the time: Put the phone down. Finish the game. Get off the computer. Sorry to give you a flash back right in the middle of class. But we want to know just how connected are you and how hard would it be to disconnect from everything digital in your life. This is something we've been exploring all school year long and a subject I asked a couple of college students about last week. Listen to what they had to say about how connected they are, and why pulling the plug isn't easy.
JESSICA GREENE, STUDENT: I use cell phone, Facebook, Internet.
BLAKE SINYARD,STUDENT: I am definitely into Facebook, for sure, I have my cell phone in my back pocket right now. Earlier today, I was telling my friends that I want to create a Twitter account.
GREENE: I think it can be used for good; I think a lot of times it's not.
SINYARD: I've been on trips before where I've turned my cell phone off for two weeks. It's a crazy feeling; it's also kind of a good feeling. I don't know if I could do it here in the States, though; I would just feel so disconnected from everything that's happening.
AZUZ: This was echoed in our blog last semester. You can see from Erik's comment here that unplugging would be easier if everyone did it at the same time. That way, no one person, would be left out of the loop. Though there were some students who told us no way I am going to unplug.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go today, how many animals can you think of that are naturally orange? One thing we know didn't spring to mind: Alligators. One Floridian reptile caught a woman's eye and camera lens when he emerged looking like this. Now alligators are not naturally orange and a fish and wildlife official says this one probably isn't either, having gotten paint, stain, or some sort of iron oxide on it that changed its coloring.
AZUZ: But however that happened, orange you glad you didn't find it in your backyard? Alright,
color me punny. I'm Carl Azuz, and we'll see you tomorrow, when CNN Student News returns.