(CNN Student News) -- January 5, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: In 2009, we heard thousands of your opinions on our blog at CNNStudentNews.com. Today, we have another story we think you'll really want to weigh in on. I'm Carl Azuz. This is CNN Student News.
AZUZ: First up though, the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, is increasing security measures for some passengers headed to the U.S. The new policies started yesterday. They affect anyone traveling to America from any one of 14 countries. Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran: Those are nations that the State Department considers "state sponsors of terror." The other 10 countries are "countries of interest". They include: Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. One U.S. official said all of these countries are places where the U.S. has concerns, some of which are about the al Qaeda terrorist group. The TSA says passengers heading to the U.S. from all 14 nations will be required to go through what it calls "enhanced screening." Though it hasn't actually said what that exactly includes.
A couple other incidents creating tension at U.S. airports recently. An electrical failure at Washington's Ronald Reagan Airport interrupted flights and led to increased security for about an hour yesterday. And a terminal at Newark Airport in New Jersey was closed for a few hours Sunday. That was because someone used an exit door to get from a public area to a secure part of the terminal without going through the screening process.
AZUZ: For lots of people around the U.S., the weather outside is frightful. What could be record low temperatures around the Gulf Coast and parts of the southeast. And some spots in the middle of the country could be looking at temperatures that are 30 to 40 degrees below normal. That's coming up later this week. Up in the northeast, parts of Vermont were blanketed by snow over the weekend, as you can see in this iReport video. The city of Burlington, Vermont got more than 33 inches of snow. But any students that were hoping for a snow day were just out of luck. Despite nearly three feet of snow, schools still open on Monday.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the first Shoutout of 2010! What is the second tallest building in the world? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it the: A) John Hancock Center, B) Petronas Towers, C) Taipei 101 or D) Empire State Building? You've got three seconds -- GO! At more than 1,660 feet, Taipei 101 is the second tallest building in the world. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: It officially became the second tallest building in the world yesterday. That's because the Burj Dubai opened for business and it took over the top spot. The Burj Dubai opened with a bang. You can see some of the fireworks from Monday's ceremony right here. Six years in the making, one-and-a-half billion dollars, this tower shoots a half-mile up into the sky. And according to the architects who designed it, it's a signal that "tall buildings are back." So, we know the thing is just huge. But how would the Burj Dubai stack up against some of the world's most famous skylines? Kristie Lu Stout joins us now with a virtual answer along with some help from other CNN correspondents around the globe. Check it out.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT, HONG KONG: It stands over 800 meters tall, but can you picture just how big the Burj Dubai really is? Using Google Earth and a 3-D model of the tower created by Google user Quixote3D, we can put the Burj Dubai in some of the world's biggest cities.This is the famous Hong Kong skyline. And this is Google Earth's version of the skyline with one addition: the Burj Dubai. As you can see, it is almost twice the height of Hong Kong's tallest skyscraper, Two IFC, and it's taller than the mountains surrounding Hong Kong Harbor. That is what it would look like here, and our correspondents around the world have been playing the same game.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT, TOKYO: I'm Kyung Lah in Tokyo. This is Shibuya Crossing. Not too many tall buildings here, and in Tokyo overall, there aren't that many skyscrapers. You put the Burj in any Japanese neighborhood, it would dwarf everything. The reason there aren't that many skyscrapers: the number of earthquakes, strict city codes, and Japan has just gone through two decades of slow economic growth. So the skyline here, a glimpse into the economy and geology of Japan.
DON RIDDELL, CNN ANCHOR, WORLD SPORT, LONDON: I'm Don Riddell in London at one of our picture-postcard sites: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. What would the Burj Dubai look like here? Well, to be quite honest, I can't imagine. It would dwarf the entire city. For a start, Big Ben really wouldn't be that big; the Burj would be eight-and-a-half times higher than the iconic clock face. While London isn't really known for its skyscrapers, it will soon be home to the tallest building in Europe. But at 300 meters high, the Shard London Bridge will still only be less than half the height of the Burj Dubai.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Susan Candiotti on a freezing, blustery winter day in New York. And this is Columbus Circle, the southern entrance to Central Park, the Big Apple's biggest green space among a cavern of high rises and skyscrapers. It's pretty hard to picture, but if you plunk down the Burj Dubai in the middle of Central Park, well, it would tower over the Empire State Building. Measuring just over 440 meters, it's slightly over half as tall as the Burj Dubai. Imagine that!
STOUT: Well, the Burj will also reclaim the title that used to be held by the Arab world. For thousands of years, the tallest structure in the world was this: the Great Pyramid of Giza. You can see just how far we've come since then. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
AZUZ: Okay, we want to shift gears a bit now and talk about the issue of violence. This comes up a lot in the news, as you know, and it's something that many of us have seen or experienced. You might have seen a fight at school. You might have seen something happen on the street. But when people do witness violence, some of them are reluctant to report it. Tony Harris talked with some students about the reasons why. Their answers might not be what you expect. Take a listen to this.
TONY HARRIS, ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: Tell me why so many people failed to call.
CHEYN SHAH, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Part of it is that you think someone else will do it. You think that someone else will call 911, that someone else will be responsible for this, that there were so many people there that you are not alone. It's kind of a mob mentality, where you begin to think that you weren't responsible for what you do.
SILA PHILLIPS, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: What if they implicated you in that case somehow? Even if you were just a bystander, they could easily twist that into something completely different.
SHAH: Just being there and seeing that is kind of, makes you feel shameful, almost.
AZIZA SHEPPARD, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: And the fact that you feel shameful after it, you should feel shameful as you stand there and watch it, which should make you call it in, regardless. So, I couldn't explain why they wouldn't call that in.
ALEXANDRA MCCOLL, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: I think the reason nobody called it in is the same reason that a whole class sees someone cheating on the test and no one tells: because you don't want to risk being excluded from that group or being included in the bad situation.
HARRIS: You'd rather be a part of the group than to do the right thing because the right thing can isolate you?
HARRIS: Be honest with me for a second here. If you witness something bad happening, don't you have an obligation to try to provide the information that brings about some justice?
PHILLIPS: I feel reluctant because I know that they're going to ask me for my address and all my information. And that almost, it should make me feel safe, but sometimes it doesn't, because what if I did something bad and I don't want anything to, anybody to know about it, you know? There's lots of movies and stuff like that where it's a plot twist.
HARRIS: Stay out of trouble, man!
PHILLIPS: I'm just saying.
NGOC VU, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: You're morally obligated to help someone, but in an instance where you look at the situation, I mean, I'm not going to help a person if I know that I'm going to be at risk to do it.
PHILLIPS: Right. I mean, it's not even your own, like, selfishness, it's the animal instinct that's been happening since, like, the beginning of everything.
HARRIS: You are the highest-thinking species ever created. You're not the lion. You're not the wildebeest.
AZUZ: Tough subject to address there. Now, you might agree with some of those quotes, you might totally disagree with some of the students featured there. We want you to tell us how you would react if you saw a crime, would you report it? Even if it put you at risk? Go to our blog, CNNStudentNews.com, and let us know what you think.
Before We Go
AZUZ: And before we go today, they say you can't teach old dogs new tricks, but you can give them new titles. And that's what Scruffy's owner says she deserves: the title of world's oldest dog. The little lady turned 21 last Friday, and her owner says that makes Scruffy about six weeks older than the current title holder. We'll do the math for you: 21 in human years means Scruffy is roughly 147 in dog years.
AZUZ: And that is an impressive accomplishment when you paws to think about it. If you're furry-ous about that pun, we'll have another one coming your way tomorrow. We'll try to make it up to you. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.