(CNN Student News) -- April 9, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It is the most awesome day of the week. You can't beat Fridays; they're fantastic. We thank you for spending 10 minutes of your Friday with us here at CNN Student News. I'm Carl Azuz. Let's get this thing started.
AZUZ: We are getting things started with START. It stands for Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. It's an agreement between the United States and Russia for both countries to reduce the number of nuclear weapons they have. President Obama also says it's part of the effort to "reset" the relationship between the two countries. Yesterday, he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev got together in the Czech Republic to sign off on START. The agreement cuts the number of nuclear weapons that the U.S. and Russia have by about a third. The White House is scheduled to hold a meeting on nuclear security next week. It's something that President Obama says affects the entire world.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Nuclear weapons are not simply an issue for the United States and Russia. They threaten the common security of all nations. A nuclear weapon in the hands of a terrorist is a danger to people everywhere, from Moscow to New York, from the cities of Europe to South Asia.
AZUZ: As for the new START treaty, it still needs to be passed by at least two-thirds of the U.S. Senate. And some lawmakers are concerned that reducing the number of nuclear weapons might leave the U.S. looking weak. But Russian President Medvedev says it's the best option for everyone.
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DMITRY MEDVEDEV [TRANSLATED]: No one stands to lose from this agreement. I believe that this is a typical feature of our cooperation. Both parties have won, and taking into account this victory of ours, the entire world community has won.
AZUZ: Over in West Virginia, rescue workers are struggling in their attempts to try to reach the victims of this week's deadly mine explosion. Crews did start down into the mine yesterday morning, but they had to come back out because the air quality got worse and threatened a new blast. They're trying to reach one of the rescue chambers that are located inside the mine. Officials think four missing men might have headed there after Monday's explosion. Meanwhile, the community is holding memorials and vigils, like this one, for the trapped miners and for the 25 people who were killed in the accident. For the latest details on this story over the weekend -- it's developing; it could change -- head to CNN.com.
AZUZ: Turning our attention to Massachusetts; an update on that story about a group of teenagers who are accused of bullying 15-year-old Phoebe Prince. Prosecutors say that the bullying might have led Prince to take her own life. Six people have been charged in the case. Yesterday, lawyers for three of them entered not guilty pleas. Two of the teens are charged with stalking. The other is being charged with assault. All three are charged with civil rights violations, as well as criminal harassment and disturbing a school assembly.
MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout. Which of these is the flag of China? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A, B, C or D? You've got three seconds -- GO! A large gold star with four smaller stars, all on a field of red. That's the flag of China, and that's your Shoutout!
Geithner in China
AZUZ: And China is where U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was yesterday. During a week-long trip to Asia that he is taking, Secretary Geithner stopped over in Beijing to meet with his Chinese counterpart. One issue they were expected to talk about was the value of the yuan; that's China's currency. Some U.S. officials claim that China is undervaluing the yuan; they're accusing China of saying that the yuan is worth less than what it should be. China denies that. This matters because the yuan and the dollar are connected. And if the value of the yuan is down, it could encourage people to spend more on Chinese products than on American ones.
AZUZ: Over on the western side of China, you'll find the country of Krgyzstan, a country that, as we told you yesterday, is going through some turmoil. The capital city of Bishkek was relatively calm yesterday. But earlier in the week, fighting between protesters and police left dozens of people dead and hundreds more wounded. Opposition leaders claim that they've overthrown the government, that they are in charge. Kyrgyzstan's president acknowledged that there has been a takeover, but he says he's not abandoning his job, and he's willing to take responsibility for what's happening in the country recently. In the meantime, the interim government is trying to keep things calm and prevent further violence.
Is this Legit?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The name NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Legit! The organization runs more than 1,200 races all across North America.
AZUZ: Kevin Harvick is speeding his way through some of those races with the help of two crews. He's got one down in the pits, the other up in the stands. It's a program called Kevin's Krew, and it's designed to help young people all around the country. They were out in full force for one recent race. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED KEVIN'S KREW MEMBER: We're all about 29 to win!
UNIDENTIFIED KEVIN'S KREW MEMBER: We're all about 29, baby!
KEVIN HARVICK, NASCAR DRIVER: Well, today we have Kevin's Krew. They're all going to be be gathered in Victory Lane. Basically what Kevin's Krew is, is a bunch of kids from the area that the local police departments bring. A lot of the kids are growing up in rough neighborhoods or had a rough life and don't get to experience things like this a lot. So, they bring them to the track and we try to be a positive influence on them and give them something that they can't get on a normal basis.
UNIDENTIFIED KEVIN'S KREW OFFICIAL: We're going to go in, we're going to go down to the pit, and end up at Victory Lane, and then to Kevin so he can have a conversation with you guys, take pictures, and get autographs, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED KEVIN'S KREW MEMBER: He signed my things, my hat and my shirt.
UNIDENTIFIED KEVIN'S KREW MEMBER: Kevin Harvick.
OFFICER TODD SMITH, STARTED PROGRAM IN 2008: In 2007, a friend of mine, Joe Trujillo, invited me out to the race, and I didn't want to go when he invited me. I ended up going and I loved it. I then thought of bringing the high school kids out to the speedway. So, with NASCAR being an unfamiliar sport with most of the kids, it was a good common ground that I could use to reach the kids.
HARVICK: My favorite part is just the fact that they're all always so excited and just smiling to be here. So, it makes you realize how much fun this actually is when you see how much fun they're having.
DEPUTY DAVID A. BISHOP, HENRY COUNTRY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: With the racing itself, we're showing these kids that racing itself is more than just driving a car in a circle for several hours. There's more that goes on behind the scene. We have students that are into mechanics but don't know what to do to get started.
HARVICK: I think the biggest thing that I get out of it is just the fact that you get to see a lot of kids who don't get to experience a lot of the things that they probably should, and hopefully you can give them enough of an influence in a small situation like we're in right here to make them think twice about what they're doing away from the race track, and say, "Hey, this is something I might like," or, "There are other things outside of what I see on a daily basis."
AZUZ: How do you choose a college? Some of you might choose a school based on the courses that it offers. Some might choose one that's close to home, or really far away. But how about for a money-back guarantee? Lansing Community College in Michigan is offering that deal to some students. If you take certain classes, and if you don't get a job within one year after you finish, you get your money back! There is some fine print to this. You can't miss any classes, you have to do all your assignments, and you have to prove that you've been looking for a job. It's an interesting idea, especially in a city whose unemployment rate is nearly 12 percent.
AZUZ: This very idea got us talking in today's staff meeting about what people expect to get out of college. I know that some of you are planning to go this fall; others are starting to look at schools. What is the most important thing you hope to take away when you leave with your college degree? Tell us on our blog; you can find that at CNNStudentNews.com.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, how well do you know your neighbors? Tommy and Stephen lived on the same street for two years before they found out they're brothers! It's totally true. They were adopted by different families when they were kids and grew up apart. They had both been trying to track down their biological families for a while, not having any luck. Turns out, all they needed to do was walk out their front doors!
AZUZ: And now they can hang out under the same family tree. We should leaf that one alone. We hope you have a good weekend, and over the weekend, head to Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews. You're gonna see some new pictures about how yours truly looked when he was in high school. It's scary. Check it out. Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews.