(CNN Student News) -- April 13, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: CNN Student News is ubiquitous! It's an old Word to the Wise meaning we're all over the place: on HLN, online, on iTunes as a free, downloadable podcast. Wherever you are watching us, we thank you for checking out this Tuesday edition of our show. I'm Carl Azuz; this is your news for the classroom!
First Up: Nuclear Summit
AZUZ: First up, how do you stop terrorists from getting hold of materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons? Representatives from dozens of countries are trying to answer that very question at a meeting in Washington. The nuclear security summit being hosted by President Obama kicked off yesterday. It got going with some meetings between the president and other world leaders. Some critics have argued that President Obama's position on nuclear weapons makes the U.S. look weak. But the president says this concern -- terrorists ending up with nuclear materials -- is the biggest threat to U.S. security.
The goal of this summit is for all of the nations that are participating -- there are 47 of them -- to outline how they will each help control nuclear materials and keep them from being spread around the world. One of those countries, Ukraine, offered an answer for itself yesterday. It said it'll get rid of its stock of enriched uranium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons, in the next two years.
AZUZ: Over on Capitol Hill, Congress is back in session after a two-week spring break. The House starts back to work today. The Senate got going on Monday. One of the first things the Senate wants to look at is a bill that would extend unemployment benefits. You might remember that this bill was supposed to be voted on before the break. That didn't happen because of debate over how the legislation would be paid for.
AZUZ: "It ain't over 'til it's over." Words that could be applied to the recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research -- that is the only group that can officially announce when a recession begins and ends -- says it's just too early to tell about this one. It doesn't know if it's over yet, or at least, it won't say. Yesterday, the group acknowledged that some economic indicators have started turning in the right direction. Experts point out that the wait-and-see strategy isn't unusual. The NBER hasn't announced the end date of other recent recessions until more than a year after they were over.
MATT CHERRY, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for some Fast Facts. The word "holocaust" describes a destruction that involves a massive loss of life. In history, the Holocaust refers to the systematic killings that were carried out by Nazi Germany. It took place during World War II. Six million Jews and millions of other people were killed during the Holocaust.
AZUZ: Those victims on the minds of people all over the world as the start of this week marked Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Hebrew, it's called Yom Hashoah. And in Israel, which is home to more than 200,000 Holocaust survivors, it involves ceremonies and memorials like this one, where people stand up and read the names of family members who were killed by the Nazis. You hear sirens; you see cars stopping on the street, people getting out. It's because of those sirens. Those are announcing a two-minute moment of silence to remember the victims of the holocaust. One American teen is doing that in his own way through this Web site. It's called "Each Of Us Has a Name," and it was started by Zak Kolar, who's 14 years old. The site is a collection of the names of Jewish Holocaust victims. Zak's goal is to remember and honor them not just as a group of six million people, but as individuals.
AZUZ: In Thailand, the government has canceled any activities planned around the country's New Year's celebration because of ongoing protests. Demonstrators have been facing off with police forces for days. And over the weekend, those clashes turned violent. 21 people were killed, including civilians and members of the military. More than 850 other people were injured. The protesters are called Red Shirts. They want Thailand's prime minister to break up parliament, call for new elections, and leave the country. They support the country's former prime minister, who was removed from power in 2006 and fled from Thailand in 2008 while facing corruption charges. The government declared a state of emergency last week; that allowed security forces to break up large gatherings.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mrs. Vigil's class at Euclid Middle School in Littleton, Colorado! What color collar is associated with jobs that involve manual labor? You know what to do! Is it: A) Red, B) Yellow, C) White or D) Blue? You've got three seconds -- GO! Blue-collar jobs often involve manual labor and a type of uniform. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Factory workers, construction workers, repairmen: These are all examples of blue-collar jobs. Many of these workers have faced some struggles recently, including being hit hard by the recession. But one South Carolina company is trying to overcome that by combining old and new ideas and changing what it means to be a blue-collar worker. Tony Harris shows us how.
TONY HARRIS, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Snapshots in time of manufacturing's past in the deep South, when cotton was king. The textile industry employed hundreds of thousands of workers over the last century. Today, most of those textile jobs are gone. This is all that's left of that dying industry: empty, decaying factories. Jobs gone overseas where they can be done cheaper. Even jobs that stayed were fewer than before. Automation meant companies could do more with less labor. The recession saw South Carolina's unemployment rate more than double in just two years to 12.6 percent, the highest in two decades.
Now, South Carolina is fighting back, turning things around with a different approach to manufacturing. Welcome to the new, high-tech factory operated by Adex Machining Company, owned by a couple of Georgia Tech grads, Sean Witty and Jason Premo. The shop makes parts for the aerospace and energy industries. Employees spend as much time in the office as in the plant. They get their hands dirty, but their brains are stimulated. You might call these guys the new blue-collar worker. They don't just operate machines, they program the machine, telling it where to drill. Then they head to the factory floor and make it happen.
RONNIE SADDLER, CNC PROGRAMMER: You get to see the finished work, is what I really love about it. We take what's on paper and we bring it to life.
HARRIS: They make mathematical computations on the fly if adjustments are needed.
STEVE MARKS, CNC PROGRAMMER: C point 038.
HARRIS: Each worker is a computer programmer, machinist and quality control engineer; what typically was three different jobs now wrapped up in one. It's called lean manufacturing, and the workers love it.
SEAN WITTY, CO-OWNER, ADEX MACHINING: In the assembly line method, you might just have a single person who does a single task all day long and that's all they do. It's repetitive. It doesn't tax the mind. It's simple work. And really, what you're seeing is that the world has changed.
HARRIS: And it pays like a white-collar job does, from $50,000 to as much as $80,000 a year, depending on experience and job training. Unlike in an assembly line factory, the employees say they feel empowered.
MARKS: It's hands-on. You get to actually make something, but you still have to think about what you're doing.
HARRIS: Sean is hoping to change the negative stereotype of manufacturing in hopes of drawing more young people into the industry and help American industry get back on top again.
WITTY: I think a lot of people associate manufacturing with 20 and 30 years ago, when Detroit was big. It was very dirty. It was very long hours. Your boss beat up on you all day. But that's changed. We work with our employees. It's not a boss-man mentality. Very much, we're asking them, what are your ideas? How is the best way to produce this?
HARRIS: Tony Harris, CNN, Atlanta.
AZUZ: Before a lot of you went on Spring Break, you were talking to us on our blog at CNNStudentNews.com about the issue of bullying. Almost 90 percent of you say you've seen it. How do you stop it? How do you deal with it? We've put up from our Web site, CNNStudentNews.com, some anti-bullying resources. They can get the conversation started in the fight against bullying. You'll find them in the Spotlight section, along with videos. We've got articles, online resources. All of it's free; all of it's at CNNStudentNews.com. Check it out.
Before We Go
AZUZ: And before we go, your parents might have told you not to play with your food. They didn't say anything about your cups! All right! This is the World Sport Stacking Championships, where everyone pretty much follows the same pattern: You stack it up, flip it, knock it down. More than 700 stacking stars took part in the competition, representing every continent except Antarctica. The competition was fierce. Hundreds of personal bests; two world records.
AZUZ: The contest was the perfect example of pure speed cup-led with skill. That's gonna put a lid on today's show. We hope you have an awesome day. Now, we know you're coming back from Spring Break. Some of you are kind of dragging back into the rhythm of school. We always welcome you on CNN Student News, and we'll always bring you your headlines, resuming tomorrow. I'm Carl Azuz. We'll see you then.