(CNN Student News) -- August 20, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Well, if you watched CNN Student News last school year, you already know this. For you new viewers, there's something you're going to learn pretty quickly around here at CNN Student News: Fridays are awesome! Thank you for joining us. My name is Carl Azuz. Let's get started.
AZUZ: First up today, the last full U.S. combat brigade is out of Iraq. The final members of the group crossed the border into Kuwait early yesterday. We want to make sure to point out that this doesn't mean that all U.S. troops are out of the country. There are still around 52,000 there and some of those are combat troops.
The ultimate deadline here is the end of 2011. The U.S. and Iraq have agreed that all American forces will be out of the country by then. President Obama says that more than 90,000 troops have left Iraq in the past 18 months. His goal is for another 6,000 to leave by the start of September. If that happens, it'll be the end of U.S. combat operations in the Middle Eastern country. The name, Operation Iraqi Freedom will change to Operation New Dawn, and the U.S. forces there will shift into more of an "advise-and-assist" role. Barbara Starr has more on this transition.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It was an iconic moment in American history, in the pre-dawn hours as that convoy came back out of Iraq, crossed the border in the darkness into Kuwait. And we saw those soldiers cheering. But behind them, left in Iraq, 56,000 U.S. troops. They're going to get it down to 50,000 very quickly. And those are the 50,000 troops that will remain in Iraq through the end of next year under an agreement, an arrangement agreed to, between the two countries. The new mission: training, mentoring, helping, advising; all the things that these troops will now do to help the Iraqis. But make no mistake, they could find themselves on the receiving end of combat at any moment, and they say they will be prepared for that.
AZUZ: Well, we're changing gears now from the military force to the work force, and a number that is pretty bad news for the U.S. economy: 500,000. That is how many people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week. New claims have gone up for several weeks in a row now, and this is the highest they have been in nine months. One expert said that you might be able to ignore it if the number of unemployment claims was really high every once in a while. But the fact that it keeps getting higher, he says, is a "bad trend." Meantime, when the U.S. government put out the number on the overall unemployment rate, it stayed the same from June to July, and that was at 9.5 percent.
AZUZ: As a major league pitcher, Roger Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards. Now, he's facing six counts of perjury, obstruction of Congress and making false statements. This goes back to a congressional hearing in 2008. Clemens claimed he never used performance enhancing drugs. However, the Mitchell Report on performance enhancers in pro baseball -- this is a report that came out a couple years back -- showed that Clemens did use banned substances during his playing career.
Is This Legit?
STAN CASE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? Around 15 percent of the seafood that's produced in the U.S. comes from the Gulf of Mexico. Not legit! Around 40 percent of all U.S.-produced seafood comes from the Gulf.
AZUZ: And members of Congress want to know if that seafood is safe in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill. A committee in the U.S. House of Representatives is holding a hearing on the issue. Scientists, professors and members of seafood organizations were all scheduled to talk at the hearing. Government officials are running tests on the animals from the Gulf, and they say the contamination levels are about the same now as they were before the oil spill. Other groups say they are not convinced. They want the government to make the safety standards even stronger.
Quick note here on the oil leak itself. Authorities are gearing up for what they're calling a "bottom kill" procedure that would permanently seal up the well. We told you about the "top kill" earlier this week. That essentially stopped the oil from continuing to leak into the Gulf. Officials say that if all goes as planned, bottom kill could be finished by the week after Labor Day.
AZUZ: Another food safety story for you today. This one is about eggs. 380 million of them are being recalled because of concerns about salmonella. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- the CDC -- says hundreds of people have probably gotten sick from the tainted eggs. Authorities say an egg producer in Iowa is probably responsible for the recent increase in the number of reported cases of salmonella. The concerns, and the recall, only affect shell eggs. So other egg products, like egg whites, should be fine, officials say. Salmonella affects your intestines. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. In most cases, the symptoms last up to a week and then go away on their own.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! When it comes to sleep, what does REM stand for? Do you know the answer? Then shout it out! Is it: A) Random Eye Movement, B) Rapid Eye Motion, C) Rapid Eye Movement or D) Random Eye Motion? You've got three seconds.. but no snooze -- GO! REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement; it's the time during sleep when you dream. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: The stage of sleep known as REM happens in 90-120 minute cycles. And if you think you're not getting enough of it, you're probably right! According to experts, only 20 percent of teenagers -- one in five -- get as much sleep as they should on school nights. Maybe they should be looking at school mornings. Check this out.
AZUZ: Too bad you can't sleep 'til noon on school days. But what if the bell rang half an hour later? There's a study out that makes an argument for a 30-minute delay in school start time. Here's how it worked: Researchers took 200 students at a private school in Rhode Island and surveyed them about their sleep habits. Then, the school delayed its start time from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and the students were surveyed again. On the whole, they said they were less annoyed, depressed, irritated and less likely to visit the clinic because they were exhausted. All that for an extra 30 minutes of sleep. And the school didn't go back to its 8:00 start time.
There is a bit of science in this. The National Sleep Foundation says our "internal clocks" change when we mature from kids to adults. This change usually causes us to fall asleep later, the foundation says. So, a later school start time could help adolescents sleep in a bit and catch up. Students are advised to get 8-and-a-half to 9 hours of sleep a night. You know that doesn't often happen; only about 16 percent of the students in the Rhode Island study said they got 8 hours before the shift. But get this: After the shift, that number went up to almost 55 percent. The study also said class attendance got better.
It did leave some unanswered questions: Would the results have been as significant if the start time had been later from the beginning of the school year? What did teachers think; were students' grades affected by this? And what about schools that already have an 8:30 start time? Is 9:00 the answer for them?
AZUZ: Is 9 o'clock the answer for you? One of the things we're talking about on our blog at CNNStudentNews.com is what your ideal school start time would be! In our poll, a third of you are telling us 8:30 is the best time to start an 8-hour school day. About 28 percent of you say you wanna wait 'til 10 a.m. Aspen, Chris, Rodney and Elijah all like the idea of starting at seven. Aspen quoted, "early to bed, early to rise." But a student from Vietnam wrote that most schools there start at seven, and that students were pretty sleepy because of it. Abby says seven o'clock. "If you don't like it, go to bed early. We get out in time for the afternoon." And Mr. Johnson's class says school should start at 10 and get out at 5. Kids could sleep in longer and eat a better breakfast.
AZUZ: Well, you know that our blog is one of the places where we talk to you. Our Facebook site is another. We'd love for you to head over this weekend, check it out. The address is coming up here in just a moment: Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews. And it's where we have a little fun on CNN Student News. You'll see some off-the-wall videos we've done; you can write on our wall; you can see some pictures of what I looked like in high school, which is really scary stuff. You know where to find it now: Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews. We'll hope to see you there soon.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Finally, everything's usually cool in the Philadelphia Zoo's penguin pen. But when a butterfly invades their air space, it runs a-fowl of these bird brains. I guess you could sort of see this as the butterfly effect. The penguins just get obsessed with this thing. And the whole time, you know the butterfly is taunting them, like, "yeah, that's what you get for being birds that can't fly." We're just glad an iReporter caught it all on camera. 'Cause when a butterfly schools a bunch of penguins?
AZUZ: The pupa becomes the master! That was a pun we deserve extra credit for. Someone should just tell those penguins to chill out. Which is what we're gonna do for the next couple of days. Hope you have a great weekend. And we'll see you right back here on Monday. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.