(CNN Student News) -- September 3, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Sweater vests and Fridays are awesome! Thanks for spending part of yours with CNN Student News. I'm Carl Azuz, taking you through the next 10 minutes of headlines. Let's go ahead and get started.
First Up: Rig Fire
AZUZ: First up, officials are trying to figure out what caused a fire on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Another one. This happened yesterday morning. It's a rig that produces oil and gas, and it's located around 100 miles off the coast of Louisiana. 13 people had to go overboard. Authorities said all of them have been accounted for; nobody was hurt. Government officials said that they're prepared to respond to any potential environmental problems that might come up. This was a breaking news story yesterday. The details are still coming in; they'll probably keep coming in all weekend. To get the latest information, head to our web site, CNNStudentNews.com.
AZUZ: Over on the east coast, people are preparing for the impact of Earl. The hurricane was expected to pass near North Carolina's Outer Banks last night. It could hit New England by tonight. Government officials are getting ready. President Obama signed a disaster declaration for North Carolina. What that means is that federal agencies and federal money can be used for any relief efforts. Beyond the physical damage that Earl could cause though, some coastal residents are worried about the economic damage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may be 8 days it would affect us. It really kills us, along with the economy. And so, this is all we need on a Labor Day weekend.
AZUZ: Well, there it is. That is what Hurricane Earl looks like from the international space station. Thursday, Earl was downgraded to a category 3 hurricane, but this thing -- as you can see -- is massive. It's bigger than the entire state of California. And its outflow, the clouds that are part of the storm, could stretch from one end of Texas all the way to the other.
AZUZ: You might have noticed that Hurricane Earl keeps changing categories. So what? Well, hurricanes are assigned categories based on the Saffir-Simpson scale. It measures a storm's wind speed and estimates how much damage that storm might cause. Stronger winds, more potential for damage. Category one hurricanes have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour. They usually won't cause any real damage to buildings. But they're kind of scary if you've ever been in one. At 96 miles per hour, a storm becomes a category two. A category three hurricane has winds of at least 111 miles per hour. Those can cause some structural damage. Category four is 131. And when those winds reach 156 miles per hour, you're dealing with a category 5 hurricane. Those are the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale. They can cause complete roof failure on most homes and buildings.
What's the Word?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: What's the Word?
the process of different countries negotiating with each other
That's the word!
AZUZ: Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed to practice diplomacy every couple of weeks for the next year to try to put together a Middle East peace agreement. They came up with that schedule during a meeting yesterday. It was the first time since 2008 that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu --that's him on the left there -- and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas -- he's on the right -- met face to face. The U.S. is going to be part of these talks, too. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- whom you see front and center, right there -- says that America won't be running the show.
U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: The United States has pledged its full support for these talks, and we will be an active and sustained partner. But we cannot and we will not impose a solution. Only you can make the decisions necessary to reach an agreement and secure a peaceful future for the Israeli and Palestinian people.
MICHELLE WRIGHT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! The word "parent" can be traced back to what language? If you know the answer, shout it out! Is it: A) Greek, B) Phoenician, C) Sumerian or D) Latin? You've got three seconds -- GO! Parent comes from a Latin word. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: How involved should your parents be in helping you learn Latin? Or algebra? Or history? Basically, what role should they play in your education. That is what we're asking in today's "Fix Our Schools" segment. All week long, you've heard from a group of very bright Georgia high school students who I interviewed for this project. Listen to what they had to say about their parents.
AZUZ: Is there anybody here whose parents are not at all involved in his education?
MARIA FLORES, ETOWAH HIGH SCHOOL: Well, mine are not involved, but it's not a bad thing. Because of the language barrier, it's very hard for them to be engaged in my education. So, I've had to take a very independent role when it comes to school, but I do have support from them.
LARRY HOWARD, DEKALB SCHOOL OF THE ARTS: Most of the time they're busy. And so, like she said, I have to take responsibility and be independent on my own.
AZUZ: Do you think that makes it harder for you?
AZUZ: And for those of you whose folks are involved in PTA, that are involved in your extracurricular activities, how do you think that helps you?
CHRISTIAN PITT, ALEXANDER HIGH SCHOOL: Well, my mom pushes me to do my best, because I like to get good grades. But sometimes if I'm feeling lazy, I will be lazy, but my mom is the one that really keeps me straight.
ALEXIS JOHNSON, CHAMBLEE CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL: You need to know what your kid is doing at school. You need to know what kind of environment they're in, who their teachers are, so you can relate to what they're going through.
AZUZ: How much involvement is too much?
JANVI CHAWLA, WALTON HIGH SCHOOL: My mom actually used to go online. She used to go on every single blog of all my teachers. She used to go on the school website to see what events were coming up. I felt kind of just invaded a bit.
ALEX KELLY, CARVER HIGH SCHOOL OF HEALTH & SCIENCE RESEARCHERS: My mother actually worked at my school every year since I was in the seventh grade. She's always been there. It will be times where I'll be in the classroom and she'll just walk around the hallway. She'll take a little look in, and then she'll tell me to "Come here."
AZUZ: You know, it's bad enough to get in trouble from your school from your teacher. You sure don't want it from mom, too.
SHAUYAN SAKI, CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL: I know people whose parents actually work in there, they follow them in the halls, they talk to them. And then, my friends are like, all right, mom needs to give the kid some space.
AZUZ: Do you think it's worse at the middle school level or the high school level?
SAKI: Definitely worse at high school.
FLORES: Well, I think it's great when parents are involved, but they have to realize that they need to let us spread our wings.
AZUZ: How do you think too much parental involvement could harm your education?
JULIA ABELSKY, NORTH SPRINGS CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL: I mean, I know that there is a level of too much, but personally, I don't think that that could ever harm you.
MCCALL STILES, NORTH OCONEE HIGH SCHOOL: I've actually seen some of my friends whose parents are, like, really involved, and they always want to know exactly what's going on. And it kind of just smothers them as an individual learner.
HOWARD: I think it hinders the student's ownership of their own education. It makes them think, "Oh, if I don't do this, then my parents are going to know. If I make a B or something lower than that, then, oh no, my parents are going to do something." It's not about, "Oh, I can learn from my mistakes and move forward."
AZUZ: Really good insight there. One of the things we got from those students is that they really wanted a sense of balance. It's like they felt good that their parents were involved in their education, those whose folks were. But they didn't want their parents attached.
AZUZ: All week, you've heard their ideas about how to fix our schools in America. On our blog, From A to Z, we've been asking what you think needs to change in your school. Jarrett believes there's only one thing his school needs to focus on and that's "having more fundraisers to raise money for textbooks and supplies." Rachel feels it's "extremely important to have teachers who are hands-on and care about the students." Emily recommends her school change back to block scheduling. She says "it would help students focus less on several subjects in one day." She also thinks that it would help decrease the amount of students who fail every year. Gabe believes his school needs "more of a variety of classes and more teachers because of the differences in student interests and careers." A few other changes many of you mentioned include better school lunches -- a lot of you talked to us about that; getting uniforms, or getting rid of them; later school start times. And some of you said you wouldn't change a thing about your school. That's great.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, we wanna show off some baby pictures. Never said they'd be human. Or good looking. Say hello to the Cleveland Zoo's newest addition. It's a baby black rhino! It weighed 100 pounds when it was born last month -- that's a big baby -- and it's already up to 165 pounds. They're kinda cute when they're not quite big enough to trample you. By the time she's full grown, this little lady could tip the scales at 3,000 pounds!
AZUZ: It's not polite to talk about a lady's weight, much less make a pun about it. So if you're expecting us to be wry? No! We should probably hide after that one. Instead, we'll just take an extra day off. We will be off on Monday for Labor Day. Enjoy the long weekend. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.