(CNN Student News) -- September 7, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Well, there's a new technology out that makes annoying noises to try to stop people from loitering. But is it targeting teens? You'll hear all about it in today's edition of CNN Student News. You viewers who've been with us since the beginning of the school year: We hope you had a good Labor Day weekend. To you viewers who are just joining us: Welcome to a new year and a new year's worth of news from CNN Student News. I'm Carl Azuz. Let's go ahead and get started.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Eight million Americans lost their jobs in this recession. And even though we've had eight straight months of private sector job growth, the new jobs haven't been coming fast enough. Now, here's the honest truth, the plain truth: there's no silver bullet; there's no quick fix to these problems.
AZUZ: President Obama, spending part of the Labor Day weekend talking about jobs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It's part of a White House plan to put a spotlight on the U.S. economy. During yesterday's speech, the president talked about transportation projects: rebuilding roads, building and maintaining railways, working on airport runways. He says that all of that would help create jobs and help the country's economy.
Now creating jobs, definitely a big priority. The government just released the latest unemployment numbers last week. And unemployment is at 9.6 percent. That is up one-tenth of a percent from the previous month, and it's been right around that same range since May.
Congress would have to approve all of the president's proposed transportation projects. And some analysts don't think there's any chance of that happening soon. A recent CNN poll shows almost 60 percent of Americans disapprove of how President Obama is handling the economy. Forty percent give him a thumbs up.
AZUZ: Jobs and the economy: probably going to be big factors in this year's midterm elections. We are less than two months away from the big day, November 2nd. No one's running for president, but there are a lot of congressional seats up for grabs. That includes every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, all 435 of 'em. Plus, 37 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats, and 37 states will be electing governors, too.
So, where do things stand? In a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, around 1,000 people were asked what's called a "generic ballot" question. It doesn't have names on it; it just asks, "Would you vote for a Republican or a Democrat?" 52 percent said they would vote for a Republican. 45 percent said they'd vote for a Democrat.
Back to that point about the economy being a major concern. According to another CNN poll, 81 percent of Americans think the U.S. economy is in poor shape. 18 percent think that the economy is doing well. Those opinions, probably gonna impact how some people vote.
Blowout Preventer Raised
AZUZ: You see that thing coming out of the water? It's called a blowout preventer, and it's supposed to shut down an oil or gas well if anything goes wrong. This one didn't; it failed, and a lot of experts think that's what led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials who are investigating that spill want to examine the blowout preventer to find out why it failed. A new one is in place on top of the oil well. Once it's been tested and approved, authorities can drill the last few feet of a relief well that's gonna seal up the original well for good.
JOHN LISK, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm an island nation that's located in the South Pacific Ocean. You'll find me southeast of Australia, my biggest trading partner. I'm home to about 4 million people, who are sometimes called Kiwis. I'm New Zealand, and my capital city is Wellington.
AZUZ: Parts of New Zealand are trying to recover from a massive earthquake that hit over the weekend. A couple people had serious injuries. Around 100 others had minor bumps and cuts. Luckily, there were no immediate reports of any deaths. But there is a lot of damage, as you can see here. The government has gotten 5,000 claims for damaged properties. A lot of those are for houses. The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.1. It struck early Saturday morning. There have been some pretty strong aftershocks since then, too. Experts say those aftershocks could keep coming for a week.
AZUZ: Over in the Central American nation of Guatemala, people are struggling through the strongest rain in 60 years. More than 40,000 Guatemalans are at risk. What happens is the powerful rain storms cause landslides. Dozens of Guatemalans have been killed or hurt. In one spot, a landslide knocked some vehicles off the road, and when people nearby came to help, another one hit the exact same location. Thousands of homes have been damaged. Fields full of crops have been washed out. The country's president declared a national emergency over the weekend. He also said Monday would be a day of mourning.
AZUZ: In Chile, officials are working to get 33 men out of a mine they've been trapped in for more than a month. These officials have a plan, a back-up plan, and a back-up, back-up plan. And they're gonna run all three at the same time. You can see the miners in this video. They seem to be in good spirits. Now, Plan A is to drill straight down to the shelter these guys are in. That could take several months. Plan B is to drill at an angle. That could take about half the time. Plan C is to use an oil drill. That could be the fastest option, but it won't be ready until later this month.
What's the Word?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: What's the Word?
to hang around or stay in one place for no apparent reason
That's the word!
AZUZ: So, loitering might not seem like a big deal. We've all probably spent time hanging out at the mall. Store owners might see loitering differently. If you're loitering, more often than not, you're not shopping. And in some cases, loiterers can drive away business. One mall is trying a sonic solution to drive away loiterers. But as Brian Todd tells us, some people are sounding off in opposition.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.: It can cause a high-pitched headache, and that's by design. Just outside the Gallery Place subway stop in Washington, the Mosquito beeps often. But is it indiscriminate? This anti-loitering device was placed here after a big street brawl, but the property managers and the Mosquito's distributor both tell CNN the noisemaker doesn't target young people. Still, the distributor says teenagers happen to do the most loitering, and he says the sound is most effective for the stage of life when humans can hear the highest pitches.
MIKE GIBSON, MOVING SOUND TECHNOLOGIES: The Mosquito, when activated, emits a sound at 17.5 kilohertz, which is at the high end of the youth hearing range, 13 to 25-year-old hearing range. When a youth hears the sound, they find it extremely annoying and will leave the area in a few minutes.
TODD: At Gallery Place, we saw some young people getting irritated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you hear it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably wouldn't shop at any of these shops if I heard it again.
TODD: Why not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's too annoying. It gave me a headache.
TODD: There are settings on the Mosquito that can be heard by older age groups. I played the sound off a computer in our newsroom near several people in their 20s, 30s and older. I didn't tip them off beforehand. On settings for people 25, 30, 35 and younger, no one reacted. Then...
We're going to play a setting now for people 50 years old and under.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I heard that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hear that.
TODD: I can hear that, too.
Still, some believe this device does target teenagers unfairly. Among the community leaders who have concerns about this device, Judith Sandalow of the Children's Law Center here in the Gallery Place area.
Judith, if there are problems with violence and loiterers driving away customers from businesses that count on that business in this area, wouldn't anything like this help?
JUDITH SANDALOW, CHILDREN'S LAW CENTER: I'm sympathetic to businesses needing to be able to engage the most customers in the best possible way. I'm sympathetic to that. This isn't the best solution. We need to have better programs for youth; we need to engage them in activities.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Finally today, before we go, ever seen a black widow take down a buffalo? That's what happened this weekend in Buffalo, New York. All right, so we're talking about buffalo wings, not a full bison. But these guys -- and gal -- can pack 'em away. In fact, Sonya Thomas -- she's known as the Black Widow -- ate 181chicken wings in 12 minutes. That's enough to take home the title and beat her own world record.
AZUZ: We actually didn't plan any puns for this story, so I guess I'm just gonna have to wing it. She buffalo'd the competition? She obviously had a wing-ing strategy. That whole event looks like a three wing circus! Maybe we'll just chew over the possibilities. Either way, we'll be back tomorrow. Hope you will too! For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.