(CNN Student News) -- September 17, 2010
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome! This one happens to be Constitution Day, which is awesome-er! And you're watching CNN Student News; awesome-est! Guiding you through 10 minutes of commercial-free news, I'm Carl Azuz.
AZUZ: We have a handful of economic headlines first up today. Number one: jobless claims. They are down, and that's good. What we're talking about is how many people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time. The government collects this number every week. Right now, it is at the lowest point it's been in two months. But, experts would like to see even fewer claims before they feel like the job market is actually improving.
Economic headline number two: the poverty rate. It is up, to the highest it's been since 1994. That is not good. The government says the poverty line for a family of four is just under $22,000 per year. In 2009, more than 43 million Americans were living below that line. Since the economy didn't do well in 2009, a lot of experts saw this coming.
Our third economic headline: the Senate passes a small business bill. This thing will cost $42 billion. It's designed to get money to small businesses and hopefully create new jobs. Some critics argue it could end up like a miniature version of the bank bailout from 2008. They're worried that the government won't get back the money that it loans out. The bill passed the Senate. Now, the House needs to approve it before President Obama can sign it into law.
Finally, exports. Those are goods made in one country and sold in others, and President Obama wants the U.S. to have a lot more of them. He's looking to double American exports over the next five years, which he hopes would create millions of jobs.
Trio of Storms
AZUZ: We are in the middle of the Atlantic hurricane season. It lasts from June through November. And right now, officials are keeping an eye on three of these storms that are moving around out there. Right in the middle is Igor. That is the biggest one of the three. Yesterday afternoon, it was a category 3 hurricane. And over to Igor's right on your screen there is Julia. That storm's been getting downgraded as it gradually gets weaker. Experts don't think either Igor or Julia will threaten land. The storm that is moving across land is Karl. That's with a k, not a c. It's all the way on the left of your screen. It doesn't look very big there. It became a category 1 hurricane yesterday as it moved through parts of Mexico.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! What is this? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it a: A) Termite, B) Mosquito, C) Tick or D) Bedbug? You've got three seconds -- GO! What you're looking at is a bedbug, a wingless, bloodsucking insect. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: And when we say bloodsucking, we mean human blood. That's what these things eat. Around 60 years ago, bedbugs were pretty much wiped out in the U.S. But then, people started traveling more around the world, and certain pesticides that killed insects were banned. Two reasons why now, bedbugs are back. Kate Bolduan explains what the government is trying to do about it.
DR. MARK FELDLAUFER, USDA, AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE: I feed them once a week.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.: So, you're one of the rare people who wants healthy bedbugs?
FELDLAUFER: I want healthy bedbugs to test. If they're sick, we're way ahead of them.
BOLDUAN: The sight of them, even the thought of them, can make anyone's skin crawl.
FELDLAUFER: So, that would qualify as a lot of bed bugs.
BOLDUAN: Bedbugs are making a big comeback. According to a survey by the National Pest Management Association, 95 percent of pest control companies have faced bedbug infestations in the past year. That's up from less than 25 percent in the year 2000. And Dr. Mark Feldlaufer is at the forefront of the federal government's attempt to take on the pests. His mission: find the chemical that consistently kills the bloodsuckers.
FELDLAUFER: At first, we looked at compounds that the bedbugs produced themselves to see if that could be used. But as the problem has gotten larger and larger, we've looked at new chemistries which are synthesized by our in-house chemists, and we are even starting to examine existing chemistries.
BOLDUAN: In a quiet lab just outside Washington, Feldlaufer has been studying bedbugs for about two years for the scientific research arm of the USDA. The pest control industry welcomes the help from Washington, saying a widespread coordinated effort is needed to wipe them out.
JASON GUY, TERMINIX: Two years ago, we probably got five calls a year. Today, we're probably getting five calls a day.
BOLDUAN: Jason Guy is on the front lines, an exterminator in the Washington region.
GUY: I've seen them in the best hotels, I've seen them in the worst hotels. I've seen them in cruise ships. I've seen them in homes and any neighborhood that we have in D.C.
BOLDUAN: Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency hosted a bedbug summit. EPA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even issued a statement noting an "alarming resurgence" in bedbugs. Back in Dr. Feldlaufer's lab, the painstaking search for a solution continues.
FELDLAUFER: Oh, right in the thick of it. I would much prefer giving an interview saying, "This is what you want to use" than "We're right in the middle of it right now."
BOLDUAN: So, where are the biggest problems? Well, according to a survey by Terminix, New York and Philadelphia topped the list of most bedbug-infested cities. And the very city where the federal government is trying to tackle the problem, Washington, D.C., is also up there. Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.
AZUZ: Imagine if everything you needed to survive had to fit through a pipe this small. That's what 33 miners in Chile are dealing with. They've been trapped about 2,300 feet underground since August 5th. There are three plans -- three different drills -- working to get them out. What you're seeing here is "Plan B." It had to stop for a while after a drill bit shattered. A replacement part arrived earlier this week, so "Plan B" is now back up and running. Authorities hope to get the men out by November.
AZUZ: Yom Kippur is the most important holiday on the Jewish calendar. It starts tonight and lasts through tomorrow. Many Jews will spend that time fasting; they won't eat or drink. Yom Kippur is called the "Day of Atonement." It's a time when Jews think about anything they may have done wrong over the past year, and then ask for forgiveness both from God and from other people. The holiday ends with the blowing of the shofar, a trumpet that's made out of the horn of a ram.
Is This Legit?
JOHN LISK, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? The U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Legit! And the document was signed 223 years ago today. Just how well do you know what it says?
AZUZ: That's what we're about to find out! You've been hearing this week about the free classroom materials we've posted online at CNNStudentNews.com. Now, it's time to have a little shoutout-style fun on Constitution Day. First question: Where would you find the actual U.S. Constitution? At the National Archives, at the Pentagon, at Constitution Hall, or at the White House? The U.S. Constitution is kept and displayed at the National Archives!
Alright, let's move: How old does the Constitution say you have to be to become president? Is it 18, 21, 35 or 40 years old? Tough one here! The Constitution says you've gotta be 35 years old to occupy the Oval Office. Number three: Which one of these is not part of the Bill of Rights? Voting age set to 18 years, quartering of soldiers, right to speedy trial, or powers of the states and people? It's the 26th Amendment that sets the voting age at 18, and it's the first 10 Amendments that make up the Bill of Rights.
Two more to go! Who has the power to declare war? Is it the secretary of state, individual states, the president or Congress? Article One, Section Eight gives Congress the power to declare war. Last question! Which of these phrases doesn't appear in the preamble? "Secure the blessings of liberty," "Hold these truths to be self-evident," "insure domestic tranquility," or "form a more perfect union"? Answer is, B! "Hold these truths to be self-evident" is a phrase that appears in the Declaration of Independence. This was a tough quiz, so there's no shame if you didn't go five for five. Or three for five.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, we've got a couple record-breaking rovers for ya. Anastasia here either really hates balloons or really likes to hear them pop. She is tearing those things up! And she can take down 100 balloons in less than 45 seconds, fastest time ever by a dog. That's not a toy hanging out of this dog's mouth. That's its tongue! Four-and-a half inches long! Guess what record he has. You could call it Puggy's prodigious protuberance. It's the same length as the entire dog! It's no wonder he holds the record for the longest dog tongue.
AZUZ: With a tongue like that, he had the competition licked. You can pop on over to our Facebook page this weekend: facebook.com/cnnstudentnews. We've got a new video up for you to check out. And CNN Student News will see you again on Monday. I'm Carl Azuz. Have a great weekend.