(CNN Student News) -- November 19, 2010
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JOYCE JOSEPH, CNN STUDENT NEWS: It's Friday -- which is always awesome -- and you're tuned in to CNN Student News! Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Joyce Joseph. Today, we're going to start with START.
JOSEPH: We're talking about the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, also known as START. This involves the U.S. and Russia. These 2 countries have more nuclear weapons than any other nation. A new treaty would limit how many weapons they can have. That's if it gets signed. President Obama wants that to happen; he had a meeting about it yesterday. But it's not his call. The U.S. Senate has to approve a new treaty. The president is pushing the Senate to do that. Other experts think it should happen, too. But some Republicans argue that national security is a serious issue, and they don't think this should be rushed. They want more time to consider a new START. Jill Dougherty has more on this debate.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Here at the Senate, the START Treaty has become the perfect storm for policy and politics. On track for passage just a couple of months ago, then blown off course by the midterm elections. Key Senate Republican Jon Kyl is hanging tough. Kyl says he wants more money to keep the nuclear stockpile well maintained. I catch up with him as he barrels through a capital hallway with Senator Kerry.
What's going to happen?
SEN. JON KYL, (R) ARIZONA: We're talking.
SEN. JOHN KERRY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: In good faith.
DOUGHERTY: The administration met Kyl's demand for an additional $4 billion, but now he wants the treaty postponed until next year. That's when the Democratic majority in the Senate shrinks, meaning it will take even more Republican support to pass. From the Kremlin, all eyes are on the tug of war on Capitol Hill. Russia's deputy foreign minister telling CNN "we are very hopeful that domestic U.S. policy considerations won't prevail." The White House believes it can work through all the questions in time. Spokesman Robert Gibbs predicting they will win passage this year.
ADM. MIKE MULLEN, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: I'm extremely concerned...
DOUGHERTY: But the military's top officer doesn't sound so sure.
MULLEN: The military leadership across the board in the United States military supports moving forward with this treaty. And I hope we can do it as rapidly as possible.
DOUGHERTY: It looks like President Obama has the American people, Democrats and Republicans, on his side on this one. A new CNN/Opinion Research Cooperation poll shows nearly three-quarters of Americans think the Senate should vote for the treaty; only a quarter say no. Jill Dougherty, CNN, Washington.
JOSEPH: Security experts don't know who launched a new cyber attack, but they think it could lead to a serious global threat. It's a computer worm -- and a really complex one -- that's called Stuxnet. The big reason experts are worried about this thing? They think it's designed to attack infrastructure systems; things like power grids and gas pipelines. Experts think the target of the attack might have been Iran's nuclear power plants. But there are more than 40,000 Stuxnet infections world wide, and 1,600 of those are right here in the U.S.
[SOUND OF STOCK MARKET OPENING BELL AND CAR ENGINE]
JOSEPH: The leaders of General Motors rang that opening bell because the company made an IPO, an initial public offering. That's when a company first offers shares of stock to the public. This IPO raised the most money ever for the first day that a stock was offered. CNNMoney.com's Poppy Harlow is here to explain GM's comeback and what it might mean.
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM ANCHOR: Shares of GM are once again available to the general public. Everyone from big Wall Street firms to you, your friends, your parents, pretty much everyone you know. GM shares stopped trading publicly when the company went bankrupt back in June of 2009 and the U.S. government swooped in and rescued the company with $50 billion in taxpayer money.
Since then, GM has cut back. They've eliminated failing brands, restructured, asked workers to accept lower benefits. And the hope is now the government will be able sell its stake in General Motors back to the general public; the hope is they'll be able to sell their entire stake and pay back taxpayers in full. Whether or not that happens, though, depends on how investors feel about GM and whether or not the government can actually sell its shares for more than the price it paid for them.
So far, taxpayers have been paid back $22 billion of the $50 billion spent to rescue GM. GM is hopeful its value will continue to rise. And so far this year, sales are up more than 20%. We had a chance to talk to the CEO of General Motors on the floor of the New York stock exchange. You can see that entire interview with him right here at CNNMoney.com. Joyce?
JOHN LISK, CNN STUDENT NEWS: See if you can I.D. Me! I'm a famous speech that was made during the U.S. Civil War. I was given at the dedication of a cemetery in Pennsylvania. I begin with the words "Four score and seven years ago.." I'm the Gettysburg Address, and I was made by President Abraham Lincoln.
JOSEPH: President Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address on this very day back in 1863. And here's an interesting piece of trivia: Lincoln was the second person to speak at the dedication ceremony that day. The first guy talked for two hours. The Gettysburg Address lasted just two minutes. But its words and its message -- honoring the soldiers who gave their lives in the fight for freedom, and declaring that government should be of the people, by the people, and for the people -- those have endured for more than 140 years.
National Adoption Day
JOSEPH: Around 4,500 kids are expected to find new homes tomorrow. You see, November 20th is National Adoption Day. In fact, November is National Adoption Month. There are all sorts of celebrations planned for tomorrow in different cities, and there are a few different goals. The first is to raise awareness about the 114,000 children who are in foster care around the U.S. and hopefully encourage families to adopt. The next goal is to finalize adoptions in all 50 states. Like we mentioned, the group expects 4,500 kids to be adopted tomorrow. National Adoption Day also celebrates those families that do adopt foster children.
JOSEPH: Remember those 33 miners who survived more than two months underground in Chile? They and some of their rescuers are on a trip this week to Los Angeles! They're going to be special guests at a ceremony there. They were invited because organizers thought the miners symbolized the power of the human spirit. Sounds like a perfect fit for the all-star tribute to CNN Heroes! Yup, that's the event these guys are attending. The special program airs next Thursday, Thanksgiving night, at 8 p.m. Eastern on CNN.
JOSEPH: Dogs are man's best friend. But sometimes, you just want to ask them, "What are you thinking?!?" Obviously, they can't answer us. But some researchers do have some answers about how dogs think. Randi Kaye checks in with a report on the capacities of canine intelligence.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you've ever wondered what's really going on behind those puppy dog eyes, this may be the guy to tell you.
PROFESSOR BRIAN HARE, DIRECTOR, DUKE UNIVERSITY CANINE COGNITION CENTER: Good boy! Good boy!
KAYE: Professor Brian Hare, the director of Duke University's Canine Cognition Center, is one of only a few people in the country who study how dogs think.
How do dogs think compared to children?
HARE: Around 12 months, young children start using, relying on adults' gestures and they start making gestures themselves. And that's at about the point where it looks like dogs have a sort of similar level of flexibility.
KAYE: Watch this. I'd just met Tazzie, professor Hare's dog, a few minutes before this test. When we both point to a cup which may hold a treat, will she trust me, a stranger, or her owner?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tazzie, look up here! Ready, set, point!
KAYE: Oh, I'm crushed!
HARE: That's my boy, that's my boy.
KAYE: How could he trust you over me?
KAYE: Over and over, Tazzie chooses her owner's gestures.
HARE: They really narrow in and pay attention to you, and they want to know what it is about the world that you can help them with.
KAYE: Because, let's face it, dogs can't solve every problem. Like it or not, researchers have figured out dogs use their skills to manipulate the world and those of us in it.
Before We Go
JOSEPH: Before we go, yesterday was World Records Day, and it was full of record-breaking attempts. Like for the most dogs in costume. You're a little late for Halloween, guys. I guess we're off to a ruff start. How about a ludicrously long line of leap-froggers? Now, this is something you can jump right into. It sounds like a ribbit-ing event. Next up, the most consecutive Double Dutch skips. This team hit 371. Watching this is mezmerizing. It really ropes you in. Over to France, for the most stairs climbed in one minute while balancing someone on your head. Sounds like quite a feet. And finally, the most juggling rotations in one minute. Sure, he's setting world records now, but his future really seems up in the air.
JOSEPH: A stunt like that has a lot going on, but he seems to juggle it all well. Or, how about this one: his work is at least partially hands off. We wanted to toss out as many as we can, but juggling puns are hard to pin down. Hope you guys have a great weekend. For CNN Student News, I'm Joyce Joseph.