(CNN Student News) -- December 7, 2010
Download PDF maps related to today's show:
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: A frosty forecast, an out-of-this-world vacation, and an unbelievable finish to a cross-country race. All of it's coming up this Tuesday on CNN Student News. Hi, everyone. I'm Carl Azuz.
AZUZ: First up, a series of meetings in Switzerland that are happening behind closed doors. The subject: Iran's controversial nuclear program. That Middle Eastern country is on one side of the table. On the other side are the U.S., the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany. It's been more than a year since the last time representatives from these countries got together. Both sides are bringing up some of their concerns. Iran wants to talk about attacks on two Iranian scientists last week. The other nations want to put the brakes on Iran's nuclear program. They're worried that Iran might be trying to make nuclear weapons, a concern the international community has had for some time. Iran denies that. It says it's just making nuclear power. The talks started yesterday.
One day before that, Iran announced that it doesn't need anyone's help to produce nuclear fuel. The country says it is producing its own yellow cake. That's a substance that's required for nuclear programs, whether they're peaceful or military. Officials can't verify that Iran is producing yellow cake, but American authorities said they weren't surprised by the announcement.
South Korean Security
AZUZ: Things are getting more tense on the Korean peninsula, and the U.S. is getting involved in a couple ways. First, Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is heading to South Korea. He's going to reassure that country's military that the U.S. supports it. Back in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was offering a similar message when she met with South Korean and Japanese officials yesterday.
Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court is investigating some alleged attacks by North Korea on South Korea. Those include an attack on a South Korean island and the sinking of a South Korean warship. For its part, the North is blaming the South for all the tension in the region.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to the students and teachers at the Stockton Borough School in Stockton, New Jersey! Which of these DOESN'T measure temperature? If you think you know it then shout it out! Is it: A) Celsius, B) Doppler, C) Fahrenheit or D) Kelvin? You've got three seconds -- GO! Doppler doesn't, but the rest of these are all measures of temperature. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Doesn't matter how you measure it, right now it's cold! Temperatures have been 5 to 15 degrees lower than average up and down the East Coast. This winter weather is hitting everywhere, from Chicago all the way down to Florida. We are feeling it here in Atlanta. But what you're looking at here is Buffalo, New York. Parts of the city getting up to three feet of snow last week. Three to five inches in Madison, Wisconsin. More than five inches of snow in Chicago. Up to 10 inches in parts of Indiana. Experts think there's more snow on the way.
AZUZ: Temperatures are going down. Gas prices, unfortunately, are going up! Right now, the national average for a gallon of unleaded is $2.91. A new survey says that average could hit three dollars very soon. Part of the reason is demand. Countries like China and India need more fuel as their economies grow; as more people start to drive in some places. Carter Evans breaks down some other reasons for the increase.
CARTER EVANS, CNN MONEY MATTERS CORRESPONDENT: We're talking about the national average. All of the places in this country, when you look at gas prices, the low prices and the high prices, averaging more than $3.00 a gallon by Christmas. The national average right now is $2.91 a gallon. They're already seeing $3.00 a gallon on Long Island, here in New York; in Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco. And here's why: oil prices are at their highest level in two years, more than $89 a barrel today.
And one of the reasons for that is the weaker dollar. The dollar got a whole lot weaker when this quantitative easing that the Fed put in place a couple of weeks ago went into effect. That weakened the dollar a bit. Essentially, when you're printing money, it makes the dollar worth less. There's also strong demand for oil right now because it's winter time and people are trying to heat their homes. So, a lot of people right now are trying to strategize so that they can drive less.
FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT FRANKLIN. D. ROOSEVELT: December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy...
Pearl Harbor Attack
AZUZ: An infamous date because it marked the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. And one day later, the United States would declare war on Japan, officially entering World War II. The Pearl Harbor attack happened early that morning; the Japanese wanted it to have the greatest element of surprise. They got it. More than 2,300 Americans were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. More than a thousand others were injured. And it was a major blow to the U.S. military, destroying nearly 200 American planes and sinking or damaging several ships. At the time, some people blamed the military for not being prepared enough for this kind of attack. But many historians point to Pearl Harbor as the event that united America and led the country to join the war.
AZUZ: Moving from the past to the future now, a lot of you are probably getting ready for the holiday break. Maybe you're planning a trip to the beach, the mountains. If you're willing to wait a little while, though, you could add another vacation destination: space! But as you might guess, it ain't gonna be cheap. John Zarrella looks at how this idea could get off the ground.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF AND CORRESPONDENT: Southeast of the Elephant Butte Dam, tucked away in the middle of the New Mexico desert, right there. You see it, rising up from the scrub brush? This is where the future of space travel has taken root: Spaceport America. It is still in its infancy, growing with each steel beam, each pounding of the dry dirt. Funded by taxpayers and private industry, this $200 million facility will be the world's first commercial spaceport.
RICH HOMANS, SPACEPORT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: I pinch myself sometimes and say, how often does one have the opportunity to be part of a project that is so historic. This is the birth of the new commercial space age.
ZARRELLA: The vision: private companies will launch cargo and humans from here, perhaps to orbiting hotels. That first vacation in space you take might start right here.
CAROLYN WINCER, VIRGIN GALACTIC ASTRONAUT SALES: If you're gonna have commercial operations taking tourists into space, safety has to be your guiding star all the time.
ZARRELLA: Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic company has taken the lead. A year or so from now, a mother ship will roll down this runway, liftoff, at 50,000 feet, release a space plane. The six passengers and two pilots will reach 350,000 feet and weightlessness for four minutes.
WINCER: Our flight is not as aggressive on the stomach as you would think, because it's straight up, over the top and straight back down again.
ZARRELLA: When you're back on the ground, your wallet is, well, $200,000 lighter, the cost of the ride. By next summer, the three-story, center piece building should be completed. On the first floor, the civilian astronauts will get ready for their flight. The second floor will be mission control. And on the third floor will be an astronaut lounge where they can hang out and wait for their flight. For New Mexico, the venture is risky. How many companies will see commercial space as smart business, and how soon? Will this place be a thriving hub of space flight or the outpost of a dream born before its time?
AZUZ: Time will tell. Next up, we have this incredible story for you. This is the kind of thing we love to talk about on CNN Student News. This happened at a high school cross-country race out in California. You're looking at a runner named Holland Reynolds. All she has to do is cross the finish line for her team to win its eighth state championship. But then, Holland collapses. Her legs just give out. Later on, Holland said she didn't even remember falling. Now, you see an official running up to see if she's okay. But if he helps her in any way, she'll be disqualified. The official said she didn't have to get up. So Holland crawled. It took Holland more than 20 seconds to go those last two yards. But she made it across the finish line and helped win for her coach, who's fighting a serious illness.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Really amazing stuff there. Before we go today, we are bringing you thousands of people raising their voices in an attempt to break a world record. The goal: the most Christmas carolers in one spot. It was anything but a silent night in Boston, Massachusetts! Around 3,200 carolers combining to spread some holiday cheer. No need for them to be pitch perfect. All that was required was some seasonal spirit. Now ufortunately, they didn't end up breaking the record.
AZUZ: But there's just no way you could deny the event was noteworthy. And we hope you'll tune in again tomorrow for more CNN Student News with Carl Azuz. We'll see you then. Have a great day!