(CNN Student News) -- February 1, 2011
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz, and you're tuned in to CNN Student News! A country in chaos; the Midwest bracing for a blizzard: 10 minutes of commercial-free headlines start right now.
AZUZ: Protesters ignoring a government curfew; armed troops patrolling the streets; daily supplies running low. In a word, chaos. For more than a week, people have been marching through the streets of Egypt, calling for long-time President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Some experts think this past week of protests could just be the calm before the storm. There are reports that Egyptians are planning another wave of massive protests starting today in some of the nation's major cities, like Cairo and Alexandria. The Egyptian military has been called out to try to control the situation. Yesterday, a military spokesman said the army won't use violence against the protesters, the troops are just there to help maintain security. There have been times when protesters fought with security forces in the streets. We've gotten reports that more than 100 people have been killed in the violence, though it's hard to confirm those kinds of numbers in a situation like this.
Egyptians who aren't part of the protests are being affected, too. Parts of the country are running low on things they need, like food and gas. And with police and security forces focused on the protests, some shops and businesses have been robbed, and there are reports of prison breaks.
As you can imagine, a lot of people are trying to get out, especially citizens of other countries who live or work in Egypt. The U.S. State Department says there are more than 50,000 Americans in Egypt. The agency's working to arrange transportation out of the country for those folks. But as we heard from one American, finding a way to leave can be very frustrating.
LAURA MURPHY LEE, AMERICAN TOURIST IN EGYPT: You cannot get away by water. You cannot take public transportation because it's been deemed unsafe, and you cannot fly. So apparently, there are over 50,000 Americans in Egypt, some of whom may be flown out of the major cities. But those of us who are not in Cairo or Alexandria, are trapped right now.
AZUZ: There's another aspect to what's going on in Egypt, and it has to do with oil. Egypt isn't a major oil producer, but four-and-a-half percent of the entire world's oil supply has to go through Egypt. Stephanie Elam is here to help explain what kind of impact it might have if that flow of oil runs into any problems.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This is something that I know is like a world away for most Americans, but it could really have been an impact. And what we want to do is demonstrate for you just how key this region is, because you've got the Suez Canal there, which is in Egypt. It's controlled by Egypt. And there's also the Sumed pipeline.
So, let's take a look first at the Suez Canal. You can see right there that in 2009, we know 1.8 million barrels a day flowed through the canal. You also have the Sumed pipeline, which is just to the west of the Suez Canal. And through there, 1.1 million barrels a day actually flow through that pipeline. So this artery, these two arteries, are just key for the region, because without this, what shippers would actually have to do is ship it all the way around Africa to get it over to Europe. And that would add 6,000 miles to the journey.
No doubt about it, a) that would cost a lot more. And b) it would also mess up with some supply and demand on when it would actually show up in Europe and the rest of the world that needs to get this key oil from such an important, oil-producing region.
AZUZ: Taking you back to the U.S. now, where it has been a pretty rough winter so far. We've seen brutal snowstorms. Don't even get me started talking about the airport. There've been hundreds of canceled and delayed flights. And here we go again. A major storm system is developing across the country. Yesterday afternoon, Rob Marciano was tracking which parts of the U.S. could be affected and just how bad this might get.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: There's over 20 states that are within a winter storm watch or advisory or winter storm warning, from New England all the way to New Mexico. This is a huge system that's going to affect tens of millions of people; pretty much 3/4 of the country is under the gun here. And if you're not in one of these winter weather advisories, you're in the Southeast, which has had the heat built up for the past couple days, so there's going to be some energy there for severe thunderstorms also. Winter storm warnings now posted for St. Louis back to Oklahoma City. We could see anywhere from eight to 12 inches of snow down here. How about that? Up to Chicago, could see 12 to 18 inches of snow. That is unbelievable for Chicago. And if that happens, if that verifies, we get 18 to 20 inches of snow, it's going to be the worst snowstorm they've seen in over ten years.
This Day in History
AZUZ: February first: On this day in history in 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court met for the first time in New York City. In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed a resolution sending the 13th Amendment, which would abolish slavery, to the states for ratification. In 1960, four African-Americans began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina after they weren't given service because of the store's "whites only" policy. And in 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up while re-entering the earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crew members on board.
MICHELLE WRIGHT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Ms. Grawburg's business and marketing class from Monticello High School in Monticello, Minnesota! Islamabad is the capital of what country? You know what to do! Is it: A) Afghanistan, B) Oman, C) Pakistan or D) Saudi Arabia? You've got three seconds -- GO! Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, the country with the world's sixth-largest population. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Half of that population can read and write. And when you look at just Pakistan's female population, the literacy rate is even lower: 36 percent. We're going to join Reza Sayah, now. He traveled to a town that's a little ways out from Islamabad. He has a story about one Pakistani woman who's proving it's never too late to learn.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, ISLAMABAD: It's a little after 8:00 in the morning, and we're in the town of Daud Khel here in northwest Pakistan. We drove four hours to get here from Islamabad. This is Islamabad; this is where we are in Daud Khel. A lot of the militant Taliban activity you hear about is here in the tribal region just west of us, and this is Afghanistan.
We came here to tell you the story of Rukhsana Batool. She's a 25-year-old mother, and every morning she wakes up, puts on her burqa -- a full-length Islamic veil -- and takes her two little boys to school. That's not so unusual. What happens next is. Rukhsana doesn't leave her kids at school. Instead, she sits right next to them in class and learns. That's because she's enrolled in first grade with her kids.
RUKHSANA BATOOL, FIRST GRADER MOM [TRANSLATED]: I used to bring my children to school, and I saw them studying, and I thought I really want to study and learn, too.
SAYAH: A teacher here at the school says, for weeks, Rukhsana came to class because her kids wouldn't sit still. She ended up liking it. Her parents had never sent her to school, so the teacher had an idea: why not enroll and come to class. And for Rukhsana, the decision was easy.
MUREED FIZZA, RUKHSANA'S TEACHER [TRANSLATED]: She was interested in studying and I welcomed that. I told her I would teach her, even if it meant taking up break time.
SAYAH: Rukhsana gives her husband a lot of credit for encouraging her. Remember, illiteracy is a huge problem here in Pakistan. Where we are it's rare for little girls to go to school, let alone 25-year-old moms. One study shows only one out of ten girls go to school in this province.
SABIR HUSSAIN SHAH, RUKHSANA'S HUSBAND [TRANSLATED]: I think women in every country should be educated. If she's getting educated, then our family will be much more enlightened as well.
FIZZA [TRANSLATED]: My opinion is that one of the main solutions to all of the issues we have in this country is the education of women. I think if one woman is educated, her entire family will be educated.
SAYAH: Their teacher says one of Rukhsana's boys could be sharper than she is. She strongly disagrees. Some friendly competition between mom and her two little boys in first grade. Reza Sayah, CNN, Daud Khel, Pakistan.
Before We Go
AZUZ: It's only on CNN you'd see a story like that. Well, our last story on this first day of February: We want you to check out this nature film. Watch, as the majestic silverback gorilla strolls across the wilds of the Serengeti. Hold on a second, since when do gorillas stroll?! This one does. And he's not on the Serengeti. He's in a British animal park. The 21-year-old has become a pseudo-celebrity because of this YouTube video that shows off how he walks upright. We're not sure how he learned it; it might've been because he was watching how his human keepers walked on two legs...
AZUZ: ...and then he just aped their behavior. We're sure a unique skill like that gives him a leg up on the other gorillas. So he should definitely be proud; you know, stand tall. I can hear you groaning from here. But part of the reason we keep puns like this in our show: a fan named Ian at Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews. He wrote us, "A pun a day keeps laughter on its way." We'd love for you to send us your sign-off line. Whether or not you like the puns or whether or not you could even think of one, send us your sign-off line to Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews! We're gonna keep doing these; we're having a good time with them, and we enjoy what you have to say. Have a great day. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.