(CNN Student News) -- February 3, 2011
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hey, everyone! Thanks for checking out this Thursday edition of CNN Student news. My name is Carl Azuz, reporting from the CNN Center. We are going global in today's program, bringing you headlines from four different continents, starting off in Africa.
AZUZ: "What we're watching is history being made." The words of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs yesterday. He was talking about the situation in Egypt, where peaceful protests on Tuesday gave way to scenes of violence on Wednesday. Reports from the Egyptian government said that one person died; hundreds more were injured. Most of those injuries coming from rocks that were thrown.
The fighting is between two different groups of protesters, mainly. On one side, people who are speaking out against the Egyptian government and President Hosni Mubarak. On the other side, people who support the government. This is a group that says Egypt can't survive without President Mubarak. The two sides were being kept apart by barricades in downtown Cairo. When one group broke through that barrier, that's when yesterday's violence heated up. On Tuesday night, President Mubarak announced that he won't run in elections scheduled for later this year. It was a major decision for someone who's been in power for 30 years. But that wasn't enough for many of the people protesting his government. They want him out of office now.
AZUZ: Well, we're taking you to Australia next today, where the state of Queensland in northeast Australia is struggling through the effects of a powerful cyclone. If Queensland sounds familiar, this same region was hit with severe flooding recently. This time, the disaster is Cyclone Yasi. Cyclones are what hurricanes are called in that part of the world. Yasi could be one of the worst cyclones Australia has ever seen. We want you to look at this video. You can see what looks like a sign that got blown down, flying through the street, being ripped apart. People in Queensland were warned about Yasi a few days ago, so they had some time to get ready. But one official said it could be a tough couple days.
AZUZ: The United States and Russia are off to a New START. President Obama signed off on a New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty -- or New START -- yesterday. The U.S. Senate approved the treaty in December; Russia's parliament did the same thing in January. Now, the two countries can start putting it into effect. What will START do? Well, it will further reduce the number of nuclear weapons that each country is allowed to have. The old limit was 2,200; the new one is 1,550. It'll also restart inspections of both U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons. Those inspections stopped when the old treaty expired at the end of 2009.
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mrs. Nanny's reading classes at Ozona Middle School in Ozona, Texas! What U.S. city is known as the Second City? You know what to do! Is it: A) Boston, B) Philadelphia, C) Chicago or D) San Francisco? You've got three seconds -- GO! Chicago is called the Second City because, for a long time, it was America's second-largest city. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Some of you Second City students might have watched our show from home yesterday; you certainly weren't in class. Chicago shut down its schools for the first time in 12 years. That's what you do when a huge winter storm dumps almost two feet of snow on the city. Snow, sleet, freezing rain: All that hit 30 different states! Officials estimate that this mega-storm has affected one out of every three people in America. For a lot of folks, this has been a winter of our discontent. Richard Roth hit the streets of New York to gauge people's frosty frustrations.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK: It's the hot complaint in the freezing Big Apple.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm ready for the beach weather, sun and fun, enough!
ROTH: What's your mood in this weather?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terrible!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm trying to fight it. I'm a Jamaican. This is not my kind of weather.
ROTH: No, actually some people do like it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wonderful, wonderful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's lovely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I enjoy the snow. I don't mind it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
ROTH: What do people say when you tell them that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They think I'm crazy.
ROTH: What's the book?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Much Ado About Nothing.
ROTH: Is that what you think about this winter?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely!
ROTH: Other residents say Shakespeare would not be in love with the snow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been too much. I don't know what's going on this winter. It's just absolutely crazy. It's been too cold. It's been too snowy. The city doesn't know how to clean any of this up. Just an absolute mess.
ROTH: A cash-strapped New York City has already used up its entire $38 million snow removal budget. But what's this? Roses on Park Avenue? It's months until the spring.
Does it give you any thoughts of spring coming?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, it can't come quick enough, certainly. As they say, here we snow again, right?
ROTH: It's an artist's sculpture exhibit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hope springs eternal. When you have a day like this and it's gray, you need something pink and lively, and spring is around the corner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the thorns of snow, so I think it's pretty attractive.
ROTH: January is the month that featured the second heaviest snowfall of any month in New York City history. There are so few places in which to escape. I mean normally, wouldn't you wish you could go to a park, like Central Park, and just relax. Not at this time of the year .There is a park you can go to experience summer, and it's indoors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to get out of the house and feel a park atmosphere, so I decided to come here to see what it's like.
ROTH: A SoHo retail gallery that looks and feels like a park.
JONATHAN DAOU, OWNER, OPENHOUSE GALLERY: This is about not liking winter.
ROTH: Grass, bird noises and light boxes to ease seasonal gloom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's spring in February
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I came here to get away from winter.
ROTH: This is the sixth worst winter in New York City history.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In my opinion, it's the worst winter in New York City's history!
ROTH: Richard Roth, CNN, New York.
AZUZ: We know they're happy about what Punxsutawney Phil had to say. Pennsylvania's famous groundhog did not see his shadow yesterday. In folklore, that's taken as a sign that Spring will come early. But don't be surprised if Phil is totally wrong; he usually is. In fact, over the years, Punxsutawney Phil has been wrong more than 60 percent of the time, defying even probability! Why do we keep using him to forecast spring? Well, he's been part of a famous tradition since 1887, started by a Pennsylvania newspaper editor who loved reporting on groundhogs. The actual emergence of these creatures is probably linked to hibernation; specifically, how much fat they have stored when they take their winter nap. The folklore about whether they see their shadow dates back to the Middle Ages. It was a primitive way to forecast the weather. While Punxsey Phil's track record ain't great, General Beauregard Lee, Georgia's resident groundhog and forecaster, didn't see his shadow either. That means at least two groundhogs are indicating Spring could spring early!
AZUZ: For more than three decades, February has been recognized as Black History Month. It's a time to honor and celebrate the achievements of African-Americans. How much do you know about the origins of Black History Month? We're about to find out. Pop quiz, hot shot!
Question one. Before it became a month-long celebration, who established Black History "Week"? Was it Harriet Tubman, Carter G. Woodson or W.E.B. Dubois? It was Carter G. Woodson who made the announcement in 1925.
One year later, the first Black History Week took place during the same week as the birthday celebrations for Abraham Lincoln and who else? Next question! Was it Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington or Sojourner Truth? Answer here: In the 19th century, Frederick Douglass was part of the abolition, or anti-slavery, movement. He was an early and influential figure in the civil rights movement and he worked for the equality of all people.
All right, last question. In 1976, the week-long celebration of African-American culture and history was expanded to an entire month by which president? Was it Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter? Answer here: President Ford established Black History Month during the country's bicentennial birthday year. He urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavour throughout our history."
AZUZ: Black History Month is just getting started; so is our coverage. Throughout February, check out the Spotlight section at CNNStudentNews.com. That's where you'll find links to our reports, as well as teacher resources and a special CNN Challenge. Black History Month: In the Spotlight all month long at CNNStudentNews.com!
Before We Go
AZUZ: We're not quite sure what to make of what we're seeing in today's Before We Go segment. But this guy seems to be having the same problem. In this YouTube video, the puzzled pup's owner is showing him a video of another dog on his phone. Our curious canine doesn't know what he's looking at, or he's really easily amused. Either way, he's gonna keep watching until he figures it out.
AZUZ: ...really showing some dogged determination there. What I don't understand is why the owner is teasing him, showing him video of another dog? I mean, what's the paw-pose. Today's sign-off line is another pun. It comes from Facebook.com/CNNStudentNews, a viewer named Nicholas. "A noun and a verb were dating, but they broke up because the noun was too possessive." Back tomorrow to close out the week. For CNN Student News, I'm Carl Azuz.