(CNN Student News) -- March 31, 2011
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MRS. LONG'S STUDENTS: We're from Twin Rivers High School in Broseley, Missouri. Start your tractor, Carl!
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: We thank Mrs. Long's students in Missouri for getting today's show revved up and ready to go. And we thank all of you for checking out this Thursday edition of CNN Student News.
AZUZ: I'm Carl Azuz, and first up today, we have a report from CNN's Chris Lawrence on the conflict in Libya. The U.S. has been involved in this since March 19th, when it launched missiles at targets inside the North African country. But the military strategy is shifting.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: U.S. officials say they're not in Libya to help rebels win a war.
VICE ADMIRAL BILL GORTNEY, DIRECTOR OF THE JOINT STAFF: That's not part of our mandate.
LAWRENCE: But the coalition is launching missiles at specific units, like the headquarters of Libya's elite 32nd Brigade.
GORTNEY: This is one of Gadhafi's most loyal units.
LAWRENCE: The coalition has interpreted "protect civilians" to mean it can destroy any weapons Gadhafi could use. Air strikes hit munitions depots in two cities.
GORTNEY: Any place that we can see ammunition storage facilities, things of that nature, that, we're going after those.
LAWRENCE: A mission that started with preventing attacks from the air is now focused, not even two weeks later, on destroying targets on the ground. New flying gunships like the A-10 have replaced some of the ships that were firing cruise missiles. These new aircraft fly low, closer to a target, and shoot machine gun fire instead of dropping thousand-pound bombs. They're designed to fight in and around cities, where rebels are trying to hold off Gadhafi's forces. On Tuesday, the NATO commander said that protecting civilians mandate extends all the way into Tripoli itself.
ADMIRAL JAMES STAVRIDIS, NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, EUROPE: I think that any Gadhafi forces that are demonstrating hostile intent against the Libyan population are legitimate targets.
LAWRENCE: So far, the assault has cost the Pentagon well over half a billion dollars. But most of that money came from cruise missiles and other munitions. The strategy has shifted, and now the U.S. forces are focused on refueling planes, jamming communication and striking Gadhafi forces. So, the military only expects to spend $40 million over the next few weeks. And a spokeswoman says, "After that, we would incur added costs of about $40 million per month." How many months? It's hard to tell.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: But a stalemate is not an acceptable solution.
STAVRIDIS: I think a stalemate is not in anybody's interest.
Libya Civil War
AZUZ: Some rebel leaders in Libya are calling the battles' front lines "fluid." They made some advances, took control of some key cities. But Colonel Gadhafi's forces have pushed back. And yesterday, the rebels withdrew from some territory they had taken over before.
One strategy that coalition military leaders are considering is arming the rebels, giving them weapons. President Obama has said he's open to this idea, and some experts think it could give rebels help in fighting government forces. But there are also some concerns about this, arming the rebels. U.S. intelligence indicates that some terrorists may be fighting on the side of the rebels. So of course, officials don't want to be giving weapons to the wrong people.
PAT ST. CLAIRE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout goes out to Mrs. Feller's students at Hardin Intermediate School in Hardin, Montana! On this map of the Middle East, which country is Syria? You know what to do! Is it: A, B, C or D? You've got three seconds -- GO! On this map, B is Syria, a country that's home to more than 22 million people. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!
AZUZ: Syria is another country in that part of the world that's dealing with political unrest. Dozens of people have been killed over the last few weeks in fighting between Syrian security forces and protesters who are speaking out against their government. The protesters, here's what they want: changes to Syria's constitution and the end of an emergency law that's been in place in Syria for decades.
Yesterday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke to his country about this unrest. He said he recognizes that Syrians want reform and acknowledges that the government hasn't met the needs of the Syrian people. But President al-Assad also referred to an anti-Syria "conspiracy," and said his country won't fall like others that have gone through revolutions recently, like Egypt, for example. One thing President al-Assad didn't address was that emergency law that protesters want lifted.
AZUZ: It's been nearly 10 years since the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. After those attacks, Congress created the 9/11 Commission. The goal was to investigate the country's counterterrorism policy and to give recommendations for how to help avoid future attacks. A U.S. Senate committee is holding hearings to discuss how prepared the U.S. is for another possible attack. Yesterday, they heard the opinions of some members of that 9/11 Commission who said that, in many ways, the U.S. is safer today from that kind of terrorist attack. But they also had a warning: They said the threat of terrorism has changed. The commission's chairman said, "Although a devastating 9/11-type attack we believe is less likely, the threat is more complex and it's more diverse than at any time in the last decade."
What's the Word?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: What's the Word?
It's a term that advertisers use to describe a group of people who share similar characteristics, such as age
That's the word!
AZUZ: Advertisers use those demographics to decide which ads to show to which people. For example, if you're trying to promote an action movie, advertisers believe they're better off showing that to a younger, male audience than to an older, female audience. Deborah Feyerick is looking at new technology that doesn't just let advertisers target a specific group. It lets them target specific individuals.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Every time you watch TV, your TV is likely watching you through that box which collects information on show after show after show. All that data sent anonymously, ultimately to advertisers, focused on reaching people likely to buy certain products or watch certain shows.
What is the benefit to people like me? To consumers?
JON WERTHER, PRESIDENT, SIMULMEDIA INC.: The benefit to consumers is that you get more relevant ads and you have fewer ads that are irrelevant to you that are cluttering up your TV experience.
FEYERICK: John Werther of Simulmedia successfully helped pioneer targeted advertising on the Internet. Now, he's doing it with TV.
If this is done right, how much money is this worth to advertisers?
WERTHER: We think billions. Billions of dollars.
FEYERICK: Why? Because what you watch tells a lot about you, sometimes unexpectedly.
WERTHER: A rerun of "Saved by the Bell "at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning has been one of the most highly effective spots in driving, let's say, audiences to a crime drama several days later.
FEYERICK: It's not just set box data, but your other personal data collected when you ask for credit reports or use retail discount cards. Tech companies like Visible World use this data like direct mail, and can now deliver different ads to different households watching the same program.
How does the box know which of these four different ads to get to you?
SETH HABERMAN, CEO, VISIBLE WORLD: So, we've built a database that talks to Cablevision and sends out these little messages so the set-top boxes switch at the right time to show the right ads in your household.
FEYERICK: As for privacy, Ad Age writer Brian Steinberg says it's a tradeoff.
BRIAN STEINBERG, ADVERTISING AGE: That's becoming, you know, kind of the new tipping point of how much information we want to give out there and how much will advertisers use to kind of know where we are, where we're walking, what we like, what we don't like, what our preferences are in exchange for more relevant, more interesting advertising.
FEYERICK: Commercial advertisers are banking you'll watch. Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.
AZUZ: You can see how this benefits advertisers, and it brings up a couple interesting questions. Would you benefit from seeing ads that were more relevant to the things you wanted, or do you think this might be a bit of an invasion of privacy, if people know what you're watching and when you're watching it? You see our blog from our front page right there, From A to Z with me. Head to CNNStudentNews.com, click into this blog, and tell us your comments; tell us what you're thinking about this.
Before We Go
AZUZ: The competition you're about to see started out with 75 people. After nearly two straight days of dribbling, it was down to just these two. You can sit, stand, bend, eat; you just gotta keep dribbling. But when one guy reaches down to get a banana, oh no! He knows it's over! The ball just got away from him when he was going for that banana. The winner -- hey, contest's over, you can probably stop dribbling. Anyway, the winner gets to join the NBA's Phoenix Suns on a road trip next season.
AZUZ: As for the runner-up, we are sure he'll bounce back from this. We'll bounce back tomorrow with more CNN Student News. Look forward to seeing you then. Have an awesome afternoon. I'm Carl Azuz.