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The Weekly Newsquiz tests your knowledge of events in the news

March 10, 2017

With U.S. Marines reportedly on the ground in Syria, we’re explaining why officials are focused on the city of Raqqa. As the U.S. prepares to “spring forward” to daylight-saving time, we’re exploring the history of the time change. And in case you forget to set your clocks forward, we’re bringing you a champion’s tips for improving your memory.


Click for a printable version of the Weekly Newsquiz.

1. What is the name of the legislative body of 3,000 politicians who recently gathered in Beijing, China for their annual meeting?

2. What company says its active users total more than 1.8 billion people every month?

3. What country, whose immigrants and refugees were suspended from entering the U.S. under a previous executive order, is not restricted in the new order?

4. Why was the start of this year’s Iditarod race moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Fairbanks?

5. When a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) decreases for two consecutive quarters, the nation’s economy is said to be in what?

6. What is the largest country in the Southern Hemisphere?

7. What kind of weapon is both used and targeted by a THAAD system?

8. International Women’s Day, which remembers the progress made and obstacles faced by women, is held annually on what date?

9. A study recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine linked increased social media use with what feeling?

10. Members of what branch of the U.S. military are reportedly on the ground in Syria and preparing to support an assault on the city of Raqqa?


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome and we are on the clock for 10 minutes of international news. I’m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

U.S. Marines are reportedly on the ground in the Middle Eastern country of Syria and they have artillery. They’re gearing up for an assault on the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. Syria has been at civil war since 2011.

The ISIS terrorist group which controls a significant part of the country has declared Raqqa as its capital. But local Syrian fighters who were supported by the U.S. are preparing to try to drive ISIS out of Raqqa, and U.S. officials say the additional American Marines are there to help.

The U.S. military hasn’t said exactly where the Marines are or how many are there. In fact, it hasn’t confirmed that they’re in Syria at all because of concerns about security. But as the U.S. military is supporting Iraq troops effort to drive ISIS from the Iraqi city of Mosul, American military commanders have been talking for weeks about a deployment near Raqqa. U.S. officials don’t expect this to be the last battles against ISIS, but they could dramatically weaken the terrorist group’s strength in the Middle East.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

In terms of time, what does the “G” in GMT stand for?

Gallium, Greenwich, General, or Glasgow?

A district of London, U.K., is the namesake of GMT which stands for Greenwich Mean Time.


AZUZ: But soon, on the last Sunday in March, the United Kingdom won’t be on GMT. It will be on BST, British Standard Time. It’s also known as Daylight Saving Time.

And the U.S. makes that switch, known as “springing forward” this Sunday morning. Americans will move their clocks ahead one hour, unless they live in Hawaii or parts of Arizona, which don’t observe Daylight Saving Time.

How did this tradition get started?


JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was a war where every hour counted, on the battlefield and on the home front. By 1916, an old idea had resurfaced, one that was born in Britain near the home of time, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich.

DR. LOUISE DEVOY, CURATOR, ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH: With the publication of a pamphlet called “The Wasted Daylight.” And this was composed by a very entrepreneurial builder called William Willett. He lived in Chislehurst, which is about 15 kilometers south of Greenwich.

And Willett was a keen horse rider. And he used to go for early-morning rides in the local woods. And it was on one of these rides that he noticed that all the blinds in the local houses were all down. Everyone seemed to be in bed. And as a very industrious and productive man, he was appalled at this wasted time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shrinkage as the days grow shorter. And nearly everyone has given utterance to a regret that the clear, bright light of early mornings during spring and summer months is so seldom seen or used.

Now, if some of the hours of wasted sunlight could be withdrawn from the beginning and added to the end of the day, how many advantages would be gained by all?

BOULDEN: Willett died before he saw his idea put into action to save coal for the war effort. But it was adopted at first by the Germans, not the British. Postcards warned the population about the shift and why they owed it to their country not to forget.

The British followed a few weeks later and didn’t miss a chance for a dig at the Germans. America came on board in 1918.

As DST spread around the world, countries adopted it, dumped it or never tried it. Still, the daylight debate rages every year. The arguments exist whether it helps or harms our health and the economy.

While the wartime wisdom of saving energy may no longer apply, for many of us, the long summer evenings still endure, the legacy of a war where so much was lost to give us these freedoms.

Jim Boulden, CNN London.


AZUZ: Of course, some people will forget to spring forward and then show up an hour late to something.

But there are ways to improve your memory. In fact, memory athletes train their brains to compete in memory championships. And a new study that compared the brains of these athletes with people who’d never practice memory techniques found no structural differences between the brains. Researchers say it’s just about how well-trained they are.

Nelson Dellis, a four-time U.S. memory champion, has memorized more than 200 names in 15 minutes and nine decks of playing cards in 30 minutes. Let’s jog his memory about how.


VOICE: Five, zero, three, seven, nine, five, three, four, five, zero –

NELSON DELLIS, FOUR-TIME USA MEMORY CHAMPION: When I tell people about what I do, I get such a big shock.

Oh, you must be some savant or something like that, and that’s the case. It’s just the technique that’s kind of died out because the need is not there.

One thing that kind of pushed me along this path is my grandmother, who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that’s part of the reason why I was so concerned for myself and why I got into all of these memory training, because I didn’t want that to happen to me.

One of the events I trained is spoken numbers. So, I’m closing my eyes and I’m hearing these numbers come at me one digit at a second, and what I do is I’m turning those into pictures. I receive a few digits at a time and I turn that into a picture and then receive another two and kind of make a little story and store that along a place where I’m writing it down. All I’m doing is walking back through that place picturing who was there and then translating that back to the numbers that those pictures represent.

I can’t help it anymore, I look at these numbers and they are people to me. When I see three zero, it’s Conan O’Brien. Same with my grandmother, she’s 175, that’s her number. And so, when she pops up, it’s awesome.

Any distraction can be detrimental to, you know, an event that you try to get to go on. So, we try to minimize those distractions. You know, I go to a public place and train or, you know, I train in a high altitude, in the mountains. My first kind of big fundraising projects was to climb Mount Everest and I thought it would be a great way to kind of bring Alzheimer’s to the top of the world.

For the competition, I actually train about four to five hours a day because I’m trying actively hard to win these competitions. I train my brain in the same sense that, you know, you go to the gym or to make your body stronger. I do that for my mind, to try and develop that memory and make it stronger.

What’s scary to me the most about potentially losing memories is not, you know, forgetting, you know all the stuff I learned in college or, you know, the fact that I was the memory champion, whatever. It’s more those small moments, you know, with the people you love and care about. That makes us who we are and if you lose those memories and those feelings that came along with it, then who are you and how can you enjoy life?


AZUZ: Scoring “10 Out of 10” this Friday, it’s a car, it’s a plane, it’s both – or at least it’s a concept that could one day be both.

At first glance, it looks like a dainty little electric. But when the drone comes ahoverin’ and then attaches to the roof, we have liftoff.

The company Italdesign unveiled this idea. It’s named PopUp. If it’s mass produced, it would use artificial intelligence for air and ground transportation. But think of the maintenance.

You’d have to get a tire and a propeller rotation. You’d have to check your oil and your air pressure. Drifting could put you way off course. Police could say you were flying and mean it, and if you’re prone to rotorage, you better maintain a positive altitude y’all.

We’re taking off for the weekend. We hope yours is a great one.

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