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Missile Test Reactions; Discovery Space Shuttle Retired

Aired April 20, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: We said it yesterday: Fridays are awesome, and that`s especially true for the students at All Saints Cathedral School in the Virgin Islands, who got this week`s social media question right. I`m Carl Azuz. Let`s go.

First up, two rocket launches with two very different reactions. We`ve talked about North Korea`s failed launch last week. Yesterday India ran a successful test of a long-range missile. Other nations, including the United States, criticized North Korea for its launch. But other than some mild disapproval from China, no one said much about India`s missile test.

The difference? India is an ally of the U.S. and it has a better reputation in the international community than North Korea does. Jim Clancy has more on India`s test.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Agni-V missile blasted through the clouds from an island off India`s east coast early Thursday, heading skyward on what India called a successful first flight. The Agni, which means "fire" in Hindi, can carry a 1-ton nuclear warhead and is believed to have a range of 5,000 kilometers, putting major Chinese cities, including Beijing, within striking distance.

India`s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, calls the launch a major milestone.

Manmohan Singh, India`s prime minister: The successful launch of Agni-V missile is a tribute to the sophistications and commitment to national causes on the part of India`s scientific and technological community.

CLANCY (voice-over): The launch was flagged in advance, but India did not attract the kind of international criticism that North Korea received for its failed rocket test last week. The launch puts India in a very small club of countries.

Only the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. -- along with Israel -- are believed to have such long-range weapons. Indian leaders say the missile is meant as a deterrent only.

PALIAM RAJO, INDIAN JR DEFENSE MINISTER: As we all know, I mean, there are -- we live in a very challenging neighborhood, so I think the weapons capabilities that the nation can build are of vital importance.

CLANCY (voice-over): Analysts say they believe the launch puts India`s nuclear armed neighbors -- namely China and Pakistan -- on notice. Chinese officials acknowledged the launch, but downplayed any sense of rivalry between the two nations.


AZUZ: A tragic and shocking event at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, happened exactly 13 years ago today.


AZUZ (voice-over): Two students carrying guns and bombs went into the school and opened fire. They killed 13 people and wounded 23 others. The gunmen then took their own lives.

A memorial for the victims of that attack at Columbine opened in a park near the school in 2007, this shooting made school safety a nationwide priority and it led to programs and policies that aimed to stop future attacks before they happened.

Today also marks the two-year anniversary of this explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eleven of the 126 people who worked on the rig were killed. The explosion led to the worst oil spill in U.S. history, more than 200 million gallons of oil leaked out into the water. Some of it washed up on Gulf Coast shores. It took 85 days to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf, and nearly four months to completely seal the underwater oil well.


PAT SUMMITT, BASKETBALL COACH: I have loved my work at the University of Tennessee. It has been awesome. And I can say for almost four decades it has been a privilege to make an impact on the lives of 161 women who have worn the orange.


AZUZ: Legendary women`s basketball coach Pat Summitt, who has won more games than any college basketball coach, is stepping down.


AZUZ (voice-over): The former University of Tennessee head coach made this announcement yesterday, eight months after announcing she has early onset Alzheimer`s disease. She got some unexpected news right before her retirement speech.

President Obama announced that Summitt will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That is the highest civilian honor given out by the U.S. government.

Discovery officially belongs to the Smithsonian now. The space shuttle rolled into its new home yesterday for this official induction ceremony. It was accompanied by former astronauts, including John Glenn, one of America`s first astronauts, who also flew a mission on Discovery. He talked about what lies ahead for the retired shuttle.

JOHN GLENN, FORMER ASTRONAUT: Today Discovery takes on a new mission, less dynamic perhaps, but nonetheless important. It will be on display, not only as a testament to events of our time, but also as an inspiration to future generations.


AZUZ: Earlier this week we reported on a solar flare on the surface of the sun. Scientists said it was just a medium-sized flare. What does that mean? We wanted to give you some perspective on what that`s all about. Chad Myers is going to help us out.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: To give you an idea, because I have a different colored image behind me, just to kind of give you a sense of scale, the sun, right here, that would be the size of the Earth.

You could put 20 Earths or so inside just that circle, where the explosion occurred. So the size, the -- an enormous size of the sun is something to imagine, but when you put the Earth into context, you realize how big that explosion really was.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the Shoutout. Which of these U.S. military aircraft is a cargo plane? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it a B-52, C-5, F-18 or T-6? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The letters help give it away. C stands for cargo, so the right choice here is the C-5. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: But the C-5 isn`t just a cargo plane. It is one of the largest aircraft in the world and it`s the only one that can transport any of the U.S. Army`s combat equipment. Now I can talk to you all day about how massive this thing is, but you`re going to get a better sense of its size by taking a look inside one.


REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I`m coming to you from Robins Air Force Base. I want to take a moment to show you something incredible. This is the C-5. It`s America`s largest military aircraft. Right behind me you see the ladder. It goes up some 11 steps, all the way into the aircraft. The flight deck on the top, three stories off the ground.

Inside it is just amazing. I mean, take a look at how big this thing is. This plane is so huge, you could actually transport another plane inside of it, or tanks or Humvees. To give you more of an idea in a civilian way, it`s about two-thirds the length of a football field.

Believe it or not, there`s more than one floor. On this deck, you`ve got plenty of room. In fact, this place, this area could be outfitted with plenty of chairs to seat 75 service members.

No surprise at all that even the flight deck is tremendous. In fact, you could sit six people here very comfortably, including Capt. Ryan White, who happens to work on this aircraft. Can you give us a few pointers of some amazing facts of this plane?

CAPT. RYAN WHITE, USAF: Well, just due to the sheer size, like you said, it has over 100 miles of wiring throughout all the aircraft. And then also a fun fact about the aircraft is that you can fly the Wright Brothers` first flyers` flight within the cargo bay itself.

WOLF: Well, I hope you enjoyed that quick tour of an amazing aircraft, the C-5 -- Reynolds Wolf, CNN, Robins Air Force Base.


AZUZ: Teacher Appreciation Week is just a few weeks away, and we`re giving you the chance to give your teachers a shoutout on our show. We`re looking for your iReports, just you in front of a camera, talking about your favorite or most inspirational teacher. Here`s one we got last year.


MACKENZIE (PH): My name is Mackenzie (ph) from Bryan Middle School in Bryan, Ohio. I would have to say my favorite teacher is Ms. Cox, because she doesn`t hold anything against you and she`s very caring and always gives you candy.

I love you, Ms. Cox.

AZUZ (voice-over): Perfect! You can send us your Teacher Appreciation Week iReports by going to the "Spotlight" section on our home page. Remember, no music, keep it to 15 seconds or less. The deadline to get these in is one week from today. So get to it.


AZUZ: Finally, we`re heading to a youth hockey tournament in Texas, but it`s probably not like one --


AZUZ (voice-over): -- you`ve seen before. This is sled hockey. The players are between six and 13, and they all have some kind of disability. Some don`t have the use of their legs. Others can`t use their arms. But it`s not keeping them off the ice. A tournament official said, quote, "It`s not your disability that makes you who you are, it`s your abilities and what you do with them."


AZUZ: See, it`s not all crazy animals and eating competitions in our "Before We Go" segment. Sometimes we close on "an ice" story. The puck stops here for now. Have a great weekend. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.