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NFL Strikes Deal With Refs; Are Cell Phones Dangerous?

Aired September 28, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: You know why Fridays are awesome? Because we get to talk about things like cell phones, school lunches, motocross and a 12-year old pool prodigy. I`m Carl Azuz, CNN STUDENT NEWS starts right now.

Kaila, Blake, Tyler and dozens more of you on our Facebook page said the NFL needs to get the real referees back. Done. A crew of regular officials, one with 70 combined seasons of experience, were set to work last night`s Browns-Ravens game. That happened after the league temporarily lifted its lockout against the officials. The lockout started when the NFL and its referees couldn`t agree on the terms of a new contract. The league hired replacement refs from lower levels of college football and high school. The replacements were criticized for mistakes and blown calls, and then on Monday night, on the last play of the game, two refs made opposite calls in the in-zone. One said touchdown the other interception. 48 hours later the NFL reached a deal with the regular officials. It still has to be approved. When it is, that`s when the lockout will officially be over.

The Untied Nations General Assembly, it`s going on all week at the U.N. headquarters in New York City. The assembly has heard speeches from some of the leaders of the 193 countries that are members of the U.N.

This isn`t one of those leaders, but he wants to be. It`s Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. Right now, Palestinians are considered a permanent observer at the U.N. The group is hoping to eventually become a full member, but in order to do that, Palestine would have to be recognized as an independent country. That`s something President Abbas says Israel isn`t willing to do. That`s part of the conflict between Palestinians and Israel. This is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He spoke at the U.N. yesterday too, after President Abbas`s speech. He said the two sides need to sit down and negotiate together in order to solve their differences. But he said part of that negotiation would be for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a legitimate nation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can I.D. me. I`m a process of giving off energy in waves or particles. I`m used in some medical treatments, and I`m also transmitted by microwaves, TV`s and radios.

I`m radiation. From a Latin word that means "being of light."


AZUZ: Cell phones give off radiation as well. You might have heard some questions or maybe you have some of your own, about how safe it is to hold one of these things up next to your head when it`s giving off these energy waves, when it`s giving off radiation. And so far, studies haven`t shown a consistent link between cell phones and cancer. But Dr. Sanjay Gupta runs through some of the reasons why people are concerned about this, and he offers some tips on how to cut down on this energy waves.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We`ve only been using cell phones regularly in this country since 1996, and that`s important because research takes time. It can take decades to actually get answers, so when you hear that we know that they are 100 percent safe, we actually don`t know.

We`re talking about something known as non-ionizing radiation. That`s different than what comes out of a an X-ray machine, for example, which is ionizing radiation.

(inaudible) scientists will use to describe it, they are saying it`s sort of causes a heating up of the brain, much like an egg, for example, that`s being cooked. So we don`t know how long it takes to actually get those effects, but we know people use their cell phones more than ever; we know that they start at a very young age, and some people keep some source of radiation next to their brain all day long. So that`s part of the concern as well.

Most people, including myself, don`t always read the inserts that come with the devices. But if you were to, on a BlackBerry Bold, for example, you`d find that it actually tells you in the manual to keep this about an inch, .89 inches away from your head. I don`t know how many people talk on the phone like this, but that`s essentially what they are asking you to do. With an iPhone, for example, it`s .58 of an inch.

So if you read those manuals closely, you`ll see that that`s what they are asking to do, and it`s also part of the reason that they give you earpieces to wear instead of holding the phone to your ear.

Your phone is not always emitting the same level. In those really tough times, when you are really struggling with your phone, which I do all the time, you are in a bad cell area, you are not getting good reception, your phone is actually working harder. It sends signals back and forth to the nearest tower, but if your phone is not working well, it means it`s sending more of those signals, more of that energy and more of that radiation. Those are good times to put the phone away.

It does appear that children`s brains are more vulnerable. Their skulls are just thinner. So when you talk about the radiation, it`s easier to get through, because of those thin sculls. And also, keep in mind, that most of us didn`t use cell phones until we were already adults. We didn`t have this technology as kids. They are going to grow up their entire lives with it.

Simply use an earpiece. I mean all the research, all the science is pointing that way, and while we don`t know enough yet, you don`t want to find out 15, 20 years from now, in fact, there was a cancer link, and you didn`t do anything about it. The solution is simple.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today "Shoutout" goes out to Mrs. Sheets` American History classes at Glades Middle School in Miramar, Florida. What symbol does the U.S. government currently use to encourage health eating habits? Here we go, is it a pyramid, wheel, prism or plate? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The USDA switched from a pyramid to a plate last year. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: Some students say, they are not getting enough to eat at school lunch, because of U.S. government rules that took effect this August, and they limit the amount of calories that school cafeterias are allowed to serve to between 750 and 850 calories in high schools. Now, before these rules took effect, school lunches were at least 825 calories.

The plan, supported by first lady Michelle Obama, was to reduce childhood obesity and encourage healthier choices -- more fruits and vegetables. But the law cuts down on proteins and carbs, and complaints at some of the nation`s schools are that students are getting hungry after lunch, that they are throwing away their school food, and that their bringing their own lunches because they are simply not getting enough at school. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that students may be hungry because they are not eating everything offered to them, and it encourages them to have a healthy snack.

What do you say? Have you noticed a change in your school lunch this year? Are you getting enough to it? We`d love for you to sound off on our blog, it`s Please, use only your first name and check out our quick poll, which we posted there as well.

Back in March, we did a report on our show about Ashley Fiolek. At the time we said she was a three-time champion in women`s motocross. It looks like we are going to have to update that scoreboard. Once again, here is Dr. Sanjay Gupta with more on an inspirational athlete.


GUPTA: For Ashley Fiolek, motocross racing is in her blood.

ASHLEY FIOLEK, CHAMPION WMX RIDER: My dad used to race, and he brought me to watch one race, and I was three years old, and I fell in love.

GUPTA: But there is something different about Ashley, which (inaudible).

She can`t hear a thing. Ashley was born completely deaf. She speaks to us through her sign-language translator and her friend Natalie (ph).

FIOLEK (through translator): I don`t know how it would riding hearing. I grew up and I was born deaf.

GUPTA: In a sport that prides itself on making noise, where hearing your opponents coming can be the difference between winning and losing, Ashley stands alone.

FIOLEK: But she really asked to hold on my lines when I`m riding, because it`s really hard to see if someone`s coming up behind me.

GUPTA: She also uses the vibrations of the engine to make sure she`s in the right gear. At this race, Ashley who was the only deaf rider ever to compete in motocross, was trying for her fourth championship title.

FIOLEK: I feel really good, and I hit every jump, and the big double. I hope I can win and hope to be the champion.

GUPTA: And she achieved just that, beating out her closest rival for the national championship. But for Ashley, it`s about more than just winning.

FIOLEK: I think it`s really cool to be a role model for the deaf community, and it`s cool feeling to have people to look up to you.

GUPTA: And for Natalie, her friend`s impact is obvious as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is very important in women`s motocross. As an idol for all these young girls, whether she is deaf or not, you know, she is like -- she is smaller than I am, and she can ride a dirt bike like that. It`s crazy.

GUPTA: Proof that anything is possible. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


AZUZ: All right. That pool prodigy we mentioned at the start of the show. She is not in the water.

She is on the felt. April Larson started shooting pool when she was barely tall enough to see over the table. Now, at 12, she is a regular champ. MVP of a summer league, an adult summer league, national title for her age group. Next up an international competition in Germany later this year. There is sure to be a deep pool of talent, but April is looking to rack up another win there, maybe pocket some more trophies. I`m getting cue we`ve run out of the time, so we are going to take a break until Monday. Have a great weekend.