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STUDENT NEWS

The Season`s First Blizzard Hits the U.S.; Fiscal Cliff

Aired December 21, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOKO ALI, STUDENT: Hello, CNN STUDENT NEWS. My name is Moko. I`m in the seventh grade, I attend the Neighborhood School in Memphis, Tennessee. And what our school did for the season of giving, is we attended Loshmanor. Loshmanor is a place for assisted living and we sat with them and sang songs, and we also ate with them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome. A big thanks to Moko for that "I-Report", we are going to have more season of giving stories later on. I`m Carl Azuz, this is our last show of 2012, it starts right now.

Today is December 21st. It is the first official day of winter, but the weather was not looking at the calendar, the season`s first blizzard hit the Midwestern U.S. Early this week, it was headed and expected to move into New England today. Tens of thousands of people lost power. This storm also made driving pretty dangerous, as you might expect in some areas. Nearly 100 accidents were reported by late Wednesday morning, including a 30-car pileup on one Iowa highway. An officer said the snow is blowing around so badly, the drivers could only see about five feet in front of their cars. Blizzard warnings were up yesterday in Iowa, also in parts of Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin. Parts of Wisconsin had already seen up to seven inches of snow by yesterday morning. Predictions said another foot could be on the way.

You`ve heard us talk a lot about the fiscal cliff, it`s a serious of automatic government spending cuts and tax increases that`s scheduled to take place at the beginning of the year. Now, President Obama and Congress can avoid this cliff by coming up with a compromise, a plan to lower the country`s debt. The president and Republican leaders have both offered some proposals on how to do this, but when we made this show Thursday evening, there wasn`t a deal. The members of the House and Senate said they`d stay in Washington to keep working on it, the deadline for a deal is January First. So make sure to check out cnn.com over the break for all the latest details.

Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to all the students and teachers who watch our show around the globe. In what city will you find the world`s busiest airport? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it London, New York, Tokyo or Atlanta? You`ve got three seconds, go.

More planes take off inland at Atlanta`s Hartsfield Jackson Airport than any other airport in the world. That`s your answer, and that`s your "Shoutout."

Whether it was by plane, train, automobile or ship, 2012 was a record breaking year for travel. According to the UNTO, the United Nations World Tourism Organization, more than a billion people traveled outside their countries this year.

Richard Quest breaks down the numbers on where these travelers from, where they`re going to, and why that matters.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, `QUEST MEANS BUSINES": Where do they come and where do they go? First of all, where do tourists come from? 53 percent of international tourism, cross-border tourism is 53 percent from Europe, 22 percent Asia Pacific, 17 - well, you can see the numbers yourself. And those numbers obviously a lot of it is just literally crossing borders on short visits. It could be on business, it could be on vacations, it could be on government affairs, and where they go?

So, again, most of it is Europe, a large part of it is Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East. Obviously, Europe has a disproportionate amount. It`s because the people are going from one country to the next. The growing area, of course, is Asia Pacific. Now, why tourism matters? It`s really interesting. Nine percent of global GDP is said to be from tourism, look at the number of jobs, it says, look at the amount of exports, six percent of world trade, incidentally, this is all from the UNWTO itself. This is why they believe it matters.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another (ph) crowd has gathered here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to be freedom, we want to be free people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jumper away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joseph Kony.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joseph Kony.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Viral on social media sites.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very massive play by Facebook.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The largest IPO in tech history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerry Sandusky is sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An iconic statue honoring the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Flying squirrel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fierce five ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ryan Lochti (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Live picture from Los Angeles from Endeavour. The shuttle rolling down the streets of L.A.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The despair in Syria has gone on for 20 months.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: During the past 12 months, CNN STUDENT NEWS has reported on stories from almost every continent on the planet. We`ve gone to the deepest depths of the ocean, we`ve looked farther into space than ever before. We just reviewed some of the stories you heard in 2012. Now, we are going to look back through some of the images from stories we covered this year.

(VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Every Friday we come up with ten questions to test your knowledge of some stories we covered that week on our show. Today, we are looking back a little farther than one week. It`s our end of year news quiz, with questions about events from all throughout 2012. Can you score a perfect ten? One way to find out. Check out the news quiz today at cnnstudentnews.com.

Before we dash away, dash away, dash away all, we`ve been stocking up on your "I-Reports" over the past few weeks. The first ones came down the chimney in yesterday`s show. So next to your wondering eye should appear a bundle of the gifts you are giving to help others this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON BROOKS, STUDENT: I plan to celebrate the season of giving by going around my neighborhood helping those in need. This cause is important to me because I think it`s a good idea to give back to my community.

GIACHINO BARCELONA, STUDENT: I plan to celebrate the season of giving by donating all the playable toys and outgrown clothes. I`ll just make sure that they are clean and in good condition. I`ll feel kind (inaudible) because I just gave Christmas to somebody.

REGINALD FREDERICK, STUDENT: I plan to celebrate the season of giving by donating food to the needy. This cause is important to me because I feel we should help the people in need.

RICHARD HANSON, STUDENT: I plan to shovel my neighbor`s driveway so they don`t have to do it themselves.

TREVAN WILLIAMSON, STUDENT: I have been getting an idea that (inaudible). I will be happy because I did a good deed. Thank you. Happy holidays.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: One gift we left out is a blog post to cnnstudentnews.com. You can present what you think is the best gift to give.

We tip our hat to all of you who sent in I-Reports and blog posts this year. And while hat`s about all the time we have to cap off 2012`s last show, we will return on January 2nd after a long winter`s nap.

I hope these puns haven`t left you in holi-daze. We wish you a Merry Christmas. Happy holidays, happy new year. All of us here at CNN STUDENT NEWS hope your season is something special.

END