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NHL Ready to Get Back Onto Ice; Protests in Northern Ireland

Aired January 14, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: For month, the National Hockey League season has been on ice. Now, teams are ready to get back on the ice. Details of the deal are coming up. My name is Carl Azuz. And we welcome you to the brand new week of CNN STUDENT NEWS.

The first story we are talking about today is in Northern Ireland. Protests have been going on there for about a week now. The ones yesterday in the northern Irish capital of Belfast. They started out peacefully, but some of them turn violent later on. There is a lot of history behind these protests, and it starts with geography. Here is Northern Ireland. What`s interesting is that it`s not actually part of the republic of Ireland, it`s part of the United Kingdom, and that`s what`s behind this tension. Nationalists, who are mostly Catholic, think Northern Ireland should be part of the Republic of Ireland. Unionists or Loyalists who are mostly Protestants, wanted to stay part of the United Kingdom. The conflict between those two groups led to decades of violence, more than 3,000 people were killed before a peace deal was signed in 1998. The protests happening now are connected to a decision regarding the British flag. In Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, the flag used to fly over City Hall every day of the year. Last month, local officials decided to limit that to 18 days per year. Unionists weren`t happy about that, they`ve been protesting in front of City Hall and another spots around Northern Ireland, in some cases protesters have fought with police officers. They`ve thrown concrete blocks, bricks, even gasoline bombs at police. Officers have responded by using water cannons to break up the protests. Some Protestants and Catholics have also been fighting with each other.

We are staying in Europe for our next story, which takes us from Northern Ireland down to Italy. One year ago yesterday a cruise ship ran aground off the Italian Coast. A lot of you remember this. There were 3200 passengers on board the Costa Concordia. There were another 1,000 crew members and 32 people on that ship lost their lives in the accident. Family members of the victims and some of the people who survived the wreck gathered for memorial service on the anniversary. Large boulder with the victims` names was lowered into the sea, and relatives tossed writs and notes into the water. This is what the Costa Concordia looks like now - it`s still on its side in the water. Crews are working to salvage the ship, to get the thing upright and towed in the port. Those efforts are taking longer that expected, and officials say it could take until this September.

Next up, we are heading to the capital of China, Beijing. Experts say that city has something in common with Los Angeles: smog. This gray haze is hanging in the air, making things hard to see. Yesterday, the smog levels in Beijing hit record levels, the numbers off the charts. Authorities warn people there to stay inside. Last year nearly 700 flights were canceled at Beijing airports because of haze and smog. Officials in China say that the air quality in the capital has gotten better since Beijing hosted the 2008 Olympics, but residents say the pollution levels have gotten worse.

Back in the U.S. Two sides of the country experience very different kinds of weather this weekend . On one coast you had freeze warnings, on the other you had people walking around in shorts. You might expect the warmer temperatures to be out west. No, not the case here. It was 30 degrees below normal in some spots there. Overnight low in Los Angeles 38 degrees, a freeze warning in Phoenix, Arizona. But then you move over to the East, and some cities had temperatures that were 30 degrees above normal. In Washington D.C., the high on Saturday was 62, here in Atlanta, 76.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s first "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Hudson`s classes at Central High School in King and Queen Country, Virginia. Which of these teams is not part of the National Hockey League`s original six? Here we go, is it the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers or Toronto Maple Leafs. We`ve got three seconds, go.

The Bruins, Rangers and Maple Leafs are part of the original six along with the Black Hawks, Canadiens and Red Wings. The Flyers didn`t join the league until 1967. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: Ice hockey fans are circling January 19th on their calendars. That is when the NHL season will officially and finally start. The league had been under a lockout since September while owners and players negotiated a new contract. They agreed on a deal around the week ago, so the players are back on the ice. Training camps opened yesterday, the first games of the season will be on Saturday. There will be fewer games, as you might expect. Instead of each team playing 82 games, they`ll each play 48. And the regular season will end in late April. The last time the NHL had a labor dispute like this one, eight years ago the entire season ended up getting canceled.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you gotten you flu shot?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I haven`t. My mom wanted me to get it yesterday, actually, and I haven`t gotten it, so.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I didn`t even think about it. I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I have never had the flu shot before.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, I`m actually concerned. I think I should get it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. My mom told me to get it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you gotten the flu shot?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never. I don`t think it makes any difference.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I got the flu shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got the flu shot. For the first time ever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t want to end up in the situation where I had the flu and had to miss time from work, so. I felt it was a good idea to take a flu shot.


AZUZ: Officials from the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimate that about 37 percent of Americans got the flu vaccine by mid-November. They say that`s about on track to where it was last year. One expert with the CDC says the only thing that`s predictable about the flu is that it`s unpredictable. There had been more cases reported earlier in this flu season than you might normally see. The spread of the flu seems to have slowed down in some areas around the U.S. , but on the other hand, there are 47 states that have reported wide spread flu activity. It doesn`t reflect how severe the flu is, just how far it`s spread, but some places like New York state and the city of Boston have declared public health emergencies because of the flu.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for a "Shoutout Extra Credit" "Radiance" and "Rosebud" are code names for which pair of sisters? You know what to do, is it Malia and Sasha Obama, Tia and Tamera Mowry, Jenna Hager and Barbara Bush or Serena and Venus Williams. Put another three seconds on the clock and go.

"Radiance" and "Rosebud" are the U.S. Secret Service code names of Malia and Sasha Obama. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout Extra Credit."


AZUZ: There are some perks when you part of the first family, you get your own code name, that`s kind of cool. You get to live in the White House. But when your father is the president, it can also mean a lot of attention on you. Malia Obama is around the age of a lot of you, and we`d like you to think about what your were like four years ago, how you`ve changed over that time and now what it would be like to do that in a public eye.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, Mr. President.



AZUZ: All right, before we go today, we`ve got a super story out of St. Petersburg, Florida. Kids at a Children`s Hospital there got a big surprise. They looked out of their windows last week. Check it out: Spiderman looking back in at them. The wall crawler wasn`t just hanging around, he was washing windows. The regular window washing crew wore spidy outfits. Kids got a huge kick out of this, and the slew of Spiderman enjoyed getting to make the patient`s day. In fact, it seemed like everyone was awashed with excitement. You know how Spiderman watched the CNN STUDENT NEWS? On the Web. And we hope you will too when we come back tomorrow. I`m Carl Azuz, have a great day.