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Secretary Kerry Heads to Europe, Middle East; One-Year Anniversary of the Killing of Trayvon Martin

Aired February 26, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: As we kick off this Tuesday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS, we are going to take off reporting on a trip of the new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. This is his first trip overseas since he became secretary. And that kind of travel is something Kerry can expect a lot of: visiting other countries and working with their leaders is one of the biggest parts of his new job. The Secretary of State is the president`s top advisor on foreign policy. The president comes up with his own policies when it comes to how the U.S. interacts with other nations, then it`s the secretary`s responsibility to carry those policies out.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: In today`s global world, there is no longer anything foreign about foreign policy. More than every before, the decisions that we make from the safety of our shores don`t just ripple outward. They also create a current right here, in America.


AZUZ: Secretary Kerry will probably take a lot of trips to other countries, but this one is getting some deeper attention.


NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: First trips by an American Secretary of State overseas are watched very closely. There`s a lot of symbolism attached to them. People look for clues as to which region is most important for the United States.


AZUZ: The last Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton headed east for her first trip. Experts say that showed President Obama`s focus on Asia. Secretary Kerry is heading to nine countries on his eleven day trip: England, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In Europe, he`ll be talking with America`s traditional allies, he`ll also be rallying their support in the ongoing dispute over Iran`s controversial nuclear program. And for any next steps to help the opposition groups fighting the Syrian government.

Sometimes severe weather alerts can be a little confusing. Is a watch worse than a warning? How serious is an advisory? Well, National Weather Service`s message in Amarillo, Texas yesterday was pretty clear.

Do not travel. All caps. You could see why. A blizzard, one that the weather service called historic, hit the Texas panhandle. This thing was dropping snow at a rate of two to three inches per hour. Officials said, nearly all the roads in the panhandle were impossible. The National Guard was being called out to help drivers who got stranded. Even snow plows had to be pulled off the roads because of whiteout conditions in Texas and Oklahoma. A whiteout is a blizzard that you just can`t see through. Driving in one, incredibly dangerous.

Yesterday we talked about homeless man who returned a woman`s diamond ring that she accidentally dropped in his collection cup. Quick reaction on that from our blog: Chandler says, "The value is on what`s important. It`s the significance of the object. I wouldn`t return $100 bill, but I would look for the owner of a cell phone despite it being worth $40."

Patrick would keep whatever he found, "even if giving it back is generous, I still have to support my life and survive."

Serenity says, you never know what something means to someone. "I would try to return a piece of jewelry, but if it`s a $10 bill, there`s little chance of finding a legit owner."

Teachers, we want to hear from you, too. It`s Please, take a moment to tell us what you thought of today`s show.

February 26th 2012, exactly one year ago, two strangers met in Sanford, Florida. One died that night, the other is on trial for second degree murder. What happened caused outrage on both sides and led the protests across the country. Trayvon Martin was 17. He was walking home from a convenience store. He was unarmed. George Zimmerman was 29. He was a neighborhood watch captain, he was carrying a gun. We know there was some kind of confrontation between them, and we know that Zimmerman shot and killed Martin. Attorneys for Martin`s family say he was racially profiled and shot "in cold blood".. Zimmerman said he shot in self-defense after Martin attacked him. When police were called out to the scene, they did not arrest Zimmerman, they said they didn`t have enough evidence to disproof his story. As news of the incident spread, people held rallies and protests across the country. Eventually, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second degree murder. The cases don`t go to trial immediately. His lawyers are building their defense right now as prosecutors plan their legal strategy. The trial, the state of Florida versus George Zimmerman is scheduled to start in June.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Ball`s young adult class at Liberty School in Saline, Michigan. What part of a plant produced pollen? You know what to do. So, it the anther, petal, pistil or sepal? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Those pollen grains that could wreak havoc on allergies are produced in the anther. The male part of the plant. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout"


AZUZ: Whether or not you believe in the perfunctory prognostications of Punxsutawney Phil who said spring is coming early this year, there`s something in the air we can count on every year. Yes, pollen as in excuse (ph) me while I sneeze again. You can blame men for this one, at least the male components of plants. They produce countless grains of the stuff that fertilizes other plants, but also sometimes winds up planted in our nooses. Here is the fun part: and by fun I mean terrible: in some parts of the U.S. pollen sneezing is staring early this year. Tree pollen is supposed to pick in March, grass pollen in the following weeks, but regions from the nation`s capital to north Texas saw pollen counts spike in February. What does that mean? Well researchers count the number of pollen grains in a cubic meter of air. A count of 120 or more is considered "high", but in recent years, the south east has seen counts in the thousands. If you are not allergic, you`ll notice the pollen on your yellow car, which didn`t start out yellow. If you are allergic, you`ll know by the coughing, sneezing wheezing, sniffling, allergic suffering that pollen brings you. The worst times for pollen are dawn and dusk, so you want to try to be indoors then. The best - right after it rains, when the air is clearer. Here`s hoping your pollen season isn`t appalling.

Something else you can count on around this time every year - spring training. Games don`t officially count until the end of March, but the next several weeks are a big deal to the guys trying to make the team. The fans showing up at the ball part in the cities that host the annual events. Mark McKey (ph) covers the basis on the spring tradition for the boys of summer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could say it`s like a car. You got to get it warmed up before you get it out there on the open road, and that`s what baseball teams do in the spring.

It`s an annual right of spring were Major League teams make their way to Florida and Arizona to get ready for the 162 game regular season. In Florida, they play what`s known as the Great Fruit League. And that, of course, mainly teams on the East Coast with some Midwest teams thrown in. The Cactus League, that`s the spring training sites in Arizona, and mainly West Coast teams are a part of that league.

It usually takes pitchers a lot, an extra four to five weeks to get ready for the actual start of the regular season. So, when you have the pitchers in there, working on their arms, they need somebody to catch the balls, and that`s where the catchers also report earlier than a lot of the position players do.

A lot of Minor League players show up and try to prove themselves to the Major League coaches and managers that they belong on the team. If they don`t make the Major League roster, then they go back to the Minor League to hone their craft.

If the Major League player gets injured, or he has to go on the disabled list, a lot of those Minor League players will come up from those teams and actually make the big roster.

So, there`s a lot riding on the spring training weeks for these Minor League players.

Fans will come to spring training, and want to see these stars, these superstars players. And you have to remember in spring training, it is a warm-up period, you will see a lot of the stars of the future on these teams, a lot of the Minor League players that want to make the rosters. You will see superstars sprinkled into these games, the spring training games, but you`re not going to be necessarily guaranteed to see your favorite player, you have to hope for the best.

Baseball being America`s pastime, spring training has taken on a life of its own. It`s a wonderful opportunity for fans to get close up to the game, and to the players who play the game. Autograph opportunities, even conversation with players along the sidelines, commonly seeing spring training sites all throughout the south, if you`re able to take this in, and you have a favorite team. That would certainly make a point of heading to spring training one of these years.


AZUZ: Sticking to sports to wrap things up, a shot you just got to see.




AZUZ: Ashlee Arnau just hit a front flip half-court shot. We`re not the only one impressed by this cheerleader`s amazing fit. The Harlem Globetrotter asked Ashley to show them how it`s done. If you think her trick shock was a one time fluke ...





AZUZ: But then, the Globetrotter in this Youtube video then tries to recreate Ashlee`s achievement. His form still needs a little work, maybe, but at least he made the shot. If you can put it all together, the crowd might flip out. But if they`ve already seen Ashlee`s performance, they know the real score. That used up the remainder of our time. For CNN STUDENT NEWS, I`m Carl Azuz. We`ll see you tomorrow.