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President Obama Pushes for Stricter Gun Laws

Aired March 29, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Feels good to say it`s Friday. Thank you for closing out the week with CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`re diving in today with a premise. Public opinion can influence political leaders. Basically, the more people push for something, the better chance it has of happening, and vice versa. After December school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, there was a lot of talk about the possibility of new gun laws in America. Some people who want those laws declared yesterday a national day of action. That`s what President Obama is pushing for.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: ... two months or three months after something as horrific as what happened in Newtown happens, and we`ve moved on other things? That`s not who we are. Shame on us if we forgotten.


AZUZ: Some ideas have been proposed like a ban on assault weapons, but those proposals haven`t gotten enough support in Congress to become law. Opponents argue that the proposals are not the most effective way to reduce gun violence. And recent polls suggest that public support for major new gun laws is dropping. We`re to have (INAUDIBLE) from Washington D.C to Washington state, next. Earlier Wednesday morning, officials near Seattle started getting calls about a noise that sounded like thunder.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was pretty scared I got out there with a flashlight and then just kept hearing a rambling and watching more and more of a falling way (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s the (inaudible). It was always a road in, but that much of it - no, no.


AZUZ: What happened was a landslide, a huge landslides. No one was injured, but at least one home was destroyed and more than a dozen others were threatened. It wasn`t immediately clear what caused it. But the CNN meteorologist said these houses are on the seismic fault that can shift on rare occasions.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Garvin`s class at Union 9th Grade Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." On what landmark will you find those words? Is it the MLK Memorial, Ellis Island, Golden Gate Bridge or Statue of Liberty? You`ve got three seconds, go.

Those words are part of the poem inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: If you`re traveling for spring break, and if you like landmarks in history and stuff, you`ll have to cross the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island off your list. They`re shut down. The reason - last year`s Superstorm Sandy. It was 820 miles wide, and it blasted the U.S. East Coast with wind, rain and the snow in October. Statue of Liberty normally stands on Liberty Island. After the storm, it was practically wading there, 75 percent of the island was under water. There was no damage to the 126-year old iron frame statue itself, but it`s electrical system was destroyed, and so were the docks where you`d walk on the Liberty Island. Secretary of the Interior says the statue will reopen on July 4th. He hasn`t said when Ellis Island will reopen. Its main building was severely damaged. Its basement flooded, some of its exhibits soaked. It was hit so hard structurally that officials haven`t set a date on its reopening. So, those two spots are off the list, but we know some of you are probably getting ready to hit the road for spring break. We talked to Marnie Hunter, a travel producer with about some safety tips. If you`re just heading to the beach or to another country.


MARNIE HUNTER, TRAVEL PRODUCER: Spring break travel is pretty much the same for any kind of traveler. You need to be aware of your surroundings an the people around you. Make sure that people know where you`re going and when you expect to be back. You want to pack light and not leave your bags unattended. When you`re out on the beach swimming, be sure to take somebody with you and be using sunscreen and stay hydrated.

It`s important to remember for cruises that, you know, while it`s a contained area, it`s the size of a small city. So you really need to still be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to the safety drills at the beginning of each cruise. And to know where you might need to meat in the event of an emergency and how to get there on your own.

When you`re traveling abroad, it`s important to remember that the rules and the laws could be a little bit different. Something that will get you in trouble at home is likely to get in trouble away from home as well. Review any kind of health caution, like should you drink the water, are there any food restriction, and consult the Centers for Disease Control and prevention on vaccinations or other precautions that you might want to take before you leave. Try to learn some key phrases in the local language, so that if you get into trouble and need medical or police help, you will be able to communicate that to the locals. Keep your money and your passport and printed documents in the hotel safe, but when you are caring them, keep them close to your body in the money belt or in interior pocket or a bag with the shoulder strap that goes across your body. These are just a few ways to stay safe, so that you can still have a great trip.


AZUZ: Teenagers get a bad wrap when it comes to texting and driving. Adults may be worse. The telecommunications company, AT&T took a survey recently and found that while 43 percent of teenagers admit to texting while driving, 49 percents of adults do on their way to or from work. And consider the number here: There are about 10 million teenage drivers on the road, there are 180 million adults. You`ve heard so much about the dangers of texting while driving. And the message is getting through. 98 percent of the commuters that AT&T spoke to, said they know it`s not safe, but they are doing it anyway. In fact, according to the survey, the number of adult drivers who are, has gone up over the past three years. What can be done about it? Well, the company that took the survey and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce want businesses to get involved. Many commuters may be trying to catch up on email on the way to the office. Officials want businesses to tell their employees, wait until you`re out of the driver`s seat to email, text or tweet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can ID me. I am home to more than 7 million people. I am not an independent country. I was controlled by the UK for more than 150 years, but I`ve been a special administrative region of China since 1997.

I am Hong Kong, and I have my own free market economy.

AZUZ: Heard of virtual reality, a realistic simulation that`s computer generated? Hong Kong gamers can play in a different environment - real reality. When you step inside the game, you actually physically step inside the game. Patricia Woo tried out this life-size entertainment.


PATRICIA WOO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hong Kongers are finding their escape from reality in the fantasy of living out a video game.

KELLY TSANG, FREEING HK PLAYER: It`s not any normal kind of entertainment. We normally go (inaudible) sharp pain or watching a movie, but this is totally new, so we wanted to try it.

WOO: Inside this commercial warehouse, in one of Hong Kong`s most crowded neighborhoods, teams choose one of seven games, with names like Prison Break and the Lost Chamber. Sometimes, blindfolded or handcuffed, players solve clues to find a way out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, what have we got?

WOO: So how hard is it? Andrew and I pick a game and step into Dr. Alpha`s (ph) Lab.

Our first challenge, getting to the clues inside this locked box.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not 1234. Any ideas?

WOO: If you are stuck like us, you can press a button and someone will come in and give you a hint, but you can only do that once.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once we get past this, we`re going to be sailing.

WOO: So what`s next? You can go first. Getting across a field of laser beams without touching a single one.

Nicely done.

Another locked box and a safe await us. The only clue is a tape recording and a map of the Hong Kong subway system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is something written here.

WOO: But look, there are hidden numbers.


As we try to crack the code. Time`s up. We only get 45 minutes. But in our defense, Dr. Alpha`s lab is the hardest game, and there is only about a 10 percent success rate. More than 7,000 people have played since the doors opened in November. Two more locations will be ready by May. And later, maybe other countries as well. And why not? The desire to escape stress is universal. Patricia Woo, CNN, Hong Kong.


AZUZ: Our last clip features violence that some viewers may find adorable. We don`t know what that giant stuffed hippo did to this kangaroo, all we know is that the roo is hopping mad. I`ve heard of a toy box, but this Youtube video is ridiculous. The kangaroo hugs the hippo like it`s trying to make amends, but the stuffed animal must say something the roo does not like, because then it unleashes its feet of fury. Sometimes these marsupials take the polite approach, other times obviously they can get rude. Although if that toy did start the fracas, it shouldn`t complain about being pouched out. It would just be a big hippo-crit (ph). When the kangaroo was young, it was so joyful, but now its toys are just used sparingly.

All right, teachers, please remember to share your feedback about today`s show on our home page. Everybody, have a great weekend.