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North Korea Fires Off 4 Missiles; Town Recovers After Devastating Storm; Palestinian Elections?

Aired May 20, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: I`m Carl Azuz. This is CNN STUDENT NEWS. Hope you had a good weekend. We`re going to launch the today show with a missile launch. Four of them. North Korea fired three missiles on Saturday and another yesterday. These are short range missiles, all of them were fired into the Sea of Japan, which is also known as the East Sea. Last month, there was a lot of tension between North and South Korea, and between North Korean and the U.S. North Korea threatened missile attacks against those countries. A journalist in the region says these launches are different.


ANDREW SALMON, JOURNALIST: It`s a short range tactical weapon. So, if there any other country launched these kinds of weapons, it is a routine test, nobody would be too worried. It`s really simply because it`s North Korea that`s doing this that raises concerns.


AZUZ: As we get closer to summer temperatures are getting warmer. That can lead to severe weather, like this tornado that formed in Kansas on Saturday. Experts say, most major tornadoes come from supercells, thunderstorms that last for hours. These supercells can also cause strong winds and rain, hail and flash flooding. That`s what parts of the Midwestern U.S. are facing today. Last week, tornadoes hit northern Texas, several people were killed in those, and hundreds of homes were either damaged or destroyed.

In the midst of recovery, one town`s residence pulled together to pull for a local baseball team.


CARLA WADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After a moment of reflection for storm victims ...


WADE: The crack of the bat is soothing.


WADE: Compared to the claps of thunder that came with Wednesday night`s destructive storms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s bad, it`s a bad deal.

HOLLY FISH, RESIDENT: Most of these people who (inaudible) today are supporting us and helping us clean up and then knowing the place, showed up here. It`s just amazing.

WADE: Cleburne is focused on baseball. Glad to be out of storm shelters and outside on a warm clear night. Many without power in their damaged homes, some leaving hotels to pack the bleachers for this play-off game.

DARRYLE TOUR, RESIDENT: And our team pulls our town together, even when it`s not adverse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just really, it`s a nice thing to see.

WADE: All eyes are on the field, the players and looking toward the sky with excitement, instead of apprehension.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s first "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. T`s government economics classes at Cumberland County High School in Crossville, Tennessee.

Which of these is about 239,000 miles from Earth? Here we go, is it the Sun, Moon, Mars or International Space Station? You`ve got three seconds, go.

On average, the Moon is about 239,000 miles away from earth. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: Back in March, something happened on the Moon that we could see 239,000 miles away without a telescope. Watch closely.

Do you see that? It might not look that big, but NASA says it`s an explosion, it was like five tons of TNT going off. That happened when a meteoroid hit the Moon surface. Meteoroids were coming at the Earth at that time, too, but our atmosphere helps protect the planet. The Moon doesn`t have an atmosphere, which is why the explosion was so big.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today "Shoutout Extra Credit" goes out to Mr. Kennedy`s classes at Forest Hill`s Northern High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Who is the current president of the Palestinian Authority? You know what to do. Is it Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat, Yasser Arafat or Mustafa Barghouthi? Put another three seconds on the clock and go!

Mahmoud Abbas has been president of the Palestinian Authority since 2005. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout Extra Credit."


AZUZ: The U.S. presidential election process sometimes gets compared to a reality TV show. But for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, that`s exactly what it is. A game show to determine the next president. The results, of course, aren`t real, but the creators think there`s some truth in what this show says about Palestinian politics.

Sara Sidner has the details.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candidates running for president, the campaigning began with 1200 candidates.

And now, it`s down to ten. With only a couple more television debates to go.

But the winner here only gets a title in May, because this isn`t reality. It`s reality TV. Still, it has already changed things for candidate Maher al-Qomi.

MAHER AL-QOMI, THE PRESIDENT CONTESTANT: I believe that my social level has increased because of this show. Everyone`s calling me, President Maher, how are you, President Maher. How are you, Mr. President?

SIDNER: The show, simply called "The President" is creating big buzz among the Palestinian population in Gaza and the West Bank. Mohammad Ghanyem is the show`s production manager.

MOHAMMAD GHANYEM, PRODUCTION MANAGER: That means they are more powerful than the bullets, the air force, whatever. It`s powerful more than anything.

SIDNER: Contestants are running for office by being grilled each week by judges. Several of whom are well-known politicians themselves. The contestants hope that their ideas and their popularity here could potentially put them in position to hold off this one day.

This is the brain child of a non-profit organization called "Search For Common Ground."

SUHEIR RASUL, GO-DIRECTOR SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND: The idea is to give voice to new generation of Palestinian leaders, and we`re hoping to strengthen and re-energize the Palestinian population to returning back to a democratic process.

SIDNER: No one had any idea the show would be so popular. The day auditions were opened, thousands applied.

The show airs once a week on the Maan (ph) network, an independent, non-profit media organization.

Behind me is the real Palestinian presidential compound. The show`s popularity might have something to do with pent up frustration in the street over the lack of a real presidential election. There haven`t been one since 2005.

Al-Qomi is one of the top contenders. He knows the struggle of Palestinians as well as anyone, one of 15 brothers and sisters, Al-Qomi grew up next to a refugee camp. While in college, he`s helping his family make ends meet by working in a tiny family store. Palestinians from Nazareth to Gaza are vying to win, including several women and Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. Palestinians have only had two presidents over the past 20 years, Yasser Arafat and now current president, Mahmoud Abbas.

No one knows for sure when the next real presidential election might be. So, for now, the votes for the winner of this show will have to suffice. Sara Sidner, CNN, Ramalla, the West Bank.


AZUZ: Getting a high school diploma is an awesome feeling, the graduating seniors at Martin Luther King High in Nashville, Tennessee got something extra with their experience. They got their diplomas from the first ladies, Michelle Obama attended the school`s graduation this weekend, and gave a commencement speech. All of the graduates of MLK High are going on to higher education or the military. And Mrs. Obama said one way they can achieve success is by allowing for the possibility of failure.


MICHELLE OBAMA: When something doesn`t go your way, you just got to adjust. But you can only do that if you`re willing to put yourself in a position where you might fail. And that`s why so often failure is the key to success for so many great people.


AZUZ: When it comes to restaurant tipping, etiquette authority Emily Post says the rule of thumb is 15 to 20 percent. Of course, you can go higher for great service, but what was the last time you tipped more than 7000 percent? As server in an Indianapolis Take & Shake restaurant knows what it`s like to get that. CeCe Bruce was just doing her job, keeping her good attitude on an average day, when one of her regulars left this: $446 even on a bill of six bucks. That`s not tipping, that`s tripping. At first, Bruce thought it was $46, and she hesitated at that. When she realized it was almost ten times that much, she tried to refuse it altogether.


CECE BRUCE, WAITRESS: I didn`t think I was worth $400, but even though, apparently she feels that I am.


AZUZ: After some argument the part-time student accepted it, and she plans to use the extra money to pay bills. It`s hard to say if she`ll ever see a receipt like that again. But it`s one tip she could literally take to the bank.

Granted not everyone has and extra 446 bucks lying around, but what kind of tip should people leave for good service? 20 percent, 25 percent, maybe? We`ve served u the fresh new blog post today at Please remember the rule - it`s first names only.

And finally, to become a political dynasty, you may need to start early. Bobby Tufts knows what we`re talking about. This pint-size politician is the mayor of Dorset, Minnesota, and this is his second term in office.

He`s just four. Bobby`s town has only 22 people in it, and they pick the mayor by pulling a name out of the hat. One more time, and Bobby will have pulled the hat. Trick?

In Dorset, the mayor is just a ceremonial position. Still this minor mayor is getting major media attention. And Bobby knows where he stands on the issues - regular naps, color inside the lines, all city meetings have to be finished before bed time. It`s time for us to put this show to bed. For CNN STUDENT NEWS, I`m Carl Azuz.