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STUDENT NEWS

Severe Weather in Idaho, Southeastern United States; Family Reunions in North, South Korea; Musician Plays iPhone

Aired August 20, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET

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


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: When it comes to guitars, there are six strings, 12 strings. One guitar has landed a record deal with no strings attached. That story is coming up today on CNN STUDENT NEWS, but first, we`re covering two forms of severe weather. Out in the western U.S., we`re talking about fire. Idaho is dealing with the worst of this. More than 400,000 acres across the state have been burned. Thousands of homes are threatened. The forecast of thunderstorms means good and bad news. Rain could help fight the flames. Lightning might spark new fires.

Down in the southeastern U.S., rain is the problem. Storm front that stalled out is drenching that part of the country. Flood watches and warnings are stretching across the region. This video was shot in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Also, this, too. These cars were in the parking lot of a church in Gulfport. The bishop said they were in services. When they came out, they saw that the church was surrounded by water that was waist-deep.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? The Korean War, which started in 1950, never officially ended.

It`s true. An armistice stopped the armed conflict in 1953, but there`s never been a peace treaty.

AZUZ: North Korea has threatened to end that armistice several times, even as recently as earlier this year. But the country`s relationship may be slowly improving, which could mean reunions for families split apart during the Korean War.

There is no direct phone or mail contact between North and South Korea. People were separated from their siblings, their parents, their children for decades. No idea if they might ever see them again. That is why organized reunions like this one can be so emotional. The reunions are rare and short, and some subjects are off-limits to discussion. Before this one in 2010, one man talked about reuniting with his sister he hadn`t seen in nearly 60 years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIM BYUNG-KI, SEPARATED FROM SISTER (through translator): I want to talk to her. I want to hug her. I want to show her I care. We have to talk and ask about her life. But I`m sad we can`t. I`m happy. I`m curious about how she lives. I`m very curious.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: 2010 was the last reunion, but North and South Korea have agreed to resume them starting next month.

Our next story today is about a man named Werner Herzog. He`s an award- winning German film director. He`s done movies, documentaries, TV. He does not own a cell phone, but one of his most recent projects is about texting, and it is sponsored by a group of cell phone service providers. Herzog has a unique way of warning people not to text and drive. He`s interviewed both those who`ve been affected by someone who has, and those who`ve hurt others by doing it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CIP)

CHANDLER GERBER: That was the last text message I sent before I caused an accident that killed three people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: It`s powerful and it`s understated. Herzog says he didn`t need to show wrecks and blood and glass to make his point. He adds that if the project prevents a single accident, it was worth doing. The short film is called "From One Second to the Next." You might see it in the months ahead. It is scheduled to be sent to 40,000 high schools.

In the meantime, we interviewed some high school students over the summer and asked them about texting while driving. That is the subject of today`s CNN STUDENT NEWS viewfinder segment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARILYN PRIMOVIC, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I guess to continue to inform them. And if you know your friend is driving, don`t respond to them. Don`t even let them be tempted by texting them. If you know they are going somewhere, don`t shoot them a text saying anything. Just be a good friend and try to help them resist the temptation.

MYKEL SKINNER, HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR: Know the consequences. You know, you hear that people die, but I think until you really lose someone close to you or maybe a friend in your school has died from texting while driving, you are not really going to understand the consequences. You`re going to think it`s not going to happen to me.

GARLAND JONES, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Just make them conscious and aware of the fact that it`s not worth it. That it`s not worth it to just risk your life over a text message that you are talking to someone right now and you could talk to them later.

AMAYA CARR, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: It sounds funny, but I always tell my brother, this is my life or your life. You don`t want the last text message to be like on a commercial, and your mom sees you wrapped around a tree. It`s kind of vulgar, but it`s not cool.

GORDON CLARK, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Texting and driving is already illegal in Georgia, but I think a nice public safety announcement with Morgan Freeman doing the voice-over, I think that might get people to stop texting and driving.

NICK MUSEY, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: Everybody would get one of these don`t- text-and-drive wrist bands, so that, you know, when you get the urge to pull out your phone and text and drive, you look at the wrist band and it reminds you to not text and drive. So I think, you know, things like little accessories like these really help to remind teens not to text and drive.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: It`s a CNN STUDENT NEWS roll call. Today we`re featuring schools from Arizona, Georgia, and Texas. This new segment gives your school the chance to be mentioned on CNN STUDENT NEWS. If you`re a teacher or you are a student who is at least 13 years old, there are two ways to be considered. If you`re on social media, you can find us at Facebook.com/cnnstudentnews. You can tweet us at cnnstudentnews, or you can send us an email.

So who made the roll call today? We`ve got Patriots of Independence High in Glendale, Arizona. Ms. Perry (ph), you can claim first. The Heritage High Patriots in Conyers (ph), Georgia. You guys made the roll today too. And the Fairhill School Falcons in Dallas, Texas. Thanks to all of you for watching.

There is another way to get on CNN STUDENT NEWS. You can introduce our show. If you are a teacher, again, or a student who`s 13 or older, you can do this with an i-report. This is how.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Teachers, this is how you and your students ages 13 and older can submit an i-report to CNN STUDENT NEWS. First, you just shoot your story, and it should be digital, because this is a no-tape zone. Also it should have only talking, so no songs, no music. Once that`s done, upload it to us at ireport.com/cnnstudentnews. Just click "share your story." And finally, look for our email in your inbox. We will have to get in touch with you before we can air your video. I-report for CNN STUDENT NEWS, we hope you`ll be able to say that, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the shoutout. In the U.S. music industry, what is the highest category for recording sales? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it diamond, gold, platinum or tungsten? You`ve got 3 seconds, go.

A single or album that sells 10 million copies or more has gone diamond, the highest category there is. That is your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: For diamond, we`re talking about artists like Adele, Usher, Justin Bieber. Curtis Fields, not in the diamond category, but he`s starting to make a name for himself in the music industry, especially because of the unique instrument he used for his first big audition.

Victor Blackwell tells us how this musician is making the most of an app- ortunity.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

VICTORY BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he is actually playing the guitar on his iPhone. Curtis Fields has become one of the first musicians to land a major record deal using simply his iPhone.

CURTIS FIELDS, MUSICIAN: I started playing my iPhone, because I didn`t have the money to purchase a keyboard. And I didn`t really think of it as this is something that can take me somewhere, I just thought of it as this is fun.

BLACKWELL: Fields went to an audition, where he met Ray Daniels, who was immediately impressed.

RAY DANIELS, FIELDS` MANAGER: Actually, I remember Curtis calling me the next morning like, hey, are you serious about working with me, because my son and my girl are sleeping on the floor...

BLACKWELL: Daniels agreed to be Field`s manager, along with colleague Davon Washington (ph). They took him to meet music executive LA Reid at Epic Records.

FIELDS: I was playing this song in LA Reid`s office as my audition. And he pulls out his drumsticks from under the table and starts like tapping along in the rhythm like and just jamming. And it was like one of the most surreal moments ever. But after that, he was like, you have to be here.

BLACKWELL: This may have been the first surreal moment for the young musician, but it would not be the last. He since appeared on "The View" and also performed for the BET awards among better known artists.

Fields` phone may have helped him get a deal, but it`s his talent and his perseverance that will take him places. And he wants to inspire others with his story.

FIELDS: When people say Curtis Fields, I want them to think about their dreams and think about things that they really want to do in life and the things that they feel like they were put here to do. And I want them to look at those things as attainable. And it`s all possible, it`s just about not giving up on whatever the dream is.

BLACKWELL: Victor Blackwell, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Maybe you can`t teach an old dog new tricks, but nobody said anything about a duck. Someone taught this one in a YouTube video how to fetch, and it seems like the fine-feathered friend took to the new skill like, well, like a duck to water. It might not look like much at first, but it does make sense that the duck`s feet would garner some web attention. And admit it, if you had to choose between watching a dog or a duck play fetch, the duck is bound to get top billing. All right, whether or not you think our puns are foul or if they totally quack you up, we`re going to fetch some more for tomorrow. Have a great day.

END