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Thrill Killing in Oklahoma; NSA Revelations

Aired August 23, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s Friday. My name is Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. Thank you for watching. Our lead story, a college athlete is dead. Teenagers are facing murder charges, and the word people keep using to describe all this is senseless. Christopher Lane, the man in this Facebook pictures, was 23 years old. Born and raised in Australia, Lane was attending college in Dunkin, Oklahoma, on a baseball scholarship. Last week, he was shot and killed while out jogging. The teens accused of killing Lane are 15 year old James Edwards Jr. and 16 year old Chancey Luna. They`ve been charged as adults with first degree murder. 17-year old Michael Jones, their alleged driver, has been charged in connection with the murder. Police say, Jones told them the reason for the alleged shooting "We were bored and didn`t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody." Authorities say the suspects were in a house when Lane jogged by and he became their target. Christopher Lane`s girlfriend said the reaction to his death has been a mix of shock, anger and sadness. The shooting has caused outrage in Lane`s home country, too. One Australian politician called for a boycott on visiting the U.S.

Next today, we`re heading over to Italy for a salvage operation on an infamous shipwreck: in January of 2012, the Costa Concordia ran aground. 32 passengers were killed after a rock tore a giant hole in the ship. The Concordia flipped on to its side and it`s set there, in the water, ever since. Engineers say the salvage operation, which caused at least $400 million is like no other in history. Hundreds of workers have been added. Now, they say they are ready for the next big step: here`s an animation of the plan. The salvage crew built steel platforms under the water. In September, they are planning to use cables and massive flotation devices to get the ship back upright and ready to be towed to a nearby port. Engineers say they only have one shot to get it right, any error could cause the Concordia to break apart or just sink completely.

We`ve talked this school year about sinkholes: how some (inaudible) water eats away at certain types of rock and soil. Look at this video from Louisiana. This sinkhole is under the water. Now pay close attention to the trees: they are cypress trees around 150 feet tall, but they are getting shorter faster, as the sinkhole swallows them up. And look at this -- in less than one minute, they`ll be completely under water. Officials estimate that this sinkhole is 324 feet across, about 50 feet deep in most spots, although in one corner, it goes down more than 400 feet. They think an underground salt cavern could be the cause.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, if you can I.D. me.

I`m a U.S. government agency that was established in 1952. My director is always a high ranking military officer. I`m America`s most secret intelligence agency.

I`m the National Security Agency, and I`m responsible for collecting foreign information and securing U.S. information.


AZUZ: NSA has been in the middle of controversy recently about how it collects information and who it collects it from. This started several months ago. That`s when Edward Snowden revealed information about an allegedly secret program. Snowden was a contractor for the NSA. He says the agency secretly collected huge amounts of phone records and Internet data from people`s accounts in the United States. After making this information public, Snowden fled the country. First, he went to Hong Kong, and then to Russia, where he has been given temporary asylum. That means for now, he can`t be sent back to the United States where he`s facing felony charges because of the information he leaked.

Since then, more information has come out about different ways the security agency collects information. Chris Lawrence has more on the latest details.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amid growing controversy, comes more revelations the National Security Agency illegally collected tens of thousands of Americans emails.

Newly declassified secret court opinion show the NSA collected nearly 60,000 domestic communications a year for three years, ending in 2011. The data includes emails, and other Internet activity. The court also said the NSA misrepresented the scope of its effort.

MARC ROTENBERG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EPIC: It`s very disturbing. The National Security Agency has extraordinary surveillance capabilities, and these are tools that are supposed to be directed toward adversaries of the United States, not toward the American public.

LAWRENCE: The NSA says it collected the data by mistake -- a senior intelligence official telling reporters there was a "technological problem that could not be avoided, rather than overreach." Meantime, intelligence officials are denying a media report that the NSA seeps through and has access to 75 percent of online communication in the U.S.

The White House is under pressure from Republican and Democratic lawmakers over the sweeping nature of its secret data collection. Just two weeks ago, President Obama insisted the government is not violating your privacy.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: America is not interested in spying on ordinary people. Our intelligence is focused, above all, on finding the information that`s necessary to protect our people.

LAWRENCE: The NSA is supposed to target foreign communications that have to do with potential terrorism investigations.


AZUZ: Roll call, time to check out some of the schools that are checking out CNN STUDENT NEWS. Today, we`re covered from A to Z. A, the Apachee at Wabash High School in Wabash, Indiana. Thank you for watching. And Z, the Zebras from Claremore High in Oklahoma, you knew we`d get there sooner than later. And today`s roll call wraps up in Shelby, North Carolina, with the Vikings from Cleveland Early College High School.

When it comes to global sales, one cookie creams the competition. And how does that stack up against its own marketing claims? One math teacher decided to satisfy his students` hunger for knowledge by using a math assignment to put Oreos to the test. Michaela Pereira fills us in on the details of how the cookie crumbles.




MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Twist them, dunk them, lick them, swallow them whole.

No matter how you eat your Oreos, one thing most Oreo lovers can agree on: the cream is the best part. But there`s a new twist that beloved cream is in the center of scandal.

Are Double Stuf Oreos really all there stuffed up to be? A high school math class in upstate New York found out just how much stuff is actually in Double Stuf Oreos.

DAN ANDERSON, HIGH SCHOOL MATH TEACHER: Most of them have had practiced, as a high (ph) and separating the Oreo in half and getting in a clean side. But getting two clean sides off and just leave in the stuff where it` difficult.

PEREIRA: Dan Anderson`s students weighed ten of both the original and the Double Stuf Oreos. That data was applied to a mathematical equation to determine Oreo`s creme content. According to the cookie calculations, the Double Stuf was only 1.86 times the size of regular Oreos.

Let me tell you this -- an Oreo spokesman sent us the following statement: While I`m not familiar with what was done in the classroom setting I can confirm for you that our recipe for the Ore Double Stuf Cookie has double the Stuf, or cream filling when compared with our base, original Oreo cookie.

This isn`t the first time food favorite has come under fire for not measuring up. Last year, a Subway customer`s photo went viral showing his footlong sub only measured 11 inches. But Oreos have been the nation`s best-selling cookies since 1912. Likely it outlasts this latest controversy. So, once again, the cream always rises to the top.


AZUZ: Yesterday, we told you that the head of Facebook says Internet access is a human right. So we asked you on our Facebook site, if you agree. And it really seemed to come down to how you define human right.

Graham writes, "In today`s world, Internet access means access t knowledge and that is a human right.

Cody thinks, "Internet access is more of a privilege than a right. Human rights are God-given, not manmade."

From Martha, "The Internet is just out there to make our lives easier. It`s not something we need. It is something we can live without."

Natisha agrees, "Any human being can survive without it. The Internet is not as important as food or shelter."

But Paul argues, it`s not just Internet. He says it`s information that`s a human right.

Amanda tweeted me that "where there`s access to communications we are entitled to the safe, private use of it."

In Zach`s words, "The only argument for the Internet being a human right is the spread of information. If education isn`t a human right -- he says it`s a civil right -- then neither is the Internet."

Not polite to ask people how much they weigh. But some animals are fair game, and amphibians and reptiles. Besides, snakes and scales just go together. At the London Zoo, all the animals get weighed every year. Even Yu -- Yu -- shut up, owl. Sometimes the animals have to get tricked into the scale -- others get special training. It took a month to get the camels to cooperate with the weigh-in, it figured they`d be divas, though, because camels are all about the drama theory.

Coming up with puns for stories like this can be a beast, so we thought about scaling back, but we wanted to give this subject its proper weight, even though it`s a lighter story. So, we just pounded it out as many as we could. We can`t wait to do it again next week. I`m Carl Azuz. I hope all of you have wonderful weekend.