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Syria Update; Rosh Hashanah

Aired September 5, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Today`s edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS starts with an update regarding Syria. Yesterday, we looked at some of the key players in the U.S. debate over possible action against the Middle-Eastern nation. Teachers, you can find that video on our home page. Today, we`re focusing on the global community. And we began in Sweden. President Obama was there yesterday, talking about the so-called red line. Something he first mentioned more than a year ago.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.


AZUZ: The idea of the red line is that if it`s crossed, whoever set it could act in response. So, that was what President Obama said in 2012. Here is what he said yesterday in Sweden.


OBAMA: I didn`t set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world`s population, said, the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent.


AZUZ: Governments around the world are having conversations about Syria. We`re going to start with the United Kingdom.

Last week, the British parliament voted against the possibility of a strike against Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron says that`s a dangerous move that could encourage more chemical weapon attacks.

In France, President Francois Hollande gave a similar message to lawmakers in his nation. President Hollande says, if the Syrian governments isn`t punished, it would send a signal to other countries with chemical weapons. The French National Assembly started debating the idea of a strike yesterday. The Syrian government denies that it has used chemical weapons. And the president of Russia doesn`t think Syria has used those weapons either. President Vladimir Putin says, he thinks it`s absurd that Syrian forces would use chemical weapons since he says they have the upper hand against the rebels. Putin says there needs to be proof that chemical weapons were used.

U.S. emergency crews are gradually getting a massive wildfire under control. We told you about the rim fire. It`s been burning in California since mid-August. This rim fire has cost California more than $39 million, it`s one of the largest wildfires in California history. Monday night, firefighters had it 70 percent contained, rain and cooling temperatures were helping out with that. Wildfires, of course, can have a wider impact in just burning land and damaging homes. The rim fire forced schools to close, and sports practices to be canceled. Now, things are starting to get back to normal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, just watching the fire, you know. Just concerned about our homes and stuff, so it feels good. We had a tournament, so we`re feeling good to get back now and we`re excited for our season.


AZUZ: The U.S. government first recognized the Pledge of Allegiance in 1942. It added the phrase "Under God" in 1954. In recent years, that phrase has been challenged in American courts. But every attempt to remove the mention of God from the pledge has failed.

Massachusetts highest court is hearing a similar case on this, but with the twist: it`s not arguing that the mention of God violates the First Amendment, like previous cases. It`s arguing the phrase goes against state law. Massachusetts constitution says, that "all people are born free and equal and have certain natural, essential and unalienable rights." Plaintiffs in the law suit say that the phrases "Under God" violates the rights of students who don`t believe in God. By discriminating against them. Defendants say, there is disagreement, but not discrimination, that the phrase doesn`t violate anyone`s rights, because students can choose not to say the pledge. Lower court agreed last year, saying the phrase "under God" doesn`t convert the exercise of the pledge into a prayer. An atheist couple appealed that ruling, in what Massachusetts Supreme Court decides could have an impact nationwide.

If you`re on Facebook, we`d like to get your opinion on this. Talk to us at

Cardinals. Bulldogs, Knights, it`s time for Roll Call. Now, Chicago is in Illinois, but East Chicago is in Indiana, ant that`s where you`ll find the Cardinals from East Chicago Central High School. Down to Beaumont, Texas, for our next stop - the St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School, home of the Bulldogs, and finally the Knights of Fulton Science Academy in Alfredo, Georgia. Thanks to all of you for checking in.

Teachers at "The how do I" box says answers to all sorts of questions, like how can my class introduce CNN STUDENT NEWS. You send us an "I-Report." Here`s how that works.


AZUZ: Teachers, here`s 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 done, upload it to us at 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.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this legit? Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year starts on the first month of the Jewish calendar.

Not true. The holiday falls on the seventh month on the Jewish calendar.


AZUZ: In ancient Jewish teachings, Rosh Hashanah is considered a birthday for the world. It`s happening right now. Jewish holidays begin at sundown, Rosh Hashanah started Wednesday night. The name translates as head, or first of the year. It`s also referred to as the day of repentance. Rosh Hashanah marks the start of the Jewish high holy days, which end ten days later with Yom Kippur. One of the most significant rituals during the holiday is the blowing of the shofar. It`s a ram`s horn played like a trumpet.

We`ve done this before, we`re doing it again. Talking about giving you an inside look into the careers of different professionals. Have you ever thought about becoming a park ranger? Average salary for an experienced park ranger is 40,000 to 50,000 a year. You can make more. Take a listen to how you could become one.


BENITA DULING: My name is Benita Duling, and I`m a park ranger in the great state of Georgia.

AMANDA CORMAN: My name is Amanda Corman, and I`m a park ranger at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

DULING: What is a park ranger? That`s a good question.

I always tell people when you see someone in this uniform, ask them what do you actually do.

CORMAN: We get interpretive programs, we preserve historic artifacts. We take care of the beautiful nature that you see here. We also have law enforcement rangers who protect the people who come to visit our park.

People may not know that the National Park Service is set up on more of a military basis, so it`s kind of combination of civilian world and the military.

DULING: What people don`t really realize about becoming a park ranger is education is incredibly important. In order to get my job, I had to be college-educated.

CORMAN: I knew that I loved history, I loved the environment and what beautiful nature we had here in the United States.

DULING: I wanted something that combined my love of history with my love or artifacts. People just like you.

CORMAN: I get to see people from all over the world and all over the country.

I think that mentors are very valuable.

DULING: Don`t underestimate people who are experienced and knowledgeable, because they can make a big difference in your life.

Be true to who you are and your passion.

CORMAN: Never give up on your dreams.


AZUZ: What are the biggest challenges facing teenagers today? That was the question on our blog and on our Facebook site, and this is how some of your responded.

Nathan says, it`s stereotypes. "Not only from teens, but from adults. I get offended when people assume boys are lazy, play-Call-of-Duty-all-day kinds of people.

From Jade, "Managing from everything gets hard. With all the school work, the most high schools hand out these days, how is anyone with a genuinely good GPA supposed to have a social life?

Jayden mentioned, "Divorce rates! When parents split up, it can cause horrible things!

Dylan writes, "It`s drugs and alcohol. Teenagers see parents and family members drinking and see kids in school who do drugs every day.

Emily said, "Too many people get caught up on electronics and don`t see the real meaning in life. We need to spend more time with families and friends."

And from Rebecca, "Teenagers are becoming less able to determine who makes a good role model and who doesn`t. Nowadays, they idolize too many negative influences."

Why do melons have fancy weddings? Because they can`t elope.

We started the puns earlier today, because we`ve got a lot. As we dish on the world`s biggest fruit salad yummy-yummy. Chef (inaudible) more than 15,000 pounds of fruit to produce it, imagine waking up to see that on your honeydew list. I hope the old record holders don`t have sour grapes. Salad is one of a kind, so no pears. You can`t get dogs to do this kind of work, and that`s sad. It makes them melon-collies (ph). And by the time the chefs were done, I bet they were just plum tuckered out. In the future, maybe they`ll incorporate technology. I`m sure, an apple help. Still, congrats in the world record. It`s dessert for the fruit to their labors. If you love puns, some of those were real pitch. If you hate them, then this might have been the last straw berry. But aren`t you glad we didn`t make any obvious ones? That`s 13, and we`re out.