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Shutdown Showdown; Olympic Flame Comes to Russia

Aired October 9, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Today on CNN STUDENT NEWS, it`s a shutdown showdown. President Obama and Democrats versus Republicans on issues of U.S. government spending. Today, we`re looking at this by the numbers. We are eight days into this partial government shutdown. It started one minute after midnight on October 1. About 483,000 government workers are furloughed; they are home from work without pay. That`s a drop from the roughly 800,000 workers originally furloughed, since many have been called back to work. Those furloughed workers account for 14 percent of all federal employees, so most government workers are still on the job.

Who`s getting blamed? According to a poll released on Monday, 63 percent of Americans are angry with Republicans, 57 percent are angry with Democrats, 53 percent are angry with President Obama.

We`re eight days into the shutdown and eight days away from the debt ceiling deadline. That`s another Washington fight to keep an eye on.

Here is another number for you: 40,389. That`s about how many miles the Olympic flame will travel as it makes its way to Sochi, Russia for next February`s winter games. On land, in the air, in water, into space. It is the longest torch relay ever for the Winter Olympics, but there could be some bumps on the path to Russia`s games.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Olympic spirit has returned to Russia. The flame`s journey across this massive country started in Red Square, past St. Basil`s Cathedral and the red walls of the Kremlin. From here, it will travel 65,000 kilometers, crossing nine time zones between Russia`s eastern and western borders.

This man says it feels patriotic and unforgettable to see the flame. It`s been a long time since the Olympic flame was last in the Russian capital. That was for the 1980 Moscow games. Dozens of countries boycotted the event because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Thirty-three years later, some people have been calling for boycotts again, because of scenes like this. It`s a protest against a recent law targeting Russia`s gay community. It`s now illegal to tell Russian children gay and straight relationships are equal.

Activists say the law is discriminatory, but international Olympic officials say it does not breach their charter. Planning and building in Sochi has been immense. The city by the Black Sea was a run-down, Soviet era summer resort destination with no winter sports facilities. It`s getting a total makeover. Cost estimates now exceed $50 billion. The weather could also be a challenge. Even in the mountains, Sochi isn`t always cold in winter, and snowfall can be patchy. That`s why organizers have spent big on high-tech snowmaking gear and storing huge mounds of last season`s snow through the summer. Those are the potential problems. But the flame`s arrival marks the start of a campaign to build and spread Olympic excitement here. The relay even includes a cosmic side trip. One of the torches without a flame will be carried aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station.

Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.


AZUZ: U.S. health officials are responding to an outbreak of salmonella. It`s been linked to raw chicken products from plants operated by a California poultry producer. So far, more than 270 people in 18 states have gotten sick. The CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is working with state and federal health agencies to investigate. The company says it`s looking into the outbreak too. It also says it`s added new safety practices to help control any instances of salmonella.

Salmonella is a bacteria. The CDC says it`s the leading cause of foodborne illness. Around 42,000 cases are reported in the U.S. every year. In extreme cases, it can lead to severe illness or cause death, but most people who get salmonella recover in about a week without treatment. One way to prevent it, make sure you cook your food to the right temperature.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the shoutout. Which U.S. president has appeared on the $100 bill? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, or Thomas Jefferson? You`ve got 3 seconds, go.

The key word here is president, and President Lincoln appeared on the $100 currency printed in the late 1800s. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: Of course, it`s all about Benjamin now on the $100 bill. I only wish I had one to show you, but there is a new note out. It`s making its official debut this week after a two-year delay that had nothing to do with the partial government shutdown. It was because of the bill`s design caused it to fold during printing, leaving blank spots on the money. That`s fixed now. But why did the Federal Reserve change it once again?

They`re trying to make it easier to be sure a bill is genuine and harder to counterfeit it. The new $100 has a blue ribbon. Why? Because it`s a winner! No, it`s actually a 3D strip that appears to change when you move it, adding a new dimension of security. Same idea behind the bell in the inkwell.

It`s the middle of the week, that means it`s worldwide Wednesday on the CNN STUDENT NEWS roll call. We`re going to start up in Canada and check in with the Panthers from Our Lady of the Assumption School in Calgary. Next up, Italy, specifically the island of Sicily and the Jaguars at Sigonella (ph) middle and high schools. And we are wrapping up with the Raptors all the way over in Chennai, India, at the American International School.

One of Mike Conklin`s sons was wounded while serving in Iraq. He recovered from his injuries, but the experience led Conklin to start an organization to help disabled veterans, and it has, more than 100 veterans so far. Conklin says quote, "we can`t focus on the injury, even though it`s hard not to. What we try to do is focus on the future."


MIKE CONKLIN: The first trip to Walter Reed was one of my toughest trips. When I saw the amount of wounded, it was shocking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both my legs are amputated above the knee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lost my right eye and I have a titanium rod in my leg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I gave up the idea of having a wife and even a family.

CONKLIN: I wanted to take them all home.

I`m Mike Conklin. My organization helps our severely wounded members of the armed forces reach their full potential.

My oldest son was wounded in Tikrit, Iraq, as (inaudible) wounded.

We have a very tight, cohesive family, and not all of them do. Some of them don`t have anybody to come home to. We just can`t forget them.

When Ryan moved into this unit, we did some things that are very simple. We put in these polls to assist him.

Each case is different. Some will need service dogs, housing assistance, mentors, getting an education. It`s a comprehensive package.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They talk to me every day. Put me back to work. He helped set up where I wanted to go. Today, I`m a husband, a father, I have my own company now.

CONKLIN: We don`t call this a charity. We really look at it as an investment. These were one-time children who grew up on our baseball fields, went to our grade schools, and then left our community to serve us. And eventually, they come back. It`s a full circle of service.


AZUZ: Is the name of the Washington Redskins offensive or does it honor legacy and tradition? That is the question at Roby or Robey`s post, "It`s a name of a football team and it`s been that way for a long time. Why is it a big deal now?" Addison (ph) says it`s offensive because they`re making fun of Native Americans. From Delaney, "As a Native American, I find the name offensive and derogatory." From Sidney (ph), "I`m Indian and I take no offense whatsoever to the name Redskins." Jonathan writes, "I believe it is offensive, but I don`t believe it was ever meant to be that way, and changing the name would ruin the history of the team." Ross says, "Although I may think its intentions aren`t racist, it may be racist to other people." And from Ray, "Start worrying about important things in life rather than worrying about a name or a flag or an event that`s been around since way before we were born."

If you`re already on FaceBook, you can add your voice to this. The place to comment and like is

As the saying goes, you have to walk before you can run. But first you`ve got to get up on your feet. Takes the robot in this Youtube video a few seconds to do that, but then the wild cat is ready to pounce into action. Engineers who designed the robot think it could help with emergency rescues or military operations. It`s built to cover all types of terrain, though it might look kind of funny. Its top speed on a flat surface is 16 miles per hour. That`s` when the robot kicks into high gear. Some people might question its speed on uneven surfaces, but it doesn`t seem fair terrain on its parade. Besides, it`s not our place to metal. For CNN STUDENT NEWS, I`m Carl Azuz. Have a great rest of the day.