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U.S. Debt Ceiling Crisis Averted; Modern Day Slavery; Meteorite Fragment Found

Aired October 18, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. Today, the partial government shutdown over. The possible U.S. debt ceiling crisis averted for now. Late Wednesday night, Congress voted on the deal and approved it. Early Thursday morning, President Obama signed it. As the day moved forward, things in Washington started returning to normal. Federal employees who were furloughed, set home without pay, were back at work yesterday. The deal says, they`ll get back pay to cover what they missed while they were furloughed.

Most national parks and landmarks, like the Everglades in Florida had been close since the shutdown started. They are back open now and accepting visitors. Keep in mind, the deal passed this week is temporary. It funds the government until January. It raises the debt ceiling until February. So, after it was passed, leaders of the House and Senate budget committees got together to start the next round of negotiations.

When you hear the world "slavery" you might just think of it as something from history. The U.S. Civil War decided the issue here, and today slavery is illegal in every single country. But right now, worldwide, there are more slaves than at any other time in history. Modern day slavery isn`t always the same as the images you see in textbooks. It includes human trafficking, force labor, child exploitation, forced marriage. A new report used a decade of research to offer the latest information on slavery and its victims.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sadly, in 2013 that story`s far more prevalent than you`d expect. 29.8 million. That`s the staggering estimate of how many people around the world are leaving as modern day slaves, according to Walk Free Foundation. The number is cited in the foundation`s global slavery index, which for the first time provides a map, country by country of the depth and breadth of the scourge.

These ten countries account for 76 percent of the world`s enslaved people. China, Russia, Nigeria, Pakistan are all in there. But India, the world`s second most populous nation has by far the highest number of slaves, estimated up between 13 and 14.5 million people.

NICK GRONO, CEO, WALK FREE FOUNDATION: A lot of experts would say, that`s a conservative number. India has a massive problem with forced labor, bonded labor. There are whole communities that are forced to work on brick (inaudible) or forced to work in stone quarries. Kids were working in (inaudible) factories, so it`s a massive problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the index found that it is Mauritania, which was the last country to outlaw slavery in 1961, where the problem is most prevalent. With an estimation one in five citizens bonded to a master, tradition is proving hard to break.


AZUZ: Teachers, for more information about the fight against modern day slavery, check out the freedom project link on our home page.

Next up today, shooting stars - they are meteors, and when they hit the Earth atmosphere, they can cause serious problems, like the one that exploded over Russia earlier this year. After waiting for months, scientists are getting their hands on what they think is a piece of that one. You`ll hear that it weighs more than 570 kilograms. For reference, that`s more than 1250 pounds.


ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was the scene back in February as a massive meteor streaked across the sky, turning night into day, the fire balls and shockwaves across Russia, shattering windows, injuring some 1200 people and causing millions of dollars in damage.

Scientists say fragments of it crash-landed here, beneath the ice of this frozen lake near the city of Chelyabinsk. Now, eight months later, the ice is gone, and on Wednesday, in an operation covered live on Russian TV, divers entered the murky water. At the bottom of the lake they found what is believed to be the largest single fragment of the meteorite.

The 1.5 (inaudible) boulder was dragged to shore then weighed, where it literally tipped than broke the scales.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If it weighs more than 500 kilograms, than the object is unique in itself, and it`s likely to be one of the biggest meteorites ever found.

SESAY: This expected space roll crumbled into several chunks, but still weighed in more than 570 kilograms. Now, scientists want to confirm this is indeed the meteorite they`ve been searching for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The initial visual survey which we were talking about now doesn`t give us 100 percent certainty. We still need to conduct more research, a structural analysis and other tests.

SESAY: When it entered Earth atmosphere, scientists estimate, the meteo weighed about 10,000 tons. It`s just a fraction of that size now, but scientists seem confident, they made an out of this world discovery.

Isha Sesay, CNN.



ANNOUNCER: It`s time for "The Shoutout." Which of these countries is on Iberian Peninsula? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it Italy, South Korea, Yemen or Spain? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The Iberian Peninsula is in southwestern Europe, and it`s occupied by Portugal and Spain. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.


AZUZ: There are four time zones in the continuous United States. Spain has one, and Spanish officials are thinking about changing it. They are considering going back in time on hour. In Spain, many workers take long lunch breaks or midday siestas. They tend to eat late, leave work late and go to bed late. A report says, shifting the country`s time zone could make a major difference.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Autumn may have arrived, but here in Madrid workers are still enjoying their outdoor lunch breaks as if summer had never left.

Not even the music can disturb the public napping. Just a few kilometers down the road at Studio Banana when it`s time for Siesta, they use this:

ALI GANJAVIAN, CO-FOUNDER, STUDIO BANANA: The ostrich pillow is a product, which is a device for sleeping. It`s kind of - came about because we were spending a lot of time work in the studio, so we thought ourselves, why don`t we create a product that allows us to sleep anyway.

SOARES: Their product is in many ways a wakeup call for workers who tend to leave work, eat and go to bed later than their European counterparts. But that`s about to change. The government says it`s considering turning back the clocks by an hour.

Spanish dictator General Franco moved Spain from Greenwich Meantime in 1942 to follow his ally Nazi Germany. Since then, Spain has been one hour ahead of GMT during the winter. And two hours ahead in the summer. And that reportedly cost the economy as much as eight percent of GDP because of lost productivity.

IGNACIO BUQUERAS Y BACH, PRESIDENT, FUNDACION INDEPENDIENTE (through translator): For 71 years, we have been on the wrong clock. So, we`re recommending a more flexible work schedule so that the days don`t finish any later than 5 P.M. And that lunch won`t last for more than 40 minutes.

SOARES: Advice that has been taken up by Studio Banana.

The working lunch here has been reduced to 45 minutes, but it`s still an important part of their working day. Over (inaudible) they can bounce ideas off each other. It`s this model that many say Spain should adopt because it means to have more time to spend with their families. They sleep longer, and they are less lethargic at work. All in all, more productive.


AZUZ: Well, if you`re already on Facebook, you might have noticed that our Facebook page topped 100,000 likes this week. Very happy about that. So, to say, thank you all of today`s "Roll Call" schools come from request we received on Facebook. We`re going to start in Wellsberg, West Virginia with the brewings Brooke High, heading down to Texas to check in with the Magnolia Junior High Bull Dogs and up to Illinois where the tigers from Elmwood Park High School round out today`s "Roll Call."

Halloween is less than two weeks away, we`re giving you chance to show off your holiday creativity. We`re talking pumpkins. If you are 13 or older, you can send us an I-report with pictures of your best jack-o-lanterns. If you want a chance to get on our show, you have to get your I-report in by October, 28th. All the details at

And speaking of pumpkins, we`ve got a whopper for you. When you need a forklift and special harness to get your pumpkin up on the scale, you got a monster. This thing checked in at 1985 pounds. Goodness gracious, that`s nearly a full ton. It took first place at this pumpkin weigh-off and beat last year`s champ by a good 200 pounds. (inaudible) go home with nearly 13,000 bucks too. If you decide to invest that in growing another one for next year, you could definitely consider that seed money. We make our share of bad puns, but you can`t deny that was a gourd one. Have a gourd weekend, everybody.