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Monster Storm Bearing Down on Philippines; Twitter`s IPO

Aired November 8, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz. And this is your Friday edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS. Most of you watching this are probably in school, most students in the Philippines are not. Yesterday, there was a storm bearing down on the country, and it was a monster. Possibly, one of the strongest ever. Typhoon Haiyan. The Philippines is an archipelago, a group of islands. More than 7,000 of them. This storm is so big its clouds are effecting two thirds of the country. A typhoon is the same kind of storm as a hurricane. On Thursday, Haiyan was as strong as the category five hurricane. It was still that strong when it made landfall today. Before it hit, Andrew Stevens was reporting on what the Philippines was expecting and how it was preparing.


ANDREW STEVENS, TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES: We`re expecting dusts of up to 300 kilometers an hour. That`s almost 200 miles an hour, plus a big storm surge and heavy, heavy rain. Authorities have been taking measures to get people to safer ground, not only the low line coastal areas, but also in the hills, where there is a danger of landslides.


ANNOUNCER: Is this legit? An IPO is the first time a company sells its stock to the public. It`s true. IPO stands for Initial Public Offering, specifically offering shares of a company stocks.


AZUZ: A popular social media service launched its IPO this week. Twitter, and the initial offer went pretty well. On Thursday, more than 113 million shares of Twitter were bought or sold on the stock market. The stock`s price at the end of the day puts the company`s value at around $24 billion. Now, Twitter has to show potential buyers that it`s worth than investment.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I`m going to make history here as the first president to live tweet.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This movement that was started on Facebook and Twitter that then took on the life of its own.

DAVID LETTERMAN: People that I work with, do not shut up about Twitter.

KOSIK: It`s the most high tech IPO since Facebook. Twitter began trading here at the New York Stock Exchange instead of the NASDAQ after Facebook`s famous (INAUDIBLE) there.

The messy debut plagued by technical difficulties.

But today, call it an about face as Mark Zuckerberg and friends celebrate shares near record highs, but Twitter`s financials aren`t as strong: the company is losing money, unlike Facebook which was already earning a billion dollars a year when it went public. Facebook also had 900 million users. Twitter has far fewer.

RICK SUMMER, SENIOR EQUITY ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR: How do they get to half a billion? How do they get to a billion? And I think ultimately, we`re believers in that story, but I think that`s going to be the biggest challenge.

KOSIK: A challenge Twitter insists it can overcome.

DICK COSTOLO, CEO, TWITTER: We`ve seen tremendous organic growth in our users, particularly internationally.

KOSIK: And when it comes to social media, it pays to be popular.


SUMMER: Advertising always flows to where eyeballs go.

KOSIK: So far, advertisers are flowing in and are buying mobile ads. That`s the Holy Grail. Twitter gets 70 percent of its total ad revenue from mobile. Facebook, only three percent when it went public. But can Twitter keep the momentum going?

NATE ELLIOT, VICE PRESIDENT, FORRESTER: Twitter has to prove the value of the platform, because if they are going to ask people to come and spend money on the site, they are going to ask company should (INAUDIBLE) and buy ads on Twitter. Then need to show that that is money well spent.

KOSIK: Some are optimistic that there is big money to be made, 140 characters at a time.

SUMMER: We don`t think it`s actually a questions of will they make money, it isn`t if -- or when they make money question.


AZ: Next up today, partially hydrogenated oils. Now, you might not know exactly what those are, but chances are, you`ve eaten them. There are major source of transfats or transfatty acids. They are used to increase flavor in some foods or help the foods last longer. But the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA says those partially hydrogenated oils are no longer recognized as safe.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Transfats are bad for several reasons: they raise your bad cholesterol, and they lower your good cholesterol. So, that`s why the FDA says that getting them out could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year.

Now, transfats are relatively common in products such as donuts and biscuits and cookies -- and some restaurants also fry in oil that contains transfats. Now, many restaurants over the years have stopped using transfats. McDonalds and other restaurants. And now the FDA is saying, that they are taking the first step so that no one would be able to use transfats.


AZUZ: The Grocery Manufacturers` Association says that since 2005, food companies have voluntarily cut more than 73 percent of transfats out of their products. A new FDA policy could remove them entirely.

But this is still very early, it has to finalize the decision and to get input from food companies about how long it would take to phase out all these transfats.

Right now, there is no timetable.

Space -- maybe the final frontier, but today`s "Roll Call" is all about the last frontier. Alaska. Let`s check out some of the schools watching us in the 49 state. In the capital city of Juneau, we`ve got the crimson bears from Juneau Douglas High School.

The Nikolaevsk Warriors are tuning in from Nikolaevsk on the Kenai Peninsula. And finally, the sea hawks from Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat in Quinhagak. I hope I got that one right. I hope I got close.

The Olympic motto translates as faster, higher, stronger. The organizers of next year`s winter games are definitely aiming for that higher part. As it makes its way to Sochi, Russia, for February`s games, the Olympic torch is making a stop in space. It arrived at the International Space Station this week and we`ll come back down on Sunday. This is just the torch, not the Olympic flame. You can`t have that lit in space for safety reasons. And Olympic torch has been on the ISS before, but this one will break new ground when astronauts take it outside on the spacewalk this weekend. We hope they hold on tight.

Money doesn`t grow on trees. You`ve heard that before. But the next time someone says it to you, you can say wrong. Kind of. It has to do with the scientific study in Australia. Researchers examined certain trees, including Eucalyptus trees, that`s the preferred diet of koala bears. Don`t know how much iron is in the diet, but these researchers found another mineral -- gold. Deposits of it on the trees bark and leaves. These plants have a deep root system, and researchers say that during droughts, the roots dug deep for water. Very deep. Down in what`s considered the gold rich zone. Some of them struck -- guess what -- gold. Not enough gold to have any real value. In fact, not even enough to be visible, but researchers say it`s a golden opportunity to learn about new and more successful methods of prospecting.


ANNOUNCER: It`s time for "The Shoutout." What was the world`s first dome stadium? If you think you know it, then shout it out! Was it the Superdome, Astrodome, Kingdome or Georgia Dome? You`ve got three seconds, go! Houston`s Astrodome opened in 1965 as the world`s first fully domed air-conditioned multipurpose sports stadium. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: It was once called the eighth wonder of the world: it was home to the Houston Oilers and the Houston Astros. It was so huge you could fit in 18 stories building inside of it. And developers like it, so they put a dome on it. But that was back in 1965. That was when it was called the Harrison County Domed Stadium. The first of its kind on America. The name Astrodome, like the Astros themselves, honored Houston`s roll in the space program. And the artificial turf called chemgrass, was renamed Astroturf because why not? Those word`s glory days.

Now, it`s an old rundown unused monument to the past that needed about 200 million worth of work, to turn into a giant convention center. It didn`t get it. Voters turned down a referendum to set aside the money to renovate, remodel, revamp, repurpose the Astrodome. So it looks like the Dome is doomed. It`s sad when you consider that the famous battle of the sexes tennis match when Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs was served up in the Astrodome, that the Ryan Express no-hits the Dodgers there, in 1981. That Muhammad Ali delivered one of his greatest knockouts there. It`s said when you consider that Elvis sang there. It`s also sad how he was dressed when he did it, but hey, it was the `70s.

the dome most recently housed thousands of stork victims, relocated to Houston after Hurricane Katrina savaged parts of New Orleans. But they`ve long since moved on. The Dome has set for years over nothing but memories. Soon, it`s likely to become one.

Before you jumped in a pool, you might have had to take a swim test. Same idea here, although you probably weren`t tossed into the water like the tiger cubs in this YouTube video from the National Zoo. Sink or swim time. The Zoo is making sure the cats can doggy paddle before they put them in the exhibit. They did fine, managed to keep their heads above water, get back to the edge and then climb out on the dry land. So, it seems like the test went swimmingly, instead of turning into a catastrophe. And now, the item can be scratched off the list.

It`s time for us to go. If you are off for Veteran`s Day, enjoy the long weekend. We will see the rest of you again on Monday. We`ll be here for a new week of CNN STUDENT NEWS. Bye-bye.