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STUDENT NEWS

Winter Storm in the U.S.; Crisis in the Ukraine

Aired December 10, 2013 - 04:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: My name is Carl Azuz. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. Winter doesn`t officially start for another 11 days, but the weather outside is frightful right now. That`s happening across the U.S. Freezing temperatures in parts of California and Nevada, windshields 40 below zero in the Midwest. Snow and ice in the Northeast. On Monday, it was warmer in Anchorage, Alaska than it was in St. Louis or Denver. If you are driving or flying, this winter weather can cause serious problems.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Snow, freezing rain and dangerous ice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In Plano, Texas, residents captured this video showing sheets of ice cascading down from the rooftops.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And another early winter storm is wreaking havoc across much of the nation. The frigid storm put Dallas in a deep freeze over the weekend. And made mess from Ohio valley to the Northeast. Road crews were out in full force plowing and salting streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not going to stop working until the roads are clear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The wintry mix created treacherous conditions on major roadways.

REBECCA THIMMESCH, RESTON, VIRGINIA RESIDENT: It`s been really rough. I think every year people forget how to drive in the snow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The dangerous mix of snow and ice caused this 50 car pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike killing at least one person. Roads and highways in the Milwaukee area also have their share of problems. Three separate wrecks involving over 100 cars. Busses in ditches, semitrailers jack-knifed causing a number of injuries.

LUIS ALANIS, BUS PASSENGER IN 1-94 ACCIDENT: It was bad. Like you could barely see (inaudible) just swerving through cars, dodging cars and we ended up in a ditch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it`s not just a driver`s feeling the impact. Over 2800 flights were canceled nationwide on Sunday. And the number of cancellations continued to grow. This morning, the travel will be in airports along the busy I-95 quarter including Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Heavy snow was the headline in at least four NFL games on Sunday. Blowing snow made it nearly impossible for fans to tell exactly where the ball was. The football field looked more like ice rings with players slipping and sliding.

At the Eagles Lions game in Philadelphia, snow measured as high as six inches in the middle of the field.

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AZUZ: Next up today, we are heading to Eastern Europe where a country is being pulled in opposite directions. For decades, Ukraine was under Soviet rule. It gained its independence in 1991. Now, some Ukrainians think their country should align with Western Europe, others want to stay more connected to Russia. When Ukraine`s president recently refused to make a deal with the European Union, the pro- Europe side started protesting, calling for change in the government. On Sunday, this protests brought down a monument of a former Soviet leader.

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MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was a symbolic act of defiance. The pro- European protesters toppling that stature of the Russian revolutionary Lenin in the center of Kiev, hacking it to piece with hammers. Pro-government supporters staged their own demonstration nearby, amid concerns that Ukraine, a country of nearly 45 million people is increasingly divided. Hundreds of thousands have gathered in a capital Kiev, calling for the government there to step down. This wide spread anger after the Ukrainian president rejected closer ties with the European Union in favor of a trade pack with Moscow.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, if you can I.D. me. I`m an African country that got its independence from France in 1960. My capital city is Bangui. I`m located almost exactly in the center of the African continent. I`m the Central African Republic. Home to around 5 million people.

AZUZ: There have been waves of violence in the Central African Republic since the country`s president was forced out of power in March. The Central African Republic`s government has struggled since it`s got its independence from France. After decades of military rule, a civilian government took over, then it was overthrown. The man who took over the government then is the one who was forced out this year. That led to current violence between rival militias. One supports the old president, the other supports the new leader. France is sending troops to help establish and maintain security there. Thousands of peacekeeping troops from the African Union are heading to the Central African Republic as well. U.S. officials said American military aircraft will help transport the African and European troops.

Back in the U.S. researches are looking at dangers on the road. We`ve talked a lot about distracted driving, you`ve heard warnings about drinking and driving. According to this new information, being extremely tired can have the same effect on your body. Officials say drowsy driving is responsible for more than 100,000 crashes a year.

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RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dramatic dashboard video captured a 71-year old woman asleep at the wheel. Her car crashes through the windshield of an oncoming car. Everyone survives. And in Florida police officer`s dash cam captures a reported drowsy driver smashing into his cruiser. Both lived. Drowsy drivers cause an estimated 40,000 injuries and more than 1500 deaths annually. Being awake for more than 20 hours can cause impairment equal to a blood alcohol level of .08 percent, the legal limit.

DR. GHOLAM MOTAMEDI, MD, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Similar to alcohol intoxication, your reflexes and responses and data processing speed would be slower.

MARSH: 20 percent of accidents involve drowsy drivers. That`s according to researchers here at Virginia Tech. And no sleep means bad moves on the road.

Awake for 21 hours, I got behind the wheel. I drove the 2.2 mile test track at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Nearly an hour later, cameras installed inside the car captured my eye movements. Slow blinking, one indication of a drowsy driver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your turn signal on that you`re going to pass them.

MARSH (on camera): Oh, wrong thing.

RICHARD HANOWSKI, PH.D., VIRGINIA TECH TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE: So, I mean you start making errors and now you`re drifting outside the lane a little bit.

BRIAN LESSON, VTTI RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: If I`m starting to kind of nod off, I fall with my face down.

MARSH (voice over): Virginia Tech researchers are developing facial tracking software that could one day be installed in vehicles.

(on camera): How did I do?

HANOWSKI: It was good. I mean there certainly you had some effects of fatigue, that`s a lot of slow eyelid closure. So, I could definitely tell that you were fatigued, but we made it back in one piece.

MARSH (voice over): One sleep expert says a ten-minute nap can restore the body somewhat. But the more, the better. Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.

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AZUZ: Today is Tuesday and we`re selecting schools whose title and team offer opportunities for awesome alliteration. Take the Terra Nova Tigers from Pacifica, California. They fit this theme to a T. The Faribault Falcons in Minnesota align with this alliterative effort as well. And in Spencer, West Virginia, the Roane County Raiders round out our roll.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Would it be more than a peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked? Who knows. What we do is that when it comes to tongue twisters, there may be a new king.

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AZUZ: Researchers at MIT say they`ve turned up the toughest tongue twister to twist-tie tangled tongues, but unlike other famous phrases that are fun to stumble over, like the top cop saw a cop top, or she sells seashells by the seashore, this one doesn`t make sense. Pad kid poured curd pulled cold. That`s it. Pad kid poured curd pulled cold. Some of the volunteers in the MIT study reportedly couldn`t get through it, while others just stopped talking. Totally tongue-tied. A psychologist who worked on the study says its value is in learning how the brain processes and plans speech, and this phrase certainly upsets those plans. But is it hard for everyone? To someone who`s paid to talk, like a news reporter, it helps that this phrase is made of words we commonly say. Well, except curd. But it came a lot easier than the seething sea ceaseth (ph), and thus the seething sea sufficeth (ph) us, which I practiced and still can`t get right. And then there`s the Guinness world record holder for toughest tongue twister. The sixth sick sheik`s sixth sheep`s sick.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The six six sheik sixth ship six - sick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That one is harder. The sixth sick sheets sick sixth ship sick.

AZUZ: Yeah, the sheik may recover, but your tongue won`t. Compared to these, pad kid poured curd pulled cold seems easy. But if you`re the type who struggled with tongue twisters ever since you first heard kitty caught a kitten in the kitchen, you can always say cat`s got your tongue.

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AZUZ: Of course that`s not literal. When you say that kind of thing, it`s totally tongue in cheek. That`s a mouthful for today, so we`ll just say goodbye and see you again tomorrow for more CNN STUDENT NEWS.

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