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New Outbreak of Violence in Iraq; Senate Confirms Yellen as Fed Chair

Aired January 8, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, everyone. I`m Carl Azuz. And this is CNN STUDENT NEWS. Our first story today centers on the Middle Eastern country of Iraq. There`s been an increase in violence there. One reason - terrorists. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria known as ISIS has been fighting the Iraqi government and trying to seize more power in the country and the region. Another reason - religious divisions. Iraq`s two main religious groups - Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims don`t always get along. In some places they`ve been fighting each other. The U.S. is getting involved again. It let an international group of countries to invade and overthrow Iraq`s former dictator in 2003. The coalition then battled terrorists and insurgents for years. The last U.S. combat troops left in 2011. Now, America`s sending weapons and drones to help Iraq`s government.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been very clear in his support for the Iraqi government saying that the United States will support the legitimate and elected government in Iraq. He describes ISIS, al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria was being the biggest threat in the region. Their brutality is well known. But he does say that the United States will stop short of sending in troops on the ground. This is what he said.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This is a fight that belongs to Iraqis. That is exactly what the president and the world decided some time ago when we left Iraq. So, we are not, obviously, contemplating returning. We are not contemplating putting boots on the ground. This is their fight. But we`re going to help them in their fight.


AZUZ: For the first time in its 100-year history, the U.S. Federal Reserve will be led by a woman. The Fed sets U.S. monitory policy. It decides things like interest rates and how to stimulate the U.S. economy. It has an influence of world economic decisions. On Monday, the Senate confirmed 67-year old Janet Yellen as Fed chair. She`s worked at the bank for more than a decade. She has expertise in macroeconomics and the elements of unemployment. Some of Yellen`s work in high school may give clues as to how she sees herself.


ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She`s cracked one of the highest glass ceilings in America. We took a look at Janet Yellen`s younger years. She graduated from Ford Hamilton High School in Brooklyn in 1963. In high school, she was both valedictorian and editor of the school newspaper. Her high school had a tradition for the editor to interview the valedictorian, and since Janet Yellen held both titles, she ended up interviewing herself. It certainly does give you a sense of how Janet Yellen viewed herself objectively in the article. She doesn`t shy away from listing her success, listing her awards, describing herself as a "versatile, attractive and talented senior." But she means it in a very sort of tongue-in-cheek kind of way.


AZUZ: Yellen will be taking over Ben Bernanke`s job. The current Fed chairman second term is up at the end of the month. Yellen and Bernanke share many of the same views on U.S. monetary policy. So, Bernanke`s critics have concerns about Yellen`s appointment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the "Shoutout." At what measurement, in degrees are Fahrenheit and Celsius the same temperature? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: negative 40 degrees, negative 12 degrees, zero degrees or 14 degrees. You`ve got three seconds, go.

It`s a cold hard truth that negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit is equal to negative 40 degrees Celsius. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: And yes, parts of the northern U.S. have seen temperatures hovering around negative 40 this week. That`s negative 40 Fahrenheit and Celsius. Yesterday morning, all 50 U.S. states recorded temperatures below freezing. It`s not all for the same reason, that arctic vortex that spilled frigid temperatures across the plains states in eastern U.S., but it is all part of winter. There were some concerns about Florida`s citrus crop. Freezing temperatures can have a significant economic impact on the state, if that crop is damaged by the cold. As of yesterday afternoon, though, Florida`s Fruit and Vegetable Association said the crop was OK.

Still, several deaths have been blamed on the cold in other places. Record lows have been recorded. Power grids have been strained by the need for home heating. And some folks have found creative ways to illustrate what happens when temperatures drop.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say it`s about 20 below.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With this week`s arctic blast, what may be one man`s frozen tundra .


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is another`s winter wonderland.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Despite the biting temps, a brave few are testing the elements.

(on camera): It`s so called that if you take boiling water and throw it into the sky - it turns into snow just like this.

(voice over): Some are getting creative, timing the two minutes it takes to freeze a wet T-shirt in Michigan ..

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it cold out here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And blowing bubbles into the brisk wintry air.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Watch as the now frozen bubbles roll across the deck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will look like cellophane.

(on camera): I like just getting out and getting the breath cold. Reminds you that you are alive, that`s what I like to think.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on camera): OK, so and as we are looking that you`re alive, let`s look at your moustache.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My icicles, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): This cold spell even stunning the sceptics, proving you can freeze an egg if it`s cold enough.

And a whole tray of ice cubes in less than 20 minutes.


AZUZ: So, the students in today`s "Roll Call" are battle bore. That`s because we start in the silver state - Nevada with the trailblazers from Durango High School in Las Vegas. Stocking up north, we`ve got some Panthers watching from Alberton High School in Alberton, Montana. Welcome, big sky country.

And the Lions are keeping an eye on things over at Chandler High School. That`s in Chandler, Oklahoma. That`s the state, and that`s today`s "Roll Call."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for a "Shoutout Extracredit." Which of these candies was invented first You know what to do. Was it, M&Ms, Twix, sour patch kids, or Junior mints. You`ve got three seconds, go!

It was back in 1941 that M&M`s went on sale in the U.S. Years before any of these other options. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: The colors have changed a bit over the years. Now, thousands of Americans want to change to their ingredients. Specifically those that give M&Ms their vibrant colors. There is no scientific consensus that artificial colors are harmful. They are cheaper than natural colors. They are more likely to stay, well, more colorful. But there`s a push for M&Ms to go more natural.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The colors of M&Ms are so iconic. They have candy- coated stars of their very own TV commercials.

So, what gives the real M&Ms their colors? Well, that depends on what country you are in. We bought this M&Ms locally. Yellow 6, yellow 5, red 40 - all names for artificial food colorings derived from petroleum. But these M&Ms come from England and their colors come mostly from plants.

RENEE SHUTTERS, MOTHER: I just think it`s just not fair that our country is the one that`s getting the artificial dyes while Europe is getting the natural dyes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Renee Shutter says her son Trenton used to suffer regular meltdowns, but then his behavior improved remarkably when she took artificial dyes out of his diet, including no more M&Ms. Now, she`s building support for her cause. More than 140,000 people have signed her petition calling on the candy company Mars to remove artificial food coloring from M&Ms. And she might just have a chance. In November, under similar pressure from parents, Kraft took out the iconic artificial yellow coloring contained in some of its mac and cheese products and swapped it for a natural coloring. And Mars tells CNN in the statement, they are exploring the use of natural colorings. They`ve already obtained approve (inaudible) to Food and Drug Administration for a natural blue and green dye. But changing the natural colors won`t happen overnight, the company warrants. And they say they have absolute confidence in all their ingredients. It`s debatable whether artificial colorings really do cause hyperactivity. The FDA says, for some kids they may be an issue, but Renee Shutters is convinced.

SHUTTERS: I thank God every single day that we figured this out. And what breaks my heart is thinking about all these families that will never put those pieces together.


AZUZ: For some it`s just another winter time chore, but there is snow way this yellow lab is going to miss it. It`s like an all you can eat snow flake. Wouldn`t recommend trying this with your own dog - snow blowers are somewhat dangerous, and there is no guarantee that any other animal would eat up the opportunity like this one. For Bailey, that`s his name, Bailey, basking in snow blowers snow is second only to snacking on milk bones, though, he probably doesn`t get as many treats as he gets snow.

But to him, they are one and the same - snow cones, chocolate chip cookie snow, snowcodoodles. With little appetite and imagination, there are endless pass snobilities and Bailey is enjoying his just desserts. We are not deserting you. CNN STUDENT NEWS will have a buffet of stories on Thursday. See you then.