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Syria`s Chemical Weapons Being Shipped from the Country; Price Gouging on Super Bowl Tickets; Smart Stuff and Driverless Cars from the Consumer Electronics Show

Aired January 10, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome. My name is Carl Azuz. It`s my pleasure to welcome you to CNN STUDENT NEWS. Our first story on the last day of the week concerns Syria. For almost three years now, Syria has been torn apart by civil war. It involves government forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It involves rebels who want that government overthrown, and it involves terrorists who are trying to increase their power in Syria. Tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions have had to leave their homes. Last spring, it appeared that chemical weapons had been used in the conflict. After pressure from other countries, the Syrian government agreed to get rid of its chemical weapons. One step in that process was taken on Tuesday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dangerous cargo, a Danish ship has set sail carrying the first batch of Syria`s chemical weapons due for destruction.

SIGRID KAAG, SPECIAL COORDINATOR, and OPCW-U.N. JOINT MISSION IN SYRIA: It`s an unprecedented situation, unprecedented effort and also, unprecedented in the fact that chemical weapons are actually destroyed outside of the stat party`s territory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The toxic materials were removed under a U.N. -backed deal arranged by Russia and the U.S. in an effort to eliminate Syria`s chemical arsenal by the middle of the year. The departure of this first shipment was delayed more than a week due to fighting in Syria`s civil war, logistical problems and bad weather. The head of the U.N.-backed disarmament mission tells CNN, this is a milestone, but much work remains to be done.

KAAG: The process of accumulating and consolidating all the other priority on chemicals is still ongoing. More movements need to take place within the Syrian Arab Republic, to Latakia, the Danish vessel will have to do many trips, multiple trips, rather, to Latakia .

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For each of those trips, the vessel carrying chemicals will leave from the Syrian port of Latakia, escorted by ships from China, Denmark, Norway and Russia, headed for an undisclosed port in Italy where the chemicals will be transferred to a U.S. ship capable of destroying them at sea.

Workers put the finishing touches on that ship to Cape Ray just days ago at its own port in Virginia.


AZUZ: The World Health Organization says that one out of every three cigarettes smoked worldwide is smoked in China. It might make sense that the country with the most smokers would be the country with the highest population. According to a global adult tobacco survey, in 2010 more than half of Chinese men smoked. Chinese health officials say more than a million people die from tobacco-related diseases every year. So China is putting a ban on smoking, specifically indoor smoking in public areas, restaurants, buses, hotels will be illegal in China by the end of the year. Smoking is both a health problem and an economic one when you factor in the medical and health care costs for tobacco users and their families.

The Christmas season may be over, but NASA says it just got a tremendous gift from the White House. The Obama administration wants to keep the International Space Station running until at least 2024. With the extension, the laboratory would be expected to crash into the South Pacific in about six years.

For the deal to be done, though, Congress has to approve it. Part of the reason for that, it`s expensive. Though China, Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency contribute to the station, it costs the U.S. government alone about $3 billion a year to operate. It`s taking $100 billion to build. A White House science advisor and a NASA official say that`s worth it because the station, "offers enormous scientific and societal benefits". Many Republicans and Democrats agree. Congress is expected to approve the move and the money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the "Shoutout." Which term means "charging more for goods or services than the regular selling price?" If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A, inflation, B, Insider trading, C, Market dividing, D, Price gouging. You`ve got three seconds, go!

When a seller prices something above its regular price, especially when no other alternative is available, it`s said to be price gouging. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: Unless it`s done in an emergency or after a disaster, price gouging, which may be unethical, is not always illegal. But a football fan says the NFL has done something illegal that`s caused price gouging. New Jersey will host Super Bowl 48 next month. There is a state law that says most seats for a public event need to be sold at face value. One man says, because that`s not happening, and because he paid so much more for tickets, there should be a flag on the plate.


AZUZ: It`s packed with super store athletes, super charged performances, and a promises super high television ratings. But if you are looking for a seat inside New Jersey`s MetLife Stadium .

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The average fan, the true fan really can`t - can`t afford to go to the game and enjoy it. They have to watch it at home. The average Super Bowl ticket price has risen by $200 in the past five years, but that`s just face value. Tickets for Super Bowl 48 are once again soaring into the thousands via secondary markets like StubHub and Ticket Exchange. One fan, Josh Finkelman, is so upset he is suing the NFL after shelling out $4,000 for two tickets, much higher than face value.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think probably all the corporate pig was taking all the tickets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His lawsuit claimed the league`s violated New Jersey`s consumer fraud acts by only releasing a meager one percent of these tickets to the general public through a lottery system, leaving the majority of tickets susceptible to enormous price gouging.

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: So, with demand being so intense and the supply, right being so low, obviously, you have this gouging that comes about, and it becomes very problematic for the common fan who wants to go to the game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the NFL, roughly 75 percent of tickets are given out to individual teams who in turn are supposed to sell a percentage at face value to fans. But the lawsuit alleges teams instead offered them in large part to resellers who grossly inflate the price.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think more people should have access to the tickets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lawsuit claims one such reseller packages their tickets for a whopping $19,000.


AZUZ: Today, CNN STUDENT NEWS` "Roll Call" starts up north where hopefully, some of our student viewers are starting to thaw out. This one is for you, Maple Grove Senior High, we are talking about the crimson in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Heading south for our next school in Plano, Texas. Hello to the Stallions of Shelton High. And we wind up out west with the (inaudible) from Jesuit High School in Sacramento, California. Thanks to all you for watching.

The Consumer Electronics Show wrapping up today in Las Vegas aims to sell the future. Smartwatches, smartphones, smartTVs, smart stuff. CES is a tradeshow for all kinds of electronics. Not everything there will be successful. 3DTVs, for example, never really took off, though they once headlined CES. But some things on display regardless of their size could be big hits.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This happened to be curve, which means that you sort of are (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the big features everybody is talking about when we talk about automotive technology, it`s driverless vehicles. What it`s like to be in a car when it`s driverless. To see the wheel moving, yet there is no driver! It`s your own personal valet.

Swipe, and now the car will park itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now check this out - as we are hovering, I can see on my iPhone ..

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here`s David, our cameraman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wearable tech, sensors in everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to see wrist revolution, we are going to see mommy tech, we are going to see silver tech, which is where, you know, people of a certain age- and it`s this type of technology, wearable technology, technology that you can take with you and integrate with your phone that`s hot here at CES.


AZUZ: One of our video editors sends us an email that says, penguins chasing a butterfly. We know pretty fast what our "Before We Go" segment will be. This is a scene from a Japanese zoo, when a member of the order Lepidoptera encountered members of the order Sphenisciformes. Things got a little out of order from there. The insect kept the rock hopper penguins hopping rocks for quite a while, and as far as we know, it fluttered away unscathed.

I had a story like this from years ago from another zoo. The pun was probably my favorite ever. We could have said it was the butterfly effect. It was freightless versus flightless. It was when wings work and flippers flop. But this one took the cake - the pupa became the master. Oh, yeah. Hope you have a great weekend. We`ll catch you on Monday if you flutter by.