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Situation in Crimea; Dangerous Ice Jams on U.S. Rivers; FDA Changing Food Labels to Promote Healthy Choices; Celebrities Using their Fame for Good Cause; Spiders Live on Air

Aired February 28, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome! Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS with your last show of February. I`m Carl Azuz. Ukraine has seen a lot of changes in a short amount of time. It`s divided. Some Ukrainians want closer ties with the European Union, some like its ousted president, want closer ties with Russia. Ukraine`s parliament voted out President Viktor Yanukovych last weekend after violent protests in the capital. He`s taking refuge in Russia. Yesterday parliament voted on a temporary government to hold things together until elections in May. But then, there is Crimea. It`s a region of southern Ukraine where many people support the ousted president and want closer ties with Russia. Protesters there stormed the government building and raised the Russian flag yesterday. And Russia has started military exercises near its border with Ukraine. A Russian official says these were previously scheduled and not related to Ukraine`s unrest.

Ice jam. It almost sounds like something you`d want to see. You don`t, if you leave anywhere near one. You know, it`s been a brutally cold winter for the northern U.S. Some rivers in the region have frozen, then melted then refrozen and crusted over with large thick chunks of crushed ice. In the Kankakee River in Illinois, ice jam stretch for miles. Some people who live nearby are leaving their homes. One reason - how ice jams can affect areas near river. Say, there is a bridge with supports in the water. Drifting chunks of ice can get caught near them, clogging up the flow of water forming a dam. Water needs somewhere to go, so it floods the river banks. And that may not be the worst thing that can happen.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everyone were talking who lives around here, says they`ve never seen this river looking like this. During the summer, this is a very popular place to go boating. But right now, it looks like a glacier landscape in Alaska.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the water looks to be still, so nothing is moving. And that seems like a good thing. But in fact, there is still water piling up underneath, making the pressure high. So, all of a sudden, this is going to break free, break through, and you could see big pieces of ice in the people`s homes. You could see the ice dam up and big flooding go around it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There it goes! There it goes! There it goes!

TUCHMAN: This is what it looks like, when an ice jam finally breaks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suddenly, the entire river started moving. Extremely fast, like a freight train.

TUCHMAN: This was Ohio`s Rocky River last week.


AZUZ: Do you know there is nutrition labels on the sides of food you buy at the store? They`ve been around since the early 1990s. Now, the U.S. government wants to make changes to them. This is what the old label looks like: lists servings, calories, fat, vitamins. The Food and Drug Administration wants big bold labels for total calories. And it wants to change some dietary guidelines for things like sodium and vitamins. It`s hoping this will help Americans make healthier choices, but the changes could cost the food industry $2 billion to implement. That could mean higher prices. And the listed serving sizes could be higher, too.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the best way to put this. You know, maybe this would have been four servings in the past, and they say, look, what does a typical person really eat? Let`s give them that information. Maybe this is more like two servings now. And they`ll say that. So you`ll see the nutrition information for two servings.

Oh if you`re going to eat something likely in one single sitting. I don`t know - could you eat this in a single sitting?


GUPTA: Then it`s just one, right?


GUPTA: They say. But they are going to say, look, OK, we know that this is typically considered four servings, but we know it`s likely people eat this in a single servings. So, let`s put that information on there as well. Or soda.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, that will be more prominent. So it will say something like ten chips equal this amount of calories and has this much fat.

GUPTA: It will say that sort of stuff, but it`ll also say if you eat this whole bag, here`s what you`re going to get. So, you don`t sit there and do the math. It makes you think a little bit more - maybe if you - you know, keep eating.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for "The Shoutout." Where would you find the Brumidi Corridors, the Hall of Columns and the Crypt? If you think you know it, shout it out!

Is it the U.S. Capitol, the Vatican, St. Basil`s Cathedral or St. Louis Cathedral? You`ve got three seconds, go!

All three of these are features of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

AZUZ: There were also a couple movie stars on Capitol Hill yesterday. They were talking about some different issues that otherwise might not have been in the spotlight. They were raising awareness. But how much influence do celebrities have when they talk about issues that lawmakers already know about? How much the star power influenced you? How much does it influence Congress?


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When celebrities come to Washington, the media and the politicians take notice. But does the spectacle of the star outshine or shed light on the cause they`ve come to promote.

EMILY HEIL, THE WASHINGTON POST: Often hearings in Congress are not about members of Congress learning something that they don`t already know. It`s performance art. If they wanted to really learn about issues they could get it from a briefing book.

TAPPER: On Wednesday, Oscar winner Ben Affleck arrived in Washington D.C. to speak about the crisis in the Congo.

BEN AFFLECK: Finally, it`s just a pleasure to be back here in the State Department after - the real State Department so I had to fake it for "Argo".


AFFLECK: I get to see the real thing.

TAPPER: "The Argo" director has brought his cause to the table time and time again.

AFFLECK: My name is Ben Affleck. Just found on Congolese soil.

I`m working with and for the people of eastern Congo.

TAPPER: Just a few marble pillars away, Actor Seth Rogen testified about the effects of Alzheimer, which his mother-in-law suffers from.

Now, sure, these appearances bring some bonus. But ultimately, does anyone remember why Stephen Colbert testified before Congress? Or Bob Barker? Or Elton John? Or do they just remember that they did? With the cause lost in the flash of camera lights.

TAPPER: Truth is that it`s up to the celebrities` commitment to the cause and the journalists covering them.

Congo and Alzheimer`s likely wouldn`t be in the news today without Affleck and Rogen. Telling some stories without obvious news events is tough to do. Water shortages in developing nations got our attention last year, in part because of Matt Damon`s involvement.

(on camera): You attaching yourself to this means I will be sitting here, interviewing you, talking about an issue I probably wouldn`t. And people at home, viewers will be paying attention to an issue that they wouldn`t otherwise pay attention to.

MATT DAMON: Yeah, that`s the hope. I mean.

TAPPER (voice over): Affleck`s close friend co-funded And their pal George Clooney is a longtime advocate for peace in Sudan, even getting arrested outside the embassy in 2012.

DAMON: I think we all individually fell that if - if cameras were going to follow us around, why not - why not make something good out of that?

HEIL: Celebrities bring attention to an issue, and especially if that issue is not the sexiest issue. If you get Ben Affleck involved, all of a sudden, it`s a little more interesting.

TAPPER: That`s something most politicians have known for a while. Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.


AZUZ: Not going to let a Friday go by without a quick CNN STUDENT NEWS "Roll Call." Who`s on today`s roll? The Spartans are. La Canada High School in La Canada, California. Hope, you are doing well on the West Coast. Up north in the Badger State, how about the Warriors? Lac du Flambeau Public School in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin? Glad you`re watching. And we must mention the Mustangs. Thank you for checking out CNN STUDENT NEWS at Moore Traditional High School. Happy to see you, guys, in Louisville, Kentucky.

There are a lot of things that can distract news anchors when we are live on the air. Fortunately, we are a pre-recorded show, so we can just edit that out. Probably, won`t. But when the distraction takes on a mind and eight legs of its own, eeish.


AARON PERLMAN: Scare anybody?

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Bakersfield, California, it was sunny with a 100 percent chance of arachnids. PERLMAN: Oh, my gosh. Do you guys see that?

Sorry, there was a spider that fell.



MOOS: Yet another weather man .

PERLMAN: Creeped out right now.

MOOS: KBAK`s Aaron Perlman has been attacked by a spider while on the air. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it easy, Pearlman, take it easy.

PERLMAN: I hate spiders, man, just especially when you`re bald, you feel them crawl on your head.

MOOS: But suddenly, the spider became itsy-bitsy and Aaron joined the ranks of weather people ambushed by arachnids.

KRISTI GORDON: Oh, my gosh. That was creepy. Oh, of course it had to be right on my head. Oh, I just don`t like that. OK, I`m going to move it.

MOOS: The spider wasn`t even in the studio last year when Global BC`s Kristi Gordon freaked out. It was just hanging out on the lens of a camera stationed outdoors. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


AZUZ: That audacious arachnid knew he had a victim when he`s spider. It was no cephalothorax accident when it comes to getting a leg up on prey, spiders are always up to something. You know where you can always look up a spider? On a Web site. You can also find CNN STUDENT NEWS next Monday on iTunes or on the Web. We`re done with these crawl puns. Have a great weekend, yo.