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Asteroid`s Passing Close to Earth; College Board Changes the SAT Exam; Large Treasure Found in the United States; Celtics` Fulfilling Their Fans` Dream

Aired March 6, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: You`re only a day away from Friday. You`re watching CNN STUDENT NEWS. You`re ten minutes away from getting up to speed on current events. We are starting in China today. Big meeting there. It`s the once a year gathering of the National People`s Congress. It includes thousands of delegates from all over the country. China is a communist state. The government controls the economy and other parts of society. So, the National People`s Congress is limited. It won`t be voting on any major laws. But this meeting is a chance for China to talk about its economic plans. And because it`s the world`s second largest economy, international economists are watching to see what China will do.

Other parts of the international community are watching Ukraine. A lot of talking about the crisis there yesterday. Meetings involving officials from the European Union, Ukraine, Russia, the U.S., but there wasn`t a lot of action. Some U.S. officials are still considering economic sanctions against Russian for its involvement in Ukraine. Russia`s threatening economic action of its own that could hurt trade in other parts of Europe.

You didn`t see it, you didn`t feel it. You might not have known it was there. But an asteroid zipped by us yesterday. Well, that`s relative. It was close by space standards, it wasn`t in terms of miles. But since there is a one in 10,000 chance of this same asteroid coming back near us, on March 4, 2046, Chad Myers is going to help us get to know it.


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Carl, an asteroid yesterday flew between the Earth and the Moon, or at least the orbit of the Moon. It`s about a quarter of a million miles between the Earth to the Moon. And this was slightly inside of it. 90 percent, all the way from here to here, or ten percent from here to here. So, it was still about 217,000 miles away as it flew on by the Earth.

Now, let`s think about the size of this. Because here`s the baseball diamond right here. Here`s actually the tournament field. If you take a ball of - a big rock and you put it right over the infield, that`s how big this asteroid was. Right over the infield of any baseball diamond. Now, you take that, you fly that in between the Earth and the Moon. And you have something going for it. Now, this is not one of the closer ones probably will have this year. But it certainly is 90 percent of the way between the Earth and the Moon, and it`s called DX-110. 110 because it`s actually the hundred and tenth asteroid that they have found so far this year.

Think about this, though: last year 21 asteroids flew closer to the Earth than this one, and the chance of this actually hitting the Earth was only one in about ten million.

Now, it was probably more of a big deal to the asteroid that the Earth got so close. Because if you`re standing on the asteroid and all of a sudden the Earth flies on by, you`re thinking yourself, wow, that was the size of an Earth, not the size of the baseball field. And a lot more danger to the asteroid right there than to the Earth as it flew on by. Carl.

AZUZ: Big changes are coming to the SAT exam: fewer students have been taking it. And the College Board, the group that administers the test, says it wants the SAT to be more connected to what`s being taught in high school. Changes take effect in two years. The top score you can get currently, 2400. It`s going back to 1600. Vocabulary words will be easier, essays will no longer be mandatory. And you won`t need to know as much about as many subjects. Critics say it will dumb down the test. It will be more closely aligned with common core curriculum, which supporters applaud for setting national education standards. The critics say it hurt students and goes against state`s rights to set their own standards.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for "The Shoutout." The word "aurum" is Latin for what element on the Periodic Table? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it, silver, aluminum, tungsten or gold? You`ve got three seconds, go.

With atomic symbol Au and atomic number 79, gold comes from the Latin term "Aurum." That`s your answer, and that`s your shout out.

AZUZ: Yesterday, gold was trading on a stock market at over $1300 and ounce. It doesn`t tarnish or corrode, it`s been used in Jewelry for thousands of years. It`s mentioned in the Bible, the Torah, the Koran. And it`s been the one universally acceptable form of currency. People have haunted Golden Mountains and seas. But recently, it just turned up in someone`s back yard.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may be the greatest buried treasure ever found in the United States. Coin after coin, more than 14,000. Al of them pure gold, found by some lucky couple on their California property.

Estimated worse? $10 million dollars.

(on camera): How do they find these coins?

DON KAGIN, COUPLE`S COIN DEALER: They were out walking the dog on their property like they`ve done for years, and they spied something metal and they went to investigate. They though it was full of paint.

SIMON (voice over): The couple wants to remain anonymous. But that hasn`t stopped some people from trying to figure out who they are and how the riches wound up on their property.

The latest theory is that it`s part of an earlier 20th Century heist at the San Francisco Met. This newspaper article from 1901 makes reference to the sum of $30,000 in gold coin stolen from the vault of the cashier. The face value of the buried treasure was nearly the same amount.

The thief Walter M Dimmick was eventually busted where that gold was never found. Could this be the long lost loot? And if it is, could it also spell bad news for those who found it. Yes, according to legal experts.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: In the case where you can clearly identify the owner and clearly identify the crime, the finder`s right to the treasure certainly diminishes.

SIMON: But don`t start feeling sorry for them. Apparently, in this case it really is finders` keepers. The man says "It doesn`t have any information linking the coins to any thefts at any U.S Mint Facility." Perhaps, the most likely scenario, it was just a guy hiding his money.

KAGIN: Back then, they didn`t always trust the banks, you know.

SIMON: They lucky couple is trusting these men to be their coin dealers. Filthy and covered with the 120 years of dirt, they brought them back to their original luster.

(on camera): Do you think your odds are better of winning the lottery of finding gold buried in your yard?

DAVID MCCARTHY, COUPLE`S COIN DEALER: Winning the lottery, no doubt about it.

SIMON (voice over): The treasure unearthed, but the secret behind it remains buried. Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


AZUZ: Sale into port and bat in the hatches. Because there is a storm brewing in today`s "Roll Call." We are taking you to Chandler, Arizona. Where the forecast at Santan Junior High School is for the storm with the chance of awesome. Next, we are moving north to Mount Pleasant, Utah. That`s where they hawks are perched watching from North Sanpete High School. And we`ll up todays` roll in Iowa saluting the Trojents (ph) of West Marshall Middle school. Glad to be part of your day and stake center.

When good things happen to good folks. 12-year old Louis Corbett is a giant Boston Celtics fan. He`s never seen the game in person. Louis leaves in Oakland, the largest city in New Zealand. Because he has a rare eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, his parents and his favorite team are helping him see all he can while he can.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At 7 a.m., from 9,000 miles away, Louis Corbett shakes out the sleep wearing the Celtics T-shirt and a permanent smile. He gets a kiss from mom, and he`s ready to Skype on his favorite topic.


LOUIS CORBETT: Well, Larry Bush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Louis, like two of his brothers has a rear genetic eye disease that leaves most patients blind by age 40.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going that way quickly.

In fact, Louis doesn`t expect to have his sight for much longer.

CORBETT: I just think of it as just - slowly going down, but I don`t know -(INAUDIBLE) watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His parents do, and they want Louis to build a library of images in his brain. Memories in his mind`s eye. And when they asked him what he wants to see most.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to see basketball in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kid is always wearing Celtic screen. Even when he got to meet a professional New Zealand hoops team. Neighbors started raising money for a trip to Boston, and it`s spread on social media. That`s when the Celtics owners, the Grousbecks whose son is blind, thought. And they were all over, Corinne Grousbeck tweeting, "Our son has a similar disease that affected him at birth. I`m on it!"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Boston Celtics got hold of us and said, hey, if you`re coming - love to see you. And what can we do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The team`s bringing Louis to Boston next week. He`ll watch his favorite team live from a lecture (ph) box.

CORBETT: I`m (INAUDIBLE) the Celtics who (INAUDIBLE) because yeah, first (INAUDIBLE) and me, I just want to make (INAUDIBLE) that will be cool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now that is a banner night.


AZUZ: There are a number of traditions associated with Lent in the carnival and Mardi Gras season. This is when you probably don`t know about. It`s the Washington National Cathedral Pancake race. Competitors try to flip flap jack three times before the finish. Legend has it that back in 1445, a British woman was making pancakes when she heard the church bells ring. She didn`t want to be late for the service, so she took her frying pan with her. That run is no piece of pancake. It`s no cake walk. You know, they say, no pan, no gain. And when push comes to shrove, the race will put your skilling to the test. Do what you can to avoid a flapjack, and we`ll see you fry-day when CNN STUDENT NEWS returns.