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White House`s New Report on Climate Change Outlines Increase of Droughts, Wildfires and Other Weather-Related Problems; North Korea`s Progress in Nuclear Weapons Questions Our Safety; Wandered-off Military Plane in California Disrupting Civil Aviation; Graduation Speakers Not Always Welcome on University Campuses

Aired May 7, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN STUDENT NEWS. Welcome to Wednesday`s edition of our commercial free show. I`m Carl Azuz. First up, the White House has released a new report on climate change. It says that the global climate is getting worse and that it hopes this report will influence Americans to support government action and community action to fight climate change. Some Republicans call this report a political tool. They say it`s being released so the Obama administration can make changes to energy laws, changes that critics say would hurt the American economy.

Officials with the Obama administration plan to fan out across the country carrying messages from the report of how different regions could be affected.

Here`s what the report lays out for our future. The Northeast can expect more heat waves, increased coastal sea level surge flooding and more severe inland flash flooding. The Southeast will see new fresh water issues due to drought and increased population. As well as increased ocean search flooding from tropical systems along the coast. The Midwest - yes, there will be a longer growing season. But more extreme heatwaves, droughts and flash flooding may counteract that positive.

The Plains will experience an increased demand for water and energy due to the higher temperatures.

In the southwest, severe droughts and wildfires will increase, fresh water may become more scarce than it already is.

The northwest, earlier than normal snow melt may stress summer water supplies in the river systems there.

In Alaska, retreating glaciers, receding summer ice levels and thawing permafrost will cause damage to infrastructure and ecosystems.

And finally the ocean. It is absorbing carbon dioxide as carbonic acid. And it`s rapidly changing the Ph worldwide. It`s called "ocean acidification." Stressing marine ecosystems, coral reefs and the food chain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the "Shoutout." U-2, C-130 N3N are all examples of what? If you think you know it shout it out.

Is it - planes, trains, automobiles or elements? You`ve got three seconds, go!

These are all types of aircrafts with very different types of technology. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

AZUZ: The U-2, for instance, is an American plane designed to gather intelligence, spy, and it`s been in service since the 1950s. A U-2 can fly at very high altitudes up to 90,000 feet. One of them was flying high over California last week. FAA officials say they weren`t concerned about the fact that it was a spy plane. But the FAA computer that picked it up thought it was flying much lower, like in the crowded airspace with other planes lower. And the Federal Aviation Administration system got confused by all of the changes in the U-2`s flight pass. So it shut down for an hour. Did that disrupt flights in California? Yes. Did it have lasting effects? Yes, for half a day. Delayed flights, diverted flights, canceled flights. Fortunately, there were no accidents or injuries.

Fighting in the Korean War ended in 1953. But the conflict itself was never formally resolved. The U.S. is the ally of South Korea. These two counties are still at odds with North Korea. And the North often makes threatening statements directed at the U.S. What`s worrying American officials now is the fact that North Korea may be getting closer to a very long range weapon.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: U.S. military intelligence now believes Kim Jong-un`s regime is ready at any time to conduct both an underground nuclear test and to test a missile that could reach you at shores. The problem - no one knows if and when North Korea might do it.

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: We continue to monitor the situation on the Korean Peninsula very closely as we always do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What the U.S. is watching is this test site in North Korea. The Web site, 38 North, which closely monitors North Korea says commercial satellites snap to these pictures showing engine testing for a crucial long range missile called the KNO-8. The KNO-8 for showing as a mock up at this parade is a mobile intercontinental missile, a huge worry. Because if North Korea can develop a mobile missile with a nuclear warhead, they can move it around quickly. A U.S. space satellite might not find it before it launches.

VICTOR CHA, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: It`s estimated that this road mobile missiles could have a range of as far as 6,000 miles. Again, we don`t know if that`s true because they haven`t tested one, but if they can fire road mobile missiles that far, that puts places like Alaska, Hawaii and Los Angeles within range.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Analysts say the imagery shows evidence that engine test happened in a recent two week period. Fuel tanks have been moved from the immediate test area to a post-test storage site. As you can see here, from the Website 38 North, it also shows vehicles have been brought in, carrying personnel and equipment and the trench has turned white, possibly from the blast of an engine test.


AZUZ: From West to East, it`s time for an international "Roll Call" this worldwide Wednesday. Pioneer Middle School is located in Alberta, Canada and we are glad to have them watching CNN STUDENT NEWS. Across the Pacific, hello to everyone at Chionan Girls` High School. They are online in Seoul, South Korea. And in the Philippines, we have some viewers at International School of Manila. They are seeing today`s show in their nation`s capital.

There are a lot of ways you can honor educators this teacher appreciation week. You can write a letter. You can send a card if you`re on Facebook, you could join the hundreds commenting at

Miyanah says Senora Smith at Nottoway Middle School understand her. That she is like a big sister she can tell anything to. Kiaya or Kia says Ms. Smathers at Balch Springs Middle School is the best math teacher ever. "She really cares about us."

Joe writes, "Mrs. Malone, my 8th grade science teacher was always there for me when no one else was. She inspired me to become a biologist.

And Noah says, Mr. Speas is the best social studies teacher for making a boring class not boring.

When a school invites a highly visible public figure to speak at its graduation, it might be taking a risk. Some students might not agree with the person`s work, or views, or politics. Something interesting this year is the number of would-be graduation speakers who are backing out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s that time of year again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The majesty of public circumstance. Accolades.

OPRAH WINFREY: An honorary doctorate from Harvard.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And potentially important advice.

STEVE JOBS: Stay hungry, stay foolish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is, if the commencement speaker is allowed to speak. This year, a number of high profile invitees to this vibrant institutions of debate and discussion and ideas - well, they are being protested because some people don`t like their ideas.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was selected to address graduates at Rutgers University, but her past involvement with the Iraq War caused some students to say no to Condo!

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Yeah to Gandhi! (ph)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Stanford professor decided to say no to them, writing on her Facebook page "Rutgers` invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community."

But at least Rice was apparently able to make that decision on her own. Brandeis University offered an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali Dutch critic of Islam, but students protested her views and Ali`s honorary degree was rescinded. It all might make you wonder just who is running these schools and what exactly is being taught about free expression and debate.

Controversy can strike even the least likely of invitees: in 1990 then first lady Barbara Bush was deemed unsuitable by students graduating from Wellesley College. Her husband protested back.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: I think that these young women can have a lot to learn from Barbara Bush and from her unselfishness and from her advocacy of literacy and of being a good mother and a lot of other things.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama had to defend himself in 2009 when Notre Dame students protested his stand on abortion rights.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I also want to thank you for the honorary degree that I received. I know it has not been without controversy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Applauded or protested, this year speakers will be addressing a very important group - the next generation of controversial invitees.


AZUZ: Before we go, this would have made one heck of a speed bump. We may never know why the chicken crossed the road, but that`s a lot less disconcerting than this giant alligator. A South Carolina state representative saw this monstrosity not far from Myrtle Beach. Fortunately, the man who got this video was in a car. Imagine coming up on this thing in a bike. The gator eventually wandered off to some water nearby, by made for one great story when the reptiles his friends. They could jaw for a while over that siting. It could really test his lizard of storytelling. Hopefully, people will think it`s a croaker or tall-tale because that will be kind of cold bloodied. I`m Carl Azuz, and we`ll see you later.