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Kerry Visits Somalia; U.S. Student Detained in North Korea Speaks to CNN; Issue of Gender Equality; Benefits of Owning Pets

Aired May 6, 2015 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Right in the middle of Teacher Appreciation Week -- which we`ll talk about in a few minutes -- we`re happy

to have you watching CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz.

First up, what the White House is calling an attempted terrorist attack on U.S. soil.


JOE HARN, GARLAND POLICE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: Both of them had assault rifles, came around the back of the car and started shooting at the police car.

The police officer in that car began returning fire and struck both men, taking them down.


AZUZ: This happened on Sunday night, outside a controversial event in Garland, Texas. People had gathered in the convention center for an event

that featured cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. Drawing Mohammed is highly offensive to many Muslims.

The two gunmen who attacked police at the convention center were the only ones killed. They`re believed to be Islamic extremists and the ISIS

terrorist group said it was responsible for the attack. U.S. officials are trying to figure out how involved ISIS was.

Next story today, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, on Tuesday. He`s the first U.S. secretary of state

ever to go there. He was scheduled to meet with a number of Somali leaders.

The country has a history of clan warfare, violent and terrorism. But the Obama administration hopes that the Somalian government`s work to improve

security will take hold.

From Secretary Kerry`s address to the Somalian people --


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: The federal government is now working with the new regional administrations to enhance stability and sow the seeds of

prosperity and every part of Somalia.


AZUZ: Last weekend, North Korea gave CNN exclusive access to interview a man accused of illegally entering the communist country. Twenty-one-year-

old Won Moon Joo is a South Korean citizen who`s a permanent resident of the U.S. He`s a student at New York University who took a semester off.

Joo says curiosity led him to North Korea and that he entered the country illegally from China, hoping to get arrested.


WON MOON JOO, STUDENT DETAINED IN NORTH KOREA: But I thought that some great event could happen, and hopefully, that event could have a good

effect in the relations between the North and South.


AZUZ: Joo says he`s not sure exactly what kind of event he`d hope for. He says he`s willing to accept any punishment which could include prison time.

But he hopes that the North Korean will let him go home.

Stateside, eight people have officially announced their candidacy for U.S. president in 2016. Four senators, one former secretary of state and

senator, one retired doctor, one former business executive -- now, a former governor has joined them.

Mike Huckabee served in the state of Arkansas. He announced yesterday that he`ll be seeking the nomination for the Republican Party.


AZUZ: Roll Call, let`s see who`s watching this Wednesday.

If you find yourself in Boca Raton, Florida, watch out for Sharks. Spanish River High School is here today.

Dayton is a city in southeastern Washington state, and it`s where the Bulldogs are hunkered. Hello to Dayton High School.

And one state south in the Beaver State, Medford Opportunity High School is online in Medford. It`s in southwestern Oregon.

The United Nations just wrapped an event focused on gender equality. A number of international universities are committing themselves to it, as

are some world and business leaders.

Gender equality is the concept that men and women had exactly the same opportunities and rights in society, that they aren`t discriminated against

based on gender. This can include what people are allowed to do, where they work, what their pay -- these all factor in to gender equality.


NARRATOR: Women in the United States have it better than many in the world. They aren`t forced into marriage at a young age. They can live the

house without their husband`s permission. They can pursue an education, serve on a jury and vote.

But there are ways the U.S. lags behind other nations. For starters, roughly 84 percent of countries, including Afghanistan, guarantee gender

equality in their constitutions. The U.S. Constitution does not.

Then, there`s paid maternity leave. Studies show it`s good for families and for businesses, which is why many countries insist on it. In France,

for example, women are guaranteed at least 16 weeks paid maternity leave, 26 weeks if it`s their third child. New moms in Estonia get two full years

of paid leave.

Only four countries in the world do not guarantee any form of paid maternity leave. The United States is one of them. It`s the only high

income developed country that doesn`t.

According to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. ranked 65 out of 142 countries in wage equality. Higher on the list are Egypt, Russia,

Thailand, Honduras, Ethiopia and many more.

In 2013, women who worked full time in the U.S. were paid 78 percent of what men were paid and nearly every occupation. And that gap is even worse

for women of color. Hispanic women in the U.S. earn just 56 percent of what white men earn.

And then there`s the question of who`s the boss? After the 2014 elections, women held less than 20 percent of seats in Congress. And there are four

men for every one woman on the board of the country`s 500 largest corporations.

Norway was the first country to instate a quota for corporate board seats, saying women had to fill at least 40 percent. Other countries like Spain

and the Netherlands followed suit.


AZUZ: There`s something that can help people with everything from loneliness to heart disease, from social interaction to staying committed

to an exercise program. It`s not a drug and it`s not a class, but for many who own one or more, it`s therapy. If you`ve been doggedly pushing your

folks to get a pet, here`s some am-meow-nition for your argument.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I preface by saying that I`m a pet lover. I`d love dogs. I`ve had dogs my whole life. And

I`ve always known that dogs improve your mood. Certainly, if you have a dog, or any kind of pet, you know what I`m talking about.

But now, there`s data to show that it can improve your health as well. People who are pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, lower

triglycerides and lower cholesterol levels. I`m not exactly sure why that is. It could be that they`re more active as a result of having a pet. But

whatever the reason, having a pet seems to improve both your emotional, as well as your physical well-being.

Stress, anxiety and depression are something that plague all of us at one time or another. But we know now, even more than anecdotally that people

who are pet owners tend to have lower levels of these things, particular a hormone known as cortisol. Think of that as the stress hormone. When you

have a lot of cortisol in your body, it`s usually a result of some sort of stressor in your body.

If you are a pet owner, you tend to have a lower levels of cortisol overall. It`s not that you can`t get stress, it`s not that you can`t get

anxious or even depressed at times, but the peaks and the valleys tend to be much more muted.

I was really fascinated by the study that came out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. James Gern looking specifically at children who lived

in a home with a pet, and they found that their likelihood of developing allergies was reduced by about 33 percent, pretty significant. It could be

that just the exposure to the pet from a young age boosted your immune system and, in fact, Professor Gern also found that the immune system of

these children tended to be more robust as well.

One of the things we know about living to 100 is that being social is a big part of that. Not only it`s easy for people to go out there and meet new

people. What they find is that people who have pets are actually out in public with those pets oftentimes have the pets act as an icebreaker. They

tend to be more social as a result, and that can be part of what helps them live to 100.


AZUZ: Mr. and Mrs. Kirkland, Mr. Utley (ph), Mrs. Cook, mom, these are some of the teachers who influenced our show staff. It`s not an easy job,

sometimes a thankless job, but it`s an incredibly important one and one we`re honoring this Teacher Appreciation Week. Some businesses offer

teachers discounts. Some teachers get "thank you" notes from students whom they often call their kids.

We`re grateful to all of you, for the education you`ve given us. You`ve opened the pupils of your pupils, you`ve sharpened minds and pencils, you

reach as you teach, giving academic lessons and life lessons. We can`t repay pay but we can say thank you from all us at CNN STUDENT NEWS.