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Record Low Temperatures in Much of U.S.; Rosetta Mission Continuing in Outer Space; Cult of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un

Aired November 14, 2014 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Whether you are watching this first thing in the morning or it`s ten minutes before the bell rings at the end of the day,

Fridays are awesome. I`m Carl Azuz with CNN STUDENT NEWS. There are just over 316 million people in the U.S. and two thirds of them are feeling a

blast of unseasonably cold weather. Now, cold is relative. Today`s high here in Atlanta, Georgia is 46, but it`s normally 64 this time of year.

The other day Casper, Wyoming`s high was two, as in two degrees. It`s normally 45 right now. Denver, Colorado, Lovett, Texas, Livingston,

Montana, they`ve all set records this week involving cold temperatures for mid-November. It`s not that it never gets cold in these places or other

American cities. It`s that it never does it so early in the season. So why?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Blame the bomb cyclone. Yep, that`s right. Bomb cyclone is actually a real weather term.

Frigid weather and snow are already in the U.S. So, how did it happen? Blame it on the leftovers from Super-typhoon Nuri. It built up to Alaska

mixing warm tropical air with the polar vortex. And changing the direction of the Jetstream allowing cold air just going to the U.S.

Normally, between the polar vortex stays where it`s supposed to be - in the North Pole, trapping frigid air up where it belongs. But the bomb cyclone

shook things up and sent all that Arctic air south.

Bottom line, winter came early and it might be here to stay.


AZUZ: Quite a different natural event to catch you up on in the 50th U.S. state. We`ve been reporting on a slow moving disaster, a creeping lava

flow from Hawaii`s Kilauea Volcano. Since late June, the 2,000 degree lava has been bubbling its way toward a Hawaiian town named Pahoa.

It overtook and burned down a home there early this week. It happened in 45 minutes. NO one was hurt, the family get evacuated in September.

There`s hope for other parts of the community: for several days now, there`s been a pause in the lava`s advance. The eruption hasn`t stopped,

but the main lava flow isn`t moving towards structures at this time.

Scientists with European Space Agency say their Rosetta mission is trying to answer very big questions about the solar system`s history. But a

simpler question they are working on involves their comet lander. Where exactly is it? The $1.4 billion mission made history this week by placing

the spacecraft on the comet 67-P, but not everything is going according to plan.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely stunning images that we`re seeing from the surface of the comet 67-P, which is, of course, some

310 million miles away from Earth. Now, the interesting thing about these images is that they are stunning to the scientists themselves. They

believed that on the comet surface they would find a very powdery substance, they believed the surface itself might be very soft, and that

the lander, if bad comes to worse, might sink in and wouldn`t be able to transmit any signals back to Earth. However, what we are seeing on these

images seems to be a very rocky surface, but it`s unclear whether or not those are really rocks or whether those might be ice crystals mixed with

some sort of metallic dust.

Again, these are all things that the Philae lander is supposed to find out in the coming days.

One of the interesting things that they just told us is that the landing seems to have been a rodeo ride, by any stretch of the imagination. What

happened was, Philae lander came and touched down pretty much in exactly the spot where they wanted it to touch down, but then a harpoon system

didn`t deploy. It jumped back up. That jump took two hours, because, of course, there is very little gravity here. Then, it came back down very

close to some sort of crater, jumped again for another seven minutes, and then came to a standstill. And they think that right now it`s on the edge

of a cliff. It`s probably standing with two feet on the ground, the third foot, they believe, is up in the air. They are not exactly sure where it

is right now. They know it`s on the comet, because that`s what the sensors are telling them. And, they say, that pretty much all of the scientific

instruments are working, the one thing they think might be a problem is drilling, because the harpoon system failed and therefore the comet is not

attached to the lander or the lander attached to the attached to the comet, and they are afraid if they try something like that, that it might actually

fall off the comet.

There is one problem that they have with the mission right now, and that is the place where they act right now, close to that cliff, seems to be pretty

far away from any sort of sunlight, so they are getting a lot less sunlight than they actually thought, and that`s a problem because right now it`s

running on battery power, but it will need power on the solar panel. It`s going to need light rays if it wants to recharge those batteries and

continue their scientific experiments for a long time to come.

So, that is something that they are working on, they say could impact the mission, but at this point in time, of course, people here in this town of

Darmstadt, Germany, absolutely jubilant at what they`ve achieved and that is to catch a comet in the middle of space.


AZUZ: Getting thousands of "Roll Call" request in our transcript page at Thanks for your continued request and your patience.

We are kicking things off at Washington Middle School. It`s in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it`s the home of the Radars. Paddling upstream to

Beaver Creek High School, it`s in Beaver Creek, Ohio, with the Beavers watching CNN STUDENT NEWS.

And in the pine tree state, the city of Old Town, Maine, we`ve got the Coyotes or the Coyotes of Old Town High School. Hello to all of you.

An investigator for the United Nations says North Korea`s leader may be responsible for massive human rights abuses. A U.N. report published in

February accused the Asian country`s government of torturing, murdering and starving people. It didn`t directly named Kim Jong-un. But a U.N.

investigator now says there is enough evidence to hold the dictator responsible.

North Korea says the investigation is part of a U.S. plot to destroy its political system. We know that system is communist, we know that

government controls the media, we know that Kim Jong-un leads that government.

But there is a lot we don`t know about Kim himself.


ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: North Korea is famous for creating cults of personality around the leaders of the country, and Kim Jong-un is no


He was the youngest son of the previous leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, and his favorite wife Ko Yong-hui. Now, as a child, he was sent to a

prestigious boarding school in Switzerland where he registered under an assumed name and claimed to be the son of a Korean diplomat. He then

attends at the Korean Military Academy and was quickly promoted up the military`s ranks. When in days of his father`s death in 2011, Kim Jong-un

was transitioned into power with support from the country`s ruling elite.

Now, despite North Korea`s pariah status on the international stage, Kim Jong-un is creating an almost God-like image for himself in home, similar

to that of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung. Wherever he goes, he`s met with fanatical devotion. Mend wade waist deep just to get a look at him, women

are crying at his feet. It`s really hard to know how much of this devotion is real, but the North Korean regime is doing a pretty good job of keeping

the cult of Kim alive.

Now, just like his father before him, Kim has drawn the ire of the international community for his nuclear antics and his human rights abuses.

Since he took power, prison camps in North Korea have expanded, and there`s been a serious crackdown on would be defectors.

Kim shocked the world when he had his own uncle executed. And since then he`s been purging party officials who have any connection to the uncle.

Trying to flack some of that criticism, Kim has been trying to show his softer side. He`s been photographed touring children`s hospitals and

orphanages, and he`s ordered construction of amusement parks and ski resorts in the country.

But despite the cults of personality that Kim has created, North Korea is steel seen as one of the most opaque countries in the world. North Korea

watchers say that jovial face we see (INAUDIBLE) the dark reality for the North Korean people.


AZUZ: Two things that may not seem like they go together. Surfing and Alaska. Yes, you need a wetsuit, and the wave not far from Anchorage can

tumble for 50 miles. It`s a board-tide, when seawater surges in from a broad bay to a narrowing inland. The young lady you see surfing that

turned again arm board tides (ph) says she`ll go for as long as she can stand and not get distracted by the beautiful scenery. Sometimes she`ll

even take a rest, even while she`s riding a wave.

Of course, a board tide, or a tidal board could become a tidal bore if you detide your board in a pour of the ride of the tide any bore. If not, the

tide ride is good tidings for good ridings, with time in tide, tied for a ride, delighting riders biding (ph) time -(INAUDIBLE).

Tide. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT NEWS.