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American Economy Improving; Flu in the U.S.; Major Events of 2014; Ten International Stories of the Year

Aired December 19, 2014 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz. This is our last show of 2014.

Before we head up for the holidays, we`ve got a few things to catch you up on, one of them, the U.S. stock market. Yesterday was the best day of the

year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 important stocks. It rose 420 points. Why? Well, the Federal Reserve, the Central Bank of the U.S.

made comments suggesting that the U.S. economy is on track to keep growing. Investors like that.

Also, the Russian ruble`s showing signs that it`s stabilizing. That`s good news for Europe. International markets are connected, so a jump in one can

help others. Markets from Europe to Asia were making gains.

Another story in the headlines: the flu. The Centers for Disease Control says it`s widespread at 14 states, in one county in northwest Georgia, 17

percent of students were out sick, and 16 percent of teachers. So, the superintendent closed all ten schools days before the scheduled Christmas


Similar situations in other states from North Carolina to Minnesota. Flu season usually starts in the fall, it pick s in January or February. This

one could be worse, partly because officials say this year`s vaccine isn`t as effective as usual.

Bringing good cheer, the roll call is here. We`ll start with Nebraska. The corn husker state. Red riders are watching on this merry day. Loup

city high is where they`ll all be. From there we head south to Tennessee. Rutherford Junior High is on today`s list. The pirates are watching. They

wouldn`t have missed. And if you are the type to think cats are cool, but cougars are here, Cooley Middle School, they are watching in Gilbert, a

fast growing town, giving Arizona more roll call renowned.

Protests after grand jury decisions, parched land in the Golden State. The public opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum, and Midterm

elections that changed the political landscape of the Senate. These are a few of the major national stories we told you about this year on CNN

STUDENT NEWS. As we bring our 2014 coverage to a close, here is a look at ten international stories that captured the world`s attention.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Number ten, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Demonstrators occupied the downtown financial district in what

became known as the umbrella revolution.

Late September, police fired tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd, prompting thousands more to take to the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (speaking Chinese)

CROWD (speaking Chinese)

COOPER: After more than two months, police clear away the protests sites. The demonstrators vowing, we will be back.

Number nine, World Cup fever. The eyes of the world on the games in Brazil.


COOPER: The host country crashes out on the semifinals, in the final, Germany beats Argentina one to nothing in a dramatic overtime win.

Number eight, freedom for two American citizens held in North Korea: Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller. Bae had been held for two years.

KENNETH BAE: I just want to say, thank you all for supporting me and standing by me during this time.

COOPER: Freedom for Bae and Miller came less than a months after the release of American Jeffrey Fowle.

And number seven, tragedy and heartbreak in South Korea: a ferry capsizes off the coast killing more than 300 people. 250 of them high school

students on a field trip. Adding to the families` anguish, images of the captain abandoning ship. He is now serving a 36-year prison sentence.

And number six, a mass kidnapping that started a movement. More than 200 Nigerian girls snatched from their boarding school by the terror group Boko

Haram. The Twitter #Bring Back Our Girls becomes an international rallying cry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (speaking foreign language)

COOPER: But months go by. In November, the leader of Boko Haram says the girls converted to Islam and have been married off.

Number five, Middle East tensions erupt: and hopes for peace fade. Three Israeli teens are kidnapped and killed, a Palestinian boy is kidnapped and

killed, possibly in retaliation.

July, Israel launches Operation Protective Edge in response to Hamas rocket attacks. After weeks of clashes and the death of more than 2100

Palestinians and about 70 Israelis, a cease-fire.

Number four, Cold War animosities heat up. Russian President Vladimir Putin stuns the West by annexing Ukraine`s Crimea region. Moscow is also

accused of sending troops and equipment to help pro-Russian separatists.

Then tragedy in the skies. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down over eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board killed. The West and the

Ukrainian government blame pro-Russian fighters.

Number three, Ebola ravages West Africa. The CDC announces the first cases in late March, in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. By July, officials are

calling it a deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. The World Health Organization says more than 6,000 people have died. Liberian national

Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Ten cases have been treated in the U.S. with two deaths,

including Duncan.

And number two, without a trace. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The plane with 239 people on board was heading from Kuala

Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished. Planes and ships scow (ph) the initial search area, but there is no sign of the missing plane.

Then, new satellite data takes the search in a different direction: pings believed to be from the plane`s black box raise hopes, but don`t pan out.

Underwater searches come up empty. And the effort to solve commercial aviation`s biggest mystery goes on.

And a number one international story of 2014, the rise of ISIS. It started as an al Qaeda splinter group, emerges as a major threat. ISIS launches a

brutal campaign to create an Islamic state across Iraq and Syria.

Militants take control of key Iraqi cities. IN August, U.S. fighter jets start bombing ISIS positions in Iraq, part of targeted airstrikes

authorized by President Obama.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We intend to say vigilant and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personal or

facilities anywhere in Iraq.

COOPER: The strikes also aimed at protecting minority groups like Yazidi refugees left stranded and starving on a mountain top.

All the while the extent of the barbarism by ISIS becomes more apparent. America`s top general has not ruled out the return of U.S. ground troops to

Iraq three years after the last troops pulled out. Anderson Cooper, CNN New York.


AZUZ: Before We Go segments and the pun-nishment that follows are always a fun look at the lighter side of news. Our top two, we`ve got to start with

otters playing keyboard. Why? Because otters playing a keyboard, it`s supposed to stimulate their creativity. And yard chores are always more

creative when you need a helmet. The world`s fastest lawn mower has a motorcycle engine, the zero to 60 in four seconds, top speed 117 miles per

hour. And it cuts grass. These stories certainly caught the mustard (ph) for two of our auto videos, but from otters to hot routers, inventive

ottertainment to enginious (ph) attainment, there is always mower to talk about, and we won`t weasel our way out without the news and plunge you

hear, commercial free throughout the year. On behalf of our staff at CNN STUDENT NEWS, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, we wish you a wonderful

holiday season and thank you for making us part of your school day.

Please, join us again on January 5, 2015.