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STUDENT NEWS

April Snowstorm in Northeastern U.S.

Aired April 24, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: It`s Tuesday. My name is Carl Azuz, and we welcome you to CNN Student News. Ten minutes, no commercials, headlines from around the world, and we have a lot of them for you today.

First up, we`re talking about winter weather. Now a large snowstorm in the northeastern U.S. is not that unusual. But when it happens near the end of April, that`s a bit more unexpected, especially when it comes after the warmest March on record, and winter that didn`t really have that much snow.

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AZUZ (voice-over): It was a different story on Monday. Parts of New York were expecting 10 inches of snow, anywhere from eight to 16 inches around Pennsylvania. One meteorologist said it won`t last long. Temperatures are expected to go up this week.

Brian Todd was in Pennsylvania on Monday as the snow came down. He was looking at one particular challenge: when winter weather hits at this time of year.

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BRIAN TODD, AMS METEOROLOGIST: As the heavy snow continues to fall here in north central Pennsylvania, this is what officials here are primarily worried about, the snow kind of building up on the foliage. The full foliage in a lot of the trees that has popped out, of course, since it`s late April, when the snow really starts to build up in this and in other areas, it`s going to make the trees very, very heavy.

Some of the trees are expected to collapse and fall onto power lines. That has already happened. We are told that more than 20,000 customers in this area of north central Pennsylvania are without power. They have about 200 crews from the power and electric company Penelec, fanning out all over this area. As for the roads here, the main roads in this general area still are passable, obviously.

A lot of truck traffic and car traffic coming through here. This is the corridor road leading to Interstate 80, which is a major east-west corridor for truck routes. But officials are concerned that those routes may be disrupted, may be slowed down a little bit by this snow.

Interestingly enough, a lot of the trucks that are out here to plow and salt roads had to have their plows and spreaders reattached to them, because they have taken all that equipment off, of course not anticipating this weather to hit.

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AZUZ: In some of those states struggling with severe weather yesterday, voters are heading to the polls today. There are Republican presidential primaries in New York and Pennsylvania as well as in Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is now the presumptive Republican nominee. He`s expected to win the party`s nomination. But primary season isn`t officially over, and Governor Romney isn`t the only Republican candidate who`s still in the race. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Representative Ron Paul are on the ballot in all five states holding contests today.

President Obama spent part of the day Monday focused on human rights. He visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Holocaust was the systematic killing of millions of Jewish people by Nazi Germany during World War II.

During his visit to the museum, President Obama announced that he`ll award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, who tried to warn the world about the Holocaust.

The president also announced a new executive order that aims to stop countries from using technology to abuse human rights. He specifically talked about cell phone monitoring in Syria, and he explained the importance of addressing global violence.

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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need to be doing everything we can to prevent and respond to these kinds of atrocities, because national sovereignty is never a license to slaughter your people.

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AZUZ (voice-over): On this day in history, back in 1800, President John Adams established the Library of Congress. The institution is now one of the largest libraries in the world.

In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States. The Spanish- American war was mostly over within three months.

And in 1990, the Hubble telescope hitched a ride on a shuttle into space. Hubble has spent decades exploring and documenting our universe.

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AZUZ: Heading over to Europe now for a pair of political stories that both involve prime ministers, the first one is in the Netherlands.

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AZUZ (voice-over): Mark Rutte has been the prime minister of that country since 2010 -- not any more. Rutte handed in his resignation yesterday. The prime minister is the leader of the party in the majority, but no party won a majority in the last elections.

So Rutte put together a coalition of several parties. One of those backed out of the coalition on Monday. No coalition, no majority, which is why Rutte stepped down. This could lead to new elections in the Netherlands, maybe as soon as this summer.

This is Iceland`s former prime minister, Geir Haarde. He is the first world leader to be convicted of a criminal charge in connection with the global financial crisis. Before that started, Iceland was one of the world`s wealthiest countries, but its banking system collapsed in 2008, wiping out billions of dollars in savings.

Haarde was convicted of negligence related to that collapse, but he was cleared of three other charges and a court official says the former Icelandic prime minister won`t face any punishment.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See if you can ID me. I come from space, but I`m most often seen in the Earth`s atmosphere. I usually don`t stick around longer than a few seconds. I`m a glowing streak that`s sometimes called a shooting or falling star.

I`m a meteor, a space object you can see burning up in the night sky.

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AZUZ: When a bunch of those glowing streaks show up in the sky all at the same time, it`s known as a meteor shower. There`s one that happens every year, right at the same time, and scientists say it`s the cause of some mysterious booms in California recently, although there are some residents who aren`t so sure. Sharokina Shams of affiliate KCRA has the details for us.

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BRIAN CAMPBELL: And I looked straight up through here at the Sierras, and it looked like the sun coming at you.

VICKI, AMADOR COUNTY: It was so loud that it shook the ground and continued long enough for my husband to run over to me and shelter me with his body.

CAMPBELL: There was a really low rumble that started getting louder and louder and louder, like a rocket taking off. And then it finally started shaking the house and everything.

CRAIG SHOEMAKER, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: I think it is exciting.

SHAROKINA SHAMS, KCRA CORRESPONDENT: Craig Shoemaker is a lead forecaster with the National Weather Service. He says what happened today was part of the ongoing Lyrid meteor shower. It happens every April 22nd, and if it had been dark, might have looked something like this.

SHOEMAKER: And the causes of that have been a debris cloud that`s left over from Comet Thatcher. The amount of meteors that pass through the atmosphere vary every year. This year it seems to be that maybe we`ve had a few more than usually. There may be some larger ones that have passed through.

Today some people, including Campbell, were skeptical.

CAMPBELL: I thought it was a satellite coming down, because we see meteors all the time and meteors don`t burst into thousands of blue sparks, you know. They just disappear.

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AZUZ: All right. Tell me if this sounds familiar. You`re eating ice cream, and all of a sudden, wham, massive headache. You`re suffering from sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Most of us, thank heavens, just know it as a brain freeze. Some scientists are trying to figure out what causes it.

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AZUZ (voice-over): According to their research, that headache may actually be your brain acting in self-defense. It allows more blood flow to deal with the extreme cold, and that could be what causes the pain.

Why would anyone care about figuring out brain freeze? Well, what they`re hoping is that their results could influence research on other types of headaches, like severe migraines. One expert said he doesn`t think this brain freeze study is going to offer any breakthroughs. The scientist who ran the study says more tests need to be done.

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AZUZ (voice-over): It`s prom season, so sights like this one, high school students decked out in dresses and tuxes -- you see this stuff. It`s pretty common.

But this particular prom we`re showing you is all different. It`s the first one for students in Joplin, Missouri, since a massive tornado devastated their city last year. Back then, news cameras were in town to cover the deadliest tornado in more than 60 years.

This time, those cameras were back to cover a celebration. The rebuilding is far from over in Joplin, but one student described this prom as a victory call, and said it`s a sign that, quote, "no tornado can take us down."

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AZUZ: Before we go, your parents might have told you not to play with your food.

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AZUZ (voice-over): They never said anything about your dishes. This is speed stacking. You`ve probably seen this before. You probably assume the video was sped up. It`s not. And if you think stacking isn`t a sport, you`re going to have to take that up with the Junior Olympics, because it is being featured as part of this year`s games.

These speedsters are trying to qualify for that contest --

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AZUZ: -- plus the preliminary events let you check out the competition and see how you stack up. If you`re looking for more puns, sorry, we only have a cupful today. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.

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