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STUDENT NEWS

Secretary of State Kerry Wraps Up Asia Trip; A Look at Bitcoins

Aired April 15, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET

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


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s Monday. I`m Carl Azuz. This is CNN STUDENT NEWS. We`re beginning the week by wrapping up a U.S. official`s trip overseas. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is on his way home after spending several days in Asia. He visited South Korea, China and Japan, one topic that came up in all of those stops - North Korea. Of course, there`s been a lot of tension surrounding North Korea. The country`s threatened to launch missiles against the U.S. and South Korea. On Friday, North Korea threatened Japan, too. Secretary Kerry was in Japan yesterday. He talked about how the U.S. is approaching the situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This is very simple - that the United States will do what is necessary to defend our allies, Japan, Republic of Korea an the region against these provocations. But our choice is to negotiate, our choice is to move to the table and find a way for the region to have peace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: You heard Secretary Kerry mention America`s allies, Japan and South Korea. North Korea doesn`t have many allies. The nation isolates itself from the rest of the world. It does have one main ally - China. During this trip, Secretary Kerry met China`s new president, Xi Jinping, and other Chinese leaders. They all said they`d work together to urge North Korea not to provoke other countries. The Chinese officials said they are committed to maintaining peace in the region.

It`s time for the shoutout. According to a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, what are the only things that are certain in this world? Here we go. Is it life and death? Night and day? Death and taxes or trials and tribulations? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Franklin famously said that in this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

Today is not a good day to ask your parents for new shoes: April 15th is the deadline for Americans to have their income taxes filed. Why? Because the government says so. Incomes taxes are chunks that the federal government takes out of the money we make. What gives it the right to do this? The answer - constitutional. Amendment 16 says "Congress shall have the power to lay and collect income taxes." Fun fact: when this was ratified in 1913, income taxes for most Americans were one percent. Now, it`s between 15 and 25 percent for most of us. Where do the money go? Everywhere from the military to health care to paying interest on the government`s debt. Unemployment and labor benefits, federal government workers and agriculture round out the top five. What happens if you don`t file income taxes? At the least you`ll be in trouble with the IRS, at the worst, you`ll be in jail. Fun fact - 1920s and `30s gangster Al Capone broke all kinds of laws. U.S. officials couldn`t prove it, but it could prove he hadn`t paid income taxes, and that landed him in Alcatraz. It won`t happen today because Alcatraz has been shut down. But if we want to avoid having the government find the suitable alternative for us, we better make sure our taxes are filed today by midnight.

The U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen, the British pound, the bitcoin. It`s a real currency, but it`s not connected to anyone country, which is kind of the point of it. The bitcoin is a digital currency. Lately it`s been on a bit of a roller coaster. Back in March, one bitcoin was worth about $47. This past Wednesday morning, one bitcoin was worth $266, and by Friday afternoon that value had dropped to around $77. So how does a digital currency work?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s the middle of the lunch rush at Meze Grill in Midtown, Manhattan. Cold heart cash is being exchanged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 80 cents is your change.

TAYLOR: But so is a virtual kind of currency called bitcoin. The payment takes place entirely over the Internet by anonymous encrypted code.

This one being made with a mobile device.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 7035 bitcoins.

TAYLOR: Bitcoin is peer to peer, money passes directly from user to user without any bank or government involvement. And for others, it`s an investment opportunity, or simply something cool they want to try out. Here`s how it works. Users download bitcoin software, which acts as a wallet. They then fill the virtual wallet with virtual bitcoins. The way bitcoins get their value is similar to the way stocks get their value: bitcoins buyers drive the value up, sellers drive it down.

JASON TANZ, WIRED MAGAZINE: Recent history is rife with examples of people who`ve tried to build alternative currencies. Frankly, they never end well. Bitcoin is different, and that it really is a separate parallel currency that was created out of nothing.

TAYLOR: Critics have said because transactions are, for the most part, anonymous, bitcoin makes it easy to sell illegal drugs or launder money over the Internet. And some people say, it amounts to a Ponzi scheme. But others say, bitcoin is legit. It could pave the way for future digital currencies. One click at a time. Felicia Taylor, CNN, New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have you got today?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: You live in the digital world. What do you think about this idea of a digital currency? If you`re on Facebook, head to our page, Facebook.com/cnnstudentnews to talk a bit about bitcoins.

And teachers, you can talk a bit about your thoughts on today`s show, just find the feedback link on our homepage, CNNstudentnews.com.

Call them cicadas, call them cicadas. Don`t call them pretty. It`s like someone took a roach, slapped on some wings and glued two orange buggy eyes on it. Millions of Americans on the East Coast will soon get an up-close and personal view. Every new generation of cicadas emerges from underground to mate. That happens every 13 to 17 years, and 2013 is going to be a big one: starting in late April, swarms are expected from Connecticut to North Carolina, in some spots enough to darken the sky. If their faces are those only cicada mothers could love, they`ve got voices to match or more accurately, organs on the abdomens of males that vibrate to attract females.

When the guys go out on the prowl, the collective sound is like waves of screeching. This may send some humans screeching, but they are more likely to bug us than actually harm us unless they poke us with their beaks. They are not especially destructive to plants, either. They do help aerate the soil when they come out, and they are veritable buffet for birds and other animals. So, if you see or hear them where you leave, keep an eye on your pets. Some cats and dogs seeking cicada snacks can get sick to their stomachs. For that matter, so can we, though some enterprising chefs have gotten creative with them, cooking up everything from cicada quiche to cicada ice cream -- not one of Baskin Robbins` 31 flavors. But whether you find them annoying or appetizing, if you find them on the East Coast, you`ll hear what the buzz is all about.

You usually don`t shout in the library, but today`s "Shoutout Extra Credit" goes out to all the librarians and media specialists out there. Now, where would you find the world`s largest library? You know what to do? Is it in Alexandria, Egypt? London, U.K., Rome, Italy or Washington, D.C ? Put another three seconds on that clock and go!

The Library of Congress in Washington D.C is the largest library in the world. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout Extra Credit."

This is national library week. And in honor of the annual event, we`re looking at some numbers. There are more 16,000 public libraries around the United States, academic libraries like in colleges and universities, more than 3600, and school libraries, more than 99,000. Add in special libraries and government libraries, you`re looking at more than 120,000 libraries across the country, and let`s not forget the librarians. There are an estimated 150,000 professional librarians working in the United States today. Library of Congress is the biggest in the world, because its collection contains more than 155 million items. It`s not just books: recordings, photographs, maps, music, movies, all of them are there too. And another category to be considered, presidential libraries. They are more like museums than regular libraries, with historical records and materials of the president`s time in office. 13 presidential libraries from the East Coast to the West.

OK. Havard Rugland. Name might not ring any bells, but if you`ve seen this, there is no way you`ll forget it. The kicker from Norway blew up online with this viral video. Rugland`s never played American football, but he might get the chance. Look at that -that was awesome. His trick shots earned him a shot with an NFL team. The Detroit Lions signed Rugland last week after their long time kicker retired. The online sensation isn`t guaranteed the job, he will get a chance to compete for it. From Youtube to the NFL, it`s one journey you can definitely get a kick out of.

So how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if the woodchuck woodchuck would? Who cares. It`ll never be as awesome as watching that same woodchuck chow down on ice cream. Someone took this Youtube video of the ravenous rodent relishing this sweet treat on his birthday - he got a birthday cone. It doesn`t look like anyone else was invited to the party, so it`s no problem that he`s groundhogging it all to himself. If he gets full before he`s finished, we are not entirely sure what he`d do with the leftovers, but chances are, he would chuck it. It`s time for us to leave, we`ll see you tomorrow, have a great rest of the day.

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