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STUDENT NEWS

Massive Tornado Hits Oklahoma City; Florida DOT Shortens Yellow- Light Times

Aired May 21, 2013 - 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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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m Isabelle (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m Daria (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I`m Rue (ph).

And we are competing in this year`s STEM (ph) America (inaudible) rocket challenge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You will hear more from us later, but for now, take it away, Carl.

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CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, ladies. Thanks to all of you for joining us. Yesterday, we talked about severe weather predictions in the Midwestern United States. Today, we`re sorry to report that the forecasts were right. A massive tornado moved through parts of Oklahoma City yesterday. Estimates said it could be two miles wide. The National Weather Service issued a rare tornado emergency, which means significant and widespread damage was likely. After the twister passed through, the first pictures of the area showed just massive destruction. Tornadoes have been popping up all over the Midwest. This one was in Kansas. You can actually see the tornado`s funnel rotating. And this is what they leave behind. Hundreds of homes damaged or completely destroyed. A helicopter pilot for a local news station said it was like the houses were picked up, put in a blender and then dumped out. Forecasters say more tornadoes could form. If there`s a warning for in your area, experts, of course, say one key is to find shelter. You want to go to the lowest level of your house, find an interior room, staying away from windows. The victims of these storms in Oklahoma City and around the region are going to face a very long recovery process. If you`d like to get ideas and how you can help out, go to the resources box in our home page and click the "Impact Your World" link.

Next, we`re heading to a country where officials are concerned about increasing violence. The war in Iraq may be over, fighting has not stopped in the Middle Eastern country. Baghdad, Samarra, Haditha, Basra. During the Iraq war those cities regularly saw violence, and they were the sight of more violence yesterday. Car bombs and roadside bombs, gunmen attacking police checkpoints, at least 50 people were killed across Iraq, and more than 100 others were wounded. Officials are describing it as sectarian violence, which means the fighting is between different religious groups. In this case, two different groups of Muslims. Sunnis, who are a minority group in Iraq and Shiites, who are in the majority.

Social media site Tumblr maybe missing an `e from its name, but that`s not stopping Yahoo! From buying it. The giant Internet company wants the smaller blogging company for one big reason: young people. Yahoo! Wants more users who are big in a social media. Tumblr has them. Yahoo! Wants more users who are on the go, using Smartphones. Tumblr has them. And Yahoo! Is hoping to turn a profit on Tumblr that may take a while, it paid over a billion dollars for the blogging site. How can Tumblr bring in money? More adds. About 300 million people use Tumblr every month, about 120,000 sign up every day. That`s a lot. Why wouldn`t advertisers want in on it? The thing is, some of Tumblr`s users might not like seeing ads galore, like people do on Yahoo! But the big company, in its own words, is promising not to screw it up. Yahoo! Says it won`t put its own logos on Tumblr. It`s promising that Tumblr! CEO and founder can keep his job. It could take a while before the investment pays off, if it pays off, but for now at least, it`s giving Yahoo! something to shout about.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s first "Shoutout" goes out to Mrs. Meiers` language arts class at John Foster Dulles School of Excellence in Chicago, Illinois.

The first traffic signal debuted in 1868 in what city?

So, was it New York, Paris, Cleveland or London? You`ve got three seconds, go!

In 1868 London introduced a traffic signal with movable arms and gas lamps. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

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AZUZ: At night, those lamps shine either red for stop or green for go. Today, these traffic lights, of course, have a third color in the mix, the yellow light is the warning that red is coming up soon. But in Florida soon is happening sooner. John Berman explains some reasons behind this shift and why some people want to put it in reverse.

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JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To the naked eye, you may not be able to see the difference between this and this.

But in Florida, a subtle maneuver has drivers seeing red a lot faster. The Florida Department of Transportation quietly shortened yellow light intervals by milliseconds. At intersections with red light cameras like this one, that means more hefty $158 fines. Motorists are fired up.

JOSH BLOOM, FLORIDA DRIVER: My issue is not with the ticket. My issue is with you trying to squeeze the law to make it unsafe for drivers.

BERMAN: Fractions of a second can make a huge difference, according to research cited by the Federal Highway Administration. Increasing yellow time can dramatically reduce red-light running. Running red lights is big money in states like Florida. Research shows red light cameras generated more than $100 million last year in Florida alone, even state legislators say the Department of Transportation needs to pump the brakes on their newly reduced yellow lights.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, "Shoutout Extra Credit" goes out to Ms. Worthy and the students at the Gateway Community School in Camarillo, California.

Which U.S. president signed a law establishing Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week? Was it Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan or Jimmy Carter? Rewind that clock to 30 seconds and go!

President Jimmy Carter established a week-long celebration in 1978. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout Extra Credit."

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AZUZ: May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage month, it was originally established as a week to commemorate two events. First, the arrival of Japanese immigrants in America in May 1843. Second, the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in May 1869. Many of the railroad`s construction workers were Chinese. While America`s relationship with its Asian citizens has lasted more than a century, it`s had its complications. During World War II, while the U.S. was fighting Japan in the Pacific, a Japanese- American Unit fighting in Europe received more medals than any military unit ever including more than 20 medals of honor, the highest military combat award. While war raged abroad, the nation battled anti-Japanese sentiments at home. And the U.S. government forced more than 100,000 Japanese Americans into internment camps. An act that America apologized for in 1988.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush expanded the Asian Pacific Heritage Celebration to the entire month of May. You might recognize the contributions of some of these Asian Americans. Actor George Takei is well known for his role in the original "StarTrek" TV show, but his childhood was spent in internment camps. Architect Maya Lin designed the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington while still a student at Yale. And Apolo Ohno holds the record of most medals for a U.S. Winter Olympian with eight. All Americans, but their ancestors came from across the Pacific.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Rue Tong (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m Isabelle Itsu (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m Daria Castillo (ph) from team Eclipse, and we participated in the Team America Rocketry Challenge.

It is a program for kids who want to fly rockets and who have fun doing it. To participate in TARC, we have to learn a lot of math and science. That way we`ll know what we`re building, and how it works. This is the rocket. It has to meet certain qualifications for it to be a multi- fly (ph) and make it into the top 100 of the nation.

For example, fly exactly 750 feet and go up and down in a time span of 48 to 50 seconds.

It has a payload here, -- well, a payload here. And this is the area where we carry the eggs and altimeter. This part holds the motor and the parachutes, and this is the nose cone, where we sometimes put a little clay to add more weight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it separates in the two parts. It`s very simple, lightweight. We use materials that we have ordered from various motor rocketry companies. And even stuff you can buy at the grocery store.

We get along pretty well, and something else - we`re doing just something that more people think we can`t still, so it`s nice to go out there and show the world that we`re just as good as guys are.

It`s inspired me, I want to grow up and possibly be an airspace engineer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now I`m having like a thought that I want to go into computer programming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do it on our own, like tell you what you can`t do -- just show them that you can do it. And, you know, go beyond your limits and just keep pushing to try and get further. Never give up.

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AZUZ: All right. Before we go, we`ve got an extreme nature video: this bear just discovered this camera. The guy who posted this Youtube video says the camera was there to get close footage of grisly bears. This might have been closer than he expected. I`ve always wondered what it would be like to French kiss a bear. Said no one, ever. We`ve heard of needing more iron in your diet, but this one might be taking things a bit far. The beast didn`t actually chew on the camera. If he did trying to get footage back, we`ll be like pulling teeth. I mean it`d be totally unbearable. We`ve set a mouthful, so it`s time for us to go, but we`ll be back tomorrow. And that`s the tooth.

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