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Deadly Attack on Pakistani School; Sierra Leone Fighting Ebola; Plunging Oil Price Cause Inflation in Russia; Effect of Reduced Oil Prices on U.S. Economy; Visiting Your College in Virtual Reality

Aired December 17, 2014 - 04:00:00   ET



MALALA YOUSUFZAI, NOBEL PRIZE WINNER: We stand with all those families and all those children who are injured right now and who are suffering through

this big trauma, and now it is time that we unite and I call up on the international community, leaders in Pakistan, all political parties and

everyone that we should stand up together and fight against terrorism and we should make sure that every child gets safe and quality education.

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Taliban terrorists tried to assassinate Malala Yousufzai in 2012 for sharing those same views. This time, she was

speaking about an attack at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan near the country`s northern border with Afghanistan. On Tuesday, Taliban gunmen

went into the school and killed at least 145 people. Ten were workers, three were soldiers, the rest of the victims were students. More than 100

others were injured.

Pakistani security arrived about 15 minutes after the attack started, officers eventually killed the seven Taliban gunmen. They were members of

the Islamic militant group and political group that used to control Afghanistan.

The U.S.-led war kicked the Taliban out of power in 2001, but the group continues to terrorize the Middle East. Pakistan`s Defense Minister says

they won`t succeed in their evil designs.

The next report we have taken us from the Middle East to the West African nation of Sierra Leone. The World Health Organization says Sierra Leone

now has the world`s highest number of Ebola cases. To try to slow the spread, the nation`s government is canceling large public holiday

celebrations. For Christmas, New Year`s and Boxing Day, an after Christmas gift exchange, public events aren`t allowed this year in Sierra Leone.

About ten percent of people there are Christians. They can still celebrate with family and friends at home. A government official says people aren`t

sad about this that something needs to be done to stop Ebola.

Time for the "Shoutout." What is the currency of Russia? You know what to do. Is it the euro, the rand, the ruble or the rupee? You`ve got three

seconds, go!

The ruble divisible by 100 kopecks is Russia`s currency. That`s your answer and that`s your Shoutout.

We`ve got a couple of economic stories for you now. They center on the potential downsides of the drop in international oil prices. For example,

take Russia. It`s the world`s third largest producer of crude oil. So, as oil prices sink, so can Russia`s economy. As that happens, Russia`s

currency, the ruble loses value. This is one part of inflation, another part being a rise in prices.

It`s becoming more expensive for Russians to buy goods. Especially goods from other countries. Ford, Volkswagen, Adidas, Coca Cola, they`ve all

reported weaker sales in Russia. And because Russia`s economy is closely tied with other in Europe, their major trading partners, it can drag them



PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Russia`s economy, currency and stock market are in tatters what`s going on with oil prices.

Russia recently raising interest rates to 17 percent. 17 percent from 10.5 percent to try and stop this massive slide in its currency, the ruble. It

doesn`t seem to be working just yet, stocks still plunging and it`s not something that is going to be an easy fix for Vladimir Putin, that`s

because of what`s going on with oil. Russia is a country that depends on the energy market for much of its - as long as oil is plunging, it is very,

very serious time for Russia right now. The lower level of the ruble could lead to rapid inflation in the country. That`s never good news, and

because Russia is so intertwined with Europe and other parts of the Western world, this is not an isolated even, this is bad news for the global

economy. Many Western banks have lent money to Russia. If Russia` economy sinks further into the abyss, you could see some banks on the (INAUDIBLE)

for some of those bad loans.

So, Russia definitely a microcosm of what`s plaguing the whole world right now - oil price is plunging, sure, maybe great news for some U.S.

consumers, but it is not good news for the global economy.


AZUZ: One country that`s seeing some benefits of this is the U.S. Spending less on gasoline could lead American to spend more on Christmas

gifts or going out to dinner. That can help the economy. And companies won`t have to pay as much to ship their products, so retail prices,

specifically of food have dropped a bit, but there are downsides here, too.


CRISTINA ALESCI: You can nag a gas below $2 a gallon in 13 states. Just two weeks ago, that number was one. Now, the average consumer is feeling

pretty good about this. Their wallet is just a bit thicker. But here is why it might cost some pain for the average American: first of, it

introduces some more volatility into the stock market. That`s because the raw material for gas, oil is also falling.

Countries around the world aren`t using as much as producers originally anticipated. That`s sending a signal that the global economy is not as

robust as originally thought.

Two, U.S. oil companies have already started layoffs and cutting back projects. That`s going to hit a major source of job growth in this

country. Just to put it into context, from 2007 to 2012, employment across oil U.S. industries dropped by 2.7 percent. During that same time period,

employment in U.S. oil and gas rose by about 32 percent. And the fallout on state budgets could be especially bad in places like Texas, North Dakota

and Alaska. Still, it`s pretty hard to get too down on low oil prices. After all, the U.S. consumer still makes up a major source of economic



AZUZ: This roll call is rounding the globe from Southwest Germany to Southwest, Alaska. We`ll start in the German city of Wiesbaden. We`ve got

some wild cats watching there at Wiesbaden Middle School.

We`ll make a stop in the Midwestern U.S. State of Missouri. Hello to the cardinals. Hello to Benton High School in St. Joseph. And in the Bering

Sea on Nelson Island, it`s great to see the coasters from Tununak Alaska. They are at Paul T. Albert Memorial School.

Virtual college tours. I don`t mean the kind you can see in online maps zooming into famous buildings. I mean the kind that looks like you are

actually in the library, on the quad, in the lab. If you are considering out of state higher education and you can`t afford a higher travel ticket,

a virtual reality headset could be just a ticket.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check out the ceiling, the paintings.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And so, this is all exactly how it`s like?

(voice over): A college tour without even stepping outside.

SEGALL (on camera): So, now I`m at a beautiful courtyard of Yale.

(voice over): That`s me wearing oculus rift. It`s a virtual reality headset that make headlines after Facebook bought it for $2 billion earlier

this year. Now, a company called YouVisit is using it for virtual college tours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have markers in this locations. You have a yellow marker to your left, so if you make it right in front of you, that will

transfer you to the next location.

SEGALL: Right now it`s tracking my eye movements. I`m looking down to get a gallery of places I can visit, and any time I want to go somewhere, I

just look at it, and I transport it.

(on camera): So, are we going to go to the stadium because I don`t want to get in the way of this young lady doing her homework?

(voice over): It`s virtual reality aimed at making college more of a reality.

TAHER BADERKHAN, CTO, YOUVISIT: Our mission from the day we started the company is making a campus visit more attainable to students.

SEGALL: Oculus isn`t widely available yet. And even when it is, most people aren`t going to have a $350 headset at home. But you could start

seeing these devices at college fairs and recruitment events.

BADERKHAN: We are not replacing the actual visit. We are making the kids more excited about doing the actual visit.

SEGALL (on camera): So, this is what it`s like to either be a cheerleader, a football player or an event (ph).

(voice over): If you are not an athlete, this might be the closest you are going to come to the football field. We tested it out with some

professional critics. Our intern goes to Syracuse.

JARED MANDEL, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: This is the (INAUDIBLE) Syracuse University. And it actually feels like I`m back in the student


JORDAN MALTER, PRODUCER, CNN MONEY: While this looks like a cool technology, the best way to experience a school and to know if this is a

place where you want to study is to actually go and visit and meet the people, not just look at an empty dining hall of virtual reality.

SEGALL: But it does enable you to fly across the country from the Ivy Leagues to the Big Ten in a blink of an eye. Like any developing

technology, it`s a work in progress. After wearing the headset for 15 minutes, I was dizzy and ready to finish my college tours. Laurie Segal,

CNN Money, New York.


AZUZ: It`s the oldest excuse in the classroom. The dog ate my homework. No one even believes it, unless your dog is Rasco. He`s a five year old

mutt, and he thought a sophomore`s class project in the Texas High School looked good, better than good - delicious. Pieces were missing from the

Middle Ages farm manor, and the dog was to blame. One trip to the emergency vet later, the dog was all right, but the project had to be


It seems Rasco its all manor of things. His taste is all over the place. The project was dogged by delays, and we don`t know if the dog`s doctors

note fetch forgiveness of the teacher - it`d have to be vetted for sure, but at least the excuse had teeth. I`m Carl Azuz. That is a bowl (ph) our