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  • It`s great to see you.

  • Thanks for taking 10 minutes for current events sans commercials.

  • I`m Carl Azuz in Atlanta.

  • In Sana`a, the capital of Yemen, international workers, civilians,

  • women and children pack the airport,

  • exhausted from conflict and relieved to be going home.

  • Thousands are being evacuated from the shelling,

  • the bombing and the gunshots.

  • But their flights have to be coordinated

  • with the military of neighboring Saudi Arabia

  • because it`s leading the airstrikes against the Houthi rebels

  • that have taken over Yemen`s government.

  • Hundreds have been killed in the fighting.

  • The Houthis are allied with Iran.

  • Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region

  • want to kick out the rebels and reinstate Yemen`s deposed president.

  • The Saudis` firepower is immense.

  • Saudi Arabia is the best funded armed force in the Gulf region,

  • with training and operational ties to the U.S., U.K. and France,

  • according to The Institute of Strategic Studies,

  • in 2014, the country`s defense expenditure was $80.8 billion.

  • That`s 10 percent of the country`s GDP

  • and the third largest defense budget in the world.

  • Its military force is made up of 227,000 active members.

  • The army has 75,000 troops,

  • but its biggest ground force is the 100,000 strong national guard,

  • made up largely of tribal-based militia.

  • The primary mission of this force

  • is to protect the royal family from internal conflicts.

  • But their involvement in the liberation of Kuwait in the 1990s

  • showed that it can also be deployed as an external force

  • when the security of the country is threatened.

  • Saudi Arabia also boasts a 13,500 person navy

  • and an air force of 20,000 people.

  • The fleet comprises U.S.-produced F-15 fighter planes,

  • European-developed Tornadoes and Eurofighter Typhoons.

  • The Saudi forces are also equipped with

  • American-made AH-64 Apache helicopters,

  • 315 M1A2 Abrams tanks and it has recently

  • invested heavily in anti-tank missiles.

  • The Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force

  • has also seen heavy investment in recent years,

  • equipped with Chinese-made DF-21s and DF-3 delivery systems,

  • built to launch long distance, high explosive warheads.

  • Of all the main players in the Gulf region,

  • the Saudi military is considered to be the best armed,

  • benefiting greatly from funds gained through the country`s vast oil wealth.

  • On yesterday`s transcript page at cnnstudentnews.com,

  • we heard from The Beaver State and The Green Mountain State.

  • Ashland is a city in Oregon

  • and it`s the home of The Cubs of the Ashland Middle School.

  • Good to see you.

  • Colchester is a town in Vermont.

  • It`s where The Lakers dive in at Colchester High School.

  • And from South Korea`s second largest city, that`s Busan,

  • we welcome the students of Jangjeon Middle School.

  • Is the U.S. economy stalling?

  • It gained momentum in 2014

  • and had been growing by more than 200,000 jobs

  • every month for a solid year.

  • But the latest jobs report that came out for the month

  • of March was a disappointment.

  • It said the U.S. added 126,000 jobs

  • when more then 240,000 were expected.

  • The unemployment rate stayed the same at 5.5 percent.

  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta forecasts

  • that in the first quarter of 2015,

  • the U.S. economy grew 0 percent.

  • Analysts are waiting to see if the March jobs report

  • is just a hiccup or a sign that the economy could be on the slide.

  • Tornadoes are the most violent storms on Earth.

  • Unlike the North Atlantic hurricane season,

  • there are no dates that define tornado season in the US.

  • Twisters can form at any time of the year and forecasters

  • aren`t able to predict them as far in advance as hurricanes,

  • though they can report when conditions are ripe for tornadoes.

  • That usually happens in the spring and summer.

  • Accuweather.com is forecasting a round of severe storms this week

  • in an area stretching from Northeast Texas to Illinois.

  • What causes them to spin off tornadoes?

  • Tornadoes are so powerful,

  • they can flatten homes to their foundation.

  • They can pull asphalt right off of a highway

  • and they can toss around 18 wheelers like they were small toys.

  • Tornadoes can be the most deadly

  • and destructive weather phenomenon on Earth.

  • In fact, about 1,000 tornadoes occur every year in the US.

  • That`s more than anywhere else on the planet.

  • Some of the strongest tornadoes

  • can pack winds of 300 miles per hour or more.

  • It can be as small as a couple of hundred yards wide,

  • all the way to two and a half miles wide and their path of destruction

  • can be a couple of hundred yards or extend out 50 miles or more.

  • When conditions are just right, you`ll get warm,

  • moist air coming in from the Gulf of Mexico.

  • That will collide with dry, cooler air from the north.

  • When these air masses collide, it creates lift in the atmosphere.

  • And when you get those winds rotating

  • and increasing speed with height,

  • that will create a horizontal column of air that`s spinning,

  • Then you get a downdraft from a thunderstorm

  • and that will pull that column of air all the way

  • down to the ground and then you have a tornado.

  • It was the shortest lunar eclipse of the century, according to NASA.

  • So unless you were looking for it during the five minute period

  • it was visible, you probably missed Saturday morning`s celestial event.

  • The sun, the Earth and the moon were lined up just right,

  • with the Earth in between,

  • so that our planet`s shadow covered the moon.

  • It appeared to take on a burnt orange color,

  • giving it the nickname blood moon.

  • Scientists say the Earth`s atmosphere

  • filters out most of the blue light causing the moon o appear red.

  • The next blood moon is the fourth

  • in a series of them. It`s expected on September 28th.

  • Time for the Shoutout.

  • What part of the human brain is the largest?

  • If you think you know it, shout it out.

  • Is it the cerebrum, cerebellum, medulla, or brain stem.

  • You`ve got three seconds.Go.

  • If you are the cerebral type,

  • you may already know that the cerebrum

  • is the biggest part of the human brain.

  • That`s your answer and that`s your Shoutout.

  • How we interpret touch, how we reason, how we learn,

  • it`s all believed to be determined by our cerebrum

  • and doctors say that what our brains encounter

  • in the first five years we`re alive can have this tremendous

  • impact on how we learn later on.

  • Research looking into babies` brain development

  • shows one thing that can help is the element of surprise.

  • Scientists believe babies

  • are born with an innate knowledge about the world,

  • with a set of expectations about how the world works.

  • What they don`t fully understand yet is how babies will learn more.

  • Well, there`s some new research out there

  • that was published in the journal "Science"

  • that suggests babies learn best when they are surprised.

  • For instance, when an object doesn`t behave in a way the baby expects,

  • then they`re going to focus on that object

  • and ultimately learn more about it.

  • So in this series of experiments, researchers at Johns Hopkins University,

  • they showed 11 month old babies something surprising

  • and also something predictable.

  • One group of babies, for example,

  • saw a ball like this roll down a ramp and get stopped by a wall.

  • That was predictable.

  • Another group saw that same ball roll down the ramp

  • and then pass through the wall, as if by magic.

  • That was unexpected.

  • That was surprising.

  • Or how about a toy train?

  • A toy train is expected to roll on a table like this.

  • But what if when it got to the end of the table,

  • it just kept going?

  • That would be surprising to the baby.

  • And scientists believe that babies` play is linked to learning.

  • To test that theory, researchers at Johns Hopkins

  • then gave the babies the objects to play with.

  • The babies who saw the ball pass through the wall,

  • they were more interested in playing with

  • that ball afterwards than the babies who saw it roll to a stop.

  • The babies were also more inclined to bang the ball

  • against their hands and then bang the ball

  • against the table to see if the ball was, in fact, solid.

  • Look, whether it`s a magical ball or perhaps a flying train,

  • provide the unexpected and kids are going to be more likely to learn.

  • We wouldn`t say this last video will make your skin crawl,

  • but thanks to a series of photos taken by a professor at Yale University,

  • we can see how a dragonfly sheds its own.

  • First, it cracks its old skin and wiggles out, head first, upside down.

  • It waits a while for its legs to dry,

  • flips over and pumps up its wings with air.

  • Its abdomen stretches out

  • and then the insect spreads its wings and takes off,

  • leaving the old skin behind.

  • It takes about 10 hours. But thanks to that video,

  • the time seems to dragon fly by,

  • even if it looks like the insect is just winging it.

  • Don`t let our puns bug you we try to change them out

  • to keep them fresh and we will have more for you tomorrow.

  • I`m Carl Azuz.

It`s great to see you.

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April 7, 2015 - CNN Student News with subtitles

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