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  • Social studies, geography and science,

  • all will factor into CNN STUDENT NEWS today. I`m Carl Azuz.

  • We`re starting with news from North Korea.

  • The communist dictator says it`s developed the ability

  • to miniaturized nuclear weapons.

  • Here`s why that`s significant: making nukes smaller

  • is a key stop toward being able to put them on long range missiles.

  • U.S. military officials say America could intercept any potential attack from North Korea.

  • And there`s some debate about U.S. officials

  • over whether North Korea really has this technology.

  • The Asian country`s government is very secretive.

  • It`s hard for others to verify the claims that North Korea makes.

  • Still, despite the numerous problems with its economy,

  • North Korea spends a lot on defense

  • and has a history of using its military to provoke other countries.

  • North Korea continues to ramp up the military rhetoric

  • that we saw when we were on the ground in Pyongyang.

  • While we were in the North Korea, just this month,

  • the country boasted about launching a missile from a submarine.

  • Of course, publicity photos of that event were later suspected of being doctored,

  • which raises the question of credibility.

  • Is Pyongyang embellishing the technology that they have in hand right now?

  • Or they truly have the capability to miniaturize nuclear weapons -- in other words,

  • to make them small enough to place them on some sort of missile

  • and launch them towards an enemy, such as the United States?

  • The Pentagon is certainly taking this threat seriously,

  • even saying as recently as last month,

  • they do believe North Korea has this kind of technology.

  • And if that is the case, not only does it pose a threat

  • and a grave concern to the United States,

  • but also other powers in the Asia-Pacific region -- China, India, Japan, South Korea,

  • all within gunshot of North Korea and nervous anytime

  • this militarized nation announces yet another development in its military technology.

  • North Korea spends a tremendous amount of money developing its nuclear program,

  • often at the expense of feeding its own people.

  • And while they say they want to connect more with the international community,

  • they took another step towards isolation,

  • when Pyongyang abruptly cancelled a scheduled visit by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

  • to the Kaesong industrial complex.

  • It would have been the first visit of its kind in some 20 years.

  • The secretary general was hoping to discuss reunification.

  • But instead, North Korea cut that trip off and made an announcement

  • about another development in their nuclear program,

  • further isolating this rogue nation.Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.

  • The White House says it`s looking at ways to train and arm Iraqi tribes,

  • as Iraq`s government plans a counterattack in the city of Ramadi.

  • It`s in central Iraq. After months of fighting there,

  • the ISIS terrorist group captured Ramadi early this week.

  • Thousands of residents have fled the city.

  • And as the Iraqi government calls for international help

  • in Iraq`s war against terrorism,

  • it`s also calling for its people to volunteer to fight ISIS

  • and help regain control of Ramadi.

  • The city is a strategically important place.

  • So, why is Ramadi such a key battleground in the fight against ISIS?

  • Well, it`s hugely significant,

  • both to the United States as well as to the Iraqi government.

  • First of all, Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province,

  • which is the largest province in Iraq,

  • but not necessarily the most densely populated one.

  • And the government of Haider al Abadi,

  • the prime minister, declared that Anbar was going to be the next place

  • it would try to back from ISIS.

  • So, losing the capital Anbar was certainly a big blow to the Iraqi government.

  • Also, now that ISIS holds this city,

  • they now have three provincial capitals in Iraq and in Syria.

  • And we also have to keep in mind that Ramadi has a population of about 500,000

  • and many of those people are either on the run

  • or under the control of the extremists.

  • However, Ramadi also has major importance to the U.S.

  • and especially to many U.S. service members who fought in Iraq.

  • In the years between 2004 and 2006,

  • it was one of the worst battlegrounds for U.S. forces in all of Iraq.

  • Thousands of United States Marines as well as soldiers fought there,

  • trying to hold the town and take it back from Sunni insurgents.

  • And many of those insurgents came from a precursor organization of ISIS

  • which was called al Qaeda in Iraq.

  • And it was really after very tough battles with a lot of casualties

  • that the U.S. managed to win.

  • And Ramadi also became a turning point in the war in Iraq

  • when the U.S. employed a new strategy,

  • which was called the Sons of Iraq or the Sunni Awakening program,

  • where they actually started to talk to a lot of the Sunni tribes

  • that were allied against them and made them join forces with the U.S.,

  • as well as with the Iraqi government,

  • to turn on the insurgents and therefore win back Anbar province from al Qaeda in Iraq.

  • So, certainly, there will be a lot of U.S. veterans out there

  • looking at what`s happening in Ramadi right now with great anger.

  • In order on today`s roll: the Natural State,

  • the Beehive State and the Sunshine State.

  • Starting in Arkansas, there`s a city there named Judsonia

  • and that`s where the Bears are watching at White County Central Schools.

  • Now to Utah. The Seahawks are soaring over Syracuse.

  • That`s the home of Syracuse Junior High School.

  • And in Tampa, Florida, shout-out to Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School.

  • The Phoenix are on CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • Some U.S. lawmakers are pushing for a pay raise.

  • Five things to know about this:

  • One, members of Congress are currently paid $174,000 a year

  • for their service in the government.

  • It`s been that way since 2009, the last time their pay was raised.

  • Two, Representative Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Florida,

  • and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer,

  • a Democrat from Maryland, are calling for the increase.

  • Hastings says it`s so expensive to live in the capital

  • that an increasing number of lawmakers sleep in their offices

  • because they can`t afford to rent an apartment in the city

  • and maintain a home in the district they represent.

  • Three, a one bedroom in northeast Washington, D.C.

  • can cost more than $2,000 a month.

  • "USA Today" says a resident would need to earn $108,000

  • to live comfortably in the capital.

  • Four, most lawmakers are millionaires.

  • Representative Hastings says the high cost of renting

  • would keep middle and lower class from serving in Congress.

  • Five, many Americans might not agree with this.

  • The average household income in the U.S. is just under $52,000 a year.

  • It`s said to be the thinnest compound known to man,

  • a tiny fraction of the thickness of a human hair.

  • It`s incredibly lightweight, an exceptional conductor of heat

  • and electricity and it`s more than 100 times stronger than steel.

  • But you probably haven`t heard of it because graphene,

  • as it`s known, wasn`t isolated until recently.

  • If researchers find a way to mass produce

  • and that`s still an "if" at this point, what could it be good for?

  • It`s only as thick as a single atom. It`s super bendy,

  • but it`s also one of the strongest substances on Earth,

  • a form of carbon called graphene.

  • The guys who first isolated this amazing stuff,

  • Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, won a Nobel Prize in 2010.

  • Now, the world is racing to figure out how graphene can be used

  • to create new products that could change our lives.

  • Researchers at England`s University of Exeter say

  • they`ve used graphene to create the first truly electronic textile,

  • electrodes embedded in yarn.

  • That may lead to clothes with lightweight, invisible devices,

  • , like computers or smartphones woven inside.

  • Graphene`s super strength could lead to better bullet-proof vest

  • and bendable electronic newspapers.

  • At Michigan Tech, scientists are experimenting

  • with graphene and 3D bio printers to make synthetic nerve tissues

  • that could help patients with spinal injury.

  • Graphene also could lead to super batteries and machines

  • that turn hydrogen gas and the air around us into electricity.

  • The promise of graphene may still be years away,

  • because experts still need to figure out

  • a good way to mass produce it before they invent,

  • design and test all the various products that would come from it.

  • But if all goes well, graphene could be the key to a lot of mind blowing technology.

  • There`s something blooming on the southern Australian island of Tasmania

  • and it has set the shore aglow.

  • Scientists say the brilliant light show is the work of dinoflagellates.

  • They`re single-celled organisms that are common in the ocean

  • by the high concentration of them here

  • causing a brilliant bloom of blue is not common.

  • They seem to light up when something disturbs the water,

  • a boat passing by, a rock thrown in, a breaking wave.

  • So, it`s a neon and off thing, bringing out the bio-luminescence of beauty,

  • the light that lights and delights the people with a sight for shore (ph) eyes.

  • I`m Carl Azuz. Hope to see you tomorrow.

Social studies, geography and science,

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May 21, 2015 - CNN Student News with subtitle

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