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  • We are happy to see you this St. Patrick’s Day.

  • In a few minutes, were exploring the science of happiness. I’m Carl Azuz. Let’s get started.

  • First up, U.S. President Barack Obama has named his choice to fill a vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • The nominee is Merrick Garland. He’s a 63-year-old federal judge.

  • He’s a graduate of Harvard Law School.

  • He was appointed to his current job by former President Bill Clinton.

  • Judge Garland calls the Supreme Court nomination the greatest honor of his life.

  • And President Obama calls him one of America’s sharpest legal minds.

  • But according to the U.S. Constitution,

  • the Senate provides advice and consent concerning the president’s Supreme Court nominees.

  • That means the Senate has the power to either confirm or reject Judge Garland’s appointment.

  • At this point, it doesn’t look likely that hell get confirmed

  • because the Senate has no plans to hold a hearing about Judge Garland.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and several other Republicans

  • say it should be up to the next president to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

  • They say the American people should have a voice in filling it.

  • So, a political battle has begun between the Democratic president and the Republican Senate.

  • El Nino, a natural warming of water surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean

  • has gotten a lot of blame for disrupting normal U.S. weather patterns this winter.

  • But it’s had some upsides.

  • For one thing, especially in northern California, El Nino’s heavy rain and snow

  • had been quickly filling up a number of reservoirs.

  • Water levels in Lake Oroville are now higher than average,

  • Lake Shasta also above average for this time of year.

  • This does not mean the state’s historic drought is over.

  • Southern California still has low ground water levels.

  • There hasn’t been enough rain to support many plants and animals.

  • And when the concentrated and heavy rains do come, they can bring other dangers to parched land.

  • From Northern California where buildings teeter on the edge,

  • to Southern California where high winds have turned deadly,

  • El Nino is definitely here and it’s strong.

  • El Nino is an unusual warming in the equatorial eastern Pacific.

  • It’s 2 1/2 times the size of the Continental United States.

  • That warm Pacific water has brought unusual sea life to California.

  • It’s also the catalyst for El Nino rainstorms.

  • This reservoir north of San Francisco tells the story.

  • It’s at full capacity for the first time in about a year.

  • The overflow feeding down into creeks and streams.

  • That’s great for the fish population and the river otters that live here.

  • So, these are relatively small reservoir.

  • So, we have between a two or maybe three-year supply of water.

  • Much less than the 4.5 million acre feed at Shasta Lake,

  • the largest reservoir in California.

  • With all the rain, it’s now more than 75 percent full, and it may not be done.

  • Because this El Nino is expected to behave like the one in 1998.

  • It’s eerie how they replicated each other.

  • NASA’s Bill Patzert says that’s why he thinks the most rain will come late in the season,

  • just as it did 18 years ago.

  • So many here are literally on edge.

  • For residents in Southern California, the issue is mudslides, especially in areas scorched by wildfire.

  • Those great storms start rampaging and dropping copious amounts of water,

  • theyll rush out of the hills, into the foothills.

  • And remember, everything below that is a flood plain.

  • But don’t expect all that rain to bust the epic drought here.

  • L.A. County captures some ground water, but the fact is,

  • most of it is lost, running out into the Pacific Ocean.

  • It will take more than a decade of above normal snow pack and rainfall to get us out of this drought.

  • From North America to Central America, get ready for a hemispheric "Roll Call".

  • Eufaula High School is watching today, home of the Tigers.

  • Great to have Eufaula, Alabama, on the roll.

  • Weve also got some Tigers watching in Colorado, from Early College Academy.

  • Hello to our viewers in the city of Greely.

  • And in the capital of El Salvador, which is San Salvador,

  • thank your for watching from Escuela Americana.

  • There’s one fewer candidate in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

  • Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced he was suspending his campaign

  • after he was defeated in his home state Tuesday by businessman and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

  • Rubio said to his supporters,

  • "While we are on the right side this year, we will not be on the winning side."

  • This leaves three Republicans still in the race.

  • And the latest delegate count following Tuesday’s contest in five states,

  • Donald Trump leads the candidates with 662 delegates,

  • Texas Senator Ted Cruz has 408, and Ohio Governor John Kasich has 143.

  • A Republican needs 1,237 delegates to win that party’s nomination.

  • For the Democrats, 2,383 delegates are needed to secure the nomination.

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads with 1,116 pledged delegates and 472 super delegates.

  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has 794 pledged delegates and 23 super delegates.

  • But remember, super delegates can change their mind and vote for the other candidate.

  • Happiness is such an important quality that the American Founding Fathers

  • referenced it in the Declaration of Independence.

  • The creator of the comic "Peanuts" simply said, "Happiness is a warm puppy".

  • Now, maybe you agree with that, maybe youre a cat person.

  • But scientifically speaking, it appears that happy and healthy may go hand in hand.

  • Here’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta to explain how.

  • Happiness isn’t just a pleasant th ing you feel.

  • Science proves it’s much deeper than that.

  • Feeling happy actually helps you live a longer, healthier life.

  • But how? A large part of our happiness is tied to our social connections.

  • In fact, if you don’t have at least one close friend, youre less likely to be happy.

  • Each of us have these things called telomeres.

  • Those are tiny caps on our DNA chromosomes that measure our cellular age.

  • And it turns out, they also measure how many friends we have.

  • No friends, equal shorter telomeres.

  • So, by simply being social, you can actually slow down your biological age, living longer and happier.

  • Another way to boost your level of happiness is by meditating.

  • research shows as little as many as 20 minutes a day can lower your level of stress hormones.

  • Time for a pop quiz. Is this glass half-empty or half-full?

  • If you said half full, youre on your way to feeling happier and healthier.

  • A Harvard study found that optimists are 50 percent less likely

  • to have heart disease or heart attack or a stroke.

  • Keeping an overall optimistic attitude actually offers protection against cardiovascular disease.

  • Science doesn’t fare as well for pessimists.

  • They not only have lower levels of happiness compared to optimists,

  • but research shows that people with negative thoughts are three times as likely

  • to develop health problems as they age.

  • So, what can you do if youre not a naturally happy person?

  • Well, experts say the key is to act as though youre an optimist, even if youre not.

  • It started with people in horses. It accelerated with boats, cars and planes.

  • The sport of racing has changed as dramatically as the technology that speeds things up.

  • When you take the fundamentals of RC racing,

  • you make that airborne and you thrown in a virtual reality headset,

  • you get one of the newest dynamic pro-racing sports and it’s at your fingertips.

  • In parks, garages, and almost any open place around the world,

  • a new sport is emerging at breakneck speeds: this is professional drone racing.

  • It can be so nerve-racking that my entire body starts shaking.

  • When I look through here, I can see the image coming straight from the quad copter

  • with a small camera on the bottom.

  • This is essentially the next F1 meets X Games.

  • Races can top speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.

  • For these pilots, there’s big money at stake, $1 million,

  • and a chance to compete at a world championship in Dubai.

  • The qualifying starts right on this track, a 150-meter track built to look like the set of Tron.

  • By day, Ken Loo is a design engineer at Google.

  • In his free time, he’s known as Flying Bear.

  • Racing drones has become his obsession.

  • Most importantly, it’s about having steady thumbs and being calm under pressure.

  • So, it’s all about the thumbs?

  • It’s really all about the thumbs.

  • So, whether you give that a thumbs up or a thumbs down,

  • for those on whom the sport leaves an imprint,

  • maybe it’s hard to put their finger on or hard to nail down,

  • but it’s certainly thumthing special.

  • I’m Carl Azuz, and I love to drone on with puns.

We are happy to see you this St. Patrick’s Day.

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March 17, 2016 - CNN Student News with subtitle

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