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  • CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: A conservation clean up project and an accidental scholarship offer.

  • That`s coming up this Thursday on CNN STUDENT NEWS.

  • But our first story involves the civil war in Syria.

  • U.S. officials say they have evidence that chemical weapons have been used in Syria,

  • but they don`t know how they were used, when they were used or which side used them.

  • President Obama said those details need to be sorted out.

  • BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The use of chemical weapons would be a game changer.

  • Not simply for the United States, but for the international community.

  • We`ve got to do everything we can to investigate and establish with some certainty what exactly has happened in Syria, what is happening in Syria.

  • When I`m making decisions about America`s national security and the potential for taking additional action

  • in response to chemical weapon use, I`ve got to make sure I`ve got the facts.

  • TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chemical weapons can be deployed any number of ways: they can be introduced intro food or water.

  • They can be sprayed from airplanes, they can even be launched as artillery shells.

  • For example, this liquid poison would be blasted off, it would hit the ground as the liquid spread out it will turn into a gas that would simply affect everything in the region.

  • That`s what they believe happened in several towns here in Syria.

  • But here`s the insidious thing: if we`re really talking about sarin gas,

  • it is colorless, it is odorless, and it has no taste, so that people who are under attack would not even know it was happening to them.

  • But they might now the symptoms, because they could come on almost immediately.

  • Remember, this was developed as a pesticide.

  • And this is what it does to humans: it causes blurred vision, rapid breathing, heavy sweating, confusion, headaches, nausea and at the very worst cases, convulsions, paralysis and death.

  • What it`s doing is attacking the nervous system. It`s essentially shutting your body down.

  • That`s what kills people, and why this is considered such a bad thing.

  • But there is a trick to all of this: the trick is even if you had a massive rocket barrage of sarin gas,

  • you wouldn`t necessarily know that that`s what happened,

  • because even though it is lethal, it`s not long lasting, it disperses very quickly.

  • So while investigators now think - think they have some evidence that the Assad regime used sarin gas on people there,

  • they would have to work very hard to establish concrete proof.

  • AZUZ: Next today: new developments in the Boston marathon bombing investigation.

  • Yesterday authorities announced that three additional suspects were in custody.

  • They are friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect from last month terror bombings.

  • The man in the gray hoodie is Tsarnaev.

  • The two people to his left are Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev.

  • They are from Kazakhstan. They came to the U.S. on student visas.

  • The third new suspect is Robel Philippos.

  • He is a U.S. citizen.

  • These three aren`t suspects in the actual bombing.

  • The charges they are facing suggest they are accused of helping the suspected bombers after the attack.

  • And officials told CNN that the two Kazakhs are suspected of taking things from Tsarnaev`s dorm room and then throwing them in the dumpster.

  • The third suspect has been charged with making false statements to law enforcement officials during a terrorism investigation.

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Shivnen`s, Mrs. Hill`s and Mrs. Daman`s social studies classes

  • at Romulus High School in Romulus, Michigan.

  • Which of these rivers is longest?

  • You know what to do?

  • Is it the Ganges, Mississippi, Euphrates or Thames?

  • Is it the Ganges, Mississippi, Euphrates or Thames?

  • You`ve got three seconds, go!

  • The longest here is the Mississippi stretching around 2300 miles from Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico.

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

  • AZUZ: When Chad Pregracke was a teenager, he had a job diving for shelves in the Mississippi.

  • But he started noticing other things in the water like pianos, hot tubs, tractors, school buses.

  • He decided to do something about this: the first year he pulled around 45,000 pounds of trash out of the river.

  • 15 year later, his organization has removed more than 7 million pounds of debris,

  • and that`s why he`s one of this year`s CNN heroes.

  • CHAD PREGRACKE, DEFENDING THE PLANET: 67,000 tires.

  • 951 refrigerators.

  • 233 stoves.

  • It`s crazy what you find in the rivers.

  • I grew up around the Mississippi River.

  • Around the age of 17, I really started to focus on the problem.

  • 18 million people get their daily drinking water from the river.

  • I`m thinking this shouldn`t be like this.

  • This stuff just collects here and it goes on for blocks like this.

  • It`s a bad deal.

  • I said, you know what? If no one`s going to do anything about it, I will.

  • I`m Chad Pregracke with help of over 70,000 volunteers.

  • We`ve removed over 7 million pounds of garbage from America`s rivers.

  • You guys ready?

  • AUDIENCE: Yes!

  • PREGRACKE: Yeah!

  • My primary focus is the Mississippi River.

  • You guys will be amazed, in two hours how much stuff we get.

  • In all, we`ve worked on 22 rivers in 18 states.

  • We do everything in our power to get people excited about it, because at the end of the day it`s just you`re out there picking up garbage.

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you just find a basketball?

  • PREGRACKE: It`s yours. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I have it? OK.

  • PREGRACKE: It`s totally yours.

  • Little by little, we`re getting it.

  • But you`re having fun? Fun.

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) pretty sure that I didn`t think I would be singing karaoke on the boat.

  • PREGRACKE: People want to see change and they`re stepping up to make change.

  • That was the last bag! Come on! Let`s get it out! Yeah!

  • PREGRACKE: This is a problem that people created. And a problem that people can fix.

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This says, congratulations. We`re very pleased to inform you of your selection.

  • AZUZ: Kristen Cotton said she almost cried when she read that letter.

  • It was for one of her students Torrean Johnson.

  • It said he was given a full college scholarship from a program she`d nominated him for.

  • TORREAN JOHNSON, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: For a second, I was completely just - that was utter joy.

  • And then I looked up on my email and it turned out I didn`t really get it.

  • AZUZ: It turned out the letter was a mistake.

  • Someone who worked at the scholarship program`s office accidentally sent it to Torrean`s teacher and 275 other applicants.

  • The Gates Millennium Scholar program has apologized, says it`s deeply embarrassed.

  • Torrean is fourth in his class.

  • He`s student body president and made it to the state jazz band competition.

  • He`s getting other scholarship offers, but none as good as this one.

  • Torrean says he`ll find another way to achieve his goal of becoming a doctor.

  • He says he`ll learn from his disappointment and move on.

  • He seems to be handling this well. But how would you react if something like it happen to you?

  • That`s what we are talking about on our Facebook page.

  • If you`re on Facebook, find us at Facebook.com/cnnstudentnews.

  • That`s where we asked about media coverage, specifically, how the media handled the Jason Collins story.

  • Eleesa thinks, "It`s great how they handled it. People should be able to be themselves and not get judged, which is what the media shows."

  • From Tyler. "Tim Tebow: I`m a Christian. Media: Keep it to yourself.

  • Jason Collins: I`m gay. Media: This man`s a hero."

  • Kendra believes, this shouldn`t be talked about at all, it`s none of our business, it`s his life.

  • Andrew says, "Big deal, he`s gay. Who cares?"

  • J`mya wrote, "In the next couple of years, this kind of news will be normal."

  • Caiti says, "Positive attention is good and could encourage others to come out as well, but too much attention could be unwanted for something as personal as sexual orientation."

  • Austin thought the coverage was good. "It makes me proud of my country to know that the media didn`t make a big deal about it."

  • And from Joshua: "The media goes for things that will make Americans reach for the tissues and other human interest stories, not things that will change the way they live."

  • Lastly today, the hiccups.

  • You can get them after a big meal, you can get them after something exciting happens.

  • Fortunately, they usually last just a few minutes.

  • In rare cases, for months, in the cases of really bad timing, they can last throughout a live weather forecast.

  • JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Talk about high pressure.

  • There`s never a good time for hiccups, but this was a bad one.

  • DAVID PAUL, KHOU 11 NEWS METEOROLOGIST: ... showers and a couple of thunderstorms.

  • MOOS: When KHOU meteorologist David Paul started his forecast for the Houston area, he hoped it was just a passing hiccup.

  • PAUL: Once you get outside the Beltway - really, it`s highway 6 ...

  • MOOS: But the involuntary contractions of the diaphragm continued ...

  • PAUL: (inaudible) - excuse me. I have the hiccups, of course.

  • MOOS: David told us he`d been having bouts of hiccups all day, but usually they stop when the red light on the camera comes on.

  • PAUL: Having some redevelopment of thunderstorms right in here, excuse me.

  • It was the most helpless feeling I`ve ever had on live TV.

  • And had some rain shower developing as well.

  • I did put a storm tracker on this.

  • MOOS: What we need is a hiccup tracker.

  • In a forecast that lasted about three minutes.

  • PAUL: Look--

  • MOOS: We counted a total of 14 hiccups and seven excuse me`s.

  • Even a drink of water didn`t help.

  • PAUL: Thank you. I appreciate it.

  • MOOS: But at least he`s getting praised for soldiering through and maintaining his dignity, all those hiccups ...

  • PAUL: Are compared to ...

  • MOOS: Are nothing to sneeze at.

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (sneezing)

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we go.

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. That`s a first..

  • AZUZ: You expect to get some attention when you go in front of a camera, but for that meteorologist, hiccup runneth over.

  • I enjoyed meeting the students of White County (ph) who visited CNN yesterday.

  • Hopes you all will be back here tomorrow.

  • END

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: A conservation clean up project and an accidental scholarship offer.

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May 2, 2013 - CNN Student News with subtitles

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