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  • Happy Saint Patrick`s Day.I`m Carl Azuz.

  • CNN STUDENT NEWS is kicking off

  • another 10 minutes of commercial-free coverage.

  • Authorities are slowly combing over the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.

  • It has 83 small island.

  • About 65 of them are inhibited and it just suffered

  • one of the most powerful storms ever to make landfill.

  • Tropical Cyclone Pam was a category five storm.

  • At one point, it had sustained wind speeds of 165 miles per hour.

  • It raked over Vanuatu for 24 hours last weekend.

  • At least 24 lives were lost,

  • but officials don`t know yet the full extent of the damage.

  • They think this could be one of the worst disasters ever seen in the Pacific.

  • International aid is coming in slowly,

  • but it`s hard to get to the islands.

  • The fact that radio and phone communications

  • have been knocked out is just one of the problems

  • hampering recovery efforts.

  • Just trying to get a sense of the scale of the damage here

  • in a country that has more than 80 islands,

  • some of them very difficult to reach right now,

  • is very hard to do.

  • We`ve just been trying to survey some of the extent

  • of the damage here in the capital, Port Villa.

  • It takes a view like this to give you a sense of the sheer power

  • of the wind of Cyclone Pam

  • when she ripped through here on Friday night,

  • tearing trees in half and damaging nearly every building in this area.

  • Some houses were quite simply flattened.

  • Fortunately, residents tell me nobody in this neighborhood

  • was hurt in this terrible storm.

  • And that`s due, in large part, to training and preparation.

  • Where was everybody on the night of the storm?

  • Everybody was inside the evacuation center.

  • This church right here?

  • This church building, yes.

  • And that was part of a plan.

  • Of course, that was part of the plan which we

  • -- the training that we had.

  • And the church is just like a mini

  • -- a main evacuation center due to cyclones.

  • Do you think that saved lives?

  • Of course it did.

  • The church is still serving as a temporary shelter

  • for dozens of people from this community.

  • There is still no electricity three days after the storm.

  • There is still no running water.

  • And untold thousands and thousands of people made homeless.

  • And a bigger problem is nobody really knows

  • the extent of the damage or the potential loss of life

  • on dozens of other islands of Vanuatu,

  • one of the poorest countries in the Pacific.

  • What -- what`s striking is people --

  • many of them have had their homes destroyed.

  • Some of these people, they rely on subsistence farming,

  • basically for food.

  • They`ve had their farms destroyed,

  • estimated some 80 percent of these subsistence farms

  • on one of the main islands here, Tanna, destroyed.

  • So people are spending what little money they have to buy some rice and

  • -- and they`re going to run out of those funds, as well.

  • That gives you a sense of how difficult this

  • -- a challenge this is going to be for this,

  • really one of the poorest countries in the Pacific.

  • UNICEF, the United Nations fund to help children worldwide,

  • says 60,000 kids in Vanuatu need help.

  • It`s among the church groups,

  • government and international aid organizations

  • that are sending assistance to Vanuatu.

  • CNN`s Impact Your World site has a list of these groups.

  • For ideas on how and where you can contribute,

  • CNN.com/impact is a good starting point.

  • The first school featured in today`s Roll Call

  • is in a part of North Dakota that`s listed on

  • The National Register of Historic Places.

  • Fort Totten is named for a military site built just after the Civil War.

  • It`s where Four Winds High School is watching.

  • Their mascot is The Indians.

  • In the Buckeye State,

  • we`re glad to be part of your day at St. Joseph Orphanage.

  • Hello to the students watching in Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • And in Ukraine, we received a Roll Call request

  • from the Kyiv International School. It`s in the capital of Kiev.

  • It wouldn`t be hard to find Bostonians

  • who are absolutely sick of snow.

  • But they do have a silver lining in this white winter.

  • They`ve just weather their city`s snowiest season since 1872.

  • That`s as far back as Boston`s weather records go.

  • And with 108.6 inches of snow recorded this season,

  • they`ll have bragging rights for at least another year.

  • It`s been a winter of superlatives for Beantown -- coldest month ever,

  • this February; snowiest January storm ever, this year;

  • having just posted the snowiest winter ever is the icing on the city.

  • One disclaimer, though, winter is not over yet.

  • This record could grow.

  • Just the Facts -- chemical weapons like mustard gas

  • or nerve agents are named for the toxic chemicals they carry.

  • They can cause death,

  • permanent damage or temporary disability to people or animals.

  • Their use in warfare was outlawed in 1925,

  • though they have been used since then.

  • Some nations have developed chemical weapons

  • as a threat or a deterrent to attacks.

  • During the cold war,

  • the U.S. and Soviet Union built up

  • massive stockpiles of chemical weapons.

  • The U.S. and Russia are now in the process of destroying those weapons.

  • Critics of the international commitment to eliminate them say

  • that if the U.S. is ever attacked with chemical weapons,

  • it won`t have any left of its own to retaliate with.

  • Supporters say America has a range of non-chemical weapons

  • that it could use instead.

  • Another reason for their destruction

  • -- terrorist groups have tried to get chemical weapons.

  • The process of eliminating them is not a simple one.

  • We plan for the worst possible event.

  • You know, is this a dangerous profession?

  • A lot of professions are.

  • I never thought I would be working with chemical weapons.

  • This is my most favorite job. I love what I do.

  • And what we`re doing here is actually part of a noble mission.

  • In 1997, over 200 nations signed

  • the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty

  • so that all those nations would complete destruction

  • of their declared chemical weapons stockpile.

  • We will destroy nearly 780,000 different projectile munitions

  • filled with mustard agent, which is 12 percent of the U.S. stockpile.

  • Mustard agent is a sulfur chlorine organic compound.

  • It was used in World War I and it got the name mustard

  • because those soldiers who had been exposed to it

  • said it smelled like mustard.

  • And essentially what mustard agent does is

  • that once the vapor gets into your body or on your skin,

  • it`ll cause blistering.

  • If you breathe it in, it will cause blistering in your lungs.

  • If you get enough of it, it can be fatal.

  • Pueblo Chemical Depot is a United Nations United States Army facility.

  • It is one of the last two remaining chemical warfare stockpile storage sites.

  • The procedures, the equipment,

  • the training that we have here on the installation are designed to

  • -- to take care of the workforce

  • and protect the environment and the community.

  • The relationship,

  • when it`s come to the destruction of the weapons, started out pretty rocky.

  • The community did not want an incineration technology

  • and the Department of the Army said that the only thing

  • that they would do with this was incineration.

  • Concerns were that one of the byproducts

  • of incineration of mustard agent was mercury vapor.

  • Mercury vapor is a very dangerous chemical

  • to have on crops that are used for organic farming.

  • Ultimately in about 2000,

  • the community and the Citizens Advisory Commission

  • voted on the use of neutralization followed by bio treatment.

  • This is the first time that we`ll be destroying chemical weapons

  • using the neutralization process.

  • The neutralization process is where we add steam,

  • caustic and the agent together in a batch process

  • to chemically neutralize any remaining chemical agent.

  • The future for the Depot, it will eventually close.

  • This is the last mission of this institution, this organization.

  • This is very important to not only the United States but to the world, as well.

  • You know, mustard agent was used during World War I

  • and it`s nice to see that here we are today,

  • all of us here at the project can say we had a hand

  • in completing the destruction of America`s aging chemical weapons stockpile.

  • It`s an annual Saint Patrick`s tradition in the Second City,

  • orange dye, which quickly turns green,

  • brings a little Irish spirit to the Chicago River.

  • It was spread on Saturday and glows green at least through the holiday itself.

  • Officials say it`s totally safe for wildlife, though it may confuse it.

  • And Tampa, Florida has its own colorful celebration.

  • It`s part of the city`s River O`Green Festival,

  • which also includes food trucks and games for kids.

  • We`re not sure which city dyed it first or if it made the other green with envy.

  • Either way, it`s a riverent way to celebrate

  • a Saint Patrick`s treat the people are just dying to see.

  • I`m Carl Azuz wishing you a Happy Saint Patrick`s Day.

Happy Saint Patrick`s Day.I`m Carl Azuz.

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March 17, 2015 - CNN Student News with subtitles

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