CNN Student News January 23, 2015


Fridays are awesome. You are headed for ten
minutes of commercial free news, and I`m happy to be your host. Here we go. First, to London.
Representatives from 21 countries met in the U.K. yesterday. They are united in their fight
against the ISIS terrorist group, a fight led by the U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry says roughly
half of ISIS`s leaders have been killed since coalition airstrikes began last summer. Nic (ph) says ISIS`s momentum has been stopped
in Iraq, that`s one of the two countries where the terrorists control wide areas of land. Going forward, U.K. officials say, it will
take another year or two before ISIS is pushed out of Iraq. What`s holding that up are Iraq
struggling economy with oil prices down and Iraqi troops not being ready yet to fight
ISIS on their own. One place where ISIS is gaining ground, Yemen:
a government official there says the terrorists are active, they are recruiting fighters and
they are competing with another terrorist group: al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen is going through complete political
upheaval: last night, the country`s prime minister and cabinet resigned. That happened
the day after a peace deal was struck between the government and rebel fighters called Houthis
that have been battling it. Officials fear a power vacuum could benefit
Yemen`s terrorists. The chaos in Yemen is essentially a three-way
fight between the government, the Houthis, a Shiite Muslim rebel group feeling marginalized
in the primarily Sunni country and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. But its cause for
concern far beyond the small country`s borders. The Houthis are gaining more power, but who
is in charge of the country? Power vacuums benefit terrorists. For Yemen, those terrorists
are al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. You`ve heard of them before, of course, most
recently AQAP took responsibility for the deadly “Charlie Hebdo” attacks in Paris. Nearby countries, like Saudi Arabia, have
invested billions of dollars to protect their shared borders from al Qaeda overspill. And while U.S. president Barack Obama deems
the fight against terrorist in Yemen successful .. The strategy of taking out terrorists who
threaten us while supporting partners on the front lines is one that we have successfully
pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. Given the attacks in France and other plots
in Europe, is it really? Yemen`s location is also of key importance,
because of its proximity to the Red Sea`s shipping lanes. Each day, the Gulf of Aden
sees huge tonnage in shipping. Any turmoil in the country that disrupts shipping or the
country`s ability to protect this valuable asset is likely to have repercussions beyond
Yemen itself. Overall, we need to pay attention to Yemen.
The weaker the government, the easier it is for al Qaeda to strengthen its foothold. A
consequence very few want to face. In the U.S. the Federal Communications Commission
regulates interstate and international communications, so radio, TV, satellite, cable and Internet.
In late February, the FCC will make a big decision concerning the Internet. It`s largely
about who sets its speed limits. Right now, government regulations keep all
Internet traffic at the same speed. No cyber company gets a fast lane for better access
than another. But some Internet providers say certain fast
lanes would be better for customers, and that government rules prevent users from getting
what they want faster. That`s the debate in a nutshell over net neutrality. What is net neutrality? It has nothing to
do with the volleyball or a tennis court, the net refers to the Internet, something
that`s become as necessary as water and power for most of us. The neutrality part is about keeping the net
the way it is today. It`s a set of rules the FCC approved in 2010
to prevent speed traps on the information super highway. In other words, speeding up access to some
sites and slowing down access to others. Or blocking certain sites entirely. So, are these rules a bad thing? It depends
who you ask. The companies that deliver your Internet like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T has
spent millions in lobbying money to get rid of net neutrality. Arguing that having the government micromanage
their business, is not good for them or their consumers. On the other side, our Internet giants like
Facebook and Google streaming services like Netflix and President Obama. They all argue the Internet is a public good,
and should be regulated like one. They also say the companies that own the pipelines
can play favorites. For example, the content provider like Netflix is in direct competition
with Comcast, which owns NBC Universal and controls access to the Internet for more than
20 million customers. You can imagine a scenario where NBC might
want to speed up streams of each shows and slow down streams of its rival Netflix. Now, Netflix can afford to pay for a fast
lane, they make $4 billion a year, but the next Netflix some awesome startup can`t. So, where the thing stand today? It all comes
down to the FCC and the position they`ll take on this heated issue. Giant companies, millions of Internet users
and the president are all awaiting their decision. Time for our Friday “Roll Call.” Show me – show
me state. That`s Missouri. That`s where there`s the city named Carrolton, that`s where the
Trojans are watching from Carrolton High School. We knew that New Hampshire is the granite
state because it`s the town of Bedford Rocks. It`s the home of the Bulldogs at Bedford High
School, and in the Magnolia State of Mississippi, there is the city on the southern coast named
Ocean Springs. The buzz is that the yellow jackets are watching there at St. Martin High
School. Early on, there was this: it eventually became
this and today we have this. Same idea here, there once was this, a few decades brought
us this. And, of course, now there is this. It always seems that technology is getting
smaller. So, it makes sense that drones, one of the top Christmas gifts last year would
follow suit. How small can they get and who would use them? Remember those creepy spider robots that spied
on Tom Cruise in the movie “Minority Report?” In the real world, scientists at Universities
and the U.S. military have been developing incredible microrobots that look at fly like
birds or insects. Some are small as a thumbnail. In 2012 the Air Force announced that program
to create so called micro air vehicles that it said were the future of collecting intelligence.
The idea – tiny robot spies could sit unnoticed and watch your door, for example, and then
transmit what they see and hear to controllers. To work, the Air Force says this tiny spies
have to carry sensors, receivers and a power supply, and still be lightweight enough for
flight. At Harvard, they`ve got fly bots. Inspire
by actual flies, professor Robert Wood has been developing tiny machines controlled and
powered by cable (INAUDIBLE). Fly box are about the size of a large coin, and they hover
with wafer-thin wings that flap 120 times per second. Possible uses include helping
to pollinate crops, monitoring the environment, search and rescue. Another Harvard robot project had resulted
in a swarm of more than 1,000 so called kilo bots. Scientists want to use kilo bots to
figure out how robots can work together in swarms to communicate and self-organize, and
maybe someday even learn to cooperate and self-assemble three-dimensional structures.
So, you can see how many amazing possibilities tiny tech offers in the coming decades. As
we watch the rise of the robots. We don`t want to end things on a sad note
today, but sometimes when you are feeling down, it`s nice to have someone land a consoling
hand. At the zoological wildlife foundation in Miami,
Florida, Angelica, the monkey on the left, was in timeout. We don`t know why, but we
suspect the monkey business. Anyway, she was really torn up about it, so her friend Toby
stayed with her letting her know everything was going to be all right. A friendly pat on the back is sometimes a
good consolation prize, even if some would call it prima-tive. It`s like saying don`t
languer (ph) in sadness, just smile and cap your chin up. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN STUDENT
NEWS. Hope you`ll be back with us on Monday.

Maurice Vega

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