Wednesday, December 28, 2016


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Happy Saint Patrick`s Day.

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I`m Carl Azuz.

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CNN STUDENT NEWS is kicking off another 10
minutes of commercial-free coverage.

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Authorities are slowly combing over the South
Pacific nation of Vanuatu. It has 83 small

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island. About 65 of them are inhibited and
it

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just suffered one of the most powerful storms
ever to make landfill.

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Tropical Cyclone Pam was a category five storm.
At one point, it had sustained wind speeds

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of 165 miles per hour.

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It raked over Vanuatu for 24 hours last weekend.
At least 24 lives were lost, but officials

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don`t know yet the full extent of the damage.

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

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International aid is coming in slowly, but
it`s hard to get to the islands. The fact

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that radio and phone communications have been
knocked

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out is just one of the problems hampering
recovery efforts.

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Just trying to get a sense of the scale of
the damage here in a country that has more

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than 80 islands, some

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of them very difficult to reach right now,
is very hard to do. We`ve just been trying

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to survey some of the extent of the damage
here in the capital,

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Port Villa.

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

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Pam when she ripped through here on

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Friday night, tearing trees in half and damaging
nearly every building in this area. Some houses

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were quite simply flattened.

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Fortunately, residents tell me nobody in this
neighborhood was hurt in this terrible storm.

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

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preparation.

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Where was everybody on the night of the storm?

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Everybody was inside the evacuation center.

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This church right here?

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This church building, yes.

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And that was part of a plan.

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Of course, that was part of the plan which
we -- the training that we had. And the church

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is just like a mini -- a main

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evacuation center due to cyclones.

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Do you think that saved lives?

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Of course it did.

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The church is still serving as a temporary
shelter for dozens of people from this community.

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There is still no electricity three days

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after the storm. There is still no running
water. And untold thousands and thousands

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of people made homeless.

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And a bigger problem is nobody really knows
the extent of the damage or the potential

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loss of life on dozens of other islands of
Vanuatu, one of

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the poorest countries in the Pacific.

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What -- what`s striking is people -- many
of them have had their homes destroyed. Some

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of these people, they rely on subsistence
farming,

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basically for food. They`ve had their farms
destroyed, estimated some 80 percent of these

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subsistence farms on one of the main islands
here, Tanna,

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destroyed. So people are spending what little
money they have to buy some rice and -- and

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

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That gives you a sense of how difficult this
-- a challenge this is going to be for this,

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really one of the poorest countries in the
Pacific.

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UNICEF, the United Nations fund to help children
worldwide, says 60,000 kids in Vanuatu need

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help. It`s among the church groups,

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government and international aid organizations
that are sending assistance to Vanuatu.

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CNN`s Impact Your World site has a list of
these groups. For ideas on how and where you

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can contribute, CNN.com/impact is a good starting
point.

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Roll Call

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The first school featured in today`s Roll
Call is in a part of North Dakota that`s listed

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on The National Register of Historic Places.

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Fort Totten is named for a military site built
just after the Civil War. It`s where Four

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Winds High School is watching. Their mascot
is The

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Indians.

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In the Buckeye State, we`re glad to be part
of your day at St. Joseph Orphanage. Hello

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to the students watching in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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And in Ukraine, we received a Roll Call request
from the Kyiv International School. It`s in

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the capital of Kiev.

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It wouldn`t be hard to find Bostonians who
are absolutely sick of snow. But they do have

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a silver lining in this white winter. They`ve
just

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weather their city`s snowiest season since
1872. That`s as far back as Boston`s weather

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records go.

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And with 108.6 inches of snow recorded this
season, they`ll have bragging rights for at

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least another year.

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It`s been a winter of superlatives for Beantown
-- coldest month ever, this February; snowiest

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January storm ever, this year; having just
posted

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the snowiest winter ever is the icing on the
city.

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One disclaimer, though, winter is not over
yet. This record could grow.

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Just the Facts

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Just the Facts -- chemical weapons like mustard
gas or nerve agents are named for the toxic

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chemicals they

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carry. They can cause death, permanent damage
or temporary disability to people or animals.

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Their use in warfare was outlawed in 1925,
though they have been used since then. Some

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nations have developed chemical weapons as
a threat or a

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deterrent to attacks.

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During the cold war, the U.S. and Soviet Union
built up massive stockpiles of chemical weapons.

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

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international commitment to eliminate them
say

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that if the U.S. is ever attacked with chemical
weapons, it won`t have any left of its own

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to retaliate with. Supporters say America
has a range of

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non-chemical weapons that it could use instead.

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Another reason for their destruction -- terrorist
groups have tried to get chemical weapons.

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The process of eliminating them is not a simple
one.

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We plan for the worst possible event. You
know, is this a dangerous profession?

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A lot of professions are.

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Ending Chemical Weapons

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I never thought I would be working with chemical
weapons. This is my most favorite job. I love

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what I do.

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And what we`re doing here is actually part
of a noble mission. In 1997, over 200 nations

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signed the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty
so that all

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those nations would complete destruction of
their declared chemical weapons stockpile.

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We will destroy nearly 780,000 different projectile
munitions filled with mustard agent, which

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is 12 percent of the U.S. stockpile.

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Mustard agent is a sulfur chlorine organic
compound. It was used in World War I and it

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got the name mustard because

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those soldiers who had been exposed to it
said it smelled like mustard.

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And essentially what mustard agent does is
that once the vapor gets into your

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body or on your skin, it`ll cause blistering.
If you breathe it in, it will cause blistering

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in your lungs. If you get enough of it, it
can be

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fatal.
Pueblo Chemical Depot is a United Nations

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United States Army facility. It is one of
the last two remaining chemical

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warfare stockpile storage sites. The procedures,
the equipment, the training that we have here

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on the installation are designed to -- to
take

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care of the workforce and protect the environment
and the community.

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The relationship, when it`s come to the destruction
of the weapons, started out

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pretty rocky. The community did not want an
incineration technology and the Department

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of the Army said that the only thing that
they would do with

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this was incineration.

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Concerns were that one of the byproducts of
incineration of mustard agent was mercury

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vapor. Mercury vapor is a very dangerous chemical
to

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have on crops that are used for organic farming.

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Ultimately in about 2000, the community and
the Citizens Advisory Commission voted on

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the use of neutralization followed by bio
treatment.

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JACKSON: This is the first time that we`ll
be destroying chemical weapons using the neutralization

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process. The neutralization process is

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where we add steam, caustic and the agent
together in a batch process to chemically

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neutralize any remaining chemical agent.

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QUINN: The future for the Depot, it will eventually
close. This is the last mission of this institution,

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this organization.

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

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You know, mustard agent was used during World
War I

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and it`s nice to see that here we are today,
all of us here at the project can say we had

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a hand in completing the destruction of America`s
aging

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chemical weapons stockpile.

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Before We Go

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It`s an annual Saint Patrick`s tradition in
the Second City, orange dye, which quickly

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turns green, brings a little Irish spirit
to the

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

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Officials say it`s totally safe for wildlife,
though

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it may confuse it.

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And Tampa, Florida has its own colorful celebration.
It`s part of the city`s River O`Green Festival,

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which also includes food trucks and games

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for kids.

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

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way, it`s a riverent way to celebrate a Saint
Patrick`s

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treat the people are just dying to see.

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

CNN Student News - December 29, 2016 - English Sub

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